Saturday, November 21, 2009

Memories and Traditions

I'm pretty sure we are not the only family who is noticing the crunch this year. The smaller paychecks ... the loss of a paycheck ... the budget reorganization. Yeah, we are there too.

So, this week it hit me that there are now LESS than FIVE WEEKS til Christmas.

And, my friends, that is TWO paychecks.

Yes, let the panic mode begin!

And, given the fact that we have not bought a single gift - except the outfits from last week's Christmas card picture session - it is CLEARLY going to be a lean Christmas this year. Not as much under the tree. No new decorations or (GULP, GASP ... breath ...) Christmas MUSIC. No out of the blue extravagant surprises that my sweet husband is so known for.

And, yet, the hearts will be just as full, the decorations just as bright, meaningful and merry and the MUSIC will be just as loud. I will still watch White Christmas a time or seven. I will still cry when the "Fall on your knees" line of O Holy Night is sung just right. I will still cherish every Christmas card, read every word of every letter and pray over every last one that I send out.

And, more than anything else, that Baby will still be in His manger ... on the way to His cross ... and ending up on His throne. He is still King. His promises are still True. He still saves.

So, after that initial bout of panic (and yes, even after a few mild recurrences), I have started thinking about ways that I can still make this a wonderful Christmas for my sweet girls. And I have come to realize ... or, better yet, remember ... that it is not about what is in the stockings that were hand made by my mommy, the boxes exquisitely wrapped by my husband or the bags that I stuff full because I am so inept at wrapping. It is about what we place in their hearts. The toys will be forgotten and, more than likely, broken in time, but the Gift that will remain is the One in the hay.

THAT is what I want to give them this year.

So, we will make memories and follow traditions and love on each other well.

And, I am hoping, that we can make NEW traditions.

MEANINGFUL traditions.

So, I want to ask you - what are your traditions? What do you do or have you done to make Christmas what is should be for your children?

When we were kids, my mom started a tradition that I continue with my kids today. Every Christmas Eve the children (with help, depending on age) make a cake. And after Christmas Eve service we decorate it and place one single candle on top. We turn down the lights and sing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus. Then we read the Christmas story (it has been out of a Christmas Bible that we bought a few years ago while they are little) and talk about Baby Jesus. I LOVE this tradition. And I want to start others like it.

So, I am asking for your input.

Please, tell me, what are YOUR traditions.

I really want to know.

Beacuse, really ...


THIS is what is all about.

And, what could we possibly need more than HIM?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The One With A LOT of Pictures ...

...and not a whole lot of words.

Sunday was officially family picture day here in B Manor. So, we set out to the park with our sweet friend Erica and let her work her magic with the camera.

Here are some of the treasures that she captured for us:

Some of the whole family (minus the boys ... we wish they could've been here!)

Some of our sweet Hattie girl

And some of our Sophie love

Some of both of them

And some just for fun

And finally, my second favorite of them all ...

... We're using my VERY favorite for Christmas cards, so you'll have to wait to see that one!!

Thank you sweet Erica for capturing these loves of mine so very well!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Project 365 - Week 46

Project 365

Another week down, another week closer to Christmas.

Am I the only one who is FREAKING OUT over that little fact?

OK, moving on ... here is our week!

Sunday - I had made a comment on Facebook that we, er... I mean the girls, had not gotten one single grape tootsie roll pop and how sad that made me. And then some sweet church friends saved the day by sharing theirs ... THIS is what Halloween is all about!!

Monday - I was cleaning out Sophie's car seat and put her in it to be sure I got the straps back in correctly. She thought that being in her car seat in the kitchen was SO funny! I just love that sweet funny face!

Tuesday - It was a super cold morning as Hubbs was leaving for work. I took this of him scraping the windows. It turned out darker than I wanted but I love the effect of the sun through the water vapor from the muffler.

Wednesday - It was another cold morning and I hadn't planned on taking another picture ... til this happened :)

Thursday - I was trying to take a self portrait of my new short hair and for new profile pics. This is what happens when you let me loose on with the editing tools! This was the original.

This is after I played a bit ... I like the bright effect but no one else was too sure about it...

So we went to this effect ... Which one do YOU like?!

Friday - Hubs and I had a date night and went to the movies ... where I (shhhhh, don't tell) broke out the cell phone for a pic of the day.

Saturday ... Yeah, it's another cell phone pic. But, how cute ore those two sweet tushies?!?!?!

Hop on over to Sara's place if you would like to join us!!

And, how was YOUR week?