Of course, our Savior's birthday was the reason that we all gathered together. The abundant life, peace of forgiveness, and hope of salvation that He freely gives us is reason for daily celebration! Sarah and I (Kim) were excited to sing a duet in church on Christmas Day! A few days before, Abby helped us practice at home! :)
What a blessing it was to attend church together! It's always a treat to hear Papa preach (his grandkids seemed VERY excited that he was up front, too. Ryan kept saying "Papa!"during the service in his not-so-quiet voice). :) It was wonderful to hear Grammy on the organ on Christmas Day, too. The kids especially seemed to enjoy the candlelight Christmas Eve service ... perhaps because Grammy had given each of them his/her own battery-powered small candle to use! So fun! :)
A Special 35th
One of the (few) great things about having a birthday near the holidays is that I often get to be together with family on or near my special day! This time, they went all out! I felt so special and loved! Mom and Dad brainstormed the theme -- "Halfway to Heaven," based upon the the verse in the Bible that says, "The length of our days is seventy years-- or eighty, if we have the strength ..." (Psalm 90:10).
I know I've mentioned before just how crafty and creative my sister-in-law, Sarah, is! She's amazing at decorating and transformed my parents' house into Party Central! :) I loved the tissue paper flowers hanging from the lights ...
Ian helped Grammy make my favorite, German chocolate cake! :)
After a scrumptious meal (I requested a meal I often requested while growing up ... chicken-almond stir-fry), the family serenaded me!
After the kiddos went to bed, Amy and Jason planned some fun activities for us adults. They planned a word-game medley (LOVED it!). Then, Jason wrote a clever Mad-Lib for the "second half" of my life, including some hilarious predictions about what Matt and I and our boys will be doing!
They ended with a really thoughtful Wheel-of-Fortune activity where they thought of adjectives that describe me ... and then shared why they chose each word.
What an amazing family I have! Thanks for making my 35th so wonderful! I'll continue to thank God for you through the last half (or more! :)) of my life!
While the kids napped following a delicious Christmas dinner, the adults did some Christmas gift assembly. The guys put together a Cozy Coupe Truck from Papa & Grammy for the twins.
Matt and Amy assembled a shopping cart we had bought for niece Abby.
When we took the children outside, Ryan took an immediate liking to the Cozy Truck. Thankfully, the twins were willing to share.
Abby was a natural at pushing her bear in her shopping cart.
Ryan was very excited about these Matchbox cars that he opened from Grammy and Papa.
Grammy immediately helped him set it up.
Every meal felt like a type of (chaotic) celebration! We managed to fit around an extended dining room table so that we could all be together. Thanks for the yummy meals, Papa & Grammy.
Girls' Day Out
My mom treated us girls to a wonderful time at a local tea room. We all chose a fun hat to borrow from their "hat wall" while we were there.
and promptly served our first type of tea.
We enjoyed talking (we mommas of young children were thrilled to be able to have an uninterrupted conversation! Ha!), eating, and laughing together.
The guys planned some activities for themselves on a different day! Jason coordinated a RuPK competition that involved RUnning,
Passing a football,
and Kicking and punting a football.
Matt loved the creative targets that the three guys chose for where to throw the football. In the end, Matt emerged victorious!
The three younger guys joined Dad at Tucano's Brazilian Grill for a meal that included lots and lots of meat!
Christmas Photo Shoots
It was so fun to CELEBRATE with you, dear family! Love you guys!