Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So, back to Christmas :o)
This is the first year we really mentioned Santa much. I go back and forth with the whole Santa thing. For the last few years, Hillary Ashton has asked A LOT of questions about Santa. Honestly, I usually just try to blow her off :o) I know that the girls know that we celebrate Jesus' birthday at Christmas and the whole Santa thing is just a bonus. So I am not worried about them getting caught up in the Santa aspect and forgetting about the real reason we celebrate. I don't like "lying" to Hillary Ashton about Santa (Sophie Le has NO interest in Santa so no problem there!). Hillary Ashton is at such a critical age right now (5 1/2). She is asking questions about being saved, heaven, hell, Jesus, etc. My greatest fear is that if/when she finds out Santa (in the sense of delivering presents and being alive now) isn't real, she will question whether Jesus is real. Why believe mommy on this one since she "lied" about Santa...ya know? I answer her questions about Santa honestly according to the real person Saint Nicolas, but the whole bit about delivering presents and making toys at the North Pole always leaves me in a tight spot. When she asks specific questions about the logistics of Santa Claus, I usually just ask her what she thinks or tell her that we can look it up online :o) So all of this to say, we decided to make a bigger deal about Santa coming this year that we have in years past. This is the first year we have left cookies and the first year new presents were left by Santa. We really want them to have magical childhood memories :o) I am happy to report that they LOVED the traditions!
We spent Christmas morning and afternoon with my side of the family. We are so blessed to have family that will travel to our home for Christmas :o) It was nice to have the four kiddos at our home for Christmas morning. After we had lunch and packed our bags, we headed to Northeast Arkansas to celebrate with DH's family. Our Internet was down Christmas Day so we weren't able to check on the road conditions before we left. We thought SURELY the roads will be fine...it hadn't rained in two days...WRONG! Several highways were still closed so our drive was much longer than usual :o( This whole road closing thing is new to me...does this happen often? I just don't remember having this problem before.
Anyways, here are the pics from Christmas Day.
Hillary Ashton & Daddy reading the "thank you" note from Santa Claus :o)
Hillary Ashton was (and STILL is) beyond thrilled with the make-up kit and Barbie Doll Santa left for her.
Santa got the girls' stockings mixed up and this really threw Sophie Le for a loop :o) She is all about order and keeping things in line :o) That is a nervous smile...haha!
This was Julianne's FIRST Christmas! She was quite puzzeled by the whole present thing at first.
She didn't understand why ALL of the presents weren't hers!
Hillary Ashton was so excited to find "arm make-up" in her make-up kit! Haha! That's deodorant :o)
The girls' presents have been under the tree for a few weeks, but they were not labeled. The idea was to keep them from knowing which presents were for them to encourage them not to peek :o) Well, my big girls are smart...they knew exactly which presents were for them! Haha! Le's were wrapped in Mickey Mouse paper, Hillary Ashton in Charlie Brown paper, Julianne in Santa paper and Jonah in snowman paper.
Julianne really likes my dad :o) I guess you can see where Hillary Ashton gets her whole "closed eye" reaction to flash :o)
That's my mom...she tried to keep Jonah quite during the Christmas morning frenzy :o) Haha! He slept through everything :o) Luckily, the girls didn't mind opening up his presents for him :o)
Applying her mascara, right in the middle of present opening time! Santa got clear mascara...so smart :o)
Le was in super serious mode while opening presents...all business!
Hillary Ashton opening one of her presents...
Sophie Le coming to help...
Even little sister came to help!
Have you seen these Plasma cars? They are so cool!
Julianne couldn't wait for her turn!
Applying her "under-arm" make-up :o)
Christmas Dinner! Yummy!
That dish to the right is fruit salsa with cinnamon chips (made from flour tortillas). I had it at my cousin's wedding a month ago and it was SOOOOO good. I found the receipe online and was really happy with how it turned out. The girls LOVED it too. I plan on making it again soon.
The cousins at the Mimi and Papa's house
At one point, Julianne's present pile was talling than her :o) By the time Christmas night rolled around, she was WAY into presents :o)
At Neil's parents, presents are opened in rounds. Presents are opened one at a time, in age order. This concept is hard for some kids (Hillary Ashton and Julianne), but right up Sophie Le's ally. She loves order! She was so patient waiting on her turn and always knew when it was her turn :o)
This one doesn't like waiting for her turn :o) Haha!
Each of the girls got tutus with leotards. Big hit!
Aren't these boots the cutest? Hill's cousin Ally got them for Christmas. Hillary Ashton was trying them out :o)
So here it is...the new haircut!!
Before (I don't think you can tell from the picture, but her hair has gotten pretty long)
Little bitty piggies :o)
Hillary Ashton is begging me to get her hair cut too. Daddy is "thinking about it" so stayed turned :o)
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We had a great time celebrating Christmas with our four little angels this year! This time of the year is so magical!
My parents came to our house to spend Christmas Eve night with us. The girls were so excited to see their grandparents. We got so much rain in Central Arkansas the day before, the interstate was closed so they had to take a few sides roads. Luckily, they made it just in time!
The girls enjoyed opening a few presents Christmas Eve night.
Hill modeling her new gymnastics outfit...
After opening presents, the girls got a quick bath and changed into their Christmas Eve pjs. That is the one present they open from us on Christmas Eve...pjs. Usually I get the Christmas pjs, but this year I decided with year-neutral pjs :o)
Le Le in her pjs
Julianne in her pjs...yes, this was the best pic I could get :o)
We got these pjs while vacationing in Destin this Fall at the Gap Outlet...gotta love a great deal :o)
Of course, the girls wanted to "Christmas Curls" so we got the rollers out.
Then they carefully picked out cookies for Santa...
After much discussion, they finally came up with the perfect combination.
They carefully placed Santa's cookies by the fireplace.
And then Daddy read them the story of our Saviour's birth
And then they wanted to check on the cookies. They asked if maybe they put out too many cookies..."maybe we should eat one each since Santa will be eating cookies at the other houses." Haha...nice try!
Come back tomorrow to see Sophie Le's new haircut...it is chin lenght now!!! Sooooooooo adorable :o) The little bitty piggie tails are back :o)
Monday, December 28, 2009
Thank you GOD for our little MIRACLE!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Last Saturday, I received the horrible news that my younger cousin took his own life...
...he was just married a month ago and has a baby on the way...please keep his parents, sisters, new wife and unborn baby in your prayers. It is truly a heartbreaking situation. Click here to read more.
The other family that NEEDS prayer RIGHT NOW is the Battle family. Back in April of this year, my friend's husband survived kidney cancer. A few days ago, he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer...inoperable. They have two precious baby girls. PLEASE pray for a MIRACLE for the Battle family!
In the midst of all of the saddness, there has also been joy & hope as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour...
We have made lots of cookies
and we have eaten A LOT of cookies...
I found this picture when I uploaded pics...not sure what is going on here, but it has daddy written all over it...
Last Saturday, we attened a party at our first adoption agency. We got the call about my cousin as we were leaving the party. Life is so fragile. Enjoy every minute.
Rudolph the red nose reindeer and white nose reindeer at a Christmas party...
Another visit with Santa...the little girls wanted no part of this :o)
I don't know why bad things happen, but I am thankful for God's promise to us in Romans 8:28...
"And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose"
I know one day we will understand...for now I choose to trust.
This morning in church, we sang "In Christ Alone." I have heard this song hundreds of times before and I have always liked it. However today, it spoke to me on a different level...it gave me so much peace. I am so thankful that I serve a compassionate God.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand