Sunday, January 1, 2017

For the Month of December- Jesus, Light The World, and More time as a Family

Wolf Trap Sing-A-Long
(More on that event in the next post!) 

This Christmas season was full of service, festive activities, and lots of family time. I loved it so much! 

It was also full of lots and lots of work for Tyson. This was a common scene at night. He hardly made it to 10:30pm each night. There was lots to be done at work and Tyson definitely felt the stress of it all. We had to keep reminding ourselves that it would all be worth it when he could be off work the week after Christmas. But man- it was tough for him, trudging through all the work!

As for me and my work, Tyson asked me to take mid November to January 1st off. It's been 2 years since I stated working nights and during the Holiday Season, my work always gets super crazy. So not only did I work nights, but I often wouldn't come home until 4am (or later- yes.... it really happened.)
Tyson said that our past two Christmas' have been harder because of my working schedule and it's true. It made for an even crazier and more hectic Holiday Season than normal. Being sleep deprived didn't go well with trying to be in the happy holiday spirit that's for sure. So for his Christmas present, I gave him the Holidays- and everything that came with it. I was home, sleeping like normal (GLORIOUS!!!! by the way!) We scheduled out our Holiday activities a month in advance to fit everything in. We also dove into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints campaign to "Light The World," watching simple videos everyday that reminded us of how we could be like Jesus everyday through simple works of service. Most of the videos made Tyson and me emotional and spoke to our hearts. 

For one of the days, the message was about how Jesus gave sight to the blind, and how we could to. So we looked up an eyeglass donation place nearby and donated two of Tyson's glasses. The girls were happy to help! I loved how this simple daily act of being reminded that we could be like Jesus every day helped our girls and us think more of helping others. 

We took time to rest as well, all of us. Which was so great. One day I took an hour nap- completely uninterrupted. I don't remember the last time that happened. It was glorious! 

Haddie got some good naps in as well. I told Taryn how when I grew up, we never really had naps or bed times. So me and my siblings would fall asleep all over the house and sometimes in the most crazy ways. Taryn got a big kick out of how Haddie fell asleep this time so to keep with my Mom's tradition of taking pictures of kids falling asleep in weird positions, I let Taryn photobomb Haddie.

Taryn was in helper mode for most of the Holidays. Here she is cutting up Peppermint Bark to give to our neighbor who was sick. 

We played lots of games and learned how to play lots of new games. We have very competitive girls. Not like me at all but I'm happy they are naturally motivated to win :)

We are blessed with knowing many many great people in this area. My thoughts of others, their views on life, and how they live have broadened. I may not agree with everything they do or say, but I've grown to appreciate how each individual can add to our society.

Some of the great people in our lives have really awesome jobs. Like our friend who gave us tickets to the celebration of The Freedman's Bureau Act at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. We were able to see inside the museum and listen to great speakers. One being Elder D. Todd Christofferson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

We were able to meet Elder Christofferson. Funny story is when we were approaching him, we overheard that just in front of us was a Congressman. Tyson and I both said we felt like nobody's compared to everyone else in the room. Our friend happened to be standing behind us when we met Elder Christofferson and surprised us by taking our picture with him. 

It was so nice to have a morning date with Tyson, doing something so different. It made me very grateful for our good friends who took our girls super early in the morning so they could get to Kindergarten and Preschool on time. 

The girls loved decorating sugar cookies this year. Hadleigh has been loving Gingerbread men this year. She talked for days before about how she wanted to decorate and eat Gingerbread men. She had the sprinkle heavy hand for sure. She couldn't even take her eyes off her cookie for s picture. She tried chugging the sprinkles straight from the jar at least 3 times during the cookie decorating process.

Taryn took more time on her cookies than ever before and that's saying a lot for this girl. I love watching her think through each step and carry it through. 

These cookies!!!!

Our neighbor was so cute and offered us a picture in front of his Santa ;)

Everyday scenes  from our front room at Christmas time

And an every day scene with Taryn. Building an obstacle course for herself!

And selfies. She's gotten really good at finding my phone around the house and snapping about 50 of these each time. 

Thailand shirts from Grandma and Grandpa Smith who recently returned from a Thailand trip.

Gingerbread houses have somehow become a thing in our household. Notice how Tyson is not there? He does not care for this tradition but this was a great activity to keep the girls going on a night when Tyson had to work late. I just can't put the girls to bed without them saying goodnight to Tyson (unless it's going past 10pm) 

They ate way more candy than what ended up on the house, but hey! What's Christmas without a good old sugar rush ;) 

We love seeing the trains at the U.S. Botanic Gardens and visiting the Capitol Christmas Tree each year. 

My girl and the Capitol

Me and my love. 

The best adventuring buddies!

Spot the moose!

The theme for the trains in the Botanic Gardens change every year. This year was "National Parks." We had no idea there were so many nor that we've been to so man without knowing they were National Parks! 

Taryn gave her Kindergarten Christmas performance and of course, I cried. She was soon excited to see me and sang her little heart out, looking right at me while doing the hand motions. It was adorable!

Temple lights are always on the schedule. The  D.C Temple does a great job at creating a wonderful magical night. With lights, music, and all the nativities from around the world on display, it fills our heart with happiness. This year Taryn asked me why each nativity looks different. I explained that they are from all over the world and may even have different characters but they all focus on the birth of Jesus. 

She's getting pretty good at the selfies.

I love when other people can see us struggling to take a family photo so they jump in and ask if they can take it for us. I'm always a bit nervous as to how they will turn out, but I'm counting this family photo in front of the temple as a win! 

Christmas Adam at the National Christmas Tree. Everyone was sad when I realized I had forgotten my purse at home so we didn't have pennies to throw on the trains (that are later donated to a good cause) but the girls still enjoyed watching the trains at the base of the tree go around and around.

On Christmas Eve we got together with Brittany and her family for brunch. I'm so glad we have family that lives close. It makes these seasons easier to get through knowing we have some family out here. 

Christmas Morning in Christmas Jammies

Because we did our traditional Sausage Breakfast Casserole (a Scott tradition) on Christmas eve with my sister, we made Hawaiian Pancakes for breakfast. 

And Christmas tree bread for our Ward Potluck after the 1 hour church block. This year, I perfected the softness of Christmas Tree Bread (A Smith Tradition.) I was super happy about how it turned out for the first time in 7 years!!!!!! 

Matching sisters on Christmas Day
(thanks Grandma Jackie and Grandma Scott for the dresses!)
These dresses were butter soft and neither of the girls wanted to take them off!

Building with out new Fort Magic kit from The Booths. We built a pirate ship in our basement and now we have a fort. It's so much fun!

The Christmas Season was wonderful and I hope to always remember through the year how we can be more Christlike through our little acts of service and kindness. 

Merry Christmas!!

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