Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Portraits

Indulge me if you will, these are the Christmas portraits we had taken for our Christmas cards this year.

We used three pictures on the Christmas card.  This was one of them.

This was the second picture on the card.

I love that Prince looks like a little man in this picture.

My little Princess.  She knows just how to pose.

This was the third picture on the card.  Hubby and I haven't had a portrait made together for a while.

Christmas Excitement

While everyone has been blogging about their Christmas and doing the recap, we have continued to have more Christmas.  We left after church on Sunday to go to my in-laws' house, about 4 hours away to do Christmas Part 2.  It has been a fun-filled exciting Christmas week, let me tell you!  So I'll hit the highlights.
Christmas Eve we worshipped together as a family.  We made it through the service, although with five little ones sitting all together, there was more noise and chaos than I would have liked.  I found it quite ironic as we lit our candles and sang "Silent Night" at the end of the service that it had been anything but a silent night for us, and the hectic hustle and bustle to get us all there and trying to make the children behave in church had the parents anything but calm and peaceful.  That's just the way it goes with little ones who are so excited about Christmas they can't stand it. 

Just the 4 of us after Christmas Eve service

Hubby reads "The Night Before Christmas"
Our children were so excited that they literally could not sleep.  Hubby and I finally got to sleep after 11:00 and our precious angels got us up at 5:30. It was a short night, but Santa came! 

Princess was very excited that Santa brought her the walking dog she wanted.

It was a Toy Story Christmas for Prince.  He loves his new Buzz Lightyear.

After opening presents at home, we went to my parents' house to eat breakfast and open more presents. 
This was pretty much our morning.  Happy kiddos opening, opening, opening...  Grandma and Grandaddy may have gone a little overboard.  Eating, visitng, and more eating commenced. 

Sunday after church, we packed up the car and headed to the in-laws'.  While we were there we...
had Christmas Part 2.  More opening and more eating.

Visited with Great-Granny.  This is Hubby's Granny.
Picked Cotton

Found a deer skull
I was thrilled with this find ~ NOT!  Prince carried this thing all the way home with us.  It is still in the back of the car, as I'm not so sure I want it in the house.  Prince asked his Great Aunt and Uncle, who were with him when he found it if they were paleontologists.  He has added that to his list of "What I want to be when I grow up."  It's right up there with astronaut, President of the United States, and Vice President of a University (like Daddy)

We also watched old home movies that belong to Hubby's Uncle and Aunt.  This is Uncle G getting it all set up.  This was great fun.  Also not pictured, we gathered around the piano and sang Christmas carols.  I'm not sure that we are ready to take it on the road yet, but we didn't sound too bad with our four part harmony. 
Hubby celebrated his birthday a couple of days early with his side of the family.

Last night we finally arrived home and unpacked the car.  We had a great Christmas.  As I end the Christmas portion of this blog, allow me to say that we are truly blessed to have the love and support of our family.  Hubby and I have been blessed to grow up in Christian homes with traditions that have been passed on, as well as new traditions that are made each year.

One would think that you couldn't pack any more fun and excitement into a week, right?  Well you would be wrong, for today is Hubby's birthday! 
Happy Birthday Hubby!

This is what Hubby looked like when I first met him in 7th grade:

Wasn't he a cutie?
Anywho, today was a day to celebrate my Awesome Hubby.  See how awesome he is?  I even got him a shirt to remind everyone!
His birthday was complete with a Doctor Who TARDIS birthday cake.  If you don't know what that is, it's British Sci-Fi and I didn't know what it was until I married this Awesome man.  My amazing parents cooked Hubby's birthday dinner and hosted his party at their house.  They then entertained all 5 of their grandchildren so we could play Rock Band on the Wii.  My sister, bro-in-law, Hubby and I rocked out.
I am an amazing drummer ~ NOT!
I really got into it though.  Maybe I should borrow Hubby's Awesomeness shirt and then I can be as awesome as he is!  Just a thought.

Hubby really got into it too.  He knows a lot more of the songs than I do.

And now as I sit here and type this, Hubby is watching his new Star Trek DVD's with special effects and I am realizing that it is past midnight already so it isn't even his birthday anymore.  That being said, I will continue to celebrate this wonderful man, his birth, and the role he plays in my life.  God sent me a help meet and a soul mate and I love him dearly.  Happy birthday Hubby!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

My little Princess has such a huge heart and she is a people pleaser, just like her mommy.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  In this case though, it is most certainly a blessing.  You see, Princess, age 6, likes to give people presents.  She is a very thoughtful child and loves to see the look on someone's face when they open a present from her and it is exactly the thing they wanted.  There are two major obstacles she faces.  She does not have a lot of money, nor does she have a way to take herself to the store to buy the presents she wants to give.  HOWEVER, Princess is also a very creative child and she has figured out a way around this problem. 
It all started around Father's Day, when Princess decided to pick out her own present for her Daddy without my help.  She wrapped it up herself and presented this present so pleased with herself, and I had no clue what it was or where it came from...that is, until her Daddy opened the gift.  Princess had gone shopping in our bedroom.  She found one of her Daddy's old Star Trek books and decided it was the perfect gift for him.  As she put it, "Daddy, I knew you would love this because it was already yours but I think you forgot you even had it, so now it is new to you again!"
I love this brilliant child!  Underneath our tree are several presents all creatively wrapped by Princess.  Stuff I'm sure that we already own, but have "forgotten we own."  Christmas morning we will open these gifts from Princess and act extremely surprised and thrilled, which we will be because of the thought she put into those gifts.  What a beautiful spirit inside this child, that she "gets it."  She understands that it isn't about how much money you spend on someone, it is the thought behind the gift.
I have however, put a moratorium on "shopping" in my room for the rest of the Christmas season because she started talking about shopping for other people in there and there's no telling what she'll give away!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Afternoon of Baking ~ One Great Gift

There are so many things I love about Christmas time.  I love the secrets, the shopping, the wrapping, the baking...
Speaking of baking, this year I went to Dr. Aunt Best Friend's house to bake with her.  (You'll recall from my flu shot post, that my best friend is also a pediatric nurse practictioner and so my kids have taken to calling her Dr. Aunt instead of just Aunt)  We decided this year that instead of exchanging gifts, we would give ourselves the gift of time together.  It was a hit! 

Our girls, born 5 weeks apart, were our taste testers

Dr. Aunt Best Friend is so crafty!  Look at the boxes she is using for the cookies...

A close-up...they are fruit and veggie containers and she decorated them with wrapping paper!

You may ask, where was the Prince in all of this fun?  He was idolizing  playing with Dr. Aunt Best Friend's 13 year old son, Bubba.  What a great kid Bubba is to entertain all of the kids and keep them out from under our feet all day.  I slipped the dude some money before we left...he definitely earned it!

After an afternoon of baking, our hubbies joined us for pizza.  It was a great way to spend the day, in the company of my dear friend and I think we have started a new tradition, one that I will spend the next year looking forward to.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday's Hodge Podge

Joyce at From this Side of the Pond does a Wednesday Hodge Podge, and I thought it would be fun to play along.  However, this is my first attempt at linking up to another blog so be patient with goes...

1.  Share your Christmas Eve traditions.
On Christmas Eve, our family attends the early Christmas Eve worship service. 

Christmas Eve 2009

Afterward, we go all gather at my parents' house for appetizer type foods.  When the adults have all they can take and deem it bedtime, we come home and the kids can open one present on Christmas Eve.  It is always pajamas of some sort.  The kids then change into their pajamas and Hubby or I read "The Night Before Christmas." 

We then set out milk and cookies and tuck the kiddos into bed in hopes that Santa will come soon.

2.  What was the best book you read in 2010 (not including the Bible)?
Wow, this assumes that I can remember what all I read in 2010!  I usually read Christian fiction, and I really enjoy Francine Rivers and Robin Jones Gunn, but I did become interested in a secular series this year, Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella.

3.  Do you have pets and if so, do you allow them on the furniture?
I don't have any pets, just two 6 year olds that I sometimes wish didn't get mess and dirt on my furniture.

4.  What event in 2010 are you the most thankful for?
I'm not sure that I have just one event from 2010 that I am most thankful for.  What I am thankful for is every moment spent with family.  I have learned over the years not to wait for those big milestones, but to relish those everyday moments spent together.  I am most thankful that this year we have all enjoyed good health and that we have each other. 

5.  What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Hubby and I made a New Year's Resolution last January to eat in restaurants that we wouldn't normally eat, to go outside of our comfort zone of going to the same places and eating the same things.  We have done that, and have tried some new things.  We've had some winners and some not so great things, but overall, we have enjoyed the journey.

6.  Brussels sprouts, friend or foe?
I like brussels sprouts, although we don't eat them very often.  Even if I didn't like them, I think I would have to say that I did or The Queen of Brussels Sprouts would come after me!

7.  Who would you nominate for man/woman of the year?
I don't know.  I think that everyone has value and gifts and it is our job to use those gifts however God leads.  God performs miracles in and through ordinary people every day and we should earnestly seek His will for our lives.  If we are living for Him, we aren't seeking the glory of man/woman of the year because we know that we are nothing without Him.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
As I sit here writing this blog, I am watching Hubby put together a Lego Secret Agent Spy Mobile so the kids can tear it apart play with it tomorrow.  I'm not sure how little kids are supposed to put some of this stuff together.  It looks pretty complicated to me.  There are 8 separate bags of Legos and 4 illustrated instruction booklets!  While Hubby is up to his eyeballs in Legos, I think I will go wrap some Christmas presents.  Only 2 more nights till Santa comes to our house!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

Advent, waiting for baby Jesus. This expectancy of something so great and yet we have to wait for it. This has taken on new meaning for me in the last 6 years. When we found out I was expecting twins, we were shocked, we didn’t know what we were going to do with 2 babies. We were also very excited by all of the possibilities. We couldn’t wait to meet these two little people. Because I was considered a high-risk pregnancy, we went weekly for doctor appointments and ultrasounds. I couldn’t wait for Tuesday to come so I could see our babies and how they were growing each week. Throughout my pregnancy, we read to them, sang to them, talked to them, called them by name. We couldn’t contain our excitement as we waited for their arrival.

We made all of the preparations and had their nursery ready. We were blessed with baby showers where friends and family helped us get all of the things we would need to welcome our babies when they came home. All of the planning in the world could not have prepared us for the surprise meeting of these babies 7 weeks early when nothing went according to plan - at least not our plan. But our babies came in their own way, in God’s time and with His purpose in mind. It is because of our “less than ideal” experience that we drew closer to God and can appreciate even more the miracles that He has entrusted in our care.

Our Miracles Then

Our Miracles Now
How many times do we plan our holidays out to each little detail, yet things don’t go according to plan? Regardless of our plans, baby Jesus will come and it will be in His time and His way. Maybe this advent season we should look for Jesus to come in unexpected ways. The waiting and planning is exciting, but it is so much better than we had ever hoped it could be when we are open to His plan.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Call from School

The other day about lunch time, I received a phone call from Prince's teacher.  She informed me that he had to move his car to yellow light for something he did in the lunch room, but that he wouldn't calm down and stop crying to now complete his work.  She asked if I would talk to him.
Prince gets on the phone and is clearly upset.  Here's the conversation that took place:
Me: What happened?
Prince: I got in trouble for spitting through a straw at lunch.
Me: Why would you do that?
Prince: I didn't want the spit in my mouth.  (I will never understand why boys do the things they do and how they think!)
Me:  OK well that's gross and we'll talk about it when we get home, but right now you have got to suck it up, deal with it and do your work.
Prince: OK Mom.  I remember you told me before "I can do all things through Jesus Christ.  He makes me strong."
Me: That's right, you can.  So ask Jesus to help you pull it together and get your work done.
Prince: OK Mom.

Shortly after we hung up, I was with our pastor, relaying this story to him.  He chuckled and said, "I can hear his prayer now.  'Dear Jesus, please help me to suck it up and deal with it so I can get my work done.'"

Sometimes that needs to be my prayer too...Dear Lord, please help me to suck it up and deal with it and move on to the next thing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Busy Busy Bee

Where has the time gone?  I have started several posts, but not had time to finish any of them and I can't believe it's been weeks  months since I've posted!  We have been having too much fun around here!  Between volunteering at the twins' school, working at church, and all of the Thanksgiving festivities, we've been on the go!  I have written many a wonderful blog post in my head, it just never made it on the computer.  Trust me, they were truly inspired. 

We had a momentous occasion a few weeks ago.  Hubby was home from work one day and decided he would help catch up the laundry for me.  Well it finally happened.  Thanks to his hard work followed by a few days of me washing and folding, we got everything cleaned and folded.  (Yes, you heard me right, it took me a couple of days to finish)  As I stood in the garage looking at our empty hampers I felt a sense of accomplishment.  I could actually hear the Hallelujah Chorus.  This lasted for all of 30 seconds as Princess came in with her dirty clothes from school to start the process all over again.  *Sigh*  Here we go again.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, having 23 at our house for dinner.  The food was delicious, but the fellowship was the best thing about it.  All of the hard work of cleaning and cooking paid off with quality family time.  We are truly blessed to have such a close knit family. 

Since Thanksgiving, aside from the usual Christmas busyness, our household has battled bronchitis, ear infections, diverticulitis, and the flu.  I was the one with the flu just last week and am so thankful to be back among the living.  This has put me way behind schedule though, so I've got to kick it into gear.  If you usually get a Christmas card from me, they're coming, I promise!

So glad to be back in blog land!