My favorite Thanksgiving memory this year...well, I guess I have two.
1) Chris, Sidney and Quinn laying on the floor and couch in the living room from Saturday night until pretty much Wednesday morning before we left to head to Illinois to be with the Williams family. Those three got stuck with the flu and were not in good shape. I seriously did not think we would be going so I even bought a ham (and got a turkey for free!) since I had already started to make our fridge bare for our travels and we had nothing for a Thanksgiving at our own house. We did make it though and I am pretty sure we passed on the illness to a few others in the Williams clan. Quinn and I ended up getting sick the day after we got home but not as bad as Chris and Sidney were the first time. Quinn had a 102.5 degree temp when I tested it on Monday and I didn't even let it finish before I pulled it out from under his arm. He was in tough shape and ended up having a pretty nasty ear infection.
2) Memory two at Thanksgiving would be of some tender conversations that I had with my niece. She just opens right up and tells me everything about what is going on in her little life and what she does every day. So cute!
A few favorite memories from Christmas this year are:
1) The two bigger kids were bringing gifts home from school that they had made. They started putting these under the tree and were very excited about these schoolmade projects. The little one was a bit jealous and also wanted to be part of this fun. After a few tears he then decided he was going to give a few things as well. He went up to his room, found a notebook and tore paper out and then "wrapped" up items in his room that he wanted to give to us. He probably did this with about 10 different things and was so excited! You know Quinn gets excited when he starts jumping up and down. I found out after talking with my dad a few days after this that my little sister, Jaclyn, also did the same thing one year.
2) Listening to Air1 Christmas. This has been on nonstop this year. Even the day care kids know the words "Air1". Air1 is a radio station, I guess they are around different parts of the country, but they are also online. They have free songs once in awhile and they also had a station dedicated just to Christian Christmas songs. You can check them out here.
3) Driving around looking at Christmas lights. It is a tradition in our house to have the kids get their jammies on, drive through McDonalds (they are the only ones open) to grab some supper and then drive around the town to look at lights on Christmas Eve. This year we tried to stay in the older subdivisions and this was kindof a dud. When you go looking for awesome lights it is amazing at how many you can't find. Next year we will probably have to head back out to the newer subdivisions. We always have luck there.
4) Luminaries. Chris passed on a tradition from his family and makes luminaries with the kids. They put these out on Christmas Eve after they have put some sand and a candle inside an empty milk jug. These usually burn all night and we always have a few cars that drive really slow by our house to look.
5) Reindeer Food. Sidney did this with a class at some point in all of her school years and we just continued this after that point. The kids make "food" for the reindeer and then sprinkle it in the snow (although this year there was none so we just did this in the driveway). This is what you need to make the "food"...oatmeal, glitter, cinnamon, sprinkles for cakes/cupcakes. You can also do anything, the kids think it is cool no matter what they get to scoop into a bag.
6) The music. I am a music type of person. Music is what inspires me, motivates me and just gives me warm fuzzy feelings...if it is the right song. The music at church this Christmas Eve was mostly songs from one of the past choir weekends at church...so, I knew the music. This past year that we did the music was probably one of my favorite choirs too. So, singing as a congregation to these Christmas songs was a favorite for me this year.
7) Games. Sid has become quite the game player. She is developing a pre-teen attitude as well and can be quite boastful when she wins a game. Yesterday she played Risk with Chris...and won. Today she played Stratego with me...and won. All I can say is...she is going down. :)
8) Micah and Quinn are best buds. Although they are a few years apart they are true brothers. They wrestled more today than I think anything else that they did. I have to remember that boys are loud, boys are obnoxious and crazy sometimes and that boys need to be told more than once to do things...or to be told specifically what I am asking them to do. When the boys are playing everyone knows it because we all just want them to go outside to play. They are so loud! Their emotions though on Christmas morning were very genuine and they were very patient and thankful. The boys may be loud but they do have some great hearts. Micah has commented many times during his prayers this past month that he hopes that people remember the true meaning of Christmas. Micah is great at praying and picking the right words to say. He always has been really good at talking :)