some of my favorite sounds of this holiday season are:
court singing "rudolf the red-nosed reindeer" and "jingle bells" before his naptime and bedtime.
beckham laughing SO hard when court tickles him that i have to tell him to breathe
rhett reading the christmas story to the boys before bed and other stories about Jesus.
court telling me that "Jesus was a GREAT man mommy!" and "Jesus is God's son".
christmas just gets better and better each year with these two precious gifts from God. i love that court is SO interested in Jesus' birthday - he even wants to bake him a birthday cake (something he came up with all on his own).
one thing we are looking forward to (if we are able) this year is to go to church on christmas eve as a family. we have ALWAYS done this as a family since i can remember. growing up one of my favorite things we did, was to go out of town to be with extended family over the holidays.... cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. we always got dressed up and went to christmas eve services at church and had the best time together. then, we would come home and open 1 present (some how it was almost always pajamas....). we would finally get to sleep that night and wake up at the crack of dawn to see what santa brought. when we were older, at aunt candy's house, we would all go around and tell what we were thankful for and my mom could NEVER do it without crying - it was the family joke - waiting to see if she would cry or not. we would open presents for HOURS in our pajamas and snack all morning and just play, play, play. such great memories.
now, that we have babies, some of the things we've always done have changed (which is a reasonable expectation when you have a growing family) - like we don't travel to see extended family but we (rhett and i and the boys) do go every other year to spend christmas in groom. we trade off each year for christmas since rhett's family is out of town. i love that court and beckham are getting to spend christmas morning with the grandparents and sometimes the cousins! since we've had kids, we've either had newborns around on christmas eve, or one that was already asleep for the night when church started, or an ice storm like last year, so we haven't been to a christmas eve service the last 2 years. but, this year i think we will finally get to enjoy church together to celebrate jesus' birth (knock on wood that no one has fever). i don't mind changing things up a bit, because that is just what you do when you have little ones and there are more around that you have to accommodate. a growing family just means more to enjoy during this wonderful season!
rhett and i have been doing alot of praying and talking lately about what we want our "family legacy" to be - after hearing this AMAZING sermon from jay utley at IBC. it is titled "it starts at home" and it is all about the MOST important things to teach your children. rhett and i have had several discussions about what we feel are the most important characteristics/attributes we want our children to develop as they grow up. here is our list in progress.....
1. love & honor God with your whole heart
2. love and honor your family
3. serve others as Jesus did
4. treat others as you want to be treated
it's a simple list - but one we want to strive to incorporate into our daily lives. we aren't perfect parents by any means, and i'm trying to figure out the best place to put this list so it can be a daily reminder for us. one of our family goals for 2011 is to do an act of service in some form each month. we're actually starting early and will be going to greet the troops at DFW once rhett is off for the christmas holidays. we live so close to the airport and they arrive daily at 8 AM (we are up for sure around here). we just want to make a point to thank the men and women who serve our country and keep us safe! at our last MOPS meeting, the speaker gave us some great ideas/ways to incorporate serving in our family's daily life and it really got me motivated to start doing that with our family. hopefully, we'll make this a lifelong commitment.
i guess i shouldn't leave this post pictureless......... :) so here ya go!