**edited to add more photos...
::::be forewarned:::a TON of photos follow:::::
the night before christmas,
when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring......
oh, yeah, sure! the kids would NOT go to bed. so at 11:30pm (i'm totally serious!) we closed the door and said a stern - stay in there! we heard racket, but ignored it as last minute assembly took place. after everything was ready to go for the morning, i checked in on them and found this...snuggled together in stella's bed!
we were so excited for the morning. thanks to all of the "santas" in our life, we had this abundantly gifted tree and a glorious overnight-stuffed-french toast prepped (recipe from mrs. slaboda in georgia...thank you!!). i wish i could draw arrows to each gift and show how each and everything came from someone else's gift to us...again...THANK YOU! we are still overwhelmed by God's providence and grace and kingdom and family and......
the morning arrived, much to our delight. we tortured the kids by making them wait in our bedroom or the kitchen, doors all closed, until grammy and boppa arrived. promptly at 8am, the big moment came. love the look here!
eli was a more subdued sort of shock. i didn't have just the right photo to show his quiet joy...but this one is close. the soft haze, the cookie on the arm of the couch (he nibbled it slowly throughout the morning) and his satisfaction with this little dinosaur...he's a grateful boy.
a monster montage. he loves these toys so very much!
and his parking garage, from plan toys.***see note at bottom about this company!***
mamma eeked out one handmade gift this year (as opposed to last years craziness)...this puppet theatre. greatly inspired by this book, but improvised based on what i had in my stash. the only things purchased for this, were 50cent dowels and a $3 tension rod! chris and i had a blast with the puppets...super eli and princess stella, of course!
this from grammy and boppa...eli can truly wail this ball across our yard!
and for stella from grammy and boppa, furnished by aunt lauren and uncle chad, with extras from mamma and daddy (via our santas!) (this is another plan toys gift...seriously love them!)
the BIG gifts were bikes...the gravel blaster!
and the schwinn stardust...
*note about the lack of helmets. we are ardent in our use of helmets; however, they were yet to be gifted from nana and papa, and well, we had to enjoy one short ride with the new bikes. we were very careful and will not do it again. promise!
**note about the shoes on stella...yep, go ahead, zoom in if you can! love these hand-me-down converse gingerbread men!!! we had some fun holiday attire thanks to my students!
***note about plan toys. oh man. this company. we got eli the roadway system last year and love it. all wood. all green. safe and fun and very cute. so we got the parking garage this year. the little elevator had a broken piece (very small and minor). since we bought it online, we were having some trouble exchanging it. plan toys offers replacement parts on their website. so i filled out the info and emailed it in, hoping to buy a new elevator. i receive an email from their customer service rep saying that part is unavailable in the usa, so they are sending us an entire NEW parking garage and to please donate or recycle this one! it's 3 weeks old! and played with everyday! i can't believe it! so we HIGHLY recommend this company...for so many reasons!
*******so thank you to all of our friends and family who gifted to us so very generously and deeply from their hearts and wallets. with all of this, remember that you also met our daily needs. you paid our bills. our necessities were met thanks to you. and we know that ultimately those gifts from you were truly from our Father. and that you would want everyone to know that too. the new year has already promised to be a year of blessing and abundance to us. look forward to another post of crazy generosity and abundance coming soon-ish. *******
i could keep on going, but this is already too long. i'll save the rest for another post. xoxoxox