I stole a page from my big sister Angel's playbook and we got a little crafty with our packages this year. Kennedy is majorly in to all things crafty so she loved every moment of this craft and the packages turned out precious!
The only items needed were white craft paper (on a roll just like wrapping paper), cookie cutters, craft paint, a paper plate and adorable "helper" and voila!
We had quite an interesting start to our Christmas vacation. Avery was sick on Thursday of that week...like throw up sick. Her sickness was completely random though, she threw up one time and then seemed to go on about her merry way. The kids had all had a bit of a cold so I honestly thought maybe Avery had coughed herself into gagging and then thrown up?!? Anyhow, Friday morning I was questioning our plan because the last thing I wanted was a road trip and holiday away spent with three sick kids you know? Well, Avery acted completely fine all that day and so Saturday morning we loaded up as planned (all three kids, the dogs and us) and were WV bound. The trip went well and the kids did great but after coming through the mountains I was sitting in the back seat with Kennedy and she let me know she felt sick. I'll spare you the details but lets just say I was super thankful to have just finished emptying out a ziploc bag - shew! I honestly figured Kennedy was carsick because of the twisty turny mountains and she seemed completely fine after throwing up. Once we arrived at the Taylors we had been inside for just a few moments whenever Kennedy said she felt sick again. Oh brother...looks like it was a stomach but but what could we do - we were already there? Kennedy was fine by the next morning and the rest of us were too so we went ahead and went to church, but Kennedy stayed in service with us just in case she was contagious or anything. Thankfully we got a few pictures following the service, but I laughed when I got home and looked at them because of all the kids I figure Kennedy knows to smile but instead Greyson's grinning and Kennedy just looks mad: ha! I guess I should cut her some slack, she was sick the night prior.
I love these next two pictures...smitten Grandparents and the kids that adore them so!
Unfortunately the virus was working it's way through us because Greyson began throwing up on Sunday and bless his heart he just couldn't stop. The rest of us tried to carry on as usual:
The girls and Tim went to the Christmas Eve service without Grey and I because he was still so sick. Apparently Avery was quite the stinker for picture time and she refused to let go of Nana. I'm glad we have a few pictures of them in their sweet little matching dresses.
Oh my big sweet girl:
A singing card can rival any gift, any day, any time: it's really funny!
Oh these kids are blessed beyond measure. There were so many gifts we decided to let them start opening on Christmas Eve in the hopes that Christmas Day wouldn't be completely overwhelming.
Our "big" gift to Nana and Pawpaw was this plate we made at the local pottery place with each the kids foot prints - it really did turn out so very cute.
Avery will likely want to kill me later for these pictures but they are so stinkin' precious I can't help myself. This girl loves Minnie Mouse. We do not have the Disney channel, but Melissa and Steve did and when we were living there it was and still is THE ONLY show she will actually sit still enough to watch. We are on the verge of potty training so Nana and Pawpaw gave her some Minnie panties and she wanted them on right away.
Although there's not much you can give a baby, he got some cute litte toys and despite being sick and just up from nap during present opening time, he played with this little cupcake rattle while Nana cuddled him.
Sadly after we all went to bed that night, Tim's Dad was woken up with you guessed it: the virus that the kids had brought to WV. I would venture to say he and Grey had it worse than anyone. Poor Grey's trouble just lingered and lingered but Dad's was just violent. So on Christmas Day Dad was throwing up and in bed all day and within an hour of being awake Tim followed suit. So...Tim's Mom and I and the kids basically had the holiday and the holiday fixin's all to ourselves. We kept joking that we needed a camera because the table was all set and food was in the midst of being prepared yet it was only us.
Even though the boys couldn't join us we went ahead with the day as planned. The kids played with their new things and we prepared the meal.
fake nails - a big hit!
This outfit bit the dust not long after I put it on him due to throw up but I figured we'd snap a picture before it did and I'm so glad - isn't he a cute little Santa wearer?
The girls at the kid table feeling all grown up eating on fancy china at their own private corner table :). This is pretty much what Mom and I looked like at the main dining table. We were facing each other on opposite ends...I kept saying we needed candle light because it was like Christmas dinner date. I mean, we had to laugh or else we'd have cried!
One of the worst parts about having sickness in the house was that Grandma and Great Aunt Kathryn weren't able to join us for supper because they couldn't afford to get sick. Thankfully, Mom at least took the girls over to see Grandma, take her some food and open their gifts from her. I love the way Avery is looking at her here.
She adores my girls and they bring her so much joy.
gotta love a smiley boy despite being sick!
Avery pretty much got all things baby and baby accessory. Kennedy pretty much got all things crafty. Here they are making good use of the baby gifts:
She's a good little Momma to her baby's.
By Wednesday the guys (including the littlest guy) were feeling better so Grandma came up for leftovers and to visit and open her presents. The first thing she wanted to do after arriving was hold Grey because it was her first time meeting him and he is extra special since he holds her late husbands name..Ross.
In the Taylor family it is tradition to read the Christmas story from the Bible before opening gifts and Ross used to do it and then Rod (Tim's Dad) did it but now when we are there Tim does it. I LOVE that tradition so very much...it just sets the tone and your heart and mind on what we are truly celebrating.
You know, it's hard to shop for Grandparents - they really don't lack for anything, you know? We decided to make Grandma a Stepping Stone/Garden Maker with the kids hand prints and a little mosaic design in it. I think she was excited but it was hard to tell :).
On Thursday, before we made the trip home we stopped by the assisted living facility where Kathryn lives so we could love on her, exchange some gifts and let her meet Greyson. I adore both Tim's Grandma and Great Aunt Kathryn, I just wish we had more time with them. Whenever we are with them I make sure to take pictures no matter what the kids are doing (thank you for crying Avery) because I want to treasure and remember those times of fellowship with both of them.
Both Kathryn and Grandma just adore the kids and I of course adore that about them!
So it was a bit of a stressful Christmas with the sickness and it wasn't at all what I had hoped it would be obviously but it was still nice to get away and be around those we love so very much. Amidst the cleaning up of throw up and tending to the sickies needs, I was able to still find moments to be still and to think of Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus and all that their lives have done for us and I was and am thankful.
Whoopdeewhoo - it's a Christmas wrap! Hallelujah!