Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Musical Christmas Eve

Traditionally, Christmas Eve for our family includes the 5:00 Asbury Christmas Eve service, Mimi's house and then our own family candle ceremony at home in our p.j.'s.
This Christmas Eve service was a little more special this year...our own Abby was going to be playing piano during the service!
Because of this exciting addition, we had lots of family members join us this year!
We even had Aunt Lynn all the way from Austin and Meghan from Dallas!
My older brother Kevin and his family also joined us :-)
Time to begin the service. Everything, from the bulletin to the songs, are done by children.
So Precious.
Our dear friends the Bartletts lit the Advent Candles.
Abby prepares for her 1st of three songs...
Away in a Manger
her friend Hannah accompanied her on the guitar
Next up...

Last up, Silent Night while the entire sanctuary sang along...
Time to light up those *Glow Sticks!
Owen was double fisted
Cousin Grant gives our little musician a big hug
One Proud Momma
I love my girls!!
Off to Mimi's Celebration...
Stocking surprises
Nike Elites
hmm...what's in there for me?
Uncle Brad's OSU Sweatband...niiice
Laura Dare Christmas Gown ~ just in time!
All things *Sparkle
Lil Sis gets cool Retro Toy
Stella & Dot...need I say more ;-)
Mimi with her Baby Boy
Aunt Gayle with her new Bridget Baubles
Uncle Cal & Aunt Cindy
Cream Puffs...yum
New North Face = Happy Mimi
The Girls
A Sleeping Boy ~ 
Will crashed on the couch while waiting for the fam to meet in the front room for our Christmas Eve annual ceremony
while the younger 3 set up a pallet
p.s. This was not part of "the plan"
Annual Ornament Gifts
Each year I give each one of my children an ornament that represents something special from the past year; then, by the time they leave the house, they will have a full collection of meaningful ornaments that represent their childhood
Owen - Football Player representing his very 1st sport ever played
Ella - a Schoolhouse representing being at a brand new school this year
Abby - a beautiful damask window adorned with a chandelier and dress form representing her love for sewing & creating things
Will - a Golfer representing him making the Jenks middle school Golf Team
Time for our annual ceremony. The 5 candles were lit by each child, 4 for them, and the middle one representing our Saviour. We then each (other than Owen) read several scriptures about "light," ending with Matthew 5:13-16. Each child comes and blows out their candle as we say "Will ~ you are the light of the world; let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
This is my very favorite moment in the entire month of is by far the most meaningful part of our family's CHRISTmas
Hearing my children read scriptures with all their heart represents what CHRISTmas is all about...anticipation. Advent = The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important. 
Christ came as a baby...and He will come again as our King. 
I can't wait

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Shoe Balloons

It was time for our 12th Annual Southern Hills Childrens' Christmas Party
This is something the kiddo's have looked forward to for as long as I can remember.
A yummy dinner by fireside
accompanied by a beloved *Shirley Temple to drink 
(a rare treat for my Ruley kids!)
 Owen at his finest
Ella, prim & proper
My beautiful girls
who I adore
Time for the Balloon Guy!
(always the highlight at this party - even over Santa, petting zoo, craft room, photo booth, candy buffet, cupcake decorating, etc.)
Preston & Will - proud owners of the evening's 1st Shoe Balloons
Boys retreat to craft room

 little man figured out that he might just get away with eating two cupcakes & a bowl full of candy!
Girls decide they don't want to be left out of the Shoe Balloon experience...
Abby's didn't quite dig her glittery Mary Jane - it ended up looking like shrink wrap!
Ella's held up though :-)
Annual Zach & Will cousin pic 
(they used to be almost the same size...see what happens once one hits his growth spurt?!)
 Ella & Matt cousin pic - I think these two look like bro & sis!
The youngest of the two Ruley families enjoy some horseplay - 
Matt's arm cast doesn't slow him down

The girls go in for one last request...
The Triple Heart Hat Balloon!

Thanks to Grandad & Nana for a funtabulous evening!!