Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tis the Season...

For all things Christmas!!
And we love it!

I will spare you the pictures of all of our Christmas decorations since they are basically the exact same as last years that I posted.  However, I thought you might like to see what L.Fee and Grandaddy L. Fee have been up to....
Hiding in the Christmas card holder.
Hanging out in the china cabinet.

Reminiscing about Christmas past.
Hoping they wouldn't be noticed hiding amidst all the pictures.
Relocating Ryne's tower he built.
Updating their facebook status, of course.
Not wanting to miss Bible study, they chose to hide in the dining table center piece so they could hear everything that happened at Life Group.
This day Ryne found them in what he calls "the big socks."
Spent the day watching everyone eat as they perched in the light over the kitchen table.
And this morning we found them doing a balancing act on top of the mistletoe.  Haven't taken that picture yet.  Kade and Ryne are really enjoying the visit by L. Fee and Grandaddy L. Fee. 

So, everyday we look for the elves when we wake up.  Then at some point during the day we get to open one of these....
25 presents!
They are actually all of our Christmas books wrapped up.  When I gathered them all up last month I could hardly believe it....we had 24 Christmas books!  Perfect, because I wanted to wrap up the Bible for day 25 since we always read the true Christmas story from the Bible before we open gifts on Christmas day.  I'm not sure what the boys actually like more, reading the books every day or just opening the present that they already know is going to be a book.  You'd be amazed at how well they remember just who's turn it is to actually open the present each day.  

My favorite new Christmas tradition that we have started is this....
25 envelopes running up the staircase.
Each envelope contains a Random Act of Christmas Kindness to be performed that day.
We are so blessed by all of the things that people do for us and give to us.  Our children "get" all of the time and I really wanted them to practice the art of giving this Christmas season.  They actually helped me come up with some of the ideas to put in the envelopes.  I have a few pictures of some of the things they have done but I'm trying not to make this activity about them getting recognition for doing something for someone.  For instance, one night we just walked around downtown and left candy canes on all of the vehicles with notes saying they had been RACK'ed and we hoped they had a blessed Christmas season.  I told the boys it would be cool for people to just find a treat left for them without having a clue who it was even from.  But some things I've just had to document because I thought they were too cute.  Here are a few of the things they've done....
Kade drew this card for the Firefighters in DuPont.  The front of it said, "thanks for keeping us safe."
They delivered the note attached to a plate full of fresh baked cookies.

Another activity that the boys really enjoyed included making some Christmas paintings.
Pretty sure you already know how much these guys enjoy craft time.
They worked hard creating their masterpieces.
And these beautiful works of art had a very special purpose....
Kade and Ryne took them to our local retirement community to give away.
I do believe these cute boys and their joyful Christmas art brought a few smiles that day.

Now this next one I'm going to share with you came as a bit of a challenge to these boys.  So I took pictures to encourage them about what a generous thing they were doing.  So, in their last package from C.G. and Grandaddy, both boys had a five dollar bill.  They had tucked those five dollar bills away in one of their baskets.  One of the envelopes they opened said, "Buy Toys for Tots."  I fished out their five dollar bills and took them to the store.  They each got to pick out a present that they thought another little boy or girl would enjoy getting for Christmas.  A little boy or girl who didn't have a C.G. and Grandaddy or Granna and Paw to send them all kinds of good stuff in the mail.  When they first saw the toy aisle they got a bit reluctant because they realized there were lots of toys there that they would like to just have for themselves.  It just took a bit of reminding that they were doing their RACK for the day and they got into it.  Can't even tell you how many times I heard, "How much is that, Mom?" or "Is that just five dollars, Mom?" 
They both picked out their five dollar toys and each got to make their own purchase.
Kade picked out some wooden building blocks and Ryne a big Toy Story puzzle.  They were pretty pleased with their purchases.

This next one may have been even more difficult...
We taped quarters to the games at our local pizza joint.
The same games that these boys always beg us to let them play.  And when we do let them "play"  there are no quarters involved.  They just get to pretend to play by pushing all of the buttons while watching the demos repeat over and over. 
I think they might have been hoping that some of these quarters would still be hanging there on our next trip out for pizza.  They did such a good job I might just have let them really play a game our next time in.
The Random Acts of Christmas Kindness are definitely my favorite new tradition.  And the boys look forward to opening the next envelope each day.  A few other things they have done.  Make Christmas cards for soldiers.  Invite neighbors to a Christmas party.  Write thank you notes for their teachers at school.  Leave muffins at city hall.  I hope they have brought lots of Christmas cheer to people in our world.  I know they have brought lots of Christmas cheer to me.

Speaking of cheer...We finally got to cheer "HOORAY!" for Kade and Ryne finishing their sticker charts.  And the reward they had set out when we started the charts was to go to the zoo and get ice cream.
It just so happened that our zoo had opened up at night for Zoo Lights and so we thought we'd give it a look see.
Of course we had to bundle everyone up.
 But it was certainly worth enduring a chilly night.
 The lights were beautiful.
 And the playground was open.
The zoo at night in the cold was a different adventure for sure.
 This tree was my personal favorite.
 And check out this light display...
 The Tacoma Narrows Bridge with Mt. Rainier in the background.  Pretty amazing.
 Tesa never closed her eyes.  Every time I looked at her she was just looking all around.
 Tyce, on the other hand, slept the entire time.
 Just proof that I was really there. Me and the babies were hanging out while the big boys did a little carousel riding...
 I was observing Kade making a new friend.  I forgot to ask him what they were talking about.  There is no telling.
Ryne was really into his fast ride.

He was also into wanting to try out my scarf.
 Perfect timing....wearing my scarf for the ice cream part of their reward.
All three of these boys ate every last bite of their ice cream treats.  And Ryne only shared a little bit of ice cream with my scarf.  They really did enjoy themselves!

And as for enjoying themselves....
 About a dozen of us girls got to head out on a girls shopping day.  And it started with this....
 YES!!! Hobby Lobby has made it to Washington.  FINALLY!!  Now, if it would just be closer than an hour and twenty minutes away that would be fabulous.  But it was SO worth the trip!
 Just look at that group of shoppers.  Several of the girls were having their very first Hobby Lobby experience.  I do think they were pleased.  I know I was pleased.  Not just with Hobby Lobby but with lunch out with the girls and with this...
That's my van full of my friends instead of my children.
 And crazy as this picture is, it is evidence that I was actually there enjoying time with my van full of friends.  Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my van being full of my children but it had been a really long time since I'd had a girls day.  Very thankful that Kyle was willing to hang out with our kiddos all day so I could get some Christmas shopping done with some amazing girls.

And here is another amazing girl...
Can you tell how chunky she is getting? The cutest kind of chunky there is.
And here is the cutest unchunky thing there is...
 These babies are so happy!
And so cute in their first Christmas outfits.

They just got to go to their first Christmas party, too.
We had a Surround the Sound family Christmas party.  It was nice because we got to get together with all the other church planters in our area and celebrate the cool stuff God has been doing in the South Sound.
Plus our babies got to be entertained by someone other than Mom and Dad.
 Tesa hanging out with Belinda.
Kade playing a little Foosball with the big boys. 

And lots of hanging out....

 It is amazing to see just how much God has done since we moved here three years ago to be the very first church plant for Surround the Sound.  I mean, seriously, did you see how many people were hanging out in that room?  And next spring there are three more families moving out here to start church plant number 5!  So exciting!  What a mighty God we serve!

 Tesa really enjoyed her time with Belinda!
 And Kyle and I really enjoyed getting to share our babies with everyone.  It was nice to have our arms free for a bit.
 Even Wil and Mollie took a turn with the baby tots.
Great first Christmas party experience for Tesa and Tyce.

Then the very next day they got to experience their first "1st Birthday Party."
 Our buddy Levi is 1!!!

And I took very few pictures for some reason.
 But I did catch this one of Tyce hanging out with Kristy.  You can tell he was doing his best to take everything in.  Sure wish I would have gotten a picture of Tesa in her cute ruffly leopard print outfit. Instead I did get this one of Tyce in his cool outfit...
Fun times!
We do enjoy celebrating Christmas around here.  And there is much more celebrating to be done.  At least three more parties to go!  Which ultimately means, stay tuned for more Lewallen Christmas adventures.

For now we will leave you with a cheery...
Feliz Navidad!


rachel said...

love this post...and your acts of kindness ideas are the best..i'm totally copying you and doing that next year! LOVE IT!! miss you guys! precious precious family! :) can't wait to meet those sweet twins one day!!

kapjones said...

Terry - I LOVE the RACK tradition! May have to incorporate that one in next year.

Deby ♥ said...

Love, Love catching up with you all through your awesome blog. The babies are growing so quickly, and the big boys are just adorable as they spread RACK! Sweet idea! We love & miss you guys more than ever!!!