December in Three Parts | Part Two

Aug 18, 2016

Continuing on with our December catch up... 

Bruce's aunt is such a talented lady! She does stained glass work and has been giving my wee ones homemade stained glass ornaments for Christmas each year for the past few years. This year's ornament was a cute little Christmas tree, topped with a Santa hat. I love them! Such special ornaments that one day the kiddos can take with them to decorate their own Christmas trees. 

Beebs got ahold of my phone one day and took dozens of pictures of her and Shark Bait together... this was one of my favourites...

Arizona is a little "seasonally delayed"... for us, Fall happens around the same time as Christmas. We spent one afternoon at Bruce's dad's house, playing in the crunchy leaves, picking oranges to make homemade orange juice and making jello popcorn balls... Bruce's favourite Christmas treat. Shark Bait wasn't sure what to think of the crunchy leaves. Kevin decided she was a big fan. 

The Sunday before Christmas is always one of my favourites, right under Easter Sunday. Our ward always has beautiful music on Christmas Sunday. Typically, the congregational hymns are accompanied by the organ and piano. It's very grand and beautiful. And of course- Christmas dresses! The girls have been wearing these matching dresses for three years now. The perk of having children who don't grow very fast ;) Man Cub was so handsome in his shirt and tie and Shark Bait's little striped jumper was adorable! Both when he wore it at Christmas and again for Valentine's day. (I told you! They don't grow!!)

I made the kiddos in my nursery class little Baby Jesus ornaments as a Christmas gift. I got the same baby in a walnut manger when I was in nursery 27 years ago! I had so much fun making similar ornaments for my sweet nursery children. I had one little girl in my class who is allergic to nuts, so I made a tiny little origami boat out of a brown paper bag for her manger and it turned out perfect! I think I'll do this again for my kiddos this year! 

For my nursery lesson, we acted out the Nativity. It was so adorable! Originally, Man Cub wanted to be an angel and say "FEAR NOT!", but then he decided to try the role of a Wise Man. It was so much fun, even if it was a little chaotic. 

In the days leading up to Christmas, I attempted to do some Christmas baking. It wasn't overly successful. I burned my caramel and had to make it over again. And even then, I made it harder than I wanted it to be. Luckily, the sugar cookies were a success and those are not something I've ever been good at making. But, thanks to some wonderful instructions from a lady in my ward, I successful made DELICIOUS sugar cookies that the kiddos really loved decorating. And Bruce and I loved eating... Ü

The day before Christmas Eve, we gathered at my father-in-law's house for our traditional Christmas Eve feast. Between Bruce and his brother's work schedules, we had to move our festivities around a bit. Such is the life of law enforcement families! Our tradition is to eat homemade soups and bread together and then read the Christmas Story. I always make homemade chicken noodle soup, right down to making the broth from scratch, though typically I use store bought noodles. This year, I decided to make those from scratch as well and it tasted amazing. Bruce and I were just talking a few days ago about how excited we are to have it again in just a few months time. Unfortunately, it's a lot of effort for just an every day meal.

This year, we added to our Christmas Eve traditions and instead of just reading the Christmas Story, we acted it out. There are finally enough of us who can follow directions to do so. It was so fun! I was the angel, Man Cub, Sunshine and my father-in-law were Wise Men, my nephew was Joseph and Beebs was Mary. Shark Bait made a pretty good Baby Jesus and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were shepherds. Bruce read the Christmas Story as we acted and his Grandma played the part of the audience. It was so much fun and I'm really looking forward to doing it again in the years to come. 

On actual Christmas Eve, we spent the evening at my father-in-law's again, but this time for our annual gingerbread house decorating and tamale night. Lots of fun and, of course, amazing food. 

After we finished our houses, we headed home and the kiddos opened their new Christmas pajamas and book. Their pjs this year were so so cute and I just adore the group picture I got of my wee ones in their jammies in front of the tree. Their Christmas book for the year was "The Night Before Christmas, Deep Under the Sea". Super cute book, set to the classic Night Before Christmas rhyme, but this version is about Santa in his conch shell sleigh, pulled by 8 sea horses. We love it.  

And with that, we are ready to move on to the Christmas Day and beyond portion of December! 

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