Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I got to host Christmas for the first time this year. Since we are in the Army, Jerry and I usually take the kids to make the rounds this time of year visiting parents, siblings, and friends. It is always fun but also exhausting.

This year, our families came to us! 
My parents, sister and kids, mother in law, sister in law and baby.

We had 13 people in the house. And if you've been to my house you know what a feat that is. Our house is tiny, which made for some interesting sleeping arrangements.
But, it was awesome. I loved being surrounded by my family, the chaos, the laughter, the rough housing.
You thought only kids horsed around inside the house? No, no, no. The adults were worse than the kids.

It snowed two days before Christmas. The "kids" took full advantage of the white stuff.

Christmas Eve, my parents go remarried! (More pictures on that coming later)

It's a tradition in our family to open one gift Christmas Eve. So, they gathered around the tree and waited impatiently to start.

 My niece Erica is getting married next fall, so Jerry and I got her some stuff.  Apparently, she liked the underwear.

Jerry finally got the guitar he's been eyeing for quite some time. I know, I know, I'm a good wife.

But since he got me this little beauty, I had to step up my game.

I haven't stopped playing with it yet. I predict lots of sweets and breads being made in the next few weeks.

After the kids went to bed, Santa came and left the gifts for the kids.
I was impressed with Santa this year. He knew just what they wanted.

See that one for James? That was the hit of Christmas. The kids didn't stop playing with it all day Christmas Day. Or since then, for that matter.

We had a candlelight service at church Sunday morning. It truly was beautiful and moving. Have I mentioned before that I love my church? Well, I do. It is such a blessing to be a part of God's family.

After the service and our yummy Christmas feast, some of us slept and some of us played with new toys.

And this boy here

I held him all weekend.

And loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I am so proud of my boys. They have all decided to shave their heads in support of our friend who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Jerry decided to join other men in our church who are doing this to show their support.
I asked the boys if they wanted to do it also. Jamie said yes right away. Josh had to think about it for a while. When he saw Jerry and Jamie with their bald heads, he wanted to be included.

So, here they are in all their bald glory...

The doctors tell my friend he will be losing all of his body hair because of the chemo. Eyebrows, chest hair, face hair, everything.

I wonder if Jerry will shave everything?

Somehow, I doubt it.  :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Wish List

Dear husband,

This is what I want for Christmas!

 All three of them! And the cabinet, too.

And for the stocking...

And if none of that is possible...

just give me this.

And if none of that is possible,
I'll suppose I'll settle for you and the kids.

Just make sure you use a lot of tape, especially on the kids.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Festivities

Christmas time is so fun. I love all the stuff going on.
Shopping, wrapping, decorating.

I also love the activities for the kids.

Trina's Winter Formal was last Friday and she was so excited.

She got all dressed up, makeup and hair done. She was radiant!

 Where is my little girl?

Look at those pretty curls. They were gone by the end of the evening, but so pretty while they were there.

 She kept telling me to stop taking pictures. Hey, that's one of the perks of parenthood, the ability to embarrass your kids. And I take my job seriously.

Then it was Jamie's turn with the festivities.
He had his Christmas program at school this week.
I love the kids programs.  The little kids are so animated with their songs, it is quite amusing.

Jamie is no exception.

He was so glad we came. He kept looking around to make sure we were watching him. It was so cute. Someday, he's going to get big and not want me around, but for now, it's nice to know he loves us and wants us to be impressed.

We certainly are, Jamie.
Most of the time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Revelations

I organized a 24 Hour Prayer Vigil for my friend who is battling cancer. The response was incredible. There were so many people who wanted to participate, it was extended to 36 hours.

I love being a part of God's family!

Well, I decided to take a middle of the night slot cause I knew they would be the ones that no one really wanted. I took the midnight shift.

For anyone who knows me, you know how incredible this is. I love my sleep. But, I figured I needed to make a sacrifice. So, I set my alarm and dragged myself out of my warm and cozy bed, thinking to myself, "Why did I volunteer for this time?"

Oh, man, I am so glad I did! I usually pray continually throughout the day, with whatever I am doing. But let me tell you, when you make yourself just focus on God and talking to Him...WOW.
It's not the same as praying when you are doing the dishes. It's not the same as when you are in corporate prayer and are agreeing with others. It's just you and God, no distractions, no kids arguing in the background, no worrying about what needs to be done around the house.

My friend is hurting and scared.
His wife and kids are terrified and exhausted.
Our church is hurting for them.
My heart aches daily for them.

As I sat in the quiet, trying to understand, I realized something.
God hurts more.
Wait, what? God hurts?
That was my thought as I was praying for Him to stop all the hurting.

Think about it. God created each and every one of us. He thought of us and fashioned us perfectly the way He wanted us to be.
And now, He is hearing every cry and seeing every tear from his beloved creations. His heart aches and breaks for the pain going on.
But, God can see the timeline and results that we cannot see. He knows what will happen, who will be touched, and He places each person exactly where and when they need to be in order for His will to be accomplished.

Isaiah 55:8-9
  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts."

We cannot fathom God's purposes. They are multilayered and incomprehensible.
They are perfect and will accomplish what He wants.
And that might not be what we want.

But, even in that, He gives us peace and comfort. Sometimes in the midst of the storm, sometimes afterwards.
He promises that one day, there will be no more tears, no more pain. There will be only love and joy and praising.

Oh, glorious day!

I cannot wait for the day that I will never again see my friends hurting, never again see the chaos this world creates, but live fully in His light and love.

I am thankful I took the midnight shift. It created such a peace in me, and I pray that God will give that peace to my friends.

Maybe, I will make this a habit.
Hey, I said maybe.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Heavy Hearted

My heart is aching today for a very close friend. Her husband has been diagnosed with stage 4B Burkitt's Lymphoma. He is undergoing chemotherapy right now. His kidneys are also failing rapidly, and the doctors have him on dialysis.

It is an overwhelming time for the family with all the updates and and changes going on.

So, I ask you to please be in prayer for this family. We have people all over the country praying for them and I know they can feel the power of God in this.

This is my prayer for my amazing friends while they are going through this...

I firmly believe in praying the scriptures and I find this one very appropriate right now.
God has a lot of ways to communicate with us, but praying is the only way we can communicate with Him. So, we need to  flood His throne with our petitions.

Will you join me?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Decorating

Our family decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving every year. I just don't feel right doing all the Christmasy stuff before December. I think the turkey is right...

But after Thanksgiving it's fair game (haha...get it?)
So we pulled out all the Christmas decorations and tree and went to town

This is my favorite picture of the day. I stuck the camera in the tree to see if I could get a good picture. Lo and behold, there was Jamie under the tree.

I don't usually decorate anymore, I just sit and hand out the ornaments and direct them where to put them.  But after they are done, I find myself going through and spacing everything better. It's my OCD kicking in.

 Here is the finished tree in all its glory...

Usually I pick a color scheme for the tree and decorations because I never had that as a kid, but this year I let the kids vote and they said they wanted to use all the ornaments.  So, we have a mishmash of decorations on it this year. 

It reminds me of my childhood. 

Then the boys wanted to help Daddy put up the lights outside. He wouldn't let them on the roof. He's such a stick in the mud.
But they did help with the outside of the house.

When they weren't playing around and making faces at the camera.