Monday, January 5, 2009

Our Holidays

This year, I had an extra hard time getting into the spirit of
Christmas. My heart and my mind have
been so much on my mom and her prognosis.
Then one day, the Lord gently reminded me that my job is my family,
my husband and children. They need me, and His job
is my mom. So, with that in mind, we set out to make a
whole bunch of holiday memories with our
kids. This was their third Christmas season with us, but the first
Christmas that they were adopted. I think this
Christmas was the best one ever. I had time
to just stop, reflect, and count each
moment with my family as a blessing and a
gift from God. I've learned how finite life really is, and how
truly wonderful it is to just eat breakfast with my kids or listen to my husband as he
tells me about his day. I try every day to take time for
an extra hug or kiss, or just to take time to
enjoy the time that the Lord has given me.
Hope your Christmas and New Years were as fun as ours.
Enjoy the pictures.
Looking for the perfect Christmas tree. It can't be too big, or it won't fit in the
Living Room.
Cutting down the tree. Everyone got a chance
to chop!

Our tree, decorated! What fun.

Our first family sleep over under the Christmas tree.
We watched Polar Express, enjoyed popcorn, hot chocolate, and
giant M&M cookies.
The sleep over was Jon's idea, and boy was it fun!
Talking with Santa. My girlfriend had the great idea
of having the kids tell Santa where they would
be on Christmas Eve so that
they wouldn't get nervous that Santa wouldn't find them.
Here, K. is not only telling Santa where he'll be, but also
letting him know that he wants a $30.00 gift card.
That made even Santa laugh. He then asked K. if he
was taking us out for dinner.
D. was too nervous to talk with Santa. That photo was as close as she'd
get. It's a wonderful thing to see her shy. She used to be
the little girl that would throw chairs and
run through stores. I love
seeing her naturally sweet personality come through.
K. and Daddy cutting out K.'s first gingerbread house.
He designed his own house, made the pattern
and had his daddy help him cut the dough.
Christmas Eve at my parents house. Every year
we give the kids pajamas. That was a tradition
started by my parents that we've passed
on to our kids. The only difference, the adults get matching
pajamas! Way fun. We can't let the kids have all
the fun!
Christmas morning. D. is opening one of the "clues" to our family big gift.
A tea set.

Not a clue to the family gift. Just one of K's favorite gifts. From
Oma and Poppa, his own camera. He's taking a picture
of me while I'm taking a picture of him.
My mom, opening a "clue" to the family big gift.
A sash that says "Votes For Women". Just
another reason I adore my mom. If this had been
her only gift from us, she would have been
perfectly happy. She never even acted like a sash
was a strange gift. It just made
her laugh.
The real gift to my mom (and the rest of us). We decided to
surprise my mom with a "memory" instead of just
a gift. Something that she could look
forward to during chemo and while
she's healing. For the past year she has wanted to go
see Mary Poppins on Broadway with the kids.
Now she gets to go.
We bought tickets for our whole family, so that she can
have the experience of Broadway with the kids, and they can
have the memory of a day with her.
We can't wait to go, and neither can she!
Hope the excitement will help the healing.
My parents gave D. her very own cookbook.
It's written for kids, so that they can
cook on their own. She decided to
make us cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
Here she is putting them together.
She takes after her mom!
D.'s cinnamon rolls. They were so good. Didn't she do a great

My parents Christmas Tree on New Year's Eve.
It was our first year with a white tree. It's much
prettier than I thought it would
The kids made the decorations and the paper chain, and we
all decorated it on Christmas Eve after church.
Our New Year's Eve party. Every hour the kids opened
up a little gift. They started at 4pm, and opened little
gifts until midnight. Their last gifts were noise makers
and party poppers. In this picture K. is getting ready to
launch his "rocket balloons" up the stairs.
The balloons were one of his gifts.
I think the boys might have been tipping more than eggnog back.
They're both wearing underwear on their heads.
Daddy and D. watching the balloons shoot up the stairs.
Who knew that rocket balloons could be so much fun.

After we came home, we decided it was time to add a
new cat to our family. My cat of 13 years, Charlotte, died
in October. We all miss her so much, but we realized
there are other animals out there that need homes.
This is Lucy. We adopted her from
the local humane society. She was a stray.
Now she has joined our family. She's a blast.
This picture is one of her calmer moments. Currently, she enjoys
running through the house as Bailey chases
her barking. I forgot how fun
cats were.
Hope you all have a very Happy and Blessed 2009. Thanks for
all of your prayers for my mom and our family.
My mom continues to heal with each day. Her faith is amazing
and her strength and positive attitude are
truly inspiring. I don't know
what this year will hold for us and our family,
but I know without a doubt that the Lord walks with us.


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