Monday, December 27, 2010

Santa Gifts Christmas Morning

It is interesting to see what the kids want Santa to bring them for Christmas. Each year someone's answer surprises me. Most of them were really reasonable this year in their request for a gift, like a CD of favorite songs, a kids movie, a piggy bank, a NEW purple dress with a bow and jewels...but our dear son went a little over board and insisted on a Daisy Red Rider BB Gun.

I kept hearing in my head, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" Maybe I've watched A Christmas Story too many times, but I couldn't help but cringe at the thought of him getting a BB gun. The funny thing is, that T also got the movie, A Christmas Story, about a week before from his Aunt Susan! I think he likes the movie just about as much as the BB gun that Santa brought him.

Christmas Eve 2010 at Ma and Pa's House

Some of hubbies' uncles and aunt.

R with her Play-Dough cake making kit. All the kids have enjoyed this gift over the past few days. (More pictures of this toy in action to follow in a future post.)

Dear Hubby chillin' on the couch with E and R.

Aunt Olivia cheesing for the camera before digging into all the cookies.

Cousin Margo with curled hair and Nana sneaking a cookie.

Cousin Paige home from college with some of the girls. According to the girls, she is the best teenager ever (or BTE for short). They are so silly with the nick names.

E chillin' with his Pa.

Christmas Eve 2010 at Our House

We celebrated Christmas with Nana and Aunt Olivia at our house on Christmas Eve. Dear Hubby read the Christmas story, we opened presents, and then had a big ham dinner. It was a very enjoyable day. I think everyone got something they really liked and will enjoy using/wearing. Though, I think the best gift was everyone being together.

Blessed News

God surprised us with a little present this year. Here is how we told the kids about it. We placed the following two-sided sign in a box and wrapped it up in Christmas paper. It was addressed to all the kids, but didn't say who was giving it. They opened the present in front of my family and their cousins. Here is what was written on the front:

This is what was written on the back:

The kids were amazed. M, just asked, "Are you joking? Really? Oh, my goodness!" She immediately started screaming and ran to hug both her father and I. It was very sweet. T and C came running, too. Then they, T and C, both started to cry because they were so happy. It took B and R a little while before they understood what the sign meant. The older kids had to explain to them what was happening. Once they understood, R and B came running toward us, too, and joined in the group hug. It was really a very special moment!
I think those most shocked were my mother and father who were watching this all unfold. I know they didn't expect us to have any more children, so it really took them by surprise, as well. Once the shock wore off, I think they were supportive, but it was very hard to tell.
No matter, God knows what is best for our family! If He feels that we need another baby and my children need another sibling, then so be it! When the Lord grants life, he will also provide the means necessary to sustain it. May God be ever praised for His generosity! I never imagined I would be the mother of seven little blessings!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas at My Brother's

The nine grandchildren

Grammy and Paw-paw

M "vegging-out" in the chair

E with his new hat and mitten set

Uncle Eric in his Christmas red

Colts shirts Grammy painted for the boys.

Aunt Susan and Uncle Ajesh with their first twin giraffes. My sister just loves giraffes and had a stuffed giraffe growing up that she took EVERYWHERE! I just had to be the first to buy her twins a giraffe.

E and cousin Mikey hugging. Oh, so cute!

Aunt Meg and cousin Mikey

The traditional reading of the Christmas story before opening presents, then we sing "Silent Night".

Nine little kids pent up in a house at Christmas time is bound to bring on the drama. When you add sugar, presents, and sickness to the mix you get a very memorable experience that you won't soon forget. In fact, the sickness lingered with us until the following Wednesday. However, despite the obvious discomforts as a result of the get-together, the kids were overjoyed to be spending time with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They are really enjoying all the presents they received, too. The kids love the books, clothes, key board, movies, and roller skates, just to mention a few of their favorite things. My kids are truly blessed!

However, what I think was one of the best gifts the kids gave this year was a song that they learned from a wonderful woman at church named Melanie. We stayed after daily Mass a few mornings each week learning and practicing the song she called, "Let us Adore". I am not a musician and all I know is that it is beautiful! It is sung by one child leading and the others sort of echoing or following in response. We've been able to give this special gift first to their dad and then to all of our relative on my side of the family. I hope to continue giving it to others over the Christmas Holiday, including my husband's side on Christmas Eve. I definitely am grateful to Melanie, the mother of six, teaching my six such a beautiful song. What a gift she was to us! Thank you Melanie!

Handy Christmas Gift

Here are the "handy" coasters that my kiddos made for some of their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They don't show up in the picture very well, but these handprints are laminated.
I had each child do their hand, color it, cut it out, and then write their name and age. We then laminated them, cut them out again, and put one of each child's hand prints into a gift bag.
Another use for them is as ornaments, if you punch a hole and tied a ribbon in a knot. They took longer than I excpected, but turned out to be really cute and appreciated by the recipients.

Friends Over to Play

Last Wednesday morning was such a beautiful day. We watched the sun rise over the cemetery at the local church before attending Holy Mass. Afterward, we were blessed to share our morning with five other home schooled kiddos. It was so nice to see how well the kids shared and played together. When you have eleven kids in the same small space you expect a lot of drama, but there was only one minor incident all morning. I guess I could be the mother of 11, if we stayed home and only played with toys all day! LOL.

St. Lucy's Feast Day

The feast of St. Lucy comes every year on December 13th. We have read about St. Lucy (sometimes called St. Lucia) in the past, but never really "celebrated" the feast day. I read about some of the traditions associated with her feast day on I love that site!

This year we did some of the more traditional celebrations. We read about her, ate cinnamon rolls, and had hot tea. The kids had been asking about having a "Pajama Day" for quite some time and I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to do that, since the feast is traditionally celebrate in the morning. We just carried that theme throughout the day. We even ate "breakfast for lunch" as my kids call it when we have scrambled eggs and toast for lunch. The kids said it was one of the best days of school all year...until a few days later when we had an ice storm and they got to go outside for science class observations!

Library Fun

As much as we visit the local public library, I don't think I have ever taken pictures there. So, on our last trip to check out books, I took some silly photos of the kids playing.

Isn't it funny that all of the everyday, mundane, normal activities that make up our childhood don't get photographed, while at the same time the once a year events get all the photos? I guess I am saying that I need to take more daily activity pictures. Do I hear a New Year's resolution coming into focus? Maybe that would be a good one that I could actually keep.

An update on B's reading progress...she is starting to read and sound out many words on her own. She has been my slowest learner, yet, but definitely my most enthusiastic without ever really getting frustrated! I am so happy that she is understanding phonics and decoding her words. I am very proud of her progress. She'll only be five in January! Yeah for B! I love her determination!