Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Christmas celebration

We had a wonderful Christmas!  Unfortunately, Hubby's dad is having cancer treatments in a hospital on the other side of the state, and was still not feeling well, so we could not be with them like we usually are on Christmas day, but we enjoyed the day just with our little family.  Here is a little taste of some of what we did this Christmas season...

 We had a little get together with our friends.  Josh put together a talent show...Sarah sang and danced one of her favorite Barney songs. 

 Ben did some gymnastics...

  They were all fantastic, of course!

 Then we played some fun games!  My creative hubby made up some of them like this "How many noses can you get in the bowl" game. : )

 We went and looked at lights.  This street had a programmed lights and music show.  Fourteen houses all participated!  One of the largest residential shows in the country!

 We decorated graham cracker houses.  Well, this is Sarah's "clinic."  She thought it was hilarious
 that Josh made a dog house right next to the clinic for her. : )

 And of course, Jacob, realizing that peace on earth still only reins in our hearts, created this battlefield complete with cannons and towers.

 We decorated cookies!  This is actually painting with frosting.  It was fun!

 The kids opened their gifts to each other on Christmas Eve.  Cassandra got these color-sorted skittles from Ben.  Just right for her OCD. : )

 We went to church on Christmas morning!  Christmas hardly ever happens on a Sunday, so that was a special treat.

 After church, the kids all got back in their jammies. : )  Jacob read the Christmas story this year.

 And of course we opened presents. : )

 Sarah loved her new "I-Pad," just like Grandma's. : )

 Our tool man loved his new tool box!

And of course all the boys loved their new video games.  Ugh. 

We had a merry Christmas celebrating our Savior's birth.  I hope you did too! 
(And if you didn't watch that adorable video I posted last time, you should really go watch it!)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Story

This is so precious.  I know you will love it! 
 Merry, merry Christmas from us to you!!!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Hello, blog world!

I realize I haven't written on here pretty much all month long.  That is because of December hustle and bustle, of course.  And also...because...I have been thinking and thinking about what to say to put into words my feelings about Christmas. 
But this year for some reason, I have been thinking, how is it even possible to put into words the depth of emotion that I feel at Christmas time? 

Honestly.  GOD.  Coming to earth. 
To be with us and to be one of us. 


And all around us our senses are saturated with music and lights and tinsel and wrappings and coupons and sales and family and cookies...and more and more cookies...  and Santa Clauses and reindeer and reminders to keep Christ in Christmas. 

It all seems a bit surreal to me.  The world celebrates Christmas. 
Yet, so very, very many of those people in all their celebration hoopla are really celebrating--nothing at all. 

We watched Jim Carrey's version of the Grinch last night.  Little Cindy Lou keeps trying to find out what the true meaning of Christmas is in all the hubbub of the preparations.  Finally, at the end when the Grinch has stolen all the presents and even the roast beast, everyone realizes that it wasn't about those things at all. 

They all hold hands and sway back and forth singing "Da hoo Do ray," or whatever it is, thinking that they have figured it out.  And really, according to much of the world, they were right, I suppose.  Christmas is about being together and warm fuzzy feeings.  Right?  And maybe there was a Baby, and maybe there wasn't, but Christmas (or the "Holidays") is a special time to gather together with people we love.


God made the human race.  He made you and He made me, and He loves each one of us with all of His Being. 
He loved us so much, in fact, that He gave us our own free will.  To decide if we would sin or not, and to decide if we would love Him or not.  What is the use of having an intimate, loving relationship with a programmed robot, after all? 

And so, He gave us the choice to know and love Him-- or not. 
He even knew that we would choose sin that would separate us from Him in His holiness, and He made a plan way back in the beginning.
A crazy plan. 

 The most loving thing He could possibly do. 

He would send His only Son.  Part of Himself--perfect and holy in every way.  Even starting human life as an embryo...Entering our wicked, fallen world, and being truly one of US.  Enduring hunger and sickness and pain and ridicule, and even temptation, so that we could really see Him and understand who He is.  And then finally being--Himself, in His death--the ultimate sacrifice. 

The ultimate Christmas gift.
The payment for our sin, so that those sins could be covered by that precious blood and forgiven, making it possible for us to be right with Him again.  If only we would accept that gift. 
If only we would just simply BELIEVE.  

And so, with Christmas being tomorrow, we have a choice.  Christmas maybe is simply a great big party about love and happiness and good cheer....

Or maybe Christmas really is the celebration of the birth of the one and only Savior of the world. 
The most important, life-changing event that ever happened.  

Oh, how He loves us.  

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.--2 Corinthians 9:15 

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December day at the park

Our Sarah....squeezing every drop of joy out of life!!

 Reach for the sky!

 Touch your toes!

 Silly girl. ; )

Have I mentioned how much I adore this girl?  : )  : )

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Driveway Delight--Part 2

So, here is the continuation of my last post....this time it's all from my own head. : )

The other night we were driving home from church, listening to one of our favorite radio programs called Down Gilead Lane.  We live a half hour from our church, so we get to listen to a whole program each time.  I guess that's the one good thing about our long drive.

Anyway, in this episode, the Morrison family was all in the car on their way to Grandma's for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a long drive, complete with bad weather slowing things down, crabby kids, crabby parents, and an annoying little brother who happily, continually told corny knock knock jokes and kicked the seat in front of him.  Everyone was highly annoyed with the little brother, and one sibling eventually ended up saying things that weren't very nice to him, even blaming the horrible time in the car on him. 

However, it was finally made clear that during the whole drive, only this little boy had had a thankful spirit.  While everyone else whined and complained, he alone had stayed cheerful and thankful for everyone's company.  The episode ended with the family realizing that this little brother had been right.  Instead of complaining, they should all have been thanking God for the time they had together as a family, even squished together in a car on a long, tiring ride.  The mother on the show shed a few tears as she thought of years to come when the family would all be grown and gone from each other.  And I admit, that silly little radio show episode was so thought provoking, and so absolutely dead on...that I shed some tears too. 

I love that article by Carol Barnier that I shared with you last time.  I love it because it is such a reminder to me that we do not have a lot of time. I have been becoming more and more painfully aware lately that my boys are growing older.  Twelve and ten years old are ages frightfully close to the teen years.  I don't mean I am afraid of the teen years.  I am actually excited to discover what kind of young men my boys will be as they grow and mature out of the matchbox cars and sword fighting years!  I love the relationship I have with my boys, and I am sure I will continue to enjoy that relationship through the next phase of our lives. 

But two things I know for sure about the teen years...they will be very different from the little boy years, and they will fly by very, very quickly.  Much too soon, my boys (and Cassandra, and even too quickly, my littler ones) will be leaving our nest.

I want to make these years I have with my children count!  I am so often reminded that we only have ONE chance at this.  ONE go around.  ONE time to be a parent to our children while they are young.  I do not want to waste the end up looking back and saying, "I wish....." 

God has given us this time to teach them and train them and love them and laugh with them.  Heaven forbid we waste it away on selfish pursuits that were not so very important after all.

So let's spend the time to have those talks, play those games, read God's Word and teach those lessons.  And let's have some driveway delight with our children.....while we still can.