Six kids, one van, and 9 hours on the road. Whew, we made it home from Maine around 9 pm on Christmas eve. We arrived and unpacked kids and stuff as quickly as possible, which means we dumped EVERYTHING on the front porch and worked at getting kids into bed. We then moved on to getting the Christmas stockings stuffed, bringing luggage in from the porch, checking all the animals, starting the fire to heat the house, etc.
Christmas morning hit and we had a fun, relaxed time of siblings each exchanging a gift. It was fun to watch each child give a gift with such joy as well as receive one in return!
Afterwards we had a fun Christmas breakfast and moved back to the living room to read the Bible’s account of the Christmas story. Sitting quietly as a family with 3 children who are 3 years old and under is somewhat a joke. But we do these things to build habits, right?! We hold the expectations for Christmas happiness loosely because we are still thick in the training stages with our younger ones.
After the Bible reading the kids got to dig into their stockings.
This year we weren’t going to do more then the stockings plus one gift, but we were blessed by the generosity of a man who works with my husband. He gave Joel (my husband) a trunk full of Nerf guns! We already owned a handful of them, but with five boys, they will tell you we never have enough. There were shrills of delight when their eyes beheld their bounty! A family Nerf gun battle was definitely on the list of “Christmas Day to-do”. (And since I participated in the fun, no pictures to prove that it happened.)
Soon after all this is when I started realizing I really needed to start on the multiple loads of laundry from our Maine trip. I started sorting as kids were here, there, and everywhere with Christmas gifts and activity. Soon after I realized a child was “missing” after some panicked searching I found said child destroy multiple nighttime diapers, yipes! I turned around to have another child coming towards me, broken water jar in hand, apologizing that my new, never yet used, water pitcher accidentally got broken. My husband walked in at this moment and I promptly said “I can’t handle any more!” I went to my room, had a good sob and then cried out to Jesus to help me release my desire for nice things. I asked him to see my children like he does and to help me love them well.
Whew, it can be so hard to parent with a level head when emotions get involved! My son felt bad about breaking my glass jar. He didn’t need me to yell at him about it, but that’s what I felt like doing in the moment! I’m so glad I was able to step away, cry, and pray. When I came back, we talked about what happened and as he apologized I was able to hug him and tell him I love him. Christmas day doesn’t always look like Pinterest, actually maybe it never does! But that doesn’t mean the day was ruined.
We went for quick family hike back at Middle Creek before supper and after getting little ones to bed after supper, we played a new game we got for Christmas. It’s called Splendor, it is a fun game! My husband and I both enjoy playing it as do our 10 and 11 year old sons. The cover of the game makes it look mystic or magical but it’s not at all. You are jewelers during the Renaissance time period, buying up jewels. It’s a fun strategy game that doesn’t take hours to play. Fun family game and a great way for us to end our 2019 Christmas!
Read more about our foster care/adoption story here.