Christmas + Jammies + Felt = December!

I was looking through my pictures today and realized just how far behind I am in documenting our smallest son's first year...so back to it! I went away last weekend to throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law...which Pax wasn't at all happy about. First of all because I went to Grammy and Grandaddy's house without him; secondly, I took the baby with me; and, finally, because he just plain wanted me to stay home! He cried. A lot....saying how he'd miss  me so much (which, let's face it, is nice to hear!) and couldn't I please take him with me?? (when I told him I didn't have a ticket, he told me I could just tear mine in half...wish it worked like that!) As he cried, Blythe came over to me and, looking up with her sweet face, declared, "Mama, I won't cry. I be ok when you're gone. And, if I want to talk to you, I just call you on the phone! I can do that!"
       I wish you could see the little hand gestures she used...she went from 18 months to 9 in a day, I'm pretty sure. Adam said Pax was in tears as they drove away from the airport...and there's little Miss in the back, trying to console him and get him to stop crying (love his sweet heart and how  pragmatic she can be...although ask her to go to the bathroom and she's likely to throw an Olympic-sized fit. She IS still two, most definitely!) While I was gone, Adam and the kids started on our Advent calender, among lots of other fun things (and several skinned knees). My folks gave me the felt Christmas tree to me last year, and I LOVE it. The countdown has pockets in it; so it's an activity Advent calendar. And because our holidays center around the birth of Christ, we fill the pockets with a mix of fun activities, ways to serve others, random acts of kindness, and scriptures to help us remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas. It helps the kids (and us!) focus on the reality of Christmas in the middle of the consumerism our society has turned the season into. We of course give gifts to celebrate His birth; and although we do let the kids believe in Santa, we focus on the real story of Saint Nicholas and continue to worship Christ. Thus today's advent activity....I'd contemplated making the kids a felt Christmas tree with ornaments to pull off and decorate again and again; but after spying a felt nativity on Pinterest (of course) I knew what I would make. So far, only Pax has seen it, since B is currently taking a nap-but he loves it. I think my favorite part is the flying sheep up with the angels :)

And this picture? Well, yesterday they received their Christmas jammies (they get them every year-I bought these 2 days after Christmas last year for $3 a piece :) They love, love, love this tradition-as you can see, Pax is still wearing his today! This photo was the result of an impromptu photoshoot attempt in front of the tree after they put their jammies on last night...authentic, joy-filled, life!