Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Levi's First Christmas & Our First as a Family of Seven

Babies - and their doting older siblings - make everything so much more exciting, don't they? I mentioned earlier that this year, despite all the wonderful, amazing blessings we've experienced, I simply wasn't feeling much Christmas spirit until the last few days leading up to the big day. We did have a very nice Christmas, and having our little Levi around to experience yet another first made it all the merrier. Also, my older kids make me so proud sometimes. Their love and generosity towards each other is such a reward in itself, and I'm really thankful for their thoughtful hearts. Now I'll have to remember that sentiment the next time they're driving me bonkers with pointless arguments and such, ha ha!

I was disappointed that our school district kept them at school until Friday afternoon with an early release, so I maaaaay have gotten the older boys dismissed a day or two before. Truthfully, none of us is feeling very well, and the sore throats and headaches all started last week, so I could definitely call it proactive parenting on my part. ;) My teenage sons would be horrified if I were to coin our special outings as dates, but, they were in fact just like dates. And I loved it. Every.Single.Minute.

We also had our annual Christmas cookie decorating at my parent's house, as well as special times with both sides of our family. I'm tempted to lie a bit and declare it all the best Christmas without a care in the world and this and that, but... we have looming bills and car issues and other things that weigh on our minds, and we are a family made up of imperfect people, and absolutely nothing is perfect. Spending all that time together can be trying, especially when you sense favoritism and such, and you know how it hurts your children. Even so, there's an abundance of love and that's what really matters, I suppose.

Here are some of of my favorite photos of our first Christmas as a family of seven!

I may be having just a little bit of fun with photo shoots and adorable subjects...

 Cookie Day at my parents' house

The two cookie artists- they take their decorating very seriously. I can't stand decorating gingerbread men with goopy colors and such, so tacky! But they love it.

Ethan decorated his one cookie before calling it quits. #typical

Elf movie night! We've only had the TV up on the wall for a couple of weeks now, which allowed me to rearrange all the chairs and couch, so it was fun to actually fit on the furniture (mostly...we still need a big sectional I think) for a change. Um, hungry much, Levi? ha ha ha

He is going to be out of control next Christmas!

Sometimes he's not awake when they leave for school, but most morning they do this. Melt my heart.

Random pic, yes, but it's to document the day Ethan and I brought Levi to meet Santa, only because I wouldn't pay $$$ for one of their dumb pictures, he would let Levi come inside the little village. Can you even imagine!?!

So we took this out in the parking lot. I don't think any long term damage has taken place.

Fresh snow!

 Pretty view from my kitchen window.

Levi is generally such a happy little guy. We just love him so much!

But of course, we have our moments. Sorry, little buddy, you're going to kill me for this one when you're older. ha ha

He won't learn to walk until he's three! Never a lack of snuggles and hugs.

Friday morning before heading out to Isabelle's school sing along. This picture is completely unedited- isn't he so scrumptious!!!

My Dad, Grampy, stopped by for a few minutes. Levi is learning how to wave and high five. :)

He was NOT sure he liked sissy's school. Or rather, all the people at school. Not a fan of crowds in general, just like his Mama AND his Daddy.

Total Mom fail- I didn't take one picture at my aunt's Christmas Eve dinner. This is at church, though we had to leave the service early because someone was getting a tad cranky and not afraid to let everyone know it...

All ready for action!

There's something so serene and magical about those quiet moments before everyone is up.

Sneakers taking care of Santa's crumbs. Funny, but eww.

And then it was time for everyone to get up on Christmas morning! Some were more ready than others...

Jonah and I found this Levi's hat, which is a boys size 8-10, but I didn't care. He looks so, so cute in it!

 Blurry because he's always moving :)

I blinked and suddenly my little crew is nearly all grown up. That's a hard thing to accept sometimes.

 And more photo shoot fun. You're welcome. ha ha ha

Another Mom fail- Not even one picture with my parents or my in-laws! Oops. Sometimes it's nice to just be in the moment, but I wish I had taken at least one!

I'm going to keep this blog updated more because I really do rely on it as a scrapbook of sorts. I post a lot of things that I don't put on here over on IG- there's a link on the sidebar if you want to follow along.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, filled with love and hope and laughter!

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