We've had a wonderful Christmas here in Las Vegas as a family. It's our first Christmas at home with just us celebrating together. We've had time to sing songs, play games, read stories, and eat delicious food. While we do miss being close to our loved ones this season, we feel so grateful to have each other, to be able to soak it up and sit back a little, and for all the many blessings in our life.
Here are a few pictures from last night. I took few, and most of them were blurry, because mostly I just wanted to enjoy the time we had together.
This year, we carried on a tradition from Rick's childhood, and each of us picked the spot we wanted Santa to put our presents in, and we put a sticker there so he would know where to put them.
This was Vaughn's desired spot, and his presents:
He really loved his Incredible Hulk toy, and decided to draw Santa a picture and dictated to me what to tell Santa on the letter "Dear Santa, Thank you Santa! I really like my Incredible Hulk toy. Love, Vaughn":
"Batman, Incredible Hulk, and Wolverine"
I thought Vaughn was so sweet this year. The other day while we were driving in the car, he asked me out of the blue, and with the sweetest voice, "Mom, can I get a present for Mason? And for Daddy? And for you?" I was so happy that he was thinking about others that he cares about. So we headed to the dollar store, and he picked out some Incredible Hulk crayons for Daddy (he was sure that Daddy would just love them), and some bubbles for Mason, and some Whopper candy for me (he might have a had a little help in that department. It was between Whoppers and a Spider Man coloring book). I just love my little monkey:
This was Mason's spot:
I absolutely love the book that he got. We did the twelve days before Christmas, for the boys (carrying on one of my childhood traditions), and each night we would say "Do you hear bells?!" and the kids would get so excited and run to the door and see what Santa had brought them. Most of the nights it was very small little things, but last night we gave them each a book. This book has beautiful illustrations, and some beautiful lullaby's, a CD to accompany it, and at the back of the book gives all the guitar chords to play along. My goal for the new year is to get my guitar re-strung and to learn to play and memorize all the songs in the book.
This was the best picture I could get of my sweet and energetic guy. I just love this kid:
And here was Rick's spot (I had one too, but I forgot to take a picture of it):
Rick and I have had a lot of fun together too. He wrote me a really nice card for my birthday on the 23rd and surprised me with some new pans in the morning, and then took me out to dinner later that night, and then a movie at home after dinner. It's been nice just to visit and bask in the season and our children together:
One of my favorite memories this Christmas was last week singing in the Christmas program at church. We sang the song "What Child is This," and I was so touched by the music and words in the song. I'm so grateful for music in my life, and for the opportunities that it gives me to not only learn truths in such a special way, but to be able to share that with others at the same time.
I was touched in that song by the description of Christ as a baby after his birth. I thought of my own children and their births, and the love I have for them. The next verse though talks about his crucifixion:
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
It was a touching moment, and I was filled with gratitude and love for my savior, who sacrificed everything for each of us.
I'm grateful for Christmas to celebrate our savior-- his birth, his life, and his death. To be able to do it with those that we love, and mean so much to us.