Endless Gifts

Babies signing right along with Baby Signing Time and now Signing Time. Precious and Priceless.

Little One snuggled up to me with Christmas books.

Special ornaments. For my girlies. My twins.

Third son now in the double digits. Movin’ on up to the “big” dinner plates.

Micah shooting three bulls eyes at Sharp Shooters.

My big girl and Little Boy making paper fans to fan me vehemently cause I am just so warm. 

Our sweet Christmas tree.

Todd’s happiness at coming home to our house all lit up on a Saturday night, loud Christmas music blasting and decorating chaos.  He doesn’t know how many times I blinked back tears without him there. Why is it so hard for me?

Quiet and dark and… Canon in D, then Jesu. I try to still myself- heart, mind, soul.

How he helps them walk to their high chairs in the morning. A comes out take big, leaping, giant steps. M, little princess steps.

How Abi calls Mellie for a hug, and she crawls right to her and presses her cheek against hers. Cheek to cheek. Love.

Just something about seeing them in their Scout uniforms…boys stretching into men.

Little eyes- peering at me over sippy cups, twinkle, drinking hard.

Her little hand, resting on my arm…and then- aye,yi… pat, pat, pat.  Love.

Snapfish. Who knew the joy I would receive from creating a photo book!?!

My brother(C) and an imperfect quote,”Your days make up your years make up your life. Live your days.”

My siblings. I have always treasured the gifts they are to me. They each add their own unique, irreplaceable “something precious” to my life.

Uncertain Cling In Times of Change

Sometimes you just go through hard things, have to, there is

no other way

– trusting the Lord to bring you through to the other side-

And ultimately-

He alone knows the outcome

And it rests in His Hand.

And somehow, you know,

you are in that Hand too. Cupped.

 

I have stared, bewildered, down

The long corridor

Of uncertainty

 

And it is only in

The blind

Cling-

 

Because that is all…

There is.

 

I have held on

In trust.

 

Knowing

Somehow,

He will

Bring me,

Carry

Me

Through.

I will find myself, seasoned, on

the

Other Side.

Whatever, wherever

that

is.

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Day 2012

Melodee and a Christmas gift - book! A gift from Abi to her.

Melodee and a Christmas gift – book! A gift from Abi to her.

Christmas 2012.

(Somehow Mellie’s picture is at the top of this post and I can’t fix it…)

Blogging it here redeems it for me as it wasn’t our usual experience and it would be easy to look back and feel like it was whisked away.

Our Christmas Day was a little different this year. There is a big change on the horizon for our family and that has definitely affected our holiday season.

Feasting Highlights:

Cinnamon Rolls

Scrambled Eggs

Clementines

Jar of Candy Canes: cherry and peppermint this year

Favorite Pork Roast

Steamed Green Beans

Cups of Home-Made Potato Soup

Big Platter of Festive Cookies the Children helped to bake.

A day spent in jammies, relaxing, playing Legos for hours, enjoying being together, opening gifts.

Some highlights in photos:

Abi working on her first sewing project.

Abi working on her first sewing project.

He is getting tall!

He is getting tall!

Abi and a hair brush that really works- from Micah.

Abi and a hair brush that really works- from Micah.

Perplexus- Love!

Perplexus- Love!

DSCN0715 DSCN0713 DSCN0708 DSCN0706 DSCN0705 DSCN0704 DSCN0703

This is how I found them on Christmas mornng. Huddled at the bottom of the stairs- waiting.

This is how I found them on Christmas mornng. Huddled at the bottom of the stairs- waiting.

Festive Table.

Festive Table.

Cookie Platter.

Cookie Platter.

Blessed Christmas 2012!

Christmas Eve 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Snapshots:

Peach fruit Crisp Breakfast with So-Delicious planned and prepared by Asher with Daddy’s help.

(Eggs and Coffee for grown-ups)

Shepherd’s Meal Dinner: Home-Made Potato Soup and Crusty Bread by Candlelight.

Chris Rice Living Room Sessions: instrumental piano

Cookie Making:

Decorating Sugar Cookies.

Breaking and storing our home-made chocolate peppermint bark.

Cookie Cut-Out Making and Decorating.

Boy Scout luminary service project, Advent activities and reading, Charlies Choice on Lamplighter audio, errand running.

Later:

Todd and I will be present wrapping and traditional movie watching. Sorting and organizing.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Then And Now

5 Years Ago was our first November/December in this house nestled on the mountain. And this is how it went down…

The first birthday we experienced here was in November. A loving care package was sent from far away. The owners previous to us had used a post office box- so we posted our own box and began receiving mail “down the hill.” We were unknown to the postal carriers, Fed-Ex, and the UPS. Suffice it to say, the care package did NOT arrive at our house.  They only knew of a certain road in our town that sounded like ours but was NOT ours. (The address was correct on the package, by the way.) Well, the much longed for package never arrived. There was a distraught little boy and a very upset Grandmother.  By the Lord’s guidance alone, several days later, Todd stumbled upon the package when he and a co- worker deliberately went out to search for it on a lunch break during busy hours. It was tucked away at a house that is owned by seasonal residents only. We woudn’t have known for months where it was unless he found it.

That very Christmas, much – well everything came thru mail order. Small town and all. One night in December- close to Christmas Eve- I awaken- bolt upright at 3 in the morning. Suddenly realizing that several things had not arrived and they SHOULD have arrived. I rouse Todd in a state of bright alertness unknown to the wee hours of the night and we are both wide awake in minutes- searching the computer- only to find that the packages HAD been delivered- that it actually said- left at the house on one of them and another one said left in the shed. We rack our brains- and out Todd goes up our driveway/road- to discover a stack of packages left in a building known as the pump house.  In subsequent years, we have found sticky note receipts posted on the door of that shed- indicating a package inside and we even- to our dismay, we have found a package in a plastic bag- hanging to a metal post thing at the top of our road.

Last Christmas, I was exceedingly annoyed because my Fed- Ex package was dropped off to my husband’s work rather than my house. And no, his name was not on the package nor was that address!

(I would also like to point out that we have experienced the most unusual climbing techniques of UPS drivers around here. Yesterday, one was found climbing down the mountain with a package and then climbing back up- rather than coming down with the truck. However, the experienced drivers navigate the road with no problem. During holiday time- the unusual climbings usually occur.)

I share all this for posterity- because it truly has been so much adventure. And we want to always remember.

Fast Forward to today. Five Years Later.

Todd heads out mid-morning to run some errands and head to the post office for an expected package. While driving down the road close by our house- he experiences a UPS truck driving off road and navigating the rural roads. Suddenly, he is flagged down by the driver who apparently recognized our Van. The Big White Van. The driver stops him, confirms his address, and hands him a package out the back of his truck. Ha! He continues on ending the errand run at the post office. Upon arriving there, he learns that he cannot pick up the package because it had been sent out on the mail truck. (Which he saw- and thought of flagging down himself- but then thought better of it…) However, one of the post office workers knows us and our entire family by name from church and the other one knows us from home school co op. In fact, we know their names, their wives’ names and the names of all their individual children. I even have the phone number of one! So Todd is given instructions on how to return and retrieve this important package- even though the office will be officially closed. It is hard to capture the utter familiarity of all of this. And still, how our jaw drops, at the UPS truck drivers recognizing us by “name.” 

This is when we laugh out loud at our small town living.  And this is when we truly reap(ed) the benefits- because in some ways- it is all about who you know. 😉

 

The Things They Say

DSCN0475There was a groan from the chair. A loud, frustrated groan. A heavy sigh.
Todd calls over his shoulder, “What’s the matter, Josh?”
He states loudly and vehemently- “This game is hard! (groan… grunt) … (then)

“This ball wants to play a game with itself!”

Then later… “This is hard! I mean hard!”

(It is simply amazing how long they will play with Perplexus!)