Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our Christmas

I don't quite have the words to describe this year's Christmas. To say it's been different than years past would be an understatement. I'll start off by writing about the high points of our Christmas.

The cousins (minus C)
Christmas Eve - We started the day with Robb's brother and his family. The kids absolutely love getting to spend time with Brad, Courtney, AP, and new baby C. Sassy Pants, who usually is stuck to either Robb or me like glue, actually warmed up enough to sit with her Uncle Brad. We exchanged presents. We gave AP a Pillow Pet pig. We were informed that she has a stuffed animal pig that she named "Anna Piggy", so the Pillow Pet has been dubbed "Anna Piggy Jr." The Boy spent a week this past summer with Brad and Courtney and played a game with them called Ticket to Ride. He absolutely loved the game, so they gave him Ticket to Ride for Christmas. We've played it several times since Christmas, and I highly recommend it! (Of course, that may be because I've won all but one game.)
Anna Piggy Jr.

Ballerina and AP
 Later, we went to the Christmas Eve service at church. We've done this every year since we've been married, and it's a tradition that I pray my children will continue when they are adults. It is so important that we remember that Christmas is about our Lord, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth in order to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. While it's fun and nice to have time with family and to give and receive gifts, that isn't the main point of Christmas.

After the service, we drove out to the fairgrounds to see Santa's Magical Village - a huge Christmas light display. It was beautiful and the kids enjoyed it. On the way home, we stopped at the hospital to see Robb's mom so the kids could wish her Merry Christmas.

We have one other tradition on Christmas Eve; the kids each get to open one present and it's always new pajamas. We give each child their present, and then Robb tells them about how his dad always gave him one gift on Christmas Eve and how he wanted to continue this tradition with them.

Finally, it was time to send all the small people off to bed, and Robb and I went to work getting everything together for Christmas morning. Robb had already assembled the basketball goal and 2 soccer goals, but still had to finish assembling the soccer kickback and put the goals out in the yard from where they were hidden.

Ballerina's stuff
The Boy's stuff
Christmas morning - Every year, we say we're not going to go overboard like we did the year before, and every year somehow we still go overboard. It looked like Toys R Us had taken over our living room.
After looking at all of their new things and eating breakfast, they opened their presents to each other. It always blesses me to see how they (usually) put a lot of thought into each other's gifts. Later that day, we went back up to the hospital to give Grammi and PopPop their gifts from us. Robb had a blanket made for Grammi that had pictures of the kids throughout the past year on it.
Little Red's stuff
Sassy Pants's stuff
Soccer Girl's stuff

 Day after Christmas - We woke up to snowfall. It was absolutely beautiful. Pictures from that are here. The kids got to play for a while, and then we all got ready for church. After church we came back home, and the kids went back out in the snow. It was a nice, relaxing day at home. Until that evening. We got a call from Brad that Robb's mom had passed away. Robb left to go up to the hospital, and I told the kids. They were heartbroken, especially The Boy.

Some of the girls together

Opening the camera
2 Days After - We had already planned for my brother and his family to come visit, and we wanted to keep things as normal as possible for the children. It was nice to have Damon, Carrie, H and L here. The girls were able to spend time with their cousins, and it took their minds off of losing their Grammi, at least for a little while. We exchanged presents with them. We got them a video camera, and they were quite surprised. Robb had to leave for a good bit of the afternoon to take care of arrangements, but the rest of us enjoyed a nice day of visiting with family. The Boy and I introduced Damon and Carrie to Ticket to Ride, and Damon proceeded to beat us all. They were able to copy some recipes that I had from my mom and grandmother.

Like I said earlier, the reason for Christmas is not family; it's Jesus. Having the opportunity to spend the time with family is an added blessing. I am so very happy that we were able to take all of the children up to see their Grammi one last time on Christmas.
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