Monday, December 28, 2009

We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I never intended for it to take me until New Year's Eve to get a post up about our Christmas, but apparently that is what happened! In any event - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Here's a recap of the family Christmas 2009.

We had a great Christmas with our families this year. Over the past week and a half we were able to spend time with everyone in our families who lives in Louisiana. The girls were blessed to enjoy their cousins and aunts, uncles, and grandparents. And of course they were showered with presents. Caroline's Christmas was filled with Barbie, Disney Princesses, dolls, trucks, and tools.

On Christmas Eve as she was going to bed, Caroline was very intent on leaving Santa three cookies and chocolate milk. Not regular old white milk. From all appearances, Santa loved the treats; when we woke up there were only crumbs and an empty glass on the counter. Jeff made french toast for Christmas breakfast for the girls and they paused just long enough to inhale a couple of pieces before getting back to the business of playing. Caroline and Jeff spent about an hour outside playing with her new tool set. We also spent time watching Enchanted and Aladdin and dressing up dolls and Barbies and breaking the Disney Princesses out of the dungeon.

Charlotte got her very own cell phone and key set so that she might stop dropping mine on our tile floors. She got a drum and musical instrument set that she and Caroline have gotten plenty of use out of! Add to the list baby dolls, a ball, stuffed animals, and I don't think that quite gets everything, but she was one blessed little girl this Christmas as well. Unfortunately, opening her presents is a two parent operation, so we don't have pictures of that, but here are a few of her enjoying the aftermath.

Unfortunately, Charlotte ended the day with an ear infection, but other than that one little blip, our holiday was a good one! The one thing I'm sorry about is that we didn't get to make it to church this year for Christmas Eve service. Christmas Eve service always brings me back to what Christmas is really all about and makes for a great way to remind kids too that though presents are a lot of fun, the thing that makes Christmas is the birth of Christ. I hope we did a decent job of focusing on that fact during the entire Christmas season, but it did seem like something was missing this year.

We are truly blessed to have wonderful friends and family, I wish we were able to spend more time with everyone. The short hours of time together always leave me wishing there were more holidays to bring us all to one place more often.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Songs According to Caroline

We've been listening to a Christmas CD in the car for a week or so and Caroline absolutely loves it. She sings along to all of the songs and asks me to "please turn it louder" every few minutes. I get a real laugh out of her take on the songs, so I thought I'd share:

On the instrumental version of "Sleigh Ride", she says, "Oh! This is the song with the cracking! I'm going clap with all the cracks." [think the sounds of the whip cracking.]

She loves to try to mimic Judy Garland's voice in "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", which is comical in itself, but according to Caroline, the song is entitled "Have Yourself a Little Bitty Christmas". Or less frequently, "Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas".

She calls "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire", "Chestnuts and an Open Up Fire". And her favorite part is when he sings "Jack Frosting sniffing on your nose".

Another of Caroline's favorite lines from a song is in "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". She thinks it is very funny when he sings about "marshmallows for toasty", because of course you don't eat marshmallows with toast. duh.

I could go on, but I think you get a hint of the entertainment I'm treated to each morning and afternoon. It truly gives me something to look forward to on those drives to and from school and work.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

December 6, 2009

Today marks two years since we said hello and good-bye to Joshua. The title of the devotional in My Utmost for His Highest today is "Rainbow in the Cloud." That phrase I think sums up well the way I feel about losing him. Losing a baby is certainly a dark cloud to walk through, definitely the biggest one we've been under thus far. And while I'm still not at the place where I feel like I have many answers, I do see how God blessed us, continues to bless us, and how he's really walked with us over these two years. I see him in ways that I truly don't think would be possible if not for the loss of Joshua. For those revelations I'm truly thankful, and I see them as the rainbow in a dark place. It doesn't take away the dark place, but it brings light. And hope.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Christmas Story

Caroline's new favorite "toy" is our nativity set. She loves setting them up and playing out the night of Jesus' birth. Or pretending that baby Jesus is going off to school. Or to his grandmother's house. There are lots of variations on what Jesus and Mary and Joseph do with all of the animals, the shepherds, the wise-men, and the stable.

Yesterday I was cooking while she was playing in the other room. My ears perked up when she started raising her voice. The "conversation" was apparently between Mary and the Angel and it went like this:

"You will name him Jesus!"

"I KNOW Angel! Joseph and me already know this story!"

"But, I will tell you!"

"No, Angel! We are having a boy and his name is going to be Jesus and that is the way God made it."

We've talked about, read, and acted out the story of Jesus being born countless times with Caroline, but I guess the fact that the Angel and Mary and Joseph were all on the same team hasn't quite taken hold. For some reason when Caroline pretends with any of her figurines, from Disney princesses to Little People, to apparently Mary and an Angel, she always has one telling the other what to do. I try to encourage her to let her toys be friends and not boss each other around, but my supplications don't seem to be getting through.

It's really funny and humbling and even overwhelming at times to watch her as she grows and plays and uses her imagination in the way that God made her as an individual. I think we'll keep working on the Christmas story though.