I haven't been able to spend Christmas at my parents' house since before we were married. Being the family of the Pastor doesn't lend to too much flexibility at times such as Christmas. But this year, since my husband isn't currently the pastor of a church, he arranged for us to be able to spend Christmas at my parents'. I loved it. It was so nice to be there and to go to my home church again. Again, I loved it.
On Saturday and Sunday, my sister, Mandie, and her three kids
were also able to be there, so my parents' house was FULL with
7 kids ranging from 11 months to 7 years old. That creates lots of chaos,
As a parent you spend plenty of time praying for your children. One of the biggest prayers being that he/she accept Jesus as their Savior and choose to live for Him all of their days.
God answered part of that prayer in Daniel's life today. He has been asking a lot of spiritual questions lately, and while watching The Christmas Carol, Daniel said to me, "Mommy, I don't want to die." That prompted yet another conversation of the spiritual nature. So, late this evening, we talked and prayed with and for Daniel.
Thank you, God for this answered prayer. Please continue to work and lead in his life and help him to make good decisions as he grows.
The Birthday Girl with Mommy and with Daddy. She's wearing a really cute outfit that her Aunt Tami sent her from Texas...complete with Brown and Pink Cowboy Boots which she wore all day (minus her nap time). In the picture with Daddy she is holding her new baby Sarah which once opened she refused to put down-even to open other presents. It was cute and yet annoyingly two-like at the same time.
Here is another baby doll that she got. This one is Cassie. Julia is actually crying in this picture. I wanted to take her picture holding Cassie, but she didn't want to put Sarah down.
Here's the crew...Julia's Grampa, Gram, Big Grampa and Nana. Missing from this picture is her Grandma, Aunt Steph and Uncle Adam.
Cupcake Time...I made four different bears: Polar, Panda, Brown, and Koala (yes, I know that they aren't technically bears).
John and I have been making a real effort to lose weight and become more healthy. John has been committed to it since mid-summer. I started after the summer. He has lost nearly 40 pounds. I have lost about 20. We both have about 15-20 more that we want to lose. We have been dieting, more accurately, changing the way we eat. No fad diets or strange way of eating, just healthier food in healthier portions. The results may be slower with this method, but they will be more permanent.
We have also been exercising (which I'm not terribly found of). Julia has seen me exercise plenty of times. Last night as we were all relaxing in the living room, she caught her reflection in the glass doors of the fireplace and starting waving her arms around, declaring that she was "applesaucing."
Jay and my cousin Kristen's boy, Nicholas (they are the same age)
Aunt Patrice leading the group in the annual sing-along. That's my brother-in-law at the piano. Julia and my sister's youngest, Ryan. Julia insisted on "holding" Ryan, so this is how we appeased her without annoying Ryan who wasn't keen on being "held."
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. For as long as I can remember, my family (parents and sister) has gone to New Jersey to visit family on both my Mom and my Dad's sides. My Dad's grandmother (my beloved Nanie) lived there, and so did two of my Mom's brothers. So, Thanksgiving was the only holiday where we got together with extended family. Now we still get together, but the numbers have grown to an almost ridiculous amount. Originally there were 6-8 aunts and uncles and 8-10 cousins. Now between spouses and children...well, here's a picture of the second generation of cousins...all 17 of them (all under 14).
In the next few posts I'll share a few more pictures and memories...
It started snowing late last night, and well, it hasn't stopped yet. By no means a blizzard, and because of warmer temperatures (low 30s) we haven't had too much accumulation, but none the less, we have SNOW. Probably about 4-5 inches of perfect snowball making snow. A friend came to camp today and told me that down off of the mountain (only about 30 minutes from here) they don't have any snow, just slushy rain. These pictures were taken around 2 this afternoon, so they don't reflect how much we actually have now.
Julia is fascinated with the snow. She wants to walk in it, stand in it, touch it...it's really quite cute to watch. And she'll say to me, "Mommy, it noing on my head!"
"Mommy, I sit on da wap-a-you?" Being interpretted: "Mommy, can I sit on your lap?" Why would I want to resist such cuteness?? I can't believe how big she is already. She'll be two in just one month. Since having children we've always had someone under two in the house!
Fall in the Poconos is beautiful...and also fun! The playground always has the best leaf-coverage. It is the perfect place to create a pile or to throw leaves into the air or do other ridiculous things that only kids think to do. ;) Anyway, they had a blast! Here are some pictures from the other day...
A good friend of ours got married this past weekend. She asked Hannah to be her flower girl and the boys to hand out programs and bird seed. So, after getting home at 12:45 in the morning from our trip to Pittsburgh, we got up early and drove to New Jersey. We figured out that we traveled on all but about 10 miles of Rt. 80 in Pennsylvania between Friday and Saturday. Anyway, the wedding was absolutely beautiful. The ceremony was held on the beach (which thrilled the kids who had never seen the ocean before), and then the reception was held nearby at an outside terrace. The food was incredibly good (and caused me to abandon my dieting for a few hours). Jay and Daniel greeted people as they approached the beach and handed them programs and birdseed. It was a little windy and Daniel had a hard time holding onto the programs. Almost everytime I looked back to check on them, the two boys were bent over picking up the sand covered programs and trying to straighten them so Daniel could hold them again. Eventually, I got up and asked Jay to trade jobs with him...that seemed to work much better. Hannah was a beautiful flower girl. She was in her glory...barefoot on the beach in a pretty dress. She loved it! At the reception the kids took every opportunity to dance. I was getting a kick out of Hannah's dancing (she clearly gets it from her Dad). She was instructing Jay on how to twirl her and throughly enjoying every moment of it. Daniel wanted in on the action, so the duo became a trio. And, Julia being "Miss Independent" right now, just wanted to dance by herself.
My husband and I have been married since May of 1998 and we have four children: Hannah (7-00), Jay (3-02), Daniel (1-04), and Julia (12-05). My husband is the pastor of the Core Creek Community Church. I am thankful to be a stay-at-home Mom which is what has led me to many of the thoughts expressed on this site.