Saturday, December 24, 2011


It's Christmas!  The anticipation has been realized.  The joy is overflowing.  It's been a lovely morning and the perfect climax to our Advent season.

We started off  by finishing the Advent book...the kids were so excited to open all the doors.  Ava was thrilled because she knows the verse that is contained in the very last door, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life."

First we open the most precious gift of all...

 our "baby Jesus" wrapped in swaddling clothes

We laid him in the manger on the bed of hay we have been preparing for him. 

We then talked about the three gifts the Magi brought the baby King.  We talked about what each meant.  The kids each received three present from us.  The first one the opened represented "Frankincense"-which was an incense, but also used as an ointment and had many other practical purposes.  This was a practical gift, something they each needed.  For Ava- undies and footless tights, for Phin- more pants with an elastic wasteband (a necessity now that he is going potty on his own; buttons and zippers just get in the way;), for Chloe- clothes...which she actually desperately needed.  I've borrowed out so many clothes somehow I only got pants back in 2T;)...she needs shirts too;)

Myrrh was an embalming material and signified that Jesus was born to die.  That was the call God had place on this life.  We don't yet know what God has called each of our children too, but the "myrrh" gift is a gift with spiritual significance- something that will help them grow in their faith and discover what God leads them to.  Ava- a girls devotional bible, Phin- the Jesus Storybook Bible (Ava has one, but we wanted him to have his veyr own), and Chloe- a book of bible stories and accompanying songs on CD

My favorite "kid" gift- Ava shopped for almost an hour in Target, meticulously comparing and trying to decide on the perfect gift for each person.  For Marc, these "straw" glasses where the end result...hilarious;)

Phinny's gift to me?  The banagram game...I've heard it is fun, I just think it is funny that this is what caught his eye for me;)

We had some gifts to open from Marc's dad.  Once Chloe opened her "ball" machine- all the kids could have been done, I think;0)  What fun!

Ava's "gold"- the American girl doll she's wanted for two years.  We told her she had to wait until her 6th birthday, so getting it a few month before that was a total surprise...a priceless one;)

I am so very glad we made her wait for this.  She was so excited and has big plans to "really take care of it" because she's seen many friends dolls in disrepair. 
Phin's "gold" was the Toy Story Garbage Dump play set;)

Little miss Mama got a sturdy wooden high chair for her babies;) 

Happy playtime...Phin acting out Toy Story three complete with actual movie lines and Ava introducing Felicity to her other dolls;)

Merry Christmas!  Thanks for journeying through Advent with me as I make memories with my children.  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!


  1. My heart has been so blessed and encouraged through your advent celebration this month, friend. I often found myself with warm fuzzies as I read your posts---thank you for giving us a glimpse into your sweet family memories. And thanks for pouring into your kids with such joy and purposefulness. There's no doubt they see Jesus in you! Merry Christmas! ~ Nikki

  2. I too, have loved it! :) Great job with getting everyone involved. I'm so glad Ava got an AG doll! How fun, and yes, I think she is at the right age for it. Have a very merry Christmas!!

    Love, Jess

    ps..BANANAGRAMS is the BEST!

  3. Hey Kim! Can I just have to say say that I have loved reading every blog post about Advent and I love this CHristmas one even more. I told Tyler I wanted to save them all for when we have kids so I knew how to do it right (no over abundance of gifts and putting the emphasis on the right thing: Jesus). Love seeing your family from afar. Miss you all very much. Merry Christmas. Jenny (& Tyler too).

  4. what a great morning! so glad to store up all these ideas for the Swalve family in the next couple of years when we can start celebrating advent with Mia! Loved reading through all the days of advent...thanks for sharing sister!

  5. So precious! Ava's picture with Felicity is adorable. I just know she'll take good care of her.

    Oh, and I have a good feeling that you'll love Bananagrams. Next time we see you, we'll all have to play a few rounds.

    Also, we loved your family's Christmas card this year. Great picture and design!

    Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and enjoy this new year!