Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas photos!

(Misha, Vital,i and Max, mouths full of chocolate and bubble gum
posing with their new fluffy friends)

A couple of days before Christmas, the boys received a fabulous pre-Christmas celebration complete with gifts just for them! A special couple wanted to do something for our boys to mark their first American Christmas and to express how happy they are that Max, Misha and Vitali have a family of their very own this year. Isn't that great?! They brought quite a few lovely gifts and each gift was so perfect that I was amazed--still am! This generous couple had never really met the boys personally and yet the gifts the boys received were absolutely inspired!
Steve and I kept glancing at eachother with open mouthed amazement.
And the boys were thrilled, of course! (Misha yelled, "TWO SHOES!!")

Since this occasion was just for the boys, I had given the girls the option of going somewhere else for the evening but they wouldn't miss it for the world! They are so happy to have brothers and they are used to the fact that things are still a little different for the boys. In many ways, it is like we have new babies in the house. Everyone knows babies get extra attention. :-) (Shhhh....don't tell the boys I said they were like babies!) We are so blessed that our family has welcomed these boys with such wide open arms. The girls have been so unselfish and wonderful in their attitudes. In fact, they were just plain honored that their brothers could be so blessed! And if it sounds like I'm bragging--I am!

And, let me tell you my special Christmas gift: My mom's housekeeper, Joanne, wanted to do something to express her welcome for our boys and to help me out this Christmas. She insisted on cleaning our house for us!!! I was able to get my tidying up done early and then do some last minute shopping with Steve (My mom had the kids--another wonderful blessing for me!) and come home later to the house sparkling and smelling so clean! I think it is worth noting that despite the fact that the number of children in our house has doubled this year, this is the first year that I have actually gotten to bed EARLY on Christmas Eve!! What a wonderful treat that was!

Speaking of Christmas Eve, Hannah gathered the kids together into costume that special night in our living room and put on a very quick performance of "Joy to the World" sung/mumbled-with-a-Russian-accent. After the musical number, they all posed for a nativity picture. All except Ivy that is. I think she would have rather been Mary so she could hold the baby Jesus.Christmas morning was a fun time for the children. The kids unpacked their stockings first. These stockings were a gift from the mother of a very good friend of ours. She made them each a stocking and then each stocking is personalized with the children's names! How fun! Then we ate lefse for breakfast, this is the first time the boys had tried lefse, a Norwiegian tradition we do that honors my mother's heritage. Max liked it quite a bit, but it is one of those things that has to grow on you. :-)(Vitali, opening a "family gift" a six-piece percussion set--I know, what was I thinking?!)

We opened gift after gift. The kids had each shopped for eachother at the dollar store (Love that place!) That right there was 30 gifts! They had also wrapped up a whole bunch of their own toys and clothes to give to eachother. And then there were the "real" gifts! Such fun!

After the gift opening was done, the kids played a while with their new prizes.
Then we all went to my mom and dad's house for a simple but delicious dinner. With cheesecake and the rest of the cookies for dessert. Mmmm!

The theme of our Christmas this year seemed to be the generosity and love of others. God has richly blessed us! We truly just shake our heads in humble grattitude. Thank you all who watch our story, who pray for us, rejoice with us and who have lent a helping hand! We may not ever be able to repay you but we are so thankful. More than you know.

We hope your Christmas was as special as ours!
Happy New Year!
God bless you all.


Mike and Christie said...

What is Lefse? I have never heard of it. :)

It sounds like a wonderful day. Our girlies wrapped all kinds of things up for each other. (a great way to trade toys) Erika knitted scarves for all of us too.

What a blessed time for ya'll.
Thanks for the pictures.

Anonymous said... mouth is watering! I'm so glad you all had such a blessed day. I hope Misha never gets over the suprise of receiving "double" footwear :)

Love ya,

Leslie said...

Ha! Two shoes! Did he think he would get less? Stretch your dollar and save one shoe for Christmas and the other for birthday. No, no, no! What a wonderful celebration. If I was Ivy, I'd have wanted to hold the baby Jesus too!

Debbie said...

What a wonderful celebration. What joy to see the children's reactions and to be blessed by others this year. I'm sure your family will always remember this special Christmas. Happy New Year!

Tami said...

What a great first Christmas with the boys! I love the idea of the dollar store! I'm going to have to steal that one.
We had a great first Christmas with Maddie too. I loved how excited she was to celebrate 'babeee Jesuuu birfda' ;>)

BethPie said...

Looks like such a special time for all of them. Thank you for the precious pictures! :o) God Bless you this new year.

Kelli said...

It looks like you had a blessed Christmas! Happy New Year to you and your family!

Leslie said...

Okay, Melissa, between the baking and general fun that happens at Camp Eimer, I need you to particiapte in the New Year Resolutions list I tagged you with on my blog!