Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 2013 Our Highlights

The Month of December has become so crazy that usually by the 15th or so I am just exhausted.
Both boys play basketball at different schools and they overlap schedules this month.

We have 3 School Christmas programs.


Several Piano Recitals

And last minute parties and events.

I finally squeezed in Christmas shopping just in the nick of time.

One week before Christmas we got the flu. All of us but one. And the day Jason and I had it we also got a little unexpected call from the school.... There had been an incident. Micah got a tooth knocked out in his last basketball practice of the season. It was quite a day.
It was a bit of extra excitement that we neither asked or planned for. But it gives us a story to tell. :)

We started a tradition of Pj's, Donuts and lights night a number of years ago and the kids do love it. So we sneaked it in just a few nights before Christmas.
 The trip to get the sweets.
 2 Dozen free donuts from Krispy Kreme... Good grades + 4 kids gets free donuts. Yay!!!

And the beautiful lights.


We had The Troyer Christmas a few days before Christmas.
It appears we've turned a corner in this family....
The kids cleaned up the dinner dishes. What a fabulous gift!! (I'm hoping Micah is not spit washing that glass* maybe he's just making sure his tooth is still in there :)) (notice all the cameras in the background. It's obviously an unusual event:))
 Cindy made pillows for all of us out of Benji's old clothes. Such a neat idea!

I'm sure many tears anointed these pillows as she sewed them together. A very thoughtful gift!!

We also made gingerbread houses. Which was super fun!
Dale judged... He had a little trouble making the final decision with all the influences trying to help him decide.

We Christmas Caroled for my aunt.

It was the kind of Christmas that in so many ways I would hope to have.
No travel. No unexpected sickies.
Nothing big and over the top. Just low key with my little family and a few extras.

Jason's brother shared Christmas With us this year.
We did some singing with the piano.
After our yearly Crab legs and Shrimp Alfredo with a ringing in of Christmas, and the Christmas story, the kids opened their gifts.
On Christmas Morning we had our sweet friends Mahlon and Dorothy join us for brunch.
This was our first Christmas at our new house. 
 We sang some songs.

And played lots of games.
 The kids get a bang out of their uncle Clair.
 Sophie and Mahlon giving high fives.
 And for Christmas evening  Jim and Shirley and Meg joined us for some homemade pretzels and games.

And then us girls had a little sleepover in my bed on Christmas Night. 
Thanks Jason for being a sport and sleeping in another bed. 
It was just like sleepovers I remember... Lots of movies, talk, and little sleep. 

I sure do love making Christmas memories. 
But what I didn't post was this... 
We also had some fights to break up. Some tense moments. Some misunderstandings. Some things that didn't fit. Lots of mess. Some hard news.
It's not really the stuff we like to talk about or remember but it happens here just like anywhere else. I like to focus on the good things but just so you know we don't do perfect. My highlight "Real" is not always pretty.
Here's hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas (at least moments of wonder) in the middle of the chaotic,  as you remembered the best part of it all. 

Emmanuel God is with us. 
Here's wishing you The Merriest of Christmas and a Hopeful and Blessed New Year

Monday, December 9, 2013

When Birthdays are Hard

This past weekend we celebrated a birthday.
It was like all birthday parties... we had balloons, punch, shrimp cocktail and chips.
We said nice things about the birthday person and celebrated his life.
Except at this party we were missing the guest of honor.
And we all wept as we stood around the place we buried him last spring.
The holes in our hearts seem to be getting bigger... Not smaller.
We know you are having the best birthday ever. But we just miss your little face!
We miss your laugh.
We miss your spirit. We miss sleepovers and your raspy voice. We miss your jokes. Your smell. Your hands. Your Friendship. Your loyalty.

We wish it would be different for our sake. But not for yours. We know you are right where you are most at peace.
When we get too caught up in connecting the small dots...we can't see the big picture. 
So we will continue to hope for brighter days as we dry our eyes and we hold your brothers and mom and dad and each other close and remind each other to live out of  what we have learned through your life and the journey God led you through.
And to be faithful to our King until we can celebrate together again. 
We love you Benjamin Ross
Happy Sweet 16.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chosen

There she stands, on the playground.
 Her piggy tails hang down on each cheek and she instinctively holds on to one brushing the hair against her hand. She is nervous but still trys to appear casual.It's one of those moments where everyone is silently holding their breath...all but the best friend of the captain. She knows she's in. But everyone else...we all just hope we aren't chosen last. 


And then  we outgrow the playground and we move to a tad more sophistication in our choosing games. We plan parties and choose who should attend. And still... it's not so important what order we are chosen...just as long as we get an invite to those places we wish to belong to.
But then we graduate and we are told it will all be different. People are more mature and they will not pick and choose like they did on the playground, with such blatant rejection.
But unfortunately, it never happens like that does it?
Chosen.
We all want to feel chosen. 
It's in each one of the created to  feel like they belong.
And it's humbling when we aren't invited in. Or sometimes told to leave. It stings.Sometimes we cry. At times we react in unhealthy ways in return of the rejection.
And it takes us back to the play ground....You pick me...Next time I will pick you. But... If you don't pick me?
What will we do with that?

As I think of the coming of the king, one thing that I have been pondering is how His action of coming to this world was the most beautiful display of choosing us even when we rejected him. Knowing the outcome of his life on earth would be one of complete rejection.
And still he came.
Out of a perfect love...
He Chose You.
And he chose me.
He chose us before we chose him.
And he still keeps choosing us.
Did you need to know you are chosen today?
No matter the rejection you are facing.... God Chose You. First.
Your family may reject you. Your spouse may have turned their back. Your friends may fail. You may have been overlooked for that promotion or job. You may not feel like one person would pick you first.

But he did. He does. And he will.

You have been Chosen.

Live with that confidence today.
Joy to the World The Lord is Come.