Monday, December 31, 2012

December Happenings

Between parties and events at school for Jackson, dance practice and recital for Ansley, well check ups at the doctors for Elsie and Vada Belle, Christmas parties, Christmas parades, meeting Santa, family get togethers, Christmas play at church, and all 4 kids being sick, December flew by so fast we are still wondering how in the world it is the last day of 2012! Since I haven't had time to blog any this month, I'll do a quick recap of some of the things we were busy doing.

Jackson had a music performance at his school earlier this month. He absolutely loves music class and was so excited about this performance, so we of course were very excited to watch him. The music teacher did a wonderful job with all of the students in the school! (Half the school performed on a Monday night, and the other half on Tuesday night).

Jackson also was chosen as a "Bucket Filler" again in December! When I opened the letter from the Vice Principal I was so proud to see not one letter in there stating he was a bucket filler of the week, but TWO letters! He was chosen by the reading teacher (who said he was reading on a 2nd/3rd grade level- yeah!) and the librarian. Here is what they had to say:

Ansley Kate was in her very first dance recital, playing the part of one of the small mice in The Nutcracker. She was so excited about dancing on "the big stage," and I was so excited to watch her, as well as The Nutcracker for the first time.
 We let the kids take turns putting the star or angel on top of the tree each year, and this year it was Elsie's turn for the first time. Look how cute she is!

Vada Belle turned 6 months (already?!?!) on December 19th. At her 6 month well check up she weighed 12 lbs. 9.5 oz., and was 24.5 inches long. She loves to play with her toys, roll everywhere, laugh at her brother and sisters, listen to daddy sing, and have mommy carry her around everywhere.

I won some tickets from our local newspaper, The Tomahawk, to see Sesame Street Live, Elmo Makes Music, in Johnson City, and we were very pleased with how wonderful the show was.

The last half of the month was a whirlwind of events, as I'm sure it was for all of you, too, but the kids loved every single second of it. We are so fortunate to have such a large family and get to spend Christmas with party after party celebrating the Birth of our Savior with those we love dearly. Maybe I'll get around to posting some of the pictures from Christmas, but just in case I don't, here a few from the Sunday before Christmas.

We hope you all had a blessed Christmas and have a wonderful 2013!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 14, 2012

On Thursday night Eric looked at me and said, "Jackson's getting sick." With Jackson, all you have to do to know if he is sick or not, is to look at his eyes. If he is sick, his eyes will definitely show that he is. Later that night he started complaining that he wasn't feeling well and that he wanted to sleep in our room. When I woke him up yesterday morning and checked his temperature, he had a fever of 100.9 (which isn't a high fever at all for Jackson), and asked how he was feeling. He said, "bad" and rolled over and went back to sleep, and I decided to let him stay home for the day. A couple of hours later (when his Tylenol kicked in,) I was feeling kind of guilty letting him stay home since he was running around with his sisters and having a great time. It wasn't just a few short minutes after I had that moment of guilt that the horrific events of yesterdays tragedy began to unfold. Some evil monster went into a school where he shot and killed 27 people, 20 of them being children. I instantly broke into tears and then got my four babies on my couch so we could read some books and watch some cartoons together, and that moment of guilt I had earlier was gone. I was glad that I had all four of my kids there with me at that moment. I was glad that I could hug them, kiss them, and tell them how much I loved them. I was heartbroken for those parents that lost their sweet precious babies for absolutely no reason at all, and would never again be able to hug, kiss or love on their kids. I was heartbroken for the family members & friends of the adults that lost their lives while trying to protect and take care of those sweet children. I was heartbroken for all of those children in that school that lost their innocence in just a few minutes while having to hear the shots of a gun being fired throughout the school, a place that should never be a scary or dangerous place for a kid. I was heartbroken for the teachers, staff, and volunteers at that school, and can't imagine the fear they had while trying to protect those classes full of children that they love so dearly. Tears streamed down my face thinking of how when my children are scared or hurt the only thing they want is mommy and daddy. I cried thinking of those parents waiting at the local fire department with their arms aching for their child to run into them for comfort and security.  I cried thinking that my children are growing up in a world that is completely different from when my grandparents, parents, and even myself grew up in. They have to grow up in a world of monsters that can harm beautiful, innocent little children. I am sad for so many reasons, too many to list, but there are things that I am thankful for. I am so grateful that I have a God that tells me not to worry or to fear tomorrow, even though this seems so incredibly hard at the moment. I am thankful that through Jesus we have comfort in knowing that this life is not the end, but that we are promised eternal life in Heaven after this one, if we only accept Him as our savior. And, as I prayed over each one of my children last night while they were sleeping in their bed, I thanked God again, like I do every day, for choosing me to be their mother. I prayed that they would never have to deal with a monster like these children had to. I prayed, like millions of others are doing, for the families and friends of those innocent victims, to hold them close during a time that no one should ever have to go through. I prayed and thanked Him for His word that says, "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18.