Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas!

Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift 

and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

                                                               -- Robert Louis Stevenson
Christmas Eve

We attended the 4:00 Mass on Christmas Eve.... along with approximately 3,421,877 others. It was an "awesome" experience of Christian community coming together to adore Baby Jesus. Next year I think our parish needs to rent Nationwide*Arena for Mass.

Next we headed to my mom's house for our family Christmas celebration. Mom challenged us to a tacky Christmas outfit contest.

We won! Duh.... don't ever challenge US to be tacky!

My mom looked too pretty to be tacky!

Adam was a tacky little elf.
After a yummy spaghetti dinner, we opened presents. The very first present the boys opened from my mom was the item they were most waiting for this year.... Skylanders Swap Force.

Colleen and Carter showing off some of their gifts.

The kids loved their "Comic Hamster" t-shirts that I made for them. Comic Hamster is a cartoon character that Carter invented. They all love to draw and be part of his "company." The shirts have their logo on them --- "We know and think awesome!" They think they are a "real company" now that they have shirts.

My mom made beautiful scarves for all of us girls and made this refugee lady Colleen a lovely quilt.

Scarf Sisters!
(Being photo bombed by the tree angel)

Didn't get a good picture, but here the boys are eating our traditional "snowman ice cream" dessert.

My Uncle Duey with my Mom

She's such a gift to us! ;)

*Somehow I don't have a picture of my brother-in-law, but he was there too. ;)
Christmas Morning
Ready to go downstairs!

First stop --- a prayer with Baby Jesus

We are so blessed to be able to give and share gifts at this time of year. We try to keep it pretty simple, but it always seems to get out of hand. We really enjoyed taking our time opening gifts and it was so fun - as always - to see the joy and excitement in the boys' faces. They are growing up so quickly.

Santa brought a game table on which we can play ping pong, foosball, air hockey, and basketball!! We need to assemble it this weekend.

Adam appropriately received this book of funny poems --- "The Armpit of Doom."

A new tote bag for me!
An apron and breakfast supplies for our "King of Breakfast!"

These special gifts were saved for last ---
Each boy received a Nabi 2 tablet from us. We are hoping they'll be useful tools for school as well as lots of fun for playing games, etc.
Christmas Dinner
We enjoyed a relaxing family day of playing with gifts and lounging in our pajamas. I even got to take a long Christmas nap! My mom joined us for a delicious ham dinner.

The Christmas Season
We started a new tradition this year! We are going to try to really celebrate the entire SEASON of Christmas. We'll be singing carols, seeing lights, and enjoying special meals and activities throughout these twelve days. I made a tower of family gifts.... one for each day of the Season. Each day we'll open a gift, sing the 12 Days of Christmas song (up to the corresponding day), and pray together. The gifts include things like snacks, games, cds, etc that we can all enjoy together. Yesterday the tower included two books about the 12 days of Christmas and a "Merry Christmas" banner which we hung in the school room.
Many blessings from our family to yours. May you savor and celebrate this Holy Season and remember that God came to Earth as a vulnerable little baby.... to teach all of us to open our hearts to love.  How will you know, celebrate, and receive Him anew this year?

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