Here's how most of December looked for us, as well as how we welcomed in 2014:
We've passed around a stomach bug, fevers (making Josh miss his second year in a row of pajama day at school), a strange dizzy sickness (in which Ashley fainted in class while reading in front of her entire class and had to get an EKG to make sure it was nothing serious!), some massive chest cold where we all nearly lost a lung (except for Josh who strangely never gets colds anymore), and then a sniffling-sneezing-stuffyhead-runny-nosed head cold (where I feel like I'm swimming under water all day long). It was a wonderful way to end the year and start a new one.
But despite the icky sicknesses, we also had some fun.
Also on Christmas Eve (I wish I'd remembered to take a picture!), our wonderful friends from Suriname invited us over for dinner.
(This picture isn't from christmas eve, it was from a church activity our families went to together. Too bad Iwan wasn't there! But Muriel is the one who made us a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner.)
She made some amazing (non-american) foods for us. It was all SO good, and we had fun hanging out with them. She wouldn't let me help cook or clean up (which I still feel bad about...), but it was such a nice Christmas Eve for our family.
Then we came home and they opened their traditional pajama present before going to bed.
As I said in the last few posts, for Christmas this year we decided to not buy presents, but use our money to go to Universal Studios and make some memories. Santa left a few things in their stockings for them to look at on Christmas morning. But other than that, there was only one present each under the tree from my parents (Chris's parents sent a gigantic box for the 12 days of Christmas, so we enjoyed their christ-centered gifts every day, all month).
It's pretty amazing to me how happy the kids were, even though there wasn't much "stuff" this year.
Ashley is kind of obsessed with wearing hair accessories around her wrist, so Santa bought her a whole bunch of new ones. And Grandma gave them little Lego sets to build, which they loved.
Here's the last picture of Christmas. Ashley would be mad if I didn't include the picture of her as Mary. Our stake put on a lovely nativity activity, where lots of families loaned their little manger-scenes, and the stake set them up in the gym. The young women groups made dozens of cookies, and the primary set up this fun photo booth and craft room. It was a nice way to remember the reason for Christmas.