Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

This year was (I think) one of our best Christmas' yet! It is not because we had the house filled to the ceiling with toys, not because we went in debt, not because we had more stuff than we knew what to do with. It was because of our special days together. I have worked Christmas Eve for the past 4-5 years but this year I just really wanted off to be able to go to church and be with my family on Christmas morning. I am so glad I did not have to work!! We were able to go to our Christmas Eve service which was beautiful and then out to dinner with our friends The Myers. On Christmas morning, we slept in and then Dave made us a wonderful breakfast complete with homemade french toast (the kids say their daddy makes the best french toast ever!), eggs, thick-sliced bacon (my favorite) and a nice cold cup of milk and some coffee (for the adults of course:D). After we finished cleaning up breakfast, Dave read the Christmas story from Luke 2 - what a blessing to truly focus on our Savior and what He did for us!! We opened gifts and played with them the rest of the day which was a blast! I made a nice dinner which included a yummy ham (we like ham much better then turkey), sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, biscuits, cinnamon apples, and to top it off a glass of sparkling white grape juice all served on our nice china (I think we probably have only ever used our china 3 or 4 times - lol). God is so good to us. One thing we were able to share with our kids is how much God loves us and wants to answer our prayers. Dave asked the kids if they would like to pray so that I could maybe get off from work (I was thinking, no way - we have been way too busy - there were so many babies in the NICU). The kids and Dave prayed that if it was God's will that I be off Christmas, they would really love it. Lo and behold, a couple hours later, I got a call asking if I would like to have the night off to spend the rest of Christmas with my family. Praise the Lord, He answers prayer! The rest of the night we just hung out together as a family. We took a walk around the neighborhood that was complete with Kira singing Christmas carols at the top of her lungs (sorry neighbors), played games, and sipped homemade eggnog (well, not me because I really don't like it but everyone else did)! Can there be a better Christmas than to share our day with our kids focusing on Jesus and having Him answer our prayer???? It is our prayer this year that you truly focused on the real reason we celebrate Christmas -- our Savior, Jesus Christ! Merry CHRISTmas to all!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gingerbread Yumminess!!

A couple of days before Christmas we had a few of the boys from the neighborhood over our house to decorate Gingerbread cookies with us. It was a ton of fun and brought me so much joy to see all the kids laughing and giggling together. Thank you Kent and Samuel for joining us on this fun day!

Oh and even though we do not do Santa at our house, the kids are old enough now to know the true meaning of Christmas so we decided to let them go out when the firemen came around with Santa and let them catch the candy that Santa threw. It was truly a fun day for all!!

Christmas Parties Galore

We were able to attend a few Christmas parties this year including the kids parties at school. What was even more fun is that Dave showed up late to enjoy Andrew's party with him. Andrew was so excited since Dave is not able to get off work very often to come and enjoy the kids activities at school. What a fun time of celebration remembering the real meaning of CHRISTmas.

Kira's party was first, complete with pizza, fruit, chips and dip, veggies, and a Happy Birthday Jesus Cake (sorry about the sideways pic -blogger was being ornery today) It was awesome to see the kids sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!! Thank you to all the parents who helped bring stuff in and help at the party - It made this room mom's job a lot easier!!

Andrew's party was next, complete with pizza, fruit, chips, and sprite! It is always a blast seeing him with his friends - they are goofballs :) They always "ham it up" for the camera! His Happy Birthday Jesus cake was a fun tree shape with cupcakes. Yummy!!

Christmas Outreach

Every year, Northwood Academy has each class do an outreach trip to various local places to share with them the Christmas message and give them gifts of cakes, cookies, and fruit baskets. It is a fun time for the kids to sing a few songs from the Christmas program and really just know that Christmas is more about giving than receiving -- hmmmm, sounds like a familiar Bible verse to me :) It was fun to watch them on their trips.

Andrew went to the Armory, Charleston Southern University, and to visit a classmates (Bella) home who had just been released from the childrens hospital here where I work. It truly was a blessing to see all the kids welcome Bella home even though Andrew was disappointed that she would not accept a welcome home hug from the boys :P Andrew was so excited to be able to see a real gun and then thought it was awesome that the service men handed out keychains and glow bracelets -- you can see him modeling it in the one picture.

Kira's class went to the local fire company not too far from where we live and was able to get a tour of the firehouse as well as sing and share with the firemen. It was truly a great yet busy couple of days during these trips. I do truly thank God that He allowed me to have the time off from work to be able to go on these trips with the kids - it is probably more of a blessing to me than them :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Celebrating Kira with Friends

The night after Dave's Christmas party at work, we had a wonderful time with our friends The McGaha's and The Blanco's celebrating Kira's birthday. These families are more of a blessing than I can even share. They have helped us out on numerous occasions with our kids and are such a beautiful encouragement to us in their love for Jesus! We cannot begin to tell you guys how much we love you and appreciate you all! What's really cool is that The Blanco's have a daughter Kira's age and a son who's Andrew's age so Andrew is always thrilled when Kristopher gets to come too :) Thank you Scott, Amy, Jessi, Katie, Mike, Kristy, Kristopher, and Mikayla for making this day so special! We love you with all our hearts!!!

Family Christmas Party at Dave's Work

Well, the night of Kira's birthday was Dave's work Christmas party. It was nice this year because it was family-themed. It was actually a really nice time of eating and sharing and getting to know Dave's co-workers even more and to top it off, we actually got a pretty decent family photo for our Christmas card this year :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Kira Rose!!!

7 years - where does the time go? I remember the day you were born my sweet girl! You came into this world earlier than you were supposed to and I kept saying, No, they don't need to take you to the NICU - you'll be fine!! At that point there was no longer a NICU nurse but a mom with a beautiful new daughter that did not want her to be taken out of my arms! You made it home after a week in the NICU and we thought we were home free -- little did I know there was still some fire and trials we were to go through with you and your young life. At one week shy of 2 months, my sweet little girl was rushed to the ER and subsequently taken to St Christopher's Hospital for children for a 10 day stay because of a little virus known as RSV. I will never forget the doctors telling us that if we would not have awoken that night, if we had not gotten you to the ER, if we would have not....
my baby girl would be in the arms of Jesus right now.
To think of the last 7 years with this amazing little girl brings more joy to me than I can even share!! There is never a dull moment with Kira Rose!! Her giggles are infectious, they make you laugh right along with her. Her smile is a God-send on tough days. Her innate ability to have maternal instincts and care for us and her baby dolls is beautiful, her eagerness to help me clean and cook is completely amazing, and her precious life is such a gift from our Savior!! Thank you Jesus for allowing us to spend these years with this special child of yours!! It is a privilege to have her entrusted to us. Happy Birthday Kira Rose - We love you more than words can express!!
The pics are from a little party at school that we had the day of her b-day. She helped me make yummy orange cinnamon rolls the morning of her birthday too. We decided this year we would not have a big party with everything that we have going on - we would just have a little party the next night with some of her friends (and daddy and mommy's friends too :D). Oh and the last pic I threw in for fun just b/c I can see this pic resurfacing in another 10 years or so -- just maybe with Kira being a little bit taller ;)

3rd Grade Christmas program, starring Andrew with a solo :)

The Christmas programs at Northwood Academy are always one of my favorite times of the year. They are so fun and truly focus on the real meaning of CHRISTmas. This fall Andrew came home and told me he got a solo for the Christmas program. To be honest I was quite shocked. Andrew has always been a behind the scenes kinda guy, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself, very unlike his sister!! Well, I think this amazing boy is coming out of his shell. He sang beautifully and so in tune!! We invited our sweet friend (Miss) Kristina Brooks to come along which was so wonderful. We went to breakfast at one of our most favorite places afterwards (Waffle House) abd Andrew said the blessing for us b/c he was the "man" of the day! He was a little embarrassed at first to do it but he did it and it was music to this mom's ears to hear her child pray aloud in front of people. What a great day! The only thing that would have made it even better would have been to have Kira singing in her program as well. Unfortunately that morning she woke up and told me she did not feel real good. I asked her if she wanted to try and go to school since it was the day of her program and she had practiced so hard, she said ok. Well, as I was fixing her hair, she said "Mommy, I have spots in my eyes" - YIKES, that's all I had to hear to tell her to go back to bed and sleep. I most certainly did not want her passing out anywhere, especially up on stage. My poor girl had a virus and missed her program this year. I did not think it would bother me so much until I arrived at the school a little early and was able to watch the end of her class - it truly brought tears to my eyes that my poor girl had to miss it :( She was fine a day later and she definitely got some cuddle time when I got home. Enjoy the pics - one day I'll figure out how to post a video and let you see/hear Andrew sing :) Oh if you enlarge the pics, you'll see that the kids shirts have the whole Luke 2 story written as the Christmas tree! Pretty neat ideas this school has!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

I love Christmas!! Everything about it - the singing of Christmas carols, the scent of Christmas cookies baking in the oven, the joy on people's faces, candy cane jeans :) and especially celebrating the birth of our risen Savior, Jesus!! It seems like we had barely gotten over Thanksgiving and we were already in December. I love to decorate and usually I surprise my kids with setting up the lights outside and the lights on the tree while they are at school. Then they come home and help place the candy canes and tinsel on the tree. This year, I totally wanted to surprise them and on the ride home from school one day I told them with everything that was going on, that I just did not think we could have time to set up our Christmas decorations. Being sweet kids as they are, they said "What, well ok", "I just really like seeing the Christmas tree up". I told them I was sorry and they understood but their faces were sad. When we got home, Kira said "Hey, there are candy canes, and snowflakes up, and hey there are Christmas lights hanging" We walked in the door and Andrew said "Do we have a tree, do we have a tree.... Ahhh, YES, we have a tree". They both were joking and laughing because mommy had tricked them this year. We finished their homework and they set the candy canes on the tree as well as the tinsel and we turned the lights on together. There is nothing like seeing your precious childrens' faces as they are all aglow with the lights on the tree. Ahhhh, did I mention I love Christmas :)