We kicked off December with our annual breakfast with Santa with Keith's family. I still need to scan in the actual picture we got with Santa.
We did a lot of counting down till Christmas this year. Kendall REALLY has a grasp on the excitement and anticipation of Christmas. Most nights at dinner we remembered to read a Bible verse about Christmas and Kendall would add a star sticker to the chart leading to Bethleham. She also made one at Preschool and so every morning she would place a dot sticker on her Christmas tree. But the one she NEVER forgot about was one my mom found last year with 25 numbered containers on it. I printed off little notes for Kendall (and sometimes Kyler too) that listed out a special activity for the day. We decorated trees, bought gifts, made cookies, wrapped gifts, gave to the Tree of Sharing, drank hot cocoa, drove around to look at lights, went to the movies, made Christmas crafts, had dance parties, watched Christmas movies, and her favorite by far was a special Daddy date on a cruise to the North Pole where Santa himself read her name off the "nice list"!
A date night picture of these two!
Keith hung lights
And the kids helped me with bow placement!
With friends over we made gingerbread houses
Late one night some elves put together a mid size trampoline that fits in our basement.
On Christmas Eve day we sprinkled our reindeer food on the back porch (even though the poem says to do so on the lawn, Kendall, the reindeer expert, insisted they will all gather at this tree in our backyard).
We set out milk and cookies, and a special note to the reindeer (they must know how to read!)
We went to Christmas Eve service in the woods, where Kendall held her very own candle and took the job very seriously!
And we did Keith's family Christmas at his mom's house.
Kendall got "Real Legos!" from the Schuermans
And Kyler's favorite gift was the dollar store basketball from Jeter!
We over did it on the sweets :)
And enjoyed quality time with cousins.
After a fun night with our big family we headed home to read "T'was the Night Before Christmas" and hurry to bed!
On Christmas morning these two slept in until 8am!!! It was a true Christmas miracle!!!
We came downstairs to see if Santa came...
One of my favorite things about this day was how much they appreciated every single gift and would stop to soak it in or read or play with their new things. There was no rush and they were so happy! My second favorite thing was the AMAZING cinnamon rolls from our friend Ingrid.
I passed down my beloved Samantha doll to Kendall and they became instant best friends. To my surprise, she wanted Samantha in her original clothes and not the modern outfit I bought thinking she'd prefer more of a "just like me" doll.
Kyler was so happy to get a race track for his cars!
But the big gift of the day came later when we took them down stairs to see the trampoline! They were thrilled! I think this is a gift for us as much as it is for the kids. It's a perfect way to get energy out and a chance to work on projects in the basement while they jump. Kyler mostly falls, but is getting the hang of it. Either way, he laughs the entire time he's on it.
Kyler liked to mix up the various gifts, here he is filling up his new bus with Mary, Joseph, a camel, an angel, and of course Baby Jesus!
Later on Christmas day, my parents came to town! We had a family dinner with the Rettele's and opened a few more gifts. My folks stayed for almost a week and while they were here it snowed! (and our furnace stopped working...service after hours is spendy...but a warm house when it's 1 degree at night was worth it! Home ownership-ugh!)
Showing him the ropes of snow eating
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!