Friday, December 30, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo (or two) - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny real}

round button chicken

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter

The evening of the 26th we drove down the main road by the water to find a park.  We've been getting a bit stir-crazy at home; it's been an odd Christmas week with no family or friends to visit, or activities to do!  Here are the pretty girls with the pretty ocean in the background!  Ellie got the skates for Christmas and Mary Clare insists she doesn't want any, she just wants to wear mine!

Looking at the Christmas card photos on the side of my fridge makes me very HAPPY!  I love seeing everyone's beautiful faces and growing families!

My funny little Eskimo baby!  I'm pretty sure I found some photos of Steven Joseph wearing this coat at age two.  But it already seems tight on Thomas and makes it so he can hardly move!

My sweet baby is here awake with me right now at nearly 1:00am, after going to sleep at 8:00pm for a few hours!  This is REAL life in the night with a baby cutting 6 teeth and having a stuffy nose and earache.  He's happy when he's awake, but isn't sleeping very well at night.  But it's time to try again.  Good night and happy 5th day of Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some favorite Christmas pictures from years gone by...

2004-Our first year with a digital camera!
Mary Clare was almost 2 years old.  I love the photo in the ballet leotard, which was taken in front of the giant tree on Market Street.  She would wear her "ballerinatard" everywhere, and wore it to a Christmas puppet show that day!

2005-Ellie was 8mos and MC almost 3
These were taken in my parents' front yard

And this was at Market Street, our Christmas card photo


This was the year we lived in College Station.  The girls were almost-4 and 1 1/2.
Our Christmas card photo was taken on Thanksgiving at St. Mary's.

And these were taken at my parents' house.  Ellie must've not wanted her picture taken here...

I love the smocked dresses!  Maybe one day I'll have another baby girl to wear them!

2007-Steven Joseph Jr was born 5 days before Christmas!  The girls were almost-5 and 2 1/2
An online friend sent the girls these matching sweaters.

And this was our Christmas Card picture, taken after Mass on Christmas Day!

2008-This was one of the photos from Steven Joseph's 1yr birthday pics!
And here are the girls ready for his Gingerbread Boy 1st Birthday Party!

This was one of our Christmas card photos, taken before the homeschool Christmas Showcase.
Mary Clare was almost-6, Ellie 3 1/2, and Steven was 1.

2009-Photo at Steven's parents' house after Christmas Eve Mass at St. Thomas High School

Kids were 2, 4 1/2, and almost-7

and our Christmas Card pic, taken by Steven's cousin at our family reunion in Oklahoma

2010, the year of Thomas William!
One of our Christmas Card shots, I think this was my favorite!
ages 3mos, 3, 5 1/2, and almost-8.

One of our best pictures with it!

2011, the Christmas without a good camera!
Our Christmas Card pic, taken by MckMama in September
 Bad pics of Mommy and Daddy, but cute kids and good for the memory books!
This was our Christmas "stuck" in our new hometown, Corpus Christi, getting over illness.  
Photo taken after Mass at the Cathedral.

Lots of fun Christmas memories!  Maybe one day I'll scan some from before we had digital cameras.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

All week long we debated going "home" for Christmas.  The last of us had the stomach virus on Wednesday, so we didn't think we'd be contagious, but we couldn't decide.  Then on Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, Thomas woke up with a slight fever (he already had a cough) and Steven Joseph fussed all morning about a tummy ache (he hadn't gotten the bug yet, but ended up being fine).  So our decision was made, we'd have to stay here, and we told the kids.  Many tears were shed, but we tried to stay positive and offer this quiet Christmas as a little sacrifice to the baby Jesus.

I got right to work on making stockings!  We were looking forward to Christmas with my parents and planned to use the stockings they had there.  It was time for me to make the denim stockings that had been on my mind for years!  I got to run to Confession (the last one before they ended at 3pm), and then got some fabric to top them with.  I already had the denim and the inside fleece and fabric, which I cut and quilted on and off all afternoon.

The kids baked Christmas cookies.

And we let them open a present that night, one for the girls to share and one for Steven Joseph.

The girls loved their Nutcracker paper dolls book and they all loved the little fishing game.

Finally at about midnight, after the kids stayed up late and the baby fussed on and off, I finished the stockings!  I'd still like to add some appliques and embroidery.

Santa came with a special big toy for each, and some overflowing stockings, including their age in 2-dollar bills!  Santa may have to rethink that one as they get older!

It was just enough but not too much.  Steven is always impressed with my ability to keep it simple.  I am always worried about going overboard.  I was also planning on a houseful of gifts at NeNe's, so that helped me keep things here at a minimum.  Next weekend should be another big Christmas!

At 6:30am we finally let them get out of bed and go see their gifts!

Oh, the joy of Christmas morn!

A knight costume

A St. Therese rose petal rosary.  Ellie has a special devotion to the rosary and loves praying it.  That was on her list of 3 things she wanted and got for Christmas (Rosary, rollerblades, and a Leapster).

The kids love picking out gifts for each other and watching them open them!

I was very proud of the way the girls were gracious about their gifts even though there weren't a lot.  They were even reminding each other to be thankful, and I don't think they whined or complained all day.

I love Thomas' bed head here!

Bath toys from big sisters

They gave Daddy some posters about honeybees that they got at 4-H class.

I think SJ's favorite gift was the little set of western guns and holsters that the girls picked out for him.  "This is the best Christmas ever," he kept saying.  He is so happy about everything :-)

Thomas liked his phone!

Thomas was still under the weather but we decided to venture out together to a non-crowded but beautiful mass at 12:30pm at the Cathedral downtown.  I was able to spend most of the mass in the empty cryroom in a rocker nursing the baby.  It was a really nice mass.

A quick photo by the nativity!

and an attempt to take another one.  Somebody didn't want his picture taken anymore!

We came home and rested some more.  The kids played with their toys.  Ellie and MC rode the rollerblades, played with the Leapster, and MC spent a lot of the day putting together her Playmobil school building.  Steven cooked a nice dinner of pork loin, broccoli, potatoes, and bread, and he even bought an apple pie and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream!  I was with Thomas a lot of the evening, but the rest of the crew ended the day watching The Sound of Music DVD, which Mary Clare got for Christmas, always a favorite!

It wasn't quite the Christmas we had in mind, but we tried to be mindful of the blessing we have in each other, and in the gift of Our Savior, born this day to save the world!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
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