Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Family........


We spent an evening with some of our favorite people in the world.......the Habbes!! Once upon a time I answered an add in the paper for a part-time child-care provider and the rest is history. When I started taking care of these wee ones---Ben was 5 (now 21), Breanna was 3 (now 19), Eric was 2 months (now 16), and Collee was soon to come (now 13). It seems like yesterday and I loved them just like they were my own. The mama (Brenda) and papa (Don) are what I consider to be the best parents on the earth and I have taken so much from them that I use everyday with my kids. I am constantly trying to unlock Brenda's "secrets to parenting" in hopes that our kids will be as sweet as theirs. :0)

They will always have a special place in our hearts and we will always see them as family.

Brenda, Bre and Don Lukey, Ben and Zachie
Collee and Eric
Loving our friendships and cherishing our FAMILY.....

Good for the Soul......

It was definitely time for some GIRL TIME!!!! We watched Mama Mia AGAIN on Audra's projector. A little danc'n and a LOT of singing! Gotta love that!
Brenda, Misty, Denise, Shelly, Stephana, Audra, Jeanne, Donna, Emily & ME! Aren't we cute?? Wish I would've worn my PJs. :0)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sharing the Love

We were blessed this Christmas with family, friends, lots of giving and celebrations of Jesus. We came across the story of the original St. Nicholas (also known as Bishop Nicholas) who began giving his fortunes of gold to those in need. We tried to tie this (gift-giving) with Christ's Birthday by remembering how the three gifts were given to Him. Each gift the boys received symbolized either Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh. I got this idea from a friend and we loved it..... A new tradition!Clay, Jessilyn, Adriana, & Jace at my Grandma Sue's sweet little table (we sat here at her house when we were little :0) on Christmas night.
The boys enjoying their "wine" --fine dining at it's best!
Kim and Shayna hav'n a little dinner.Mom and Dad--and some strange Star Wars character! :0)
Man we were spread all over the house--can't ever have too many tables!And a little bit of dancing!!
We shared our Christmas eve with Dic's family----
fun times with cousins....

Little Karsyn and her new baby.

Dic and the boys made me the best blanket a mama could ever want--that's where we cuddled up and read stories.

This was the first stress-free Christmas I remember and I believe it's because we kept it Christ-centered instead of giving in to the busy-ness. I gave up on the Christmas cards for now--(maybe something will go out a different time???) Our family enjoyed this holiday more than ever. :0)
We are truly grateful for our time with our loved ones.......
even if most of it was spent playing the new Wii!!!!! Ha!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nothing Like Giving!

Our group of singers made a joyful noise in the spirit of Christmas. A fun time was had by all..... Heck, we may even make this an annual event! We visited an assisted living facility, a nursing home (where my Grandma Jo resides), and the rescue mission (no picts, but the resident-men were having a difficult time deciding whether to watch the football game on the big screen, or listen to us sing). We had a great audience at each place.Baby Finley hugg'n on the Christmas bear.......the facilities had the greatest Christmas figures, except for, and very ironically the one that sang "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer"! Real nice, huh?
Matt couldn't help himself!!
My sweet Gram after we sang to her. She was singing, but didn't stop eating the whole time. :0)
It was a such a great feeling to see familiar faces finally light up when they heard the sweet music (I thought it was sweet anyway) :0).
God is good!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What AM I Doing?

I'm having a bit of a revelation this Christmas............

I have been trying for a couple of years to scale back, make Jesus (not Santa) the focus, which, of course, is the way it should be. But it becomes quite confusing and chaotic (in my head) at times when I try to keep up traditions we have followed for a lifetime and created with our kids---and at the same time I just want to keep it simple and give God all the glory for giving us His son to celebrate. I keep saying "it's not about us" and then I think of something else I really want to give my kids. I AM simplifying--in fact, tonight we gave Luke the option of having his own room for awhile and the big boys will "room" together. He was super-excited......until he found out the big boys were bunking their beds! But we had already made the transition, so that was that. In this huge process I called the three of them together to look at all of their toys and suggested we give a few away--to cousins, friends, and the less-fortunate babes in town. You can't even believe the stack we came up with! A fresh start.......maybe that's what I was needing to clear my mind and get back to the reason for Christmas. Our kids ask why we give gifts to each other on Jesus' Birthday and I've always said that we are celebrating Him and His love for us and for each other. And the more I ponder and pray about it I think that gifts are not necessary. Being together--- reading stories, baking cookies, singing carols, and just being present with each other is the most important thing. That is how Jesus would have celebrated His Birthday. Soooooo.........embracing those in need and loving on them is what we will do. We have some things scheduled for the next couple of weeks with our friends from church to do just that. And although we will still be giving gifts this year we will also be remembering those who go without--and hopefully they will feel our prayers and have a sense of calm and peace, even for just a day. That's all I can hope for this Christmas. And I wish for my little boys that they will open their hearts to have love and compassion for all of God's children all over the world. It can't get any better than that for a mom who is every day questioning if she's doing a good job.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Wishes

If I had my way this Christmas
If all I would wish could be....
Of all the great wishes
In a wonderful world
I’d only ask for three.
And if I could have three wishes
And if my first wish came true...
There’d be peace on earth
Good will among men
And love in all that we do.
Can you imagine a world like that?
What a wonderful place it would be...
And then I would wish
It could go on forever
For people like you and me.
If I had my way this Christmas
And if both the others came true...
My third wish would be
For now and forever
To share all my wishes with you.
My third wish would be
For now and forever
I'd definitely share all my wishes with you.
by Anne Murray

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Tree Hunting.............

i LOVE this picture--the boys were walking along this fallen tree with their cousin brendan (luke's age).

sis-in-law (allison), my sister (kim), and niece (shayna).

it was a beautiful day in the black hills--snow falling and aspen trees everywhere.......

aha! we found our tree at last!! it's bigger than it looks--over 10 feet tall (our peaks are only 9ft)--we will be cutting from the bottom...not the top! (shut it, siblings!)

this is my dad, jim(also love this picture) pictured without his black lab, sunny......she was real sick that day. she died yesterday.



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