This Christmastime has been magical.
The kids are SO much fun. The best thing about being a parent is how life just keeps getting better with these kids. I keep thinking every stage is the best (okay, maybe not every stage...but close), and then the grow a little, and surprise! It's even better!
They wake up each morning with big eyes, carrying their chocolate advent calendars in to ask us what day it is and which number they can open.
They sing or hum Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer all.day.long.
They race to the door each time we hear the UPS truck, then they "help" me wrap every present.
We eat each meal by candlelight. After dinner every night we turn off the lights and sit around the Christmas tree to read a Christmas book and finish with a scripture about the Savior's birth and then we listen to a Christmas hymn or watch a bible video on lds.org (go here to see them--they're amazing!)
And we've tried to fit in a fun Christmas activity here and there too.
We've gone up to see the lights at Temple Square, gone out for hot chocolate and cookies before bed, driven through a lights display near our home, dipped cinnamon bears in chocolate, and on Sunday night, we made graham cracker gingerbread houses.
Or "Gingerman houses" as Ellie says.
Daddy and Ellie worked on one together while Nicholas and I did the other.
Ellie was very specific about what candy she wanted where, and their finished house was darling. Kent even pulled off a Chevron-frosted roof.
When the kids were all done, though, Ellie and Nick started comparing houses.
Ellie seemed disappointed in hers. Nicholas said, "But Ellie, your house looks great! You and Dad made it really awesome!"
Ellie pulled her lips to the side, tipped her head and looked at it, then sighed.
"Yes, but well, Daddy just didn't do his best job on it."
As I predicted, currently Ellie's gingerbread house has maybe one piece of candy left on it, while Nicholas's is still almost entirely intact. Sometimes I'm baffled at how such two different personalities made their way to our family.