Monday, December 24, 2012

O Come Immanuel

I typed out several different lines tonight but it all sounds like the ramblings of a woman that stayed up too late wrapping presents last night...I think itis time for me to go dream of visions of sugar plums.
Christmas 2012 stired something new in my heart...Something that has been their all along, but went just a little deeper this year.  Quietly one winter's night He came came down to us and bc of it we have this magical time of year called Christmas.  Though he is with us every day in our hearts, we long for him to come again and take us to the life we were always meant to have.  We do so much to make this time of year special, we cling to time with family, we make everything around  us more beautiful...I think it is because in our hearts we long for a time and place that will be even more wonderful than even the most picture perfect Christmas we can create. 
Our hearts crave Immanuel and for the day he will come to restore his people in glory...
O come Immanuel.

Happy Christmas Friends...thanks for sticking with me this year.
and always...
Grace and Peace

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Present

 During this month of December  2012, my husband has been away for a portion of every week, if not the whole thing.  Stopping in only on the weekends so that we are able to catch our breath and hunker down for another week of surviving with out each other.
 This morning, when he told me that work requires him to leave us again the day after Christmas (he only got home yesterday afternoon), the Christian woman that I am went on holiday and some other woman showed up.  My tiredness, frustration, my single mommy status, my heart that truly needs him had no where else to go, so it flew right at him, two days before Christmas.
 Ten minutes after ignoring him/ranting at him, I was starring at Stella (hoping she had some comfort for cookies perhaps) and the tears just started flowing.  I was so mad...wait sad, I just felt frustrated.  If ever there is a time to be home  together, it is at Christmas right?
photo credit to the Little
 I felt his hands gently touch my shoulders, and he hugged me, like all of me.  I knew exactly where my moment of Scrooge like behavior had come from.  We work better together.  This house is just a partial home when he is not here. Christmas isn't Christmas when he isn't with us (this includes but is not limited to drinking hot chocolate, looking at lights, visiting Santa, and all the rest of those magical moments I don't want him to miss.)
I wouldn't let go of that hug, just like the old days in airports.  I told him that I was sorry he had a crazy wife, it is just that I, we, love him so.  Then I hugged him every chance I got.
He is here now.
He stayed up with me wrapping presents (this is a very big deal).
I am thankful.
Christmas finally feels just right. :) if we could just get some snow!

Grace and Peace friends..We are almost there 1 more day!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

7 Christmas's With The Joneses

Here is a little stroll down memory lane for your viewing pleasure.
2005...Our first Christmas together.  We were planning on flying to England together but we lost my pass port and Kev had to go alone.  It was so sad.

2006...Clearly we were Floridians in this picture, we look freezing.

2007...This year Kev got a new camera and was in no family photos bc he was busy playing with his new toy...5 days after we took this picture I found out I was pregnant with Libby.

2008....This remains one of my favorite nights in history.  One of my happiest Christmas memories seeing the two people I loved most in the world cuddled together on the couch.

2009...She loved to hug that baby!  It was fun to see how much she loved opening presents this year.

2010...I call this Christmas, "the long wait for Maggie"

2011...It looks like we are in a snowy place in this picture, but actually it is Gus not cooperating for the picture

2012...Better known as, the year we couldn't get a good family photo
Cards are in the mail, you should get them delivered by Boxing Day.
Grace and Peace

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Post That Has No Content Because I am Trying To Mail My Cards In Time

Coming soon to a mailbox near you...mostly likely a couple days after Christmas :)
And for good measure, a Christmas season photo that was hiding on my phone
Back to my card stuffing :)
Grace and Peace

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Another One Bites The Dust

Fact:  If you sleep with your baby, who is sick, and she coughs on you all night, you will catch what she has.
Fact:  If you resist the attempt to get caught up in the fast pace of the Christmas season during the month of December, you might feel panicked by December 20th about all the things you still ahve to do.
Fact:  If you leave your home for several days before you mail your Christmas cards the likely hood of you getting them out early on time is slim

Fact:  I claimed I would not be at the stores on December 23rd shopping in bewilderment...I just might be!  (Not for the majority of the list...but in all my home making and creativity I forgot to buy/make things for my own family, meaning my kids and husband don't have gifts yet.)
Fact:  Leaving your routine for a couple of days in the middle of your December blog countdown messes with my blogging mojo

I haven't mailed cards
I haven't wrapped anything
I'm not done preparing my gifts yet
and yes, now I am sick.
 'Tis the season.

Not that worried about any of those things bc I am having smashing time with my family :)  You can't buy that at the store or on Amazon.
Grace and Peace

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top 10 Reasons I'm Glad My Sister Is Home

Awe, poor Maggie.  Still not herself yet!
1.  She is really smart.  Like really smart. I don' think she has ever been wrong in her whole life.  Seriously, I'm not just saying that.

2.  She makes meal time an art, and she serves everyone else first.

3.  She gives my children chocolate chip cookies when I'm not looking.

4.  If my babies are crying she will sing to them to give me a break.  Her voice is so soothing I wish that she would sing to me when I get upset.

5.  She laughs at everything, and it is so contagious that even if you don't think that something is funny, you still laugh with her because she is laughing so hard.

6.  She loves really tasty food and never questions anything about it as long as it tastes good.

7.  She gives outstanding advice.

8.  It feels more like Christmas when she is here with us.

9.  I feel confident that at some point she will make her rasberry thumb print cookies.

10.  She understands me more than anybody else (besides Kevo).

That my friends is a wrap.
Grace and Peace

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sick Day

A mysterious illness struck the littlest last night.  Of course it did, b/c we are not at home and this is what happens when the Bennett/White/ Joneses get together.  Someone always gets sick. 
Doctor couldn't give it a name except that is wasn't the flu, streo throat, or an ear infection.
Tis the season to pass diseases.
Aside from this illness, my children are also suffering Christmasitis.  I don't think that we are going to make to Christmas day with exploding with exctiement.  It is requiring some extra creative parenting.  Anybody out there have tips they can share to rein in some of the excitment?
Grace and Peace and Tylenol

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Ghosts of Santa Past

Santa 2009  ...if you have never read about Libby's second visit with Santa, please, please, please go back and read this post!

Santa 2010 ...ummm, wow!  pregnant belly.

Santa 2011...Maggie judges Santa too harshly

Welcome to our visit to Santa 2012.   
 Maggie really liked this reindeer, until it started talking to her.  It kind of made the rest of the visit go down hill.
 I have a similar picture of Libby last year.  I love the way she is searching for that first glimpse of him!  It is magical.  It is all that childhood should be.

Maggie wanted nothing to do with him.  Please note the lack of eye contact.

Have you ever seen the movie Miracle on 34th Street?  Libby was straight from that seen where the children are visiting Sana telling him what thy would like for Christmas.  She answerd his questions politely and when he asked her what she wanted she clearly told that she would like a Barbie house for her princesses.  He told her he would see what he could do about it for her.   Then he told her to be a good girl.  I liked that part based on the last 24 hrs of behavior.

We are up at my moms this week awaiting the arrival of the cousins.  We almost can't contain our excitement waiting for them to get here.  Fog has them stranded in Las Vegas, but as long as the fog lifts, we will see them tomorrow.

Grace and Peace

Update:  Just talked to my sister, being stranded in Vegas must be tough, they are staying in a double room at the MGM Grand.  Tough Life.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekend Review

 Friday night I couldn't pull myself away from the TV.  I was waiting for someone to say something hopeful, something not horrible.  I kept asking myself questions that my mind refused to answer like what if that happened to ...or how could I even breath if that happened?  I couldn't answer them, I couldn't watch TV anymore.  I told the girls we were going out.  I bundled them up, blared Christmas carols on the radio, and went in search of the Richmond Tacky Light Tour.

We found them.  My little girls "oooed" and "awwwed" over the lights, they pointed out every detail of the displays.  If you ever are bored and have nothing better to do with your time, research the Richmond Tacky Light Tour, it is in short "amazing."

Even though, when we got home it was past bed time, we all toasted our evening with hot chocolate.  I held them both at bed time, read them an extra story, and snuggled with them in the dark until they were drifting off to sleep.

Last night I missed my daily post bc Kev and I went to his work Christmas party.  My parents came down to watch the littles for us, so that we  could stay at the hotel where the party was held.  We planned to get up this morning and have a nice breakfast together, then do some online Christmas shopping.  When I opened my eyes and realized that Kev was still sleeping, I was sure that my body clock woke me up at my normal 7:00...the clock told me different.  It was 10:00!  I guess that we needed some good rest.  It might have been one of the best nights of rest that I have ever had.
Tomorrow, I'll be back to normal posting.
I think.
Grace and Peace

Friday, December 14, 2012


Today, I held Maggie close to me and tickled her just so that I could feel her laugh against my chest and hear her contagious giggles in my ear.
 Then I gave Libby an Eskimo kiss and told her that she was my favorite Libby in the whole world, then she told me that I was her favorite Mommy in the whole world.
Then I cried.
My mind asked all the tough questions.
Then I prayed for a covering of peace over those who are hurting tonight.
Heavenly Peace friends

Thursday, December 13, 2012

No Words

I'm sure I could think of some words, like interpretive dance or creative movement, but I'll let this video speak for itself.  Here is just a little stage setting for you.  Today at CBS the children were going to be preforming the songs they have been working on along with their Bible verses.  When they lined the children up on stage, they all stood kind of to the left leaving an open space on the right directly where a beam of light was coming down from one of the skylights above, sort of like a spot light.
Guess who stood in that space?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


My mother called me yesterday and her last words to me were that she hoped that hoped my day would be full of surprises.  When the UPS man knocked on my door around lunchtime I had no idea that his visit was connected with her statement.  I opened up a giant Macy's box with this inside
 Hello Stella.
 Laura told me that my new mixer needed a name, like Stella...So I said, "Stella it is."
Oh heavens, she is so pretty.  I never thought I would own such a nice mixer.  I casually mentioned to my mom  that one day I would likea Kitchen Aid  in this very color and there it was. on my door step, with a  note inside that said "Love, Mom and Dad."  Thanks Mom and Dad for such a lovely gift.
They got my sister one too, her's is named Big Red.  She mixed stuff in California today, while I mixed stuff in Va. We shortened the miles between us by simultaneously mixing at the same time...
 I asked the girls if they wanted to go to the Children's Museum today or did they want to bake cookies.  They chose to bake cookies, in church dresses...Well, why not I thought.
 So we all got dressed up and baked cookies.  While I mixed I thought to myself, one day they are going to come from college on Christmas break and say "hey mom, let's get dressed up and baked cookies,"  and I will reply "great idea darling, why not..."
 I hope we bake cookies together every year.
 I used to dip buck eyes for my mom.
 I also was a professional beater licker/ batter eater.
 So is Maggie.  .

She gets that from my side of the family

 I made an executive decision that this batch was for us and not to give away to friends and neighbors, but if you would like to try an inaugural cookie from Stella, by all means please stop by.

Before the day ended two more great surprises came our way.
First, the Greats (aka Great Grandad and Great Grandma in England) shipped us Christmas Pudding, two tubes of mini Rolos and these lovely little Christmas houses which I am fairly certain are my new favorite Christmas decorations.
Then while waiting for Kev to get home from work we heard such a clatter out of our windows that we sprang from the floor to see what was the matter.  There, ridding on is fire truck sleigh was the big man.
 Our local fireman handed the girls a candy cane (Libs calls them candy cans and it makes me laugh every time) and gave them something to talk about for the rest of the night.
Maggie:  Big tuck
Me:  There was a big truck
Maggie: Yeah.  Ummmm Nana
Me:  Santa was on it
Maggie:  Yeah.  Nanie.
Me:  You got candy
Maggie:  Yeah.  Sissy
Me:  Sissy was there
Maggie:  Yeah.  Mama.
Me: and Mama was there.
Maggie:  Yeah.  My (touching her stomach)
Me: and Maggie was there too
And on and on the conversation went until I tucked her in tonight.
Just in case Libs wan't confused enough, tonight she said "Mommy, maybe Santa works for the fire station and that is where he keeps his reindeer!  We should call them and thank them for the candy cans."  I smiled and said, "maybe Libs," b/c when else in her life will it be okay to think Santa Clause lives at the fire station?
'Twas a good day.
Time for bed.
Grace and Peace