God's Child, Our Joy

An adoptive family's journey in faith and life

Christmas 2013

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2013 would be Eli’s first Christmas and Eva’s third, but I think this is the first one where she had any clue what was going on. In 2011 she was all of three days old and just trying to figure out who those people are with the bottle. In 2012 all she wanted was to pull down the tree and it’s ornaments. With Grandma in town the weekend before Thanksgiving, we decided that the extra hands would be good for putting up the tree and keeping little hands from pulling it down. I made the comment about how it’ll be nice that we’ll have the tree on display before Eli can crawl and pull stuff off. My wife blames me for this silly comment, as not two weeks later he was crawling. IMG_0739 - Copy Eli met Santa for the first time year, and Eva met him for a second time.  Eli was not impressed. #0234_ Ball  Kid's Party_ 5 Dec 13 Another first was Eli’s first big snow, and Eva’s first snowman. IMG_5800 IMG_5817 We came inside to make cookies.  Well, mommy and Eva.

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IMG_3515 We opened our gifts mid December because we’d head back to see the rest of the family over Christmas. It was fun to watch the kids and how they reacted to everything. Eva had just as much fun pulling paper off the gifts as she did in gathering it to put in the trash. Eli helped open his gifts but was more interested in the box than the actual toy. Eva had to play with every toy (especially Eli’s), and Eli had to see how everything tasted. IMG_5863

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The weekend before Christmas we headed back to Iowa. We left early to avoid bad winter conditions, and made it back in not too bad of shape. The nine and a half hour trip took twelve hours. Eli did really well, but Eva did not want to nap in her NASCAR seat. We became “those parents” and let her watch Winnie the Pooh over and over for the last part of the trip. IMG_0619 - Copy

Eva’s NASCAR seat

It was Eva’s 2nd birthday that weekend. With a birthday so close to Christmas, I’m starting to worry that it may just be too much for the season. However, since we are back in Iowa the whole family gets to see her on her birthday. It should be interesting how we feel about this for the upcoming future. So we sit down to open birthday gifts. Eva opens up the first gift. A stuffed snowman. She takes it, hugs it, and runs off, as if to say “This is awesome, this is all I need! See ya!” It took a little coaxing to get her to come back and open gifts (a temporary problem I imagine). It was hard for her to open a gift and not play with it right away.

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Eva requested an Elmo cake for her birthday.  Here’s the before picture.

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And after…..

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Eli made a new friend when we were back in Iowa. He was a little boy, same age as him, who always seemed to have the same thoughts as he did. They’d wear the same clothes, and would always reach for each other at the same time. IMG_5993

Eli may not remember his first Christmas, but we’ll remember how cold it was.  Look at what we woke up to on Christmas Eve.

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Glad I won’t remember that cold!

Grandma and grandpa had a singing snowman that sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  Eva loved hitting the button and dancing with Grandma and grandpa to the song, only she heard it different.  It didn’t end “and a happy new year!”, but “and a happy new YOU!”  She would stop dancing and point to Grandma at this line.  She had a very Dr. Phil Christmas.

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A Happy New You!

Eva and Eli wrote Santa a letter on Christmas Eva (er Eve).  They left milk and cookies for him.  Eva even tasted them to make sure that they were good.

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Here’s the family on our way to church on Sunday.
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Isn’t this a beautiful family!

Grandpa was an usher for church, and as he was dismissing everyone after service, Eva decided that she had waited too long for Grandpa to hold her.  She jumped into him and he showed her the front of church.

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Some of my favorite pics from the trip.

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Being attacked by a snowman

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Riding on her uncle’s rocking horse

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Daddy’s favorite gift this year

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Let me play with your head

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Sitting in Grandma and Grandpa’s chairs

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Look at how well I stand now.

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And of course brother and sister together for their first Christmas

Towards the end of the trip it finally warmed up enough to go outside to play.  There was plenty of snow on the ground to do all the fun snow activities.

Make snow angels

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Throw snow balls

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Try to walk

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Spell your name

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Check out your gloves

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And sled…wait

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So when sledding was over, she insisted that we bring it inside.  She then used it to watch Frosty.


On the way back we we stopped at Five Guys.  Eli looks ready to be home.

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One last part of our Christmas 2013.  If you live in or visit the Dayton area during the Christmas season, you have to go to Clifton Mill.  Eva enjoyed her first visit, and Eli was bundled tightly to Mommy and only spit up on her once.

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