So that our family can picture what's going on a thousand miles away, I'm posting photos of everything.

After church, we came home, ate dinner and did our Advent traditions.

Then the girls opened their pajamas. Avril had just gotten corrected by her dad for ignoring me and not standing still for the photo when I asked her, so in this photo, she is being very still and she's looking straight at her dad. Can't you see the fear of God in her eyes? :)

Once the kids were in bed, we brought out the gifts. We don't do Santa, but we don't keep the gifts out in the open for the kids to see all month, either. Keeping the gifts tucked away helps them focus less on the "getting" of Christmas and more on the unseen, more important reasons for Christmas, in my experience.

The girls are sharing this over-sized stocking this year because I still haven't gotten around to sewing Avril's stocking. I was going to hang this from the mantel, but the fabric is thin and it is ripping under the weight of the gifts inside. Dwayne propped it up like this. I don't think the girls will mind. They will laugh at how big it is and will enjoy reaching way in there to get out all the stuff that's inside.

As you can see, we left Avril's play kitchen and all the accessories (that Uncle Donnie sent) totally unwrapped. The girls will love running in here, seeing it right away and playing with that before they have breakfast.

The rest of the gifts are wrapped and we will open those and unpack the stocking after we eat breakfast and after we do our final day of Advent.

We are humbled and thankful for such a "big" Christmas because of our family's generosity. We've been receiving packages in the mail since before Thanksgiving! More than half of what you see above is a gift provided by family. So I will take pictures for family, hopefully capturing the girls' joy and post them as soon as I can. Stay tuned!


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