Christmas 2013

Catch up and baby news

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I’ve been on an unintentional blog hiatus lately, as I mentioned recently. Time just seems to get away from me and then it’s 9:30 and the kids are asleep and I can’t help but crawl under the covers myself. It’s probably not the best time to post an update today, as hopefully most folks are taking a break from the computer to enjoy time with kiddos. I am taking a quick break from my kiddos to enjoy some time on the computer. : )

In my last post I talked about my brother Jim being in town for a visit. It was such a blessing to have him visit, although we were bummed that Leana couldn’t come too. She is going to visit her family in South Africa after the first of the year, and so it was hard for her to take off more time from work.

Thursday night, December 12th, we had a little family Christmas.

As great as it is to be together, it’s still weird and sad to be together. December 12th happened to be exactly a year and 1/2 since we found Mom and Dad. A year and 1/2 of great sorrow and grief. A year and 1/2 of great blessing.

One of those blessings is a new baby.

Caleb has been asking Pat lately for a baby brother or sister. He’s tired of being the littlest in the family.

Unfortunately we are not going to adding to our family.

But my brother Jim is. He shared with us on Thursday night that he and Leana are expecting! We are SO excited, and most excited of all (well besides Jim and Leana of course) are Caleb and Angel. They are beyond excited to be getting a baby cousin. Please keep them in your prayers during the next months. Leana has experienced severe morning sickness and so please pray for a relief from that.

Here’s a picture of us Thursday night. That thing Danelle is holding is a rooster… a present “from” Mom and Dad to put in the memorial garden.

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I will hopefully eventually post a separate update about Caleb’s 5th birthday. It was a whirlwind weekend of celebrating as we had his party a little early since Jim and Danelle were in town.

We let Caleb pick and it was his first party where we let him invite friends. He of course picked the Pizza Ranch and after we stuffed ourselves we let the kids run crazy in the playland.

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Last night the kids had their Christmas program for their school. We love our school so much! Lord willing, the kids will continue to go there as they are adding a grade level every year. In two years when Angel is in 2nd and Caleb is in 1st, they would be in the same class together. Just one of the many amazing things about Train Up a Child!

Aunt Nellie bought the kids Christmas outfits but Angel was adamant that her outfit was for Christmas. My word, that girl is such a girl. And I say that with all love. So after a great battle I decided to go shopping (ok it really wasn’t that much of a battle), but I was able to find a cute outfit for her on clearance. And then she’ll get to wear her “real” Christmas outfit on Christmas.

They are so precious.

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Precious in an exhausting sort of way. : )

We had an amazing surprise last night at the¬†program in that Holly and Timothy came! They are home for about a week and it’s always so great to see them. We are looking forward to a somewhat relaxing next few days. I’m off work from After School and I’ll be picking up a few hours at Vacation Care but Angel and Caleb get to come along. They’ve enjoyed making new friends there. I’ll put in some hours at my HR job but do some of that from home which is such a blessing. We’ll have some time with Pat’s family and just our immediate family and possibly a road trip to Aberdeen to see Nellie.

Lord willing, I might even get Christmas cards out. We aren’t receiving many this year, as not many have our new address. It’s not that we moved three times in the past year or anything. Ha! So I’m hoping to get cards out so that I can share our new address with everyone!

I pray you have a blessed Christmas. Cherish each moment you have. And remember the great love our Heavenly Father has for you.

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Decking the new halls

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Last weekend we put up some Christmas decorations. It was a little extra special for us in that this is our first Christmas on the farm. And last year we didn’t decorate because we were too sad to do much of anything going to be in Florida for a week and 1/2 over Christmas.

We have the same tall skinny tree we’ve had for the past few years. We are going to have to do something different in a year or two because we are running out of room for all our ornaments. We’ve always given the kids one each year and last year we started buying one for Grama and Papa too. Plus we have our family ornament. So that’s a minimum of four new ones every year.

This year our family ornament is …

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That was a no-brainer, huh!? We love our chickens!

The kids are always good helpers putting the tree together.

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And putting ornaments up. We gave Holly most of hers from when she was growing up, but we still have a few. It’s so fun to show them to the kids.

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All decorated! Except for the kids’ ornaments. They won’t get them til the week before Christmas. This year Angel will get a book (if I can find one) because she learned to read, and a kitty because she loves kittens and she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Caleb will get a super-hero, probably his favorite Hulk if I can find it, and since he wants to be a worker and a builder when he grows up, I found one with a bunch of tools. : )

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We did another special tree this year.

I spoke briefly of the tumbleweed tradition here. Basically one year when us kids were little, our parents couldn’t afford to get a Christmas tree. And so Dad went out and found a huge tumbleweed. We spray painted it white and put tinsel all over it. ¬†The past few years, Mom and Dad would get a tumbleweed for their Christmas free. It kinda turned into a family joke.

I told Pat last weekend that I really wanted to try to find a small tumbleweed that we would decorate in honor of Mom and Dad. We were on our way home from Sioux Falls and I said a prayer to myself that we’d be able to find one. Within about a minute I saw one in a culvert. Pat pulled over and I ran over to get it. It was the perfect size. The kids and I spray painted it and decorated it with tinsel.

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I got that frame last year. It says, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” and talks about being in heaven for Christmas. It’s hard to look at, but I also need it there, if that makes sense.

Last but certainly not least, we did a little decorating outside.

This was also very special, as we decorated with the star and nativity set that Mom and Dad had at their house. Dad had built the star a few years back and they put it on the outside of their house way up. Their house was on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River and you could see it from the Interstate a few miles away. It was the neatest thing. Pat agreed that we needed to put the start up on our house.

We thankfully had a pretty nice day to get the star put up. And the kids were eager to help. They actually were mad because they couldn’t get on the roof.

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So they played with the “sheep” instead.

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Hey baby.

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And then Pat made me get up on the roof. That was not fun. Except it was kinda cool because the sky was beautiful that day and you could see for miles. I told Pat it’d be cool to climb up there and look at stars some night. He said ok ya sure. Which I think means that’ll never happen.

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All finished!

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The view at night.

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“For unto us a Child is born!”

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