Friday, December 31, 2010

Windows, christmas, and hope?

Playing with make-up, lord help us!
Our Christmas card pic

The girls at Santa breakfast. Yes, that's right, the one where I slammed Joslyn's finger in the van door on the way in. Which is why, as you will notice on the Christmas card, the picture of them is not of them with Santa. B/c, ya know, when mom slams your finger in the car door, you really aren't too interested in seeing the big guy! And then when you do get interested, he's gone. So, you improvise, and sit on a reindeer instead! Then, your mom will also feel so guilty she will take you to see Tangled.

The girls at Justin's parent's on Christmas eve after our Christmas eve church service. Aren't they adorable?

This. This is the face of Christmas. She is so in love with her Lotso bear. So in love in fact, that even when she realized he was a mean character and she was scared of him, she still wouldn't put him down. Don't ask me why. I have no idea,

Me with my girls before Jaycee's Christmas program at church. She did so good, sang her little heart out! I was very proud of her.

That last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity! From parties (so many I lost count), to shopping, baking, wrapping, cleaning, unwrapping, cleaning again, etc etc. Some of my favorite things: shopping with the girls at dollar tree for gifts for them to give people, making/decorating homemade sugar cookies with icing, watching Jaycee try to wrap presents, cooking breakfast in the kitchen with my husband, watching my babies hold their candle and sing silent night. We decided to do our Christmas together during the day of Christmas eve. We really try to squeeze everyone in, and this happened to be a time when we didn't have anything else going on so we took advantage of it. We opened gifts and made a big breakfast. After a long nap, we went to the Christmas eve service at church. This is my favorite part of Christmas. I wouldn't care if I got a gift in the world, as long as I got to go. I love slowing down and focusing on the real reason for Christmas. Seeing my little girls soak in the Christmas story. Hearing their sweet voices sing silent night and away in a manger. It's all so, peaceful.

After the service, we go to Justin's dad's house for Christmas eve dinner. His step-mom is so funny, she made each of her 3 kids their favorite thing to eat lol! I think that was really thoughtful. We all got some wonderful gifts, and really enjoyed each other's company.

Christmas morning, the girls found their Santa goodies, then we packed up and headed over to Rara's house. Which, um, I don't have any pictures of! I am so bad about that. But we had a great breakfast with mom, bob, Grannie, and Jordan. Mom got me an awesome gift, razorback basketball tickets, 5 games! She got some too, so we can go together!!

From there, we headed towards Birta to see my dad. But first, we stopped off in Washburn to see Justin's grandma and grandpa. Once again, we were all blessed with nice gifts, and seeing more people that we love to see. We snacked a little, played a game. Then got back on the road to Birta! There, we were given more gifts (I'm seeing a pattern here...) and the girls got power wheels jeeps to ride on! I promise I will get a picture up soon. We ate some more (hmm, another pattern) and visited, then headed home.

Not long after we got home, Justin's mom and step-dad came over, and you guessed it, more gifts! We really are truly blessed, and undeserving of all these generous people in our lives. They stayed with us till Monday, and as usual the girls had a blast spending time with their mimi and popi.

All this past week, the girls and I spent time together watching new movies, playing with toys, and enjoying each other. They really are growing up so fast, and I enjoyed getting some time with them! I'm going to miss this time when we have to get back to the real world next week.

But oh, never fear, our time hasn't been without struggles of course. Which is good, b/c if everything were simple, I would have no good stories to tell, right?

First of all, Elvis was picked up by the fuzz, and taken to dog jail. I had to pay 30$ to bail him out, and am still trying to decide if he was worth it. I kid, I kid!!! We are glad we found him and he was safe. But seriously, if he digs out of the fence again, I may consider selling him to a sausage factory.......

Also, we got new windows on our house!! Yes, yes, this is a good thing. Our house was built in 1979, and it still had the original windows. They were not doing their job well, considering all were broken in some way. My mother, being the kind and caring soul she is, offered to help us out in this endeavor, and viola, hello Lowes! It took the poor guys all day to get the job done, even though there were only like 7 windows. But, when you have metal that's been embedded in brick for 30 years, things get a little messy. But guess what, now I have windows that open!!! Can you believe that?? It's the little things in life, right? Oh wait, let's take a step back here. Not all of my windows open. On the back of our house, there is a large kitchen window that looks out into the back yard. Why it isn't a door, I do not know. But our plan is to knock out said window/wall and put in a door. So, when replacing the windows, we skipped this one. Now, I want to say, I love my husband very, very much. But there is no denying his temper. Today, as the dogs barked incessantly in the backyard as usual, he thought it would be a good idea to bang on the window to get their attention to stop. Well, not so much. You guessed it, the window broke. Awesome, right? To be frank, we are not in any kind of position to replace this window currently. But, never fear! Here comes Justin with a cardboard shooting target, complete with bullet holes and picture of the bad guy!!! And for now, with the addition of duct tape, that is my back window. But it could be worse, right? We could have not even had a piece of cardboard to fix it with! We will just add this little incident to my list of "ways god is trying to keep me humble."

Someone asked me earlier if 2010 was better for us than 2009. I answered no. In 2009, a lot of things felt unstable, and we were unsure about a lot. But, we had so much hope. Hopes of owning our first home and it being something we could be proud of. Hopes of Justin having a great job that could support us. Hopes of my health improving. In 2010, we finally got more settled, but nothing went the way we had hoped. We were able to finally buy a home, bet we are not happy here, for many reasons. Justin's job turned out to not be what we thought it would. My health only seems to get worse, not better. While I love my job and the kids I work with, I didn't see myself having to start working. I struggle so, so much with dwelling on these things. I know, in my heart, that I need to concentrate on all the good things in my life. My beautiful healthy kids, my loving husband. I continue to pray and ask God to please give me peace, and a happy heart. To make me thankful for the things I have, and to give me the strength to endure whatever happens, and still be able to give to others.

So, here's to hoping that 2011 will be the best year ever. And maybe, all that needs to change, is me.

And here, for your entertainment, a short video of sweet Jaycee in her church Christmas program.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


On the big steps at the rock gym

Jos playin ball

Jaycee with a ball

Jos and her great-grandpa

On the front porch at moms house

In mom's living room, I was trying to get a good shot!

With their great-grannie

With my mom- Rara

I better get a good post in for Thanksgiving, before all of the Christmas craziness really sets in!

We had a great Thanksgiving. Ours started the Wednesday night before, as we have so much family that we have to spread holidays out over a few days! Our first meal was at mom's house with mom, bob, grannie, Jordan, gidget, and the 4 of us. Mom and I both cooked some and we got some smoked turkeys. It was wonderful! It was nice to just relax and enjoy my family.

Thursday for lunch we went to the rock gym on the school campus to have thanksgiving with the Bridges'. We are so blessed to be a part of this wonderful family. Talk about some awesome food! The girls had a blast running around the gym and playing with the other kids. We left there and headed to Birta to see my dad and family. We had some more yummy food, and good visiting with family. I seriously love this holiday. I mean, what could be better than just sitting around eating delicious food and enjoying each other?

Oh, yeah, and shopping. That's another good thing, hah! I was able to talk my brother's girlfriend in to coming shopping with me. We hit toys r us at 9:30 thurs night and shopped untill 8am friday morning! Than that afternoon we put up our christmas decorations, and Justins mom and family arrived from texas to spend some time with us.

I am so thankful for all of the wonderful family I have. Without them, I don't know where I would be. I am thankful for my wonderful husband and 2 gorgeous healthy children. I am thankful that my health isn't any worse than it is. I am thankful for a roof over my head and a car to drive (no matter how humble and un-impressive they are ;) ) I am thankful that Justin and I both have jobs, and that I happen to love mine! I am thankful for all of the adorable little faces I get to see twice a week at MDO. I am thankful for a church home full of loving and caring people. I am thankful to live in a country where I can choose to attend this church.

To some it may look like we don't have much, and by a lot of standards we don't! But we have the most important things, that's for sure!