I love that the Christmas season starts with Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for what God has blessed us with that I can't even put it into words. Life isn't at all easy, but I can't look at anything in our life and not see God's hand in it. He is good, He is sovereign and He is divine. To know that His fingers craft the story of our lives just leaves me speechless.
We were able to share a great day with Michelle today. I love that she still takes time out to come and hang out in probably one of the coldest places she has ever been! It goes to show what people will do when they really love you! It is a big deal around here. Where is she going to sleep, what are we going to do...Stacey usually has it all planned.
There will be no ice skating this year. With Stacey's knee causing her grief (update on that in a few days), Stacey decided that a day of baking would be better and they did that yesterday. Today, it was giving and opening presents and spending the day hanging out together enjoying them and each other. What a blessing to not have to go anywhere or do anything. Time can stand still. We like that around here!
Stacey has also planned out our viewing schedule since the kids like to catch Auntie Chelle up with all of the kid movies that have come out over the last year. On Monday they started with Frozen. Michelle loved Olaf (who doesn't). Stacey wanted to go find a stuffed Olaf to give to Michelle and I told her I could do one better...there was a singing/dancing Olaf at Walgreens I had seen earlier in the week. She was so excited to give that to her Aunt. Michelle was surprised too when she opened it!
These are the priceless moments that we share with our family that warm our hearts and make the memories that last. Years from now we will say "hey, remember that Thanksgiving when I gave you that dancing Olaf?" Priceless!
There is one finished area in our basement. It is the vault (yes, the same vault I got locked in last year at about this time before I figured out how it worked!) It is a 25x6 room that has worked very well for present storing a wrapping when we want to keep secrets.
I spent some time in the vault this week getting ready for Michelle's arrival and our exchanging of gifts. There used to be serious ammunition making and gun storing done in the vault with the former occupant but for us, it is the secret room of gifts and wrapping, combination known only by Mom and Dad.
Over the last couple of days, one by one the kids came down and wrapped their present for Auntie Chelle. On Wednesday we will be having our "Thanksmas" celebration with our Sloan family.
We are so proud of Dawn! She was able to be a part of the Opus choir this year and we were able to go to Ames for an afternoon and enjoy a very good concert given by the best of the best around the state. The 5th-6th grade choir was wonderful but we also got to enjoy music from the 7th-8th grade boys, 7th-8th grade girls and the 9th grade choir too.
Dawn is in the second row from the top right about the middle of the screen. I thought sitting there how grown up she looks with her contact lenses and concentration as she sang.
It is amazing to me how such a small amount of practice time can produce such a great sound. The harmonies were beautiful in each of the different type of song they were sharing with us. What a great experience!
Matthew came home one afternoon with a sign up sheet for Little Indians Wrestling Club. He wanted to be a wrestler! It seems like his P.E. teacher had really talked up wrestling. It was adorable when he told me "Mom, the girls don't get to do wrestling, they have to do cheer leading"!
We went the first night and he loved it. As his dad said "Well, he is built like a wrestler"! That he is. We have since found him wrestling shoes and head gear. With two big brothers who are quite aggressive and often forget that he is small, Matt has taken a few hits in his life. It shows at wrestling club because he can take down some kids! One of the kids in his little circle is about a head taller than he is and it doesn't seem to slow him down.
Wrestling is a new sport to our family and I have seen that this particular sport has its own kind of people. I have learned the soccer bunch, and it seems like this is a whole new community. Some parents are pretty passionate about their 5 year old wrestler's career already. Not only is it entertaining to watch my son give wrestling a try, but it is entertaining to see how some of these parents are over the top. In some cases, I feel bad for these little ones. Not my little one. He is having fun doing something he loves to do!
What a great time of bonding we had last night, the little boys and I. We were reading our favorite bedtime story of all time. "Good Night Little One". Every one of my children have loved to have this book read at bedtime. I love it too, such an awesome reminder to their little hearts that whatever is in the dark, whatever is going on in their lives, whatever age they are, their God is bigger and stronger and He is all that they need.
Matt, Zach and I got to talking in between pages like we sometimes do and the topics went all over the place. (which is secretly my favorite "little boy" conversations.) The topic got to babies in mommy's tummy. Matthew made a comment about how I had to go to the hospital five times to get babies out. I explained that no, it was really only three times. Then we talked a little and got on the subject of the baby that died in Mommy's tummy. Somehow that came up because I was at the hospital when she was born too. They wanted to know how old she would have been. We talked about how Zach would be her big brother and Matthew would be her little brother. I was surprised at the questions and although they caught me a little off guard, it was sweet to share with them.
Long after our normal bedtime, I found myself tucking them into their bed and the precious words of their bedtime prayers went up like sweet aroma, not just to God but to this mommy too. Zachary likes to pray pretty much the same thing each night, so imagine my surprise when I heard his voice slowly and patiently articulating each thought through his words to God. "And God, I know that there is a baby that died in Mommy's tummy. That makes me sad. Please take care of that little baby because I know she is with You."
And that was that. Powerful moments for this mom tonight! To read more about that time in our lives, click to read our Amy story: Our Little Tiny