It’s so good to see you! I’m so glad you were able to come!
Here, let me take your coat. Laura, could you please take this up to our room?
Can I get you something to drink? Go ahead and make yourself comfortable in the living room and I’ll be right with you after I get Katie off the potty!
[At least, that’s what would most likely greet you if you called ahead. At our house, we say that if you stop by without warning, you deserve whatever it is you see! Haha!]
Verity made her own Paradise Tree this year with a little help from big sister Laura.
Now put the glue stick down.
Tear the green tissue paper, Verity. Say, “I’m tearing the paper.”
Laura takes after her mom in a lot of ways, heh, heh.
Push the tissue paper down, Verity. That’s right, push it! You are pushing the tissue paper!
Now put some orange dots on the paper. Dot, dot, dot. Say, “orange dots on my paper!”
Take the lid off the purple paint. Say, “I’m taking the lid off.”
Good job, Verity! You are all done! Look, we will hang your paper on the refrigerator! Say, “re-frig-er-a-tor! ” Good job saying “refrigerator!”
This is all that’s left of four pans of our favorite overnight coffee cake. Would you like to have a piece with your cup of coffee? It won’t be here long!
This year we invited some good friends to join us for our annual gingerbread house night! Good friends who will soon be related to us by marriage!
Lindsay’s sister Rachel made us a large pan of lovely hot chocolate and we baked and decorated to our hearts’ content.
I gave us all a break from the camera that night, but Daniel shot this one with his cell phone. Yes, our gingerbread houses are two dimensional, and we cut them out freehand. Trees were also in high demand this year!
So you think you’re going to get pictures of us in our matching Christmas dresses?
Yeah right, Mom! You go right ahead and try!
Ok, I’ll smile for ya, but no eye contact today, thank you!
Verity, where are Mama’s eyes? Look at Mama’s eyes!
Ah-aaaah! Love Verity! Love Katie!
These Christmas dresses are more special to me because they helped raise funds so my friend Grace Knuth can bring 13 year old Tony home from Pleven! She only needs about $9000 more to be fully funded!
If you look carefully, you can see a little Kit-Kat rejoicing in the Christmas teddy bear her school team gave her with their love. If you listen carefully, you might hear one of our favorite Christmas albums playing on the CD player.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel…shall ransom captive Israel!
We have a little feverish sickness visiting our house right now, and all four of these little boys have been under the weather, so we’ll have them stay far away from you while you’re here. But they’re not too sick to decorate some t-shirts for Christmas!
Boys, you look almost as white as your t-shirts!
Aren’t they sweet? So sweet they’re almost edible!
Wait, did she just say I was sweet? Sooooo, people with Down syndrome are happy all the time, eh? I didn’t get that memo, so it doesn’t count!
Some of them thought they heard me ask for silly faces! Goofy kids!
Our first and last Christmas as a family of fifteen with Joseph home.
See Katie keeping her eye on Tommy. If you listen very carefully, you might hear him shrieking! He was quite over-excited!
Pull up a chair and dig in!
Maybe next year Tommy will try our traditional red grapefruit, Bed and Breakfast baked egg casserole, and his daddy’s famous caramel pecan sticky buns!
Reading the Nativity Narrative~
Listening to the Nativity Narrative~
The big people love to sing Christmas carols and the little people love to listen. We do this every night by the light of the tree.
Our oldest five exchange names. Joe and I give each of the youngest eight children a simple individual gift, and then all the rest are shared gifts. This year we were excited to give the family a nice stack of audio dramas and audio classics along with a modest number of other carefully-chosen items. It’s fun to give good gifts to our children!
Daniel was glad to receive some needed tools from Joseph for his growing collection.
Note the to-do list on the white board behind Daniel. We celebrate Christmas for a whole week at our house! And boy oh boy, were we ever ready to escape the pressure cooker and take a breather this year! Whew!
Jane knew Laura would be delighted with a good pocketknife and a high quality heavy duty LED flashlight.
The doll stroller needed no explanation, although Verity has never had one before. This was clearly the right choice for her this year! Here she is contemplating her newly maternal reflection in the dishwasher.
Katie was thrilled with a foldaway mirror, one of the shared gifts…
…and Tommy with his bright, shiny red truck!
Every family should have a chubby little baby sitting in the middle, and you can quote me on that. <grin>
Oh, you have to leave again already?
Thanks for stopping by our place for a visit! It was so great to see you and be able to sit and chat! Next time, I’d like to hear more about what’s been happening in your life!
Bye-bye! Come again!
*Big tight hug*