So, I obviously didn't quite get all those book reviews up last week like I had planned...hoping to have time to do that over the next week or two while we are taking some time off school! And I haven't had time yet to put up all the pics of Ari that I want to, but I wanted to at least pop in with some Christmas pictures (these are actually all leading up to Christmas).
When we put up the tree, Ari was so fascinated with the lights! She notices them more and more all the time, and is still fascinated with them. :)
Putting up the nativity set
We went shopping at Mill Falls Marketplace, a favorite place that is so beautifully decorated at Christmas.
Jim with all the kids on a bench in the candy shop
In front of the waterfall
The bookstore is one of our favorite shops to go in. I loved the different displays of Christmas books.
The Grinch is always a favorite... :)
Here are a few pics from this past Sunday. I absolutely LOVE this sister picture! A sweet friend gave the hat and coat set to Ari when she was born. The Christmas dress was Julia's when she was a baby, but she never wore it because it didn't fit at the right time. So I was happy to get to use it for Ari! The same friend also lent us the beautiful red coat for Julia (it used to belong to her granddaughter). This is the second year Julia's been able to wear it, and I think it may still fit her next year as well.
Our church put on a children's Christmas musical, "Giving My Best." Sam and Julia were two of the main characters, which meant lots of time spent memorizing lines and songs, and practicing! All of the kids also sang and played in a bell choir. Here's a pic of Sam and Julia singing during a song where they both had solos.
Even though this one has lots of extra heads in the picture, I love it because of their expressions. :)
Some of the kids singing the final song in the program.
We haven't had much snow since Thanksgiving--most of our weather lately has been rain--but we got some good sticky snow a couple days ago (before it turned to rain again), and the kids had fun making this snowman.
I was determined to fit in our traditional cookie baking time with the big kids, even though finding the time for extra stuff like that is harder right now with a little baby! We finally tackled it on Tuesday of this week. Ari cooperated beautifully by taking a nice long nap in the swing. :)
I love looking back and comparing the pictures from year to year. It's amazing how much they had all grown since we first started this tradition!!
This year, they were all so careful and creative with their decorating. It took FOREVER to get their first pans of cookies done! I was surprised that even Josiah took a long time trying to get his designs just right.
This picture was also taken on Sunday--it's the first good family pic we've gotten with all six of us!