It has really been a whirlwind around here. Just before Christmas, and just after my parents and sister got here, we had Christian's dedication. It was so precious to me. Our pastor has dedicated all four of our kids now and he gives us a rose for each one to symbolize the beauty and pain in each life. His daughter, our favorite babysitter, sang Jesus Loves Me and the second stanza of Because He Lives (how sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy he gives...but greater still, the calm assurance...this child can face uncertain days, because He lives) - it was so beautiful. Christian wore our family gown, sewn by my grandma when Levi was born from the leftover lining of my wedding dress. Thankfully, he slept through the whole thing. Afterwards, we had family and friends back to the house for a buffet lunch. I had plans to do the whole thing myself, a la Meredith, but got quite behind and my mother saved me from an all night cooking marathon with a quick trip to Walmart for cream puffs and many other goodies. She is incredibly generous. We wound up having a really yummy meal. Spiral sliced ham - I bought the Kroger brand on sale a few weeks ago and froze it, then glazed it with honey mustard. It got lots of compliments. A big veggie platter with dip (the sugar snap peas went the fastest). Big crockpots full of shells and cheese, rolls for sandwiches and a relish tray. Then dessert...oh delicious dessert. We had cranberry bars and white chocolate bark with orange, cranberries, and walnuts. And the cream puffs! My sister had brilliantly stashed an extra box so we had a few more while we sat and rehashed the party (there were more than enough on the buffet). It was so nice to sit back and relax with everyone instead of trying to visit in a restaurant.
Then we had Christmas Eve at my grandparents' houses. Jack got sick so we called it a night a little earlier than usual. Christmas morning was just about perfect - I think we hit a nice balance this year with the gifts. The living room still looked like FAO Schwartz exploded though - they have very generous grandparents and great grandparents and aunts and uncles:)
My sister left on the day after Christmas for a mission trip to Mexico. I'm on pins and needles waiting for her to get home so I can hear all about it (and so I'll know she's safe - we haven't been able to talk to her since she left San Jose).
My niece and nephew were here from Ohio. It always amazes me how much they can grow in the six months between visits. My nephew and my parents got to be with us on Sunday when Casey was re-baptized. Y'all that just made my whole holiday! He was baptized as a kid, but he said he just felt like he wanted to recommit himself to God and this was a great way to show it. It had such an impact on Levi and on my nephew, Eric - you should've heard the questions!
I know this post has been super long already, but one more really incredible thing happened this holiday. My best friend since forever, Betty, had a beautiful baby girl - Lily Rose. Isn't that the lovliest name? I'm just so tickled for all of them! With all of our kids (mine mostly boys, her's mostly girls) I sure hope some of them wind up getting married:)
And now...on to the New Year! I have so many plans for our homeschool and I'm considering using this blog as a way to keep myself organized and accountable (I'm all about the big plans...follow through, not so much). So how is your new year going so far?