Trimin' the tree.
Ammon was mad we wouldn't let him help fluff the branches.
Daddy lifting Liam and Sariah to put on the star.
Ammon was fascinated with the ornaments...
...all month long! The bottom half of the tree was bare most of the time.
Christmas Sunday after church.
Christmas Eve at my mom's for brunch. We met Sean's new girlfriend Holly. We like her!
Ammon's new jammies from Grammy.
Liam unwrapping his.
Eli opted for a robe this year.
I even got some!
Christmas Eve night we went to Grandmom's for the traditional Lafferty gathering. Meg, Mom, Sean and me.
Then Dad, Meg, Sean and me.
The kids are always beyond excited to open gifts.
Grandmom opening her gift with Meilani supervising. Love her red sparkly Toms!
Me and the hunky hub. The pregnancy nausea had set in big time, so I wasn't feeling so hot.
Christmas morning. Waiting at the bottom of the stairs for the go ahead.
Every year I always have big mental plans to implement new Christmas traditions, yet sadly, I never get around to putting my plans into action...except this year. The writer of my favorite blog writes about how her kids earn their own money to purchase a Christmas gift for a sibling We borrowed the idea this year and it was by far, my most favorite and memorable part of the holiday! Early in the month everyone drew a name and then the kids were given opportunity to earn money throughout the month by doing chores etc around the house. Some were more ambitious in their cleaning endeavors but in the end everyone was able to purchase a very thoughtful gift with the money they had earned. The kids even decided on their own that they wanted to exchange their sibling gifts before we got to Santa's loot. It was really such a precious experience watching the kids with excitement as they opened their gifts. Watching the look on the face of the giver was equally amazing. We will definitely keep up this tradition!
We didn't include Ammon in the exchange because he's so young, but Sariah couldn't bear the thought of him not getting a sibling gift, so she used some of her left over cash (it was burning a hole in her pocket!) to get him a little ball.
Sariah also bought for Seth and got him the long requested Thomas umbrella.
Seth had Liam and got him a little fighter guy.
Liam got Sariah a purple pokey ball.
Meilani made Eli a Harry Potter Wand and got him a calendar.
Eli got Meilani a bean bag chair for her new room.
From Santa Ammon got a ball popping toy.
Seth, who was thrilled beyond belief, got a big wheel truck.
These three all got electric scooters.
Meilani got new bedding and room decor. She had kind of a hard Christmas. She asked for all "big girl" things, no toys on her list. But in the end it was hard to watch everyone else playing with new things. She really wanted a scooter too, but was glad in the end, a few weeks down the road, that she'd kept the bedding instead as the new toy high quickly wears off.
Both sides of our family came by for a visit. Uncle Jared made an appearance too. Ammon took right to him! The kids had so much fun playing outside with Jared. He showed them his skateboard tricks and they chased him all over the street.
Our clan with Mutti, Abba, and Uncle Jared.
New pillows and jammies from Mutti and Abba.
We had a lovely Christmas. It was really low key by comparison to years past, which was just how we like it. The commercialism and gift giving was kept at bay and I think we all did better at remembering the reason for the season as we sang, spoke, and remembered Christ throughout the month.