Christmas Morning

Wow! 3 posts up today! I was trying to get all of our Christmas posts up before the New Year. We have been so busy since Christmas visiting family. There were so many pictures I decided to separate them into three posts, so don't forget to scroll down to see the rest!
Christmas morning had a new, exciting, and fun feel this year do to a sweet little boy who came into our lives via an email picture on March 26, 2009 and arrived home to our family on August 30, 2009. Things would never be the same, and in a good way! We spent the morning together, just the three of us, before joining the rest of our family. I realize Mekonen didn't thave much of a clue about what was going on at Christmas, but it was fun anyway!

Mekonen's stocking and few gifts. We only got him a few things since he got lots and lots of things from grandparents!
Our cute little Santa Claus. And he pretty much kept the hat on the whole time.

The excitement of a stocking from Santa (okay, he had no clue. haha).
Mekonen eventually figured out the wrapping paper and was pretty intent on tearing it up.
I loooove this toy. Probably more than Mekonen. Haha. It's the cutest, squishiest, chunkiest Tonka car.

Mekonen is always pulling himself up on the dishwasher and refrigerator so we got him the leapfrog automobile magnets that you match on the fridge. So cute. He loves to pull them on and off.
How can you say no to that face?
Such Christmas sweetness.

Christmas in Indy!

After spending Christmas morning at our house with just the three of us, we went to downtown Indy and spent the morning at a soup kitchen. Christmas is also Jon's birthday and that was his request this year for his birthday. It was a lot of fun and a family tradition we hope to continue for years to come. We want the heart of Jesus, service, and thinking of others to be a natural and normal part of Christmas. We then spent the remainder of the day and evening with Jon's family opening gifts, eating lots of food, and just hanging out.

Mommy & Mekonen sharing lots of hugs! (as usual)Daddy & Mekonen

I get Nicholas Sparks' new book every year. I'm a sucker for his love stories. Hehe.

Grandpa Doug and Grandma Magz' FAVORITE gift this year: a picture of their two grandsons together (Owen & Mekonen)
Celebrating Daddy's birthday. Yes, that's only one candle in a pumpkin pie. Don't worry, Jon did have an actual cake and birthday presents, but for some reason the candle ended up in the pumpkin pie.
Mekonen loved his first taste of pumpkin pie and whipped cream.

Kisses for Mommy.
A very sleepy Mekonen after a long day full of presents, food, and family. I'm going to miss these kinds of moments when he is too big to hold like this.

Christmas in PA!

Mekonen's 1st Christmas was a blast! We celebrated two Christmases: one with my family in PA and one with Jon's family here in Indiana. Here are the pics from our PA visit the week before Christmas. It was so much fun to be with my family and see my nieces and nephew. Mekonen got tons of gifts from his Grandma and Grandpa!! What a lucky little guy!

Natalie was so sweet handing Mekonen his presents, even though she couldn't open hers until Christmas day.
Mekonen started figuring out the unwrapping thing and by the end was grabbing the paper and tearing it off. It was so cute.

Jonny & I opening gifts! My two favorite gifts were a very cute diaper bag and a winter coat.
Mekonen loved chewing on the boxes! Every gift he received has a hole in it where he chewed.
Mekonen's favorite gift!!! The retro radio flyer rocket. He doesn't quite get what to do yet, but he loves when you push him on it. Soon enough he'll be doing it all by himself!
Daddy showing Mekonen how to use his rocket.
Daddy & Mekonen
Jane as Mrs. Claus.
Picture attempt: Natalie, Mekonen and Jane. Looks like they are all getting a talkin' to after doing something bad. Haha.
All the cousins picture attempt. This was the best one. Haha.
Natalie, Manny, Mekonen, Aderyn, and Jane.
Me and my other boy: MannyB
Mommy playin' with Mekonen.
Auntie Rachael showing the girls how to use their new hoola-hoops!
Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Jack for all the presents!!!! Mekonen plays with them everyday! We love you!


Waiting for Santa

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT!

Some Christmas Memories

As my husband will attest to, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Now that I am grown, have started a family of my own, and live away from my parents, I look still look forward to going to my mom and dad's during the Christmas season. There's just something special about the way everything feels. I can't describe it. I look forward to her decorations and all the memories they hold for me. I thought I'd share a few!

As kids we loved to count down the days to Christmas! (yes, there is only one day until Christmas, but I took this picture 5 days ago!) haha. My childhood stocking which my mom still hangs up every year.
Here are some ornaments that adorn my parents tree every year. Most of them are very cheesy, but most of them were also made by us as kids. I find myself looking for them on the tree every year.
Yes, guady beaded ornament, but we loved making these as kids. We thought they were so cool. Haha.
My brother and I made these snowmen with our faces on them when we were around 4 or 5. Sorry for the fuzziness!
Classic. Both my brother and I have these. The famous paper plate picture wreath. Notice how the once lovely green wrapping paper has turned brown. Haha.
At one point in time as kids, we loved to cross stitch (I know, dorky), but we thought it was cool. We made a lot of these that year!
And you can't have a Christmas tree without candy canes! I remember as kids this was the highlight of the tree because we could eat them! I remember always asking my mom, "Can we have a candy cane!!!"
Every year, there are two desserts most requested. My mom's Christmas sugar cookies (with the best frosting ever) and her apple pie! This year I forgot to take a picture and when I remembered, there were only three left (and of course, the ones no one wanted b/c the frosting wasn't as "nice" haha). The cookie shapes are always an angel, a bell, a Christmas tree, a train, and a reindeer and the frosting is always pink, green, and blue.
These plates are always up at Christmas. My sister and brother made them in kindergarten. This year my sister's little girl ate her dinner off of it and she thought that was so cool.
Here's the nativity set I played with all the time as a child. I spent hours arranging and re-arranging the people in the scene. Now it is at our house on our bookshelf. I'm surprised they never got broken! I remember the time I realized the three wise men were not at the stable like all the commercialized Christmas shows and stories say. They did not arrive to see Jesus until he was about 2 years old in Nazareth! Not even Bethlehem. Upon hearing that, I proudly displayed my new knowledge by putting the wise men outside the stable. (But here they are in the stable to fit into the picture. haha).

And now... as I start a family of my own, we carry on traditions from our families growing up, and begin adding some of our own. Here's a taste of what has begun in the Oren family.

Mekonen's first nativity set. The Little People Nativity. (He'd totally smash the other one).
Mekonen's "Baby's First Christmas 2009" Ornament.
Two very special ornaments for our tree. We got these from Dire Dawa, Ethiopia where Mekonen was born. They aren't really ornaments, but we made them into ornaments.
So that's just a few things I love about Christmas by way of decorations and memories. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!