Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Week 2014!

We have had the joy of both set of grandparents with us this last week (not at the same time!) to celebrate Christmas!

It started with Zac's parents arriving last Sunday afternoon.  For part of our Christmas present they took us all to the Tech Museum in San Jose which was awesome!  We all had fun playing and building things there on Monday.  The rest of the week was full of games, walks, dinners, hanging out, the candlelight Christmas Eve service at our church, and of course Christmas day!
Bedtime reading with Grandpa.  He brought a neat book about the Wright brothers.
At the Tech Museum
Candlelight Christmas Eve service
Zac's parents left on Friday morning and three hours later my parents pulled up!  We had another Christmas day with lots of presents from the aunts and uncles back in Graham.  On Saturday we headed up to Felton to ride a steam train through the Redwoods!  It was beautiful and a bit chilly.  We also took them to church with us on Sunday and had a yummy sushi dinner before they said their goodbyes.
On the train!
Over the trestle
Some of God's beautiful creation.  I love the redwoods!
It was a wonderful week full of family!  We missed the aunties, uncles, and cousins this Christmas, but other than that it was perfect!

One of my favorite parts of this Christmas was our gift for Jesus.  Throughout the month we had a box sitting out in the kitchen.  Each of us was supposed to secretly put money in the box as the month went by and then on Christmas morning we counted it.  With the money we gave this year our family was able to buy emergency food and water, misquitoe nets, food for mothers and babies, and a clean water pump through Compassion International's gift catalog.  I'm really proud of how much the kids gave, they have such generous hearts!  I think Jesus liked our gift.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a fun New Year coming up on Thursday!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Christmas!

May you know the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love of Jesus all year round.
~ The Vawter's

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Weekend Adventures: Bethlehem

Many of you may remember, we made it our goal when we moved here to the city to get out, away from the masses of people every weekend.  We have been successful all but a few weekends - and this weekend we went to Bethlehem!  No really, we did.
The nativity - live!
This event has gone on for over 10 years and was very well done.  There was a TON of people - so that part of our weekend goal was not met, but the experience was really cool.  I loved seeing the animals, especially the camel carrying one of the wisemen!  The kids liked the angel (he actually rose up in the air above the shepherds) and the special effects.  They got to go around the marketplace and experience a number of things from the time Jesus lived, and we all had hot chocolate at the end.  To top it all off, Uncle Casey went with us!  He flew in tonight for a few days.
Keanan wrote his name on the census list
the Roman guard leader guy
The angel appearing to the shepherds
Some other events from this weekend include ballet class for Kyla, rock climbing for Zac and Keanan, and Kyla and I got to go see our second annual Nutcracker!  It was a great performance here in Santa Clara.  We also had some friends from college / WA over for dinner on Saturday night.
On our way to the Nutcracker!
Happy 3rd Sunday of Advent - JOY!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Weekend Adventures: Christmas Tree!

On Saturday, after ballet for Kyla and play practice for Keanan, Zac borrowed the truck from work (totally ok to do) and we headed to the hills to cut down a Christmas tree!  This is our first time ever as a family cutting down a tree from a tree farm - we have always gone up by Mt. Rainier and cut a mountain tree.  The roads up to the farm were very crazy for Zac in the truck, especially the steep single lane parts.  Once there we had a lot of fun and met up with some other friends from Zac's work.
the truck was a bit over-kill for the two trees we were hauling!
Once we got the tree home the Hoffmann's came over for dinner and to help us decorate it!  It is now officially Christmas time in our house!  I love the simplicity of our decorations this year, and I can show it in three pictures. (not pictured is the advent calendar made by my mom)
Our finished tree!
Nativity and Advent candles - Baby Jesus does not come until Christmas day, and each morning the Wise Men are hiding somewhere new in the house (they are looking for Jesus!)
Stockings - all made by Grandma's
Another fun thing from this weekend was the kids Christmas play at church called "The Christmas Cross"!  They did such a great job and had been practicing their songs a ton.  Here's a short video of one of the songs they sang.  Kyla is on one side on the bottom riser, and Keanan is on the other side on the middle riser.
Ready for the Christmas play!
Happy 2nd Sunday of Advent - PEACE!