This pretty much sums up our entire Christmas tree hunting expedition this year - searching in all directions. For nearly two hours! The longer we searched for the "perfect tree" we could all agree on, the uglier they all got. It was brutal. The problem was the farm we chose to go to - they don't take the best care of their trees, and I remember last year we had a hard time finding one to suit us. Still, we managed to find a tree at least three of us liked. Britt was not happy with it, but guess what? He's happy now. It looks lovely in our living room, and has been twinkling along all month long.
Brailey went to her first Holiday Dance! The poor girl looks a little haggard - the dance was after school AND volleyball practice. She covered it for the yearbook, but she would have gone, anyway. And she had a great time! Britt and I picked her up just a few minutes early, and she didn't want to leave. Brady asked her if she danced, and she said, "Oh yah! I danced a LOT!" And then he said, "With a BOY?!" And she said, "Oh NO! Just by myself and with my friends!" Her GIRLfriends, mind you... We are so grateful she hasn't taken a liking to boys, just yet. And we were thrilled she had such a great time!
Brailey still likes to play with the Christmas dolls and stuffed animals and hats. I walked around the corner to this adorable arrangement (see above) one day.
Brailey Shaye and Rosin, reading one of our Christmas books. Every year, she and Britt go through all of them. Here they are laying in front of the heater. Brailey is using Rosin's bed for her pillow, so Rosin is using her for a bed.
The traditional homemade Christmas ornaments. Every year, the little B's make an ornament. This year, they made these cute little bottle cap snowmen, complete with bling!
Finding the perfect spot to place their bottle cap snowmen. And wah-lah, our tree! Guess what? They decorated the entire tree, other than the lights. I let them put on every single ornament, and they did a great job! I love the angel on top of the tree - my Aunt Mary made it for me, and she is porcelain and has a beautiful lace dress and feather wings. She is darling!
Brailey Shaye has turned into a wrapping machine! And she has taken great joy in shopping for me! Christmas blessing, indeed! What mom wouldn't be thrilled about something like that?! Brady usually waits until the last second to do his shopping with the kids, but not this year. Oh no! Brailey was relentless in her pursuit of the things she wanted to get. There were many phone calls and texts and even a shopping trip at home involved in this year's endeavor. Britt made sure he had his say, as well, although he mostly left the wrapping to his big sis. And I must say, my gifts look amazing! It warms my heart to see them love to give and wrap presents. They also loved the ones I wrapped for them! I am so happy Brailey has realized what an art wrapping presents can be, and that it is actually not as easy as it looks. She said, "Wow, Mom! I love the way you wrapped our gifts!" Britt likes to wrap his gifts, too, but they aren't quite as lovely as Brailey's. However, they are just as cute, in their own way.
Brady and I asked the B's to give some of their own money to a charity, this year, and they happily obliged, no whining or anything! They ended up choosing Brailey's school cause and gave money for food cards. I'm so proud of them! They also wanted to buy a gift for a friend, and so we let them. Brailey made something for three of hers, and Britt would have bought the stores out for his buddies, but we asked him to choose just one special person, since his gift wasn't homemade. He himself remembered to get the gift, and he just knows his friend is going to love it! They both wrapped their gifts with love, and I hope their friends can feel the heart and soul that went into them.
Christmas cards... I used to love designing ours. I looked forward to it all year long! This year? Not so much. In fact, I almost scrapped the whole thing. But we had to do them for Brady's dealers, anyway, and so I did one for family and friends. Not my favorite one by any means. But I'm glad we did, because as our little Christmas card tree has slowly been filling up, I have loved reading every single card we've received. And I find myself looking forward to seeing who sent us one every day when we visit our mailbox. So yah, I'm old-fashioned that way. I like remembering special people, and I also like being remembered.
Both B's still believe in Santa... To their souls! Although we have been asked quite a few more questions than ever before, this year. Brady and I let them know Santa is magical and believing in him is what makes the magic occur, and we are never going to back down from that sentiment. It makes us so proud they are strong enough in their own beliefs to question what their friends tell them and to really consider what they believe on their own. And that brings us to our next blessing...
Our Catholic faith. Just like Santa, it's all about believing, isn't it? Believe. Believe in the magic of Christmas, and believe in the glory of God.