Friday, December 16, 2011

Before Christmas

Hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner. I remember this time last year we were facing unemployment and our hearts were heavy.  By God's grace, Robert has regained employment after five months. This year, for the first time in many years, we are able to have a "nice" Christmas. While I understand Christmas is more than gift giving, the fact that we are able to give gifts is a sign of blessing from the Lord.
We have not sent out any Christmas cards/pictures due to our busy schedule.  I have decided this year we will do whatever we are able to do and not letting the busyness of the Holiday take over our life. We want to focus more on spending time with each other in our family (and friends).
Here are some snapshots since the beginning of December. With two to three weeks off school I am hoping to make some wonderful memories with my loved ones!

Joshua's last season in Soccer. His team won the championship game.  A nice farewell to the sport for him.  He has just started basketball as his high school sport. He's shown progress in that sport as well, according to the coach. You go Josh!

One of the fond family traditions we have around Christmas time is put together a Charlie Brown's puzzles. I love this particular puzzle as it has extra big pieces and very small pieces all in a box, suitable for all ages!

While trimming the tree, I made my first home made hot cocoa, a recipe from Kimi's blog post.  The family loves it.  I am learning to like hot cocoa - another beverage I did not grow up with.

I like the TJ whipped cream though.  On the moderate level, I only had one cup. :)

The crew are hard at work making sure the tree is entered. We were blessed to get this 6-7' tree for half price due to the fact we got it late - I mean late in both date and time of the day (or night, rather). The store was ready to close the tree lot for the day (and season.)

This year, I surprised Robert with the twelve days of Christmas gifts. Each day since the 13th I have tugged in a gift for him to discover in the morning before he leaves home to work. He is really enjoying the surprises. I got this idea from one of the bloggers (can't remember where I got it...) I wrapped the surprises with the paper of the brown grocery bags (my favorite re-purposed item) and tied them with twine and a little tag I made with this Tag Maker.

I placed yesterday's gift on top of his lunch items in the fridge!

After about 25 years, I was finally gifted a new dryer. We got a great deal for it during the two-days sales at Sears.  We put our old one up for free on Craig's list and it was gone within ten minutes! Of course, the big box provided hours of entertainment for the boys. Love it!

Christmas Band Concert! This is Josh's third year playing Tenner Sax in the band. He is doing very well and is ready to join the Jazz band next year!

Joshua brought in the car track and Peter was in race car heaven for hours! It used to be Erik and Joshua. The ten-year gap among them is giving me many flash backs!

Peter loves to help me bake and I am happy to have a helper to make the time more fun. I am not a baker but have loved making muffins with Peter.  We are actually mixing waffle batter here though. :)

Christine is having so much fun with her photography club. I love watching her blossomed into a beautiful and God honnoring young lady!

Me and my beloved daughter. ~ ♥

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