Sunday, December 30, 2012

Project 365, Week 52

Drumroll please.....

This is the final installment of 2012's Project 365.  Its definitely been a time-consuming labor of love, but I'm so very thankful to have all of this documented.

Most of what's here is the every day...nothing that would make headlines any where....but to me its a story of God's love and faithfulness and of our children growing into beautiful people, one average day at a time.

And my heart's prayer is that some of this everyday-ness also brings glory to God.  I want my life to be all about His glory.

And now for Week 52.  It was as low-key as we could make it, since more of us were sick than were not.  But we also really enjoyed the fact that it was Christmas and got in tons of family time.  I LOVE it when the kids are off of school!

December 23
No picture, therefore I have no idea what happened.  :)

December 24

 ...and playing games.  Aiden was MIA much of the time.  One day he slept until 2 PM, then put himself to bed at 8 PM, another day he took a SIX hour nap.  The boy knows how to sleep, even more so when he's sick.
 Our special Christmas Eve service.
December 25
Lots of little birdies waiting patiently for their stockings.  I think we are missing just two cousins from this picture.
December 26
Lazy morning of breakfast, games and mostly chatting around the woodstove.  Sad to see all the family go.
December 27
Too cool for school!  My nephew Nathanael's hockey team got to play at the Civic Center then they stayed for the big boys game.  They invited Z to come along and when he got home he declared hockey to be his favorite sport and with much excitement told me there were "so many fights!".
 Meanwhile, the five of us did a couple gift exchanges at the mall, ate dinner and rode the carousel.
 December 28
Our foster care agency hosted a bowling party so the three older kids and I went.  See?  I have my bowling shoes on...I want it to be duly noted what a FUN mom I am.  :)
December 29
We watched the second half of the full length version of The Sound of Music.  Its definitely noteworthy when we all sit down to watch a movie together.  I have to say, it IS nice to get all snuggled together.

After church Shaun took a few kids to a UCONN basketball game and I hung out at my sister's house.  It was so pretty with the fire and a foot of snow coming down outside her cathedral-sized windows.

And driving home we were so thankful for the four new tires on our all-wheel drive vehicle.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve

One of my very favoritest days of the entire year...Christmas Eve!  Its the day when I have to say "its enough" because I'm out of time.  Its the day when my family begins to gather and the anticipation builds.

After a quiet day of grocery shopping, changing sheets, making model airplanes, playing Monopoly and showers all around, we headed to church where there was standing room only and people were being turned away in the parking lot (including my brother's family :( ).

It was a beautiful service that always causes me to take a deep breath and think about that Silent Night...what it meant for the world, what it means for me still today.

 After all the traditional Christmas pictures we went to my sister's house where she hosted dinner for our entire family and her husband's family, who we count as ours...all total about 40 people!

I took a couple pictures before my fever got the best of me and I curled up on the couch with a blanket until we could leave.  Shaun, Aiden and I left early so Aiden and I could crash in bed while Shaun finished getting the house ready and welcomed our guests.

Not how I would have wanted it, but thankful for such a good man!

 My sister had the brilliant idea to feed the children first and then send them off to a Christmas movie while the adults ate  nice, quiet dinner.  The plan actually worked fairly well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas Day dawned with the perfect little dusting of white.  Just enough to call it a white Christmas, but not enough that travel was affected or that any shovels or plows had to come out....perfect!

My uncle and I kicked off the morning alone, together in the kitchen with just our coffees.  We have started countless morning like this.  I remember when I was young and would wake up at 5 AM, ready to begin the festivities, he would intercept us before we had a chance to wake the other parents and tell us fascinating made-up stories until the hour was decent.

This year, everyone started arriving about 8:30, at which point we sent the kids away and started stuffing stockings.  

I just love this picture of the two jammy boys checking out the tree and presents while absently picking their noses.

Lots of little birdies, ready for their stockings.

The kids were pretty amazing...after their stockings, they all skipped off to play, without a word about the rest of the presents.  They were simply enjoying the day and being together.

The ladies got busy getting brunch out...
...after we prayed, the kids spontaneously broke into Happy Birthday, Jesus.  So sweet.

My sister got a new camera for Christmas, so there's a picture of me!  Aiden wanted to read his new Armor of God book.

Mom, take a picture!

I loved the blacks and golds that were in wrapping paper this year.

We had insane amounts of really yummy food.
And cute, too!
At one point, several of us took the kids out for some fresh air and exercise.

Amy bought these handsome shirts so we could get the '09 boys together.  Couldn't believe at 3.5 we still had criers, including my own, but it made for some pretty hilarious results.

All four of us, my siblings and I.  So very blessed.

Later we sat down and did the adult exchange.  The secrecy is taken very seriously.

And then...the talent show.  First up, the DiSalvs.

All the "acts" had a very enthusiastic and generous audience.

Our family sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Pop and Kiki did a great little play from the shepards point of view, complete with a little campfire in the middle of the living room and a "glory of the Lord" light.  So funny!
Aiden also did a solo of his Armor of God song.