I entered December with the best of intentions: to blog each week about our Advent activities and what we had been up to. However, the days have rapidly escaped without one single blog. We have been spending time with family and friends, relaxing to Christmas movies and music, wrapping presents, baking, and sharing Jesus' love with others...exactly what we had envisioned for our activities this holiday season!
Ryker got into the Advent calendar a lot more than Deklan (which was to be expected), but that isn't to say that Deklan didn't participate at all. In fact, he has taken part in a lot of them. Here is the highlight reel: buying doughnuts for a stranger (and eating a bunch with Daddy), hamburgers and handwarmers for people on the street, handprint Christmas trees, making ornaments for Daddy, Christmas shopping and wrapping, dinner with Grandma & Aunt Nessa, a visit to the Creamery for Christmas crafts and Santa with Grammy & Papaw, Christmas dinner and presents with Grammy & Papaw and Uncle E & Aunt B, Christmas cookies, a visit to Daddy's office to take Christmas treats, taking gifts to Bible School teachers at CBS, playing with Emerson & Sully, more doughnuts, Christmas lights, dinner with the Kernodles, donating food to the food bank, and Christmas with Uncle Tom & Aunt Teresy and Brandon! Whew! Now you see why I didn't blog earlier. We had plans for a lot more but we had to take a whole week off because we were hit with the flu. We were so grateful that Deklan managed to avoid it and that it only lasted a couple of days for each of us.
It has been a whirlwind, but it has been a great month. There are lots of things that I will probably do differently next December, but one thing that I am so happy about and thankful for is that Ryker has really been focused on what Christmas is truly about. He talks about Jesus' birthday, he somewhat understands who St. Nicholas historically was and that he gave gifts to others to share God's love and that is what St. Nick/Santa is all about today. On one of Advent activties he said, "Mom, I really like making people happy." It was great to see him enjoying the giving process so much. The boys were shown generosity by so many loved ones...there is a mountain of new toys to play with at our house. Today's activity: clean out the toy box and take stuff to the Salvation Army!
This will be the last blog before our Christmas travels. A couple of things I have to say before wrapping up. First, if you are blessed with any excess in the way of food, please consider giving to your local food bank. When we dropped off food at ours they were actually shut down because of such shortage. No one should go hungry, but it is especially sad to think of this happening in the cold of December just days before Christmas. So, please donate if you can. Second, it is easy to get lost in the frenzy of the holiday season. I found myself being so busy at times that I wasn't stopping to embrace the joy that each second held. However, I was blessed to get so much time with friends, family, and my amazing husband and boys. Please take time this Christmas to pause and appreciate those that you love. The people in our lives are such incredible gifts!
I would be missing it if I stopped there, though. While I love my family more than anything on this earth, the greatest gift is the gift of our Savior. As a mom, I think I appreciate more with each passing year the tremendous sacrifice God made in sending His son that Christmas day. I love my boys! I can't fathom sending them to a fallen place, far away from me, making them vulnerable and knowing that they would be hurt, mocked, hated, and eventually tortured and killed. I couldn't do that for anyone, let alone for people that didn't deserve it. That's exactly what God did, though, for you and for me. Christmas is an awesome time. It isn't about the gifts under the tree or the feasts we eat. It is all about baby Jesus! He is worth celebrating every single day of the year. If you haven't accepted His gift, please pray about it. Enjoy His blessings, let your heart be filled with joy, and have a very Merry Christmas!
|Our Advent calendar|
|Ryker buying dunkin' doughnuts for the car behind him.|
|Homemade hot cocoa|
|Taking hand warmers to cold people|
|D didn't like being buckled in for hand painting|
|Hand print hijinx|
|Christmas crafts with Grammy|
|Deklan with St. Nick; Ryker was not impressed with the idea of sitting on the big guy's lap.|
|Hello there, St. Nick!|
|Ryker gets lots of Cars for Christmas|
|Look what Deklan got, Aunt B and Uncle E!|
|Ryker sees Grammy!|
|Christmas with Uncle Tom, Aunt Teresa, and Brandon|
|Deklan gets his very own guitar|
|"That dude" likes his snowman cup.|
|Deklan really likes his m&m fan stocking stuffer.|
|Brandon was so generous...he got the boys a power wheel for Christmas.|
|Riding in style!|
|Delicious dinner with Grandma and Aunt Nessa and Bretton.|