Monday, December 26, 2011

i cant believe it's over

wow!! did christmas fly by or what? it seems like it to me. but then again, i'm older & every year flies by at light speed now. it seems to me that i just had levi, esther, asher & abigail all at the same time. that elizabeth should still enjoy wearing dresses on a daily basis & playing with dolls & that rachel should be the chatty little girl who constantly asked questions....oh wait...she still is very chatty!
i find it hard to believe that asher will be 5 in just 14 days. that rachel will be 17 in february...did i really just type that 17...can you hear me saying that in disbelief? when did she grow up? 17. that's insane. i dont feel old....that's not the problem...i just cant believe my first sweet rachel (who is still sweet)...just has grown up so fast. i will never forget mr. bobby hartman telling me that i would blink & she would be grown. he was right. i blinked. and i really tried not to. one reason we homeschool - is a purely selfish one. i want my kids with me. i dont want to miss a thing with them. i dont want to share them with other people (well most days - but when they are being wild & unruly i will share them with the strangers at walmart if they would take them so i could get a nap!) and i realize that as much as i try to not miss anything...i am. it's unfortunate & unintended, but unavoidable. i am trying to not take any of them for granted. trying to choose the important battles. trying to laugh & make memories with them. trying to enjoy them...all of them. i am trying to build relationships with them so that even as they grow - grow up &  move out into their own lives - that our relationships will be ones that are alive and enjoyable to each of us. i want to be a vital part of their lives so that i dont have to miss a thing.

this christmas we did something a little different. we saved milk jugs & put luminaries in them and had them line our drive way on christmas eve & christmas day. all of us got out & worked on them. we filled them with sand, put little lights in them, lit them & ooohhhed & ahhhhhed over them when it got dark & they were glowing so prettily in the night. (i dont have a picture of them glowing in the night).
here are a few shots of us outside setting them up.
i have no clue who was taking pictures. these are very random & even blurry...but it was fun & the kids all had a good time outside...even if it was a bit nippy. between the dogs & the was fun. that's why i wanted to do time, doing something special (to us anyway) and different, that had us all working together and having fun. even levi was outside in his push car enjoying the outside. asher pushed him around all over the yard. esther filled the jugs up with the sand. she did an excellent job & was completely diligent until all 36 were filled. elizabeth made sure the candle wicks were standing up so they would light easily. rachel helped set each jug in place. abigail helped put the actual tea light down inside the jug. clay got the measuring tape & actually measured between each jug down the driveway so they would be more even & wouldnt look just half heartedly thrown out in the driveway. as you can see i was trying to light them or something. this would be one of my favorite things we did this christmas. the other thing that we did that i enjoyed was we went to a little baptist church on Christmas Day (our church cancelled services) and we all fit on one pew - we filled it up...and clay was on one end & i was on the other. all of the kids were between us. we sang "Hark The Herald Angels Sing". that was probably my favorite moment of Christmas.

we had just finished. she was hamming it up for whoever was taking pictures! she can be such a pleasant child. and she has an amazing ability to see what needs to be done for a 2 1/2 year old and do it ....if she feels like it. for instance, if there is trash on the floor & she sees it...she will pick it up & put it in the trash. i dont have children who do that usually. the others will step over the trash about 100 times before i scream at them to pick it up & throw it away & they will say "oh i didnt see it." right...even a blind man could see it! but not esther....she has that inate ability to take initiative to do what needs to be done.

and for the record, i love christmas. it is my favorite time of the year. i love making my children happy. i enjoy baking. i love the music. i love the decorations. people are so good to one another.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing, words by Charles Wesley, music by Felix Mendelssohn
(3rd verse is my favorite!)

Hark the herald angels sing

"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

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