Sunday, December 25, 2016


Guess who came home December 24th!?  KIARA LEA!  And of course, we celebrated!  The airport scene was out of a movie... Kiara ran towards me.  I ran towards her.  We cried and hugged!
Our best friends were invited last minute to celebrate with us!  (And we were happy to share our daughter and our traditions with them!)
Kiara had no idea that the Bettenhausens would be with us....  So she was beyond excited.  She was surrounded by hugs and smiles and love!  (Marmalade and Jelly Bean were especially excited to see her and wouldn't let her go.)
Apple Pie and Marmalade hugging Key Lime Pie
Jelly Bean was excited to see "his Kiara" again!
Marmalade couldn't stop giving hugs....
Dinner was AWESOME!  Scott always makes this feast his gift of love!  Kotten Kandy helped out behind the scenes and Fig Newton created the beautiful name cards again!
Isn't Fig Newton so talented?
She's truly amazing!
Look at this large, wonderful "family!"
Afterwards, we had our traditional Christmas program:  group singing, individual performances, and giving gifts to our Savior.
Kotten Kandy sang "Angels We Have Heard On High"
(And she sang the Glorias on one breath!)
Nuts performed "Good King Wenceslas" - all the verses!
What a memory - and an incredible voice to boot!
Marmalade played a beautiful Christmas hymn for us!
Apple Pie was being shy!
Juice played Carol of the Bells!
Way to go!
Jelly Bean played a "song about Jesus" which consisted of an unusual grouping of notes and dissonance... but still adorable!
Scott played his harmonica!
He's loving his new talent!
And Mark made us all laugh with an enthusiastic rendition of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"!
Then we exchanged Christmas gifts with the Bettenhausens:
I love being the "World's Best Honorary Aunt Hands Down!"
These kids are truly special to me... I love them like they are my own!
I'm sooooo glad Amy shares them with me!
Kiara was excited to get a planner....
And we all laughed when Amy got Kotten Kandy a SLOTH!
"Sloth the most adorable of sins!"  (See Studio C's 7 Deadly Sins on youtube)
Fig Newton got a spirograph to play with!  How fun!
Afterwards:  Christmas Pajamas!  FOR EVERYONE!  And we watched The Nativity Story.
Amy and Mark
The Betenhausens
The Bettenhausen Kids
The Kids I call "Mine!"
My girls!
Kotten Kandy - Fig Newton - Key Lime Pie
Family PJs!
I always thought I'd have a "nice and normal" family,
Instead I am blessed with a "kind and weird" family!
Raisin was engrossed in The Nativity Story!
She loved the Baby Jesus.
It was a beautiful night!  With some of our favorite people EVER!  YAY, for family!  YAY, for the Christmas season!  And YAY, for the reason for the season!
I truly am grateful for the birth of our Lord and his eventual sacrifice to save all mankind!