God’s Gifts

This Christmas season could not have been more special. We were truly blessed with so many examples of God’s love through the selflessness and generosity of others.

Saturday and Sunday, we spent the day with KC’s family eating, opening gifts, eating, watching football, eating, and celebrating Jesus’ birthday…oh and eating. It was wonderful to get Benjamin out of the house after being on lockdown for weeks with the last illness.

Monday, we received a special treat having the Serafano’s visit us from California. Their son gained his angel wings a few months ago, and they decided to travel across the country to bring some of Matteo’s equipment to share with not only Benjamin, but with other families along the way. Such a selfless and generous gift. God’s love shines through them, and their positivity is contagious. We can’t wait to get Benjamin into his new swing. 🙂 KC’s pull-up bar has really been used well since Benjamin has been born.

Monday, we made the trip to my mom and dad’s. Borrowing a bag for the top of the van (thanks Harms Family), we squeezed gifts, clothes, equipment, three kids, Benjamin’s nurse, KC, and me in the van. Luckily, I have a skill for packing.

At my parents, we ate, opened gifts, ate, played family card games, ate, napped, opened more gifts, ate, went to Natchitoches, ate, went to Hodges Gatdens, and celebrated Jesus’ birthday…oh, and ate. This Christmas made a year since I’ve been home to my parents’, so we made the best of it. Traveling alone with the three kids is almost impossible for that long of a distance, and with KC’s schedule, it is very hard to work it out.

Benjamin had been on oxygen since being sick, but when we disconnected the oxygen to get into the car to leave Luling, he tolerated it wonderfully and has been off since. 🙂 Benjamin is finally back to himself. This was the best gift yet. This will also be our first trip to my parents’ house that we didn’t have to leave early to admit Benjamin into the hospital. Whooohooo!

As we travel home, I smile thinking about how good Santa was to this family this year, and how God has been even better. We are all so blessed to be healthy and happy while we await the arrival of the kids’ baby brother.

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Pictures With Santa

20131214-234336.jpgFor some reason, we all feel it’s necessary to drag our kiddos, most of them dressed in uncomfortable clothes, to take pictures with a complete stranger, Santa. Many of our kiddos are screaming, but sometimes these can be the best pictures. So I’ll be the first to admit, these pictures aren’t for Lennon, Isla, and Benjamin…they are for me. Each picture is a memory, an accomplishment, and a right of passage.

This week with Benjamin in the hospital, I was just a little worried we would miss our picture opportunity at church this weekend. Standing in a long line at the mall isn’t the best option for our family, so having Santa come to church is perfect.

Friday, Benjamin looked as though he was feeling a little better, so we made the decision to wake up yesterday morning and go. Benjamin’s nurse came in, and I told her we were all going to meet Santa. I could tell that she wasn’t too sure if it was the best idea, but I thought this was our last chance to take a picture with Santa. A part of me wants to think it’s all for Benjamin and that Benjamin would love to see Santa, but deep down, I know it’s all for me. We made it, took a few pics, ate a little breakfast, loaded him back up, and headed straight back home. I was a little upset that Santa couldn’t hold Benjamin, but with Benjamin not feeling well, I decided that a ten minute juggling session was probably not a great idea. Luckily, Benjamin handled it ok, and I got my picture with only a 30 minute outing.

Last night, we took the girls to see a few Christmas lights. I knew Benjamin couldn’t handle this trip, so we made it a special night for Lennon and Isla. While walking around Rivertown, I saw Santa ready for pictures. Oh my, how to handle this, since I knew Lennon and Isla would want to take another picture. My eyes started to fill with tears, mad that Benjamin wasn’t with us and thinking to myself, ‘I refuse to allow a Santa picture without Benjamin.’ Once again, I’m reminded that the pictures are mainly for me. When Lennon and Isla asked about it, I mentioned that we already talked to Santa, and that we will not be taking a picture without their brother. Because our kids are so amazing, neither of them ever disagreed or fussed, and accepted this almost as if they completely agreed. KC looked at me, commenting on how well that was handled. 🙂

So though we all know how crazy and stressful Christmas pictures with Santa truly are, we plan on continuing the tradition figuring out how no one will be left out. Next time, hopefully Benjamin will feel better, or we might look for a traveling Santa. Also, congrats to Isla…this was her first year not to cry. 🙂