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This is the Christmas at our house that… {Christmas 2012}

…that we slowed down more than ever–but not on our own accord. Richard caught the virus sweeping through America…and Parker followed. So we’ve all been homebound–with no visitors or family other than ourselves this Christmas (minus Gigi doing a quick Gatorade, cough syrup, necessity grocery run for us the other day)…other than that–it’s just the 7 of us. Homebound for the holidays. Richard hadn’t been this sick since well before we got married almost 10 years ago. He described the last few days as the worst days of our family. (I beg to differ because we got our USCIS approval in the mail yesterday–and very little could get this momma down after that right now!) There’s no hustle and bustle…family coming in and out…no cousins or kin or friends visiting in town coming by. Just us. I was hoping little Parker would feel well by tomorrow–but not sure he’ll get there-and dear Rico…he doesn’t sound so great himself. So it might just be the 7—WAIT…right now there’s just SIX. I love my heart make my head type SEVEN! Truly…although this isn’t how anyone would plan there Christmas holiday–the one week Richard will be home with us and not traveling…THIS slowing down–without the hustle and bustle…is actually pretty sweet.

Yes, I’ll always remember this being the Christmas the virus plague hit us. But I will also remember this was the Christmas at our house where we slowed down and were just together…just us. The Christmas that she taught him how to shake presents…to guess what’s inside…and to giggle and wonder. (OH my–how I held back laughter hearing HIS guesses!)

This is the Christmas that the candy village got made at our house instead of Gigi’s and it actually survived at our house! we always thought it wouldn’t make it:) They haven’t touched it…although I’ve been tempted:)

This is the Christmas we did our best to do the Jesse Tree each night…but we skipped some nights and doubled up others…and we found out it’s actually better with littles to get to have more ornaments to put up–so next year I think I’ll have to make some extras:).

This is the Christmas that we didn’t think twice about getting a real tree…after we finally figured out this momma is allergic to almost every tree in Amercia:) I can breath at Christmas time now. Thankful:) And I haven’t had to think about watering something or cleaning up after something else;)

This is the Christmas we had way too much fun with photo props. It’s the simple things:)

And I taught Laney how to cut out paper ballerinas and make snowflake tutus…

And the African manger scene was always turned around backwards…because it’s really facing forward if you are Isaac-and sitting on the yellow couch wanting to play with the pieces and talk out each part each day…

This is the Christmas that our mantle just got a little crazier. The old me–well, I would have tried to find stocking hangers that matched. I bought 5 gold ones back when we just had 1 little one. I was assuming we’d have another–and the extra was probably for a pet…because I had a cookie cutter idea of my future in mind. I love that all 5 gold stocking holders are used…and 7 years later I couldn’t find another one like it when we brought home Isaac…so Loo bear found a ballerina to hold hers. It worked! THEN–this year we needed another…so Parker found a cowboy snowman. Our mantle along with the manger scene now has a few extras too…and it makes me smile that it just gets crazier:)

It doesn’t have to be perfect–and really it shouldn’t be…because that is not important…AT ALL. I love that silly things that used to matter don’t any more–and some things that I never imagined being in my life are some of the most important. Thankful.

This is the Christmas we were all LONGING for Zeke to be with us. But we rest knowing that the Lord will protect him and bring him safely home. We have handprints of the Lord’s faithfulness stamped all over our home…

There was a time 3 years ago where I was really longing for Isaac over Christmas. And now–he is here…he is home. God is faithful. We can trust Him to protect our Zeke too and bring him safely home to us. We are STILL REJOICING that we miraculously got the USCIS letter back so quickly!!! And yesterday when everyone wasn’t well and I realized our Christmas was going to be with thermometers and Tylenol–it was truly PERFECT TIMING!! our hearts REJOICE! Just 3 days before Christmas!

Glancing at this picture on my kitchen island tonight…

…I remember thinking we were DONE. I felt I couldn’t possible have more…and it is only by His strength that we can really parent 1 or 10. I am just so thankful He called us to grow again and again. Each child truly is a gift. So thankful. (Can’t WAIT to have our next in our arms!)

This is the Christmas I attempted to decorate the front porch without buying anything new to go there (also the Christmas I decided not to spend a dime on decorations:). Then–almost every night I would find these tennis shoes on display;). And I didn’t bother to touch them. They made me smile:) This is real life.

This is the Christmas I got bored when my littles were napping but didn’t feel like I could leave for shopping or errands even though Rich was here…because he wasn’t feeling well. So we made her Christmas dress together…just us girls–and my heart smiled when she chose the fabric my grandmother and mom had found at an old flee shop. I bet they paid 5 cents for this fabric. Granted I was going to use it for Christmas napkins–but now it’s a dress…that we made together.

We learned how to make flour clay handholds and ornaments…and we painted some–and never got around to others…maybe a craft for tomorrow or another day…

And while I said this Christmas break I would organize THIS…

I just haven’t. And I kinda like my junk area. I think I’ll keep it. And just keep slowing down the best I can…but hopefully not with sickness too.

Even though sugar isn’t the best for your immune system…Loo and I still wanted it to smell like Christmas…and have sweets to eat even without the gathering or hustle and bustle or travel to and fro…

We ended up with this. Not sure who feels up to eating them;)…but I guess Loo and I could devour them together;)

And this Christmas…I’m soaking it all up. Because each of my littles no matter how they might feel…is still coming downstairs and carefully leaving little notes for us to find…

…and I know in a blink–they will each be grown…and I’m gonna miss this one day…even the Christmas we were nestled in at home while we wait for the rest to get well.

So much to be thankful for this Christmas!

Merry Christmas from ours to yours!

amy - December 24, 2012 - 12:28 am

Ha, I like the t-shirt. Vidalia is my neck of the woods! Hope all are better soon.

Courtney - December 24, 2012 - 6:18 am

Seriously cute photo props! And I resolved to go simple with this Christmas too. And it hasn’t been better. Hope you all are feeling better soon!