A place to be real about a life of chaos, with eight beautiful children, homeschooling, special needs, adoption, sanity or the lack thereof.........a rubber hits the road sort of journey that I thankfully do NOT walk alone!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas at Last!

Finally.....after all the prep and all the waiting....Christmas morning arrived!

Karate Kid broke the record this year arriving at our bedside with the lame excuse that his clock had stopped and was it time to get up yet!! Oh good grief...that takes the cake. I had to get up just to see if he had actually come up with this one on his own and to my amazement...the darn clock had actually stopped!!! Back to bed he was instructed to go and the next anticipation, excitement ridden child did not arrive until nearly 7 o'clock. Now that's more like it!!

Ok....the usual routine...Mom and Dad have to go down first put all the lights on and get the cameras ready and of course make sure we have everything in order for the smoothest morning possible (translated....we put a big pot of coffee on!)

The kids wait anxiously for the ok and smile accordingly for the "I can't take it any more Mom" picture on the stairs. Then they are sprung and surprisingly without looking into the living room come to the dining room table to see if Santa ate the cookies and left a note! He always does!

Then the fun begins.......every year gets a little easier. The children are really good at taking turns and not surprisingly the morning goes without a hitch!

Some years we seem to get it just right and this year happened to be one of them. Cries of "Mom and Dad this is just what I wanted!", "OH, this is so cool!", "Can I try it out now!", "Will you help me put this together!", and the most important one overheard this year by Princess......"Wow I am so blessed!" It's good to note here that she was talking to herself and didn't even lift her eyes as I watched her examine her favourite gift! I guess we've done something right along the way!


It is especially fun to watch the cat crawl inside a box and look at me through the cello window as if to say "Help!! It's not right you put me in here!!! INJUSTICE!!! GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!"


Family Traditions!

As our family has grown "exponentially" in the last seven years one thing has stood out for me. The importance of family time and family traditions must take center stage. For Stable Chick these things have always been in place, but for some of the other children, a good portion of their lives were spent with a pretty large void in the place of traditions and family memory making in the positive sense. So.....we kicked it into overdrive and have done all we can to create the childhood we want them to remember while engraving on their hearts the proper heart attitude in everything we do.

Don't get me wrong...there are times we fall down in our efforts and there are times we can be disappointed in the results, but there is no lack of trying here!

Christmas definitely signals a time of much tradition! Sure there are all the ones leading up to Christmas Eve but the one the children start reminding me of very early in the season is the one that this year I left (as usual) a little late in starting. Like I don't know they expect that soft, wrapped gift right before going over to Grandma and Papa's house! Yup Christmas jammies!

Every year I carefully choose the fabric for each child based on their current favourite colours and whims. I trudge around my local fabric outlet looking for just the right selection and if I leave it until the last minute (as if that isn't the way it always goes!!!) I can manage a sale on flannel that makes the cost a little easier to swallow. No longer is it cheaper to have homemade PJ's...nope....this isn't about having seven children and not being able to afford Christmas pj's this is "all" and I mean ALL about the expectation of the homemade sort and the love that Mom puts into making them!!

I say this as if it is torture or too much work but surely you understand I wouldn't have it any other way! There is nothing better than the faces of my kids as they sit knowing what's in the carefully wrapped....(Yup wrapped even though they know what's in it!!!!) gift and waiting for me to give the ok to rip into it!!!

The trick here is that I must prepare them without anyone knowing which fabric or style I have chosen for each. They all give me their preference....you know ribbing or not, short sleeves or long, "Mom....I'd like pink with little monkeys wearing purple hats and orange mittens"....I try my best!!

Off to Grandma and Papa's for treats and a short visit. We take this time to give them a small gift and spend some quality time. This year we got them a digital frame and loaded some of their favourite pictures of the children on it. They really are cool.....I think I'd like to get one for us also!


A local feed and supply store always prepares a Nativity scene that the children look forward to every year. The display itself helps to reinforce the real reason we celebrate Christmas and that certainly isn't lost on the children but I have to be honest and say that they look forward to seeing the animals.

This year is seems they had to find a new camel since the last one was not too impressed with all the children gaulking at her and she became a little "distressed" (translated nasty!), so meet MOE!

Despite being segregated for fear of repeat "naughty" camel behaviour the children still spent much time getting as close to the large one humped beast as possible, stuffing hay through the fence at him and talking to him.

There were several sheep and two very cute lambs, one of which we didn't get a great look at because defying all stereotypes of these woolly beasts it exhibited intelligence and remained under the risers they had constructed so as to stay protected from the falling snow and stay warm! Who said sheep were "dumb"?

My favourite.............the donkey..........he looks alot like Eeyore don't you think? Man was it snowing that night and for a moment I questioned, "Why doesn't that silly thing go under the shelter?".

It didn't take long for him to realize parts of his anatomy were a little chilly so......

Notice the orange warming lamp...This "A" double "S" strategically placed his "A" double "S" right under it and it still makes me chuckle....

So as we approached Christmas and the crazy schedule of "here there and everywhere" we stopped to spend some family time.....we did alot of that this year and I am very grateful.....the kids are still talking about Moe and we'll be sure to visit the nativity scene next year in an effort to continue to focus our eyes on the Christ child's birth amidst the commercialism we refuse to let impact all that is important.