Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year! and our final Christmas in Korea

What better way to welcome 2016 than by re-living Christmas Day? That's what I'm thinking, anyway. While the big kids play their thousandth round of Pay Day, Reece naps, and Eric is pricing his wish/want/need list, I figured I should get some pictures edited.

We like to keep things pretty casual on Christmas day, regardless of where we are in the world, and we've had some pretty great Christmases. This is our third Christmas spent in Korea, but we spent a fair amount of time in the days leading up to Christmas re-living past Christmases.

The kids and I looked back at Snapfish albums of Christmases spent in our home in Stanwood (as we think about parting with our current Christmas decorations, they wanted to see what our tree and stockings in the States looked like). We talked about the Christmas spent in Thailand when my dad dressed up as Santa. We remembered the Christmas that my brother was here to play Legos all day long. We talked about the craziness that was last Christmas, with Eric and the kids flying in just days before and of course, life with a newborn (largely undocumented as a result of said newborn). And we made some new memories on this, our last Christmas in Korea.

The kids were up ridiculously early. That picture above of Kennedy and Reece in front of the tree? That was Christmas morning. Still dark, and yet. there they are, waiting impatiently to get at those stockings and presents.

While we were blessed to have presents sent from family, these kids still managed to plow through all of their presents in record time. It's always a little crazy how fast that happens, though, I guess. After weeks of preparation, shopping, and wrapping, it's suddenly over.

They received lots of the things that were on their lists: a watch for Kennedy, Legos for Cade, and books for all, among the highlights. We were all excited that the kids got some much-needed new clothes (their growth spurts have been crazy this year, and I've been caught unprepared; I'm so excited to live in a country where I can shop if I need to--at reasonable prices!).

Reece obviously enjoyed this Christmas infinitely more than last. He got some new, more age-appropriate toys, and all of the kids have enjoyed them! I think his favorite part of the morning was all of the tangerines that were in the stockings. The big kids, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed caramel rolls!

We spent the rest of the day eating snacks, putting together the new puzzle the kids got, reading new books and magazines, relaxing and enjoying each other's company. It was a good way to spend our last Christmas in Korea. We can hardly wait to see what Christmas 2016 brings, though!

In fact, we've spent much of the past week doing the same. Aside from going bowling on base, a trip to the Embassy to renew the kids' passports, and a stop at City Hall for ice skating, we've spent the past week relaxed, playing endless games, and reading. I certainly wouldn't complain if 2016 brought a little more of that!

My goal for 2016 is to try to document the transitions and life changes that are coming a bit better than I have been the past couple of years. As we go through some of these big "lasts" (like our last Christmas in Korea), I hope to capture what our lives are like in this stage for the kids to be able to look back on. So, I'm going to attempt another 365 project (or at least half of one, anyway)...wish me luck!

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