Posts filed under ‘Family’

A Family Tree for Christmas, Part 3: Including Felicity

Our Christmas tree decorating process has morphed and evolved over the years. Now it includes shedding tears for our family member who’s not with us, prancing around the Christmas tree and getting into trouble.

Our daughter has been with Jesus for three Christmases now.

Most people who’ve ever lost someone they love will tell you that the holidays are particularly hard. So, for people to have the foresight to give these ornaments to us back in 2007… let’s just say, I’m deeply thankful.

We’ve done it differently every year, but this year, the Felicity ornaments were the last to go on the tree. And since there were three, Abraham, Orison, and I all chose the one we’d like to hang.

I don’t want to make our tree a Felicity tree, I just want her there. These three little ornaments are very special to us.

If you’ve ever wondered what to get for someone who has lost a child, I would highly recommend an ornament. That way, it’s not another item they have to find a place for year-round, but when Christmas comes, there’s a ready-made place for remembering.

Our tree isn’t fancy. It’s not pristine. But it’s ours. It’s our family tree.

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December 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm 10 comments

A Family Tree for Christmas, Part 2: The Angel’s Story

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.

-Luke 2:9

This, my friends is our angel.

I know… she’s filling you with fear right now.

I know… it’s weird. But to us, it’s hilarious. And now… it’s just tradition.

You can’t see too well against the pink bow backdrop, but the angel has some pink netting for wings. And of course, her cotton candy hair.

“What is the deal?” you might be asking. Well, this is an art project my husband did when he was little. And for our first married Christmas, my mother-in-law bequeathed us the box of ornaments she’d been collecting for each of her kids. (Which was a very good thing, because we had neither Christmas decorations nor money to go buy them.)

Abraham’s family grew up not doing Christmas trees (they did a Bethlehem Tree instead). I grew up going out into the field and chopping one down as a family. So the first Christmas we were married, Abraham just didn’t understand why I would want a Christmas tree so much.

But one night, he dropped me off to do some grocery shopping, and said he needed to go run some errands of his own (we shared a car then, and still do). At our set meeting time, he picked me up, but when I looked around for evidence of his so-called errands, I couldn’t find any.

As we got home, we came up the back stairs to our second-floor duplex apartment and started unloading groceries. A few minutes into it, the doorbell rang, and he told me, “Why don’t you go get that?” I remember being kind of annoyed, thinking, “Well, why don’t you?”

But somehow he convinced me and I walked toward the front of our apartment. As I walked into the dining room, there it was…

A Christmas tree, standing tall and proud.

I screamed and hugged him and screamed some more and hugged him. (Oh, and then I got the door.)

It was one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. So surprising, so unexpected, so thoughtful.

Thanks to Abraham’s mother we actually had some things to put on the tree. But what would we do about the topper? We didn’t have a star (which is what my family always did), and we didn’t have a proper angel.

At some point during my lament about the sad state of our tree and it’s lack of crowning glory, Abraham jokingly placed the little drag queen angel from his childhood at the top. We had a good laugh about it, and decided she should stay.

And she’s assumed the same post for all our Christmases since.

What’s the weirdest thing on your Christmas tree?

December 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm 36 comments

Thanksgiving Knit-Up and Wrap-Up

I’m getting this post up during the final minutes of Thanksgiving 2009!

My mother-in-law posted a video of some of our racous family moments today if you’re curious. (Bonus! You’ll see footage of Morrow walking and dancing. Aaand… you’ll get to see my awesome dance moves during a kiddy dance party with Orison and his cousin Grace.)

I mean, who wouldn’t want to see that?

I decided to finish the night quietly, knitting a pair of mittens for Morrow. The weather’s gotten really cold, really fast! So while Abraham sleeps (the lump in the back of the picture) I post on my blog and knit.

I’m thankful for a quiet end to Thanksgiving 2009.

November 27, 2009 at 12:02 am 9 comments

Compassion Countdown: 4 days til El Salvador!

*Warning: this is a disjointed, brain-dump post as I try to organize my thoughts and life before my El Salvador trip*

In some ways, I’m totally in denial that I’m leaving the country and my family in four days.

In other ways, I’ve been anticipating and preparing. For example, I’ve been trying to make some freezer meals for Abraham and the kids to help them along the way. They should be well-stocked with spaghetti sauce and wild rice soup. I figure if I get one more meal made, that should be sufficient (taking leftovers into account). I mean, I’m only gone for five days. And if they get really desperate they can always order pizza or make scrambled eggs.

I’m going to meet our family’s sponsor child while I’m there! I’m so excited about that. I have yet to get gifts for him and his family. What I learned in our team meeting the other day is to think practically, and to think about the whole family. Toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, deoderant, and maybe some small items like photo albums and little toys for the kids.

I think I’ll get our little guy a soccer ball with a pump for a special gift. That way he can use it with his friends and siblings and everyone can enjoy it.

I had a good idea last night to bring some of my extra stashed yarn and needles along to give away to women/moms there who knit! And if they don’t know how to knit, maybe I’ll give a knitting lesson! Good thing I’ll have a translator! And some things can be done through demonstration, so how cool would that be???

And of course I chose yesterday to paint my laundry room. I am such a random weirdo. I mean, who does that? Apparently I do. I think I respond to stress by choosing to take on more stress. Actually, painting feels more like an accomplishment. So maybe it’s that I take on projects that I can control when there’s so many other things out of control.

And who psychoanalyzes their painting? Apparently, I do.

November 5, 2009 at 11:54 am 23 comments

A Halloween Treat for Y’all

Orison went trick-or-treating for the first time tonight.

I wish I could’ve bottled up some of his enthusiasm and zest as he ran, full-speed, from house to house.

I wish I could’ve apologized to all the people whose doorbells were rung in rapid-fire fashion as he waited to scream “Trick or Treat” with all the excitement a four-year-old body can handle. He didn’t seem to hear me when I said, “Only ring it once!”

He dressed as a cowboy, and he was the cutest little cowboy there ever was.

There’s another pretty cute cowboy in this town, too, and they joined forces for a little croonin’ before bed.

(Yes, they both have *real* cowboy boots!)

Happy Halloween, y’all!

October 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm 22 comments

A Follow-Up on My Last Post: Infant Mortality Video

I watched this video this morning over at the Compassion blog. It seemed fitting, especially since I just posted about the Child Survival Program.

I couldn’t help but tear up, allowing the gravity of the topic to land on me for a few minutes. The reality that 9 million children a year die before their 5th birthday—my son turns five in a few weeks, Lord willing.

For me, having lost a child to something I couldn’t control, it hits even harder. I mean, I can do something about diarrhea. I can help people learn how to sanitize bottles and breast feed their babies.

You don’t have to feel the same way, but this is a very exciting ministry to me.

October 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm 10 comments

Making a School Decision: What Should I Ask?

Our oldest son, Orison, will start kindergarten next fall! We’ve been evaluating our options for a loooong time, and feel like the right thing for him is to send him to school, as opposed to doing homeschool. Perhaps that’s another post.

Anyway…

We’re considering a few different options for schooling. We’ll be looking at a few private Christian schools and a couple public charter schools (classical education). We live in a very urban neighborhood, and feel like the public schools in our immediate area would not be a good fit for Orison.

I’m really new to all this school stuff, so my brain kind of turns to mush when I start trying to figure it all out.

So… do you wanna help me out?

One of the Christian schools is a Charlotte Mason school. If you subscribe to that theory of education, let me know what questions I should be asking, or what I should be looking for at the school.

Both of the public charter schools are Classical schools. Same deal—if you have experience with that model, help me know what to look for or what questions to ask.

I have the book The Well-Trained Mind, but feel really overwhelmed to even crack it open. And plus it’s a homeschool book, so I don’t know how relevant it’ll be for my current search.

And to be honest, I’m a verbal processor. I feel like I learn best through talking! And since I can’t sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with all of you, I’d love to learn from you through a blog conversation.

Thanks in advance for your help!

October 20, 2009 at 11:42 am 74 comments

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