Friday, December 19, 2008

Endless Baking, Decorating, and Eating

We made all these beautiful cookies for the girl's bible study teachers. We had them all nicely wrapped with cute homemade cards on top. Of course we were sick the day of bible study! So we saved the cards and ate all of the yummy cookies :)

Oops! I forgot to rotate the photo! Oh well, the point is...we were decorating gingerbread houses so Ryan broke out his drill! .....a man and his tools!

This is mostly what Anna and Naomi did while Ryan, my sisters, and I decorated gingerbread houses

all of us with our houses



Monday, December 15, 2008

Decorating the Tree

A few of our favorite ornaments:

ONE of Dana's favorites (I just can't choose!)

Abby's favorite- it's got her photo from last year in it. It's a cute book that opens and your child becomes a penguin, a reindeer, etc. I got it from Discovery Toys and love it.

Anna and Naomi's favorites.

one of Ryan's favorites from when he was little

Our Little Tree finally decorated

The decorating process

Anna and Naomi took a break. (Anna reading to Naomi)




Monday, December 8, 2008

17 Days, 400 Hours, 24,015 Minutes, or 1,440,902 Seconds

...until Christmas! However you look at it, Christmas is coming.

Here is what we have been up to:

trying candy canes for the first time- everyone liked them except mom who got to clean everyone's sticky gooey mess, including dog hair- yuck!

Anna and Naomi set up the Nativity. Anna insisted that all the people must fit in the stable. Something tells me if she was the one in charge of the inn, Jesus would have had a room! :) Apparently her philosophy is the more, the merrier.

Breakfast with Santa. Anna saw Santa and immediately said "I don't like him" to which Naomi replied "I like him"...always a competition!

Daddy and Abby on top of a borrowed mantel from Home Depot! Apparently Home Depot let the community center borrow a fireplace for decoration for the breakfast with Santa. Just below Abby's foot was a price tag and a detailed description of the fireplace! I wish I could get on the list!

We cut down our own little tree this year. Anna is having fun being pulled in the tree sled by various family members at the tree farm.

Here was Abby's vehicle. He looks excited, doesn't he? :)

Naomi and Aunt Ashley. This may be the only time that Naomi smiled at the tree farm. She was, of all things, afraid of the trees. I also kind of forgot her in the van- that may have had an impact just a little! But, really, we realized it within 20 seconds. She was mad at me when I returned for her. This one will be one to hold a grudge!

A family un-portrait. In our family of wee little ones, someone is always either crying or at the very least not looking at the camera. In this case...Ryan (not crying! but indeed not loooking)! And Naomi- still holding a grudge...or maybe it's our tree.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jesus in Christmas...who'd a thought!?

So here it is- a new post...if there is anyone still checking this blog! I have done such a poor job at posting these past months. I will try to do better!

Last year our Christmas was horrible. There was no Christ in Christmas. There was a flurry of activity, an abundance of parties, and lots of stress associated with Christmas, but no Jesus. Sad to say, but I'm not even sure we made it to church in December last year! This year we are determined that it will go differently. Not only do we want Christ to be in Christmas, we want it all to be about celebrating him! We cut down on Christmas parties, started getting our gifts ready in August, and Ryan is taking more days off around Christmas so there is less stress and more celebrating and relaxing. We also decided to do a tv fast for all of advent so we could focus on the things that matter.

Since the girls are older, we decided to start celebrating Advent with them. We made an advent wreath with a paper chain on it that counts down the days until Christmas. Each day we pull off a chain and read what it says. It has an activity for us to do as a family that is a winter or Christmastime related. So far we have painted ornaments for grandparents, made and hung up snowflakes, and colored the first event of the Christmas Story- an angel appearing before Mary to tell her she was going to have a baby.

My goal was to post daily in Advent so you could see all of the things we've been doing! But I think that is a little too ambitious since I am wanting to scale down on things....but I will try my best to post every couple of days.

We are so happy to be able to start traditions with our family as our girls are getting older and are happy to teach them about the baby Jesus and God's incredible love for them and all of us. We hope you are able to stop a moment and contemplate His love for you also during this busy season.

Love, the Irwins

Here are some photos: