The kids were so excited for Christmas this year...they are all at such a fun age, so it makes the holidays so much fun. Santa really kept mommy and daddy up late this year helping him out (like we're talking until 4am!! --yikes!!)...so we were completely worn out when 8am rolled around and it came time to open all the presents.
They each had a present under the little Christmas trees in their bedrooms that morning that Santa had left them...so they squealed when they woke up and found those.
Noah was a little harder to wake up...he's getting to that age. ;-)
But once he saw his present...he jumped out of the bed! :-)
They lined up in the hallway in excitement...and let me take a few photos before they came running into the den to see what all Santa had brought them this year.
And the magic of Christmas morning began...
Lots of hugs and thank-you's from the kids...so sweet!
The car was a hit with Gavin and Tay-Tay...
Lola enjoyed sitting and watching the kids open their presents...
We had a wonderful Christmas morning together...Jody and I enjoyed listening to the kids squealing with excitement as they opened their presents and playing with each other afterwards as they showed each other their new toys/games.
After we had finished our family Christmas...we got dressed and headed to church for the Sacrament program. It was a beautiful meeting with tender messages about the Savior. A wonderful reminder for us about the Savior's birth and His ministry here on earth...and how we should try harder each day to emulate His life and teachings in our own lives.
I was thinking as I sat through the church service how thankful I am for my family and that we have the Gospel in our lives...it teaches us how to forgive one another and how to work through the harder times in our lives. To learn to love each other, despite our shortcomings and because of the Savior's love and Atonement--how we can each grow stronger individually and as a family, if we follow His teachings and ways.
As I was sitting at church Christmas morning and counting all my many blessings...I was thanking the Lord for all the big and small blessings we've had this year. I am humbled by all the Lord has given me and how He has watched over our family this year. 2016 was a very difficult year for our family and extended family...not one that I will miss or would ever want to repeat. I know in my heart and have faith, that most of the struggles that have come our way are all part of Heavenly Father's plan (for whatever reason) and I have come to accept them because of my deep and abiding faith and love for the Savior and His Gospel.
Sometimes that is all we have to hold on to in the harder times of life...we just have to keep moving forward-- one step at a time...one day at a time---until we feel happiness and contentment again. Until we feel whole again. I'm truly grateful for my dear family and friends who have been there for me this year--loving me through some terribly low times following the devastating news of my Dad's cancer diagnosis, Jody's emergency surgery and stay in ICU when he was so ill and the weeks following my total hysterectomy when my health became fragile. You truly were and have been my guardian angels here on earth and I'll be eternally grateful for your love and support.
I'm looking forward to the New Year...the fresh start and new beginnings that come with 2017. And the new adventures it may also bring for our family. ;-)