Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas day

We had a wonderful Christmas day. I was not sure how the kids would handle not having a big gift, since the cruise we are going on in January was the big gift. They got things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, socks and thier favorite bubble wrap. I found bubble wrap for a dollar a roll so I got them each thier own roll. The call it pop paper and were thrilled. We had a wonderful dinner with Mamaw, Mary and Dottie and Mary even got her gutters cleaned out by the boys. It was a an awesome Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Only a flesh wound!

Marceli got a "black knight" from Monty Python. The arms and the legs come off. The cat really enjoyed this!

Oh all right, my son took a picture of me in my new pajamas too. I am busy making everyone hot chocolate and stuff.


It's Christmas Eve, and the kids are off to bed. Not asleep yet, so before I can do anything I have to wait. So I will share some pictures.

New Pajamas! They choose to pose with thier gear in honor of the boys pajamas. Paulina loves hers because they have a cat on them!

Dad in his new Grinch pajamas reads christmas stories to the kids. Mom is busy getting hot drinks for everyone. Hot chocolate for some, spiced cider for others and for one hot strawberry milk! Mom also delivered candy canes to stir the drinks and Christmas themed marshmallows to eat or put in in the drinks and pizza and cookies! Marceli and Paulina both shopped at a little store at thier school to buy gifts for everyone.

My new favorite band of Guitar heroes

My kids favorite gift this year came early. It is from thier grandmother. I let them have it early because they had cousins over for the weekend and I thought they would enjoy playing it with them. Anyway here are some pictures of them having fun.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sweet little Jesus boy

Sunday a wonderful man in our church sang "Sweet Little Jesus Boy". He did a great job. My husband also loves that song. I have never been crazy about it. It took me a while to figure out why. I finally figured out my problem with it. I think it misses the point. Other people have told me that it's simple, it's simply a case of how we as mankind would have treated Jesus if we had known it was him. To me however that misses the point of the "least of these". So say we had known, some angel convinced Herod and he had a change of heart like Paul (though even as Saul he was devout in his beleif in God and not a vicious person). Ok so say Mary had been brought to a palace, given silk sheets and the best midwives, etc. The baby wrapped in satin and placed in a golden crib. Would that have made God happy? In my opinion it would not have made God happy, if somewhere else a young girl was giving birth in a barn. If someone was being mistreated. If someone was the victim of gossip or abuse. If anyone was being mistreated, then I don't think it would have helped to treat Christ well. He came to be one of us, not just one of us, but the least of us. He chose to come as a helpless baby. He chose as his mother a young unmarried woman. Her town had a choice to welcome the savior and support this young girl or to gossip and disbeleive her. I think they missed that opportunity. I think she chose to first go to her cousin and then to go to Bethleham with Joseph becuase she was not getting loving care at home. I live in a small town, I know how it is. She was probably looked down on and gossiped about. She was probably called a liar. When Joseph took her side, he was probably not treated much better. Do we really think anyone beleived thier story? They were ordinary people. During Jesus's early childhood they lived in Egypt, where they were foreigners, probablty treated much like illegal aliens are treated here. Joseph may have been accused of taking jobs from Egyption men. Mary probably did not speak the language of some of her neighbors. The culture around them was different. Something happened to Joseph. On the Cross Jesus asked John to look after his mother. His mother would have only been his responsibility as first born if his father had died.

I don't think he came expecting us to treat him how we treat our most important people. I think he wanted to see how we treated our least important people. I think He would have been pleased if we had shown him that we treat even the least important people well, but sadly that was and is not the case. I think the best gift we can give him this season is to treat others, everyone, the way we would have treated him if he had come into our lives and we knew it was Him.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shiloh and Amy exchange gifts

Here is the video of Shiloh and Amy exchanging Christmas gifts. They are starting to think alike! They both saved up to do this.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas traditions

A friend of mine wanted me to blog on our families Christmas traditions.
So I thought I would. My son was the first grandchild on either side. I remember his first Christmas, I was so excited! We were at my in-laws and relatives were all gathered and there was a frenzy of unwrapping and five minutes later it was over. I had no idea who had given him what and he was so overwhelmed he didn't know what to play with first. So most of our traditions are about streaching things out. Also we like to make things the same every year if we can because my oldest loves predictability.

Christmas eve: We usually have a church service to attend (some years we have had several because of someone singing or a living nativity or some other involvement in church)
After that we come home and have a special meal. It has changed over the years. For a while when Angie was in high school we did taco soup because it was her favorite. Then when she grew up and moved out we did frozen pizza because it was Shiloh's favorite. Last year we did an international dinner with foods from all over the world. This year I think we are back to pizza.

After church I give the first gift. Everyone gets one. It's always Pajamas. The kids joke about the fact that it's always the same, but when I mentioned doing it differently they looked sad, so this year it will be pajamas again. I have given up on trying to find mathing ones for everyone though.

After everyone puts on thier new pajamas, we gather in the family room and dad picks up a book from our stack of Christmas books. While he reads I cook. The the youngest child gets the spotlight, that child gets to give out the gifts he or she bought or made. We open one at a time and make a huge deal out of each gift. These gifts are extra special because they are the first. (not counting the pajamas).
Then we read another book, and then it's the next child's turn.
Meanwhile during the books, I make hot chocolate with a candy cane to stir for each child, and then I make cookies. I deliver all of these to them as sit clustered around dad listening to the stories. Our last stories of the night are always "The Night Before Christmas" and The Christmas story from the Bible. Then we leave some cookies for Santa and some milk and the kids go to bed.

When the kids wake up the first thing they do is run to the table. Thier stockings are missing, but Santa has left each a clue. Each clue leads to another and another until the tenth clue leads to the stocking. They bring their stockings to the table, where I bring cinomon rolls and juice. They take thier time going through what's in the stocking and eating breakfast. They usually have candy, some small toys (party favor type stuff) maybe a small gift of some other kinds, sometimes toothbrushes and other useful things.

When everyone is ready we go to the family room. The gifts have been under the tree for a few days usually. There are no names on the gifts just numbers. Mom has the magic chart. Usually the youngest gets the first gift and it goes in order of age through the kids. Sometimes there is a gift for mom or dad that throws the whole thing off so they can't predict it and some gifts are for everybody! (usually a movie or board game). There are usually lots of gifts, but some are funny, some are practical, and the last one is the big real gift. This year one of the gifts will be Bubble wrap, they are each getting thier own roll to pop. It was a dollar a roll in the dollar store! The older boys will get socks, if someone needs shoes or a new back pack or more pencils for school or anything like that they will get it. The younger kids get several dollar store type toys. Anyway, because I number the gifts, they go from the least important to the most. I also sometimes get tricky with wrapping to keep them guessing. large things are usually hidden somewhere else in the house and that gift will be in a small box, it will be a note with a clue as to where the big gift is hidden. This is also done for outside gifts. Anyway, because we do the gifts one at a time, we take much longer to open them all. The smaller toys get played with while waiting. After that we put everything away and get dressed and go to Grandma's house for dinner. So those are our traditions, what are yours?