Thursday, December 31, 2020


Merry Christmas!  We had a wonderful month preparing for and celebrating Christ's birth!  I will divide this post into several sections:

1) Preparing for Christmas
2) Fergus Falls Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa Tommerdahl
3) Woodbury Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa Kirkwood
4) Apple Valley Christmas with our family of five
5) Finishing off 2020

Preparing for Christmas

As we prepare for Christmas, we enjoyed reading through our Jesse tree advent readings to remember how the Bible is one big story that leads to Jesus.  We also enjoyed making Christmas cookies, caroling to the neighbors, visiting our neighbor Mr. Ken's "Christmas museum", taking various troops of our family out for secret Christmas shopping trips, making Christmas presents for family members, and more!

While we normally deliver Christmas cookies to our neighbors when we go caroling, this year we made candles with the following tag:

Normally cookies are how we spread cheer,
But 2020 is a different sort of year.
With the virus and germs spreading like fire,
A new idea we did aim to conspire.
Instead of germs, we decided to spread light,
So we made this candle to brighten your night.
Merry Christmas!
The Tommerdahls

Caroling and delivering candles to the neighbors

Visiting our neighbor Mr. Ken's "museum" - he sets his whole house up as a magical Christmas display, complete with antique toys under the tree that the kids love to play with each year!

Preparing for our gingerbread house.

The kids made plates this year as Christmas presents for extended family members.

Fergus Falls Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa T

We drove to Fergus falls for an extended weekend visit the weekend before Christmas.  We had so much fun playing in the snow, ice skating, playing games, playing with the dogs, visiting, and of course eating!

The kids were so excited to get SNOWBOARDS!

We were all excited to see Taylor and to meet her new pup Danger!

We stopped by Gee Gee Sandy's house on the way home and did a present exchange in her garage.  We missed not hanging out with her in person, but we enjoyed a long zoom with her and being able to at least visit for a few minutes in the garage.

Christmas in Woodbury with Grandma and Grandpa K

 We had a blast in Woodbury with Grandma and Grandpa K, Auntie Kristin and Uncle Eric and the cousins.  We enjoyed lots of playtime and giggles, playing in the snow in blizzard conditions, late night Domino games, good food, and catching up.  

The kids were pretty excited to get Christmas trees of their own for their rooms!  Another highlight gift for all of them was robes!

Family cuddle on Christmas morning :)

Christmas in Apple Valley with our Family of Five

We celebrated our Christmas Eve and Morning on the 26th and 27th.  We made made a family gingerbread house (Noah's Ark Theme this year) on our Christmas Eve.  If you notice the "6"'s on the ramp for the animals to get it, Summer made the animals enter "social distancing" style 6 feet apart, lol!

The kids got Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve... Because I got the girls ones that came with matching doll jammies, I knit Colton a hat for his favorite stuffed "Whitey" (He has been asking me to knit Whitey a hat for several weeks and so he was thrilled to open it ;)).
One bonus this Christmas is that the kids get to have TWO dogs for several weeks while Grandma and Grandpa T are in Boston awaiting Auntie Sarah and Uncle Ty's new baby.  They have been asking for a dog, so are thrilled to be dog-sitting TWO!

We read (and acted out with the Little People nativity) Christmas story, per our usual Christmas morning tradition, before opening presents.

The kids were so generous with each other and spent hours secretly purchasing, making, and wrapping gifts for each other.  Larkyn made cards, Summer made a special picture frame for Colton and a sister scrapbook for Larkyn, and Colton made bead lizard/unicorn ornaments for the girls.  It was also fun to see the very specific and sweet gifts they bought for each other.

We told them not to worry about gifts for us but they didn't listen :-)

The kids each had five gifts from us: 
1) A main gift (something they would be really excited about)
2) A side gift (a smaller something)
3) A book
4) & 5) Two faith growing gifts to encourage them in their knowledge of God/Bible

In their stocking they were ecstatic to open walkie talkies that worked between the three of them (it was definitely a top gift opened this year for all three of them and they use them all over the house, outside, and when they wake up in the morning!) as well as money to support their Compassion child Bran, which they adopted several Christmas's ago and asked that future money be given to help support him.

For their book category, Colton got a football book, Summer got an archeology book, and Larkyn got a book in a series she loves, called the Alex books.  For their faith growing gifts Summer got a book about 101 Biblical archeology finds and a Jonathan Parks CD, Colton got a science devotional book by Louie Giglio and a Jonathan Parks CD, and Larkyn got an Action Bible and some infographics Bible books.  All three were so excited about these books, as they all love books, and they fit their interests so well!

For their other two gifts, Summer got a painting set and a how-to painting book, Colton got Legos and a mini build-able robot, and Larkyn got a kids make-up set and a rubber band bracelet loom.  We had such a fun and relaxed day playing literally all day long!

Finishing off 2020

We had such a nice relaxing week after Christmas where we played both inside and out, and enjoyed relaxing together, including lots of cuddling with Grandma and Grandpa's dogs, knitting, baking, ice skating, sledding, reading, listening to story CDs, and more!  We wrapped up the year with watching old videos/pictures from this blog together, and toasting in the new year with England at 9pm, followed by a dance party.  I love our family!