Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All six together

 Beautiful, aren't they? I'm one super duper blessed Mama!

With personalities blaring

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; to declare Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness by night... For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done, I will sing for joy at the work of Thy hands. How great are Thy works, O Lord! -Psalm 92:1, 4-5
Amen and Amen!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A little sad it's all over!

 I love the traditions our family has surrounding Christmas and Christmas Eve,  and it's hard for me to think I have to wait another 363 days to experience them again. The 26th always makes me a little sad. Today was no different. The first of my babies has gone home and the other one will leave in a couple of days. But, I have some wonderful memories that I'll tuck away. We've had some great times of laughter and love. We've also had a few tense moments that always come when 7 people are together constantly for a couple of days. Abbey and Elijah had a blast with all of their brothers and sisters around. Abbey has really gotten that present unwrapping thing down. Elijah likes to play with the gift bags. Again, it all brings me to God with gratitude for all He has done. The way our family has been knitted together in my heart is amazing. Everyone has unique gifts and temperaments and to see them all together is such a blessing for me and John. I'm so grateful that for another year, they all have been able to come home.

Christmas Eve Traditions 

We sing some carols and read  Luke 2. Then the kids exchange presents with each other. John and I also give our presents. This year, John really made me feel special with his gift. It was something that I'd always wanted, but would never have asked for. All of the kids knew about it and were waiting for the moment when John gave it to me amid some really special words. It was quite romantic and wonderful!! I love that guy!!
After presents, we walk around our neighborhood to admire the lights and luminaries that our neighborhood lines all of the streets with. 

The girls. Abbey's in heaven with her sisters.

Then, back at home, we have a feast of all feast! This is my favorite part!

Christmas morning

For several years, we have had a tradition where the kids cook breakfast and bring it to us in bed. Then we go and open presents. We have chosen not to participate in Santa, so the gifts are wrapped and we take turns watching each of the kids open their gifts from me and John.

Anna is thrilled with her Orchestra section Wicked tickets.

Daniel works to open some CDs

But, his major gift (from Nana and Grandaddy and us), was a new snare drum

Abbey loved her castle

And taking on John with Hungry, Hungry Hippos
(notice my future beautician fixing my hair)

Using her new Dr's kit to check Elijah out

Elijah trying to get into his present

He loved his crash and go racetrack

My snugglebug. Both of the little kids had horrible colds with nasty coughs. Elijah cried more than he has since he came home

Then it's off to Nana and Grandaddys for a major meal, visiting with my brother and his family and more presents.

Abbey got her first set of wheels

Elijah sneaking a turn in Abbey's car

Landry and Betty


Anna trying out Nana's new chair

She loves her Grandaddy(and I think he likes her a little bit, too)

My Mama and Daddy(aka Nana and Grandaddy)

My brother, Tom, coming in from frying the turkey. (It rained all day)

Oh, how I enjoyed these two days!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Good times with friends

Of course, I have friends

The other night Abbey started making a statement about her friends. Daniel, being a typical older brother, jokingly said, "Abbey, you don't have friends, do you?" Indignant, not understanding the sarcasm, Abbey said, "Oh, yes, I do: Caleb, Kylie and Lottie!"

It is always fun to see our little ones as they become more and more social. Abbey is definitely starting to enjoy playing with, instead of along side of, her friends. We have had several fun times the past few days with friends:
We made cookies and had her friends come over and decorate them:

Abbey rolling the dough

Anna stopped in for a little while and helped

Of course, our Gingerbread men bleed Carolina blue!

Caleb decorating away

Sweet Kylie and her decorated cookie

Artistic Lottie and her cookie

With the help of Caleb and Kylie, Abbey had her first mini-pajama party. I say mini because, they didn't stay the whole night. But, they had a grand ole time playing and finally going to sleep together. Their parents were at a Christmas party and picked them up later that night,  but Abbey had her first taste of the fun of sleepovers. I'm sure there will be many, many more to come!

Sleeping like babies

Sunday, December 20, 2009

John's Extended Family Christmas

Every year the Saturday before Christmas is reserved for family Christmas on John's side. This year was Elijah's debut with a lot of the family. We met in Charlotte at Susie and David's house. Sadly, Beth had to miss this outing. She had not planned on being here because of transportation issues, but even if she had, she would have likely had to cancel. DC had snow storm last night and today. NC even saw some snow yesterday and today. We only got a small snow shower with some sleet yesterday, which turned to rain last night. Going through Greensboro, we saw quite a bit more snow. But, despite the weather everyone who was planning on being there got there. John, Jr even got to come from Wilmington. As usual, we feasted on a grand assortment of food, the guys watched a not so pretty UNC basketball game and then, went out to shoot a few hoops themselves. 


Elijah, Abbey and cousin Marley

Amie and David

Miley and Susie

Anna and Sarah

Miley and Elijah
Miley is 9 months old, and weighs more than Elijah

Hannah, Elena, and Amie

Anna and cousin Matt

Abbey got a new dress up skirt from Aunt Phoebe

 Marley and Abbey


 Anna sat in the back with Elijah and Abbey


So sweet!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Abbey and Elijah's first Christmas Caroling outing

   This past weekend, our small group from church got together to celebrate Christmas. We shared a wonderful meal together.  We had also planned to go caroling. Despite raining all day, we were able to get a little caroling in. Daniel had a swim meet that day, and we had to wake the kids up extra early. This put Abbey in one of her, I gotta keep moving and moving fast, or else I'll fall asleep moods. She was in quite rare form. At the first house we went to, she goes barreling in and marches right in the front door. After being told that we don't actually go into the people's houses, she entertained herself by jumping off of their porches. Boy, can she be a pistol!  But, all in all, we had a great time. There was also some ministering done, even by the likes of wild Abbey. At one house an older woman came out in her night robe. After singing, all of the kids went and gave the woman an impromptu  hug. She had tears in her eyes as we left. That made it all worth it!

Playing a gift exchange game

John and Elijah ready to brave the elements
 Lottie, Abbey and Kylie

 Abbey and Kylie held hands the whole way

That's my girl!(with Kylie)


Abbey hugging the lady

Seems they made her night- "and the little child shall lead them"