We really didn't do much while he was home- which made Christmas so relaxing. This year, we decided to just do Christmas Eve with our little family. It was so nice to just focus on our family and do our own little traditions. First we made a nice dinner and ate in the dining room. We made Shepards Pie, Grapes and Cheese (for wise men), bread and cheese, and Angel Food cake for dessert.
After dinner, the girls acted out the nativity as we read it from the scriptures using Gigi's homemade nativity scene. It was the same nativity set that Abe and his siblings played with when they were young.
Then, we popped popcorn and watched "Joy to the World", the nativity story on DVD.
Then the girls made reindeer food, put cookies out for Santa, and went to listen for Santa's bells on the front porch. They heard them and started screaming and running as fast as they could for their beds. Elle was screaming "hurry Santa's coming! We have to be asleep!" All the screaming and commotion scared Lily Kate and she was so scared to go to bed. I guess she was scared that Santa was going to get her! So, I had to lay down with her till she finally fell asleep.
Christmas morning was perfect. The looks on the girls faces were priceless. We spent Christmas morning playing and opening lots of presents.
For lunch, we went to Maw's house where the girls got new bikes and a really cool horse that actually walks!
When we got home, snow was everywhere. It was like a dream Christmas! So we got on our snow clothes and played in the snow till dark.
Marley LOVED the snow. She kept running away with our snowballs. She was fun to watch.
Christmas came and went too fast. Before we knew it, it was time for Abe to leave. So we headed to the airport to say our goodbyes once again. Abe will be at a training in Alabama in 3 weeks, so we might go down and see him for a couple days while he's there. So, saying goodbye was not as hard this time. I was already used to having him gone and I was able to focus on the fact that we'd see him in 3 weeks. We cried when we said goodbye, but I was okay after that. The people at the airport were so sweet and supportive. People would just stop and watch as we were saying our goodbyes. As Abe was kissing the girls goodbye, several people came up and patted Abe on his back and thanked him for his service. It really fills my heart with joy to see the kindness and appreciation of complete strangers. It makes you have a deep sense of pride for your husband and all the soldiers who leaves their families to serve.
Abe called later that night and I was so excited to tell him that I haven't cried once since he left....he laughed-didn't know if that's good or bad. It's good, because the last time he left, it was almost unbearable. I'm so thankful that I get to see him in January. That goodbye will be the hard one for us, because that's the last time we'll see him. Ugh. I don't even like to think about it.
We had a beautifully perfect Christmas!