Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

The finished tree
It did not stay that way the whole month!
Well, this post is only exactly two months late!  To start out the holiday season our family attended Rhonda from Christmas Notebook annual open house, which was as fabulous as ever.  Even better was the fact my children didn't spill punch on the couch or break any of the crystal ornaments on the Christmas trees.  Sorry, I have no pictures of the event.  It's way too hard to take a camera and chase the little ones, I count it as a win if we get out of there with everything in one piece!  The best part is always the company, Doug and I get to visit with some old friends, this year was no different.  We got to play catch up with a couple who were our high school youth leaders back in the day.

This year Doug and I got to commemorate our 15th wedding anniversary on December 12.  We actually "celebrated" it a few weekends later, we were supposed to go out Dec 14th but two nights before Princess caught a stomach bug (of course), then Toddler Boy caught it.  We had to reschedule the date weekend.  This was a real testing of my faith, let me tell you.  As a homeschool mom of many I was really looking forward to my "night off" with my hubby.  The kids don't spend many overnights away, so I can feel like I'm "always on duty".  I have to be careful to plan little snatches of alone time and prayer time into my days or I will risk burnout.  It's always a balancing act, and Doug is really good about keeping the kids if I need to go out for a few hours.  Finally everyone was healthy so my mom and dad kept the kids overnight so we could spend the day Christmas shopping, eating out and going to a movie.  We went to see the second Hunger Games movie and ate out at a couple of new restaurants.  The following morning Doug went to Mass with me, which hasn't happened since I came into the church in 2011.  It was so nice to be able to sit in the pew beside my husband at the Holy Mass.  I always go to church with him but he doesn't attend Mass with me, so it was a special gift.

We got all of our Christmas shopping finished up on our date weekend.  Then early Christmas Eve morning we headed to Doug's office party...
Goofing around in Dad's office

Princess with Santa

Toddler Boy having nothing to do with Santa!


I've talked before about how I really don't care for this office tradition.  The problem being how early we have to get everyone up on Christmas Eve.  It makes for a long day followed by an even longer evening because we usually attend Christmas Eve services.  Then we run the risk of the younger kiddos being crabby the next day, which of course is Christmas.  On top of that, the presents that "Santa" brings to the office are supplied by us...so that cuts into our gift budget.  Doug has worked at the bank for 12 years now, so probably not going to change anytime soon.

This year we decided to go to the early 2:00 pm Christmas Eve service at church.  It was going to be the least crowded one and I knew I wouldn't be able to get the little ones down for naps that day.  It was a very nice service, and Santa came early and dropped our gifts off while we were at church!
Toddler Boy is into cars

Fishing book & gift cards for Firstborn

Game Boy..."before"

Soccer Boy scored new card packs

Game Boy..."after"

Princess is now an official artist

He likes his pirate ship
Only shot I had of me!
She loves her easel!

The two oldest children did not receive many gifts from us on that evening because they were getting their "big" gifts the next day at Grandma's house.  They both got ipod touches this year for their Christmas/birthday gifts combo.

We put the little ones to bed early, they were tired after the long day.  Then I headed to "midnight" (10:00pm) Mass, where I got to sing with the choir for the first time.  I cantor at Mass, but I do not normally sing with the choir because they sing at 10:30 a.m. and I need to leave that time open in case our family goes to Sunday morning church services.  Singing with the choir at Christmas Eve Mass was beautiful, except the choir didn't get to receive the Eucharist!  Not sure what happened with that, I think they normally go up first and then come back and sing but with all the extra singing that goes on during that particular Mass I guess something got overlooked.  Not a huge deal, but I was a bit disappointed since I didn't have another opportunity to go to Mass over Christmas.

For ourselves this Christmas Doug and I picked up a new camera!  We have a little pink Canon Powershot that we had purchased on our Florida vacation three years ago when I forgot to pack the camera!  (Oddly, I had remembered to pack the charger but had left the camera sitting on the kitchen island...go figure)!  That pink camera died right before Christmas, I think it got sand in it from our Florida beach trip this year.  So we picked up a new Canon Powershot on our date weekend.  While we were camera shopping we looked at the bigger cameras that were all on sale for the holidays.  We decided on a Nikon D3200 with extra lens as a "Christmas present to us" kind of purchase.  All the pictures in this post were taken with the Powershot because we hadn't even opened the Nikon at this point.  Cameras like that come with instructional videos that we didn't have time to watch until after the holiday rush.

That's it for my holiday wrap up...hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season last year!!

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