Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas is now in our memories.

Jenni and Jeremy are flying back to Oregon today, while Scott and Britt are keeping all three boys busy in the stuffed back seat of the car on their 15 hour trip home to Jersey.

Ashleigh and I are both focusing on getting our houses back to "normal" but really wish the chaos and excitment were not over. I said good bye to the out of town kids, and immediately wanted to take my Christmas tree and house decorations down.

In a recap:
The big kids took the little kids sledding 2 times this holiday season. Jen was able to go cross country skiing while they were here, and also join us for a movie. We had a roasted chicken dinner all together, and crafted for a couple hours the night before Christmas eve. We also had 14 kids in the house for our re-visited Cousins Craft Day. Mike and Scott prepared a feast of fried chicken, salads, chips and veggies and alot of tired kiddo's went home with several homemade christmas ornaments. Britt and I were able to go shopping, and shopping a bit more! I had time to hug each of my baby grandson's and read stories to them. We fit in as much as we could in the week we had together, and I cherish each one.

We actually had ALL the gifts wrapped and ready for all 16 of our kids (the in-laws and the grands)BEFORE Christmas all time record for Mike and I. We have burned the candle at both ends, making as much as possible of the hours we had together.

We celebrated with my brothers families Christmas eve, with our traditional Taco Supper. Our house is not nearly big enough for everyone of the people we have here, but 40 people came and somehow we all had room to sit (or stand!) and visit! Good times of food and fun (I LOVE all the goodies!!) and mostly, another year with our loved ones all together.

Christmas morning we put the kids off from the time they got up (at 5:00 am) until we could drag ourselves downstairs (8:00 am) to open presents. The best part this year was having all three grandsons wake up in our house and have Christmas morning with us. Beautiful memories for this gramma!

The biggest of the kids all came over just as we finished our little kids Christmas, and Ash crafted t-shirts with the kids the rest of the morning. It was great to have her take all of them in the other room for a while and each shirt is as unique as the creator! Another special memory this year.

The frenzy of the holidays are over now, and as we all get our minds ready (or not) to accept a new year ahead, I am hoping for peace and joy to continue on for each of my loved ones in the days coming up. It was a beautiful Christmas for our family, one that will stand out in my heart as near perfect, since we were all together under one roof. Our African baby should be with us next year. So many, many blessings this year.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Thoughts

I sat on the runway at the South Bend airport last Tuesday, on my way to see grandson Kaiden's first Christmas program at his preschool in New Jersey. I got to the airport at 4:30 am, prepared to fly at 6 am.

At 6:15 the pilot announced our delay was due to ice. By 6:30 they moved 3 large men from the front of the plane, one of them coming to occupy the seat next to me. I guess their combined weight at the front of the small plane was inhibiting our take off plans. By 6:45 they had de-iced the wings, and were still trying to push off from the gate. Moving the men didn't seem to help.

Finally, at 7:15 we had moved backward and was ready to fly. I fell asleep before the surge that took us into the sky, getting into Cincinnati at 8:15.

I don't usually mind delays in flight, but this time, there was not enough time between flights, but our delay caused me to miss my connecting flight in Cincinnati, so I was scrambling to get on a flight and get to Philly. After eating breakfast, provided by the Delta crew who felt so terrible that they had messed up my schedule, I dozed and read and talked on the phone until the next flight that would carry me to my desired destination.

It was the first time in about 7 years that I had flown with no children. I was thankful that I didn't have a toddler that needed to be kept happy until we could get back on our regularly scheduled program!

Britt picked me up in Philadelphia, just 4 1/2 hours past my first ETA, and we made the most of the daylight hours.

The highlight and reason for my trip was Kaiden's program on Wednesday morning, and the five minutes of video I was able to capture of his class singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. It was beautiful. Kids have such a wonderful way of making the holidays happy, and their little voices were a perfect holiday blessing. Plus, laughing so hard at some of their antics made my cheeks hurt!

We packed the car, got the house ready for Scott and Britt to be gone for a week, and headed out of Jersey at 4 pm. The fastest turn around trip ever!! We arrived in Michigan at 7:30 am on Thursday morning, after a blown out back tire that slowed our progress right at the end of our journey. Scott was able to change it, in spite of a jack that didn't work, and the freezing, blowing winter winds on the side of the road. I was so thankful that Britt and I were not driving home alone like we had originally planned! I am grateful for God's protection!

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity. Kaid had missed his own Christmas party at his school, but was able to join me for Tom and Mere's kindergarten party yesterday. Keegan wanted to go too, so what fun for me to get pictures of the oldest grandson's enjoying crafting and playing at school with their aunt Mere and Uncle Tom!

Now we are looking forward to Jenni and Jeremy flying in tomorrow night, making it the first Christmas in the last few years that we have all been together for the holidays. My mom-heart is full and overflowing.

We pared down alot of things this year, trying to focus on the important things of the season. Family time, volunteer opportunities and what we can do for others. It's been a growing season, and we are so blessed.

Jesus came as a baby to make our lives complete. He gave his life to save me, redeem me and He calls me His own. I hope all of you can sense the importance of this holiday time, and have a wonderful season full of blessings and joy.

I know I am blessed. Thank you, Jesus. Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Can you take 8 minutes to hear a message that is changing my life?
This is for Gborlee.