Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best Christmas Ever!

I chose to title my post this because my fourth graders read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson the week after Thanksgiving. It is such a cute story, and one that I loved sharing with my 9 and 10 year-olds. It really put us all in the true Christmas Spirit. It is a story about the Herdman children, the worst kids in the entire town, who show up at church and take over the main roles in the Christmas pageant. The whole congregation goes into an uproar because these dirty, clueless children are portraying the Holy Family. In photos, Mary is always depicted as perfect and pristine, when she had just given birth to a a barn. On this Christmas Eve, as we were singing Silent Night in the candle-lit church, I thought about Mary and Joseph, and how they really must have felt that night.

I thought about one of the lines from the book,
"Now, whenever I think of the Christmas story, Mary is always going to look a lot like Imogene Herdman—sort of nervous and bewildered, but ready to clobber anyone who lays a hand on her baby."

I think I will also picture Mary this way from now on. I'm sure she and Joseph were feeling like all of us do when embarking on something new........scared to death and uncertain about their future, but putting all of their trust in God, and knowing that He would provide for them.
Dave and I had to make a lot of big scary decisions this year. They were stressful, and at times Dave thought he might just

pull his hair out, but thankfully he didn't. (There might be a few more gray hairs though:) We are so thankful for all of the blessings we received in 2009, and will never forget our first year of marriage. We will continue to trust in the Lord in 2010, and cannot wait to see what he has in store for us.


I cannot believe that both Christmas and the year are over! Is life truly going to fly by this fast from now on? I hope that wedding planning, graduate school, and house building have been the culprits to blame for this blur of a first year of marriage. I'll let you all know next Christmas if that was the case. I plan to graduate in July, and the house is can see for yourself!

On Christmas Eve, we recieved the surprise of a lifetime! It is seriously going to be one of those memories that is burned into my brain forever! I had been begging and pleading with John to come home for Christmas for months now! He was being so stubborn about it too, and I had honestly gotten so upset with him, that I did not even get him a Christmas present this year:)
We have not all been home for Christmas together in 4 years due to his travels and Justin's deployment. We have been told that Justin will be going to Afghanistan sometime next year. That means he could possibly miss 2 Christmases, so I was desperate to get all of mama's boys home this year.
On Christmas Eve, all of the Smith side of the family gathers at my parents house after the Candlelight Communion Service at church. We were sitting around waiting on everyone to arrive when Griffin came in wearing a white Panama Jack hat (should have been my clue). He is a real character to say the least, but we could not believe the performance he was putting on....singing Christmas carols like he was on a Bob Hope Christmas special, dancing and twirling Hunny around.........we all thought he was very drunk. Everyone was standing around the living room with our mouths and eyes wide open taking it all in. It was crazy!
The next thing I know, Griff is saying, "Do I hear someone knock-knocking on the door? Oh, I just love it when friends and family pop in during the holidays." At this point, everything in my memory is in slow-motion. I look at Dave and he has this clueless expression on his face. I start walking to the front door, Griff opens it, mother screams, I see 2 shadows on the front porch, I start running to the door, I get there in time to get caught up in the biggest group hug ever with these two

A Christmas Miracle!!!

Let the Christmas festivities begin!

Kyleigh's first Christmas- She LOVED it!!!

Matt's Family

The Smiths

The Clark Children

After a fun evening with the family, Dave and I were thrilled to get to go and spend Christmas Eve in our new house!

My Nativity is my favorite Christmas decoration of all!

All of our Christmas Cards are on display in the foyer.

Our tree in the dining room

Our ornament the year we were engaged.

The year we were married

This year's ornament.

My new collection!
I hope I can get all of the verses of the Christmas story.

The tree in our bedroom.

This was taken at midnight on Christmas morning.
We set the timer and put the camera on our television cabinet.
(Dave was already asleep, but I woke him up)

Here we are on Christmas morning about to exchange gifts with one another.
I just love our first Christmas tree. I'm scared to take it down because I'm afraid we will never get another this pretty. It is a Frasier Fir from Howell's Nursery. It smells wonderful and still looks great after an entire month! We will definitely get one again next year.

My favorites!

I kept complaining that my other iPod was too heavy to workout with....
and Santa was listening!

Dave got his wish too!

After a quick shower, it was off to Carolina for Christmas with Dave's mom and grandparents.

Chad and Dave

Chad, Ms. Amy, Dave, Memama, and DeDaddy

I missed getting a photo of all of the stockings. Some of them had already come down, but there were 32 this year. Next year there will be 34 (at least).

Next we were off again to have Christmas with my parents and brothers.

The big box, was my new sewing machine! I'm so excited!

Next we had lunch with the rest of the Clarks. We set up the tripod and camera timer for some of these photos.

Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year!

Believe it or not, I do not have photos of EVERY Christmas gathering we attended. Maybe some of the other family members will have posts about the Wiggins and Morris Christmases.

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