Eden asked if she could do the stockings this year. So except for a few things that Dad and I added, she purchased everything for the stockings. :)
Mitch built me a manger for our baby Jesus doll and surprised me Christmas morning!
Baby Jesus is still a big hit.
Mitch read us the final chapter of "Ishtar's Odyssey" on Christmas morning, as daylight was just beginning to break.
Mercy seemed a little confused about all the excitement, but I think she caught on quickly enough. Genna was clueless...but she loved the baby Jesus doll.
It wasn't long before someone slingshot one of these sticky aliens onto the ceiling. Before I knew it, there were aliens hanging from all over the ceiling. Naturally.
Check out my "bling" the kids picked out for me at the "shoppe" Mitch's Aunt Debbie organized with friends in Sauk Centre. The kids were so thrilled to have me open their gifts. I loved seeing the things they chose for me that they thought I would like.
Genna's face is priceless!
Debbie and Jeff did a bit of their own gifting for our family this year--we were so blessed that each person received a special gift from them.
For the gifts from Mitch and me to the kids, we tried to follow a theme. At first I was only going to do 3 gifts (like the Magi brought to Jesus), but we expanded to be 4: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. I was overwhelmed at first trying to figure out what to give each person. Mitch was working so many extra hours at Holiday, and I felt like I would never get my shopping done. I was stressed about finding the best gift as well as the best deal. I wanted so hard to stay within my budget, but we didn't want to buy cheap gifts that would soon be broken (or spread all over the house). We wanted to buy thoughtfully. My parents sent money and that really changed our budget and what we were able to choose for each child. One day my friend Devona came over and watched all the kids for 5 hours while Genna and I got out and shopped. I made some headway finally. I shopped with my phone in my hand...cross-checking prices and even making a few online orders. I scrawled notes on a piece of notebook paper and prayed that none of the kids would find it before Christmas and ruin the surprise.
After Eden was done with her final exams, she helped watch kids so I could sew gift bags. I spent a few hours over two days and I finally sewed enough so that ALL our gifts this year could be wrapped in bags. It was so nice. Mitch and I spent very little time "wrapping" presents on Christmas Eve. I was so excited for Christmas morning.
Several people got Bibles. I bought 5 Bibles for Mitch to give away after he expressed a desire to do that. :) Zeke had received a pocket knife for his birthday, so I was excited when I found this whittling book.
"The Book with No Pictures" is hilarious. We asked Malachi to read it out loud. He was laughing but he loved it and didn't stop reading. Score!!
"Something to wear" for Caleb included this Hogwarts themed snuggie...Grandma Karen saved the day by sending this as well as a gift that Eden really wanted.
Mitch hadn't had any time to do any shopping, and he tried going out a few times. But when he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I said, "Amazon Prime." Seriously. My prime membership renews at the end of the month. Let me tell you, it was so nice to be able to shop online this year. He surprised me with this awesome t-shirt, though. I can't wait to wear it!
"Something you want"...since Genna was shopping with me, she technically picked out her gift. ;)
Clearly Josh wanted what he got.
But Zeke doesn't look like he expects to want whatever is in his bag. Seriously, this sad face...
...ahhh, a smile of relief. He thought we were tricking him, but he actually received a Kindle Fire. :)
Micah, Eden, and Caleb all expressed their desire to have money for Christmas. They said, "It is what we want, what we need, and we can read it." Hmmm... Well, we did end up giving them some gift cards as part of their gift. And I think it wasn't as much fun as giving real gifts, even if it was what they wanted and/or what they needed. I will do some harder thinking next year.
Papa Paul and Grandma Marilyn came to visit in the afternoon and also blessed us with gifts. Obi has a soft new friend to snuggle.
Today we had to do some major cleaning, then our hard work was rewarded with a visit from our friends the Bosch's. Tonight we sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and had birthday cake (we were too stuffed from treats to eat it yesterday) and ice cream with our friends. It also snowed today. It was pretty bare outside yesterday, but we woke to a few inches of snow on the ground this morning.