Since I know it will take me a while to get all the Thanksgiving photos on the computer, I figured I'd anticpate with a post.
I feel like a lot of things have changed this year, and we hadn't expected it all to change... We didn't expect anything to change. But it all did! And it has for the better. For that I'm so grateful.
I feel like this year we just started to get things right. Maybe it all started with the move to our new house.... I don't know what initiated it, but somehow it happened and it's been great.
I feel like this year a lot of things clicked for us, and while there was so much change... the change has helped us grow for the better. We are getting back to the simpliness that life has to offer: focusing on our family. I have dropped the things that I felt like I was doing for my girls, but really were monopolizing my time and energy (PTA, Girl Scouts, etc). Getting back to old fashioned family playtime at the park, family home evening EVERY single Monday without fail, eating 2 meals with everyone in the family present every single day, setting prayer and chore charts, baking with my girls... such SIMPLE things have had such strong impacts for our family. I am so grateful for little bursts of strength to keep our family love growing strong.
Change leads to growth: Matthew had so much stress and tension for years with his work. He dealt with what I believe to be abuse, but he just took it and held his head high. And he endured. And endured. And endured. He kept taking the hits and standing back up. No one knew. He didn't whine or complain to the world. He told me when it would happen, he held his head up and kept going... he did his job to pay the bills so I never had to work. So that my kids could be raised by their mother and their mother ONLY. He did what he had to do, sacrificed and it really just shows what a strong man he is. And then with some miracle, he was offered sweet relief. A wonderful opportunity at his same company came knocking, and it could not have come at a better time. We have been blessed beyond description with his new position. He gets to do something he likes, with a boss that he really, really likes. And he travels, but it's not unbearable... and he is HOME more with us than with his previous position. He is free from his phone at night and weekends. He was on call more than a DR with the other job. We have more of him, and he's not stressed out at all. This change has been so good.
And pics of the rest of the group... growing up so quickly! Kacey has changed so much. She used to be my shy, introverted one. Well, she's began kindergarten and she's blossomed into this whole new person. She is the life of the party; the center of attention. She is so outgoing and has so many friends... you can't walk with her anywhere without her saying hi to a handful of people. Don't even ask me about the boy flocking around her, following her like a loyal little puppy dog. I don't even want to talk about it!!! (She is going to be my troublemaker!)
Kadyn has gone from a toddler to a little girl. Something happens after the potty-training, I'm not sure what it is... but she's her own little person. She may be the 3rd in line, but she's going to be the first one setting you straight! I am not kidding. She is all about fairness and getting what she wants (maybe that's the 3 year old in her). If she wants it, she's bound and determined to figure out a way to get it.
Sweet little Kloey, so thankful for her. She is soooo different from the other girls. I feel like we bask in her stages more, maybe it's because she's the baby. But we marvel at the new things she learns everyday. With a good bill of health, and my solid feeling of "I'm sick of the dr's who just want my money when nothing's wrong"... we can say from her last ultrasound that her kidneys are good. Had to spend $1200 for that 4 minute ultrasound (after insurance paid their part)... but we are grateful that all is well.
This year Christmas is being run differently, which I'm so excited about. And I really think we'll notice a difference from last Christmas on Christmas morning. I have noticed a joy in our house from the simplier things: Christmas music and favorite cookies. So much less conversations on what they want... Christmas is not about toys, and I'm so glad to be fixing this now than later. More on that probably on Christmas!!!
But I'm so grateful for my family of 6. We have our traditions, we have our little ways of things that we do... and when the holidays come around, it's just plain FUN! I LOVE IT! We may be crazy but we put our tree up early. We watch a Christmas movie every Sunday night in Nov and Dec. We have certain foods we eat on Eves of things... We go to the movies on Thanksgiving... so many things that make us 6 Boyds, US. We love it, the girls love it and you can see the joy in their eyes that has to do with the Spirit of Christmas and not so much the gifts Christmas morning.... it just proves that family is all the fun you need.
With that also said and this ending, I have to say this. There are times when it seems like someone has picked up your life, shaken it like one of the holiday snow globes, and set it back down. And you are spinning at an endless rate. It's times like those that you see who is there for you. That happened to us. Stress beyond measure.... and I'm grateful for the ones who came through. Who stood up and said, I am here. They were there in the tough time and came through for us. We were not alone, and we will never forget that. I'm reminded daily. It undoubtedly changed the course of the rest of our life. A thank you just isn't enough, but for now it simply will have to do.