Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013~Beyond Blessed (Part Two)

Kitchen surfing wasn't the way we PLANNED to start Christmas Eve. 

After washing the clothes for the night, our washing machine decided to send us on a surfing adventure.

Frustrated? Not EVEN...we got Jesus. 

As most years, we headed to my mom's house around the corner.  We give each child one ornament symbolizing the year.  This year my mom bought Pajamas for all the children.

My goofy normal pictures here.

Gabe wasn't smiling.  Tom helped.

Beautiful girls...

Again, normal pictures are just not possible.
My brother gave all eleven of us "What Does the Fox Say?" T-shirts...cannot.stop.laughing.
After dinner at my mom's with our family and brother, we spent about an hour driving around looking at lights (also tradition).
We keep Christmas very small, though you can't tell by the presents.  We have family from all over that give gifts to the children.  Our attack cat was guarding them.

Usually we give the kids one gift a piece (or several small ones). The kids already have so much and always get gifts from relatives and friends as well.  Over the years we've gotten tired of just so much stuff.  This season is just not about that.
Everyone in our family has a stocking. I know Santa seems to be such a divisive issue, but we only make decisions for us.  We choose to introduce Santa as pretend and a party game for Jesus' birthday.  We incorporate him, but as side fun.  Everyone has different views on this and that's good.  God made us all different and to evaluate things for ourselves (smile).

Even the teens willingly went to bed a little early. 

Christmas morning dawned with plans to stay at home.  Little mice, namely Anna and Rachel, quickly woke as soon as 6:00am came around.  Gradually children staggered out of their beds until 7:30.

My mom and brother came at 8:00am.

Presents, Christmas breakfast, devotional, and Jesus' birthday cake were all part of our celebration.

 Made by one of my sweet kids.

As the Littles were playing with their new presents, I asked them why we give presents at Christmas.

Their reply? 

"Because we are SOOOOO happy Jesus was born!!!"

Deep happy sigh....

Ben was fascinated by the turtle with lights.  It amazes us that this little ten year old boy is in our arms.  Our son is a treasure and we are so thankful that he is now celebrating his first Christmas.  How far he's come in six months....beautiful redemption by God.  So thankful God entrusted us with Ben!!!

Sarah got about a million brownie points as she swooped up the dollhouse (a gift from grandma) and started building it "just because".

God's blessings are so thorough and beautiful.  I am still stunned, when we all already have enough, He gives us more.  We have Jesus'....and He still gives.
Though this blog post isn't deep and far from profound...I couldn't sit back and not just marvel at the greatness of God.
Praying every one reading this sees the beauty and blessing...even in the hard stuff.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
                                                                Luke 2:4-14

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