Gosh, I haven't blogged in a long time. I have so many things that I write in my head, but the last few weeks have been really busy getting ready for the holidays. We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year for Jason's family, so lots of cleaning and grocery shopping had to be done. You don't think your house is really dirty until all the in laws are coming. :) They tell you not to worry about it, but I can't. So 8 of Jason's family came and stayed at our house from Sunday to Friday. It was really a lot of fun! His sister and her family flew in from Virginia and I got to finally meet my new niece, Elizabeth Marie. We opened Christmas gifts early since we won't see them then, and I can't describe the joy that Aunt Christy had when I got to buy her first baby doll and a girly outfit. So much fun!
On Monday, we went and took family pictures with the wonderful photographer Delynn Halloran. You can see her work HERE. We took pictures for more than an hour and a half, and all 5 kids did wonderfully. It was so much fun. Delynn said there are so many good ones she having a hard time narrowing them down. I can't wait to see them. She took our pictures five years ago the last time we had a family holiday at our house. There are three more kids this time around. Fun to see the family grow!
In years past with J's family, there was always some black Friday shopping going on, but I think all the kids makes us not want to give up on sleep. A few of them went to Walmart on Thursday night hours before the sales started to get something totally unrelated to Christmas shopping, and they said it was a madhouse. People weren't wanting to let them by to get to the back of the store to get what they needed. My shopping spree was to CVS to pick up some grocery items that were really on sale, but by the time I got there Thanksgiving night, they were all sold out. Crazy people. It is not worth the savings to me to give up hours of my time and sanity.
So everyone left on Friday and I crashed. We realized for the first time in I don't know how long, we had NOTHING on Saturday. So we took the boys to see the Muppet movie. I highly recommend it. It was so much fun! Then we got the Christmas boxes down, enjoyed some leftovers, and watched it rain. A wonderfully relaxing day, which we needed because the next month promises to be crazy as every December is. Baseball tournaments, basketball season starting, and all the fun Christmas activities that pack the calendar. This Thursday I'm helping to host a parent coffee at church where we'll talk about keeping Christ in your child's Christmas. I hope I learn as I prepare, and will incorporate some ideas this month to help my kids, and myself, stay focused on Christ's gifts, not the world's. After the coffee I'll try to post some for all of you. I got the tree put up tonight, probably the earliest I've ever had it up. So that will be nice to enjoy it for the whole month. We're having Christmas at our house with my family this year. Not quite as much pressure to clean! ;) I just realized rereading this that I've said "so much fun" way too much, but I'm too tired to come up with something more creative. Very thankful this season for fun times!