Christmastime {2016}

Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Christmas crept up on me this year, caught me a little off guard.  Traveling over the week of Thanksgiving and being occupied with wrapping up school projects before the holidays, kept me moving and distracted.  It felt so nice to close the books on school and just be together.  The older the kids get; the more I appreciate having them around me.  There were moments I was sorely tempted to panic (I don’t have enough time!!) or get frustrated with the kids (What on earth were you thinking??), but I worked really hard to put the breaks on those feelings this time around.  I said to myself time and time again, “April, the best Christmas gift you can give them is to be a happy mom, to be excited and exuberant right alongside them.”   This wasn’t executed super smoothly at times, but it was my goal.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

It wouldn’t be Christmas at our house if we didn’t make snowflakes for the windows, and destroy the kitchen making iced Christmas cookies.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

This is one of those cases when the saying “Many hands make light work.” doesn’t really ring true.  Many hands make chaos…and fun.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

We got a beautiful tree this year.  It stayed so green and it was the perfect size (the littlest member of the family was much kinder to the tree this time as well).  This was the first year on record that I wasn’t gunning for the tree the day after Christmas.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

I got a new Christmas puzzle!! I’m slowly pulling the children into my Christmas puzzle obsession; they all took turns bending over the pieces and pawing through the puzzle box.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Christmas Eve is always spent at Grandpa and Grandma W’s house.  I love the way my Father-in-law and Mother-in-law have created tradition in my children’s lives,.  The comfort and excitement of knowing that Christmas Eve means happy cousins buzzing around the house, Christmas puzzle on the card-table, candle lit dinner around the long table, red-hot cinnamon jello, sparkling cider, Luke Chapter 2 being read by Grandpa, then present opening, birthday cake for baby Jesus, and matching pajamas.   My kids have no idea how blessed they are…

Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

This was the picture I snapped Christmas Eve night  right after the children had gone to bed.  I love this moment.  They are asleep, breakfast is prepped and ready for the morning, everything is quiet, and I lay my head on my pillow thinking about the looks on their faces as they wake up and wander down the hall at the crack of dawn.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

The boys were up first waiting for their sleepy-headed sisters to wake up.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Eliza’s doll Rebecca, got a fancy new dress from Grandma this Christmas and Eliza made sure Rebecca joined in on the Christmas festivities.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPearl and her crazy bedhead!  She was still so sleepy and fighting so hard to shake it off for present opening.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Several days before Christmas I made a batch of Orange Sweet Rolls and Cinnamon rolls and froze them so I could bake them fresh on Christmas morning.  I set them out to defrost and raise Christmas Eve night, and baked them up after we opened presents.  Unfortunately the Orange rolls didn’t deforst and bake up well but the cinnamon rolls were perfect!I
Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchardChristmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

I also made a breakfast casserole but I didn’t give it enough time to defrost so it wasn’t quiet ready in time for breakfast.  Lesson learned; big breakfast casseroles need more time to defrost!  It tasted really good though!Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

I think of all the gifts they got for Christmas their reading lights ended up being a favorite :)  Lots of nights staying up late reading books they had gotten for Christmas.Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

Christmas 2016 | InAnOrchard

And that’s the big Christmas wrap-up.  My second born son celebrated his 10th birthday the day after Christmas but that deserves a post of it’s own.  Hopefully I’ll be back soon with a little post about my G and the ten years God has blessed us with our blue-eyed boy.

Hope you all had a beautiful Christmas with the people you love   ~April

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