Thankfully, I had time to pull myself together and recover in time for our Christmas Eve services :) I was thankful to know that my God is bigger than any struggle I may face. And that the HOPE that I have in Him is what gives me strength each and every day to deal with what I have ahead!
Rocky had decided months ago that our theme for the Christmas Eve services would be "A White Christmas". So of course, we needed snow machines out front!! :) It's as close as we've gotten to snow here in South Carolina in a while!
The services were amazing. We had the children's choir join with the adult choir and praise team on 4 different songs. And the kids were incredible! I had about 40 kids there to sing in the services - unbelievable considering we had just finished our own huge musical the week before! I KNOW the sacrifice those kids and their parents made to commit to being there, and I was so grateful. It made for an amazing night of worship. The music started off with some fun, seasonal kinds of songs. As the music progressed, the theme of White Christmas started weaving in. Rocky's message centered around the fact that because of Christmas - what Christmas is really about - we can truly be made white as snow. Our sins totally forgiven. It was a powerful evening. One that my heart really needed. I finally could breathe. I realized at the end of the evening that I had forgotten to do that somehow in a long long time. It felt really good to breathe. And know that finally, FINALLY, we were going to be able to breathe as a family too. And we needed it.
The kids went out to play in the snow for a bit...
...and they were so excited!
This is as close to an adorably cute Christmas Eve picture of all the kids as I could get. 4 of mine are in there, as well as some random kid by Caleb and some other random kid running in front of them. But oh well. I was done. We all were done. No one cared enough to keep trying. We were ready to go home!
Everyone gets to open one present on Christmas Eve...(when David was growing up, they opened all their presents on Christmas Eve and just stockings on Christmas morning! I can't do that).
So everyone gets to open one present, and it's always new pajamas that they can wear that night :) And since Mom was at our house, we had to get her new jammies too.
(Nice basket of laundry in the background right? My mom is the best. In the midst of my meltdown earlier, she helped herself to the mountain of clean laundry in my room that I just hadn't had a second to fold and folded it all for me. She just knows. And she loves me. And doesn't think I'm a terrible mother. And doesn't think my kids are rotten. She loves them. And I am SO grateful to her. And grateful she didn't leave that afternoon!!)
Josiah actually got a new robe instead of jammies. His robe was getting awfully short and so he was SO excited!! :)
"feel how soft, jacob!"
Mario pants for Jacob :)
Footed pajamas for Callie
Caleb's were Angry Birds - so cute!
Mom even got Judah a little Christmas sleeper, but he was fed and in bed long before this picture :)
And so some very excited kids headed off to bed. I breathed a huge sigh of relief to know that everything was finally done and now we could really breathe and celebrate Jesus and what He means to us!
Mom's stocking all ready to go!
(My sisters and I all get things for her stocking...since Mom was at my house, they sent it all to me and so I sent them this text so they could see the end result! :) )
It's almost Christmas Charlie! :)
(from the movie "Best Christmas Pageant Ever!")