Christmas With Two

We love Christmas time around here, and having two children for the first time this Christmas season was double the fun! Christmas is practically a month long with all the festivities that come with it, and with all of that, we are very adamant about remembering why we are celebrating Christmas in the first place. Now that Kinsie is old enough to understand, we really tried to make the birth of Jesus the focus throughout the Christmas season. As a result of this, she became obsessed with Baby Jesus! She got super excited every time she saw a Nativity scene, and constantly sang songs about Baby Jesus. Of course she still got excited about Santa, Christmas lights and presents, but she at least seemed to understand the real meaning of Christmas (to the extent that a 3 year old can understand it). There was a lot that went on this month, so here were some of our favorite Christmas activities this month…

Breakfast with Santa Party

Kinsie’s cousin Emery had her 3rd birthday party at the beginning of the month, and it was a “Breakfast with Santa” party. It was so cute and so much fun! Santa came and each kid got to sit on his lap and take pictures with him. Like on the Polar Express, Kinsie was very shy, but excited to see Santa. Brax was all smiles like usual!

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Meeting Santa

I have always said that I would never force my kids to visit Santa and sit on his lap and get a picture of them crying…I would only take them if they wanted to see him. Last year was the first year that Kinsie really could have a choice, and she wanted to meet him. Same with this year, and Brax is still young enough that he doesn’t seem to care either way. We visited the same Santa we did last year, he is a great one! Both the kids did great!

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Christmas Music Program

Kinsie’s preschool had a Christmas music program this month. They have been practicing their songs for quite a while now, so Kinsie had been singing them to me at home constantly. She particularly liked the song “Oh What a Special Night,” which is about Baby Jesus being born and all the animals in the manger singing to Him for His birthday. It is a precious song, and luckily her cousins knew it too…so they later sang it on the beach in Florida! Kinsie did awesome in her program! She sang all the words, (we could even hear her among all the voices) and did all the motions. It filled my heart with so much joy to see her singing so excitedly about Jesus!

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Christmas Eve at Aunt Renata’s

The last few years we have done pretty much the same Christmas Eve and Christmas Day routine. On Christmas Eve morning we eat breakfast at Ryan’s parents’ house and open gifts with them, then go to Christmas Eve service, then to Ryan’s Aunt Renata’s house for dinner and gifts. This is always a highlight, as we love spending time with everyone in the family. Kinsie seemed to love opening gifts even more this year because now she got to help Brax open his as well! Brax of course enjoyed his gifts, but seemed more interested in the ribbons and boxes! Both of the kids slept the whole ride home that night and went right to bed when we got home. We still left out milk and cookies for Santa though so they could see if he ate them in the morning!

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Christmas Morning at Home

If you recall, last year I woke up on Christmas morning feeling terribly ill. I spent the entire day vomiting, so I didn’t get to enjoy watching Kinsie see what she got from Santa and opening all her gifts. I prayed that we all stayed healthy this year for Christmas, and I did have a sinus infection, but I would take that any day over the stomach flu! The kids were so excited this year to see what Santa brought them. The main gift that Kinsie wanted was the game Hungry Hungry Hippos, so she was thrilled to see it when she woke up! She also got a fishing game, a talking minion, and a hippo shirt. Brax was excited about his Mickey puppets, dinosaur teething toy, and elephant rattle!

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Christmas Day at Papa and Yaya’s

Another tradition…after opening gifts with our individual families, we always meet at my parents’ house for brunch and gifts. Last year we had 3 kids opening gifts, and this year we added 2 more to the mix! Brax and Kolly couldn’t do a whole lot of the opening on their own, but the three older cousins came to their aid. It was Christmas chaos all morning and we loved every second of it. The kids were all so happy opening their presents and just being together. After all the gifts were open, we stayed for a while and the kids opened all their new toys and games and played with all of them. It was a perfect day spent entirely in our pajamas and enjoying each other’s company.

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Kinsie got a ton of hippo related gifts this year, which is funny since she has been obsessed with the song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” She indeed got a hippopotamus for Christmas…or a few for that matter! Our boy Brax also had a wonderful first Christmas!

It was a wonderful month of December, and we had so much quality family time. It is times like this that we really realize how blessed we truly are. Christmas with two kids certainly added another level of chaos, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I can’t wait to see the joy on the kids’ faces year after year on Christmas.

Spreading the love of Jesus one duck at a time

Like many others, I am a huge fan of the television show, Duck Dynasty. When Ryan first started watching it, I never really watched with him, but I’d hear it in the background of whatever I was doing at the moment, and all I thought was, “What a bunch of ignorant rednecks.” However, it turns out that I was the ignorant one. In June, we had the pleasure of having Willie Robertson visit our church, Trader’s Point, to discuss his faith. After hearing Willie speak, I gained a new respect for him and his family. I decided to give the show a chance and actually watch an episode. Then another. Then another. Then, I was hooked. Not only is the show probably one of the funniest shows on television, but it is so refreshing to see a real Christian family in the Hollywood spotlight.

The more I learn about the Robertson family, the more I know that they are the real deal. They are who they are, and they don’t try to be anyone different in front of the cameras. When the producers asked them to cuss more and fight with each other, they refused and said “That’s not us.” When they were asked not to pray on camera, they did it anyway and said, “That’s who we are and that’s what we do.” If only everyone were that determined to stay true to themselves and what they believe in!

It is really sad how so many people are turned off by Christianity based on what they see and hear in society. They often feel judged and ridiculed and have religion shoved down their throat. That is not the way to get people to church. The more you shove it in people’s faces, the more turned off they become. This is why I respect the Robertson family and their show so much. They don’t shove their religion in people’s faces, and its not all they talk about. But you can see the way they live and the way they present themselves. Even though they have fun, wreck havoc and make fun of each other, their love for each other and for Christ is very apparent. People who have Jesus in their hearts have a certain joy that you can’t get any other way, and that joy shines through. If you live your life according to God’s word with that joy in your heart, it attracts other people. It may spark people’s interest enough to discuss the Gospel and invite them to church, but at some point, you have to let God do the rest.

The Robertson family is filled with the holy spirit and they let it shine through the big screen. Millions of people of all different types watch the show every week in order to be entertained by the hilarious insights of Uncle Si and the crazy adventures that Willie and Jase have while they are supposed to be working. Anyone who has watched the show knows that they are in no way perfect, but they live their lives with Jesus in their hearts and are not ashamed of it.

Below is the video “I Am Second.” Phil, Jep and Reed Robertson all share a part of their testimony on how they came to know Jesus Christ. As they talk, you can see the raw emotion in their eyes and how much knowing Jesus has changed their lives for the better. Take some time to watch this video and witness the power of Jesus working in their hearts.