* The girls slept until almost 8:00. They were content watching a show on the computer in bed while we took a shower and got dressed. Then we all headed downstairs to open gifts.
This year instead of buying the girls a ton of gifts, we decided to get them each 3 gifts. We explained that we wanted to focus more on the "giving" at Christmas and wanted them to be a part of giving to someone else and use our money towards others instead of on ourselves. Natalee and Lydia understood and were excited about picking out gifts for someone else. We decided that we would buy gifts to give to the inner city kids in New York ( where our youth group was going on a trip). So the girls made a list of what they wanted to buy. We headed to the store and picked out all the things on their lists plus some practical items:)
We set aside an afternoon and went to pick out the gifts. We bought three backpacks to put all the things inside of and gave away the backpacks. It was amazing to see how well they understood this process and how anxious they were to give the things away. I was so proud of them! I wish I had taken pictures, but next time I will!
- Natalee and Lydia- cowgirl comforter, gymnastics outfit and a new Bible with cover.
- Julianna- rapunzel doll with horse, bathing suit (for swim lessons) and a Bible storybook
- Alyssia- a miniature minnie mouse chair, a new book and some bows In each of their stockings they got some stamp pads, stamps and tootsie rolls
* After we opened the gifts, we sat down to a nice breakfast that I had prepared the night before.(it was not easy staying up the night before to prepare for the morning but it was so worth it the next morning!) We had french toast sticks, turkey bacon, homemade banana bread, cut up fruit and orange juice.
* At breakfast Nathan read the girls the story of Jesus' birth from the Jesus Storybook Bible. They were just as excited about eating a big breakfast together and reading a story as they were about opening presents. Nathan and I both realized that they just want to spend time with us. The presents are nice but they eventually get tired of them or the "newness" wears off. Our family is what really matters to them!
It was so nice to not have to rush on Christmas morning. Alyssia went down for a nap around 11:00 and we finished getting ready.
* We headed to Nana and Papa's after Alyssia's nap. We exchanged gifts and ate a big Christmas lunch together. We had told them also that we didn't want the girls to get a lot of gifts this year. So, they had scaled down on the gifts which was very nice! In years past the girls have gotten overwhelmed with gifts. They still got plenty of gifts this year between all the great grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. But, it was better then it has been!
* After lunch we all took part in Josh's proposal to Jenna! Long story short, me and Natasha asked Jenna to go for a walk on the trail. When we got to the end of the trail, Josh was there waiting with a lighted path and candles. He proposed, she said yes and we were all so happy for them! Wedding is coming on 5/31/13.
* We headed back to Tim and Karl's for hot chocolate and egg nog and to watch the proposal video.
* Then it was back home to put the girls to bed and put everything away. It was a long day but good!
God is so good!