Sunday, December 30, 2012

Celebrating JESUS:)

 We had many celebrations to attend over the Christmas season...and lots of opportunities to celebrate family, traditions, and the birth of our Savior! We started by going to Gabe's mom and dad's for Christmas on the weekend before - we had a yummy supper of steaks & baked potatoes and then opened gifts, then played some games before heading home. Max got an amazing remote controlled truck that is HUGE, and Callie got a wooden kitchen (which she hasn't stopped playing with) and of course her new little puppy from the last post. Here are some photos from that evening...

Next up was Christmas Eve at my Grandpa Raber's house - always a night with lots of memories made and lots of laughs!! Memories of my grandma surround me in that house...but not in a sad way - it makes me feel like "home" and warms my heart. Christmas Eve has always had a "magical" feeling for me...

After the Raber's we had one more party for the night - the Swartzentruber's! We played a lively game of BINGO and then just talked and caught up with the family!! Here is a photo of the great grandkids... I love that the girls are all holding the babies and homemade baby blankets that Grandma Swartzentruber made for them!! And Max got to hold the real baby, Mr. Parker!

Christmas morning we woke up and opened gifts as a family, then my mom, dad, and brothers came over - we had a huge breakfast and then opened gifts!! Before my family arrived - our little family looked thru our stockings and then looked at what Santa had dropped off:) Max is such an amazing big brother - before he ever glanced at his own gifts, he was helping Callie open all of hers. It was so precious to see his excitement and joy for his sister's reaction to her gifts. (Yes, in the photo below, Callie is drinking from a bottle. YES, I realize she is WAY too old for this:( 

At noon on Christmas day, it was time to head to the Beasley's for appetizers and gift-giving. 

And Christmas night we went to Gabe's grandparents, the Paulus's. The family is growing and starting to outgrow Melvin & Gladys's home - but we all squeezed in and ate (again:)!! Then we went to the living room to talk and watch the kids play - and of course I took some photos:). 

Then it was time to head home and fall into bed - another wonderful Christmas with tons of memories made:) I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas, and now we are ready for the New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Surprise

 Callie got a cute, cuddly Christmas surprise....

She couldn't have been any more excited about her new puppy from Aunt Alicia, who we named Roxie. Now excuse me while I go clean up all the messes being made while we potty train Ms. Roxie:)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A few days until Christmas...

Well, I'm officially the biggest wimp there is. For some reason I catch EVERY little bug and virus out there, and I'm in bed with the stomach flu for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. I've wasted the day away watching hallmark movies, running to the bathroom 15 to 20 times, sipping gatorade,napping, taking baths to ease my stomach, and checking twitter, instagram, and facebook. What a way to start the holiday celebrations, huh? 

Max is with his dad tonight, and Gabe took Callie to Evansville with his mom and dad for some last minute shopping:) He's been working really hard on his wood carving business and hasn't had much time to get any are some photos of his latest work!

Last weekend we had our annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Party at Chas's house - Max couldn't come this year because he had the Toy Christmas party, but the rest of the gang was there:) We had a great time (like always) and made lots of yummy goodies. 

Merry Christmas, everyone:) Hope you all have a blessed Christmas!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Prayers for Connecticut

I can't stop watching the news about what happened yesterday in Connecticut...As a teacher, as a mother - I am heartbroken. I don't even have the words to say what I want to say...this world is so very broken. 
And so I grieved yesterday, and I prayed with all my heart. I covered my own children with kisses and cried for those parents who would have given anything to do that to their own children just one more time. 
The only thing that comforts me is reading about God's promises that one day, this will all be forgotten and there will only be joy. We will see those we love again in Heaven - and our hearts will be whole once again. 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  Romans 8:18

 So last night I took lots of photos and cherished each moments with my little ones. We went to watch Uncle Clay coach his JV team at North Daviess...and Max had his first little ballgame during halftime. I can't believe he is big enough to get out there and play...he scored the first basket of the game - talk about one proud Mama:)! I even caught the moment on camera!

This is Max with 3 of his closest buddies - Landon, Aiden, and Drew. 

Max and Drew fighting for the ball - they were really hustling!
Callie loved watching her Bubby and sharing popcorn with Dad!
Thank you, Lord, for one more day. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Peace & Contentment

My own little Santa Claus...

Here in this Christmas season, I feel a cloak of peace around me.
 I believe everyone goes through different stages of life - we pass through times that seem hopeless, when joy is no where to be found. We suffer through pain, both physical and emtional. We feel alone...and God feels so far away.
Other times we can see promise in each day - love overflows from our hearts and we feel strong and invinsible. We feel God beside us in every situation and each single moment.
I feel like I'm finally crawling out of a stage in life where I just felt stuck. I wasn't going anywhere with my relationship with my health kept me from doing alot of things...and I just felt like an outsider looking in. Like life was moving on around me, but I was standing still. But life is beginning to shine bright again with vibrant color. My Bible beckons from my nightstand and I open it to reveal new truths I have long left unread.
Max is asking all kinds of questions (that is just what he does:) about Christmas and baby Jesus and Bethlehem. Callie is playing with her Little People Nativity set while "Away In a Manger" plays softly and she gives baby Jesus gentle kisses. Peace just surrounds our home in this moment. And I remember that I don't have to be stuck...because I am so very blessed.
I read posts from other blogs (check out this inspiring post about Christmas from Jami at The Nato's) and I long to give more than I recieve this Christmas. I ponder what it was like for Mary that night in the stable, and I give thanks for all I have. At church last weekend, Richard said this:

Know Jesus. Know Peace.
No Jesus. No Peace.

And I might be the last person on earth to hear/see this...but it hit home for me. The difference the spelling of one little word makes. This Christmas we can all have don't have to be stuck or sad or alone. We find peace in Jesus alone.

So while you wrap the gifts and make the treats and decorate the tree - may you find that peace you so long for during this Christmas season.

We have had one Christmas family gathering already...let's just say that Callie was not into sitting on the big guy's lap:) Here she is trying to get away from Santa:) 

Max did much better with Santa:)
Gracie Mae enjoying a candy cane from Santa!

Max also had his Christmas program at school, where he was a gingerbread eating bug?? Don't ask:) Ha ha!!
Tomorrow night Max will be playing basketball during the halftime of the JV game at ND - hopefully I won't embarrass him too much getting lots of pictures and video...o well, I guess that's what moms are good for! 
Time for me to get some rest - hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

 I can't even believe that tomorrow is December 1st! November flew by for us...with work, school, Max's birthday and party, Thanksgiving with our extended families, decorating for the holidays, ballgames, etc. It was a great month, but just went by so fast! I'm lovin' my house all Christmasy though:)!

Here is Maxwell enjoying the fake mustaches that his cousin Nick got him for his birthday:) Is this a glance into the future?

We had a "date night" one evening and went to watch Uncle Clay coach the JV Cougars. This little guy will always be my main man:)

Then it was time for some Mama and Callie time - so we went shopping, of course! 

This is how I found Callie one day...digging through my books. I wonder if she will love to read as much as Max and I do...

We have gotten into the habit of eating Oreos and milk every night before bed...hence the extra pounds I've gained recently!! Ha ha....

Here we are on Thanksgiving - enjoying every moment together! It is always fun to get all the Beasley babies together and try to get one good photo of you know how hard it is to get 4 little girls looking at the camera, sitting still, and not crying! Here are a few photos we managed to snap!

This is Gracie, my cousin Chasity's little girl...could she get any cuter??? Oh my goodness, I could just squeeze her:)

I was filling out my December calendar earlier and had to take a deep is insane and I'm excited for our Christmas season to unfold:)