Christmas 2012!!

 We’ve had 3 Christmas parties so far, with one more still to go! On Christmas Eve, we got to spend a really nice time with Ben’s mom, a.k.a Grandma!

Here’s Missy Girl wearing her brand-new Minnie Mouse backback! She has loved opening presents this year:) Her favorite toy from Grandma was a really cute tea party set! We drank lots of pretend tea that afternoon..

The boys got some brand-new Angry Birds slippers from Grandma! Now they can have toasty feet in our drafty home!

To say Zakkai was thrilled with his Leapfrog Explorer, would be an understatement! He brings it everywhere we go now:)

Christmas Eve night, the boys opened up their new pajama pants I made for them:) Missy fell asleep on the way home from the Christmas Eve service and I wasn’t able to get a picture of my 3 in their finery:( boo.

The munchkin slept til 8 on Christmas morning! Then she got to open her stocking. Ben is doing his impression of….well, I can’t tell you but he’s bad is all I can say!

We got all ready, packed up our presents and brunch contributions and headed over to my mom’s on Christmas morning to spend time with family and open more presents! The kiddos each staked out a spot and surrounded themselves with their loot:)

We went around and let them open a gift one at a time, youngest to oldest.

They got some really fun stuff!

My wonderful grandparents!!

My sis and her hubs!

 

I at least snuck in a quick picture (or two) before we crashed for the night last night.

It was a super fun couple of days but really tiring! Today we have been stuck inside with a winter storm wreaking havoc outside. At least we got our “white Christmas” the day after….

So thankful for all of our blessing!

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Busy

Merry Almost Christmas! I haven’t felt like blogging much lately for a few reasons. We’ve all been sick yet again and my head feel SO foggy when I have a sinus infection that I can’t think clearly.

We finished up our last week at school before break. I am really glad to have a little break. It was tough to send the boys to school this week with everything that happened last week. I felt more anxious about them than I can ever recall feeling. Thankfully, they were safe and now are ready to have fun and celebrate Christmas;)

We have been busy baking cookies, cleaning and packing today. We head out for our big Christmas trip tomorrow, bright and early! We’re looking forward to staying with my sis, her hubby and their adorable baby girl. It’ll be busy and fun!

Have a great weekend!

My sewing machine and I have been buddies lately:) Each of our kiddos is getting a new pair of pajama pants, a book and a toy for Christmas from us. Keeps it simple and not too expensive!

I also sewed a pretty Christmas jumper for E this weekend, which she was happy to try on immediately, along with her 2 new bows:)

All ready! She randomly says, “Chistmas” several times a day and seems very excited for presents:) Ever since her birthday, when she sees that a package or box comes in the mail, she quickly exclaims, “Present!!” It will be fun to have her taking part in festivities this year.

It’s coming so fast and I feel like I have so many things to do to get ready to travel. It would help if I felt better. But our family likes to share everything, including germs. This past weekend 4/5 of us were snotty, miserable messes. Samuel is the only one that seems to escape with minor cold symptoms for a couple of days and then seems fine. Lucky kid! I’m really hoping we’ll get healthy for Christmas and can enjoy time with our family.

In the mean time, I am procrastinating doing anything useful. My sewing machine is calling…..:)

Keeping Busy!

 It was not easy to send my boys off to school today. They were in my thoughts and prayers throughout the entire day. How could they not be? One way I found to keep my thoughts occupied was to let my Fissy Girl do something I am ashamed to say she has never done before.

Paint! Isn’t that awful? I felt really guilty recently when I realized that I have done very little in the way of arts and crafts with her, unlike with the boys when they were little. Of course, granted, she just turned 2 and I still have plenty of time. Starting now!

She wasn’t even totally sure what to do at first, just mixing paint around. But soon I got her going and she ended up painting 3 pictures, even her hands by the end:)

The boys had their last swimming lesson of the session yesterday afternoon! Here’s Zakkai swimming down the lane. The teacher accidently put him in the second lane (more advanced), thinking he was Samuel (who just got moved to second lane a few weeks ago.) He worked so hard to keep up and the teacher apologized once she realized her mistake. He just has a little more work to do before he gets to move up for good!

Samuel doesn’t enjoy swimming lessons, as he hasn ‘t been on friendly terms with water most of his life. For obvious reasons though, swimming lessons are required by me! The instructor said he is very timid but slowly making progress:)

We have a busy week ahead of us with the last week of school before break and getting ready to travel this weekend. Hard to believe that Christmas is a week away, isn’t it?

Joy.

I haven’t really known what to think or write this weekend. I’ve had my own personal hurts and disappointments this past week but what does that compare to losing your child in a senseless violent act?

I was on FB Friday, before knowing about the shootings, and someone posted the words, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.” The words immediately struck me and I felt as if they were for me, as I have sown many tears this past year over some things and have been praying for God to speak to me, to show me He hears my prayers.

And then yesterday, I was playing the piano and felt like playing a hymn. I have this amazing hymn book that my MIL gave me that I love so I opened it up and the first song I came to was a hymn called, “They That Sow in Tears.” (coincidence, right? 😉

                  They That Sow In Tears

“Though it seems that your prayers have been in vain,
Though your faith the world would destroy
Though your heart should ache ’til it breaks in two,
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Chorus:
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy,
For God is on the throne.
Though you’ve prayed ’til it seems that your heart would break,
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy!

Though the mists of despair cloud the sky above,
Do you pray ’til His face appears?
In your heart do you know that you’ve touched the throne?
They shall reap in joy who sow in tears.

Chorus.

Does your heart fill with doubt when alone you pray?
Does the world your soul annoy?
Lift your sights! Look beyond! God is standing near!
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Chorus.


If you are going through anything, struggling with anything, praying for something with your whole heart, let these words speak to you. It says in Psalm 126:5 these very words, “They that sow with tears shall reap in joy.” He hears. He is near. He loves you.

I am learning to believe that with my heart. And “even if” xyz happens or doesn’t happen, my heart will choose to say, “Blessed is the Name of the Lord.”

This Day.

I don’t know about you but I am so completely heartbroken over the tragedy of today’s shootings in Connecticut. My sister texted me around lunchtime, asking if I’d heard about it. I hadn’t so as soon as I got Eliana down for a nap, I sat down at the computer to look up the story.

And immediately when I saw a picture of little children running out with a look of terror on their faces, I started crying. I can barely even let my mind fathom what it would be like to send your innocent baby to school and not be able to take them home again. Or to have a child in the school and be so thankful that your child survived and feeling guilty that other’s didn’t….

I had to fight a very strong urge to run over to my boys’ school and pick them up early or at least make sure they were okay. I got texts from both Grandmas, asking me to hug my kiddos a little tighter today for them.

As soon as I came around the corner and saw Zakkai waiting for me with his happy face, a big lump filled my throat and I had to fight back tears. Knowing that my sons came home safely today. But somewhere out there, in a state far away, there are so many devestated, heartbroken families who have to figure out how to go on. How to even take one more step.

Why? Why is there so much evil in this world? So much heartbreak? All my heart can say is, “God, WHY?” and “Please come back soon!”

I will be joining thousands across this country in praying for the comfort only God can offer in a time like this. For Him to carry those going through such a dark time. And for Him to be holding tight to all those little children who were welcomed into Heaven this day.

And I’ll be hugging my little ones a little closer and a little tighter, thankful for each precious day with them. Because life is precious.