We went the the annual pizza with Santa at the high school. The kids got to meet Santa and tell them what they wanted for Christmas while waiting for the pizzas they created to cook. Macie was not so sure about this guy. We also learned that trying to get a nice picture of all of the kids together is going to be pretty tricky from here on out because someone is either covering their face, making a silly face, or not looking.
We celebrated Lena's 6th Birthday and our elf, Jolly Mon made an appearance in her stocking that morning. We can't believe she is already SIX! She's a ray of sunshine in our lives.
We had a birthday party for Lena and Jayce at one of our favorite kid places. They each got to bring a couple friends. Between their few friends and our family, we filled up both vans! Our theme was Mickey and Minnie, which was perfect. I had to include the picture of Maeleigh below because she just might be our messiest kid. I never thought we'd have a child messier than Landyn, Rowan, and Elijah, but I think we just might have found the one. ;) She had so much stickiness on her that her bangs stood straight up!
The kids loved all the play rooms and different things they got to play with, but the dinosaur dig room was a favorite....it even got Little Miss So Serious (aka Macie) smiling! :)
The next day we celebrated Jayce's fifth birthday!
Jayce's birthday was on a Sunday and the kids had to sing at both services at church that morning so we started our day with that. They were so cute. Lena had an interpreter during the 2nd service so she signed a bit. That was nice to see and reinforced just how thankful we are for the three interpreters we had during the fall semester working with Lena at church and AWANA.
The girls wore new outfits a friend at church had given them...SO cute!
After church, we went to visit Rick's parents for lunch and his mom had made Jayce a cake.
This girl has been a bit accident prone since coming home. On the way to the bathroom to brush teeth before bedtime one night, she ran into a door jam and split her forehead open...yep, you guessed it- Maeleigh had her first trip to the ER! The cut was almost identical to the one Jayce got this past summer when Jonah's knee hit his eyebrow...just in a different location. They glued it shut and though it's taking a long time to heal, it is healing pretty well. We're thankful for her sake that it's in a spot that her hair will cover too. Rick said she handled the ER very well!
At our eye doctor appointment on the 18th, we found out that both girls will need glasses. That may play a part of why they've been running into lots of things. Maeleigh has esotropia (eyes turn inwards) as we expected and Macie has exotropia (eyes turn outwards). The eye doctor said they are opposites in every way- eye condition, numbers, etc. He said that we'll monitor them and see how glasses help for now, but that Macie would actually be more likely than Maeleigh to need an eye surgery in the future. That was a total surprise to us. We'll just see what happens. For now we need to get some glasses ordered.
There's the silly side we see every once in awhile!
One day I was trying to get pictures of the girls together- this just shows how hard it is to get a nice picture of the two of them together!! But look at Macie- there is that happy and silly side! Oh how we can't wait to see that on a more regular basis!!
On the 17th, we went to Lena's school for their winter program. Lena's class presented the story, "The Mitten" and Lena was the little girl who lost one of her mittens. It was SO cute! We had to practice finger-spelling 'white' and 'mitten' with her at home because she had to sign them during the program. She got all shy, but did pretty well.
After changing, she was all excited to hang out with her friends and wait in line to see the signing Santa!
Lena really gravitates to the older kids at her school and has a special relationship with a few of them...it's so cute!
This is Lena's new thinking pose. She was having the hardest time thinking of what she wanted to tell Santa that she wanted for Christmas.
Lena with Santa at her school.
The kids helped Rick with one of his annual traditions of making candies.
This kid! He LOVES candy if you can't tell. His face was covered in chocolate and he had a marshmallow stuffed in his mouth...little stinker!
We had a special visitor! Rick's younger brother and our God-daughter, Rayla, came by. We got to see Rayla walking, dancing, and doing all of her new tricks. We just love her so much!!
On the 21st, we went to Jayce's Christmas program for the pre-school he attends. Keeping a pew of kiddos still and quiet proved to be challenging, but we thoroughly enjoyed the program.
Jayce entering the church for the program.
The two pre-school classes during their performance. They did a very good job!
I got to help with Jayce's Christmas party at his pre-school and I didn't even have to take any other kids with me. That was nice!
Christmas Eve at the Henningfeld's
We got to watch a band performance put on by a handful of our nieces.
All the grand-kids with grandma and grandpa Henningfeld...we're up to 21 and of course our kids make up half of that!
Megan with Macie and Lena
Emma and Maeleigh
Maeleigh opening up her first Christmas present during the cousin exchange!
Macie opening her first Christmas present!
This was one of my favorite moments that day. The kids took the doctor set Maeleigh had gotten and were doing a complete check-up with shots on Uncle Jason. He was such a good sport about it and is so good with the little ones.
We also celebrated two of our God-daughters birthdays! Megan was celebrating her 12th birthday that day and Rayla would be turning one about six days later so we had a little celebration for her too.
Macie may have been quite serious on Christmas Eve, but she woke up very happy and excited on Christmas morning...it was awesome!
Every stuffed animal she has gotten she loves on like this- kissing it and rubbing noses..it's so precious!
She was ready to start practicing the signs for the ABCs by copying the puzzle Santa got her. She amazes us! She loved her gifts and actually spent time with them. Maeleigh just threw everything at us and ran off to do something else.
Elijah with an old-school toy the kids got and love.
Reid was very excited to get his own Lego set this year!
Maeleigh likes to put socks on her hands for some reason. We love this smile!
Elijah and Jonah sporting their new watches. They are our kids most into clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Lena was SO excited Santa brought her, her very first GIRL Lego set!
Jonah with a race track he had asked Santa for.
Landyn was busy coloring away with his new Minion coloring set from Santa.
This was one of my favorite moments from Christmas morning. Evan has been questioning us a lot this year about Santa because of things he is hearing at school. He got a Lego set from Santa that he has wanted for a very long time. He must have jumped up and down and said, "I LOVE SANTA!" three times. It was a very memorable and sweet moment.
This picture sums Rowan up perfectly- he could care less about the presents and more about the candy/treats!
Jayce is in a stage where it's hard to get a good picture of his nice smile, which is unfortunate because he has a great one!
We tried to get a picture of all the kids together and that was proving to be VERY difficult...LOL!
These might have been the best we could get.
After opening our gifts and spending time together as a family, we headed to my mom and step-dad's for lunch and Christmas. My two cousins and their two children were there. They got to meet Macie and Maeleigh for the first time and loved them!
Who's that minion?
Jayce got a monkey that hangs around his neck because it reminded nana of him- he likes to hang on and snuggle us all the time. :)
The day after Christmas, my dad came up for a quick visit to meet Macie and Maeleigh and see all the kids again. The girls sure love their grandpas!!!
I'm so glad I thought of taking a picture of our four bio boys with my dad...neat picture.
All the kids with grandpa! We can't really all fit on one couch anymore...
This picture sums up their silliness.
Later that day, I started to feel sick and ended up with the flu, unfortunately. Evan came down with it hours later and then Rowan. My dad took a day off from hanging around with us, but then came back over on the 28th. He ended up getting it the following night. Thankfully no one else here has been sick since. That was so NOT fun and it took me a few days to really feel like myself again. I didn't get out of the house for days. Poor Evan took a long time to recover and we were worried we were going to have to take him in since he wasn't keeping fluids down. Thankfully he came around before we had to take him anywhere.
Lena spent some time one day dressing up. I think she had been waiting for a few years to have some girls in the house to play dress-up with! She was getting her sisters all dressed up and parading them around and waving at us. It was too cute and we love that she has sisters now!
New Year's Eve 2015!
We don't have soda in our house too often so we made it a tradition for each kid to get their own bottle of Sprecher's soda on New Year's Eve. They were excited and clanking their bottles together. Instead of saying 'cheers' Rowan was saying 'bump!'
Rick had a genius idea- labeling the kids' bottles.
She was pretty happy again! She even was sporting a root beer beard. ;)
2015 was a great year- we can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for us!
Thanks for all your support and love for our family this year!
Happy New Year to you and your family!