"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful

Saturday, December 6, 2008

5 stockings!

I can't tell you how my heart just bursts with joy when I see these stockings hanging on the fireplace.

It's a reminder to me that God is giving me my greatest and deepest desires of a family...a large family!

I couldn't help but hang my "Joy" sign in the wreath. That is what our home is full of this Christmas! My sweet friend from church, Shani, made these for me. They were supposed to be Christmas presents, but I loved them so much that I stole one and used it myself! Can you believe that sign was only $6? Yep, she's pretty talented (and reasonable)!

Shani, you have to start a blog for your stuff! I promise to help you! It's too good not to share!

Today we went to our Deaconess Christmas party. What a joy it is to gather with families brought together by adoption. How cool is it for our kids to see other families like ours, where you don't "match". And, I always get more ideas for the kids' hair and skin...I love these parties for so many reasons.

There were families there who adopted 10 years ago and are waiting to adopt again, for the 3rd time...God is working.

There was a family there that is waiting on the arrival of their son, this will be their 2nd adoption! God is working.

We saw Santa and Owen had no trouble telling him he wanted "presents". My men aren't hard to please with gifts!

The best part about this Santa visit was that the first thing Santa and Ms. Claus did was read the story of Jesus's birth and explain what Christmas was about. Santa added that the best gift of all was the gift of Jesus! Not often do I hear Santa speak of Christ! Thanks Deaconess!

On Wednesday, we took time to decorate the tree. The boys LOVE doing this, and of course that makes me so super excited that they love this... I am sure in 6 years this won't be cool anymore!

She's a trooper! Owen loves feeding his sister! Can you believe I got all eye balls looking at me? Yes, no one is looking particularly happy, but still there was no bribe involved in this picture!

Oh my goodness, that has to be the most adorable picture. Can you tell how much he loves her? Look at the way he's grabbing her arm! She's a bit frightened, but you would be too!

I was proud of myself that I haven't gone back and moved any ornaments, even on the branches that are almost touching the ground because they have so many ornaments!

I hope we are all finding ways to enjoy this time of year and show our kids the true meaning of Christmas! I love hearing what other families are doing to help their kids understand at an early age what Christmas means, so if you have anything fun, please share!


kim said...

Love the pics, sounds like the party was a hit! We have ours for CPO on Tuesday night!

A friend of mine gave me this idea a few years ago and it has been such a blessing... After you get all of those adorable christmas cards each year, it is hard to toss them, isn't it?! So, instead we place them in a big zip lock and tuck them into the pantry. Every night at dinner time, the kids get to pick out one card (without looking!) and we pray over that family at dinner! Then you can toss the card. It is really neat to see how the kids get into it, and the cards last quite a while, and is a great way to teach the littles how to pray for others!

Al's World said...

I love your pics! I am excited to have four stockings on our mantle this year! I am so glad that you get together with other families and love on one another and encourage one another, what a blessing! I LOVE the kissing picture, what a wonderful big brother, you are truly blessed, praise God!!!!!

Amanda said...

I love Santa speaking of Christ. Did you know that Saint Nicolas, whom Santa is modeled after, was a very generous Christian (around 350 AD) who spent his life fighting against Paganism? He would be so grieved to know his generosity and his desire to serve Christ by serving others has influenced a character that is often an idol. Interesting trivia, I think...

As for teaching our kids about Christmas, we're just very up front with the gospel account of the birth of Christ. We keep story books out all season about Christ's birth, and nativity sets they can play with (we have a great one from Playmobil). We also made the decision to be honest about Santa from the start, sharing that he is a symbol of generosity -- not a mystical creature. (But that was what was right for our family. There is a great article about the Santa issue in this month's HomeLife magazine from LifeWay Christian Stores.)

Molly said...

WOW! Thanks Amanda for the honesty of how to talk about Santa. I have to say we've really avoided him before this year. I hate the idea of having to ever "tell them the truth" if you know what I mean! I love the statement and clarity that he's a symbol of generosity!

Kim! Great idea about the cards! We've already seen that this year is going to be so different because every gift under our tree so far is for someone else and the boys ask where there's are! I just think you can never start early enough helping them to think of and focus on others!

Julie said...

We have a Happy Birthday Jesus cake every Christmas Eve and have friends over after the Christmas Eve service at Church. Just a reminder for the boys that Christmas is all about the best gift we've been given our Savior, Jesus Christ and it's Him we celebrate! They get birthdays at an early age! Love you girl and you're a great Momma!

Hendrick Family said...

I love seeing all those stockings too! This year when we added one my heart was so excited.

Weird how that one little thing...stockings on a fireplace are symbols for such big things.

Sweet times.


Melodie said...

Miss Sadie looks so big in your arms! I hated to miss the party today . . . again. Maybe the next time. I think we are all on the road to recovery! Your family has grown so quickly. What a blessing those 3 stocking symbolize!

bsjones7 said...

Does your friend sell the Joy signs? I would love to buy a couple for some gifts this year...let me know! Thanks!

Molly said...

Yes she does! I will email her and send her your email address if that's okay with you. Her name is Shani Fackler, so look for her name in your inbox!

Becki Francy said...

OKay - how did I miss posting one on this one? I still haven't decided what we are going to do about "Sanka Clause" (that is what she calls him) I like the idea of saying he is a symbol of generosity. For traditions, we are only going to give the kids three gifts a year (symbolizing the three gifts that Jesus was given) and before we open gifts reading the Christmas Story. The mass overload of gifts can come on their birthdays....this time it is about Jesus' birthday.

Chassidy said...

Oh your family looks absolutely beautiful! I especially love the picture of you and Sadie girl in front of the tree...that's one proud mommy!! I love Owen with Santa...looks like he is in a serious conversation with Santa:) Hope you're having a great week

The Love Family said...

I can't believe how big Sadie looks!!!! Holding her upright just makes her look older!!

We are doing less this year, too. We got the idea from Jennifer Hatmaker: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read! YAY!

Love you!!