Sunday, December 26, 2010

Every year we spend one night in a hotel a hotel to celebrate Christmas with our 'little' family.  This year we had contemplated not doing that to save money.  Adopting is expensive, and our kids have sacrificed many things happily in order to do this.  So when we said there would be no hotel this year they all agreed it was okay.  But Ryan and I found a hotel that didn't cost us an arm and a leg and they had one room they allowed us to stay in (most hotels won't do that, they want us to rent 2 rooms!)  So we decided not to break tradition, but we also decided not to tell the kids until we got there!   We never do stuff like that, so it was kinda tricky to get packed and load up all of the stuff we hauled along, but oh so worth it!  They were so surprised and so excited, it was so much fun. 

Okay, so I look sorta goofy in this picture, however, I want to remember this moment forever.  They were so excited they picked me up off the ground!  Love those kids!

Anaya is THE MOST  UN-photogenic little person. EVER.  She CAN.NOT.LOOK at the camera. EVER!  Drives me NUTS!  Thank goodness for digital photos, I tried a few times and gave up.  Can you imagine my frustration if I were still using film!!!!
Happy Birthday Jesus!
The hotel even had a water slide!  Do you see the next picture of me?  I actually went into the pool with my kids, and yes I did the water slide too!  We had the place to ourselves, it was great!
Dylan went out and bought gifts for everyone with his own money!  Let me tell you, it warmed my heart to see him search for the perfect gift for each of his siblings and then the joy on his face when they opened their was a gift for me just to watch!
After our party at the hotel we headed to my parents house.  Ryan, my dad, Jayden and Dylan went hunting and Jayden was able to shoot his first squirrel, and a partridge!  I wonder if it was in a pear tree?
We all headed over to my grandma's nursing home and caroled!  None of us can 'really sing' but we made a joyful noise unto the Lord and my grandma loved it!  It was really fun.  We are too big of a group to fit in her room so we stood outside her window!  You can't see everyone in the picture, but all 18 of us were there!
After a huge breakfast and the reading of the Christmas story, we opened our gifts and made pea soup, and did a puzzle.  Steph and I took up crocheting and decided we would rather watch the puzzle come together than actually do it, so no credit to us there!  But I was able to make this fun little hat! 

We then headed over to the Vander Zwaag's and ate some more, and celebrated with them as well.  We had lots of fun getting together with those we love, and we know we are blessed to be able to do so.

I was really struck this year on the generosity of God.  That he sent his son to us, to die on a cross for our awful sins and that we are invited to walk with Him on a daily basis.  His love is so amazing!   We have been blessed by the generosity of so many of you this year and it is truly overwhelming to think about all we have been given by our heavenly father!  We hope and pray that you too were able to ponder the amazing gift we have been given in Jesus, and find that God is the most lavish gift giver of all!  Praise Him!