Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas, full of fun, family, and food! We had one of my best Christmases this year. I can't pinpoint exactly why~maybe it is that Sawyer is older and enjoys everything about Christmas, or Jonnie's pure joy and excitement at every gift he opened and the anticipation he felt for Santa coming, or maybe it was Alaina's sweetness and joy when she opened up some favorite gifts, or.....well I could go on and on. Here are a few pictures of our Christmas, I had to hold back as I had a ton of pictures!

We start out our holiday on Christmas Eve by driving out to the candlelight service at the old Mamreland church in the country. There is no electricity and nothing has been changed inside the church since it was built. I think it is just beautiful and it is definitely one of my favorite traditions of the season. We mostly sing Christmas songs and the last song we sing is Silent Night. We all have candles that get lit and it is just beautiful! Here are a few pictures of the church.....

After church, we head on over to the Swanson's. Our traditional meal is Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, Ooscaca (no idea how to spell that), bread pudding to name a few. It is delicious and Karen and Melanie work hard every year to make it so good for us all. After dinner we open gifts, which is always a haul, and then eat some dessert. This year with the 3 boys walking around, the house seemed to be a little fuller than previous years (: All the more fun, though I think!

When all the grandkids are together, we try to get a picture of all 6 and this is how it usually turn outs (:

It didn't take him long to get the hang of gift opening!

Thanks Aunt Melissa for letting me steal your Biscotti-mmmmm

The end of the night and time for one more picture-not sure where the other 2 were

When we arrive home, we have our own holiday traditions we have created over the years. The first one is to always leave cookies and milk for Santa. It was Jonnie's turn to write Santa a note. I thought he did a great and it looked so cute. Hope you can see it.
After we get the cookies ready, we sit down and I read the same two books I have read to them for years. Sawyer couldn't stay up for this part, though-he crashed as soon as we got home from Grandma Karen's house.
Here are the two books we read. I love the illustrations in both of them. We sometimes include "The Polar Express" but it seems they have been reading and watching the movie in school year after year, so it has taken some of the joy out of it for me-I still love it, though.
After the books, the kids get tucked in bed. Alaina and Jonnie usually sleep together in Alaina's room but for some reason they never asked this year. I think they were really tired!

Santa arrived that night and left his usual note to the kids (this is one of Jonnie's favorite parts)

The kids must have been good this year!

Here they are coming down the stairs for the first time on Christmas morning. Can you tell who is the most excited? (: I love this part! They are way too cute!

Alaina got some great gifts. Some of her fav's include her CSI kit, purse-with necklace and ring from daddy, her doll that she feeds and changes from G. Karen and her webkins. She received soooo many great gifts this year that she said they were all her favorites!
I couldn't wait for Sawyer to see his new kitchen set and when he did that is where he stayed for the rest of the morning-he loves it-yay! It is the best thing I (Santa) ever brought him. He was thrilled with all his gifts and Kaylyn he LOVES his pals from North Carolina! He immediately hugged them and said ribbit over and over-it was adorable-they have been loved up ALOT since, too!
Jonnie had the best Christmas this year. If I could bottle up his joy and energy this year I would. I wish every Christmas for him will continue with such innocence. Some of his favorites are his remote control truck, tractors, and pirate books to name a few. Honestly he loves them all and couldn't pick a favorite.

One of my favorite gifts was a card that Jonnie made in school for Jon and I. I laughed so hard because I was not expecting that!

Time for a little relaxation.....

Then we headed over to the Pennock Community Center for the big Christmas. It is the same crew of Jon's relatives that we celebrate the big Thanksgiving with and it was nice to see everyone again. Here are a few pictures from there.....

Santa showed up and Sawyer was not very pleased. He only likes him from afar so he was pretty terrified when Santa came up to him and rang bells in his face.
Sitting in the comfort of Daddy's lap after the Santa episode-much safer here!

ll, that is the condensed version of our holidays-my side is celebrating this Saturday and I can't wait to get together with everyone then. Jon and I felt really old this year because every night we would just be exhausted! But it was wonderful. I am always worried the kids won't have enough great memories of Christmases like I remember growing up, but after writing it all down, they have a lot of wonderful traditions that they will remember for years and years!


My Lifesong said...

Sounds like a really fun-filled, festive two days that I'm sure your children will always cherish as they grow older. Yes, it reminds me of my Christmas's past as a child, then as our own children experienced their joy and excitement of the season. You brought lots of smiles, and happy memories as I read yours.

allison said...

"Thank you for not adoping me"
I laughed so hard when I saw that!

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting to see your Christmas post. What a perfect Christmas, keep those wonderful traditions going. I love the books you read every year. The smiles say it all, you did good!
Love, Aunt Sandy

Peace is every step said...

Ah, the "mammory gland" church is as pretty as ever.
I am still laughing at the "thanks for not adopting me". It will sure be one of those stories that come up every Christmas!!!