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Christmas in Pictures…

Would you lose respect for me if I told you that I have more pictures of these girls than I do my kids?
I have had a flood of childhood memories since they were opened on Christmas morning!
I’ve been caught several times now playing with them…without Lydia in the room. 
{no joke}
She got her first American Girl Bitty Baby, and her name is jia-jia, which is Lydia’s Chinese name.
Y’all, she tucked her in last night and told her not to be scared anymore cause she had a family now.
{jia-jia is pronounced ja-ja for those of you wondering}
He is so spoiled.
If you knew how many pictures he walks in front of, you’d die.
He wouldn’t stop ’til he got his picture made today, so here he is in all of his ferocious glory.
It was such a wonderful morning at our house, and the kids were so grateful for each of their gifts!
This one sits back and takes it all in, quietly.
He enjoys watching each person open their gifts.
This one has his shirt on backward and he could care less.
He jumps from one sofa to the next and attempts to open two gifts at a time.
He is the opposite of quiet, and we wouldn’t change a thing about him.
This one opened each gift carefully, not wanting to mess up the pretty paper.
She also said the words “thank-you” at least a hundred times.
She got other things for Christmas, but that Strawberry Shortcake dress and those dolls stole the show.
Are you wondering about the boo-boos all over her mouth?
She bit the dust on her bike two days before Christmas. 
She wanted to put her Christmas dress back on today and take pictures outside with her lollipop.
Ask me if my boys have ever, in all my years of being their mama, ever asked me to do a photo shoot.
So, here are some of the pictures we took outside that capture her adorable personality.
A smocked dress, big bow and bare feet = Southern living at it’s finest!
That’s a Hello Kitty watch that she got in her stocking, and she now likes to sleep in it.
I love it that she likes to dress up …
and have fashion shows…
 and dance with all her might…..
and have me take as many pictures of her as my camera will hold…
AND ride bikes, play in dirt, and build legos with her brothers.
Currently, we are in her room listening to “Come Let Us Adore Him” on her new Hello Kitty stereo.
I’m writing this post, and she is singing to the top of her lungs totally out of tune.

I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas with your families.  I know we did.
We had a beautiful Christmas Eve service at our church.
I will never tire of having the Christmas story read aloud.
After this Christmas, I think Matthew’s version is my very favorite.
He starts the book with the genealogy of Jesus.
And, he mentions the unmentionables. {and their labels}
Tamar prostituted herself.
 Judah and his brothers sold their brother Joseph into slavery.
 The one who had been Uriah’s wife, who was Bathsheba, committed adultery with King David.
Ruth wasn’t a Jew, but she made it into the lineage of Christ.

These people were important to him because he could relate to them.
Their stories mattered to him because they were people who were desperate for Jesus the way he was.

Matthew was a tax collector and was among the least favored people in the area.
When he met Jesus, he was unconditionally accepted and it changed him from the inside-out.
His version reminds us that Christ came for everyone.
…even the unmentionables.
I am overwhelmed with a grateful heart that He is Emmanuel, God with us.
He is bigger than our mistakes.
He is greater than the sins that entangle us.
He is more powerful than the labels that people give us and that we give ourselves.
He is with us.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, 
full of grace and truth.

{thankful for}
214. Matthew’s version.
215. Jesus removing all my labels.
216. His acceptance of me.
217. His work on the cross.
218. My kids grateful hearts.
219. Time with my precious parents and my brother and his family.
220. delicious food that I’m still thinking about.
221. peppermint ice cream from Mayfield.
222. newly painted bathroom cabinets in our rental house.
223. a walk down memory lane with strawberry shortcake and her crew.
224. a warm house in cold weather.
225. Hamburgers on the grill with french fries

Emily's Adventures - - oh my…that Lydia girl, she's too much! And those boys of your's are precious as well. Must have great parents ;)

So glad it was meaningful and wonderful….merry christmas!

Blondie's Journal - Wonderful pictures. It's like seeing Christmas through the eyes of your children!


Elizabeth - I love your "thankful list" Tara. It always reminds me to think about my own blessings.

Life with Kaishon - So beautiful. It made me cry.

janis - How precious indeed! Enjoy your wonderful family…they grow so quickly. I still enjoy watching my Baby Girls (21 & 23) squeal in delight as they open gifts, but now they also are so thoughtful and excited to find something special for me & Hubby. I am truly Blessed♄
Merry Christmas & Have a delightful 2012.

Melaine Thompson - Oh my gosh! I loved strawberry shortcake! Do they smell? Remember how they used to smell, kinda like cabbage patch kids did? I loved that smell. Maybe I'll buy myself a doll :)

Janie Fox - Strawberry Shortcake on the dvr here. I gotta couple of grand daughters who are crazy for that show! I catch myself singing the songs when they are not even here! Love your gratefulness list.

theelizabethhighsmith - sweet, girlie girl! tiny little painted nails slay me-and in the first shot i thought, awww she has chocolate on her face! could have fooled me. rejoicing with you in happy, grateful Christmas babies and dolls. and mostly for the reminder of our Savior full of grace and truth.

Tiffini Kilgore - His acceptance oh yes
Your kids are sp precious
You are sharing Real hearts for Jesus
Your lists of thankfuls are teaching the beauty
And free gift of His grace to them
That Lydia….goodness
Love ya much
Loved hearing about your Christmas


Sarah - I love the Lydia pics and especially love the Strawberry Shortcake ones. I loooooved Strawberry Shortcake – even had sheets for my bed. I love that she's back! Have you read Francine Rivers' books of the women listed in Jesus' genealogy? They are great. Merry Christmas late!

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