Nothing is better than celebrating the holidays with traditions and breaking a few. This year was full of both. After careful planning, Lincoln’s before Christmas surgery date still got pushed back to post holidays. This meant we could carry on our tradition of hunkering down and being homebound again. Who wouldn’t want to break that tradition we started in 2010?!?!
There is always next year, right?
Our next tradition we knew we wanted to keep was that of the Angel Tree. Iowa City area does things a little differently and it took some time to find something similar. Chris was able to find a place on the UI campus that let us choose an age range. He picked a couple of tags and we went shopping or herding is the right word (that is what it is like with 5 kids at 7:30 at Walmart). We walked the aisles searching for things that we thought we might have purchased for Clara. We decided on a few Barbies, Connect Four, beading set, Minecraft, kids nail polish kit, and a cat Lego set. When we got home and unpacked we realized we had purchased exactly 7 gifts. The kids thought that was pretty cool, “1 gift from each of us!”. I call them “whispers from Heaven”.
We broke tradition when it came to Christmas Church programs. This year we were able to attend Family Sunday and watch each of the kids sing. It was the cutest thing to see them in front of a crowd. We are fortunate to have found a welcoming church and a wonderfully healthy nursery. To date Lincoln has never been as healthy as he has the past 3 months! This peace of mind has allowed us to attend more regularly and break our traditional Christmas break from church.
After months of asking for a fancy camera Chris and I found one we agreed on. Thank you to woot.com for an amazing deal! We are now proud owners of a Nikon D7000. I am not doing many cakes now but I am sure I can find lots of other things to photograph and learn with. Chris even found some free classes through the U for me. I am not satisfied with just pointing and shooting and want to be able to use our device to the best of it’s abilities. Guess I have just picked up a new hobby! Anyway here are a couple of test images I took this past week. Not bad to start with.
This year the big boys were not home with us. We have that every other year so it was nothing new but it still felt different this year. We opted to take the little ones to Build-A-Bear to create a critter for them to take to bed. Haleigh already takes her “Baby” (Cabbage Patch) to bed and there has been a long standing argument between the boys on who gets to take the other “Strawberry” (the other Cabbage Patch) to bed with them. We thought creating their own stuffed animal might be fun for all of us. So on Christmas eve, after our traditional homemade pizza creating, we took the boys to the mall and had fun. Both Lincoln and Preston picked out a Ninja Turtle. While we were stuffing Chris and Haleigh disappeared to do a little last minute shopping. The little boys seemed to have a lot of fun picking out weapons and a pair of Ninja Turtle pajama’s for each turtle. We left Build-A-Bear about a $100 lighter but Mikey and Raph are well taken care of and provide lots of nighttime comfort.
Here is a little peak at Christmas morning too. Santa left the kids a little Turtle playset and a table and chair set for the little ones and a nice pair of athletic pants for the older boys. After sorting, packing, throwing, donating, and moving everyone agreed less is more. Our kids saw fewer presents but more focus on God and giving. I must say it was a much more peaceful holiday.
Although our holiday season isn’t over yet our tree is down. Our tradition is broken once again but small home means space is critical 🙂
South Dakota friends and family, we are headed your way soon!
We miss you!
Sending lots of hugs.