Friday, December 30, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

December has been a very fun and memorable month.  The twins are 2 1/2 now and very into the Christmas festivities!  It's amazing how fast they catch on to new routines and look forward to them.  One of their favorites was reading the family Advent book each night followed up by the chocolate and scripture verse found behind the doors of the advent Christmas tree.  They became a bit fixated on the "chocolate" and we may need to replace that with something else next year!  
The kids loved helping make Christmas treats.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they unwrapped the chocolate kisses, placed them carefully on the pretzels, then put another pretzel on top of melted chocolate.  Their self control to not eat the candy was amazing until they spotted mom sneaking a few bites!  Kai and Julia also enjoyed making/eating a gingerbread house.  As with any project with toddlers, it was quick and messy!  I know that any project can go from "fun" to "disaster" quickly with these two, so I was overall very pleased with the results!

Kai & Julia looking very proud in their aprons from Nana!

Gingerbread house

We resisted most of the "Santas" in town but did hit up one at the Highland Village fire department.  The twins refused to sit on Santa's lap last year, so this experience was an improvement.  I think they view Santa like a Trick-or-Treat character who likes to give away Candy Canes.  Yes, they are a bit confused, but that is fine with us!  Here are a few of the pictures....pretty funny!

"I'm not too sure about you?!"

"Wow, I would love to pull all of that facial hair!"

"If I smile, can I have my Candy Cane and leave?"
"That's better!"

The highlight of the Christmas season was having Papa & Nana Christianson visit from Washington.  The kids loved having their grandparents around to play with and Jared and I really enjoyed the extra two pairs of hands!  We took a trip to the local Bass Pro Shop and went on the reindeer carosel and took a few family pictures on the Grizzly bear. There was a much shorter line for the bear than for Santa!

Papa & his boys
Isaac riding the Grizzly!

We also enjoyed looking at Christmas lights near Grapevine downtown.  We attended a great Christmas Eve service at our church and ended the night with singing around the Christmas tree, eating Creme Brule and opening one gift.

Nana & Papa w/ kids

On Christmas morning the kids woke up, ate a Happy Birthday Jesus French Toast Casserole cake, and then had a blast opening all of the presents.  We enjoyed having our neighbors join us for Christmas dinner along with the fried turkey & potatoes that they brought with them!

It warmed up here in Dallas after Christmas and the twins loved being outside with Papa & Daddy while they did "yard work."  

In the midst of all of the Christmas activities, Isaac turned nine months (sigh!), Julia has learned new skills and phrases, and Kai had his biannual MRI, kidney ultrasound, and appointment at the Spina Bifida Clinic.  I have lots to share, but I will wait to do this on next post! Have a Happy New Years!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving to Remember

Well, this Thanksgiving we spent time thinking what we were thankful for and also spent sleepness nights taking care of those kids that we are "thankful for!"  We joined my family in Nebraska including seven cousins (four babies and three toddlers).  My poor parents are probably still trying to catch up on sleep after the flu bug spread through the house and kept babies and parents up most of the nights.  Here are some pictures from the Jones family circus!
Four peas in a pod!
You can imagine how much rest everyone got this week!

Great Grandma Jones

Grandma and Papa Jones w/ the toddlers

Zach teaching Julia how to golf

Kai loves his Grandma!

Isaac and Great G & G Barry

McKinley loves her cousin Isaac!

Going in for the kiss!


Erin & her girls

Uncle Zach & Kai

Izzy & Julia

Izzy & Kai

Feeding the ducks w/ Megan & Amelia

Kai ate more bread than the ducks did!

Gilbertson family

Playing dress up

We miss Izzy already!

Isaac helping out in the kitchen!

We returned back to Texas and enjoyed getting all of the Christmas decorations out.  As you can see Jared got smart and put a baby gate up around the Christmas tree after the kids broke several ornaments and Isaac tried to scale the tree!  

Jared and I also enjoyed a date night at an outdoor skating rink in Frisco.    Our Texas friends should check it out!  Another recent highlight was attending a parenting conference at our church.  It was a good reminder that "controlling behavior" is not what the goal is, but to point our children to the Lord and the purpose they were created for.  It's been a challenge to teach two year olds that life does not revolve around them and to really identify heart issues as cause of their disobedience.  It is very humbling for us as we have to examine our own hearts!  I'm so thankful for a patient God!

We are counting down the days until Christmas and looking forward to a visit from Jared's parents.  It will be special to host our first Christmas.  It should be memorable!