The week before Christmas, the kids performed at an evening service. Here they were practicing in the morning...
...and performing in the evening. Natalie sang one song and then decided to sit down...hopefully she'll stay for two songs next year! She loves to sing, but anytime there's a break in singing, she gets bored.
We had some fun preparations for Christmas this year...finally in our new home (last Christmas, we were in our rental home and hadn't unpacked very much since we knew we would be moving again soon). Last year, the cookie cutters were not unpacked. This year...
Last year the gingerbread house mold was not unpacked (we were blessed by a premade one we put together and decorated.) This year...
The day before Christmas I seasoned the turkey and stored it in the garage (since the garage works well as a second refrigerator in the winter). We kept the turkey out of reach of the cats.
Christmas Eve dinner is fondue at our home. I think Natalie is in pajamas because she had a nap right before dinner so she could make it through the Christmas Eve service.
The next morning, they are ready to open presents!
Natalie received a lot of princess things. I even got special "Frozen" wrapping paper that I used for her birthday and for her Christmas presents...unfortunately after opening her birthday presents, a few days later she thought it was ok to open any present with "Frozen" wrapping paper...so I kept her presents hidden to avoid rewrapping. Each of the kids chose presents for their siblings from their own money...first year for that, and it worked out very well! Konrad found this princess tablet for Natalie.
One of Dominik's gifts was the quarter collection book (now he can catch up with his brothers in collecting quarters).
Konrad received his first Bible.
And a wonderful gift they'll be able to enjoy in the New Year...
Christmas breakfast was a French toast dish I put together the night before and popped in the oven while we were opening presents...so convenient!
Then it was time to play with all those gifts. Lukas enjoyed using his new bow and arrow. We had the perfect amount of snow for Christmas: a nice dusting to make everything white, but not enough that we had to shovel a ton of snow off the driveway.
The cats were kept away from the turkey, so we had a delicious meal.
Konrad was adventurous and went for the whole drumstick.
That's grape juice in her glass that I made from our own Concord grapes. Delicious!
My first try at a Bûche de Noël. I looked at a lot of different recipes online, and since there didn't seem to be much similarity between any of them (besides how they are decorated), I found a recipe in French that had a lot of stars...and it came out great! It was more French tasting, not so American tasting...meaning it had about one third the sugar that an American pastry would have. Definitely a new Christmas tradition at our home. I think I can improve the presentation next year, but not bad for the first time.
Everyone in our family said it was "the best Christmas ever"...we pray you also had a wonderful Christmas!