Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The Face of Christmas

I thought this picture captured Christmas to a child so perfectly- sheer joy and pure wonder all wrapped up in a bow underneath a twinkling Christmas tree.

Below are some other fun "faces" of my family on Christmas morning.

Other Expressions of Christmas

"I can't believe I actually got something that was on my list!"

"Dad says we better get this paper cleaned up NOW if we want our last present!"

"I like it, but it's not doing anything yet."

"I like it, but I really can't figure it out."

More Expressions of Christmas

"It's too early and I need some coffee."
"I have no idea what's going on, but someone with a camera called my name so I guess I'll look at them."

"If I could just figure out how to get these skates apart, I could really have some fun."

"Look out, world- here I come!"

It's a Wonderful Life

We've had a marvelous Christmas/birthdays/New Year's week. We had our first Christmas with "just us." While it was very different and a little sad to not be surrounded by moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas, grandpas, and cousins, it was also nice to be home and show the kids that tradition isn't just something that we do with our "big" family, but that is important when it's "just us," too.

After Christmas Eve service at church, I put together the last few things for the traditional "Mack family" Christmas Eve supper. The kids put on their pj's and then we did the candles- another Christmas Eve tradition from Macks's side of the family- where one by one we each light a candle and share what the Lord has done for us, in us, and through us during the past year, things we are thankful for, favorite memories from the year, etc. Then Mack read the Christmas story out of Luke, and then "The Night Before Christmas," which is something I remember quite vividly from my childhood- my parents reading us Christmas stories, both true and fantastical on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We put out cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer and the kids went off to dream of sugarplums.

Christmas morning, the kids opened presents and we had the traditional "Wife's family" breakfast. Then we surprised them with a new kitten, whom they named Jingles. He's pretty cute and they are enjoying him immensely. All of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I thought to myself, "It really doesn't get any better than this." I am building a life with a wonderful man whom I love so deeply, and we have four beautiful, smart, happy, and some-what well-behaved children. I have a personal relationship with the God who holds all things in the palm of His hand, and have peace and rest in His goodness and sovereignty. In a turbulent world and troublesome economy, He has seen fit to bless us with a stable job, nice home, and everything we need.

Macks's mom and dad, brother (Uncle M), sister-in-law (Aunt J), and niece (yet to be blog-named- I'll have to work on that one) arrived on the 27th and we celebrated Apple's 6th birthday. We then celebrated Mack's 30th on the 28th and Unlce M and Aunt J (unfortunately) had to return home that day- we wished they could've stayed longer! Mom and Dad, however, got to stay with us a few extra days and just left this morning. The kids always love having Grandma and Grandpa here to play, and Mack and I always love having them too! All in all, we've had a pretty wonderful last week of 2008, which is fitting, because it's been a very good year- full of trials from which we have grown in faith, full of blessings in which we have rejoiced, full of reminders of God's faithfulness and goodness.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sunday Dinner

As I am blogging, my husband says I will soon be blogging about my upset husband who is waiting for his Sunday dinner. So I am. :)

Opening Presents with the Wife-family

Our little bookworm was very excited to get some "Boxcar Children" books

Fun Christmas socks

Books for Apple

Little One was too little to open her own gifts last year, so this was her first "real" Christmas experience.

C-Ray and some candy. Although he was kind of a sour puss. His initial response to every gift he opened was "Oh Pickles!"

C-Ray's Christmas Notions

-The other day C-Ray pronounced Jesus, "King of the Juice"

-At Wal-Mart, C-Ray asked for some random toy. I told him maybe Santa would bring it to him. He replied, "Mom, don't be silly. Santa would never bring me that." Smart kid.

-We are going through the "What God Wants for Christmas" set. It's very neat- there is a little cardboard stable and 7 nights of little "gifts." Each gift is a different character of the Nativity. The last night answers the question "What does God want for Christmas?" and in the box is a mirror. Anyway, every night the kids are guessing who they think will be in the box. C-Ray's guess every night is Baby Jesus.

-"Mom is it still Christmas time?"
"Yes, C-Ray."
"Then why haven't there been any presents yet?"

-"Mom, I want a lizard and a rhinocerous for Christmas. And that's it."

Decorating the Tree

Apple reaching way up!

Little One helping

So cute!

Faithie's School Christmas Concert

Thursday, 4 December 2008

So It's Safe to Say...

that I'm way behind on blogging. Let's see... what is new? We traveled to Washington state for a week to celebrate Mack's dad's retirement with the entire family. My mom, dad, brother, and sister-in-law came for Thanksgiving. Good times were had on both occasions. Someday I'll upload some pictures. What else? Apple has her first loose tooth, and is loving kindergarten. Little One, at almost 18 months, still has only 4 teeth, and is in full toddler mode- messes and tantrums galore. Faithie is excelling in first grade- her reading level is at least at second grade, almost third. C-Ray is, well, just C-Ray. He is learning to write his name and recognize some letters, so perhaps he won't be completely unprepared for kindergarten next year.

Some cute and/or funny things:

We were listening to a cd of kids' lullaby songs in the van. One song has a line that says "fourteen angels watch me sleep." Faithie asks, "Mom, did they just say 'FARTING angels watch me sleep?' " I laughed so hard that I couldn't even remind her that she's not allowed to use that word!

We were walking through the slushy parking lot at the girls' school yesterday. Faithie says, "It sounds like we're stepping on sand." Apple is silent for a moment, then asks, "Faithie, did you just say 'it sounds like we're stepping on SANTA?' "

C-Ray's latest response to anything he doesn't like is "Oh pickles!"

Little One doesn't do cute things. She only screams and cries about everything. I'm exaggerating, but only a little.