the holidays in photos

IMG_5356Mark went big on the lights around the house this year.  Jafta went big on trying to visit the ER.


The kids got to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Knott’s Berry Farm.  Thanks to this and online shopping, I avoided the mall completely for the months of November and December.
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India was so excited to see The Nutcracker again this year.  She even asked for her own nutcracker as her main Christmas gift.  I love that this is our new tradition.  Though I still maintain that the storyline makes no sense and was written with the aid of hallucinogenic drugs.  Seriously, what is with the rats?

IMG_5118We didn’t travel to visit my family this year, so present had to be shipped.  My table looked like a shipping center for most of the month.



Some of our best holiday moments were nights were we just sat by the fire and sang together.  It was a really busy season, but it seems like the unscheduled moments were the most precious.


We got to see some friends perform in the Christmas Together tour this year.  These albums were my favorite holiday music this season by far.


Kembe was a wise man in his school Christmas program.  He wasn’t so thrilled with the costume.  The girls, on the other hand, were SO jealous of his “princess dress”.


On Christmas Eve we followed our tradition of ten years having breakfast with some dear friends.  This is one of our favorite holiday traditions, and the kids all look forward to it as much as we do.

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(eight years and five kids prior):


After our breakfast, we went to the early Christmas Eve service at our church.




Gingbread house decorating with a toddler . . . maybe not the best idea.  Karis could NOT understand why we were putting candy on a house and not in her mouth. 


After the kids went down, Mark and I got to wrapping.  Thanks to their grandma in Florida, there was a whole lot of excitement under the tree.

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India was really thrilled with her My  Twin dolls.  The boys were most excited about the whole punch that makes guitar picks out of credit cards.   Goodbye, Citibank!

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The big gift was a skateboarding ramp for the boys.  Thanks, Mimi!


After we opened the gifts at home, we went over to grandma and grandpa’s. 


Jafta and Kipp have a serious discussion about the roller coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm.


The day after Christmas, I let the kids dive into the gingerbread house.  I’m not really sure why I made them wait two days, beyond it just seeming wrong to eat it immediately after decorating. Also, if it looks like Karis never wears a shirt, it’s because SHE NEVER WEARS A SHIRT. I’ve given up and will re-address it closer to puberty.  Shortly after this photo, Jafta decided to try his yellow-belt skills on the house and karate chopped the thing into oblivion.  There was a lot of screaming about that, until I reminded them that it was still edible. And then they just kept on eating.


Favorite holiday-inspired game: Nativity Scene. Karis is usually baby Jesus.  I think the sponge represents Frankincense



Jafta was also excited about another holiday tradition: having a pie thrown in his face. 


On the morning of New Year’s Eve, I had a little “treat yo-self” moment and had my hair done at The Drybar.  They served me a mimosa and had Mean Girls on the big screen while I had my hair done.  I think this will be a new tradition for me.












We spent the afternoon and early evening at my inlaws, who graciously watched the kids for us so we could go to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law. They live in Seattle and it was so nice to catch up.  I’m happy to report that after my last post, I kept my expectations in check and was quite fine heading home early and watching the revelers on t.v. from the comfort of my living room.



We spent New Year’s Day with family, and I was able to preform my best party trick I learned at Camp Mighty: I sabered open a bottle of champagne with my father-in-law’s Marine Corp sword.  Like a boss.  My kids think I am the coolest mom ever.  At least this week.



Here’s to a great 2012!

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