Despite low TSH levels and low energy as I continue to fully recover from my thyroidectomy, we are trying our best to get into the Christmas spirit around here! My doctor is upping my dosage of medication so hopefully that will give me a boost for the coming weeks! But we weren't quite up for chopping down our Christmas tree in the mountains this year, so we decided to head over to Whole Foods to pick one out. It was quick and easy...and the tree may just be my favorite we've ever had. It's perfect.
Here are the boys running through the tree lot.
Squeezing in between trees.
Daddy snapped this pic of me and the boys while we waited for our tree to be wrapped up and strapped to the roof of our car.
Later that night we decorated.
The boys did such a great job and were very into it! Nolan sported reindeer antlers the entire time!
Heath clumped most of his ornaments in the same area but he needed no help this year.
Brooks LOVED this Nuggets basketball ornament!
He got so silly excited when we handed it to him. In this picture he is actually trying to dribble it! We had to hang it up high because he kept taking it off the tree to dribble or throw it.
Heath loves to help Daddy put the star on top.
I was having trouble with the lighting in my photos and didn't have the energy to try too hard to correct it. I was actually sitting for most of the tree trimming. That's just where I'm at these days.
The boys each wanted to hold their favorite ornament for these pictures.
We started a new tradition of lighting a candle and reading from the Bible each night during Advent. It has been such a sweet time. The boys are asking good questions and focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. We end our time by singing "Away in a Manger". It just gets our hearts right and refocused. And it has been such a special time. I love that our boys are getting old enough to start traditions like these. Brooks mainly walks around and tries to tackle us the whole time, and Heath usually argues over who gets to the light the candle each night, but overall it has been so nice.
Brooksie doing some more dribbling! Ha! He didn't get the whole "be still" and "peace" message from our Advent devotional that night.
Daddy surprised the boys by putting Christmas lights on their bunk bed ladder.
They LOVE it!
And here is the finished product!
It took me a few days, but I eventually got around to finishing up the garland and 12 Days of Christmas ornaments in our front room.
And I switched out the verse on the chalkboard.
As always, Mark's company puts on a fantastic Christmas party for all of the employees children. We headed over the the movie theater bright and early for breakfast with Santa and the movie Frozen!
Santa was walking around the lobby before the party started and he stopped to wave to Brooks.
Brooks wasn't so sure what to think. He clung to Mark. But Santa was so sweet with him.
Then we got in line to sit on Santa's lap. We are so thankful for these FREE pictures and a short line! We were his second visitors of the day!
Nolan smiled so nicely and was so happy to be the first of the brothers to sit on Santa's lap.
He was a little shy to look him in the eye at first, but he warmed right up and told Santa that he wants... Mario for the wii and Mario stuffed animals.
Heath was up next. He smiled so sweetly as well.
He looked at the camera the whole time and side talked to Santa.
He told Santa that he would like "the Shellraiser" for Christmas. It is the Ninja Turtles van.
Last up was Brooks...
He didn't really want to go alone!
Love these good ol' crying pics! We have at least one of each child from about this age. We told Santa that he wants "balls" for Christmas.
But thankfully Brooksie settled in and we got this magical shot of all three boys! Love it! Santa gave each boy a gift bag full of fun stuff! Lucky boys!
After pictures we visited the balloon elf. Heath went first and asked for a "purple penguin". Nolan got a penguin too and Brooks got a snowman.
Here they are showing off their balloon animals. Then we chowed down on fresh fruits and bagels and Brooks guzzled down his first chocolate milk box in no time at all. After breakfast, Oma & Opa picked up Brooks before we headed in to the movie. If you haven't seen Frozen you need to! It was SO good! The boys loved it and so did Mark and I! The music is great, it's funny, and sweet. We had the best morning and are just so thankful for NCM and the way that they take care of their employees. This party is one of our family's favorite traditions.
I've been trying to squeeze in some Christmas shopping whenever I can. But I've been doing a lot of online shopping as well, which with Amazon Prime free shipping has been so nice for this tired mama!
One day at Target I turned around for one quick second to look at something and I found Heathy here! Ha! Silly boy! He was quite proud of himself!
Because December is such a busy month, my Women's Group always celebrate Christmas early.
We had a delicious appetizer lunch and shared our hearts. Love that this group is full of life, strength, love, and hope!
We exchanged gifts and then snapped this picture about 10 times. Nobody was happy with the final result...but this was the best we got! A little blurry and off center. Ha! That's what happens when you put 7 girls together- nobody likes the way they look in a photo! But I think these girls are BEAUTIFUL- both inside and out!
Eckabee flew back from the North Pole again this year! And the boys have loved finding him hanging out around the house each morning!
This morning he happened to be coloring.
And another morning he beat Leo at a game of Guess Who?
Heath had his Preschool Christmas program last week. We were nervous about how he would do on a HUGE stage with a lot of people! When he first got up, he was standing in between 2 girls that were not in his class. They were chatting to each other and eventually squeezed him out from in between them. I could see him melting and getting very uncomfortable, not knowing what to do. He eventually turned around on the risers and teared up. Good thing his teacher noticed what had happened before they began and she moved him up to the top row. He took a minute to warm up, but then he sang out so well! We were SO proud! And it was absolutely adorable!
He spotted us right away and smiled and waved! You can see the bossy pants girls squeezing in on him already in this pic! Ha! Girls! The protective Mama Bear came out in me when I saw this happening, so I was SO thankful his teachers noticed it and helped my boy out!
Here are some videos. They aren't that great because I couldn't get my phone's video to zoom in. Mark got much better video, but somehow he still hasn't managed to get it off his phone and onto the computer. And us wifey's can only pester so much ya know! Ha! But look for Heath on the top row- underneath the donkey's neck. He's wearing a green sweater. Even though you can't see him clearly in these videos, they still sound sweet.
3 songs- short and sweet and then we were excused to go pick up our Preschoolers while the rest of the school continued with the program.
We snapped this family picture in the lobby of the church.
Oma & Opa came to hear Heath sing and have a fun Christmas night with us.
After the program, we drove them around to see some of our favorite Christmas houses in Stonegate. Then we came home to have some apple pie and open a few gifts.
Oma & Opa brought us each an early Christmas gift.
The boys each got a new vest! They look so cute! Mark got some Maker's Mark and I got a new cozy blanket. Thank you Mom and Dad for a nice evening and for spoiling us with gifts.
Each night after our Advent devotional we have also been singing Christmas songs together. Nolan loves singing just like his Daddy. It brings tears to my eyes to listen to them sing about their Savior. Here is a quick verse of "Away in a Manger".
In November Nolan took a 2 week Art Enrichment Class after school. He had so much fun creating and working with 5th and 6th grade helpers and the Art Teacher Mrs. Doll. A few other friends from his class and our neighbor girls also took the class together.
He made this adorable brick Snowman door stop.
And he made and decorated clay ornaments. He was able to make one for Oma & Opa, one for Grandma & Grandpa, and 2 for our tree. This one was his favorite. It is a HUGE glazed and fired Christmas Tree. It is heavy and my favorite ornament on the tree this year!
And finally, I'll leave you with this crazy large Santa. If this doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit, I don't know what will! Ha! We saw him at the party store and Heath about died when he saw him! He would LOVE to have this guy chillin' in our yard. Sorry bud. Not happenin'.