december is such a great month all around. as the kids get older, it's even more wonderful. advent and the anticipation of christmas is more real and palpable with each passing year. they ask questions about the Savior and His birth, why He came, what He came for and the gospel becomes more in view, more in focus. and traditions are actually traditions... they remember from the year before and want to do the cookies and the tree and the music just like before.
the ocd in me wants to do it all myself, but the kids really did all of this. they rolled the dough, used the cookie cutters and of course, decorated all on their own. so fun.
the parties and dinners for grown-ups are especially fun when you had a back injury for 1/2 of 2014
we love doing different things other than just the gifts that can be opened as part of christmas gifts. this is a surprise trip to boingo bounce (blow-up bounce house place)
and these next pics are from a big part of hazel's christmas...a day with mom of pedicures, lunch date and going to see the new Annie movie. not sure if she had more fun or if i did?!
my wonderful mother-in-law & i at a really fun diy night hosted by the awesome gals at 17th design.
lights and lena! sweet sisters
after watching the grinch, a change in hair was a must
cutest elf ever
anders' preschool chirstmas program wasn't as epic as the preschool talent show, but still, little kids singing and ringing jingle bells is pretty cute. please note that a) anders may be the tallest preschooler in the universe and b) he loves friends and bow ties.
every year, as soon after thanksgiving as we can, we load up into the car, go grab hot chocolate, drive to the middle of nowhere arkansas where there is a christmas tree farm and let the kids pick out our tree. this was THE best year yet. a few years ago, anders peed his pants then last year lena was in a "cry-alot-in-the-car" phase and now, oh glorious now. they were old enough to just have a blast. after the tree is selected we get breakfast for dinner at cracker barrel and head home singing christmas carols. pretty great.
the search is on for the tree
this is one of my favorite pics ever...hazel and anders found matt and i and brought us to this enormous one to tell us it was what they wanted. they thought they were so funny and ya know what? they were!
the actual tree!
it truly was a great december i wanna always remember.