Christmas has come and gone, and I still have to finish sending out some Christmas cards to family. But before we head into 2011, I want to write down a few memories from this Christmas season that I don't want to forget.
Audrey decorated our tree again and actually spaced out the ornaments this year. My how she's matured!
Marcus was rather indifferent about all things Christmas last year, but this season, he became quite obsessed. In the morning, he'd proclaim "Christmas tree on!", and then I would have to turn on the lights.
In spite of the rico suave expression on his face below, he was totally thrilled to see the huge tree at Fashion Island which was a little bigger than our own 3-footer at home.
Charlie Brown was another obsession, which meant that he and Audrey could recognize Vince Guaraldi on the radio from the first measure. Same goes for Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker Suite. This was also the year that Audrey finally realized that Charlie Brown did not write "Hark the Herald, Angels Sing."
The kids each had holiday craft parties at school and I had to hold back the tears seeing my babies all grown up doing things like that.
It wouldn't have been appropriate to have tears streaming down my face while the children were merrily decorating, so I held it in like a big girl. I managed to snap these photos while only crying on the inside.
It was particularly rainy this season, so we kept warm at home and treated ourselves to some hot chocolate.
Marcus was really into decorating our gingerbread house and Audrey was really into decorating the inside of her mouth.
And our gingerbread house this year turned out to be our best ever, even if the candy was covered in saliva.
Same goes for our Christmas cookies.
The kids both participated on our church's Christmas presentation. Audrey and her group sang "Away in a Manger" and Marcus sang "Hark the Herald."
He came home one Sunday knowing all the words and then for the next few weeks, thought he owned the song. Since the group sang it faster than his words could keep up with, we encouraged him to sing it with "oohs" and "aahs".
We attempted to do our advent reading from Creation up to Jesus' birth. Hopefully next year, we'll make it past day 11.
We read about Jesus' birth on Christmas morning and while Mike was reading in Luke, Audrey had an epiphany and shouted, "Hey! That's from Charlie Brown!" Then, Mike read the passage in his best Linus impersonation and it sunk in to Audrey that Jesus was the true meaning of Christmas.
And then of course, we had to sing "Away in a Manger" and "Hark the Herald" just one more time.
And the children approved.
Even the parents got to receive.
And this gift must be one of my faves of all time.
But I think the gift I'm most thankful for comes from the Lord. Derek had failed his newborn hearing test in his right ear three different times. A few days before Christmas, we had to take him in for a very involved test to figure out why his right ear was not responding right. Our pediatrician even warned us at this point that we might need to take him to an ENT, and to be prepared for a hearing aid or other interventions if his hearing loss was fixable. But after the exam was over, the audiologist said, "I was able to perform the test and I have the results. His hearing is normal! There may have been something that was blocking his ear before that is not there any longer. Merry Christmas!"
Just another reason for our hearts to be full and to be thankful for this little one that dropped out of Heaven and into our family.
Merry Christmas to all from the Lees!