This Christmas season has been lovely in every way!
We started out by going to the play Madeline's Christmas!
It was wonderful!
We read the book and had front row seats!
And enjoyed every minute of it!
Then we had our "Families with Children from China" party!
75 people gathered with their wonderful children and celebrated family, the Christmas season and had tons of fun!
We read delightful children's books!
This is my favorite- IF you don't have it you MUST get it!
Anna was reading it to Luke and Hubby!
And then we read more and more Christmas books!
We watched Christmas videos that taught us about the birth of our Savior and those that taught us of some that have a heart 2 sizes too small. . .
Our dish washing crew grew. . .
and shrunk. . .
Children were eager to bake!
And everyone seemed to find a way to help!
I was thankful that they so eagerly helped out!
There is so much to do during the holidays.
And even those that didn't actually help, still looked good trying to help!
We had advent calendars- legos and a home made one.
Plus our Jesse tree from our dear friend Julianna
(thank you Julianna for sending us such a wonderful gift!)
Hubby and I even had a vacation tucked into December!
And then we hurried home to decorate!
The children LOVED seeing their stockings!
And we respectfully hung the older children's stockings, too!
Oops, we need an Andrew and a Caitlin, now!!
We very excitedly decorated the Christmas Tree!
There were a few casualties regarding the ornaments ;-0
Brothers worked together!
After baths, kids played jump rope in the room as we prepared to go to Christmas Eve Church!
Their was so much excitement in the air!
I had to grab a couple pics of the littles before church!
Which may have been a mistake because our usual seats were TAKEN!
Every place in the building was FULL!
Sooooo, they decided to open up the narthex/ front gathering area. They told us we could go there BUT we had to be very quiet...
Funny thing is our children are PERFECT during church.
Seriously, they just sit nicely throughout the service.
It was other children that ran around!
I think our family can look scary sometimes- oh my, all these children will run wild BUT they never do!
Hubby and I sat in two comfy seats with 2 children each on our laps- pretty good deal! We looked straight through the main doors and could see everything! The big boys and the other children were on a bench right next to us!
It all worked out!
Then we were homeward bound for our Christmas Eve dinner!
Again we had joyful helpers!
Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner was delicious!
And the children devoured the rest of the fruit, fruit salad!
Santa left a few things ;-)
They know all about the real St Nick and Santa Claus but we can still pretend.
They made gift for other family members!
(I think their may have been a bit of re gifting going on!)
We loved all the suggestions yo gave us about amount of gifts and types of gifts.
We decided on three per child would be the correct amount.
Which with 11 children present. . . really added up!
Waiting to come down the stairs!
And the opening began!
One at a time, in order of age.
All of the children were appropriate and thankful.
And patient while others opened!
The three big boys were amazing and helped put the toys together!
They saved their Momma and Daddy!
The children flitted from one toy to the next.
Hardly able to focus.
It was a bit over stimulating.
Over the two days we had one child throw up, one with diarrhea, two wet their pants and two wet their bed...
(silly ham makes them so thirsty)
All in all it was a WONDERFUL Christmas!
Our(hubby and my) favorite parts was the party with the extended family and Christmas Eve church and dinner. Plus talking to Andrew and Katie on the computer!
Matt and Caitlin come tomorrow- we can't wait to see them!
Although this Christmas was a blessing in every way we are still planning to make changes for next year.
We are not sure what they will be BUT we feel in our hearts that changes need to be made.
Next year we will have 11 blessings at home and who knows how many big kids.
We will be spending sometime in prayer about it.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!!