Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Randomness

It was a crazy week, as many of mine are. That word "flexibility" has really had a work-out this year. Kristen got strep throat the week of her finals, so she had to try to do her on-line tests when she wasn't sleeping! I had the girls a lot. Thank the Lord she is feeling back to normal and her exams were finished by the deadline. I was even able to get my shopping finished and the wrapping complete. I did quite a bit of on-line ordering this year - what fun to have packages coming every day or two. I managed to escape Wal-Mart madness the entire time!

I've shown my nativity sets the last couple of years - I have 3 sets that are specifically for the kids to play with. I've had to be very creative in the placement of the others this year, because the littles can climb up on the couch now and reach the shelf above it, where I have put many of them in the past.
As Kristen said, this was "deja vu" as we watched the twins play with the Fisher Price Little People set - they look so much like their big sisters.

When the angel is placed on the top of the stable, it plays "Away in a Manger."

The children's program at church this year was very simple, but meaningful.

This might be the last year I can find matching dresses in all the right sizes - so far Sam's has come to my rescue, but I think Care Bear will be too big by this time next year. I wish I could sew like I used to.

This last picture has nothing to do with Christmas, but I love it. The table and chairs have been used so much since I got them from Freecycle when the big girls were little. They use it every time they're here, and now the twins are using it every day. (Note the black magic marker art under Katie's stuffed animal?) I decided to serve them their lunch on it the other day for the first time - they ate much better than they do in their high chairs. Emma got up and handed me her bowl and spoon when she finished her mac and cheese. So cute.

The twins are definitely turning into twos. I have been saying all week that they have been a bit behind developmentally because of their preemie-ness, but they are right on target with being stereotypical twos!

I got the following piece in an e-mail this week and wanted to send it on. I love it.

The "W" in Christmas (author unknown)

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage--held up l arge letters, one-by-one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down – totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W." The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W."

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear: "C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

And, I believe, He still is.

Amazed in His presence...

Humbled by His love

May each of you have a Merry Christmas as you reflect on His Amazing Love for us.


Robin said...

I LOVE your new header - what a great picture of you and your sweet girls. And the dresses are beautiful too. Your Christmas season sounds full - much like mine. I too did mostly online shopping and I'm convinced it is the only way to go. So much nicer than shopping in crowded malls.
And what a sweet reading - I love Christmas stories.

Linds said...

I love your Christmas photo Dawn - absolutely beautiful. I also love the one with you and the twins. The story of the W is beautiful. Just beautiful.
I am so glad you are wrapped and ready and can relax this week a little, and just enjoy everything.
Have a wonderful Christmas, my friend!

Hootin' Anni said...

Love the two girls and you in that one photo.

Sending you holiday wishes for a peaceful happy Christmas and New Year!!

From Bud and Me to you...

jmckemie said...

Love the new Christmas photos! I have that same nativity set at my house and while Jackson does not take a lot of interest in it now, this year Elliette has discovered it. So far, only to chew on, but I look forward to the next couple of years with her and sharing with her the true story of Christmas while we play.
Don't worry about the matching dresses next year (although they are cute as can be!). There are still lots of "coordinating" ones that will work just great. The bigs are getting so big - and so are the littles!
Have a blessed Christmas!

Jungle Mom said...

Love, love ,love the header photo!

Maine Mom said...

I love your new header, too! So sweet.

Every Christmas season, I see that Fisher Price Little People Nativity set in the stores, but I have yet to buy it. I know my kids would love playing with it. I'm glad your little ones get to!

I love the "W" in Christmas story! The Christmas play that Emily's grade put on in school had to do with love, which was nice. It didn't have a sweet, touching moment about Christ like this story did, though. Bummer!

nannykim said...

I love the pic of you and the girls all dressed in matching outfits/colors!! NICE!! Glad your daughter is feeling better and done with exams. Online shopping is what I do too--it is quick and easy. The story you ended with was cool!

Needled Mom said...

I love all the new Christmas pictures, Dawn. The girls (and you) all look so festive in your reds.

I can totally relate to your statement of being more organized when you worked. So was I and now I find myself asking, "How did I ever find time to work!!!!!"

Yes, aren't the two wonderful??? There is never a dull moment with them being doubled in your case, I'm sure.

I hope you will have a little down time now that Kristen is better and finished with finals.

The Christmas Love story is priceless. Thanks for sharing it with us.

May you and your family enjoy a very blessed Christmas.

Amy said...

I can't believe how big the twins have gotten!

I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

Sharon Lynne said...

What a great picture!

I'm glad the internet helped you out with shopping this year. What would we ever had done with out it!

The girl's are adorable as usual. And I enjoyed all the pictures including the "simple" Christmas program.

Merry Christmas!

Linda said...

I just love that picture of you and your precious little girls Dawn - beautiful.
Those children's Christmas programs are always so precious. Wonderful memories.
Have a blessed Christmas!

Gigi said...

Sweet babies! Sweet photos!!

What a wonderful story...I've not read that one before, but how true and we can never be reminded of that enough, can we?

grammy said...

love the pictures
the girls are adorable of course and the Grammy is pretty cute too (o:
I have read it before but it was good to reread.
My four Grands are going to have matching dresses for the wedding.
So have you got the cookies done?
I gave up. Sometimes we just need to realize we are not SUPER GRAMMY
Hope Kristen is feeling better

Denise said...

Merry Christmas Grandma Dawn.. What beautiful little girls..... What beautiful little girls..... That is a Christmas gift all in itself..

Sending warm winter hugs and wishing you a New Year full of the joy that only Christ can bring...

PEA said...

I so love your header with the picture of you and all four girls, it's adorable!! Sounds like no matter how busy you've been, you've been managing to get your Christmas preparations done so good for you:-) The dresses you got the girls are gorgeous...tell Care Bear she can't grow anymore!! lol

I had to go to WalMart last week and it was nuts...vowed I'm not setting foot in there again until after the holidays. So many people shop online these days. Last year I had ordered quite a few things online but this year I just bought mostly gift cards as that's what everyone wanted!

I remember you showing pictures of the two older girls playing with that nativity set when they were little:-) The twins seem to enjoy it just as much!!

Loved the story of The W in Christmas, very beautiful.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, dear Dawn and may all your dreams come true during this magical season! xoxo

Midlife Mom said...

Oh I see what you mean in the picture! I looked at it before and didn't catch on! I'm so glad you found something in the catalog that you enjoy! I'm headed out there after Christmas to see what's left for nativity sets as I want another one (on sale). Some years we have some really fabulous ceramic ones. Also LOVE the picture of you and the girls!!! It is soooooo nice of all of you!!!!

I'm just puttering around now as most everything is done. Miss T and I want to make some of those mice that Pea had on her blog a few back so we will do that sometime tomorrow. The family all arrives around six and we eat and then open gifts together. Christmas morning we get up early and head over to watch the kids open their things and then head back home to get dinner ready. Busy but wonderful times! Have a wonderful blessed Christmas with all of your family Dawn! xoxox

Susan said...

Have a wonderful Christmas, Dawn.

nancygrayce said...

What a touching story! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that there will be love and peace aplenty in your home!

Looney Mom™ said...

I have that same little people nativity scene for my kids and grandkids to play with. It's so cute. Unfortunately our little puppy got up on my desk and chewed up one of the shepherd's hands. Brat.

I haven't blogged or visited blogs in quite a while but I wanted to stop by and say MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A Hint of Home said...

Hi Dawn,
The girls are as cute as can be. They look so festive in their pretty dresses.
Merry Christmas to your family!

Looney Mom™ said...

Yes, I'm on FB:

I meant to say earlier that I'm amazed at how big your granddaughters have gotten - especially the twins. So precious.

nannykim said...

Hope you are having a wonderful in-between Christmas and New Year's TIME!!

Judith said...

How wonderful, seeing family have such a great time together!

And you never can tell, Dawn, those two avid paper readers may grow up to be outstanding news writers.