Our holidays started at the beginning of December, when I shipped out our Christmas cards.
This year's offering:
My favorite part of Christmas is receiving cards in the mail. I love it. I just took them down from the walls today. I am always eager to get rid of the tree and decor, but the cards are harder to part with.
Our festivities marched on through December with various concerts, parties and recitals. Soon, we found ourselves at Christmas Eve. We served our traditional finger foods, which included an amazing cheese tray that Gracie put together with her dad.
We all stuffed ourselves!
Some of us even enjoyed some lobster:
Filled with good things, we moved to the family room for the traditional nativity puppet show.
With that, Mom and Dad went home, children nestled in their beds, and Greg and I stayed up half the night preparing for the big day.
The kids were thrilled to empty their stockings.
But even more thrilled to open their presents.
Jane sure was excited to get that big, fat Vera Bradley gift card!
Derick was super excited to get his very own American Girl Bitty Baby.
If Grace's tongue is any indicator, she was very excited about her new iPod Touch.
But the highlight of the day was Ethan's new cat. Yep, we are now officially cat owners. I have never seen him more excited on Christmas. All day long, he said, "Oh! Ethan got a cat!"
The best part of our Christmas was that halfway through the day, we looked outside to see this white stuff falling.
Later, when our friends, the Koehles, came over, the kids spent MUCHO time outside in the snow. It was only the second white Christmas we've had here in Texas over 14 years.
It was a dreamy day.
A couple of days after Christmas, Jane and I finally finished our quest to read the unabridged "Les Miserables". It took us a couple of months. The first 50% of the book, I read aloud to her, the second half, we each read on our own. We both finished in the morning, and then went to the movie in the evening.
That's me after crying all my make up off. I am telling you! What a crybaby. I honestly don't remember the last time I SOBBED that hard in a movie. I couldn't stop! I actually had never seen the play, so reading it with Jane and then immediately watching the film was a very special experience. And can I just tell you how proud I am of my hard-core 7th grade reader!? I would be lying if I said there wasn't LOTS of whining from our 13 year-old over the course of the experience, but she did it! That was one big book and lots of new vocabulary words.
On to New Year's Eve! We spent the evening as a family, playing games, eating yummy Asian food, and watching the sweet movie, "The Odd Life of Timothy Green". More crying.
New Years' Day, the girls invited a few friends over and had a blast.
And finally, how cute is this boy and his new cat!?!
I'm telling you what. As much as I don't like those animals, it sure is a joy to see my little boy love something so much. And for a parent, that spells a successful Christmas.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!