Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to Joe!


We love you!  We miss you!  We were blessed by your presence for 21 great years!  I look forward to celebrating together again in ETERNITY!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Day


A funny.  Everyone looked through their stockings and were enjoying their Santa gifts.  Vu was going crazy over his new bike!  About ten minutes later, Lizzy asked Patrick how he liked his new bike?  He said very matter-of-factly that Santa only brought a bike for Vu.  He acted like it was no big deal, even tho he REALLY wanted a bike too.

Tell me, do you see a bike for Patrick?

Good thing Santa doesn't bring tigers!  The four youngest kids have been sharing two bikes, so let me tell you, once he saw it he was ONE HAPPY BOY!!!

Skyping with Will and Family--WE MISS YOU!!!!!

Sidenote--see that lava lamp in the background?  In about thirty seconds, it will be broken . . . and so will Hubby's finger.  Ouch!

James with his fun-loving girlfriend.  Our family tends to have this effect on people.

Sidenote--second casualty of the day.  See that blond head right in front of James?  In about thirty seconds there will be a sibling squabble for space, Kim will tickle Patrick, who will then throw his head right back into James' mouth.

James suffered a mouth wound, but was able to recover for a family picture.  Notice how he is leaning AWAY from Patrick.  AND his girlfriend is standing behind him to provide additional protection since James' mother (ME) was obviously a lunatic and had laughed when it happened! 

Have I ever mentioned that it's a really good thing I didn't become a nurse?  I have this bizarre thing where I sometimes laugh when someone gets hurt.  I know.  It's weird.  More votes for mom of the year.  Can't you just imagine me in the ER as a nurse.  "Oh no!  You have a gunshot wound?  Laugh!  Laugh!  Are you okay?  Laugh!  Laugh!"  But I digress . . . .  

If James never produces a grandchild for me, I will know why.

At this point our house was not peaceful, not quiet, and not clean.  BUT it is full of happy smiles and happy children, which is so much better. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve party at the bowling alley, including free bowling, food and video games.  It doesn't get any sweeter than that!  Thank you J. Family!!!

Then church (I am sorry to say I did not get a picture of all my children dressed up!)

The Christmas Elf bypassed pjs this year and brought Disney shirts instead!

Here is what our tree looked like at 2am Christmas morning.  That is the time Mr. and Mrs. Santa went to bed.  I think Mei Mei was still awake, she was SO excited!

At this point the house was very quiet, peaceful and CLEAN. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

All I Really Want For Christmas

The Christmas cards sit unmailed (and unaddressed), the lights have yet to be hung (and won't be), the wonderful homemade gifts sit uncut and unsewn in my closet (where they will remain untouched until next year), BUT . . . the Christmas tree is up, with Mei Mei having the honors of donning the star.

The cookies are baked.

Thanks to my secret recipe.

The gifts and food basket were delivered to the family we assisted.  They were such a wonderful, grateful family, and they sent us home with a delicious flan--how sweet is that?  We plan to keep in touch in the coming year.

And finally, Mei Mei's Christmas stocking is complete.

My heart truly rejoices in this season of love and laughter, joy and hope.

And yet my heart aches thinking of all the children who won't get the one thing they really want AND DESERVE--a family. 

Praying that hearts and homes will open up in the coming year--for families, foster care, respite, sponsors, support, and prayers.

Praying for each of you, that your Christmas will be full of family, friends, and faith.


See you on the other side!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gifts: Family Favorites

Need a last minute gift idea for grandparents, relatives, or your own kids?  A few family favorites.

Lizzy put together this ice cream sundae kit complete with cute bowls (from Target), sundae toppings, nuts, candy, and sprinkles.  Yum!

Cookie-mix-in-a-jar is fun and easy to make.  Tons of recipes--just google. 

Our kids were given a portable ping-pong set last summer and it has been a huge hit!  It easily attaches to any table top and has provided hours upon hours of fun.

We have had our Lego Mosaics for several years and they are still a family favorite.  Mei Mei loves to create with these and they are great for fine-motor skills.

I blogged about Colorku once before.  It is still used frequently and I love the quality and brainpower needed to solve the Sudoku puzzles (the colored marbles are also fun to play with/sort/make patterns etc)!

Ravensburger's Labyrinth was a favorite of Joe's and still enjoyed often.  I love the quality and its appeal to a wide variety of ages. 

My sister gave Vu this DK Children's Illustrated Bible for his baptism and it has become a family favorite.  I love the added historical photos and information. 

I linked through Amazon (my key to helping my Grinch heart grow), but I do not receive any monies or fame for linking.  As always, however, feel free to send coffee or chocolate my way.