Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Remembering December 2015

January is over halfway finished but I still must go back to December and talk about Christmas. Today looks more like winter and Christmas than anything we saw in December, 3-4 inches of snow covering the ground. The kids are out playing, except Anne is perfectly happy watching Daniel Tiger. Laynee is also happy to join her.
I had determined with our house being on the market and expecting a baby that December was going to be simple and I was just going to do what would help me not be stressed or overwhelmed and enjoy the season. This meant we didn't unwrap and hang all our special ornaments, I didn't get out any Christmas decorations to display around the house and I did all my shopping online with the exception of 3 gifts. {This didn't stop Joe from doing his yearly outside decorating.}
December was like a maze of unexpected events. So many things scheduled on the calendar fell off, usual traditional Christmas dates with family were moved and we found ourselves not going and doing as much. We were home Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It felt different but we enjoyed it. We were able to attend our church Christmas Eve candle light service. With the exception of us losing Brady from the time we entered the church and got to our seats, it was a really sweet time. He was missing for all of 5 minutes before finding a relative who knew he was ours. It felt like 5 hours of panic for all of us, he returned in tears.
My last living grandparent, passed away in December. My dad's mom, she was a special lady. I was asked to write a tribute to her and share it at her funeral, such an honor and you can read it here. I have a sugar cup like hers in my sugar jar to remind me of her.
I decided that I had to have some real greenery in the house because I was missing a real Christmas tree. In the past we thought maybe the tree was making us sick at Christmas but we weren't sure.
About a week after I hung the garland, Joseph came down with pneumonia. It seems there is a connection! Thankfully though, we were able to get him over it in a week and most of all, we were healthy all of December. We haven't had such a healthy winter in years, it was possibly the best part of Christmas for us all.
A few days before Christmas, Joe and I were able to getaway to French Lick Resort. It was a prize I won from a photo contest I entered on Instagram. When we went to Lake Patoka camping on fall break, I had wanted to go to French Lick to see what was there. A lady at the dentist office the week before told us we had to go to French Lick and see the newly renovated resorts. We drove an extra 20 minutes, walked around, had a picnic and I took a few pictures. A few days after we were back home I found a brochure on the floor Brady had carried home, before pitching it I looked over and saw there was a photo contest. Not really thinking I'd have much to offer I uploaded a few pictures and sure enough, I won a free nights stay and a carriage ride.
Joe and I had such a sweet, sweet time together. It was one of our shorter getaways but it felt like we were gone longer. We had a great time together and loved the resort. It was a perfect blessing from the Lord and we made some life long memories. I loved every minute of it, we will definitely go back.
The kids were up early on Christmas morning.
Some of my favorite gifts we gave this year were Bethany's. She requested a doctor's kit. I didn't want to get a plastic kiddie toy. I was thrilled to find a super cool medical bag on Amazon and fill it with real medical equipment also on Amazon. There is no counting how many hours she has played with the other kids, it has been one of the best gifts.
She requested a Dictionary for Christmas, it was at the top of her list! She said, "Then, I can look up any word I want, whenever I want. I can learn new words and use them, it'll be so fun." Buying her Dictionary at the bookstore brought me so much joy. She loved it and has sat reading through words and asking us if we know what they mean so often. I love her heart to learn and that it is fun for her.
Jenna surprisingly asked for a pink BB gun. She hasn't gotten to shoot it much. Joseph is excited to have her shoot with him.
Joseph asked for a long list of army surplus items. A few minutes after he opened his military belt and helmet we had this face painted army man with us the rest of the day.
Brady's favorite gift was his new cowboy hat. He also loved a parking garage for all his cars.
Anne liked her tea set the best, she had 2 tea parties on Christmas day. Just adorable!
Army man was too tough to drink out of the teacup and had to use his canteen.
The thing that made me most happy this past Christmas was after the kids had each opened a few gifts, they started playing. All of them were playing and there was still an unwrapped gift for each of them under the tree. The gifts stayed there for hours. It was in the afternoon before anyone mentioned opening the last of the gifts. Several times the kids said, "This is the best Christmas ever!" Joe and I sat and watched them play, it was the most relaxing and peaceful Christmas we have probably ever had. We stayed in our pj's all day and just soaked up the moment, I didn't even take many pictures.
Joe and I found out that our suspicious was right on November 3. We waited until December 24th to tell the rest of the world that Baby# 7 is on it's way in June/July 2016. A few days prior we told the kids, they are thrilled. Their reaction just made it for me. I am so grateful that this big family plan God has for all of us is an adventure our entire family is excited about. For months, they had been asking when we were going to have another baby and I just kept telling them to give it a rest, Laynee is still a baby. :)
We would all really appreciate another boy to have around here, everyone expect for Anne is hoping for a boy. We very much know it could be another girl and like Brady says, "That'll be fine too." :) Joe and I love our kids so much. If you haven't seen the video of us telling them, here it is.

I have promised to make snow cream, so I'm off to do that now. Stay warm!

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