As I reflect back on this year I am SO incredibly thankful for all that God has blessed me with! I have been given the most incredible family, a warm home to protect me, a husband that loves me and a job that I love! I am surrounded by friends and family and cannot ask for anything more!
Now that we've sent out our Christmas cards I can share with all of you our family photos that I took recently. It was a cold and windy day when we went outside to take these but with a little bribery and a camera remote I was able to capture a few good ones! :)
My oldest daughter Bailee… she's 6, spunky and can't wait for her teeth to fall out! :)
My middle daughter Mia… she's 5, loves our kitten and her favorite thing to do is cuddle Mom!
My youngest son Jack… he's 3 1/2, gives the best wet kisses, and loves trains and planes!
My husband Tom is the best father, husband, brother and son you'll ever know! He's a man of God that loves his family, cares for his children and lets me follow my dreams. I can't imagine life without him. My love for him grows more and more every day!
I handed my camera to my oldest daughter and gave her a quick lesson on how to push the button. Not too bad! ;)
At our house we celebrate Jesus's birthday and the real reason for Christmas. We teach our children about God's love for us and for others. And while we make that the focus of our Christmas celebrations we also celebrate the magic of Santa and his elves! One elf in particular visits our home every year! His name is Sparkle!!
This year he arrived via package from Santa...
Included in his package was a letter from Santa explaining the real reason for Christmas which was extra special!
Here are the details of the letter…
Bailee, Mia & Jack,
Well, well, well... three of my favorite children!
First off, I have to tell you that I think you are all so very special! I know that
you love each other, your parents and most importantly that you are filled with love for Jesus. I also know that both Bailee and Mia have asked Jesus to live in your hearts. He lives in mine too, so that makes us all so special!
I have to let you know something important. I do have a naughty and nice list but you have to know that it’s more important to do what God wants you to do and what your parents ask of you than it is just to be good. You should always obey the Bible, God and your Mom and Dad. They love you very much and by listening to them you’ll always be on my nice list!
I know that you try so very hard to read your Bible every day and that makes God and me very happy! It is also very important that we remember why we celebrate Christmas. The true reason for Christmas is to celebrate Jesus’s birthday! I love to celebrate what Jesus did for us and love to bring you presents but it’s even more important that we remember to tell other people about Jesus and the reason for the Christmas season!
I have sent Sparkle back to you this year in this very special package. He was so excited when I told him it was time to return to his favorite family! He loves watching your family love each other, play together, and share with each other. Sparkle also loves Jesus and it would be great if you can help teach him some more things about Jesus’s birthday and God’s love by telling him your Bible verses and showing him lots of love!
Watch Sparkle closely, he can be naughty at nighttime when you’re sleeping and
likes to be silly. He is an elf and is different than children because he stays still all during the day but comes alive at night. When he flies back to me he can deliver me messages and will return in the morning. Take good care of him for me until Christmas eve when I bring him back home with me! I love you guys very much!
One of my favorite traditions that my husband and I do every year is to make peanut butter balls. We've made them every year together since we were first married and I hope we do it every year until we can't stand up on our own! This year we made 250+ and I love spending that time with him while we chat and think of all our friends and family we'll share them with!
And here are a few more Sparkle adventures…
Every year when we decorate the Christmas tree I take a few photos with a ball of Christmas lights. They always end up being some of my favorite photos and since we do it every year they show how much the kids have grown! I love this simple tradition of ours! :)
This is just a taste of what we've been doing here at the Van Tassel home for Christmas! I pray that your Christmas season is filled with love, memories, family and friends!