Goodbye Christmas, Hello 2013

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I hate to say it and I can’t believe it but Christmas 2012 is over 😦 I LOVE the Christmas season – the songs, the decorations, even Christmas shopping and planning so I am always sad to see the season go.

First we had my moms of multiples Christmas party in the beginning of December.

Cool shot of them having fun in the gym:

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Later in the month we went to Warrenton’s Gum Drop Square for some local Christmas fun.

Can you spot our crew in the nativity scene?

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All six of them had a great time dressing up as shepherds and angels and what a cool way to get the gospel of Christmas into the hands of many people! This was put on by a local church who also served us cookies and hot chocolate along with cards that shared what Christmas is all about.

Afterward we waited in line to allow the kids to go shopping. Of course we found out that we were actually waiting in line to see Santa! So, despite the fact that we don’t do Santa in our house the kids went ahead and took a picture with him after which the kids were able to go “shopping” for each other. This basically meant for $2 each one got to pick out a small gift for a sibling. They had a LOT of fun doing it but couldn’t understand why they had to wait on giving those gifts till Christmas 🙂

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Christmas also brings performances. Both at school and then on Christmas Eve at church.

At church all of the kids were angels and Caleb even had a speaking part which he delivered loudly and clearly – I was so proud of him! Especially since he was given the part the day before the performance!

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My beautiful angel girls!

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And then it was Christmas morning:

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Unwrapping gifts:

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We love sheets from Grandma and Grandpa!

Kaitlyn loves her Hello Kitty sheets!

Kaitlyn loves her Hello Kitty sheets!

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Unwrapping presents is fun!

I think we're in trouble! Hopefully he can aim :)

I think we’re in trouble! Hopefully he can aim 🙂

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Angela enjoys Christmas in her Snuggie from Caleb!

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Exhausted but thankful for our gifts and family.

With Christmas over it’s time to look ahead at the new year. And what comes in the new year? Resolutions of course!

My 2012 list included:

1. Complete my current novel and work on revisions.

– how did I do? Not so great. I am probably 50 pages from completion but my heart and brain just haven’t been in it. I was able to attend a wrtier’s conference and had amazing feedback but even that wasn’t enough to motivate me to write more! Ugh. I am not sure what to do. In fact, I have another idea for a novel and I am debating on switching gears to work on that one while my other one sits in my brain. It’s hard to make a new goal on this one because I’m not sure where to go with it. I am praying for direction and hoping that a calmer January will allow me to have more time to write.

2. Repaint the basement.

– how did I do?

– See for yourself! I LOVE it and think it looks so much better than it did. We even put down a new floor and it completes the room:

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The wall color “before”

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And the “after”

Apparantly I didn’t get a complete “after” shot with the new floor and set-up but trust me, it looks a ton better than it did and every day we’re turning it more into a fun place to be!

3. A few other house projects.

– how did I do? Not as well as I had hoped. We had so many bumps this past year – mostly financial that we did not have the time or money to get the projects done. Maybe 2013?!

4. Coupon More/Save Money

– how did I do? Pretty well. Never as much as I would like and I hope to do even better next year.

5. Stay on Budget

– how did I do? Terribly. I think the budget needs to be revisited. We currently have 9 people in our household and going out to eat is becoming a thing of the past – just way too expensive! So, that means almost 100% of our meals at home which, of course, means an increase in our grocery budget. Still hoping to stay in budget better for 2013.

6. Learn Something New

– how did I do? Didn’t happen. Realistically it probably won’t. I am just too busy with basic life.

7. Eat healthier and exercise more.

– how did I do? I did okay. Have to make lots of improvements for 2013.

For 2013 I “resolve to”:

1. Memorize Scripture.

– it’s something I’ve started over the past few weeks and have enjoyed so I’d like to do more in the coming year.

2. Read more, watch less.

– I find I watch more TV than I need to and I want to cut back and fill my time with reading both fiction and non-fiction.

3. Organize and get rid of excess.

– the house NEEDS to be put together better or I’m going to go crazy! I’ve already started and just have to stay on track. We have more than we need and there is no reason for it!

4. Write.

– I’d appreciate prayers and encouragement to follow through with this one!

5. Spend less, pay off more.

– this is a continuation really of every other year but I’m praying this year I do even better.

Our church has challenged us to come up with some verses to pray for our family in the year 2013. I don’t know if either of these will be the ones we go with but they are the verses I have been memorizing and are challenging me to walk in spirit and in truth:

2 Corinthians 4:16-17: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

In 2013 I pray that my focus is on what is unseen and eternal. That our family focuses on Christ and trusts Him for all our provisions, seeing us through all our trials.

Galatians 6:7-9: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to to the Spirit will from the Spirit will reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

These verses are why I love to write fiction and hope my novels bear out this theme. As sinners we are deceived by our sin, and when we get away with sin we are all the more deceived feeling that God has not seen and will not punish, but the truth is that God sees everything, and we will reap what we sow. I am praying that in 2013 our family sows to the Spirit and lives for Christ.

I pray your family does the same and that you may have an eternally blessed 2013!

Happy New Year!

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