Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

We had a overall good Christmas.  We took things slow, didn't over plan our days and just enjoyed not being pulled in all directions.  The kids had different "fun" things to do, via Jeffery our elf.  We decorated cookies, made cookies, went to Monkey Joe's, made rice krispie treats, colored, read books, played at the park, played with new toys, played with old toys, played the wii, the kinect.. just a lot of playing and hopefully memory making.  We did our "new tradition" of family presents.  It went over very well.  The kids enjoyed it and I found them talking to each other about their excitement over what the next present would be.  I know it's something we will do again.  Hopefully, memories were made and in the end that it wasn't about the toys or the different parties or activities that we did.  Hopefully it will be about the time spent as a family.  Having memories to look back on and hold on to for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas in Dixie

We just did our "3rd Annual Whirlwind Christmas Trip to Alabama".  I am still tired from it all.  We had 3 different family gatherings.  The kids were spoiled rotten and Kent and I were, too.  I greatly appreciated all the gifts I was given and loved seeing the smiling faces when people opened their gifts from us.  That really is the best part.  Seeing the look on someone's face when they open their gift.

While "home" I got to spend some solo time with my daddy and help him with a few things.  It was nice to be able to do that.  The older I get the more I cherish those times.  I know life can slip away so unexpectedly and it's what you make of it while you have it.  It's always hard going home though.  I know my momma won't be there and we drive right past the cemetery on the way in to town.  The heartbreak is always there, even though this is the 2nd Christmas without her.  It doesn't get easier.. you just adjust.  I guess I said all that to say that no matter the material gifts you may get.. it's the gift of time that should be most treasured.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I'm always curious to hear of other people's traditions they partake in during Christmas.  There are so many wonderful ones and it's so neat to see how other families celebrate the season.

Growing up we always had a tradition of the Christmas mouse.  I have no idea how this got started or if it was handed down from a previous generation.  About a week or two before Christmas we would find a gift in our stockings.  It was usually a cardboard candy cane that held about $10 dollars of quarters in it.  And that candy came was green and white (the colors of the bank my momma worked at) and had the name of the bank they came from (again my momma's bank).  You would think we would have put that together a lot sooner... That tradition went on until I married and moved out...although now that I think about it I believe  it did visit once or twice more after I was married.   Another tradition that happened in my house was on Christmas Eve after my brother and I were tucked away in bed, my parents would exchange gifts to each other.  The older I got the more I wanted to sit in and watch.  I finally got to do that I believe the last two Christmases I was at home.  We also did the cookies and milk for Santa but we also left out marshmallows for the reindeer.

Now that I am married and a parent I have tried to carry some traditions on as I've grown my family.  We do the Christmas mouse and my kids always enjoy checking their stockings to see if it's came yet.  It's usually just a small toy, but they loved it just the same.  Kent and I exchange gifts on Christmas Eve just like my parents did.  And yes, marshmallows are still left for the reindeer.

Some new traditions we have made our own over the years are cutting out pictures to make a list for Santa (for those who can't read and write yet), baking a gingerbread man, baking and decorating cookies that the kids leave out for Santa, Jeffery the Elf (he is always up to something!), on Christmas Eve after lunch we exchange gifts from each other (the kids buy each other a gift from the Santa shop at school and Nathan gets two gifts from the Dollar Tree to give to Jon Kent and Zoey), Christmas Eve we go to church and have a sweet and wonderful time with our church family, Kent reads about the birth of Jesus and why we truly celebrate Christmas and then he reads the Night Before Christmas, right before sending the kids to bed we make sure to check to see where Santa is at and then hurry the kids off to bed. The last two Christmases we have spent quietly together.  Since we are in South Carolina and all our family is in Alabama we aren't rushed from here to there.  We enjoy each other, enjoy our new gifts, sit down and eat a feast of a meal together and just enjoy the ease of the day.  I am always so reflective and thankful for my many blessings.

A new tradition we are starting this year is gifts of family time.  This year, 3 nights before Christmas Eve we will open a present.  Inside will be a family activity to do together.  One night the gift will have glow-in-the-dark necklaces, sticks, etc. and we will play hide-and-go seek in the dark.  Another night the gift will be a night of family fun on the XBOX playing the Kinect.  And a third night the gift will be silly string and the kids will be able to have a silly string fight.  I am the most excited about this new tradition.  The gifts the kids get will be played with and enjoyed but eventually forgotten.. but this.. family time and making memories that will be held on to forever.

This is the second Christmas I am having to spend without my momma.  And I feel like last Christmas we were just going through the motions, trying to get through the day to say that we survived.  I enjoyed my time with family, but I was still so raw after the unexpected loss of my momma.  So this year, I want to give the gift of memories so that may kids can remember the traditions and take comfort in them when I am gone.  Prayerfully that won't happen until they are well in their years, but whenever it happens I want them to have the memories to hold on to.  I know it's the gift that keeps on giving from my parents.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday, Zoey!

When Jon Kent was almost 5 months old, I found out I was pregnant again.  It was April Fool's Day 2005.  And what a surprise it was!  Zoey's due date was November 30, 2005.  15 days after her brother was to celebrate his 1st birthday.  But in true girl fashion.. she was late.  She wasn't quite ready to make her beauty known. So for two more days we waited.  When finally she was born on December 2, 2005 at 7:07am.  Weighing 6 pounds, 13oz and 21 inches long.  She was perfect.  10 fingers, 10 toes and a sprinkling of brown hair.  Our family was complete (so we thought).

In 6 years Zoey has been the spice of glitter in this family.  She is a girly girl who likes to build mud castles.  She likes to have her hair fixed and her clothes to be pink.  She likes to wear lipgloss on her lips and dirt on her knees.  She's outgoing, caring, kind, friend to everyone, talkative, curious, loving, sweet and just Zoey.  If you have ever met Zoey you will always remember her.  She just has that sort of effect on people.  How it has already been 6 years I will never know.  But I am thankful for all 6 years that I have had to spend with Zoey and I pray that she has 106 more to come.

Happy Birthday my sweet and beautiful little girl.  I am so proud to call you my daughter and thankful to have you as my sweet and only little girl.  I love you!