Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Few of Our Favorite (Christmas) Things

I am reviving something I did last year... trying to highlight some of our favorite things about the Christmas holiday. There are so very many, but here is what stands out the most.
This is my niece Maggie (2 years old). We were at a party with my sister's family when I looked over at her to find her praying. For no apparent reason... no one had asked her to pray... we weren't eating.... she just found a quiet moment, I guess. Then she looked up and whispered, "Amen." It is so important to our family that we put Jesus at the forefront of all we do over Christmas, though I will admit that I'm not always the best at doing that in the rush and hustle of the season. I should take a clue from Maggie and just make time, regardless of what's going on around me.
We've done this activity for several years now at Granny's house. It is a tradition the kids love. And look at those houses! Too cute and getting cuter every year.
I absolutely love getting Christmas cards. Here is ours, done by the great Kelly Stocksen herself. Pictures were taken on Mom and Dad's farm where I grew up. Tom thinks I'm crazy, but I keep every Christmas card I have ever received... they are a great visual reminder of each family that we love!
The kids got to see Santa several times this year, but this particular instance, he just so happened to knock on Carolyn's (Tom's mom) door on Christmas Eve! The kids were so excited and Ellie's first question was where the reindeer were....
Nothing can replace it. Christmas Eve # 39 for me at Granny's house. We all pack ourselves into her tiny little house, bumping together like too many Christmas cookies on a tiny tray. But we wouldn't have it any other way. There is a talent show for the kids, a round of dirty Santa, and of course, the main object of our affection, Granny herself.
Besides me being exhausted because Ellie kept waiting up for Santa and KEPT waiting up for Santa, it was a wonderful morning for our family! I think everyone was happy (except Ellie did not get the puppy that she asked for from every Santa she saw). I think Santa's feeling very guilty right now.
This year, we stayed all day at mom and dad's house. The weather was so beautiful that we were able to spend some fresh time out on the farm. I don't think the day could've been bluer. We walked in the fields, threw rocks through the ice on the ponds, and Kami and I climbed the silo! It was a fear-facing experience (that silo is tall!), but a great time. Glad we did it. (Also, I dedicated my new blog design to this day on the farm!)
It is always a great time to reconnect! And the snake picture? Had to throw it in... Ellie considers all animals a part of her family.
Something new for us... but the kids LOVED it! The ice rink in downtown Tulsa was awesome. All the kids did very well except Luke. He had rubber legs for about half an hour. I was so surprised, because this is the child, who at 3, got on a little bike with no training wheels and just RODE. But after that 30 minute free fall, he got it and ended up looking like a little hockey player. Roller skating was fun too. Notice no pics of me in skates. Wouldn't have been a picture you'd have like to seen.
This is me getting ready to climb the silo on my parent's farm on a bright and beautiful Christmas Day. I am just trying to soak it all up. All of the Christmas season is so precious and truly a gift from God. Even when my kids are fighting like little monsters or we lost another basketball game (ugh) or things just aren't the way I think they should be, I want to enjoy and appreciate each moment! I try not to take anything for granted. It will not be this way forever. Kids will grow and lives will change. I'm just thankful for my family, friends and for my Mighty God who saves.

14 Wonderful Responses:

Amanda said...

Welcome back, fellow blogger. Love all the pics!

Michelle said...

I love Christmas. You Christmas card turned out beautiful. I also love to receive cards and see pictures of my friends and families children that live far way that I never get to see. I always keep them every year. I must have tons of them! We went and saw Benjamin Button last night. It was such a great movie. It made me cry. :)

insertgracehere said...

You're back! I was just about to send you an email crying about how much I've missed you.

Oh, Annie, this is awesome! First, you are AMAZING at this picture thing. Is that part of blogspot or part of Annie? I'm always blown away at how you display your pictures on your posts.

And the last pic of you...you look amazingly young. Not at all old enough to be mother to those children. It says so much...not only how youthful you look, but how you feel, or at leasthow it looks like you feel. Did I lose you? I'm kinda' choked up by your words as well.

Beautiful post...And lovin' the new blog look. I'm ready for a blog makeover myself.

Happy New Year!

Rena

Dawn said...

I, too, am very impressed with your picture layouts. You might share how you did it.

I loved your whole post. It was just beautiful.. just like you! :)

Annie said...

Rena, I assure you for every pic of me looking young, there are 100 of me looking wrinkled, washed out and old! I have never minded being photographed really, but it's gotten a bit harder of late. I think the blue skies and the light probably make this one look good. I thought it would be bad because I just threw my unwashed hair up into a pony, but it's actually decent! THanks for the sweet compliment though.

And Rena and Dawn, as for the pictures, I created them on Adobe Photoshop Elements. I'll give you more details if you'd like! Just let me know.

ellen said...

What a fun post!

One of my favorites is Christmas cards too. And I also have all the ones we've received. It is so fun to sit and look thru them all and see how families have changed.

Hope your new year is off to a great start!

Heather Keith said...

The new blog look is great! I love all the pictures! We miss you!

Amber said...

I love love love your post! The whole thing is awesome, I can't pinpoint one thing that I like best--except maybe the pic of you! Glad to have you back girl!

Amanda said...

annie, email me about how you did your pictures, please. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Annie, the picture of you could only be better if everyone could see that your eyes are as blue as the sky. Mom

4 Lettre Words said...

Beautiful photos, Annie! And, I love your Christmas card. You guys are a great looking bunch!

Shannon said...

Glad to see you are posting again! Love the pictures - esp. of the farm - I am an Iowa farm girl born and raised. Love to see pictures of your Granny too - is her first name Iola? I thought I read that somewhere. What a perfect OK granny name. Love the new blog look too!

Kathleen said...

Ahhh...I'm playing blog catch-up too! What a wonderful post!! I'll have to bookmark this to read next year in case I'm not feeling the Christmas spirit again next year. Great photos...you have some wonderful memories stored up! Blessings, Kathleen

Tracey said...

What a precious picture of Mag-Pie!!!! I am so glad that you are back!!!! I love how you express your love for your family and for God in all of your posts. I look to your blog and to you as a person for inspiration of what I want to be when I "grow up" and become a mom and wife.

Thanks for the advice the other night! I am taking it...