The giving spirit of Christmas must have nestled into the hearts of my precious ones a little bit. My older son, Barnabas, used the rewards he's earned in church to buy a journal for his sister and a Matchbox car for his little brother who adores cars. Melts my heart!
After service, we went to see the final football game of the season - Sean stepped in to be a coach to help a friend and has faithfully poured into these 4th-5th graders, even though our son didn't play this Fall. Barnabas did go to practices to help the team prepare for their weekly games and enjoyed cheering them on - what a good sport!
My daughter, Mireille, has been saving her allowance for months in order to get an American Girl doll. She faced temptation every time we went to the store but overcame it by reminding herself of her bigger goal. A few weeks ago, she stepped up in a huge way at home to help me. She worked diligently and with a great attitude to the end, and we decided to make up the difference for her doll.
She tried to be patient, since we weren't sure when we'd be able to drive to the store in Denver. With a busy week ahead, we decided to make Day Two of the 25 Days of Christmas a Surprise Shopping Day. I was inspired by "Elf" and asked the kids to keep going around and around in the revolving door - silly fun!
The guys were such awesome troopers for hanging out in the store while Mireille tried to decide what outfit or accessory she wanted to get for her doll, Caroline. Thank God that the store in Denver is a lot smaller and less crowded than the one in NYC. We visited it twice last year, and it was always packed!
With the decision made and the doll purchased, we decided to walk around the lovely Park Meadows shopping center. But first, a photo op.
A store that the boys can get excited about, hurray! We discovered recently that the kids play really well together with Legos.
It's something that the girl, the boy and the little one can enjoy together. And they share. And help each other build. And laugh together. Peacefully. For hours. I think I love Legos.
Ikea happens to be down the road from this shopping center, so the kids "allowed" us some of our own happy time wandering around the store. After we exhausted ourselves in that massive store, we grabbed a quick bite and made the long trek back home. Day Two was all about family time - surprising Dad by showing up at the game, rewarding the princess for her hard work, and blessing the boys with fun inside the Lego store.
(BTW, I did try another "Elf" inspiration by attempting the splits as we headed up the escalator like he did in the movie. I'm not that limber, nor was my stunt double available.)