On our way to the Christmas Eve service at church. We went to the 3pm Children's service and I am so glad we did. It was nuts! When you show up you get to pick out either an angel, a shepherd or a king costume to wear. All of the children participate in the service. Of course, I wasn't prepared for it to be close to 80 degrees on Christmas Eve (or Christmas day) so we ditched the stockings and cute sweater and went for bare legs to keep things cooler for Avery. Avery was happy to pick out the angel halo and started wearing it with pride.
Jack decided to be an angel also but he didn't participate in the service since you had to be able to walk and understand direction. He really enjoyed ringing the jingle bells during the service, though.
Avery after church. She was ready to go home and make cookies for Santa. But the real Christmas miracle was that she actually PARTICIPATED in the church service. When all of the angels started walking up to the front of the stage Avery followed. Then when she was on stage she didn't really know what to do so she just walked to the very edge of the stage in front and looked out at the 900+ people who were in the audience. I was expecting her to start screaming out for me at any moment but she never did. She started to notice that all the other kids were sitting down so she finally decided to, also. She stayed on stage for about 10 minutes. We saw her walking back toward us but we were in the back so she didn't see us. She just checked out every face in the pews until she made it back to ours. I was almost dead from holding my breath while I waited for her to start screaming but she didn't. It was a Christmas miracle.
When we got home we started to make cookies for Santa. I have made cookies with my nieces tons of times but never with Avery. She wasn't the right age until now. It was a lot of fun. She loved to crack the eggs and pour the ingredients into the bowl. It required constant supervision because she was always ready to add more but it was so much fun.
She was so proud!
Of course you HAVE to lick the spoon so you know that it tastes good before you bake it.
Testing the cookies before leaving them for Santa.
Jack trying to open some gifts while no one was watching.
And then the saddest part of the night for me...putting a baby to sleep on Christmas Eve for the last time. I posted this picture on facebook also and my friend commented that he will be a baby next year, too. That's true, but it won't be his first Christmas and he won't be "small" like he is now. It is just so bittersweet to think that every first with Jack is a last for me.
Of course, right now I am listening to him coughing into the monitor so I know it is going to be one of those nights where I wonder why in the world we even thought we could handle one child.