Thursday, 26 December 2013

christmas day

Another Christmas come and gone. 

Filled with food and family and very happy children... it was simple, sweet and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The day just unfolded rapidly as it does, moving from giddy gift opening and a small family brunch at our place, to extended family feast at my Papa's. Christmas malaise sets in and so we watched the day unfold with a few snaps here and there - didn't manage any 'fancy' family photos! Suffice to say, the children had a wonderful day. This year, I felt like we got the gift quota for the kids pretty much right - some small stocking goodies, one main gift each and then a few lovely, thoughtful gifts from family. It was just enough for them to truly enjoy and appreciate all that they received, and it was just delightful to see them unwrap, gasp and enjoy! They were content and grateful for what they got - and I was so happy to see that. 

Lily was most excited of all to give her gift to me (a Santa chocolate she has seen at the shops with Daddy and had begged to purchase for me). She had eagerly wrapped it and been cajoling me to open it for days!! Oh, she is just like her Mama! haha. A precious gift, just so heartfelt. 

Most of all, it was a lovely day to spend with family, just relaxing (and eating!) together. Still completely exhausted by the end of it, of course. All that fun takes it out of you ;)

Christmas Eve: She insisted on helping prepare the Cinnamon Scrolls for the next morning (we snack on them whilst
opening pressies!)

Christmas Eve: Special treat of eating dinner in the lounge room (hence the drop sheet!!) whilst watching A Muppet Christmas Carol - one of Mark's faves! A cosy way to pass the evening before reading our last Christmas Advent book,
scattering reindeer food and tucking some very excited kiddies into bed.

Trio under the tree in their new Christmas Eve PJ's! Just opened along with
their new books (as per tradition). Snuggles, books, then bed!

There is nothing quite as special as experiencing Christmas through the eyes of your young children. Just so blessed!

The privilege of parenting is 'stuff the stockings' just before bed (well, just Lily and Eli's!) and leaving the tree lights to twinkle all night till very excited children creep out of bed the next morn...

In the basket/manger, cosily filled with 'hay' made of good and kind deeds, a
little one appears! ;) A reminder to the children of the Greatest Gift we remember
on this day.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house.... not a creature was stirring, except for Mum ;)

Christmas Day: Gleefully digging into stockings the next morning!

His very own 'Tap Tap' boards!
Lily unwraps the gift she has been begging for, for months... a camera! (In 24 hours she has taken 350 photos!!!!)

Absolutely thrilled. 'This is the best present I ever got' she declared over and over. She's been snapping away like a pro!
I wasn't going to get Miles a gift, as we don't usually for those too young to remember it! But I remember he
needed a 'name sign' for his door and Etsy came through once more! He was impressed ;)

Eli and Daddy trial the cousin's new motorised toy

Tank Girl

A lot of this going on!

This little 'helicopter' pull toy was an absolute hit!!

Miles enjoys snuggles with his beautiful Auntie Alex. Both looking a little bit cheeky/coy here!

Clearing up from the decadent traditional Christmas Feast....

Boxing Day: Also known as 'Play with all the new toys'  Day :) 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

random acts of (christmas) kindness!

Just wanted to post a collection of Christmassy moments in the lead up to the 'big day' itself...

The kids and I went down to the local shops two days before Christmas to try out our first 'Random Acts of (Christmas) Kindness'. Sometimes having kids in tow gives you a bit of bravery to do things outside the box! It was a really fun experience. We were going to buy flowers to hand out but ended up making extra salt-dough ornaments to give, inscribed with words like 'joy' 'hope' and 'love'. Hopefully, people enjoyed the personal touch ;) 

I am still chuckling at the memories of Eli barreling cheerily up to unsuspecting, busy shoppers entering the shops - he would thrust the ornament at them whilst shouting 'Merry Christmas!!! 'Dis for you!!! You put it on your tree!!' Haha. It was gorgeous. People quickly moved from utter confusion to surprised to touched and very happy. They loved it, the kids loved it and I loved watching it all unfold. We handed out about 25 ornaments in quick succession. There was a little squabbling over who got to give out the next one (ahem!) but apart from that, the kids had such a great time. It was fairly comical seeing them at times literally chase people down who were zooming past with shopping carts, not realising the kids were trying to actually give them something!

It was such a blessing to bring smiles to the faces of so many strangers (interesting to think of their unknown stories), to pray this little kindness touched their lives in some way and hopefully brought just a little extra Christmas cheer and blessing! 

Awaiting  their next 'victim' haha.

She said she was making a 'story teller' - sticky taping all these pages together and
drawing a different picture for each page to tell her story. 'Taller than her' she says!
It's even longer now... and her creativity is never ending.

Is there anything more handsome than a husband folding laundry whilst
babywearing?? I think not!!! :)

Thanks to Aldi's awesome kits, we made our first gingerbread houses! It was SO fun!! My dear friend Caroline came to
stay the night - she assisted Lily and I helped Eli. Such a cool project! As you can see, a great deal was sampled as well
as assembled ;)

Lovely Caroline (who had just had her hair done by the kids!!) and Lily
adding more and more and more lollies...
'a light snow'

Just a little bit happy with his finished product!!

She was beyond proud!

We said the kids could eat (some!) of one, and save the other for Christmas day celebrations.
This is how you unassemble a gingerbread house, right?!! ;) 

'Walking in a Winter Wonderland'A blurry shot I just had to include - the kids happily strolling through the lights on our second Xmas light outing

Three kids on a sleigh :)PS Miles is such a gem. Taken from his bed (fast asleep), he happily got toted
about town for two hours, just smiling and looking around at the lights,
then came home and went right back to bed without a peep. Wonder Baby ;)

A shot with Santa... um, first one ever I think?! He was very friendly and the
kids were very excited to see him 'What have you got for me?' Eli said!!!

Just love this place. Totally OTT, covered in toys, the kids go bananas for it :) 

Really soaking up the sensory experience!

This guy was singing all the Christmas classic songs and the kids just went wild dancing around in front of him. 

Lily was just in some kind of zone, leaping around and dancing with an abandon and joy we had never seen before! 

Bring on Christmas... our family is ready and excited! 

And to my lovely readers,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for checking in on this little space and our lives :)

Love and blessings to you all xx