I had hoped to get this post about our Christmas finished a bit sooner, but I've only had short blocks of time to sit down and write.
But before you read any further, I just wanted to Thank You for reading my blog. I so appreciate your kind comments and encouragement. It really does mean so much to me.
Even though I just write about things on my heart and the simple stuff my family is doing, I hope you are blessed when you visit here. 😊
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I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, not only special time with family and friends, but also some quiet time to really think upon the greatest gift ever given...eternal salvation through Jesus.
On Friday, the 23rd, it snowed! We weren't expecting snow, which made it all the more fun.
I had quite a bit of meal preparations to tend to so I set up a little T.V and DVD player on our kitchen table so that I could watch Christmas movies while cooking.
I think my favorite Christmas movie is White Christmas. It always makes me cry. It felt a little like White Christmas at our house since it snowed unexpectedly.
I also watched "It's a Wonderful Life". I finished thawing the 20 pound turkey in the sink, made the baste, prepared the sweet potato casserole, and baked two pecan pies along with pre-preparing our Christmas eve supper.
Snowflakes beckoned children!
Caleb drove up Friday night. I found these fun photos on my phone from Saturday morning.
Opening gifts takes a while as we watch each one open and see what was received, giving the recipient opportunity to thank the giver.
After gifts, we enjoyed our tradition of "Shepherd's Pie" for dinner.
When the first four kids were little, we came up with the idea of laying their filled stockings at the foot of their beds, once they were asleep on Christmas Eve so when they awoke in the morning they could open them up and it would keep them occupied, allowing Eric and me a little extra sleep (after late night toy assembly and last minute details.) Even though it was early (5 am-ish) and we would often hear little squeals of excitement, they were pretty quiet as they gathered together to open and show each other what they got.
Mary was so excited she just couldn't fall asleep - so we couldn't get stockings on the beds until late.
While we waited for the little girls to fall asleep, we pulled out our last box of Ugly Christmas Cookies (Yes, more from Trader Joe's!) to frost with the older kids. (And NO, you are never too old to frost cookies. 😉)
It's times like these with my kids that I cherish. It's not the activity itself, but the laughter and memories made, and the LAUGHTER!
Not only did Mary take for-e-v-e-r to fall asleep, Christmas morning she woke up rather early (like 4 a.m. early) she woke up Abbie, who then woke up Ellie, who woke up poor Hannah, who, at eighteen values sleep at 4 a.m. a bit more than stocking stuffers. Anyway, they all opened and enjoyed the fun.
A house full of people means lots of coffee flowing, egg scrambling, and sausage cooking, but Eric is a master in the kitchen and handles it effortlessly (so I let him 😉)
Church service was a mix of congregational and choir singing of Christmas carols, interspersed with various Scripture readings of the Christmas story, and ending with the Gospel message. A perfect way to focus our hearts and keep centered on what and why we are even celebrating.
While at church, the turkey cooked in our counter-top roaster. Just a bit of heating up of all the sides when we returned, and we enjoyed our holiday feast.
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I am thankful for the calm week that follows Christmas. Still on a break from school, I have a little extra time for projects like closet cleaning.
I had each of the little girls try on all their clothing (both hanging in the closets and folded in the dresser.) A bit tight, a bit short or just "not my favorite" were moved down the line to the younger sisters or given to Good Will. Room made for a few new things. Can I just tell you how nice it is to have those spaces organized.
Matthew went through his things too, and now Daniel has a bit more of a wardrobe. 😉
I've been going through bookshelves and toy bins too. Sorting and purging, donating, and organizing. Thankful to get it in order for the new year.
Today I spent the day taking down all the Christmas decorations with the help of the little girls. Daniel disassembled the Star Trek tree and put all that away for me. Ellie helped me with the tree upstairs packing away all the ornaments. Followed by dusting, vacuuming, and returning the furniture to where it was before Christmas. It is clean and spacious once again.
While Christmas for us is over, for the goats, it was as if it was Christmas today. We brought the tree down to them and, it's my guess, they will have it picked clean before the New Year begins.
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I've been thinking about some things that I'd like to incorporate and accomplish in the new year. I've been wondering also what the Lord will have for us. I do not know, but this one thing I do know. God is faithful. He has never failed me. He is unchanging so he will not fail me in the future either.
No matter what it is, I want to be faithful. (FULL of faith!)
With that I hope you enjoy your last day of 2016.