Friday, December 18, 2009

On the Twelveth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

12 FAVORITE ORNAMENTS

Each year, I get these great photo ornaments for each of our children. They are so fun to find in the Christmas box every year. The kids love seeing themselves "grow up"! A fun tradition, but can you imagine our tree when they are all 18??

video


11 signs of Christmas
10 pesky fingers
9 degrees of fun
8 amazing minutes
7 names of God
6 chugging train cars
5 happy campers
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 boys dancing
and
a broken Christmas tree

On the 11th day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

11 SIGNS OF CHRISTMAS

hot chocolate and cookies - a Christmas tree tradition

ben's mom made this guy. he welcomes christmas every year!

playmobile nativity - a must for the kiddos! this year it got put up
in the"no play zone" due to the invasion of the roman soldiers
(the other bunches of playmobile figures the boys have.)
one of the wise men is still MIA and baby Jesus
kept ending up in the wreckage.

countdown to christmas! the kids take turns opening
the doors, finding candy and mini nativity ornaments.


window clings come grace our windows!

christmas cookies cooling!

christmas cards in progress!

everything wrapped in a pretty bow!

each day of December seems to fill up quick!

my bedroom turns to into a christmas
catch all and wrapping station!

the fridge decor is merry and bright!

I love this time of year!

10 pesky fingers
9 degrees of fun
8 amazing minutes
7 names of God
6 chugging train cars
5 happy campers
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 boys dancing
and
a broken Christmas tree

On the Tenth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

10 PESKY FINGERS
The destruction of the Holy Family
One word: KATE

9 degrees of fun
8 amazing minutes
7 names of God
6 chugging train cars
5 happy campers
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 boys dancing
and
a broken Christmas tree

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the 9th day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

9 DEGREES OF FUN
ICE!
This was an exhibit at the National Harbor that we decided to go to this year. It was housed in a giant tent with huge coolers pumping FREEZING air into it 24/7 to keep it 9 degrees. Everything in the entire tent was made of ICE! Beautiful and amazing!

When we entered, we were given these big parkas to put over our own coats. We found out quickly that we needed the extra warmth and they served another purpose...










The tent was sectioned off into little rooms with different scenes.
These penguins were in an igloo!




Kate had a hard time getting around in the big blue parka!
It's other purpose was to provide something to SLIDE on in the kid's favorite section of whole exhibit!! I can't even count the number of times the boys went down these slides. There was a big stair case and on each side there were 2 slides - one big and one little. Kate loved it too, but fought that big coat trying to get up the stairs!! Ha!







we had to move on... this was Santa's workshop - sooo cute!


The final exhibits were about Christ.
First the angel and then a beautiful nativity.

We spent a little over and hour and had to finally go due to red cheeks, running noses, and Luke and Kate's misery! We could have left Ethan to stay the night! What a fun night!

8 amazing minutes
7 names of God
6 chugging train cars
5 happy campers
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 boys dancing
and
a broken Christmas tree


On the Eighth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

8 AMAZING MINUTES
We had a little family outting to The National Harbor, which is beginning to become one of our favorite places in D.C. We actually went to visit a Christmas exhibit, which I will feature on tomorrow's post, but made a stop into The Gaylord (a must on any trip to The National Harbor). The place is...wow! The Christmas decor is breathtaking! Anyway, all that to say that this fountain water show was an amazing 8 minutes. Here are a few of the highlights!

video

7 names of God
6 chugging train cars
5 happy campers
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 dancing boys
and
a broken Christmas tree

...we inturrupt The Smith Family 12 Days of Christmas to bring you...

CHRISTMAS LETTER


Dear Family and Friends,
I have pondered "Christmas" often this season, seeking the real truth of the season and the joy that it is to bring. The picture of Christmas that I have in my mind is unhurried, enjoyable and contemplative, but yet, this time of year seems to stir up within me a spirit of hurry and confusion. I know the peace that comes from Christ and desire to take that peace through each Smith family tradition this year, or at least that's the goal. I say all this in prelude to this letter to communicate that my intent in writing this is not to mearly give an update on the goings on of the past year, but to display the goodness of God in the lives of each member of our family.

This is our 5th year here in Alexandria, Virginia. Ben is still the Youth Pastor and oversees the children's ministries as well. This year he is teaching 2 Bible classes in our school and speaks to both the teen and the elementary chapels. We have learned a lot about the youth of today over the course of our time here, and are continually challenged when it comes to reaching the heart of a teen. As their Shepherd, Ben's desire for our teens is to see them genuinely repent and grow in godliness.
God had blessed us with a year of joyful, focused effort here in Alexandria, but He continues to keep the needs of the mission field before our eyes. Please pray for us as we seek His will for future ministry serving overseas.

Ethan will be turning 5 in January and has changed so much over the last year. He most often now calls me "mom" instead of "mommy". This brings a tear to my eye until I remember that he can get his own breakfast cereal! Ethan is beginning to understand who Jesus is and what He did for him. He will sit and talk of his perceptions of life and what he is learning about God. He is full of joy and personality. He is looking forward to starting school this coming fall.

Luke is 3 and has become (out of his very scary 2's) such a sweet kid. His smile and little voice make me melt. He is at the place where he just wants to make mommy and daddy happy! Luke is so fun to chase and tease because he loves it! His two favorite people are his brother and his daddy and he will do anything for them and give them anything they ask for (almost).

Kate is 2 - ahhhh! She has found her stomping foot and pushing arm. As a result, she finds herself in frequent "counseling sessions" with her father. She has become quite the chatter box, but requires a gifted interpreter. Her two favorite words are "yes" (when asked any question) and "HEY" (when an injustice occurs). Kate learns so much from her brothers as she follows them around insisting on getting in on the latest battle even though it may mean a minor concussion.

As for me, I'm at a place now where I can say that I am really enjoying my calling as a wife and mother. I am thankful for my family as they flex so much as I learn how to juggle it all. I am still working at Gold's Gym a few mornings a week, which works great for now, but I can say my favorite days are the ones at home. The Lord continues to remind me of my purpose - that His name be found GREAT. Titus 2: "that the word of God may not be blasphemed."

We send our love to you all and hope you have a wonderful, joy-filled Christmas!
From our family to yours - MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Highlights from our year:


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the Seventh day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

7 NAMES OF GOD
Isaiah 9:6
Listen carefully... this is what she is saying:
" For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

video

6 chugging train cars
5 happy campers
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 boys dancing
and
a broken Christmas tree

Monday, December 14, 2009

On the Sixth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

6 CHUGGING TRAIN CARS
Our new addition to our tree this year was this cute little train. Ben spent a bit of time putting it all together. It needs a few replacement parts still, but it looks great!

The engineer himself!


above: before the children

below: after the children
5 happy campers
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 boys dancing
and
a broken Christmas tree

Sunday, December 13, 2009


On the Fifth day of Christmas, my
family gave to me...

5 HAPPY CAMPERS
This year a picture for our Christmas card was, for the first time ever, PAINLESS!! We went out on a casual family outing and I just happened to grab the mini tripod on my way out the door. When we got there, everyone was happy, so we snapped a few pics. The turn out was great and we actually had options to choose from! Wow!

Here are a few pics of the rest of our day.


This is a park that sits at the end of the runways at Washington National Airport We enjoyed the beautiful day while watching the HUGE planes fly right over us.



The kids LOVED the milkweed!



I'll post the picture we chose tomorrow with our Christmas card via Blogger
4 over-stuffed stockings
3 coupon codes
2 boys dancing
and
a broken Christmas tree