We celebrated the birth of our Lord yesterday and I prayed that my girls would experience the true meaning of Christmas. My family prefers quality time over presents all the time. Right now I’m listening to the girls watch videos we filmed yesterday. They are recording more videos and we will probably spend the day watching them.
We didn’t get the kids too much continuing our yearly tradition of having a minimal Christmas morning with just us. We filled their stockings with candy, a toothbrush and hair bands. The girls received safety bicycle equipment. Mia received a new basket for her bike and Madelyn got an alphabet practice game. Santa brought Mia a 3D doodler, which is basically a low temperature hot glue gun for plastic. Madelyn got a baby carrier. They loved their gifts so much. Ryan and I didn’t exchange gifts. We decided to shop together for a few necessities after the holidays.
After breakfast we took a walk to the creek for our big trash pick up. Two years ago (our first Christmas in The Woodlands) it was hot enough to wear shorts! We decided we would take a big trash bag and clean up the beautiful creek that has brought us so much joy and hours of fun. The girls asked for “grabbers” for their birthday for just this event!
This year it was our turn to host Ryan’s family for Christmas. Our menu was perfect! Slow cooked meats, easy appetizers and a few desserts made the perfect dinner! We had Chicken Adobo which is a savory, sweet dish marinated in soysauce, garlic and brown sugar. We cooked it on low for three hours. We also baked a pork belly for three hours, seasoned with salt and pepper and finished with a broiled fat crust served over an Asian salad. We fried egg rolls and served a veggie and cheese tray to start. I baked a cheesecake from Pioneer Woman, it was the blackberry recipe but I just left it plain. I also made a pumpkin roll. It was the Libby’s recipe but I used canned organic pumpkin.
Family pictures with this group are such a struggle. My favorite is taking pictures of Happy moments, the adults are finished after two pictures. The only thing I ever want are pictures of the family together. When you lose someone you close, you understand how special these moments are. I have yet to get my whole side of the family together this Christmas and my dad will always be missing physically. I wish I had one single picture of my dad with my girls. I am so thankful my mom documented our lives growing up.
My dad would have been so proud.
So proud of all that we have accomplished this year. We are excited to meet our newest baby and bless our lives with even more memories. We tried to be mindful of spending less money and giving the gift of time this year. Our goals are simple, love our family by teaching them the ways of Christ.
When we saw Santa after Mass a few weeks ago he asked what I wanted for Christmas, to which I replied a healthy baby born in February. He prayed over little Nora or Ethan (we are keeping the gender a surprise) and thankfully my friend captured the moment.
Here are a few more pictures of how we spent this Christmas season.