Inspired by one of my favorite blogs I thought it would be a great idea to look back each week at those things that brought me the most joy. This is far too fitting for my blog to ignore the idea so I look forward to posting these each week!
I'm putting this up a day later than usual because I really wanted to soak up the holiday weekend with family. One of my December goals was to take a break from posting so often, relax, and enjoy family time. I've definitely done that and it felt so good to keep the computer put away on Christmas. But I still wanted to show you all our awesome week so here we go!
1. Paper chains
One of our Countdown to Christmas activities was to make paper chains so I dug out some scrapbook paper from long ago (someday I'll have time to do that again, right?) and cut it into strips. The three big kids made long chains to add to our tree with all sorts of different Christmas themed paper. They love this craft and it costs practically nothing, especially if you have paper already at home! We did use staples this year to secure the loops because in other years the glue took too long to dry and tape didn't hold up all season. Staples for the win!
2. Secret Santa gift
My awesome October moms decided to do a Secret Santa gift exchange this year to add a little extra cheer to the season. I actually drew Kelli's name and then she entered hospice. I ended up buying two incredibly special ornaments for her kids so they can have something special to pull out each year and remember how much they are loved, not only by their mom, but by her friends as well.
When I was looking at gifts for Kelli, Micah told me to find out who Kelli had drawn and buy for that person as well so she wouldn't be left out. I contacted the organizer only to find out that Kelli had actually drawn my name! Okay then!
Well wouldn't you know it but one of the other mom's must have done the same thing because last week a box showed up at our door with a note that said something along the lines of "I know you were supposed to receive a gift from Kelli and nothing could be as special as that but you still deserve something special." It was filled with all sorts of amazing treats, coffee syrup, a fun cookie cutter, and awesome socks. What an incredible gift and really shows me how blessed I am to have found such amazing women to go through motherhood with!
I started a new tradition last year of bringing the kids to a local donut place after the last day of school before break. Micah had the day off this year so we all piled in the van only to get to the donut store and find that they were SOLD OUT of donuts! Oh no!!! With some very sad little boys and disappointed big kids we piled back in the van and went to the grocery store to grab regular donuts. Still a treat but definitely not the same. Thankfully the kids were still excited for donuts and didn't mind that we had to alter plans. And it filled me with joy knowing they could handle it.
4. LEGO Speed Build
A few years ago we got two promotional sets from LEGO for orders we placed around the holidays. We still had these in our closet so I grabbed them for the boys to build. Parker barely beat Jamison in a race to the finish. I think it was a difference of only a few bricks. They really enjoyed the challenge and have been asking to do another ever since.
After all the crazy celebrating with my side of the family we broke out the dominoes and played a few rounds of Chicken Foot. I love that the kids are getting old enough to actually understand real games!
6. Christmas Eve
After all the kids were in bed we finished wrapping the last of the gifts and stacked them all around the tree. I love this chance to spoil our kids a bit since we don't spend much on them during the year. We scored some great deals on items the kids have been asking for so I was really excited to see their faces on Christmas morning.
7. Before Gifts
I woke up early on Christmas morning to set up our breakfast buffet (various baked goods and juice) and waited for 7 when the kids could up. We let them load up their plates then we watched the Christmas story videos provided by YouVersion. We started this tradition years ago - before any presents get opened, before any of the craziness starts, we take time to focus our hearts on WHY we celebrate. I was glad I found these because the videos kept the kids engaged far more than one of us reading the story. The videos use the scripture and simply act out the words being read but are nicely done. I think this is one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning!
How was your Christmas? What was your favorite moment from the last week? Tell me about it in the comments!