I would be the last person you would hear complain that we didn't have snow for Christmas. And truth be told if Brandon said hey Hun I got a job in Florida and were moving, I would be totally ok with it minus the leaving our friends and family I would not miss the weather here in Iowa one bit!! The last few winters have been enough to about driving me crazy (or Brandon would tell you that yes I am indeed crazy!) But this year has been great almost nice enough that I would consider staying in Iowa :)
Dec. 29th almost 50 degrees, no wind and we played and played outside!!!
Teagan actually said "It's hot out mom!" Lol she would have been in shorts and a T-shirt if I would have let her.
I love Christmas Eve service, it is always one of my most favorite services. I love the candle lights and I'm really thankful our church takes the risk and has real candles :) Even though Teagan burned her hair last year, this year was a success. This year I had the privilege to be a part of the Christmas Eve service with my praise team that lead worship. It was amazing being up front singing and seeing everyone in their pews holding their candles and reflecting the real reason for the season......Jesus. We had a wonderful evening and Brandon was able to handle all 3 girls during the service since I was up front.
I tried really hard to get a picture of all 3 girls in their pretty dresses for our Christmas Eve service at church and this is what I got, this........
And gee doesn't this look familiar this...............
So I gave up and went the easy route and got these 3 beautiful girls
First I have to be honest and admit I stole this idea from my friend Marissa :)
We always get new pj's for Christmas Eve. Which is a Sowers tradition that we have carried on to our kids. This year we got pj's a day early and went to see Santa and drive around to look at Christmas lights in pj's.
Getting our new jammies :)
My 3 sweet little girls
They didn't care too much for Santa......
But Teagan decided the Elf seemed ok :)
And Santa let her wear his hat.....ho, ho, ho
Maybe next year one of my girls will sit on Santa's lap.....haha oh well it's just fun.
I love being able to make memories with my girls, and I hope they remember making sugar cookies every year like I remember the memories of eating (oops I mean making) sugar cookies with my mom. It wasn't until I had my own kids I realized how unbelievably stressful it is to make sugar cookies with kids!!! But I learned this year and it made it much easier. First I made the dough a head of time, then I divided two balls for each girl to have and they each got about 4 cookies to cut and frost out of their balls. Then I made the rest on my own :) Win win situation!
I love going to little kids Christmas programs they are so fun to watch and the youngest ones are always so cute up there on stage either singing, dancing, crying, shouting, waving, doesn't matter they are still cute. Since they are so fun I was so excited to watch both Teagan and Harper in their first Christmas program, we invited the grandparents and got new Christmas dresses everything was going to be perfect. I imagined that both my daughters would sit up their and perfectly sing and dance and be cute. As It turned out it wasn't as I imagined (Shocking!) but the girls were still pretty darn cute and they did pretty good when they were suppose to be singing and doing the motions however, when it came time to sit and listen they squirmed, they giggled, they pulled cotton off their sheep hats, and they were wrestling and playing games with each other. I sat in the pew trying to get their attention to tell them to behave but both the teachers and I had a hard time to not just laugh at them!!
I absolutely love Christmas time, I really do think it is one of the best times of the year! Christmas is full of family traditions that I will never forget. I have already shared one tradition of cutting down our Christmas tree and now I would like to share another tradition Our Family Christmas Stockings.
I'm pretty well convinced that our family has the best Christmas stockings ever. They are the perfect size, they are personalized, and they are specially made by my Grandma. I can't even tell you how many Christmas stockings my Grandma has made, I wonder if she has kept track?? But if you are part of the Woehl Family you have a personalized knitted stocking made by my Grandma. And I mean everyone all of my Grandma's children, her grandchildren, and great grandchildren, My Grandma's nieces, and nephews, and their kids, and so on. It's pretty neat to think about my mom's cousins even family I don't see very often we all have a connection of sharing the same Christmas stocking. One of my Mom's cousins even wrote a story a few years back in his companies book about how special his stocking was to him. It makes me smile to think of how many people's lives my Grandma has touched just by something that seems so simple a Christmas stocking that is now a family tradition.
Here is my first and only Christmas stocking that is 27 years old :)
Our family's stockings all lined up on the fireplace...................
I just love it!!! Thank you Grandma, We love you :)
Some of my best memories of Christmas are waking up in the morning and at the time running to the stairs of our house where our stockings hung and opening the gifts from Santa. My parents always had the rule we could open our stockings but had to wait until everyone was awake to open the rest of our gifts. Our stockings were filled with peanuts, an orange, underwear, socks, and candy :) It's kind of funny to think now that when I was opening my stocking as a little girl it was probably 6 o'clock in the morning.....The one day out of the year I would consider myself an early riser :)
Meet Markle, he is our elf on a shelf. Markle comes to our house after Thanksgiving and he is Santa's helper. Markle goes back to the north pole each night and reports to Santa how the girls have been. Lately I'm sure the report has not been good.....Markle has been in the playroom the past couple of days in different locations but he has witnessed a list of naughty things: Little girls not sharing, temper tantrums, toys not being picked up, and girls who don't always listen to their parents on the first time :(
I remind the girls through out the day that Markle is watching and they instantly stop what they are doing in fear Markle will go tell Santa. Most kids know that Santa has a naughty and a nice list, Most kids believe that if you are naughty Santa will bring you coal in your stockings,Most Kids believe in SANTA.
But I worry do most kids believe in God?? I remind the girls when we talk about Markle he only comes once a year to watch the girls but God, he's watching us all the time. God knows whats in our hearts and whether we have been naughty or nice all the time.
So the question is.....Is it ok to believe in Santa?
This becomes a very controversial topic among Christians. It's also a topic I never really thought about until I had kids, and really I didn't even know that it was that controversial until I became a parent and talked to other parents some who have Santa and some who don't.
I get it, I really do I see why some choose not to have Santa but do I think it is a sin or wrong to have Santa.....NO! Do we have Santa at our house...Yep! Are my kids going to believe in Santa when they are 20..NO! Are my kids going to believe in God when they are 20....I pray everyday that they do!!
I think every family has to decide for themselves and remember that if they feel convicted to have or not have Santa that it's their conviction....doesn't neccessiarily have to be somebody else's conviction too.
We have a book that I just absolutely love to read the to the girls it's called "What is Christmas?" by Michelle Medlock Adams. It talks about how all the presents, christmas plays, santa, food, trees and lights, its all very nice but the real reason we celebrate is because of Jesus Christ.
So as we celebrate and have fun we remember the birth of Jesus.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”