Here Amaya and Jaxon are enjoying bubbles before heading into "Sunday" school. Do you still call it that when it's not Sunday? It is tradition to meet at the bubble blowing elephant.
It is becoming tradition to eat a yummy Christmas Eve meal at Chili's with the Luedy's. Probably because it a restaurant that is convenient after church, open on Christmas Eve, and liked by all of us.
Amaya is absolutely in love with Maxdyn. And from the looks of this picture, the feeling may be mutual.
Amaya even calls her baby dolls Maxdyn.
After church and dinner, it has become tradition for the Luedy's and Mitchell's to caravan around looking at Christmas lights, then head to our place for cookies and beverages.
Here are Amaya and Maxdyn snuggling on the couch.
I love the still of the night after Amaya has gone to sleep on Christmas Eve, and after Mr. and Mrs. Santa have eaten the cookies and stuffed the stockings. I will always linger a moment after Scott heads to get ready for bed, and sit in the quiet, gazing at the tree with all the lights off except those twinkling from the tree. I love this moment every year. I reflect on the magic that is Christmas, give thanks for all my blessings, and look forward to a fun-filled Christmas day. Then I always snap a picture of the tree, complete with Santa's additions, and head to bed myself. This is a picture of that moment. Yet another tradition.
Christmas morning=our traditional time to open presents. Amaya must have been a very good girl this year. Santa brought her her talking Buzz......
and her Barbie pool. She has been asking for a Barbie pool since JULY! You can tell by her facial expressions.
Two down, a bazillion to go. Presents, presents, everywhere. Next year we are starting our long-planned tradition of letting Amaya go shopping for under-priveleged children. She's old enough to "get it" now. And since she gets spoiled by grandparents, cousins, parents and friends, we decided the majority of our Amaya Christmas dollars will start going to this tradition. Such a good lesson to learn that it truly is better to give than to receive. And it feels so good and is so fun to give!
Amaya wearing a gift and getting ready to ride a gift.
Peeling rubber! We had to get her dressed and let her loose outside.
After our new traditional (kind of an oxymoron, huh) Christmas dinner of standing rib roast we headed to the park. Regarding our "new tradition" (this is the second year we did it) of having standing rib roast, that came about because I always thought it seemed a little silly to just repeat the Thanksgiving meal on Christmas. I wanted to make it our family tradition to do something different than a turkey and I came upon a fab recipe online for a holiday standing rib roast. Turns out having standing rib roast is a holiday traditon for many that I am glad we have adopted. It's expensive, but so deliciously worth it. After all, Christmas only comes once a year. I think this idea rubbed off on the SD Mitchells....they 86'd the turkey for prime rib and shrimp this year. Yum. What will you ditch your turkey for? :)
Amaya being chased by daddy at "the green park" as Amaya calls it.
Amaya looking back to see how close Scott is and Scott closing in on Amaya.
After park time we watched a Christmas movie (Elf) and played games which is also traditional. And it appears I am trying to start another tradition. I neglected to pick my camera back up to snap some pics of Amaya with Grandma Cindy and Papa Jerry...again. Gul darnit. Oh well. It inspired one of my New Years resolutions....to stop forgetting to take pictures of Amaya with the adults in her life.
It was a wonderful and fun-filled Christmas. Can't wait for next year. ;)