Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year! ....and Merry Christmas.....I have pictures!

This has been a crazy few weeks! Everything that led up to Christmas.....and Christmas came so quickly! I was happy to be relaxing and it was a joy to just be at home with my family. When you have kids.....and four of them.....that is the only place TO be! I noticed this year how their presents really didn't matter as much to them, but the one's they gave to others were the main attraction! We did our usual snacks and opening of 1 gift on Christmas Eve, after the candlelight service at church (which we LOVE!) Then, a little "Santa Tracking" on Norad and off to bed! Bedtime on Christmas Eve is always interesting. For some reason, everyone is eager to go, but too excited to sleep (including Sean and I! I think we just laid there awake and excited until 2am!) Christmas morning is so fun! I love seeing their expressions when they see the display that Santa left. And, how the tree looks so full of gifts that it's about to burst! I love how quickly the quiet of the morning is broken with whispers in the hallway and then all four kids in our bed ready to "go and see"! Then squeals of delight! We opened our stockings and then ate breakfast. was time! For several years, we have gone around in a cirlcle and watched each other open one gift at a time. Announcing who it was from and then watching the thrill of excitement as they open their gift and the joy on the gift giver's face. I loved just sitting and watching them. It made me so proud of the "gifts" God had given me.

It was fun to have mom and Granny Loyce here this year! They came on Friday with the Hales'. We enjoyed a day full of fun and cooking and laughing and games with the cousins. Followed by a huge slumber party! I always love how my house swells when they are all here! It makes my heart swell, equally! Our break continued with a quick trip back to Kansas to deliver Granny home, and some quality time with G'ma Betty and Gramps and even my daddy! To complete my holiday, as I drove in to Lyons that night, I saw the emblem of my childhood of Christmases-past that said "all is good and right in the world".....the famous glowing red bell! It made my heart skip a beat. I had to drive around town and show the kids all of the landmarks and memories that still stand there today.....there really is no place like home!

And, now, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Every year, I think about how quickly the year has flown by. It really seems like we were JUST here! As I get older, it happens even faster! I love a new year! A new, fresh calendar with nothing on it (YET!). A time to get re-organized. A time to look forward and a time to reflect. As I sit here and look upon this past year, I am amazed at how God has stretched me, again. How He has been faithful and has blessed us, over and over again. How His love has grown me, again and again.... And, how I am assured that the blessings that He has for me in the New Year will astound me, yet AGAIN! I pray for all of you a Happy and Blessed 2009. That your defeats will be overshadowed by your victories and your troubles will not amount to many when you consider all of your blessings!


amy wright said...

What a great post. Your pictures are wonderful, with lots of excited, sweet faces.

Aunt J said...

Your account of all that's important is very touching to me. I wish soooo much that we could have been with the WHOLE family this year. It was a blessing that your mom could be with you and Granny as well. Christmas is so important for family. How amazing the we have all the electronic perks to keep in touch! Thanks so much for your Blog. We love you all. Hope to see you soon. (Looking forward to your possible trip to see us)

Enjoying the journey... said...

Thanks for sharing....great pictures and you are are very blessed! Happy New Year!