Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Family Christmas (Part 1-Christmas Eve)

T'was the day before Christmas and all through the house, every creature was stirring inside and out. :)

This is going to be a loooong Christmas Eve post in pictures!  I have been trying to learn the manual settings on my camera recently by trial and error which means taking millions of pics to learn aperture, exposure, shutter speed, ISO etc. etc etc.  Wow!  I have SO much to learn and I can't wait to take a photography class someday!  :)  But...in the meantime...I'm gonna let just taking tons of pics and playing around with the settings be my teacher.  So blessed to have been given my Canon Rebel t2i by some dear friends 3 years ago. It was definitely my constant companion on Christmas Eve. ;)  Believe it or not...here are just a few of the pictures I took.  Thankful for cameras that help capture the precious memories we make with our families.  <3  It seems so crazy amazing that we can capture a moment in time forever...or, at least until Jesus returns. :)
Just a few of the many happenings at my house on Christmas Eve. :)

Christmas Festivities started on Sunday when Micah played/Sang for church and all the boys wore their new Christmas Ties from Trent and Donna. :) 

Here's two of my handsome brothers, Benjamin and Timothy. :) I am SO very proud of these two!! :)  They call themselves B&T Lawn Service (Ben and Timmy) and have been very industrious, hard-working and diligent at getting their business started and already have several regular clients! :) If you need your lawn mowed, weeds pulled, hedges trimmed, garage swept out, snow shoveled...you know who to call! 

The stockings were hung on the stairway with care. :)

Isn't that awesome??  12 stockings for 12 kids!!  Go Mom and Dad! :)  It takes a lot of Faith and Love to have 12 kids...and my Mom and Dad are overflowing in those two categories.  I LOVE big families and I am so blessed to be a part of one. <3 If you notice a 13th stocking it's because Alivia has one up for her doll, Susie. ;)  Susie is basically a part of the family.
Just some of the many delicious treats that were made! :)

Larisa Grace working on helping Mom with all the baking.  She's so awesome!
Mel's helping out in the kitchen, too! LOVE her red bow. :)


I found Micah and Adam...not in the kitchen, but working on projects in their bedroom. :)  Aka: Santa's little helpers. ;) 

This...obviously...has nothing to do with Christmas...but it cracks me up that the boys have this on their door. ;)  "My two Favorite Teams Are Michigan State & Whoever Plays Michigan."  Yep, that would be my Brothers! MI State Fans all the way, baby!

Even little Gideon wanted to get in on the action of helping make Christmas Eve treats! :) 
View from outside our Kitchen window...we woke up Christmas Eve to SNOW...it was perfect. Just enough to cover the ground and make it look beautiful. <3 

Such a Happy Surprise Christmas Eve Afternoon!!!!!  :-D  My Good Friend, Katie Whittaker stopped by and brought me some SUPER DELICIOUS and AMAZING gluten-free cinnamon rolls! MmmmMmmm....so sweet of her!  Now that I am gluten-free I can't have most normal Christmas treats, so this was very much appreciated, enjoyed and loved.  Katie is such a dear. <3  I felt very blessed and loved by her.

Katie didn't just bring us gluten-free cinnamon rolls!  She also brought us homemade gluten-free cake pops and gluten free candy canes!! :)  She is so sweet.  I didn't realize this before...but unless candy canes say "gluten-free" they are rolled in flour...so they are not gluten free. Crazy how gluten is literally in almost everything!  Good thing I haven't had any candy canes this Christmas!  Speaking of that...as far as my stomach goes...I am doing a million times better than last Christmas! So so so very thankful for that!  A lot of my digestive problems have cleared up...Praise the Lord!! <3 

This little girl and I do EVERYTHING together. :)  As much as possible that is. :)  We laugh together, sing together, cry together, talk about Jesus together, pray together, read books together, be serious together, be silly together. We dress alike and do our hair the same...and yes, I am about 20 years older than her. :)  But that really doesn't seem to make any difference.  We're still each other's best friends and I love her so so dearly!  I can't imagine what life would be like with all my precious little siblings...they bring so much joy and love to my life!  Oh, and she's really good at making faces. ;)  She can beat ANYONE in a stare down contest. She is undefeated...well, almost. ;)

We can laugh and talk for hours! :)  Goes to prove that age has nothing to do with the connection you can have with someone...in your family or out of your family. <3  :) 

Silly picture time! :)

Self-Portrait :)

I LOVE wearing black, white, gray and PINK! ;)  And whenever bows can be added...it's a *perfect* completion to any outfit.  I love that Jesus made me a girl and I love dressing like one! :)  I've had these shoes for years and they are getting kinda worn out even though you can't tell in the pic...but I will wear them til they totally fall apart.  They were my Christmas Eve shoes.
Monopoly is a favorite at my house...and Christmas Eve is no exception. :)  Melanie, Larisa, Timothy, Angela, Alivia and I all played a game. Quite fun, too!  We play the "sneak" version where if the owner of the property doesn't realize you landed on them before the next person's turn...you don't have to pay them.  I'm the worst "sneak" ever cuz even when I have the opportunity...I always pay the person whether they notice or not. :)  I can't "cheat"...even though my siblings tell me it's part of the rules and not cheating.  We had fun! :)

We had fun with this card. ;)
While we were playing Monopoly Gideon kept reaching for Melanie and wanting to kiss her on the cheek...it was soooo sweet!! :)  <3
Melanie and Gideon. :)

LOVE Mel's bow in her hair. ;) Taken while playing monopoly. ;)

And of course...my little twin was my partner for Monopoly. ;)  Wow!  She's GOOD! ;)  More firm about making people pay up than I am. lol.

Melanie got run over by a reindeer!! LOL. We had a good laugh about that. ;)

Alivia and I got to be the cute little reindeer. :)

You can't see it in the picture...but it was SNOWING outside.  Helped make the evening complete with all the magical *snow*. <3 

Our angel. <3  Mom and I made it years ago...special memories. <3

Christmas Trees the kiddos made.

Another angel. <3  I love Angels. :) 

Wreath in our "mud room".

Christmas Tree in our "mud room". Doesn't it look kinda patriotic?  With the red, white and blue?

Self-Portrait in Mud Room mirror.  Our mud room is packed FULL of shoes.  Mostly shoes for precious little feet. ;)  I love it!  I love kids!  God knew what He was doing when He made me a big sister to 12 kids. :)

My Special Treat for Christmas Eve!!  Love this stuff!  It's my favorite. :)

Cards from precious family members and friends. This is one of my favorite parts about Christmas!  Connecting with all your family and friends from all over. 

I love manger scenes. Currently I personally only own one...my precious moments manger scene from my Grandma.  Which reminds me!  I should go practice taking pictures of that! :)  One of my old piano teachers collected manger scenes and had them literally ALL over her house around Christmas time.  It was so beautiful to look at each one.  Someday, I would like to own several....not as many as her...but several to spread around my house to keep the Christmas focus on baby Jesus. 
Sweet Angie. <3 

Our "Rosebud". :)  She's had that nickname her whole entire life...among many others.
Peppermint Patty, Pepper, Pepsi One, Peps...He answers to all those names. ;)  Nice cat...disappeared for TWO WHOLE YEARS and then came home. He was my present when I turned 12...so that makes him 13 years old!  Wow!  I'm not a fan of cats like I used to be.  They're okay...as long as they stay OUTSIDE.  For Pepper...we make an exception in the Winter.
As soon as we got home from our Church's Christmas Eve Service I asked everyone if we could snap a pic. :)  Gideon was the only one that made a fuss...as you can see...he's the only one crying. ;) 

TAKE 2!!

Take 3!! 

It's Mom and Dad! <3

Thankful for my parents and the love they have for Jesus. <3

Me and the girls getting all cozy and ready to watch our annual watching of "Scrooge" for Christmas Eve. :)

Me and Livi. :)

And now...just me.

Ready for our Christmas Eve Movie!! :)
Gideon and Sam are ready for the movie, too!! They always get front row seats. ;)

And Mel is all cozy for the movie in the cute adorable slippers *WITH BOWS* that I got her a few Christmases ago. ;)

Not really any point to this picture...I just thought it looked really cool.  I set my shutter speed to super sloooooow. Playing around with my camera settings has got to be my new favorite thing to do!  

Outside our 1890 Farmhouse. :)  Some days I wish these walls could tell us stories of the Christmases back in the early 1900's. Oh the stories I'm sure they could tell!  So much History this house has seen.
Last picture of the night. :) 

Yes, I know that was a million and one pictures.  But...they each tell a story that's special to me of my Christmas Eve this year. <3  

I hope your Christmas Eve was beautiful as well celebrating our dear Savior's Birth! And, in the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, everyone!" :)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good night,



  1. Loved this post Monica! Great pictures...and such wonderful memories. I'm a big sister of 7...big families are fun at Christmas time especially!!! Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks, Hannah Grace! That is so awesome that you have so many siblings. :) Praise the Lord for big families...that are such a blessing! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well!

  2. It does snow in Bethlehem, become ordained online but only rarely, and you never get thick snow that you have to 'trudge' through. Surely the shepherds wouldn't have left their sheep outside, as in the Christmas nativity story.

  3. It does snow in Bethlehem, become ordained online but only rarely, and you never get thick snow that you have to 'trudge' through. Surely the shepherds wouldn't have left their sheep outside, as in the Christmas nativity story.


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