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A Taste of Our Christmas

Monday, December 28, 2009

It feels a bit like a speeding train has derailed and finally has come to rest, doesn't it? Normally, I have most of my Christmas shopping by the day after Thanksgiving, the cards addressed, stamped, and ready to mail, tree up and decorated, house Christmasified, and all I have left to do is wrapping gifts. This year it didn't quite work out that way. Then again, not much was business as usual this year. My 2009 shall evermore be the Nine Toes Year. (See my Treadmill blog if you've managed to not hear about me losing my left little toe early this year, and NEVER GO ON A TREADMILL BAREFOOT!!!) It will also be the year I finally began the process of recapturing my health and vitality. As I share some of the gifts I received this year, and they are so precious, indeed, I want you to know that you, my dear SparkFriends, are gifts given to me by my Father who loves me with an everlasting love. You are treasures that I hope to keep forever, past the boundaries of this lifetime, and I am SO thankful for you. I pray that God equips me and helps me to care for such precious gems diligently and with great care.

The sadness of Bill not being home for Christmas weighed heavily upon us and him, of course. My stepchildren, Big Mel, 20, and Billy, 17, were abandoned by their mother in 2002. Every Christmas Day since, Billy awakens with hopes that she will call to wish him Merry Christmas. It has never happened, not even once. Even after all this time, he still had his couple hours of tears and heartache. It is a great challenge for me to not succumb to temptation. The enemy of our souls very much wants me to be in a position where I cannot pray for this woman in faith, believing that God is able to reach her and reconcile her to Himself and to some sort of relationship with her children who still need her. If I harbor fantasies in my heart of snatching her up by the hair at the back of her head and driving her face into a brick wall once for every tear my babies have cried because of her, how can I have faith? Okay, so maybe I DO think it. *grin* I no longer, however, allow it take root in my heart, and I AM able to pray for her with a sincere heart.

Other than those two dampeners, our day was filled with the sweet nearness of family. Our older two girls are 20 and out on their own, one married with a child and the other a full-time (eternal?) student who holds down two or three jobs. With their full lives, it's hard to get all four of our kids in the same place, at the same time. It's always a joy for this mama's heart when it happens!

And of course this year, we have the great blessing of the newest addition to our family, Heath Garland, who will be two in February. Here he is at Uncle Vernon and Aunt Randie's house for Christmas dinner, with Mommy sneaking in some sugar under the mistletoe.

It's so hard to pick and choose a few photos for you without boring you to tears! lol This one is of Big Melanie (Bigga, as we call her) with her Tinkerbell snowglobe:

Billy and his prized new guitar:

Chelle with her Sunburst necklace:

MelMel trying to make Deuce take a Christmas photo (and he was NOT happy about it lol):

Her real present was an electronic drum set:

Heath and his daddy, Chad:

Randie (my dear sister of the heart who shares my love for water aerobics and goes with me every day), Vernon's wife, loved her eggplant colored laptop case:

Vernon (the dear brother of my heart you've read about in other blogs who saved me the night my treadmill ate my toe and pretty much saves me from lots of other things every day of the year) was delighted with the first season of Taxi on DVD (and his Steelers slippers and gnome!):

My mother-in-law, Janet, and Billy at her assisted living center's Christmas party (now those of you who've joined with me in prayer for her can see who you've been praying for!):

Our good friends, Blake and Cyndi, have moved back here from Arizona after being gone a year or so. Some of you will remember me talking about Katy when she decorated awesome cakes for my kids' birthdays. Cyndi is Katy's mom. What a delight it is to have them back home!! Blake an his new jammies:

Cyndi opening a fruit basket:

After all the presents were opened, our little man tuckered out, asleep under the tree. All you can see are his toesies. lol

Michelle, our second oldest (my firstborn) devotes six weekends of her life every year to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. This year she was a tavern wench (which is apparently a step up from a pirate because she made tips in addition to an hourly salary... who knew? lol). She had a photo of her at work framed for me and I just love it:

A very special gift I received came from RelocatedCowboy, GirlHalfFull and their precious family. The photo does not do this exquisite handcrafted ornament any justice at all. It is SO beautiful. Thank you again, guys. You are so sweet!

The show stopper of the day was a box that had arrived a few days before Christmas. It took every drop of restraint for me to wait until Christmas morning to open it. We tried to take a video of the unveiling but I don't have the files from Vernon, yet, so I don't know if it came out, yet, and I couldn't wait to share our day with you! I suspect it will be too long to post here, though. If not, I'll share it with you. PepperLeah, my sweet, sweet friend, poured her time and energy and creative abilities into I don't want to consider HOW many hours to make this absolutely gorgeous afghan for our king-sized bed. Words nor photos can express how special a gift it is or the magnitude of its worth to my heart. Thank you, girlfriend. You are amazing. I love your heart and I love you both!

Now that I've taken up so much of your time and forced you to make an optometrist appointment for tired eyes, I thank you for taking the time to be interested in me and my family, for extending such warmth and friendship to me constantly, for sharing your own lives with me in so very many ways. Until next time, much love!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I feel so much closer to you reading this blog. Thank you for sharing. I loved your photo's. Happy New Year!
    hugs Jo
    4227 days ago
    Missy, I'm just catching up on some of the blogs from the past few days. So, sorry this is a bit late. Thank you for sharing about your Christmas. What a beautiful family you have - of course, you are such an awesome God loving woman and had a great influence. God's blessing on you sweet lady! Happy New Year!

    Many emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4232 days ago
  • SJG1953
    Missy, I loved reading about your family and your Christmas. It was great and you have a beautiful family! You are truly blessed. Hugs, Shirley
    4233 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5594611
    Chelle looks a lot like you. Do you have the same dispositions or does it stop with physical appearance? It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas even though DH wasn't there. The afghan is beautiful. So much love and work. Happy New Year Missy and God bless! Ginger
    4233 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5468515
    I loved reading about your Christmas! And I'm sure you'll have another celebration for your husband when he gets back!
    4235 days ago
    What a wonderful celebration you had! I love the photos and all the love that's so evident in each and every one. I hope 2010 brings you more blessings than you can count as you continue on your amazing journey. You WILL do it!!

    4235 days ago
    I know it may still break his heart now but there will be a point where Billy will realize that the people who have made him a priority are the ones that truly matter the most. There's still a lot of hope of a child in that heart of his and sadly I suspect that the reality of that call, if it ever came, would never live up to the fantasy. I love seeing other people's pics! It looks like you had a wonderful holiday spent with all of the people who make your heart sing. That's as it should be.
    4235 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5142827
    Your blog is just beautiful, love all the pics. You are truly blessed and we are blessed to know you.
    4235 days ago
    I've been away from spark people for the last couple of weeks and just got to see your updated picture. You are looking GREAT!. You are doing such a fabulous job with your weight loss. Keep it up.
    4235 days ago
    That was such a wonderful blog! I felt like I re-lived Christmas with you and your family! Now I feel like part of your family too! The afghan is lovely! What a nice job. Thank you so much for sharing your family with ours, Laura emoticon
    4235 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your family photos and what seemed to be a very nice Christmas. I love the colors and the design on the afghan she made fr you.
    4235 days ago

    Such a lovely view into your life! Thank you. You are both blessed and a blessing.

    4235 days ago
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    Oh, Missy, how I enjoyed that delightful peek into your family celebration of our Savior's birth. Thank you for taking the time to share so perfectly!

    I think the photograph of little Heath asleep under the blanket with just his toes showing is adorable!

    Leah's gift to you is absolutely beautiful! I am amazed at the talent such a creation obviously takes. It is a gift that will keep giving in so many ways over the coming years!

    Again, thank you for sharing that piece of your world with us!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4236 days ago
    How wonderful...loved the one of Heath and his toes sticking out...too cute...You are blessed my dear...Thank you for your Card....got behind in all the to do's to catch up on those...
    Much love,
    4236 days ago
    No tired eyes here... love blogs and stories of families and the adventures that surround them. It's wonderful to get to know the family and see the faces we hear about. So always remember it is never boring and sharing the stories, love, hardships and funnies along the way are important.

    Loved the photos and looking forward to many more along the way. Thank you for the love and support and as always... Spark on!

    Hugs & Love your way.
    4236 days ago
    Missy, you have a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing a part of your Christmas with us. And you, my dear, radiate a healthy glow right through the camera. You look great! emoticon

    Wishing you and yours a blessed New Year!

    Love from here to there...
    4236 days ago
    I am so glad that you had such a wonderful Christmas! And I am just thrilled that you love the afghan! And let me tell you, that every stitch, every hour invested, was done with a heart full of love and prayers for you and your family!

    We love you, too!

    4236 days ago
    Wow, what an amazing family. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
    4236 days ago
    Missy, thanks for sharing your family with me (us)! It makes such a difference when we can see the families of our friends!

    Thank you for what you said about my mom. She's only staying a WEEK, Missy, but she doesn't even take a breath between sentences, and there is NO PEACE, just yack, yack, yack, without ceasing! I KNOW I will miss her when she is gone, but listening to the same things OVER and OVER and OVER is close to causing me to lose my MIND!

    We simply have to get together sometime! What a great friend you are! Love, Your sister and friend, Lori
    4236 days ago
    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful, rich, and memorable Christmas with us, Missy! - Susan emoticon
    4236 days ago
  • LENNY48
    Ah, I loved all the pics. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you all had a great time with good stuff. I hear ya bout getting ready. I feel like that is all I did up until December 25th! I took half my stuff down yesterday. When I am done, I am done. I am hoping for a much better 2010 and we clean the senate and house. We need to get back to basics in this country, morality back in the schools and our kids hearts and Christ back on the main page. Lots of love, Lenny
    4236 days ago
    I so enjoyed your blog and learning more about you and your family. You are such a loving person and awesome, interesting writer. I do believe that your "big heart" is part of what makes the scales go up when you weigh in. Hee hee. Hugs and blessings.
    4236 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    Missy, I am so thankful you had a wonderful Christmas even though Bill wasn't home and there were a few bumps. I loved reading this and it "rested" my eyes not strained them. Chelle is gorgeous, just like you, but then, she LOOKS just like you. All are beautiful and the afghan is beautiful. You are a much loved woman by all...straight from Proverbs! Thanks for sharing your wonderful time.
    4236 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4363972
    It sounds like overall you had a wonderful Christmas! I love the pictures.
    4236 days ago
    Terrific photo-read. Beautiful afghan. What a nice gift. Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us. Handsome little guy. -- Lou
    4236 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    I smiled the entire time I was reading this. What a great photo-story! I really love the afghan too!

    4236 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5645667
    Hi Missy, so glad you had such a terrific Christmas.Such a lovely family!they all look so happy and content.
    It is such a shame, when a mother abandon's her children , perhaps she is too ashamed to contact them?
    I suppose you will never know.
    But hey, you are such a great mum! how can they not love you! Have a wonderful year in 2010. Love Susie and Bobby emoticon emoticon
    4236 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/28/2009 1:08:11 AM
  • BIGDAD1211
    What a beautiful Christmas you had! Thank you so much for sharing with us! You can just feel the love in every picture! And you Missy looking so cute!
    Family is such a wonderful blessing from God and my friend, you are truly blessed!
    And so am I for knowing you. Thank you for being such an awesome friend.
    God Bless you and yours
    In Jesus Name
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4236 days ago
    aww what a wonderful blog! looks like a sweet family
    4236 days ago
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