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Santa & Christmas Day

December 25, 2012 · filed under: Holidays by Geoff

Christmas Eve brought our family back home. The girls wanted to make sure that Santa knew where to find us. The first order of business was to make Christmas cookies for Santa, which took us to Raleigh’s house:

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Then it was time to prepare for Christmas, attend the Christmas Eve service and pick out the cookies for Santa.

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And after reading LOTS of books, we finally got the girls to settle down and go to bed. So then it was time to prepare for Christmas morning:

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And finally it was time for presents from the family. Of course, the girls went first:

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Whew, what a busy, crazy day. All of the photos from Christmas so far are posted out on Google+.

Christmas round one

December 24, 2012 · filed under: Holidays by Geoff

This weekend marked round 1 of Christmas celebrations with the family. Timing for the weekend and the snow that blessed us with its presence complicated travel slightly, especially for Jinny & Justin, who spent the better part of the day on Friday traveling. But they did remember to thank the Iowa DOT for creating such a nice parking lot for them to spend a few hours hanging out on during the afternoon.

Needless to say, when they finally arrived we met them at the door with drinks and positive attitudes! The girls were very helpful for this task as there really is never a moment when they aren’t in super good moods. And of course with so many Christmases to celebrate in the near future, they couldn’t be happier.

The celebrations began with the Benton family Christmas on Friday night:

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The evening was a great success and both girls were already completely spoiled. But the weekend was far from over. The next celebration was with Great Grandpa Bob and Great Grandma Bea and the rest of the Millhollin family.

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After the girls took long naps recovering from all the present opening, it was time for Ron & Donna’s Christmas, and even MORE presents!

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Finally, Sunday morning meant a trip to Grandpa Paul and Grandma Darla’s house for more good food and yet another Christmas.

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The girls couldn’t have had a better time this weekend with constant attention from all of their loving family, great food, lots of cousins to cause trouble with, and plenty of spoils. As we look forward to more celebrations we remember how blessed we are to have such a wonderful family.

View all of our Christmas photos as we continue to post more to Google+.

Christmas preparations

December 20, 2012 · filed under: Holidays by Geoff

The holidays are upon us!  How the time has flown.  We’ve been incredibly busy trying to keep up with the girls, make and wrap presents, prepare for the holidays, and attend all of the festivities of the season.

First, we started with a trip to the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols:

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Then it was recital time in the Janes household. Grace has been learning new songs at school, and she decided to share them for us.

“The month of November:”
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“The month of December:”
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Along the way, Grace and Madelyn got an elf who we lovingly named “Sam”. Sam gets into trouble quite frequently playing pranks around the house. He started out by drawing their names in flour on the counter, then he hung Grace’s underwear on the mantle, and most recently replaced the kings and animals in the manger scene with dinosaurs.

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Next came the annual visit to Santa. This year we changed it up a bit and tried out Merle Hay instead of Bass Pro. Aside from Madelyn’s overwhelming fear of Santa, the experience was pretty good. Grace perched herself on the very edge of the chair and stayed long enough to tell Santa EXACTLY what she wanted: “A Cyclone cheerleader dress that twirls.” And to top it off, Grace was brave enough to try the giant bungee trampoline.

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To round off the preparations, the pre-school sunday school class participated in the annual Christmas program:

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As we look forward to the week to come, we wish you the best this holiday season. All of the photos are below, or you can view them out on Google+

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