We all had a wonderful December with visits from both sets of grandparents. The girls gave each other many funny gag gifts and some nice things as well. We have never done "Santa" at our home. Craig and I believe in being honest with things like that so that the girls will know they can trust whatever we tell them. For our girls, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus - our Savior - and about showing love to those around us and spending time with those we love.
I feel so blessed that the week of Christmas was spent having fun without one worry at all about our upcoming trip to Boston. While the girls and I didn't go to any Christmas parties (we are trying to stay healthy before our trip), Craig had a party at his work. He works with the most wonderful group of people. I am so thankful he has a job he enjoys and is surrounded all day by loving people. They blessed us so much this Christmas. Craig came home with boxes of wonderful produce and some other sweet gifts. We had some of the best fresh squeezed orange juice from the oranges we received, ate some truly delicious tomatoes, and my mom made eggplant parmesan. We also ate bags of apple bananas and used some to make frozen, chocolate covered bananas.
The girls had a lighter load of school work this month. However, they had lots of handwriting practice as they signed Christmas cards. They also added some pictures inside some of the cards.
Natalie Joy has been asking for a kitten since we left Ecuador. This month, another county had free adoption week. Natalie Joy and I drove up there to see the kittens that were available. Natalie Joy and the kitten she chose were very excited.
Brooke and I watched the sunset and were refreshed.
Natalie Joy went fishing with my dad and learned that fishing from a pier is different than fishing from a stocked pond.
My dad learned how to make cookies :)
The girls had fun with homemade bubbles (a little corn syrup makes better bubbles)
Craig's grandmother sent each of the girls $25 for Christmas. When we went to a fundraiser put on by some local tennis pros, 3 of the girls bid on items in the silent auction. They all won. Brooke bid on tickets to see Jack Hannah Craig used to work at the same zoo Jack Hannah had worked at earlier. She won thanks to her sharing that she was bidding on the tickets to give her dad for Christmas with everyone else who walked by the bidding table.....who would outbid a 14 year old girl who was bidding on an item to give her daddy for Christmas? Her hovering and sharing paid off and she won.
They went and had a wonderful time. They even met Jack Hannah and Craig asked him if he knew a person Craig had worked with who talked about Jack. Jack stood up out of his seat and shook Craig's hand. They shared a bit about the people they both knew from the zoo. They both had a very fun evening there.
I received several cute notes by my bedside in the mornings.
Natalie and I went out for our "day together". Craig or I try to take the girls out on a special date once a month. At the end of the date, Natalie declared it was a really great day. She enjoyed eating lunch, visiting a flea market on the beach, and testing out lotions at Whole Foods. For $2 more than a kids meal at Burger King, Natalie Joy enjoyed fish filets, fries, pineapple bread, a drink, and dessert.
Valerie continued to try to get into almost every picture....
And Courtney continued to be successful at dodging out of pictures whenever possible... well, almost.