Saturday, December 28, 2013

A great holiday

In thinking back on how our Christmas went, I have to say-- it was one of the BEST holidays we have ever had. 

It's a rare Christmas that haven't had ---

returns needed due to wrong size, color, type, etc.
broken toys/gadgets
tears (not mine MOM)
jealousy issues
worries about a child not home yet

Our teens have had to learn how to handle gift getting in an appropriate manner. And this year they finally did it. If there was anything anyone didn't care for we didn't hear about it. We heard "Oh, I love it, WOW, Whoa, Awesome, Cool, Best ever" and even "Thank you."  Yep. We did. Nothing thrown back at us--- yep, that has happened in the past:(

The teens struggled to learn how to graciously accept gifts. Even Phoebe is learning-- she tends to be a bit "too honest" in blurting out "I don't like that" or "I don't want that." But none of that for our Christmas Day. Nope. It was all good.

We did not do many electronics, Chloe got a camera and Paisley a music player. But there was much happiness in the other gifts, all chosen with love and much thought by dad and I.

Bought over the last few months, one by one. Not much ""we need to get gifts" bought last minute, therefore giving us parents a peaceful, nice anticipation of the day. 

Allowing our focus to be on the Reason for the SEASON. The wonderful gift our Lord gave us in sending His Son.  So special to us. We really felt blessed this holiday season our sense of peace and joy clearly filtered down to the children.

We had a plentiful feast, I made 2 turkeys and a ham and all the fixings. The "boys" (including the older SONshines) ate at lunch then hit the fridge for "leftovers" at 4:30pm and again at 7'sh.  

Hard to believe how much food they can consume-- I did a whole extra turkey for more leftover than at Thanksgiving- when they wiped out all leftovers within 4 hrs. Seriously.

Someone who is NOT eating non-stop.  Check this guy out, our oldest, Derrik. Has dropped 130 lbs!! Doesn't he look great? Walking, smaller food portions are his "secrets"-- no fancy diet. 

So proud of him, we are. It's hard to lose weight and he's doing a bang up job of it.

The day after Christmas we took all the kiddos to the store to use their gift cards- at least the ones who wanted to. And I got to buy a few clearance items, another way to save $$ with raising so many kiddos. 

Shopping after Christmas sales when all the neat "gift sets" are 1/2 price the day after and I can buy them and store to cover birthdays for the kids and their friends, Gotcha Day gifts, etc. Saves us quite a bit. 

As well, some lights for next year, Christmas cards and all the wrap I will need next year. The kids were thrilled to get candy canes for 50 cents. Half price. Bringing up some "cost conscious" kiddos for sure:) Nothing wrong with that. Life skills, always a good thing to learn.

So I know you are all dying to know (or maybe not) if Phoebe got a chihuahua so here's the answer--yep, and she's stuffed. And named Taco. (Don't ask-- another kid who LOVES food) No more real doggy members needed around here.

Although we DO have a new family member-- I'm serious (MOM)

Meet Erin--  Yes, this is Kat's new little friend (the doll). And we are supposed to count her in on the family member count.  

This was Kat's big gift. She was so tickled to get matching girl/doll outfits, now with 7 kids we were not looking to buy the "name brand" outfits-- couldn't really justify the cost of those.  So I prayed about it when I saw Kat's wish list. 

And prayer was answered. A dear friend offered to MAKE the "red fancy matching dresses" asked for and even went further by making matching pj's as well.  Oh, was a certain girl H-A-P-P-Y! And no "brand name label" could have been nicer than the lovely work my friend did.

I told her she should go into business:)  She did a fabulous job. Thanks again Anita for making such special Christmas gifts for our girl.

We are still listening Christmas music and watching Christmas movies. I guess we aren't ready to pack away the great memories of Christmas 2013 just yet.

Phoebe's first Christmas--- she's home at last. 

We couldn't have gotten a better gift:)


Barbara said...

You don't know me, but WAY TO GO, Derrik! Looking good.

Jennie said...

Instilling reasonable frugality is always an awesome gift to your kiddos. Haggling is common in Asia but not in the US. Love Phoebe's little Taco - just think - no midnight runs or pooper-scooper needed. Happy New Year!

~Monica Utt~ Itty Bitty Land said...

No need to pack away the Christmas things yet! The Christmas season just started. Beginning the Sunday after Thanksgiving, is Advent. Advent is when we are to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christmas. Then the season of Christmas runs from Christmas until Epiphany (when the three wise men came). Hence, the 12 days of Christmas. It is the secular/commercial world that changed it. So Merry Christmas!

Ty said...

Phoebe looks s grown up in the picture of her and Taco! Such a beautiful girl. :)

K said...

Phoebe's hair is sooo long now! And she looks so filled out and healthy. It's been way too long since I've checked in. It's good to read about everyone's progress and that you all had a nice Christmas.

Chrissy said...

Such a great post. So much good going on for all of you. I got tears in my eyes realizing it is Phoebe's first Christmas. She does look very grown up now. Merry Christmas!