Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Traditions, Part 7 & 8

This year we started a new tradition in our family. We always attend the Christmas Eve service at FBC, and usually we drive to Louisville right afterwards. This year, however, we decided to do things a little differently. We went to Waffle House to eat dinner and spread some Christmas cheer. We were blessed to be able to take a gift to our server that night, and we sincerely hope that she felt the love of God in our small gesture. Barbara, we pray your Christmas was full on the love and peace of Jesus.

Christmas morning we got up and drove to mom and dad's. This is a long tradition. Chris, Shelly and Kristin beat us there, and when we arrived we got right to the gift opening! I love to watch Bryan and Kristin opening their gifts. They love it and are always excited. I love that they still have that much fun with it!
I have to say that the most special time for me was opening the gifts that they gave to Ellie. Chris, Shelly and Kristin got a CD with songs full of her name.. such a thoughtful gift! And Mom and Dad gave her a stuffed animal (Horton!) and lots of books. It was so exciting to me to imagine what it will be like when she is finally here with us! I was almost crying just thinking about that!

One of our other traditions of Christmas Day, after laughing through the prayer and having dinner, is the annual Poker tournament. Congrats to the winners...which was certainly not ME! Here is Dad getting his chips ready...
We had a wonderful time together, just laughing, playing, and hanging out. I love you all so much! Thanks for the great Christmas.

I leave you with just one more picture especially for my Dad and Chris. You know I love you both....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Traditions, Part 6

The Presents...

I love to give gifts. In fact, it is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I know that Christmas isn't all about the presents, and Jeff & I don't even exchange them at all. But still, as a mom, I love to see the look on Bryan's face when he opens a present. In fact, one of the things I love most about Bryan is his excitement about getting a gift. We don't go overboard on the presents here, but we do usually give one gift that is the "big" thing. This year was extra special.

Bryan has been saving his money for several months for a new drum set. In November, he had saved enough to put one on lay-away at our local music store, Curriers. He was so excited, knowing that in all likelihood, he would get enough money from grandparents to pay it off completely. Little did he know that we were planning to do that for him. We had it all worked out to surprise him on Christmas Eve, but when Jeff's family was here last weekend, he got enough money from Grammy to pay it off. We ran out of excuses not to go, so we went ahead and let him have them early, letting the surprise be that the drums were already paid for.

I can't tell you how much fun it was to watch him in that music store as he handed over his money to the owner, only to hear her say that it was "paid in full". He was literally shaking! We simply looked at him and said "Merry Christmas", and it still took a few minutes to register. (He did spend that money though, since they gave him a sweet deal on a cymbal package! )

Tonight, we let him go ahead and open the rest of his gifts.. mostly some clothes that he needed anyway, and a really cool IPod dock. The best part of the night was truly just watching him smile and be a kid. I love watching him be a kid. I don't ever want him to lose that excitement and innocence. It melts my heart to see it!

Here are some pics of Bryan enjoying his gifts. Enjoy!

According to Bryan, this is a "Beast" of a set!

The Africa Shirt.. in honor of Ellie

Is it jeans??

You know, something struck me as Bryan was getting his drumset yesterday. When the store owner said that his debt was "paid in full", he realized that he had received a great gift. God gave us a gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes instead of ribbons and bows. His name is Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. Our debt (from sin) is "paid in full" by the sacrifice of Jesus, God's only son, freeing us from fear, worry, envy, hatred, and breaking the bonds of sin forever. His gift of Jesus is the ultimate gift.. the only one we ever really need at all. I am so thankful for that reminder in that music store yesterday.

I pray that you know your debt is "paid in full" too. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Prosser Christmas Dance

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Christmas Traditions, Part 5

A few years ago, we started a new tradition of having Jeff's family at our house the weekend before Christmas. This was really two-fold. First, we loving having family at our house. Secondly, this would allow us to stay in one place on Christmas Day, something we weren't getting the chance to do since we were traveling in between families. So, we asked if they would be willing to come to us the weekend before, share a meal, open gifts, and just enjoy being a family. It's turned out to be one of my most favorite parts of the Christmas season.

Last night, everyone arrived and we had a dinner together. Next came presents (the kids couldn't wait much longer!) and then the traditional "Sanctioned Rummy Game". The Rummy Game has been going on for YEARS in this family. We play at every get-together, and we compete for the trophy- the coveted MOUSE! This year got a little crazy, to say the least. See for yourself.

Here are a few pics of our time together last night....

Cupcakes made especially for Breanna... NO NUTS OR PEANUT BUTTER!

The "fellas"...showing off their gifts

Jeff showing off his princess dress (oops... I mean Breanna's dress!)

Love this girl...

Did I mention we get a little goofy with the Rummy game?

Grammy and her crew getting in on the fun!

Scary Mary...

Grammy wins the mouse! Grammy wins the mouse!

I feel so blessed to be a part of this family. They are a gift from God to me, and I love being with them. Merry Christmas ya'll. I can't wait until Ellie gets to meet you too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Traditions, Part 4, and a birthday blast

Today, I celebrated my 36th birthday. Geez, can I really be this old already? I don't feel 36...
Anyway, I had a great day. Here's the recap...

It snowed! Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE snow, so that was a fantastic way to start my day. I loved driving to work in it... seriously! I love the fresh snow first thing in the mornings when the traffic hasn't messed it all up yet. beautiful...

Jeff, Bryan and I have a birthday tradition of going to dinner at the restaurant of your choice. I chose well. We ate WAY TOO MUCH at PF Changs tonight... yum. Holy cow.

Afterwards, we went to the KY Horse Park to the Southern Lights. It's actually a yearly Christmas Tradition for us, and one that I always look forward to. We had a blast! The lights were great, but I have to admit that they are not my favorite part of the night. I LOVE the petting zoo and the indoor exhibits. Here are some pics for you to enjoy.

Jeff and Bryan at PF Chang's

Six Geese a Laying...

Jeff choking a llama

I think the llama was kissing Bryan. He looks embarrassed, doesn't he?

If you enlarge this and look closely, you can find the spotted elephant from Rudolph, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the Abominable Snowman too... along with tons of other Christmas characters. This is my absolute favorite exhibit. We played "I Spy" with this for a long time!

How was I to resist a "man" in uniform?

Oh no you didn't look up Mrs. Claus's dress!

Thanks Jeff and Bryan for the wonderful night out! I had a blast. You guys make every day special, and I love ya'll. And thanks to Mom, Dad and Joann for going in with Jeff to get me tickets to see Wicked!! I am psyched about that! You can be sure I will have plenty to post about when that comes around in January. I have wanted to go for so long now. You couldn't have gotten me anything better! thanks, and I love you all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Traditions, Part 3

The Christmas Prayer

When I was a kid, we had a tradition for several years of going to see a movie on Christmas Eve. Afterward, we would come home and gather around the Christmas tree to open gifts. However, before we opened them, Dad would read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible and we would pray together as a family.

I really don't know exactly when it started to go wrong. I suppose it was because of the excitement of finally getting to open those presents we'd been shaking and staring at for so long. We were kids, after all! Whatever it was, though, it went like this. The Christmas story was read, Dad began to pray, and Chris & I busted out laughing. I mean the kind of laughing that has tears rolling down your face! We couldn't stop. The first year it happened, I do remember Dad stopping mid-prayer, looking at us, and asking what in the world was going on. We quieted down, but as soon as he started again, so did the laughter. Every year, it was the same thing. Seriously.

Every year.

Fast forward to now... The same thing still happens. I remember in 1991, and Chris and Shelly were sharing their first Christmas as a married couple. Jeff and I were engaged, and I guess I thought that since we were "grown up" now, we would be able to make it through a prayer. But, no. We couldn't do it. Shelly and Jeff must have thought we were insane. I tried to explain it, but I was laughing too hard. Mom just smiled and rolled her eyes, no doubt thinking "What have I done wrong?"

These days the only thing that is different is that we don't get together on Christmas Eve. Instead we gather and Mom and Dad's on Christmas Day, and yes, we still laugh as soon as Dad starts to pray. Even Dad laughs now. Our kids, on the other hand... they think we are weird!

I love that I have a family I can laugh with. I love the joy of the Christmas season. What makes you smile at Christmas?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Traditions, Part 2

The Prosser/Osborne Cooking Baking Extravaganza

This is a favorite tradition that started in 1995, when I was still pregnant with Bryan. Jeff and I got together with our friends Doug and Michelle to bake some sugar cookies. It seemed so simple and fun. Now, 13 years later, it's a full day of baking, gifts, and lots of laughter!

We've gone from one batch of dough to a quadruple batch this year! We've added Bryan and Bella to the mix throughout the years. We've exchanged a lot of gifts. We've laughed til we cried, drank way too much Mt. Dew, ate a lot of Chinese takeout, and made memories to last a lifetime.

Here are some pics from this year's fun..

I am pretty sure Bryan's mouth is full of cookie dough in this picture!

Michelle and Bella sharing some dough....

Doug makes a masterpiece...

Bryan and Bella ready for presents. Bryan got a little taste of what it might be like to have a little girl in the house!! He's gonna be an AWESOME big brother!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Traditions

We have a lot of Christmas traditions around here. The one that kicks off everything, though, is the decorating of the tree and home. Now, let me tell you... I LOVE to decorate the tree and the house. We have Christmas stuff everywhere. I love the snowmen, santas, nativity, bells, wreaths. You name it, it's in this house. I wouldn't have it any other way. Just walking through the house makes me smile.

Since the basement is complete, and we spend a great deal of time down here, we decided that the tree should go down here too. That way, we can enjoy it more. I have to admit that I was leery of not having the tree in front of the big window in the great room upstairs. That's where it always sits! But, it's perfect down here. I love coming down the steps and seeing it all lit up. But my favorite part of the tree has to be the ornaments.

We have all kinds of ornaments (see Jeff's blog about another special ornament here), but I want to show you just two of them here.
The first is my all time favorite. Bryan made this when he was in the first grade I think. All of the kids were making smiley faces out of their thumbprints, but not Bryan. A smiley face was not good enough. He made his a viking, complete with sword, shield and hat! How cute is that?? This is mine and Jeff's favorite, for obvious reasons.

The second is an ornament that was made for me by my Granny England.
She was not my "real" Granny, but in my heart, I will always consider her that! I miss her so much, and having this ornament that she made with her own hands is so special to me.

And finally, I will share with you a favorite decoration of mine. This is a Santa that I made when I was a little girl. I actually have two, one of which my brother made. I thought about giving his to him, but they have always sat together at Christmas (they always sat on the piano when we were growing up), so I couldn't separate them now! Sorry Chris. It's made of a toilet paper roll and felt! How cute is that?? Here is mine...

I pray that you are enjoying the sights of Christmas too! Stay tuned here as I share more of our Christmas traditions throughout the week and month!

Blessings on you all.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I find myself feeling a bit out of sorts lately. I am getting antsy for Ellie to be home. We've waited a long time. I am tired of waiting. I trust God's timing, don't get me wrong. I just want her here with us.

Thanksgiving Day was hard for me. I filled my plate and sat down, only to find that my appetite was not there anymore. All I could think of was "Does Ellie have enough to eat today?" I couldn't get that thought out of my mind, and I found that my thoughts of Ellie being so far away really took hold of me. I enjoyed time with our family, no doubt, but it felt awkward.

It felt incomplete.

It was incomplete.

I know that God is taking care of her, but I want that privilege for myself. No, it's not that I think I can do a better job. And I don't want to cheat Ellie's birth mother out of any time with her little girl. But my heart longs for her to be with me at the same time.

I have prayed all year that we would know who Ellie is by Christmas. Maybe that will still happen, but I find myself more and more telling myself to not get my hopes up. I don't want to be disappointed. And I don't want these thoughts to keep me from enjoying every minute of this season with Jeff and Bryan.

Please keep us in your prayers as we wait. Waiting stinks.