A Job Year

Friday, December 31, 2010

Job was allowed to endure horrific things and compared to boils and sores, my life doesn't seem so dim. I have no right to compare my trials and hardships to those of Job, but it seems to be a good fit to describe our year. It was simply "a Job year".

Like Job, we have been allowed to endure some less-than-ideal situations this past year. I could sit here and sing my song of woe and my flesh would deeply want to blame and resent a certain little boy for all our troubles, but the Spirit within me says, "No. That was for your good and My glory." And it's true. It was a year of sanctification; to cause me to draw nearer to Him and to become more Christ-like. God sent us the perfect catalyst that would spur great things masked in misery - a sick, moody baby boy, who mirrors our sinful state and shares my temper and short fuse. Every day, I was forced to face how much more work in me there is to be done. I was forced to see the ugliness of my sin and the effect of that sin on my relationships with not only my family, but also with God. I'm still having to face these harsh realities. In a way, Drew is to blame. God used him to shake me awake. And awake I am!

I do not regret the trials. I do not resent these convictions. I am thankful for them. I welcome them. They were indeed for my good and God's glory. As I face a brand new year and reflect upon the year past, I walk away with some familiar, yet profound truths - God is so very good and we are so undeserving of His grace, sacrifice, and provision. May He have all the honor, glory, and praise, forever and ever!

Many blessings be poured upon those who are in Christ Jesus this coming year.

Our Christmas

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas. Sorry for the delay of this (but you're used to that by now, right?) and the lack of posting lately. I got overly ambitious this year and piled my plate high with all sorts of holiday projects. Why did I do that? Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess. Who knows.

To start off my ambitious Christmas season, I took it upon myself to make all crochet gifts for my family, since they're impossible to shop for. Along with "commission work", I had a total of about thirteen projects to finish in about a month's time. Somehow, I managed to do all but one - which was finished a day or so after Christmas, but it was going to be shipped later. Still needs to be shipped. Argh. Anyhoo, the projects were a grand success and I challenged myself with some patterns I wouldn't normally attempt. Thank you Ravelry! On the downside, I think I may have given myself Carpal Tunnel. Bummer.

Part two of my ambitious Christmas season was an insane amount of goodie-making (for me, atleast). I baked severally types of cookies and even made caramels for the first time. I will post recipes later (as they were also a huge success!), but I made these yummy Mint Kiss Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for my grandpa, Oreo Cookie Balls (YUM!), and Apple Cider Caramels. I wanted to make Root Beer Float Cookies, but I ran out of time. Finishing a gift seemed a little more important on Christmas Eve night. Talk about cutting it close!

But on to the fun stuff! Here's the boys on Christmas Eve night, both sporting their new PJ's and begging Daddy to spin them in his chair. Drew, of course, was oblivious to all the going's on's, but Rob was extremely excited about Christmas. He just couldn't wait to see what all those funny-looking packages under the tree were!

Prior to this, we had enjoyed a nice day together as a family (Matt had the day off - yay!) and then went to my grandma's house for dinner and fun. It was such a blessing to have everyone "home" for Christmas this year - Aunt Janice and Cousin Emily included! It's just not Christmas without everyone there. Everyone thought the boys were delightful and enjoyed their playful youth, as they flitted about the room, chasing dogs and playing with toys Grams had set out for them. We were having so much fun, we kind of forgot to go to Christmas Eve Service. Oops.

We spent the initial part of Christmas morning as a family, letting the boys have a chance to unwrap their gifts at home. We were awoken by Rob at 6am, but he had completely forgotten about Christmas all together, until we reminded him. Things were quite different after that - he couldn't sit still in our bed! Finally, Drew woke up around 7am and we opened gifts. Matt and I had already "opened" our gifts - a mutual gift of a new HDTV and Blu-ray Player. We're finally caught up with the rest of society!

The boys made out like thieves, of course. Rob got various things - his favorites being a Thomas toy and Lightening McQueen car. Both things he asked for and asked for, which is unusual for him. Drew got a walking-along/ride-on car and some books he can chew on. They both got completely spoiled by my folks, of course. We had quite a bit to lug back from Buhl!

Here's the disaster area of a living room. I'm pretty sure they enjoyed every moment of destroying it.

And yes - Baby Boy is now standing and cruising! We're waiting for him to walk anytime, now!

Sugarbean's first Christmas. I think he enjoyed playing with Brother's toys more than his - and vice versa.

I'm quite surprised how well-behaved they were. They even both got a decent nap. I was really expecting a rough day with them, but they both did really well.

I'm totally in love with this photo. Drew absolutely LOVES his great-grandpa. He was climbing all over him any chance he got, it seemed. It makes my heart smile. :)

Maybe they get along so well because they share a personality? Either way, it's a very sweet relationship they have.

My beautiful cousin, Emily, modeling the hat I made for her. I accidentally made it too small, but she loved it and said it was "perfect". If she's happy, I'm happy!

I love this girl - fake blonde hair and all.

We decided to bring our Wii over to play. It was a huge hit with everyone, so I'm glad we decided to do so! We even got Grams and Cher involved. Grams played a couple games of bowling and here's Cher showing off her mad archery skillz.

I love seeing you happy, Mama. It looks good on you.

After dinner, we started playing with all the little wind-up toys we had attached to our gifts thanks to Jan. We had initially set out to "race" them, but being a sadistic bunch, we ended up making them fight each other. Yep, that's my family.

We tied up the evening with playing with the boys to wear them out a little more - as if they weren't worn out from the day enough.

It was a great day all around. I'm so glad everyone could be there this year. It makes Christmas so much more delightful. We can't wait to have everyone back together again.

So, thank you to all our family and friends who made this Christmas season so wonderful. You blessed us in so many ways! Merry (belated) Christmas!

Drew at Eight Months - Part Two

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So, my brain is gone. I just now realized that I had posted a picture of Drew, but no update. Sorry about that.

Drew is growing like a weed. Despite being only 8-months-old, he's already wearing 18-month-clothes and size 4 diapers. Yes, you read that correctly. He's also trying to pull up on everything, even though he just learned how to crawl not two weeks ago. He's been able to pull himself to a standing position onto various objects, usually something unsteady. He's smarter than we think he is and regularly surprises us with his stealth. Whether it be lunging for your feet when you're not looking or escaping the confines of the baby gate - he's quick. He's started playing with Robby more and more and has even started chasing him around the room or attacking him if he's laying on the floor, unsuspecting. Their favorite activity to do together is screaming and giggling in the backseat of the car, taking turns setting each other off. Drew has earned the new nickname of Tiny Terror because he will scour the living room for anything he can get his hands on, promptly rough it up/drool on it/chew on it, and then move on to the next item. We've had to "hide" our Christmas tree on the other side of the baby gate to ensure it's safety. He currently has 1 1/2 teeth that are driving us all crazy, but he is a completely different baby healthwise than he was a month ago. I am a new believer when it comes to herbal alternatives. The chlorophyll is doing it's job quite well. Now if we could just get his second tear duct to unplug, we'd be doing good.

I think we're finally forming a good relationship with our youngest son. He's happy, he's playful, and he's mellow...the majority of the time. He still has a moody side to him, but we've definitely enjoyed him for the first time in eight months. Sad, but true.

Drew at Eight Months

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting geared up for his very first Christmas. No smiles, but this little stinker is FAST, so I was lucky to get this one. Even the shiny garland wasn't enough to keep him distracted.