The last few weeks have been so good, and I don’t want to forget a bit of it! So this is a long picture post….Here goes….
As part of our Advent calendar surprises, Ryan took Ryley on a daddy/daughter date to see “The Nutcracker.” When Ryley came down the stairs and saw her daddy dressed in a SUIT, her jaw just about dropped to the floor. It was so precious, and she felt very special!
She is a daddy’s girl, through and through. :-)
That same weekend, Ryley and her best friend went ice skating.
And, my aunt Coleen and uncle Paul came over to give her their Christmas gift….the beautiful quilt that Coleen made! It looks lovely on Ryley’s bed!!!
Thank you, Coleen and Paul!
We also made a gingerbread Christmas tree…I love that Ryley is at an age where she can do this stuff with limited mess! :-)
Granted, it’s an easier project than the traditional gingerbread house, but she mixed the frosting, put it together, and had it decorated within about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, I had my own project going on. With my parents coming to town for Christmas, I had to get our guest room under control.
Yep. This is the room where we throw things we don’t know what to do with. And the closet was even worse.
There were tons of board games that had fallen down, their pieces scattered all over the closet. We couldn’t even get the doors open.
So, one weekend and two evenings of work later….
Yay! It’s organized! People can sleep in there now! It feels soooooo good. :-) All of our craft supplies are organized now. In the process of sorting/cleaning, I found three glue guns. Apparently I buy a new one every time I need one. Ooops!
My parents arrived on the 20th, and we had such a good time while they were here! We went shopping a lot, and we just kept busy in general!
We held my students’ piano recital on Saturday morning, and the kids played so well!
I played too, for once, and I was so nervous! But it was all good. :-)
After the recital cleared out, we headed across town to Heritage Square to see “A Christmas Carol” at their musical children’s theater. If you live in Denver, I cannot stress enough how fun these shows are. They’re cheaper than a movie, and they’re interactive and cute!
Afterwards, we walked around the little shops and even made a stop to see Santa! This is the first time Ryley has been brave enough to sit on Santa’s lap. It was a good thing, because this will be the last year too. :-( (More about that later!)
The next day, Ryley performed with the children’s production at church. It was super cute!
Ryley was Mary, and she had a couple of lines. So fun.
After church, Ryan and my mom rushed off to the Broncos game while my dad, Ryley, and I hung out at home for a super relaxed afternoon of making Christmas goodies and playing Legos!
My parents got Ryley an Action Bible for Christmas, and we highly recommend it! It’s kind of like a comic book. It has really made the Bible come to life for Ryley these last few days; she’s probably read half of it already! And most importantly, she’s absorbing it. :-)
And look at this white Christmas….
I don’t think there could have been a more perfect Christmas morning!
So Ryley no longer believes in Santa. It came from a place of thankfulness….She loved her Santa gift so much that she wished she could thank Santa for it, and, having picked up on some clues over the last few weeks, wanted to know exactly who gave it to her. It was very earnest and sweet, and we could not lie. Being the pragmatic girl she is, she would not let it go. She practically demanded the truth from us.
Honestly, parts of me were surprised she hadn’t caught on before now. But it was sad, all the same. I know there are some families that are against Santa and the attention it takes away from Jesus, but I personally have never believed it to be harmful in any way. Ryan and I were both raised to believe in Santa, and it has not inhibited our relationship with the Lord or our celebration of His birth. But each family has to make that decision for themselves. It’s been a fun era for our little family, and as we explained to Ryley, now she’s in on a wonderful “worldwide secret” that we cannot ruin for those who believe. As we’ve read several places, now she’s on “Santa’s team.”
After coming to terms with Santa, she wanted to know about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy too. In the end, she was disappointed with herself for demanding clear-cut answers…for taking away the magic of it all. We assured her that we can still pretend. :-)
But how wonderful it was to say that JESUS is real, alive, and living in our hearts! He’s not mythological. He is as real as the air we breathe. Thank You, Jesus, for saving us from our sins…for making us as clean as the snow on Christmas morning…for giving us eternal life.
That’s just something Santa could never give. ;-) Only Jesus.
Happy Birthday, Jesus! Joy to the World!