Sunday, December 31, 2017

Missing Pieces Of 2017 - The Christmas Tree That Almost Wasn't

People always post all their picture perfect experiences finding the "perfect Christmas tree".

But, quite honestly, this year it turned into survival mode for us.

We finally found an evening between rehearsals and basketball games 
to head out to our favorite spot and get our tree...

only to find that it had relocated to an unmarked location.

Tree farms are at least an hours drive from us so that was out.

So we did what every smart American family does in this situation...
we drove around looking for another tree lot,
because, of course there are millions of tree lots.

Except when you are actually looking for one.

After about 10-15 minutes we found another one.
We all piled out of the car and headed into the lot.

Here is where I explain that our kids prefer actually playing tag 
between the rows and rows of fat christmas trees
over actually choosing the perfect tree.

So they begin running around, acting like maniacs,
zig-zagging in and out of trees
while Josh and I quickly discover that the trees are so overly priced
that we knew we wouldn't be getting out of there with a tree under $65 dollars, AT LEAST!

So we all pile back into the car.

After doing this another time or two we decided that our best bet would be for me to just hop out and scope the pricing of the trees before unloading the entire Colony.
Stopping their game of tag in mid-setup can become a bit emotional for all involved.

Bathroom breaks were becoming the regular.
The frustration was rising.
The kids were getting restless.
And the questions and demand for answers were becoming overwhelming.

FINALLY, we came to a lot that seemed reasonably priced so we let them all get out.

Of course the game of tag began instantaneously as Josh and I began frantically looking
for a tree we could afford with a size that would AT LEAST match our dining room table.

Not 5 minutes in and we were chasing after our kids picking up knocked over trees
and trying to console the Colony kid who decided that peeing in his pants was a better option than using the port-o-potty which was ON SITE.


After all of that Josh and I just grabbed the closest tree that seemed like it would fit in our home and called it a night, lol.

All-in-all it was an adventurous night and we rationalized the cost saying that we payed $24 extra for the experience.

Next year, though, I'm getting a $29 Food Lion tree and just throwing it in the field behind our house for the kids to "find" as our perfect tree.

Missing Pieces of 2017 - Christmas Shenanigans and String Party

Matching girls for Jingle Jam
(Alethia didn't have one of the matching sweatshirts so Rainy got one of Laithy's red shirts
and cut out letters to make her own for her!)

Piper's Christmas lights is a yearly tradition

Alethia was in her school Christmas production!

Jude and Nonie making hot chocolate

Lake Myra lights in Wendell is another Christmas tradition

The Via girls went to Hotel Roanoke for High Tea

String Party Set-up

Waiting for string party entry

Alex and the aftermath

And these kinds of things are what they get at their string party, lol

Missing Pieces Of 2017 - Sweet Memories 2 - "Unedited Version"

That day Jude decided that he could swing ALL BY HIMSELF!
Me and my bestie, Heidi, have celebrated more 4th of July's (and other Holidays) together than I can count!
What a blessing her friendship is to me:-)

This is how Josh made Rainy go to Students at Journey to make sure the boys stayed away, ha!

Jude's first stitches after he got speared by his indian brother...

...and then a few days later decided to spray paint himself red...

...and then a week later busted his pinky toe.
I really think there should be some kind of reward point system for ER visits!

Cool vacation shot captured by my SIL, Kelly.

Missing Pieces Of 2017 - Sweet Memories 1 "Unedited Version"

Multiple games of Settlers of Catan

Sunsets between the stomach bug on Via Vacay

I snuck a pic of the girls having a morning devotion together:-)

Sometimes you have to pull over on the side of the road to have that teaching moment

Jemma enjoying a nice warm fire

We are soaking up as much Nena time as we've can!

The girls even did a little "Jingle Jam" promo as Josh and I played

Jude wrote her a sweet note:
"I love you Nena
Happy Birthday Even though It is not
your birthday" LOL
Sunset: looking back in the rearview


Missing Pieces Of 2017 - Thanksgiving Meals

Journey rallied together and bought nearly 300 Thanksgiving meals for families in need.
I was so giddy watching the brown paper bags being carted back all morning long,
because I knew that we were 100 down on the list to get some of them 
for the community we were serving...
and we needed 66 of them!

So my prayer was at LEAST 166 of those meals so that we could pass out a meal
to EVERY family in our MC community.

It was so awesome seeing the LORD provide though His Church.

We loaded up over 500 pounds of turkeys
The rest of the meals went in another vehicle.

Our MC got together, made an action plan, prayed and...

...headed out to go deliver these meals.
Some families were thankful, others said they had someone else they could bless with it,
and then there were the families who literally dropped everything in tears of thankfulness
for this food that would cover their tables.

Many gospel conversations were had and we were able to pray with dozens of families.
Follow up is the next step during this winter season!

Including the kids on our mission is an integral part of our MC (since there are over 20 kids!)