Friday, December 31, 2021

Christmas 2021

Our Christmas was absolutely wonderful and full of great memories.  Did things go exactly as planned?  Of course not. :o)  But, we enjoyed our time together!  Christmas Adam (the day before Christmas Eve) I made sure everything was wrapped and ready.  Our tree was overflowing!! For now (and this may have to change soon) my kids all buy for each other, including in laws and nieces.  The budget for my younger ones may be small (so thankful for Dollar Tree!) but their gifts are well thought out and given with so much love.  How blessed we are!

With having 2 of my kiddos that are married, we decided to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve morning.  It worked so well last year with Joshua and Tabitha!  But, early Christmas Eve Tabitha got sick.  We don't know if it was from pregnancy, or something else, but the poor girl was pretty miserable.  So, plans changed somewhat.  We still had AJ and Brenna over and had a big brunch.  

Brenna contacted my high school friend that is now an author.  She sent me a signed copy of her book.  So excited to have a great book to read! We filled up on brunch, then tried out some of the new things from AJ and Brenna.  We enjoyed some dart competition on the porch and just spent some good time together.  I loved it!

That afternoon Tabitha started to feel better.  Praise the Lord!!!  Even though she was still weak, they came over and we exchanged gifts. 

They are doing such a good job training these girls for God's glory.  They are very polite.  After each gift they would go to the person and give them a big hug and a thank you.  So sweet.

Freedom is turning into quite the jewelry girl.  She loves her new necklace from Aunt Beffy.

And all of a sudden Victory Belle is standing on her own!!

Lollipops from Lollipops!

As usual, we had a very meaningful Christmas Eve.  We gave our stocking gifts to Jesus and talked about what we gave Him last year.  We read from Luke 2 and talked about what our decorations in our home really mean.  Then, all my kiddos piled together to sleep in the living room.  This year, there was a little more room as I now only have 4 kiddos at home.  A little bittersweet, that's for sure!

Christmas Day we opened more gifts!  And had a wonderful leftover lunch of turkey.  We played and played and played!  My kiddos are now to the age where they are great competition and hard to beat!

 Then, it was off to Grammy's for Christmas Dinner.  It was so delicious!!  
We then ended the day with a birthday cake for Jesus.  As we sang to Him, I was reminded of how many blessings He bestows on us, not just on Christmas, but each and every day.
It sure was a wonderful Christmas season!

Friday, December 24, 2021

My spirit hath rejoiced in....

Mary.  Just think about her for a moment.  Think about her upbringing, her circumstances, her betrothal, and then the words she heard from the angel.  Stop and think.  This really happened.  

I was telling Patrick last night that some of the events in the "Christmas Story"  often seem magical as if they aren't real.  But, they are!  The angel. The virgin birth.  God in flesh.  It really happened!  And when I think about Mary, and all she faced, it's amazing to me.  Who would believe her that she had kept herself pure and that this child was of the Lord?  Would her parents?  Her siblings?  Her friends?  Her spiritual leaders?  But, yet, her response is amazing.  The Bible says, "And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour."  Like I said, I find that amazing.  She chose to rejoice in God! 

 It makes me think of how we view Christmas time.  Usually our expectations are a mile high. It's easy to look at our situation, and how we want things to turn out and rejoice in those.  And when things don't go as planned, we are let down and disappointed.   We often create wonderful traditions, and memory making moments (like gift giving, cookie baking, caroling....) and then rejoice in those.  Now, believe me, I love all those things.  And I try to fit in as many as possible.  But, when our rejoicing is in the things and events that we create, we are setting ourself up for disappointment.  Mary rejoiced in God.  Even though there was much unknown and uncertainty around her, she chose wisely.  

I'm so thankful for all the glorious things of the season.  I love all the memories we get to make.  But, ultimately, I want to choose to rejoice in God.  He is worthy!


Almost time!

In the last few days before Christmas we try and fit in as much Holiday Cheer as possible.  It has been so fun, but it's almost time for Christmas!
We enjoyed a quick stop to Brenna's for pie and fudge.  Her camper looks so cute and festive!

We had so many (too many!) goodies left to bake!!

We've enjoyed the little break from school.  This year we are actually on schedule, so it makes the break even more sweet!

It's always a blessing to have friends stop by for tea!

Brenna is enjoying married life.  They had a picture at this same spot last year (minus the kissing of course!)

We made one final run to the store and got some Peppermint Chip Shakes while we were at it.  Yay!!

This year I had my family open up "Christmas Adam" jammies.  They loved it!  I think it's the early and first gifts that are the most appreciated.

And we've enjoyed another round of turkey.  Oh yes!

So, it's almost Christmas!  We're having a great time!


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Happy 4th Birthday Liberty Anne!

Our sweet Liberty, the one that first made us Lollipops, turned 4!  Wow!  Time flies!

She was so excited to be 4.  Lots of things come with this age, you know!

A big one is that she will no longer be in the nursery.  She gets to go to big girl Sunday School, Junior Church, and sit in the main service.  She is excited about that!

She wanted her Mommy to make her a white cake with chocolate frosting and lots and lots of colorful sprinkles.

 We had a great time celebrating this amazing little girl.  We love you

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

VSIBC Christmas Party

We had such a great VSIBC Christmas Party!  

We had tons and tons of yummy food!!

We sang the 12 days of Christmas the VSIBC way.  It's so hilarious! I go around asking people for things that had annoyed them in 2021 that they would like to get rid of.  I remind them to keep it light. :o)

I then put them in order for the 12 days of Christmas.

We laugh so much at this. :o)

Then, we have a white elephant gift exchange.  We get pretty passionate about those $10 gifts! But, it is so much fun and I love the memories that we get to make together.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Can we please have a parade?

Last year our city's parade was canceled due to Covid.  We were so disappointed.  I was so thankful that this year the parade was on!! 

We started by making our usual goodies:  Christmas Crackle and Christmas Crunch. 

Silas helped by cutting the sausage for the pigs-in-a-blanket.

I spread the word to our church family that I would reserve a huge spot for us at the parade.  I told them I would arrive about 2 hours early to keep our spot secure. :o)  It was so fun to have friends join me.  We talked and laughed and crocheted.  My friend said that we are definitely country bumpkins now.  Who else would crochet while waiting for a parade?  But, hey,  we have projects to complete before Christmas!!

By the time 6:30 came, there were 54 of us from our church.  We had such a great time together!!! I love my church family and love making memories with them!

It was a great, festive, country, hometown parade.  I loved it!