Clearly, the blog has changed direction. There's less light-hearted humor and MUCH, more real life lesson sharing. But, this post will be a little closer to original posts as I just share our Christmas for family and whoever else is interested. :)
Last weekend we went to Clinton for the first of our Christmas experiences. On Sunday, we visited Pine Lake for church. It's been a while since we've been able to go back. But, EVERY time we are there, we are astounded that God seems to orchestrate THE perfect message for us to hear. The sermon series was called, Miracle. Oh how I would love to retell that whole message, because it was so good. I won't. But, Chip ended this sermon urging people to pray for a miracle... to realize that, just as the Christmas story is full of miracles, God is still in the business of performing miracles. Then, with much sincerity, he closed by saying, "some of you may be standing by your miracle." Well, I certainly was! This Christmas was FULL of reminders that we are a miracle. All five of us were standing in one row, worshiping together. No doubt, Scotty & I could have been divided, each of us sharing Christmas with our children separately. But... God chose to do a miracle. And, that realization made every moment of Christmas very special.
Christmas Eve was full of activity. Scotty painted our bedroom (which was the end of painting for a little while), the kids stayed busy with various activity, and I prepared for cooking and baking. Late afternoon, we began our pajama birthday party for Jesus' birthday. We enjoyed breakfast for dinner, sang "Happy Birthday" with cupcakes, the kids opened their one, small gift of pjs & games, and we ended the night playing those games and watching a movie. It was a simple but sweet Christmas Eve.
It was a great night.
Our kids have demonstrated so many changes this year. We've enjoyed watching them grow up and develop. Each one has grown physically, and that growth has been obvious and visible. But, they've grown in many other ways as well. Caleb is REALLY growing up! It's very fun to watch but also hard on this Mama. This Christmas, he was a very protective older brother. His heart is so sensitive, and he HATES to see others sad or hurt. The cutest thing to watch from him this year was his seriousness in making sure Collin still believed in Santa. Apparently, one day Collin touched our elf to see if he would move (because Dad moved him) or if he'd stay put, because he was real and had been touched. Caleb pulled Scotty aside during the day to relate the story. So, the next morning, when the elf was still sitting in the same spot, Collin was quite surprised. And, Caleb was quite proud!
I love that Caleb was not "too old" to decorate a gingerbread house and other Christmas traditions. I know it's not obvious in the bottom picture, but he's opening a Coke machine. He has always had at least one gift on his list that is just a little bit odd. But, he wanted a Coke machine in his room. He plans to charge 75 cents per can and make a little money. :). What an awesome kid (almost teenager)!
Collin is still a character.... in every way! He is experiencing some "growing pains," and we've all had some difficulty adjusting. But, there are still so many things about Collin that fascinate me. He's just Collin.... unique in every way. Fun! This year, Collin decided that he LOVES electronics. For so many years, he just wasn't interested. Well, he's making up for lost time.
Collin was absolutely precious this December.... Trying so hard to still "believe." He made several comments about Daddy & me being the present buyers. But, then he'd write notes to send to Santa via our elf. And, Christmas Eve, without anyone knowing, he went in and tooks care of Santa's snacks and wrote out the sweetest note. Earlier, he felt the need to make himself look like a Wiseman during the Christmas story. He makes us laugh with very little effort. How blessed we are to have been the ones chosen to raise this child!
Claire is still J! O! Y! She is the happiest little girl. This year, she has provided much needed smiles as the almost teenager and middle child experiencing growing pains have struggled with some irritability. She is a caretaker! She takes care of her boys, her babies, sometimes her parents, and she is very responsible. The boy/girl differences have REALLY started showing up. She and I spend a LOT of time together, and I am beyond grateful that God gave us a girl after our two sweet boys. We DEFINITELY would have been missing out had we not been able to experience both genders.
Claire has talked about the Bitty Baby for SO LONG. She walked around holding her all Christmas Day and treated her like a real baby! She was just as excited about the Hershey Kisses in her stocking as she was the baby & stroller. What a precious, sweet girl! She can absolutely melt a heart.
So, our Christmas was pretty special, a miracle! We enjoyed each other tremendously! Scotty and I are
looking forward to an even more wonderful year in 2014. That's the great thing about our miracle! God just keeps giving and giving. So, as long as we are open to His plans, we KNOW that family life will just continue to get better and better.