It was fun to decorate this year, because it was the first Christmas in our new home.
This year, we visited Drew's family for a Christmas celebration on the week before Christmas. We had a wonderful time with them!
After the event in their neighborhood, we watched our niece's little musical performance of, "The Wizard of Oz." Then, later that night we had our Christmas celebration together. Google even put together a little video clip of some of our fun there in Sugar Land, TX. Near the middle of the video, we are all playing a game of "bean-boozled." The game is by jelly belly. They have jelly beans in the box that look exactly the same but have VERY different flavors. For example, the green jelly beans taste like either grass clippings or lime. We played it by having two players go up together to spin the wheel. If it landed on the orange one for example, you each selected an orange jelly bean. It could possibly taste like buttered popcorn or barf. Black tasted like either licorice or skunk. There were about 7-10 different color options. It was hilarious watching everyones' faces as they realized what flavor they had selected. I had one turn and selected the white bean. Chances are that it was either coconut or "baby wipes." I, unfortunately, selected a baby wipes flavored jelly bean and it tasted like the smell of a cabbage patch kids' booty. Which smells fine--but doesn't taste good at all.
We had lots of fun together as a family, and enjoyed a spectacular meal together put together by Mimi.
We came back to our home a couple of days before Christmas. I had an oncologist appointment (6 month follow-up) and Luke had an appointment to get his cast removed. His arm healed well.
The next day was Christmas eve at our house! After a very traditional Christmas eve dinner at "El Monumento" (ha!) we got in our Christmas jammies and snapped some photos in front of the tree. We also set out the ninjabread man (gingerbread cookies in the shape of ninjas that we made earlier that day) and some milk for Santa.
|a "traditional" Christmas eve dinner at "El Monumento", in our "traditional" Christmas eve attire.|
|Abbey and daddy have a Christmas eve kiss in front of the tree each year and I get to capture it on camera.|
On Christmas day, after we opened presents together as a family, we took a couple of hikes in Austin. We thought we would have the trails to ourselves since it was Christmas morning, but boy were we wrong! Apparently hiking is a very popular thing to do on Christmas--especially with weather this perfect. We truly enjoyed our time together outdoors. We hiked the turkey creek trail near Emma Long park first. This was one trail that we had never visited. We had no idea that the trail was an off-leash trail, which means there were tons of dogs there--almost all off their leash. For a little boy who is terrified of dogs, this particular hike was not as fun for Luke. At one point, Luke got so scared as a dog passed by that he slipped and fell on the ground while trying to quickly get out of the way. Thankfully, he didn't fall on his left arm. Also, the trail crosses turkey creek MANY times. There are rocks and logs that are placed across the creek so you may cross without getting too wet. But, with a boy who has the same restrictions as he had with the cast, this proved to be a little scary. We had to make sure he didn't fall and land on that arm. After crossing the creek 6 times by balancing on tiny rocks or logs, we decided to turn around (crossing the creek another 6 times) so we could make it to the top of Mt. Bonnell in time for a picnic lunch.
Later that day, we enjoyed our Christmas dinner with friends. We had friends over and the weather was so gorgeous that we enjoyed the meal on our picnic table below a string of lights and with candlelight. We stayed outside pretty much all night, because it was just too nice to go back inside. We totally had forgotten that we owned lazer tag guns until it came up in conversation with our friends that night. So, we dug them out and miraculously they all had good batteries in them. So, we had an epic set of lazer tag games in the dark on our property to complete the evening. It was a blast!!! When our friends left that night, they mentioned that we needed to make that an annual tradition. Sounds good to me!
We have explained to the kids why this truly is the best time of the year for us, and worthy of celebration. For unto us is born a Savior! What better news is there? All of the fun, fellowship and special activities are due to our celebration of the best gift of all--Jesus Christ! Happy Birthday, Jesus!