Merry Christmas 2016

We had a different Christmas gift tradition we started this year.  Still not sure we’ll do it every year, but it worked for this year.  We chose to give the kids experiences instead of more stuff.  Ya’ll, we have a ton of stuff.  A ton!  They really don’t need stuff.  So, after lots of brainstorming, we decided to take a trip to a homeschool conference where their current favorite author (who just happens to be one of my most favorite musician/artist/songwriter) as well as a trip to The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum.
Lining up to go to the Sibling Shop.  The kids draw names and then “shop” in the goodies available for that sibling.

All the kids gathered together to hear What God Wants for Christmas. Okay, we did get them a few small things and some stocking gifts (which are dvds or audio cds).
Tot got some fun ears. Trying to figure out where they were going.

See, I was there too!

Celebrate

Still in December.  It worked out perfectly to spend time at Ge and Granddaddy’s house celebrating Christmas and December  birthdays the week Emmie had her MRI and appointment with her neurosurgeon. We even got some good visiting time with Uncle J and Aunt Yaya and family. Present time is always exciting. Oh man, I don’t know if Emmie is excited about another baby or not. 😉

Aunt Yaya’s family was in-between houses during Christmas, so I made up a fun gift for the niece and nephew.  Lots of fun goodies tucked in there.  I know they are old teenagers but they can still have fun.  I’m pretty certain I win the Crazy-Old-Aunt Award.

Double piggies…this girl!

Granddaddy’s hat is always fun to try on.

There is a Lego store just down from where Ge and Granddaddy live.  A big one!  We took the kids there the day before MRI day and we all had a blast.

You can create your own mini-figures.  So, I made one of Emmie’s neurologist and one of her neurosurgeon.  Next time we go, I’ll have to actually make them and buy them for the docs! Emmie loved this little table. Drawers ya’ll.  Drawers full of Lego bricks everywhere!  

 

Fantasy in Lights

For the kids Christmas in 2016, we decided to give them experiences rather than material gifts.  Having recently just rearranged our playroom, I am SOOOOO glad we did this.  Nine kids generate a lot of stuff.   A LOT of stuff.

Anyway, we took the kids to Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens.

When we told them what we were doing, they were a little skeptical that it would actually be fun.  The only two brave souls for pictures!

At the end of the trip, though, they all agreed it was the best Christmas lights display we had ever seen.

Oh, Christmas Tree

Hey…look, after an eleven week break, I’m back.  On to December!

Our annual Christmas tree hunt was so much fun.  Besides finding a big skinny tree, we had a blast at the farm.

Our two furry friends went with us. It’s impossible to tell that our big ol’ Sunny girl is fifteen years old!  She was running and playing and had the best time. Emmie had to show us how tall baby was! Yummy snack time while daddy loaded the tree. Seriously, ya’ll, this was THE perfect tree.  Tall but not too fat!  And very reasonably priced.

A Blessing

We found out in February that the Lord has blessed our family with a baby!  We’re continuing to pray that this baby will be a sticky one.  So far, so good.  I had an ultrasound last week and we saw a baby with a strong heartbeat.  Nausea and exhaustion have been my friends for the past several weeks which we are taking as good signs.

I debated on whether to post at all.  We have gone through two miscarriages in the past two years and lost three babies.  Knowing we had a missed miscarriage in 2015 (where we saw the heartbeat and then the baby later passed) in the midst of all of Emmie’s stuff, we chose to keep silent with the babies in November and December until it was “safe.”  It was so very hard mourning in silence.  Especially when it was our two babies.  I still haven’t been able to put into words a memorial like I did with our baby Isaac.

Recently, I’ve read several articles about how we hide miscarriages.  Try not to share pregnancy too early for fear the baby won’t ever be held…I’m not sure why we hide.  Why do we need to mourn in silence?  In the past two years, we’ve have three babies who are gone forever.  But, before they were gone, they were here.  They were a blessing and they were our gifts.

Just like our babies we said good-bye to too soon, this baby, is a blessing.  All babies are.  Something I shared when we found out we were pregnant with Emmie after our hardest miscarriage was this exact fact.

We’re cautiously optimistic with this baby.  Anything can happen.  Experience has taught us that.  But today, we choose to celebrate in our blessing.  In all of the exhaustion and nausea.  This baby is a blessing.  This baby is loved.  This baby is wanted.  Oh is this baby wanted.

 

November Randoms

November picture dump, coming up. It may have been November but we had some wonderful warm weather park days. Sleeping.  With her glasses.  Of course. I thought I had some crazy hair days. Family movie night with Chinese food and Kung Fu Panda.  Yep.  Yep.  (Okay, I also had the dining room table covered in schoolwork) Emmie was getting ready for her television debut for promoting the NF Walk.  It happened so fast, I didn’t get to grab a picture with the anchor.  It was a great opportunity and we are so grateful for all of our news agencies who shared about the event. A Knight and Warrior Princess!   After the NF Walk, we headed home for a break and then off to Cracker Barrel to celebrate my birthday.  The kids were quite the talk with all the face paint.

One member of our church family is a truck driver.  Mr. J came over last time he was in town and brought the kids special gifts from all over the west coast.  Needless to say, he was a hit that night!  Thanks Mr. J for hanging out with us and loving on our kiddos.