It has been a full and busy season of fun holiday festivities, family activities, school, break and more. And the more I waited to get the photos off my camera, the more daunting the task became as the number of pictures continued to grow! Since this post is now covering so much territory, I will try to limit the photos to a few from the various activities to keep things reasonable! However, I do truly hope that you’ve had a wonderful season of celebration and are off to a great new year!! These photos are going WAY back to November…enjoy!
This was Lauren’s first dental appointment! We had tried a couple of times to get her in sooner and random circumstances prevented it. She was VERY excited for her turn to finally go to the dentist, which made us thrilled. The thing she was most looking forward to was the ride in the chair! Haha! She was a perfect patient—always thankful for a positive dental experience!!
Time to get out the Christmas decorations…
…and put up some outdoor lights.
Some eager helpers for stuffing our Christmas cards!
Part I of ?? of Christmas baking: Cutting out sugar cookies!
Part II of Christmas baking: Frosting the cookies
Our kids caught this rabbit in our neighborhood. We have had a slew of them when someone decided to let a whole bunch loose. The kids were with some neighbor kids and with enough hands, they managed to trap it and then grab it! They were pretty excited, though no more pets for us! We let it go after a day of enjoying it!
Our annual tradition to go to the local Christmas parade! Despite asking 4 different families to join us, it ended up being just our family!
Just a funny picture!
An updated photo of Ziggy…getting much more hairy!! He is getting ready for a haircut when Paul’s mom comes out soon to help/teach us!
Another tradition is to visit this beautiful display of lights! We walked it this year, which was fun. At one of the houses, they had a very authentic-looking santa available to the kids. This was our kids first time to even talk to and sit on Santa’s lap!
Running late for church, this was a quick and semi-successful family photo.
Another tradition is to go to an event called “Back to Bethlehem.” It is a recreation of the town of Bethlehem when Jesus was born. They do a fabulous job with it.
There are (huge & mean!) Roman soldiers wandering the streets, probably very much in character for the time! Periodically they have a soldier training time, which Zachary got chosen to do. Anyone who didn’t obey the orders was kicked out. It was fun!
Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus in a stable.
Visiting with the Rabbi
Magic Mountain added a pretty significant light display this year for Christmas. We had some free friend admissions to use, so invited our newest friends (who are our neighbors!!) to join us. It was a fun night!
Taking advantage of some beautiful weather just before Christmas to go on a family hike!
The kids sang a couple of Christmas songs in big church during the Christmas Eve service…
…but the real highlight was lighting the candles at the end of the service!
All ready for Christmas morning breakfast!!
Lauren was very excited about doing this advent calendar this year, and was extremely excited to finally get to put Baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning! Mommy and her fur baby!
Zachary excited about a new watch.
Bethany only asked for roller skates, so was very excited to receive them!
Lauren was very excited about everything she got—so much emotion but so fun!
Brianna received a magic kit set for Christmas, which was her biggest desire as well.
All ready to give it her first try!
A little help from Daddy to get her outside!!
The aftermath!! Part of the mess is a lot of new camping gear (large tent/sleeping bags) so we can start to camp as a family!
This was our best attempt to get a picture of Ziggy by our tree for our first Christmas with him.
Guess who learned to ride without training wheels over Christmas break?! She had been practicing balancing for a number of months when we took the pedals off her bike so she could just glide. She always had good balance, but I never knew she would get it so easily! We put the pedals back on and I was behind her to try to hold her as she got started. She refused, telling me she could do it and this is what happened!! It was as if she had been riding forever! Definitely the fastest to learn, and at age 3 1/2!!
We enjoyed a day in Ventura with our friends the Mukes. They had a baby boy back in June but this was our first chance to meet him! Zachary is thrilled to add a boy to the mix!
Two families…lots of kids!!
We headed back to Magic Mountain on New Year’s Eve evening. This time it was very cold! When we left the park at 8pm, the temperature was 38 degrees!
While it felt like it could snow, they had fake snow blowing at different times in the park.
We went with another family from our church and had a fantastic night. Perhaps due to the cold, nobody wanted to go to Magic Mountain that night so we could ride any ride without a wait and ride it as many times as we wanted! So fun!
To round out our celebrations, we got to celebrate Paul’s birthday this past week! They sure love their daddy!!