Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Babies

We started out in 2006 with a gorgeous almost 1 year old at Christmas time, Mr Bentley:

Our photo backdrops were not what they are today, but we tried:

In 2007 some super cute twins joined our family:

We waited a few years, and added the adorable Lincoln to the mix:

And this year we wrapped it all up with our youngest Christmas time baby yet, Evan the beautiful:

We are so blessed!  How lucky we are to be entrusted with these precious gifts to raise.  There's nothing better!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hat Boy

We've blogged about how much Lincoln likes slippers. He also loves hats. He's always getting into the front hall bench and playing with the winter hats stored therein. He will wear any hat he can get his hands on.

Here he is with his dad's baseball hat:

Here he is with his opa's winter hat and gloves: 

Here he is with his brother Jake's new dress-up hat:

(The first two shots were taken on the little camera. The last shot is on the photographer's camera. He's cute in all the photos, but he shines in the last two.)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Wrap-Up

We are wrapping up our final Christmas activities. It's been a busy month and we did not get to do everything on our lists, but we did a lot.

Bentley, Jake, and Viva made a number of different ornaments with me. Since beaded ornaments were a big hit with them, we made them a number of times.

One evening when Viva was with Grandma Karen, the boys made beaded necklaces.

Viva produced a felt and sequin tree ornament.

Bentley came up with an idea for an ornament. Earlier in December we used cookie cutters to make mock stained glass ornaments to decorate the windows. Bentley suggested we use the same idea (cookie cutters) to cut out shapes from paper to decorate the walls. I remembered (due to my recent inventorying of all the craft supplies!) that we had some very glittery foam board so I offered that to him. He liked it. The children went to work creating decorations for the walls.

Last year the trio really liked the magic scratch Christmas trees, so I brought them back out. They scratched away. Instead of using the magic scratch trees as ornaments, I had the children make them into thank you cards. They fancied the cards up with holiday stickers that Grandma Vicki sent them.   Lincoln made a card with just stickers. (In the photo below Lincoln's card is row 1, Viva's cards row 2, Bentley's cards row 3, and Jake's cards row 4.)


And, of course, we continued to read Christmas books from our ever growing collection. Grandma Vicki sent us a couple of new ones, Kara purchased one (two?), and I added two. Next year we are going to have start reading the collection before December 1st!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve & Day

On Christmas Eve we ate a meal of favorite foods. Then we adjourned to the living room and read the Christmas story. We sang a few carols. (We need to work on this portion of the evening. Skits! Dramatic readings?)

A final photo of our tree with the gifts under and around it. The children block a good portion of the gifts from view which helps our Christmas look more modest.  With ten people in the house and loved ones from out-of-state sending gifts, too, the gift pile is quite large. (The children also block the undecorated portion of the tree making it look prettier!)

The children help distribute the gifts to the correct recipients. This is sometimes confusing as there were three moms in the room. In past years the children have enjoyed giving out the gifts, but this year they were more interested in opening their gifts than in handing out all the gifts!

 Lincoln had to be coaxed to open his gifts which surprised us all. He wanted to throw the unopened packages like balls.

Jake was happy with his gifts. 

Bentley loved his Hobbit Lego set. 

Viva got an American Girl doll, bed, and book. 

Whenever Lincoln found something he liked, he totally stopped opening gifts. 

 Evan was happy to be held by mommy.

There are no photos of the adults opening their gifts, but we were all there--mommy, daddy, opa, grandma, and great-grandma. After the gifts were opened the children changed into their pajamas and came back downstairs.

Bentley started his new Lego set. 

Jake received the Lego fire plane set he had been wanting. 

Viva was busy with one of her gifts.

Lincoln enjoyed two sweets with his bottle before bed.

The household went to bed. Santa came. The children were very happy on Christmas morning to discover that Santa had left them more Lego sets, kaleidoscope kits, and a Rody horse for Lincoln.

Evan is happy to be held by grandma on Christmas morning. He doesn't care about gifts. He just wants hugs and snuggles.

Evan posed nicely for us in his Santa outfit. 

Lincoln wearing the reindeer antlers in his own fashion. 

It was snowing on Christmas. If you look closely, you can see some of the falling snow!

After a lazy morning Matt, Kara and the children went to Grandpa Tim and Grandma Karen's for dinner and a few more gifts (Legos!). We all enjoyed a very nice Christmas. The children received a nice assortment of toys, craft kits, and more practical gifts (clothes, blankets, books, science kits).

I hope your Christmas was as nice as ours.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Christmas Photo

Here is The 2012 Christmas Photo:

Here is the first runner up:

It would have been my top pick except that the twins had lost their sparkling smiles which was totally understandable after 300+ photos. (In the three photo shoots Mark took over 500 photos, but the twins were not in all of them.) Evan was pretty serious throughout this shoot. Lincoln was the problem child, again. It's to be expected given that he's 17 months old.


A few other good photos:

Viva at the start of the shoot helping opa check out his lighting.

"Sit AND smile? I can't do it."

Blinded by the flash, flash, flash...

 WOW! These three are ready to be professional models.