Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Little Baker

Granddaughter, Reagan, came to visit last week and Zola decided to let her help bake. Reagan loved mixing and stirring things together. She was occupied for quite a long time. I think they made shortbread, cookies and brownies. 

I think we are all ready for Christmas. We are pretty much just enjoying our tree, baking a little, and reading some books. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas. 


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas At Our House - Part II

We have read a lot of books and decorated gingerbread men and houses. I have tried to keep things fairly stress free -- even though it is hard for me. It is hard for me not to stress that maybe someone won't like what I bought them or that I forgot something. I decided around October of this year that I would NOT stress this Christmas, and I have done a pretty good job of not letting things bother me. I told myself that I will not run out the day before Christmas or five days before -- as it happened today -- when someone tells me that they want something different than what they originally mentioned they would like.  

Christmas is the birthday of Christ, and we need to remember that and not let all of the shopping and decorating and planning overshadow the celebration of His birth. I am trying to keep my focus on Him this year -- and hoping my kids can, too. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas At Our House

I planned on getting the decorating and shopping done early this year so we could spend more time reading and doing things together, but that hasn't exactly happened. I don't have too much more shopping to do, but with so many children, four grandchildren, parents, therapists, Sunday school teachers, tutors  -- well, it is just a lot of shopping. I think I am just about done, though. We haven't decorated as much as I had hoped we would have by now, but there is still time to do a few more things. We got our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving as we always do. Just about everybody went. 

Reagan looks like she enjoyed the trip about as much as she did last year -- and that was not much!

I think the rest of us had a pretty good time. We chose our tree in a matter of minutes -- unusual for us.

Our son, Michael, got a camera for a wedding present this fall -- well, I think it was for both of them but he does seem to monopolize it. Anyway, now there are two of us taking pictures at all the family events  -- one of my daughters says it is just too much!

Bethany worked on the tree for her room and it turned out looking pretty nice.

Bella helped with our kitchen tree -- only candy canes and lights on this one.

We pulled out all the cottages, but haven't really gotten much set up yet.

Bethany and Claire love the musical Nutcracker display best-- I think. They watch it and watch it and then dance it to. Claire woke me up a couple of mornings ago doing some kind of dance -- definitely a result of watching this display all day.

We have more decorating to do, lots more books to read and tomorrow we are going to see Santa and then make gingerbread houses with friends and family. This year hasn't been as stressful to me as some and I am thankful for that.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What We Are Reading

We have started reading our Christmas books so that we can get through a lot of them this year. It takes quite awhile to get through as many books as we have. We read The Christmas Doll by Elvira Woodruff for our first book --  which Bethany loved. It took her about three chapters to really get into the book but after that she absolutely loved it. It was a very sweet story and Jordan also really liked this book. Then we read The Christmas Dolls by Carol Beach York which was pretty good. It isn't real long so it is a quick read. We just finished The House Without a Christmas Tree by Gail Rock and Jordan, Bethany, Caroline and Andrew loved this book. It was actually a fun read and I looked forward to reading it each day.

I think The Christmas Doll by Elvira Woodruff made the biggest impression on Bethany. She has talked more about dolls and about children that don't have dolls ever since we read the book. Then she found a doll in the storage closet as we were taking out Christmas decorations and she has taken such a liking to it and even said she felt like the little girl in The Christmas Doll -- that the doll is very special. So, I know that my kids are thinking about what we read.

A few pictures from the past week or two.

 Bella loves candy canes -- actually she loves most candy and most food.
 Katie and Bella.
 Sarah reading Christmas books on my bed.
 Bella -- in just a little over a month it will have been two years since she arrived.
 ,Sophia with Emily. She has also been home almost two years. I will update on both girls soon.