Monday, January 4, 2016

Charlie Brown Christmas

This year was the most decorated I've seen China for Christmas so far.  There was even a life size decoration of Santa playing the violin in our apartment complex.  Ironically, this year had the least "feeling" of Christmas for me than any other year, in the secular since.  Traditions to me became less meaningful, as I tried to go through the motions with my kids.  The true meaning of Christmas became more real to me, though, as I thought of those Christmas parents long ago, waiting and expecting him. This year, all I wanted was for Theo and Tessa to be home.  

I was so glad that Kristalyn was able to come and spend Christmas with us for the third year in a row!  It truly brought me more joy than I had the whole semester in Changchun.  I realized more this year the importance of good friends.  

We have also been blessed with a very supportive and loving team, who spent Christmas Eve with us.  

We all pulled together a great feast including: Michael's corn casserole, Janice's sour cream chicken, Kara's mashed potatoes, Kimmie's pumpkin dip, Karen's green beans, and Kristalyn's famous cookies.  

This is what the kids awoke to Christmas morning!  I was happy to find a Thomas track on sale this summer for Xavier.  Ephraim got a Baymax helicopter thing and Legos.  Eden got a tinkerbell and decorate your own puzzle.  

Isn't she wonderful!!

I got the boys a dig out dinosaur bones thing for their stocking.  It was probably not my brightest Mommy moment as I was cleaning up white powder for a long time afterwards.

Breakfast was Miss Kristalyn's traditional blueberry coffee cake.

We went outside later to take the kids out to play in the snow ;)

We participated in a combined student party with Janice, which included the cartoon, Charlie Brown's Christmas.  After reading an article about the part where Linus drops his blanket while explaining the true meaning of Christmas, I have a greater appreciation for this cartoon.  

We did two parties right in a row, and were quite tired.  Our kids were so helpful, and we decided to treat them to McDonalds afterwards.  The happy meal toys were Charlie Brown!  We also received Charlie Brown Christmas cards and gift bags this year.

Family picture with student at the party.

My favorite Christmas picture this year.  How I missed him!

I love this one too because Xavier actually thought this was really Santa.

We decorate an ornament every year.

Homeschool is awesome!  You can put together a world map with your toddler brother nearby while wearing short sleeves and Santa hats in the middle of freezing weather.

I love these boys, and they love each other.  Xavier no longer wants to sit by me in his booster seat at lunch.  He wants to sit in a regular chair by his Ephie!

My older set of twins.  They are so close, and I hope they always will be.

The theme song that played continually in my head this year was, "Come Thou Long Expected J."  I still think of it almost every day.

Showers of  Blessing:
Friends as close as family (We love you, Kristalyn!)
Charlie Brown toys for my kids (Coincidence?  Hmm...)
Toys on clearance last summer
Wonderful, supportive, generous teammates who got our kids snowball makers
Most Christmas cards ever this year
Packages from family
Making rubber balls, roast beef, and snowball fight with the kids and Miss Kristalyn Christmas Day
Looking forward to being a family of 7 next Christmas

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