Monday, December 9, 2013

Merry Christmas (the cheap way)

I LOVE Christmas cards, Christmas cards are my favorite :)!  But this year my practical, penny pinching husband asked me if I could take the year off from Christmas cards to save money, I grudgingly said okay, though I wished he asked me before I spent 2 hours creating it online.  Every time I go out to my mailbox this year I feel both elated and a little guilty opening y'alls cards, I don't want anyone to think I've forgotten them, so this year it's going to have to be the blogpost-not-as-good-as-paper-but-sure-is-a-lot-cheaper Christmas card.

This year was the year of weddings.  Both my sister and a friend who is as close as a sister got married this year, and all five of us were in both weddings, yes you read that right me and Kyle and our three children 6 and under at the time were in two weddings in the span of six weeks.  It was such an honor to have such important parts in these beautiful women's weddings but from about March through July that was what kept me busy, it was such a blessing, and it made us tired, we have officially retired from the wedding business :).

In the middle of those six weeks we squeezed in a two week trip to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Colorado, and Wyoming.  It was a dream of mine to go to Yellowstone and it was the beautiful place I have ever been on this planet!  I love road trips and I still do after this trip, meaning all went well and the kids did great.  We drove 4000+ miles total over the two weeks, so I could use a professional car cleaning :).  My one tip to you is book a year out so you can stay at one of the few hotels in the park, driving in and out like we did equals a LOT of driving.  We went the first week in June and it was perfect, warm enough and just before peak season begins.

Kylynn and Jack are having such amazing years at school this year.  I cannot begin to tell you how much their teachers have blessed our family.  Jack is a Kindergarten rock star and I still can't believe that my baby is old enough to be in school.  Kylynn is loving school and has decided she loves reading which make my heart so happy.  Chloe wishes she went to school as much as the big kids but I'm happy to have her to myself half the week and happy for her to be at preschool the other half of the week :).  She is so feisty and hilarious and my days alone with her are the highlight of my week.  Lest I give the wrong impression our children drive me crazy with their bickering and we've developed a problem with arguing and back talking in 2 out of 3 of them, I am constantly coming before the Lord to ask Him to please oh please give me wisdom and patience and tell me what to do, because I certainly have no idea what I'm doing :).

In January Jack had surgery and then in October Kylynn broke her leg, through a freak accident at family camp.  God has used these incidences to continue to teach me about turning to Him alone for comfort, another theme for me this year.  I'm still working on it or rather He is still working on it in me.  The three hours of Jack's surgery and the 24 hours after she broke her leg were probably the hardest this year for our family, but once we got home God began to show us how He would use this for our good, and for His glory.  We were so well loved by God's family, so taken care of, so prayed for.  God has answered those prayers, Jack's surgery was successful and without complications, Kylynn is doing great and although she will finish out the year/most of the year with a cast on He has provided for us fully.

We continue to work on gratitude around here.  When I remember I ask the kids or myself and I write down what they say on a glass cabinet in our kitchen, with the hope that it helps us become intentional in giving thanks.  Most of all this year we are grateful for our God, that He goes before us and prepares the way, that He goes with us and is a strong tower over us, that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  Reflecting back on this year I remember that there has been a lot of trials but He has revealed His goodness and His glory in each one, He has shown Himself faithful and true.  There has also been a lot of joy, like a lot!  This year God has grown our desire for Him to make all things new, we long for more of Him, and our prayer is that we live our life next year in light of eternity even while living here on earth.

Merry Christmas friends, you are one of our greatest gifts!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6