Saturday, January 8, 2011

Love, Laughter and Hugs!

I have to admit, I was kind of dreading this Christmas...  You might remember, on Thanksgiving Day, my grandmother went home to Jesus.  As Christmas approached, I realized that in 45 years, I can only think of 1, maybe 2, Christmases that I didn't spend with her!  As a child she would often tuck me in with the warning that Santa didn't stop by houses where the children weren't asleep...  I wonder if she ever knew how much harder it was to go to sleep after that?  LOL!!

When we built our house 7 1/2  years ago, I spent an entire year and a half praying (more like pleading and begging) for just one more Christmas with her (she was in her 90's by then).  I just wanted to have memories of my grandmother in our new house...  I wanted to see her make biscuits in our kitchen, I wanted to see her oohh and ahhhh over her Christmas presents in our family room...  And God was so gracious, He gave us 6 more Christmases with her and lots of laughter and memories...

Abby's first Christmas with us...

So, as you can probably understand, I just wasn't sure how this first Christmas would be without her...  But while there were some REALLY sad moments, it was a Christmas full of love, laughter and hugs...  Here some highlights...

Chillin' on Christmas Morning

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(That's my mom...  She doesn't do "chillin'"...  That's what a servant's heart looks like from the outside!)

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That's me opening one of my Christmas ornaments from the kids (every year each one gives me a Christmas ornament so I have a REALLY cool collection of ornaments from over the years!  And I get my own tree to put them on...This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions!)

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After Christmas we went to visit Scott's family...  LOTS of cousins!!

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Riding go-carts!

Next we went to my dad's house, but unfortunately I don't have any photos...  My stepmom was sick, so it wasn't the usual visit...

Then we made an extra trip to visit the rest of my family...  And our newest 'China' cousin!!

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Nooooo...  Our sons aren't competitive...  Push-ups with children on their backs!

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Out to dinner for New Year's Eve!

So there were so many AWESOME moments from Christmas, but there's one that is extra special from this year...  If you've followed my blog for very long, you know that the first year with Abby was kind of hard.  She let me care for her most basic needs, but that was about it...  She didn't want hugs and she didn't want me holding her...   

On New Year's Eve, as we were leaving for dinner, I went out on the back porch and yelled to our children that we were leaving...  Abby stopped what she was doing and came running to the porch, she ran right up the stairs and gave me a BIG hug!!  

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I LOVE this picture!!  Happy New Year from our family to yours!


sierrasmom said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures. Love just oozes from each and every one!! Happy New Year to you and your family!!!

trina said...

Sharla, I can't believe how much the kids have changed. Love all the pictures! Miss you all. Having a reunion on my mind..soon. :)

Wife of the Pres. said...

Great pic Sharla!

Wish I could have seen you when you were in town. I think J would remember Abby maybe. He remembers a lot of the kids from the foster families and has shared so many memories.