The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

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Bell Family Update–December 2016

We love December. Our neighborhood is quiet from the cold, extra-curricular activities take a break, and we just get more time to hole up as a family. This has been a sweet month for all of that.

Always a family favorite–wrestling Daddy. It’s getting harder and harder for him to overtake them these days. 20161128_211800468_iosAnd while he still can…20161128_211915747_ios

The choir I sing in gave our premier performance. I love these people.20161203_011303205_ios

The girls were again in the Nutcracker. We are so blessed to dance with this studio!20161208_230743873_ios20161208_232822331_ios20161208_234054723_ios

Our first snowman! ūüėČ 20161209_182501621_ios

A glimpse into our lives in a few years. The girls taking off their makeup after the recital. Oh, boy.20161210_010007752_ios


And a better snowman. This was the perfect snow for it!20161213_202135579_ios


Ariana baked cupcakes for Aiden’s birthday all by herself!20161219_190702337_ios

We all had an amazing and hard-working week with Nana!!! She came in to help me give my home a clean-sweep/re-org for the end of the year. This woman is better at this stuff than anyone I know, and she never stopped, even with a sore knee. This is an end-of-the-week movie time, complete with Nana snuggles. I was relieved Aiden wore his helmet, too, in case something came flying out of the TV screen.20161219_230521230_ios

Grocery shopping date with Daddy20161223_153416208_ios

Coloring time. Bill gifted me with a FabFitFun subscription box! The girls loved helping me decorate it. Aka, I did nothing. ūüôā 20161224_152627026_ios

Family reading time20161224_161946228_ios

The traditional search for baby Jesus to put in the manger on Christmas morning20161225_120720548_iosAnd the finder of said baby20161225_121026379_ios

Ah yeah, buddie, dig in to that stocking candy.20161225_123155651_ios

Sugar cookie time!20161225_211732127_ios

Legos for days20161226_210418209_ios

And a cute little birthday boy!!!20161228_145553130_ios



My Christmas Present

Our friend Rachel blessed us yesterday with a night out while she watched the kids.¬† As many of you know, we are in need of a van so we have room for three car seats.¬† Bill has been trying to figure out if it¬†would be¬†best to trade in our Chevy Lumina or to sell¬†it for parts (it’s barely drivable).¬† He found a place we could sell it that he thought would be the best value, so he asked Rachel to come over a little earlier¬†to give us time to¬†take the car to the buyer.¬† I was following behind him talking to him on the cell phone (we were on a date, remember) when he pulled into the business.¬† I was already¬†driving in the parking lot before I looked to see where we were.¬†¬†The sign said Enterprise Car Sales.¬† I experienced a moment of absolute bewilderment because I knew we were planning on purchasing our van from Enterprise, and I knew we weren’t going to start looking for a couple more months.¬† I got out of the car to see my husband with a huge grin on his face.¬† He had already been working with our friend Drew¬†(Enterprise car salesman)¬†for a couple of weeks, and everyone and their mom (including two women who were at our house right before we left) was in on the fact that Bill was surprising me with a new-to-us van that night.¬† He already had it picked out.¬† All we had to do was test drive it and sign papers.¬† We left¬†Enterprise last night with a black 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, and I love it!¬†

For those of you who don’t know, C.J. Mahaney has nothing on my romantic husband.¬† Bill is always looking for new ways to romance me, and this was just one more thing he went out of his way to do to touch my heart (in case it doesn’t seem romantic to some of you to buy your spouse a mini van, a mini van is basically my dream car–laugh if you want).¬† Well, Baby, you touched it and have it as always.¬† I love you!¬†

Man, it’s going to be tough to match that Christmas present.

Cheap plug:¬† We are convinced of Enterprise Car Sales (especially because there’s no haggling–we always struggle with our conscience on that one).¬†¬†We don’t¬†think we will ever purchase a vehicle from anyone else.¬† If you are as convinced as we are after investigating, you need to purchase from our friend, Drew.¬† Contact us if you want his info.¬† ūüôā

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Some Christmas Tools We Use

The Christmas before Liam was born, Bill and I started evaluating how we could make sure we point our children to Christ instead of greed during the Christmas season.  Some tools we found and have used each year are:

1.¬† Noel Piper’s advent calendar (sorry, I couldn’t find it on the Desiring God website–I hope it hasn’t been discontinued)–this calendar lets you tell the Christmas story a little at a time for 25 days with little figurines and everything.¬† Here’s a picture of ours:

2.¬† Adornaments–a neat way to put ornaments on the tree¬†that tell about Jesus’s names during the twelve days of Christmas

3.¬† Advent candles–there are many different sites where you can find readings.¬† Some are obviously more gospel-centered than others.¬† You can also write your own.¬† Liam enjoys blowing out the candle most nights.

What kind of things do you use?