Twas the Week Before Christmas

We have so enjoyed our week before Christmas.

I guess it's worn Ellie out though - this is what happened recently during her free time on her play mat!
(Kelly at Alacrity Designs - love the gown!)

She keeps getting caught under the kissing ball with her Cookie
(& her Lovie & her Mommy & her Daddy)
On Sunday morning, we had the most wonderful church experience at my parents' church.
They had a huge birthday party for Jesus for kids ages 3-10.  There were crafts & juice & cupcakes

and some guys playing Christmas songs on guitars and strolling around.  I loved singing with my boy.

Ellie attended too and hung out with her Lovie
And they had a great puppeteer - Will was entranced!
Will and his friend, Claire
(her mommy & daddy & I grew up together & I love seeing them when we are back in town)
Ellie finally crashed during the puppets

During "big church" I had the most wonderful time of worship.  There was no sermon but rather they had an orchestra and the choir sung Vivaldi's Gloria in 12 parts.
It was all in Italian and just beautiful.  
However, the translation was provided in our handouts.  The words were so simple and so pure and perfectly conveyed the truth of Christmas and all year round.

Glory to God in the highest.
And on earth peace to all those of good will.
We praise thee.  We bless thee.
We worship thee.  We glorify thee.
We give thanks to thee.
According to thy great glory.
Lord God, Heavenly King,
God the Father almighty.
Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son.
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.
Thou who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.  
Thou who takes away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
Thou who sits at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For thou alone are holy, thou alone are the Lord.
Thou alone are the most high, Jesus Christ.
With the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

I sat with my Daddy's arm around me and my daughter in my arms - she loves music and I knew this would be perfect for her to attend.  Will attended for most of the service and then got too restless.
I sat and I worshiped my Savior.  My tears flowed and landed on the soft head of a miracle and as I kissed her head I remembered and I was humbled and I praised.
Our God.  He came down to us and invites us to know Him.
And oh, for an hour to just sit and praise this God who so longs for us.
It was glorious.  It was rich.  My soul was filled and overflowed.

We had lunch with my parents' neighbors who have little kids, Beau & Bella.  We love having kids across the street to play with when we come.  They also heated their pool for the week so Will has loved going to swim with them outside in the winter!

Whose child has touch for a love language?  Can you tell???

Eating a cupcake for Jesus at the party.  Will was a little confused that he couldn't actually see Jesus at His own birthday party.  He also asked if he could help Him open His gifts (there were gifts for decoration and also every attendee brought gifts for the needy.)
Ellie has loved her baths here.  (I don't post bath pics anymore since this is the world wide internet.)  My parents have a big jacuzzi tub and so on days I tape and splint her, she has bathed in the big tub.  She loves bathing beside her brother - so entertaining while he plays around her!  
She also really loves bathing with her mommy.  Her mommy loves it too and maybe has laid in that tub with a baby girl and cried - in joy of the moment and in sadness that our time is limited due to the upcoming surgery & body casts and no baths for almost 3 months.
(You're welcome for not posting pictures of our baths.  Merry Christmas.)
Watching Will continue the bath with her Cookie
Will admiring himself in the big mirror during his bath

And, of course, we have to make Christmas cookies Christmas week!
Will loved helping me measure.
And he made it his job to run the mixer (mommy's power tool.)

He discovered that flour and sugar and batter on his hands is delicious.
And then he found more on his legs.
He shared with his mommy
Finally, he got to lick the spoon.

And then the mother lode of spoon licking

Even Ellie got in on the fun

Lovie got to taste too
We've visited with friends like Sarah
& Jane
I don't sleep much lately so I enjoyed capturing part of the lunar eclispe - the first in nearly 500 years I think.  Our neighbors across the street, the Wards, said we could come on their roof to watch it.  I was tempted but it was 1am and I was in my nursing nightgown and robe so I didn't.  I was asleep by the "totality phase."
What did you think, CW?
Beau & Bella came over to play and do Christmas crafts one day (we made sweetgum ball trees - quite a lot of work for 3 year olds & a 30 year old)
Other neighborhood kids ended up in my parents' yard and Will had a blast playing!
I loved sitting on the porch and visiting and watching.  
My next house I am determined to have kids nearby.  I just love it.  It reminds me of how I grew up with our best friends across the street and always playing outside with a bunch of kids.  Today, those same kids (Jane from above is their mom) are still dear to us.

And I should post a giving update.  Remember our painful giving experience?
I learned a lot from that experience.  I should point out, Will loves to give.  He was fine giving of the other presents that day.  The only one he struggled with was the Buzz Lightyear toy.  And I think, had he seen the child it was going to, he wouldn't have struggled so much.  He has helped give away his old toys from his room and he loves giving birthday presents to others... it was just going into the toy store with Buzz to hand to the clerk that was so confusing I think.)
I digress.
So, apparently, my entire life my dad has rung bells for the Salvation Army.  And my little brother & I had no idea.  No idea.
Until yesterday.
He signed up for some shifts this year & offered to take Will to help him.  Will was so excited and practiced ringing a bell.  
I was excited because I felt like it would be a great way to continue teaching him giving and serving others.
He dressed up for the occassion.
He is Will, dressed up as Batman, dressed up as Santa Claus.

See his Batman cape peeking out?
Will worked the "kettle" with his daddy & his Cookie
It's the perfect form of service for Mr. Social & Mr. Social's socialite grandad (Cookie's friends call him "Senator")
They loved visiting with the neighborhood at our local grocery store.
Will was pretty controlling however, of the money in the kettle.  Whenever a giver came by, he insisted that only he could put the money in the kettle.  We need to work on his flexibility.
Ellie stopped by for a photo op

Did you know you can donate at these things with your Visa?
Me neither.
But, Will, apparently figured out how to work the thing pretty quickly!

R & I have tried to include Will in our conversations about giving and teaching him about what organizations we are giving to.  He is very excited to give presents.
But, for Will, I think he really may enjoy giving his time & finding something that suits his personality - something social, perhaps. :)
(Although, R said, that at age 3, an hour may have been a little much - he had to run some laps in front of the store on the sidewalk for a little while.)
Thanks, Cookie, for the experience.  I think it was great to show Will another way to give.
Last night, after dinner,  the doorbell rang & we had carolers!  What fun!
Will & Ellie had never seen carolers - it was great to sit on the porch and sing with them.
Will has also enjoyed helping his Cookie keep the fire going.  He keeps a close eye on it to let us know when it needs more wood!
Hope your Christmas Eve Eve is lovely!

3 thoughts:

Claire Kinabrew Cozad said...

I have LOVED reading your blog! I'm friends with Karen Gardiner, Sarah Nesbett's sister... she suggested me read your blog & I'm so happy she did! I was sharing this with my mom, not realizing you were from Tyler. When she read it, she recognized your parents in photos. My parents are Patti & Doug Mehling, they had lakehouse next to each other a few years ago. Small world! Thanks for sharing, I pray your little ones have a wonderful Christmas!

kelly said...

oh my gosh, k! that will is hysterical!! SO MUCH ENERGY. reminds me so much of my life!!! ha! & ellie's cheeks are filling out - little pudgy!! i love baby girl cheeks :)
& miss e - thank you for being my darling little model!!
merry christmas to you guys!

kelly said...

oh & i don't know claire, but i do know the nesbetts! my sister used to be friends with karen, i think. too funny! small world, indeed :)

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