Our Christmas season has been full of fun and joy. We had a fabulous time enjoying my mom, brother Mack and my dad (the couple of days he could be here to relax) while they came to visit. We shopped (of course), laughed and simply enjoyed ourselves. We even snuck down to New Orleans for a quick visit to taste fluffy beignets and enjoy the scenery. I love my family and if I could have one thing I would alter about our profession is that I would pack my family up and have them move with us. But-I shouldn't complain...we've been very blessed with how often both of our families have been able to come visit.
We tried to focus a lot on the reason for the season with our FHE and family discussions. A favorite was when we covered all the prophets of the Book of Mormon and their prophecies of the pending birth of our Savior. All three of the munchins got into it.
We made sugar cookies and decorated them a couple of times this season. It is so fun for them (and me) to get creative and then to think of who the cookies should go to. I think one of our little boys' favorite memories this Christmas was Christmas Eve when we delivered the goodies to the Watch Standers. They are the men who stay on duty 24-365. They keep our coasts safe and are there in case of emergency. We are thankful for them. We also performed an act of Secret Santa. A simple one, but one full of excitement and glee and "secret ninja moves" (according to Gavin). The gift of giving without the benefit of thanks is a wonderful feeling. I think we'll make an effort to do it more than once next Christmas season.
Christmas Eve gave way to a new family tradition, I think. We had cheese fondue and our boys couldn't get enough of it. It was so fun and is something different than what we normally do. Gunnison was SO angry he wasn't allowed to join in, so I found him a fork and poured some cheese into a little bowl. Unfortunately, he is at the age where he KNOWS and it wasn't good enough. When we moved on into the FHE of our evening, though, he was ready for fun. The boys received a surprise gift on the doorstep before the festivities. Jammies! Hooray!! Josiah was stripping faster than a blink and all the boys were eager to get changed. Gunnision was quite eager. We all got a good laugh at his fashion sense. He loved his new jammies the Elves left for him and kept showing them off to us for our applause. He is such a cute ham.
Kit and I enjoyed the quietness of the Christmas lights and feelings of child-like anticipation in the evening after the beasties were in bed. It is so fun having children and experiencing Christmas through their eyes. I have to say it is SO very FUN now.
I thought we would have to sleep until seven, but lucked out when Josiah woke at six-thirty. We quickly woke up our other two (Gunner peering around like a little mole in the lamp-light). We brushed our teeth (a Liberty tradition) and lined up for the "entering". Gavin kept trying to push Gun out of the way and eventually ended up rushing past him once Gun stepped into the family room. The boys were so excited!! Santa and the reindeer ate their goodies and had left them just what they wanted. Josiah got a brand-new bike and helmet, Gavin received a Batman Batcave and Gunnison got a ride on rocket (although Gun was more interested in the balls left in their stocking). We tore through the wrappings and had a wonderful morning. Later, the boys and I tried out their new wheels and went for a couple of walks around the block.
We were so blessed this year. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We love you all and you do way too much for us. Thank you for all the wonderful gifts. They are greatly appreciated.
We missed our family, but it was still a wonderful day. We enjoyed ourselves so much and the children's spirits were infective. We laughed and played all day.
We hope all is well with our loved ones and look forward to this up-coming year. Wonderful things are bound to happen and make 2009 as meaningful as 2008. Hugs and Kisses from the little southern Applegate clan!!!