Sunday, December 30, 2007


This year was quite a year and it has ended with a magnificent celebration of Jesus and family. I will post some favorites from this holiday season. It covers many of our family traditions, so I apologize for the length...

Trim the Tree

Traditionally, because our tree is real, we wait to trim the tree until the weekend before Christmas. This year, we decorated the tree on Friday evening. We had pizza and enjoyed getting all of the ornaments back out. I thought this year's tree was one of the most beautiful we have ever had. Emily and I are allergic to the tree (bummer). Hannah loves it and gets more joy out of taking ornaments to play with than looking at them on the tree:)

Many years ago, my dear friend, Mary began blessing me with Lenox crosses for the tree, she has never missed a year and now, I have this wonderful collection that I love - the children know not to touch them. This years is called China jewels, how incredibly appropriate -- I just love it!

We received a beautiful Asian inspired ornament from our bloggy friend Connie, that I have already posted, however our family has two ornaments that also represent the addition of Miss Hannah to our family. One is a bear that Emily selected for Hannah last Christmas, assuming she had been born and was waiting for us in China and the other is an airplane that Emily and I gave Daddy last Christmas to celebrate his trip to China.

My absolute favorite ornament is an angel that Emily made in preschool - it is quite large and I was sure there would be no good place to put that beautiful angel, but behold a big gap provided the perfect spot for Emily's precious angel.

My dear friend Lisa, sent holiday greetings in the most special of ways by giving us a lovely ornament for our tree. We loved placing it this year and know it will forever be a reminder of the friendship we have been blessed with.

Jumping for Joy!

Cookie Baking & Christmas Specials Galore!

I usually bake about eight or nine different types of cookies, but this year seemed to go by much quicker than previous years. So, I accepted that so many cookies would not only be daunting, but just plain NOT fun. I want the traditions to be fun, not forced, sooo we settled on four types of cookies and everyone was game for the event. We remained in our pajamas the weekend before Christmas and baked away. In previous years, I had always mixed everything by hand. Needless to say, by the end of cookie baking, my selection of words were not pretty, this year my new best friend (see below) helped out tremendously:)(Thank you to my mother-in-law who agreed to combine birthday and anniversary and spring for our mixer friend!)

Hmmm, I saw Mommy do this...(yes, dad was just behind her out of range, no worries:)

Em, quit mugging for the camera, I think this is done!

Emily selected two recipes from her American Girls cookbook to make herself

We have so many of the special Christmas movies and TV shows, but it is just somehow more fun when they are on regular programming. The girls were watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in these photos. Hannah is a little copycat and she follows Emily's lead.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
The weekend before Christmas, Santa always rides the firetruck through each neighborhood to wave to the children. It was very, very cold and raining, so we watched out the window...Hannah was fascinated by the whole scene and she kept visiting the window with hearty, "Santa!" throughout the evening.

My sister-in-law's family has an over 30 year tradition of Christmas Eve gatherings. One of her aunts used to host the fete, but since the year Emily was born, my brother and sister-in-law host the celebration. It is really fun and we feel so grateful to be included. Santa comes to visit with gifts for the children and the adults have a pollyanna. The food is always super yummy and everybody enjoys time together. Emily has earned herself quite a reputation for fleeing the premises as soon as the big jolly guy arrives (usually she dissolves at first glimpse of him) but this year...oh no, she marched up and hugged him, gathered her gifts and even flashed a number of smiles as she perched atop his knee. The entire place erupted in applause. What, Hannah, you ask...she dissolved as soon as he arrived, back to the drawing board!

Hugging Santa!

Gleefully clinging to Dad

After the big party, it is home to read from the Bible and place cookies and milk in their perfect spot for Santa to visit. Emily transcribed a letter to Santa this year. She said she had lots of questions for him (and she did). The letter was adorable and she insisted on putting the treats on the hearth, so he would have them as soon as he got to our home, even though our tree was in the living room this year.

Christmas Day!

What they saw...

Emily and Hannah received about 6 gifts each. Emily's favorite was a Littlest Pet Shop Town and Hannah's favorite was a toss-up between a girly vanity and a moving Poky Little Puppy (Puppy was a gift from the family I work with:) Hannah kept going to stare at herself in the mirror, "HANNAH". She also took great pains to brush everyone's hair.



Impressed with herself!

Emily was more than happy to help

They finally begged me to put the camera away...okay ladies, Mamarazzi gets the picture!



ADELE said...

I just loved all of the pictures. What a great Christmas you all had! I love all of the great traditions that you have. I agree with you that there is just something about watching Christmas movies on tv rather than movies. I guess it's because it reminds us of our childhood when we couldn't wait to see the Christmas movies. This was when we didn't have videos or dvd's. HA.
Have a wonderful and blessed New Year!

Linette said...

These are great pictures Heather! I love reading about all of your special traditions. Many blessings to you in 2008! :)

Jake and Taryn said...

LOVE all of your pictures!! It looks like you all had a wonderful Christmas!

I also love the picture of Emily making those treats on her own!! What a clever idea!! They look so yummy!!

Hope 2008 brings much joy and many blessings to your family!

chloesmama said...

Those were wonderful pictures, and great traditions. It was really fun to read all about it! Happy New Year!

mommy24treasures said...

I didn't find your post long at all, enjoyed the entire thing. Thought your tree was lovely. Loved the cross for this year. Beautiful. What a lovely friend and such a wonderful idea and tradition!
Happy 2008, may you be blessed beyond measure.

Sheri said...

Looks like Miss Hannah's first Christmas was a very special one. All the pictures really capture the joy your sweet girls experienced sharing traditions and the excitement of opening presents Christmas morning. Blessings to you and your family in the new year!

Jodee Leader said...

Wow! What a great post! I loved reading about all of your traditions. Your girls are soooo adorable! Happy New Year!

Don and Lisa Osborn said...


Besides adoring you, I realize with each post that I have so much to learn from you. You are a precious Mommy. Eight or nine types of cookies? Really? You are amazing!

Thank you for sharing so many of your Christmas traditions and happy Christmas moments. I know they will become more special to Em & Hannah with each passing year.

Lots of love,

Anonymous said...

I loved reading about your family tradtions. Isn't it amazing that such simple things turn into a life of beautiful memories? Great photos, too.

Beth said...

MMMMM! I want to come make cookies with you guys! Looks like so much fun!

In the mean time, I'm off to look up that cross. How pretty. :)


Stefanie said...

Sounds like an incredibly blessed Christmas!! Loved the pictures, your girls are positively brimming with joy :)

Leslie said...

What great traditions you have! I loved catching up on all that you have been up to! So glad you had a wonderful first Christmas with Hannah, the girls look so happy, you are a great mom!

Lori said...

Heather, it's been great to catch up with you a bit and enjoy your beautiful Christmas season, step-by-step! I loved so many of the pictures of the girls and the expressions you caught! How wonderful to have such great help with cookies and your tree looks so beautiful. :)
I hope your family has a wonderfully blessed 2008!


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