We're rewinding the Christmas Holidays!
I'll make this as short and sweet as possible.
Forgive the ridiculous amount pictures!
We end our holiday season each year at church with the Feast of Lights celebration for the Epiphany (January 6th). The children participate in a pageant that depicts the arrival of the 3 Kings to Bethlehem. I love this tradition. It really drives home the magic of the season of Christmas and what a blessing it is to have received the gift of our Savior. The big boys were shepherds this year and Ollie was a little lamb. I think next year I'll have all shepherds...hard to believe!!!
My sweet little lamb and shepherds
On new year's day we stuffed ourselves with the traditional new year's feast and took it easy. We played with the neighbors and did fireworks at dark. It was a very refreshing first day of the year.
Sam, Carson and Fulton...Oliver was inside and scared of the fire!
New Year's Eve is by far the most overrated holiday...EVER! I always feel like we have to have great big plans, but I realized this year...we don't. We were invited by the Gibsons to enjoy a low-key night with a few of their neighbors and their children. I have to say - it was just what the doctor ordered. Such a fun night with very few whistles and bells... a perfect way to ring in 2012.
Oliver in his PJ's watching fireworks out the window
Twice a year I get together with the girls I grew up with, as a group. My dear friend Kathleen, who I have posted about several times, comes in town for the holidays and spends a few weeks here. It is always a joy to see her! This year we also wanted to get together to lift the spirits of my friend, Anna, who just lost her dad suddenly before Christmas.
It is amazing how we don't get together often as a group and nothing seems to change. We always pick right up where we left off.
Helen, Meredith, Me, Eron, Anna, and Kathleen
(I never realized exactly how short I am...sheesh!)
Christmas Day, as always, was such a joyous day! Each year we give thanks for the birth of Jesus and that we are able to provide a good Christmas for our boys and give to others. I love watching the surprise on the boys' faces on Christmas morning and following up with a cozy day with family.
This year was especially fun with Oliver. He was REALLY in to Santa.
Oliver was none too happy with me for making him wait on the stairs while daddy and I snapped a few pics and got the video camera ready!!!
Sam's favorite gift from Santa...Air Jordan's for the court! He is his father's child!!!
Fulton's fave...Nintendo DSi and his Harry Potter game
Fulton and his new bike! He even learned to ride without training wheels a few days later.
Time to open from mommy and daddy!
Christmas Day at Muzzy and Boppa's
Muzzy and Ollie
Uncle Clayton and Sambo...We're so glad you're feeling a little better!!!! We're praying for a successful surgery on January 18th and a speedy recovery!!!
Fulton glued to the DSi
Ollie chillin' with some pound cake
Christmas Eve we spent the earlier part of the day finishing up last minute Christmas details. That evening we headed to church for the children's pageant and service. Sam had a reading part and Futlon *sang*. I love that service so much! It's so festive and sweet! Mom, Dad, and Shannon's parents came along with us.
We finished the night off with my parents, Shannon's parents, Nic and Noel at our house for a light supper. We called it an early night, as there was much to do before Santa's arrival!
S, F, & O in their holiday digs: compliments of Muzzy!
Sam reading his part. I wish the audio had been better but you get the idea!
Shan's Mom and Dad
Noel and Nic
Shan and me
Boppa reading A South Carolina Night Before Christmas... If you're from these parts, it's a must have!
Noel, Nic, and Muzzy
Dad, Mom, Me, and Nic
We sure did miss Michael and Clayton and their families...but we understand the traveling issue on Christmas Eve ;-)
After all was clear and everyone was snug in their beds, Santa made his arrival!
On December 23rd we celebrate Christmas at the lake with the Bakers. We pile in to their home, act wild and crazy, spend the night, and trash the joint! Not really, but I'm sure that's how they feel. I would be scared if I saw us coming!!
Teen Queen Kirstin
The breakfast brigade
We also did our usual holiday festivities...
Decorating the Gingerbread house
We made THREE batches of Biscottis
Went to see the local light shows...
Elgin Lights and Train Museum
We wore our PJ's on the drive through Saluda Shoals
We woke up to a delicious feast prepared by Sam on one of Shannon's days off
And had lots of visits from our elves, Jordan and Alex!
All in all, it was another fantastic holiday that hated to see come to an end. I am excited to start a new year, but just love the wonder of the Christmas and wish I could experience it year-round.