Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Our family Christmas celebrations started off with a gathering at Chad's parents house.  We have been getting together on December 23rd for a couple of years now.  All of the children have grown up and have their own families, so it is one of those "new traditions" that have emerged to bring everyone together for Christmas.  

Cookie decorating has become a regular favorite for the kids, both the little kind and the grown up kind.

 I'll save you the trouble of counting them all...there are 10 grandchildren around the table these days.

 Opening presents at Grandpa and Grandma's house...

No, all these presents are not SK's, she just thinks they are. 

I feel like the next few pictures could have been a blog post all by themselves.  This child has wanted a pillow pet for months and finally...bliss...

He carried that pillow pet around for the rest of the day, he would not be separated from the pillow pet once they had finally come together.

They look like they are having quite the conversation.

SK with her newest cousin...Ryan.

Wow that was a lot to take in and it's not even Christmas Day yet.  There will be more to come later.  Thanks for checking in on us. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Beauty of Simplicity

The beauty of simplicity...

The beauty of a snow white Christmas day spent with these four and their daddy...

Thanking God for the beauty of this day and the memories I have treasured up in my heart.  What a wonderful gift we have been given of this time together...healthy, happy and blessed.  

Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On the first day of Christmas...

"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me..."

...and three sets of Christmas pjs.

Ok, it's not quite 12 but you get the idea. 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours, may your hearts be blessed by the true meaning of Christmas today and everyday. 

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." 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Break

Our house is abuzz with excitement...we are officially out of school and Christmas is only a few days away.  I was able to spend some time last week in Grey and Sophie Kate's classrooms and had a ball with them and their friends. 

I hear this spinning toy is one of SK's favorites at school, she sure does look happy.

Grey's Christmas program...

He dances to the beat of a different drummer...

Literally y'all, he started doing "the sprinkler" about midway through the program...

It was so funny.

He knows he's awesome!

Grey and Sophie Kate at Grey's Christmas party.

 G-man with some of his buds...

The Santa hat picture was taken at SK's school, isn't it the cutest?  I have to say that I love how they positioned her in such a way to get a good picture.  It takes time to get a good picture of SK, it may not seem like much but it means a lot to me.  Just another way in which they show they care.

Oh my, it was lots of fun last week, but it is even more exciting this week.  Christmas break has begun and our Charlie Brown Christmas tree is now laden with the many homemade ornaments that were brought home last week.  Although I guess 3rd grade is the cutoff for making homemade ornaments at school, sadly my 4th grader hasn't brought home any.  I know, I know...he's 10...but it still hurts my heart just a little, they're still babies to their mamas.

I was able to get all my Christmas shopping done before the boys got out of school, so now all that's left is the fun stuff.  We have to get our little girl well first though...SK has spiked a 102 degree fever and is feeling pretty rotten.  She doesn't have the flu, thank goodness, but is very gunky and gaggy (probably not a word but you get the picture).  She has some suspicious lung sounds but not full on pneumonia, so we are fighting with everything we have to get her well by Christmas.

Thanks for checking in on us.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'll be having the humble pie

How is it that I can still be so blown away by the compassion in the heart of my sons for their little sister? Why do I not give them the credit they deserve? How can they be my teachers aren't I suppose to be that for them?

It's the last week of school here and my children are busy with Christmas parties, programs and finishing up their last bit of school responsibilities. My oldest son Cooper had to bring a wrapped book appropriate for 4th grade reading to exchange with his classmates during their Christmas party. When he came home that afternoon I asked him about his party and he began to tell me about it. He finished his recount of the party by telling me that he ended up with a girl book, meaning it wasn't a book a self respecting 4th grade boy would be caught dead reading.

I don't know what came over me, I have no excuse for the awfulness that spewed from my mouth. I will not even waste your time by trying to make futile excuses. I said to him, "Why, why did you come home with a girl book? Why would you do that? Did you tell your teacher that you ended up getting a girl book?" His response was "No, ma'am." I barely even listened for his answer before I continued spewing, "Why not? I spent $7.00 on your book and now you have come home with nothing to read."

He quietly told me that he didn't tell his teacher or try to trade his book because he wanted to give it to Sophie. Even then I wasn't buying it, I told him he was just making excuses for why he didn't tell someone and get his book swapped out, he wasn't going to give that book to his sister. "Yes ma'am" he said to me, "I wanted to give it to Sophie" and he proceeded to hand the book to me. I opened up the front cover of that hot pink book and found this inscription inside the front cover "To: Sophie Kate, From: Cooper." He then added, "I thought we could read her a chapter every night."

The next words I spoke will never be enough to undue the damage I had done to the very core of that child, because by this point he had been hurt so deeply that tears were streaming down his face. "I'm sorry," I said as the tears fell hard from eyes as well. "I'm so sorry" and I was...sorry for the hurtful words I had said, sorry for pain I had caused my son and utterly disgusted with myself that I was concerned that we were not going to get anything for the $7.00 I had spent on the book he took to the party, a sad commentary I know.

I'm not painting a very pretty picture, I'm aware of that, but this is real stuff here folks...the good, the bad and the very very ugly. I have never sugar coated things to make everyone feel comfortable and warm & fuzzy and I'm not going to start now.  It was a teaching moment there in our family room, one in which I felt about the size of a cracker crumb, but a teaching moment none the less.  The ironic part though is that I wasn't the teacher...and here I thought we weren't going to get anything in return for our $7.00...ouch...table for one with a huge serving of humble pie please.

I feel very compelled to share what God is doing in our lives and while I didn't come out "smellin' like roses" in this particular episode, it speaks volumes about my oldest son.  God is changing Cooper's heart through all of this just like He is changing mine, some of us just require a whole lot more work than others.  I'm so thankful for the gift of forgiveness this week.  I am going to leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Cooper and Sophie Kate.

Psalm 130:3-4 "If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you." 

Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Weekend

Waiting with friends for the Christmas parade this weekend...

Love the friendship these two little guys have...

How quickly they turn on their brothers...

It seems as though they have an unending energy supply...

While we were waiting for the parade to start the sun was out...

but once the parade started the sun went away...

see her little red nose.

Santa making an appearance at the parade...

School gets out for Christmas break on Friday and I so want to be done with my Christmas shopping by then.  I want us to hang out in our pajamas for way longer than we should and just take in all these fun moments with them while they still want to share them all with me. 

The excitement continues to build around here.  Thanks for checking in on us.