Saturday, December 28, 2013

From Jonestown, With Love

Our dear friend, Paula Kissinger, created these one-of-a-kind gifts for our children this year.  Thank you so much, Paula, for your love and creativity!  These photos are for you!

From Iquique, With Love

My sister Stephanie and her family are missionaries in Iquique, Chile.  They sent back some gifts with our parents after their trip to Chile in November.  Thanks, Garcia family, for thinking of us!  These photos are for you!

Christmas 2013, Part 3

Dave says his favorite part of Christmas morning is watching the kids open their stockings.  I hate wrapping those little gifts, but the joy of seeing the kids dig in and find their little gems is worth the hours of labor.  :)

This year Sophia sort of got the idea of opening gifts...after she chucked a few across the room, that is.  Overall, however, she did seem to remember what we do on Christmas morning, and wasn't quite so overwhelmed as the last couple of years.  Hard to believe this was her third Christmas with us already!

One of our children was missing again this year.  This is Jonathan's second year in a residential treatment facility over Christmas.  Dave and I were able to visit with him the Saturday before Christmas and give him a couple of gifts.  We continue to pray that God will heal his mind and heart and that someday, he will be able to enjoy Christmas with the family again.

Christmas 2013, Part 2

One of our annual traditions is the opening of one gift on Christmas Christmas pajamas.  And, of course, the requisite photo must be taken in the pajamas in front of the tree.  This year I didn't try to be matchy-matchy with everyone, much to Sabastian's relief.  And, of course, I couldn't get all of them looking in one direction, either, so thus, two photos to share with you.  Sigh.  Maybe one of these Christmases...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013, Part 1

It's hard to believe that we are at the end of 2013 already!  I have been a neglectful blogger this year...but I have plans for this blog in the new year, so stay tuned!

This Christmas was a blessed one, yet again.  For the second year in a row Dave is unemployed at the end of the year, yet we have seen God's grace so clearly and freely given to us.  Every gift under our tree was given to us by a friend, family member, or total stranger this year.  I bought the items that filled their stockings, as is our tradition, but the gifts were blessings from God given through others.  As I mentioned on Facebook on Christmas day, the lessons learned through our times of unemployment could not have been learned any other way, and the blessings from those lessons are worth more then any job.  Praise the Lord!  God has been working in our lives in very specific ways this year (which is a blog post unto itself!) and we are so thankful!

One of our special friends is Nancy.  We met at church and she just adopted our family as her own.  She has been such a blessing to us in so many ways.  When Nathaniel said he wanted to make cut out cookies and gingerbread men this Christmas, I knew Nancy, as a former home economics teacher, would love to help us out.  We enjoyed a fun morning together, and Nathaniel was in his glory.  We might have a future chef on our hands!