To Read on the Journey

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
yeah, i know, Christmas was so last year, but indulge me a little {okay, a lot}
as i rewind 
and ponder a bit of what i treasured about Christmas, 2011.

this Christmas looked a lot like this
Michael painted the kitchen, repainted the kitchen, then painted the kitchen again! because "third times a charm."  after painting was kinda done he installed granite tile counters, grouted, added bead board, appliances, and more.
with the kitchen make-over we knew Christmas wasn't going to get the attention we so enjoy giving to It.  Christmas was okay with that and came anyway.

because we were kitchenless the kids and i went to mama holly's to bake our Christmas goodies. 

mama holly, who had a nasty cold, was so happy to have us there!
as she taught emilie to knit she said,
"i'm so glad you don't have a kitchen, i think you should make it a tradition that
you bake here every year."
mama holly gives me generous love and the gift of home.
i don't know what i'd do without her.

we'd like to thank Home Depot for not only selling us paint {a lot of paint}, but also our Christmas tree. 
the kids woke our Christmas morning to the usual birthday breakfast party for Jesus. no balloons or streamers this year, BUT we did surprise the kids by setting the table with the Christmas dishes that had been buried in a box in the garage
{up to that point we'd been enjoying all our fine crock-pot meals on paper products}.
i'll have to share about all our birthday traditions sometime, but for now, just one, and that is to pick junk cereals to accompany the meal.
so this year while standing in the cereal isle before Jesus' birthday i asked the fam, "what cereal would Jesus choose?" the kids shouted a few of their favorites, before my witty husband, michael, chimed in with what we quickly realized was the correct cereal choice for the Savior,
it was funny!
i guess you had to be there.
something that really blessed me this Christmas was that noah, emilie and josie decided to go in together and buy gifts for each other with their own $.
they were as THRILLED to give as they were to receive.
my children are coolawesome!! 
even rudolph thinks so!
another thing that knocked my mommy Christmas socks off was how
intentional my children were about the advent season.
i usually have thoughtful activities planned for the entire advent season, but with the move and the chaos i had to embrace that Jesus would come {advent= coming, expecting} without my assistance.
still, i was a bit saddened to be missing the opportunities to create memories for my children. 
BUT something extraordinary occurred, my children created the memories for themselves by recycling many of the memories we'd made together past Christmases!
this was hands down my favorite gift this Christmas {that and the kitchen}.

for the first time in our 15 yrs of marriage we didn't send out Christmas cards
{be on the lookout for our Ground Hog's Day card on Feb 2}.
i figured we'd have to throw in the towel on creating and giving
our favorite kind of gifts- thoughtful and personally made.
but michael and i pulled a couple late nighters and created a few that we couldn't wait to give! 
a personalized crossword puzzle for his crossword-puzzle-loving-grandmother was one favorite,
and a few canvas wraps we designed were the others. 
maybe a new business in the near future
{to pay for all the painting that still needs to be done}?

a few other highlights were:
cheney cousin Christmas night at our house.
17 of us in matching scarves, whipped up by my m.i.l. cindy,
to wear to Christmas eve service.
the cousins unwrapping the first gift, baby Jesus, from under the Christmas tree, followed by gramps reading the story of Jesus' birth to them from Luke.
uncle jack's tender heart and encouragement. 
michael's grandma opening her canvas wrap of Psalm 23, and saying
"Psalm 23 is my favorite"
{we knew}.

Christmas day at my uncle and aunts, joseph & mary
{really.  joseph gabriel, born Christmas day, and maria gloria)
my cousin ava {2yrs} jumped into my lap!  she likes "prima"
{cousin in portuguese, and her name for me}.
sitting with my 5 aunts, i teared up and said, "i love my aunts." to which one teared up 
and then another.
my aunts have been a source of joy to me through the years.
seeing my grandmother, josefina, surrounded by her daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren {with another on the way}, i asked {in portuguese}, "is your heart full?"
and she lit up and replied {in portugeuse, of course}, "oh yes, very full, it is coming out of my chest!"
my nephews both calling me "favorite tia denise." love. 
a fun Christmas double-date with my sister and bro-in-law.

all these, the treasures i don't want to forget from Christmas, 2011.

thanks for indulging me.
you can fast forward back to January, 2012 now!


Laura said...

well, because I am SUPER Catholic, the Christmas season really just ended a couple of days ago on the epiphany, and so really, you don't need to rewind all that much!!!!!

I LOVED THE RE CAP. Because Christmas does not begin after Halloween and end on the 25th. Christmas BEGINS on the 25th....and we need to keep it with us in our hearts all year long.

The baking story was so sweet...
your children are beautiful
and you captured true Christmas perfectly.

I would also like to place an order for a canvas! Seriously!!! SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paige said...

so awesome!!!! And I would totally buy and TOTALLY want a canvas if you don't start a business for everyone can you make a few for me?


Merry (late) Christmas!


Kristen said...

i can't wait to see pictures of the kitchen. michael is awesome. i can assure you my kitchen would not have been repainted 3 times :o)

the signs are super cute.. what a fun gift!

i am glad your christmas was wonderful. i know you were having a hard time with the season not being the same as it was every year. your christmas was lovely, filled with new traditions {cookies at mama holly's}, memory making, and your children carrying on traditions on their own. it sounds pretty perfect to me!

Linda Z said...

How you managed to accomplish all of this in the midst of a remodel is completely amazing!!! You need a very long winter's nap now.

Life cereal... hilarious and true!!!

I think we have the same fridge... do you love it?? I do.

I love those canvases... so beautiful!! I think you should start your own business when things calm down.

Thanks for sharing more Christmas joy. :)

Kathleen said...

oh, the last paragraph brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful to be with family, cherishing life (the real thing and the cereal) and loving the Lord.

{cuppakim} said...

bigggg props to the h-dizzle for supporting your paint and holiday needs.

bigggger props to you and your fam for those aHMAZING canvas wraps.


love that you are raising up children who love the Lord. Praise God for that! :) what a blessing for your obedience!

hannah singer said...

sweet hubby!
loved the rewind, i do christmas all year anyway:)
pretty sure we'll be adding cocoa pebbles to our breakfast menu soon. forgot all about them!

love you!

deb colarossi said...

Incredible. All of this.
And you....

Leslie @ top of the page said...

so glad you did the recap even though it was so 2011! gosh, you had a lot of gifts from God during the holidays this year, personally for you - things that mean so much to you - huh? thanks for sharing all those blessings. loved the stories of your kids.