Friday, December 30, 2011

Phone Photo Friday - Christmas Remembered

I have been on a little blogging break, but thought I would share a few phone photos. I am learning about the camera on my new iPhone. So much fun! And it makes it easy to take pictures without having to lug the big camera along. What did we do before phones had cameras? Do you even remember the olden days when phones were attached to the wall in the kitchen?
InstagramCollage20 by StewMama
Ella on the move ~ A right jolly old elf ~ Look who what I found at Target
The little Lord Jesus ~ Silent night, holy night ~ You will find the babe
And why does she need a metal detector? ~ Something blue ~ Pulled pork nachos
The next AI? ~ Louisville favorite ~ Home from NC

Linking up with Dawn at My Home Sweet Home.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Silent Night, Holy Night

I love our Christmas Eve service. Thinking back on my childhood, I remember the excitement of the night, the thrill of singing with the choir up front, and the magic of candles lifted in the air filling the room with light.
It is a special place, and a special night as we celebrate together the birth of our Savior. It is even more special to me when I am able to enjoy the added blessing of having all of our children worshipping together on this Holy Night.

We arrived early enough to take some pictures of the beautifully decorated sanctuary.

The Christ candle in the center would be lit during the service.

Haleigh spent some time reading the Bible while we waited for the service to start.

I imagine even the baby Jesus did a little crying every once in a while.

The children entered carrying wrapped gifts for their part in the service.

As they came to the front, the children shared what birthdays mean to each of them. There were answers like "cake", "frosting", "getting older", and, of course, "presents!" That's Matthew waiting his turn to share.

Up front, they did some choral reading, and then sang a sweet rendition of "Happy Birthday, Jesus."

The second graders read the scripture from Luke, Chapter 2. Matthew and four pretty little girls.

Matthew read verses 15-20, which is one of my favorite parts of the story.

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Merry Christmas!
May we treasure the gift we have been given,
may the story never grow old,
and may we glorify and praise our precious Lord Jesus.
Joy to the World!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Santa came early over at the cattle farm where Andrew and Darci live. We went over on Thursday night to share pizza along with the night-before anticipation of Santa's visit. Matthew has decided to start a collection of business cards. Here, he shows off his dad's and his Grandpa's.

Sweet baby Ella is ready for Santa.

Haleigh gets all dressed for bed in her Christmas jammies.

Grandpa snuggles with the kids while Matthew reads a story.

He was working hard reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', on a recordable book. Pretty cool.

Haleigh was listening...

until she tried to "help" him by hugging him around the neck.

It made it just a little bit hard to read.

Grandpa and Ella were dozing during enjoying the story.

Daddy and his kids, all ready for Santa's visit.

Of course, we went over the next morning to see what Santa brought. Seems he brought the first calf of the year, a heifer.

So cute...

standing on wobbly legs.

The other heifers were interested in all the commotion, each waiting for her turn to be a first time mommy. I need to borrow the little butterfly that the Pioneer Woman uses to hide the, um, backsides of the animals in her photos.

Grandpa and Matthew worked together on his Snap Circuits. There are 100 configurations, each resulting in a completed electrical circuit to produce light, sound, or turning of some kind.

There was even a fan that actually lifted off and flew in the air.

Haleigh was busy serving up some pizza. Mmmmmm....

And she has some cool new sparkly shoes.

Somehow sweet Ella got a scratch on her cheek. Crawling babies are bound to get some bumps along the way.

We spent the day anxiously awaiting the arrival of David and Shylah, driving from North Carolina. Unfortunately, the trip did not go so well, and West Virginia ended up like the Redneck 12 Days of Christmas. Their version went something like this:
Car and dog all loaded
2 hours of traffic
1 speeding ticket
Changing a flat tire
Wal-Mart tire repair (a la 5.... flannel... shirts, 
or golden rings, whichever you prefer)
Waiting with the dog
Back on the road
WV in the rearview
And finally home for the Christmas dinner!

Meanwhile, we had the table all set, beef tenderloin in the oven, and cold beverages in the fridge. :)

After dinner, we shared some gifts around the Christmas tree. Matthew reads his certificate for a day with Aunt Fer and Bryan.

Had to crop this one of Big Jon.

Andrew's new Purdue shorts.

Matthew's Saints blanket. Who Dat!

Matthew got some building sets. The Empire State Building, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

David and Jonathan asked for golf clubs. So that's what they got.

They were thrilled.

I'm sure it will improve their game. New clubs always do that, right?

David was anxious to try his out.

Haleigh got a talking Dora doll. She loves Dora.

"We did it!"

She was actually a bit scared of dear Dora at first. I don't think she knew she could come out of the TV.

Haleigh also enjoyed the golf clubs. Maybe the big boys will have to share.

Matthew read a certificate for Jim and me from all the kids. It was a donation to Family Health Ministries for the orphanage in Fondwa, Haiti. Just what I wanted. A perfect gift.

Their stockings held two t-shirts for each one. A Purdue shirt...

and a Saints shirt. This one is my personal favorite. :) Drew Dat!

I like this one pretty well too.

Darci and Andrew looking good.

And Jennifer models her new DKNY cozy. There are at least 12 ways to wear this soft sweater. I don't think this is one of them.