We finally got our Christmas lights up! We were supposed to go get a Christmas tree, but with the Christmas lights still only part-way done and several other projects going (broken two-paned window, new bark for the backyard in the driveway, family coming to plant the front this week, compost needing to be mixed in, etc, etc, etc) we just couldn't begin another project that we couldn't finish. So instead of going out, we stayed in to finish the lights. Katie and Rich were a team in getting this done. I love Christmas lights!
>After getting the lights done, and cleaning up the Christmas-decoration rummaging done by the little children, we ate a quick dinner and proceeded to attempt a family home evening. We decided to read a couple of Christmas stories from this month's Ensign. Unfortunately, after all the "shhhh"ing, Rich and Daniel had to leave for basketball practice in the middle of the first story. (Rich is Daniel's basketball coach this season.) I attempted to read with the rest of the family. These are wonderful real-life accounts about people serving other people during the holidays. The first one is at the end of the December First Presidency Message by President Monson called A Gift of Christmas (you can read it here). You can read the second one, How Could I Help?, here. Anyway, I was thinking we could figure out some way to serve others too. I tried to discuss it as a family. "Can anyone think of something we could do for another family or someone in need?" Silence. One child was busy looking at his brand-new Ipod. "Could we maybe give some gifts to a family in need?" "I'm not giving away any of my gifts!" was the response of one child. Well, I guess we'll work on that.
On Saturday night, we attended the Ward Christmas Party. Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance. We had a yummy ham dinner, and the kids made reindeer crafts with clothespins. Here are some pictures.
Jeffrey wants Star Wars legos from Santa. He helped as we decorated for the party earlier in the day and was especially excited to set up Santa's chair and tree. He was pretty enthusiastic about sitting on Santa's lap this year. Anna, on the other hand, was not so sure.
Josh and Adam are both Santa pros now. In fact, Josh told me he was going to skip the whole talking to Santa thing, but I noticed he made his way up there anyway. Maybe he didn't want to miss out on the candy canes?
This is Katie singing with the Young Women. We had three musical numbers. In addition, Katie had signed Jacob up to perform "Angels We Have Heard on High" with her as a piano/violin duet. When he heard about it, Jacob made it clear that he would not, absolutely, under any circumstances perform at the Ward Party. So that number got cancelled. Maybe next year.
Here are the boys "cleaning up." And Jacob got especially into the reindeer craft.
Finally, here's Anna hiding under the table. Why was she hiding? Maybe she was scared of Jacob's reindeer craft!