While it was deeply contested by the rest of the family who wanted to skip ahead to opening the presents from the Whites, it IS a Christmas tradition to take a family photo on Christmas Eve in front of the fireplace with Syd. We have the one that turned out decent of all of us:
And then, the one in which even Sydney is getting bored of posing and ready to move on:
Usually, we exchange presents with the Whites while in Sunriver (they give our kids a few Christmas Eve presents, but generally the majority of the exchange is on vacation), however, when we decided to give this to the Whites, we opted not to pack it to and from Sunriver. Go Mariners!
The kids also chose to give gifts to the Whites tonight. From Brayden to Stephie, a stuffed "Pluto" - the only character in costume Stephie is not afraid of. =) (Not pictured, Mikayla gave Stephie the most recent Kim Meeder book, the author who is coming to speak at our Womens' Ministry Retreat in February).
From Brayden to Travis - an X-Box game that Travis has enjoyed playing on our PS3 version. From Mikayla to Travis - a neck massager, as Travis suffers from similar tension headaches as myself.
A gift from the Whites to Mikayla - a DS game that Mikayla loved, but lost a long time ago...
Mikayla is now very much into organization. (Love it!) For Christmas, she asked for binders and office desk holders/caddies which the Whites got for her. She loved them. I then told them all about Mikayla's response to seeing "The Container Store" at Bridgeport Mall the other day....this was how she imitated it, picture a high pitched "ahhhhhhhh" to go with it....
The one present she got to open from us tonight contained these VERY fuzzy slippers.
A highlight for Brayden was opening NCAA 12....
Earlier this morning, we chose to go see "We Bought a Zoo" at the movie theater. It was great to get out of the house (where I constantly feel like I still have more to do) and do this as a family. I'm not sure if it was because it is Christmas Eve and I was feeling incredibly sentimental and thankful for my life and family, but I had tears running out of my eyes for several minutes following the credits. The movie was absolutely exceptional, particularly in the realm of character development. And the little actress that plays "Rosie"....oh my goodness, she is SO CUTE!!! It was the perfect movie to go see as a family on Christmas Eve.
Following that, we went to church with the Whites and Mom and Dad - and then pizza and to the present moment here at our home.
I hope that wherever you are, and whatever life has brought to you this year, that tomorrow brings a ray of hope in the knowledge of the gift of Jesus being born for us all. MERRY CHRISTMAS!