Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Be merry

AnneGirl has been much happier lately. For several weeks, she was grouchy and needy due to teething. It's nice to see her smiling more and eager to run and play with Brady rather than cry at my feet.
I took her paci away over Thanksgiving break because we couldn't find one and she did really well. After a week, she was so miserable from teething, neither of us were sleeping and I caved and gave it back to her because it made her happy.
She is just so, so sweet. She talks very softly and her speech is coming along slowly. Brady has taught her alot and one thing she knows is if she wants something or someone is treating her in a way she feels is unjust, she will scream and yell, "Nooooooo!" With Brady around, being one and getting into things that aren't safe, this happens often right now.
I overheard Jenna telling the other kids, "I wish I was a boss, because that would be EASY. You just sit in your office and people come in and say, "Well, what do you want me to do now?"
We are all excited about finishing out this week of school, Christmas break can't get here soon enough. I know once is gets here, it will pass so quickly.
Bethany started a scarf all by herself last week, she has knit in the past but never completed a project and it's been a long time ago. I didn't expect her to start it right and figured it would end rather quickly. Right now, she is on her second skein of yarn and has done such a great job with almost no input from me.
She finished reading Pollyanna to Jenna, she was reading it aloud to her and Anne at bedtime. Since reading it, Bethany has had a better attitude, I have not asked her about it but she is more helpful and willing to help. One morning last week, I heard the bath water running and she had decided to give Anne a bath because she woke up with a really bad diaper. After bathing Anne, Brady and Jenna got baths too. Granted it took like an hour and half but I couldn't complain!
We have started reading Little House on the Prairie books and last night we finished the first book. Such fun reading and everyone can listen. Usually Anne is in bed and Brady falls asleep in the floor.
J
Joseph received Connect Four from his great grandma for Christmas and we have all been playing tournaments. Everyone roots against me, so I guess that means I win alot. {smile}
Joseph picked out Jingle Bells on the piano all by himself and has almost finished picking out Silent night. He taps on the piano keys every time he walks by it, I need to give him lessons but it's so hard to find the time.
Tomorrow night, the three oldest kids are in the children's Christmas program at church. Joseph has a solo singing a verse of  "Away in a Manger" and Bethany has a short speaking part. We are so excited and can't wait. I heard Joseph sing at dress rehearsal and it was so moving, my eyes filled with tears. You can see a short clip of his practice on my Instagram.  
I am so thankful for the way God made him. Joseph has such a quiet confidence and his outgoing personality is so different than I ever would have guessed when he was a baby.
Joe found Brady sleeping in the hall one night. We have found him here several nights since. Yesterday he told me he was afraid of bad guys coming in with guns, when it's dark downstairs. This made me sad and I told him no bad guys are gonna get him because he is a good guy, he smiled. Then I told him God is watching over us and keeping us safe.
I guess it worked because about 11:30 last night I heard him coming up the steps and he had a bag of chocolate chips in his hand. He had gone downstairs, turned on the living room light, the bathroom light, gotten the step stool, pushed it to the kitchen cabinet, climbed on the counter top, and gotten the chocolate chips from the second shelf.
We are all excited for Christmas around here, Christmas' past God has used to teach me to slow down and not be stressed by things that are distractions from the true meaning of Christmas. I am so thankful for the changes God sees fit to make in my heart and though they are never comfortable or convenient they grow me up. 
In 2009, I prepared for Christmas from my bed, post thyroidectomy, with very little thyroid hormones and to top it off, mono. In 2010, I prepared for Christmas while preparing for Brady to be born and welcoming him into our lives. Both of those Christmas' taught me so much about resting and simplifying and focusing on Christ with my family.
From years of financial limitations and those Christmas' of God teaching me to do what I can and trust Him completely for the rest, Christmas is pretty simple at our house, a season of settling in and enjoying evenings at home.
I read this excerpt a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share, if this doesn't give us all some perspective, what will?
Written from a Nazi prison, to his fiancee~ 

"I think we're going to have an exceptionally good Christmas. The very fact that every outward circumstance precludes our making provision for it will show whether we can be content with what is truly essential. I used to be very fond of thinking up and buying presents, but now that we have nothing to give, the gift God gave us in the birth of Christ will seem all the more glorious; the emptier our hands, the better we understand...and the more clearly we perceive that our hearts should be Christ's home on earth."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

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