The Beginning of Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas and happy new year! 

Finally jumping on to record some of the beginning of our Christmas. It's been good...more relaxed than I expected. I overestimated how much we had planned to do so there's been much more downtime than I thought there would be. Which is...nice? But I totally admit that it leaves me feeling antsy. I do like playing games and puzzles and easy meals but I'm not as good with not knowing in the morning what the goals are for the day. Even if the goal is just to relax and have a cozy day with leftovers for dinner, it needs to be a part of The Plan or all day long I have that nagging feeling like I'm forgetting something. Anyone else? But on the very bright side, I think God's been giving me this unexpected extra time to work on a few big projects and I'm trying to use the time well. I also took a break from doulaing for a couple months and it's been a welcome break from being on call 24/7, especially over Christmas! 

We decided to repeat last year and go to the Cathedral for Christmas Eve Mass. It's hard to believe but it's only about half full and I find it a little bit easier to enter into worship than at our home parish on Christmas Eve. The older boys were even able to serve! What a gift. 

I haven't taken many pictures over Christmas. Or over this whole year, really. My phone has now become my main camera, the pictures it takes being pretty much equivalent to the ones my old big camera were taking anyway - subpar and grainy as I do ;) But I'm not sure I'll ever be someone who absolutely loves carrying a phone around and I don't at all like pulling it out constantly to check it (plus phone typing, to me, is still the worst). I find the constant connectedness a bit draining, I think. And I think that makes me much less inclined to pull it out even if for just picture taking. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know. ANYHOW, I did manage a few of our first day of Christmas and I'm glad for it.

I promise I did not at all realize that his ornament was hanging there so perfectly positioned as all that. Minus, you know, the blurry picture taking and phone camera, I could totally be a professional.

Stealthy pew snapping.

They insisted they needed to take a picture with Baby Jesus for His birthday. These boys humble me and make my heart so burst.

Post dinner feast first Christmas cookies. All the sweeter.

I think they were up around 6:30 or so. Michael wanted to be the one to read The Story before gift time.

It's kind of a pain getting these ready the night before but I never regret it the next morning...or all week after.

Heart shot. Michael spent the last few weeks of Advent knitting hats for his brothers using a round loom. I need to get a picture of the four of them in them! But this was Luke's reaction <3

Gifts from us were very simple this year. Even so, I really love picking out that gift that speaks right to them and shows that you know their hearts.

A weaving loom and yarn for Michael

A gemstone digging kit for David (loved it.)

John Paul just got a few circuit boards and an Amazon gift card to use for electronics supplies. I tried to find a kit or something but he knows way better than I do the components he needs! The boy has been teaching himself electronics building and binary code. I barely understand a word but it's pretty awesome. He spent the last few weeks figuring out and then building a lasertag set from scratch for his brothers. 

I know I know I know I've said it before but I just love how much joy they get from giving gifts to each other. Luke bought each of his brothers something from the dollar store and was so excited to give John Paul a screwdriver set, Michael a glow wand, and David a big pack of stickers.

David made a peg family for Ben. I had no idea. He and the husband also cut some monkey bars to hang down in the gym which have been getting lots of use the last week!

This boy slept until like 8 or something! So he missed out on the first opening and got his own little time to open gifts. He had absolutely no idea why we were doing these strange things in the morning and was a bit confused but went with it. Life to babies and toddlers must be so weird.

After telling myself why I had every reason not to make any gifts this year, I decided it made sense to put together a little homemade play Nativity set for him.

Cost was zero which is my favorite. We had everything on hand (some old blocks that were in the donation pile and the 'stable' pieces were cut from scrap wood we had). The hardest part was sizing and printing the images to modpodge on to the pieces.

For being free, not all that shabby? I'm faaairly certain I've spent more time setting it up than he has, though.

Thank you, sweet Jesus, for Your coming. May each day of this season draw us deeper into the mystery of Christmas.

I hope you're all having a blessed and grace-filled season!

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  1. I LOVE your homemade block nativity! I need to learn how to modpodge! I love your Christmas, your pics, your boys, your family! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. So enjoyed reading about your Christmas, thank you for sharing so much :-)
    Must ask, did you know the boys were going to be able to serve beforehand or was it a blessing that happened once you were there?

    1. We knew beforehand :) They're on a list to serve there and the woman contacted me the week before to say they could use some that night.

  3. This is just lovely. Your hair looks stunning. I also get antsy on the 'relaxed day.' It's like if I'm not juggling laundry and meal prep and all sorts of things, I don't know how to relax.

    1. Yes! When I'm at home, my brain only knows multi-task mode!


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