Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Celebrations of 2014

Christmas is my favorite holiday (next to the 4th of July).  There is just something so peaceful and joyful about it that even the over-commercialization can't diminish it.  This year was very different for us.  On the 23rd Jude came down with a stomach virus (his first ever) and was sick for 6 days straight.  We still managed to celebrate with our family and friends, but the poor little guy was pretty miserable most of the time.  I think the saddest part was that he had been anticipating the holiday for over one month (I mean, non-stop talking about it) then, he got violently sick.  Matt ended up being spared from the sickness, but Ezra and I came down with it on the 27th.  We were not effected as strongly as Jude, but still very sickly.  Thankfully, we seem to all be over it.  Enough with the "sick talk" though...we still had a beautiful Christmas with our loved ones.  We ate a lot of delicious food, opened some thoughtful and lovely gifts, and had cherished family time.  Here are a lot of pics from 3 separate days.

At Home

At Matt's Mom's

At Matt's Dad's

At My Parents'

At My Aunt + Uncle's

A Polar Express Ride for Four

Yes, we rode the Polar Express once again this year to the North Pole, but this year we went as a family of four.  Going out and about with 2 kids has presented many new challenges for us, nevertheless, we are beginning to get the hang of it...I think. :)  I know I already mentioned it, but Jude has watched Polar Express this season more times than I care to admit.  His obesession was fueled with this train ride to Santa.  Every year seems to get more enjoyable as Jude's excitement grows (you can see past visits here and here).  Seeing a conductor, getting a ticket, drinking hot chocolate, and seeing Santa + Mrs. Claus were Jude's favorites.  Ezra slept almost the entire time, so I doubt he could attest to any highlights. :)  They both visited with Santa + Mrs. Claus.  Jude needed some coaxing to get on Santa's lap and then once there he sat frozen with his arms outstretched.  We are shooting for a more normal visit and picture next year.  :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teaching the Meaning of Christmas

Advent  >  the coming of Christ into the world

We have been doing our best to teach Jude the real meaning of Christmas this year.  He loves storytelling and books, so he's heard us tell and retell the events of Jesus' birth throughout the last month.  He is actually pretty good at telling the story himself (well, with some prompting).  We have been counting down until Christ's birthday this year with our Advent calendar.  The look of this year's varies from last year's but a lot of the same fun has been planned. We have had a little more difficulty keeping up with our activities with so much change happening this season in our family.  Nevertheless, we our trying to keep the importance of this season on being together and sharing the love that Christ has shown us to others.  Here are some pictures of the bunting which is our Advent calendar and Jude reading his book of Jesus' birth to Ezra.