Sunday, December 11, 2011

What Christmas means...

Every year I struggle with finding a way to teach my children what Christmas is about. I want to make sure they realize Christmas is NOT about the presents. It's not about the lights or the decorations. I try to find a way to enrich them that will become a memory, a reminder, a subtle thought of what the day and season really means.

Christmas can mean many things for different people. It could be about the new Red Dress, or the fancy tree, or even the parties they will attend. For some, it is about Jesus, or another higher power, and the day of birth.

And for others, it is about Family.

Family to me is what Jesus represents. His love and understanding, his forgiveness and kindness, his unconditional faith in humanity is all about FAMILY. He thought of us all as his family, when he chose to die for us. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to push any religion on you, nor preach my faith. I believe we all have the right to love and believe in whomever makes us feel better.

But family, when your all together, when you take away all the outside interferences of the "retail Christmas", makes you all warm and cozy, safe and fuzzy.

You see, I use to think this was Christmas:

But life changes lately has made me realize, that Christmas is more about this:

And most importantly this:
It did all start with this:

And became this over time:
Love is Family ~ Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Prayers please...

I am writing this post as I sit beside my daughters Hospital Bed holding her hand. My heart breaks for her as it seems she never gets a break. We are here for several days while they run many tests.

Last night while sitting in the doctors office, after hearing him say she had to go back to the hospital, she broke down in tears that were enough to break my heart. She cried to not go back, and although i wanted nothing more then to kiss her and tell her it was going to be ok and protect her, i knew deep inside that going to the hospital was what would help her to feel better and find whats wrong. As badly as I wanted to say "you don't have to go", I just hugged her and promised to be there holding her hand every step.

Life is so unfair for her. I'm so frustrated with how much is thrown her way. As much of a trooper as she is, and truly is my hero, enough is enough. Her life is hard enough without adding more things on. As if her road hasn't been crazy enough with road blocks, we have to encounter more. As if she hasn't already learned about strength from going through so much already, she needs to be tested more? As if she hasn't learned about patience, she needs to fret and worry more about her little world?

I have walked every step with her, gone to every therapy appointment, exercised her, taught her sign language, speech, walking and how to make friends. I've held her hand through every trial, wiped many tears and listened to her cry herself to sleep on too many nights. I've attended every doctors appointment and fought the political mess of school funding for her special education to the mess of insurance and medical funding. I have filed more paperwork for her then I care to ever see again, and I've watched her like a hawk for any new signs. I've cried myself to sleep and my brain never shuts down with the many things that still need to be done, but i have NEVER stopped fighting for her.

I know inside that she IS where she is because i didn't give up. And I know many families face much worse then we do. But just this once...just this one time...I need to say...LIFE STINKS SOMETIMES!

So please pray for her, for us, so that she may catch just a little break for once. Just enough so she can catch her breath and get ready for the next hurdle to be thrown her way.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday...

The Boy went and turned another year older! No matter how many times I tell him to stop aging because it's making me look bad, he keeps on doing it.

Austin turned 15 a few days before Thanksgiving, and this year he wanted to take a bunch of friends to play Laser Tag and sleep over. And I said sure! Thinking only a few friends and how I'm getting off cheap this year for a party, this will be a breeze.

So when he heard back from the invites, a few said no, so he invited a few more. And then those few came back and said "hey, plans changed, we are not out of town for the holiday, now we can come" and then I had a house full and had to drive 2 cars.

So DH and I drove these 6 HUGE, as in tall and meaty, teenage boys to Laser Tag, and waited while they played arcade games for an hour, ate in the cafe, and played 2 games of LT. Then these eating machines were hungry. So off to Pizza we went. Five Extra Large Pizza's and Breadsticks later, we headed home for an all nighter gaming night.

Oh and don't forget the Gourmet Cupcakes for dessert.

They were wound up. High on excitement and sugar. I only was awaken at 2am to the front door opening and closing. Caught 2 of them sneaking out, or should i say, sneaking in. The boys finally crashed around 5am from what i hear.

I woke up and made a huge homemade breakfast for them with 1 dozen Scrambled Eggs, 2lbs of Bacon, 2lbs of Hash browns, 1gallon of Apple Juice, 2 packages of Tortilla's for the breakfast burritos and 1/2lb of cheese.

And then....their parents arrived to take them all home.

And I collapsed.

He had a great time, and it was great seeing him laughing so much, and overall, they are a really great bunch of guys he's friends with.

But I'm scared for the big "16" party next year!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Decorating...

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we waste no time in preparing for Christmas in our household. It is our favorite holiday for my Hubby and I. I think it has something to do with us really just being kids at heart, but i feel happier, merrier when everything is decorated. And my absolute FAV is sitting in the evening's when it's dark out and just having the Christmas Lights on.
So Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving, Hubby starts pulling all the Christmas tubs out of the shed, and I hit the stores at 5am for Christmas Shopping. Usually by the time I get home, half the outside is decorated.
You see, our home is one of those that people drive by to see. Not intentionally, it just seems to grow each year. I lost count at 15,000 lights. Add in several inflatables, yard decorations, wall designs, garage magnets, and front porch scenes, you can imagine what I'm talking about.
So Saturday Morning, the inside tubs come in, and I spend the day moving furniture to prepare for the tree, stringing and decorating all the bannister's in the house and hanging stockings. We have a Nativity Scene, a Christmas light up village, A Santa collection, 6 inside trees (4 mini, a medium one, and a Live large one), ribbons, wall decorations, you name it, we have it.
It usually takes us the whole 3 days to finish the inside and out. Christmas Music blaring, the kids help out too. Austin enjoys doing the outside with Dad, now that he's old enough to get on the roof and do them himself, and Emily helps me with the inside. She's great at directing me and unpacking everything.
There's something about decorating for Christmas, that brings out the child in me. I feel the excitement growing inside, the giddiness of a child, the warm, fuzzy feeling of what Christmas means. Watching the wonder and excitement on my children's faces, and the glow in their eyes. Christmas means more then the decorations we put up. Its the wonderment of what the season brings. It's the kindness and consideration of thinking of others, the thought that is put into the home baked goodies and gifts, the memories that are made.
Now if only I could get an elf or two to wrap all the presents for me, then I'd be really happy!