In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our White Christmas of 2009

This post is dedicated to my 5 children and 2 grandchildren that couldn’t be home for Christmas. Even though they were physical absent, they are never absent from our hearts and thoughts.

This post is also dedicated to each of the angels disguised as Santa, that blessed our family this Christmas.

This is the story of our Christmas…

Some of you might remember, Santa sent us early Christmas presents in the mail.


Thank you Santa!

Not to mention the gift of having my grandson here the week before…

CIMG0020 He is a mixture of pure sweetness and stinker. A perfect gift.

On the eve of Christmas Eve, we received a surprise visit from a girl that I’ve mentored. This was an unexpected Christmas present. Our short time with her was very special.

CIMG0005 See how happy this gift made the little’s?

I came home that evening from work to these flowers from my son, daughter and grandson.


These made me cry. Thank you kids!

Our Christmas Eve we woke to even more snow. My son came and babysat and they had a fun time playing with him in the snow. What a gift this was to us. Thank you Uncle Adam!

After I got home from work, the little’s opened their gifts that had come in the mail from far away aunties and uncles.

And we made a thank you sign to say thank you to them.

CIMG0019  Special aprons made for Emeril and Rachel Ray…

And nerf guns!


 After a lesson on gun safety and deciding our target, we had some Christmas Eve fun!CIMG0053 I don’t know who had more fun…the little’s or myself?

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   After watching a Christmas movie, off to bed we went in hopes that Santa would be coming in the night.

I was woken up at 6:15 AM with screams from little man that Santa had indeed come to our house.

CIMG0065By 6:30 the coffee was going and we had poured juice into our special “fancy” glasses, and were sitting down to read the story of Jesus’ birth. After prayers, talking about what we are thankful for, making some toasts and finally singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, it was time to open presents from Santa.


They loved everything that Santa left under our tree and that we got in the mail. So we made a sign for all you Santa’s.

Thank you Santa’s!!!! You know who you each are. If it wasn’t for you wonderful angels, this wouldn’t have happened. Obviously, Christmas is not about the presents but what you each did for our little people, was a blessing that will not be forgotten.

It was still snowing Christmas morning and it was nasty out so we had to cancel our travel plans. My son who lives in the next town wasn’t even able to make it.

Regardless, we were going to make the best of it. So…

CIMG0047And snow it did… 








The little’s were excited about playing with their new stuff. Little lady was the most happy about a new stroller for all her babies. Little man loved all of his stuff but I think he loved the vacuum Santa brought our family the best. If you know little man, then you know his love for vacuums.

I was very surprised and happy about my vacuum Santa! 

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We had a birthday party for Jesus. Actually through out the day, little lady fed Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the angel and cow.



We had a great breakfast and made some more toasts…

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…before heading outside to enjoy some snow fun!


We made these signs for all our loved ones that live too far away to come home.


And then it’s time to help shovel. The little’s love shoveling.

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Daddy can hardly wait until they can do all of it! Of course by that time, they really won’t think it’s this much fun.

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CIMG0086As you can see, I am not shoveling because he wouldn’t let me. Instead I took pictures. I think he was about ready to take the camera away from me though and throw it in a snow bank.

Little lady and I goofed around taking pictures of ourselves.


Little lady thought all the new snow was the best present ever! It was so deep she kept getting stuck and falling down. Still she never cried….

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…she was too busy trying to catch the flakes with her tongue.

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And of course eating it!!!! This kid never stops eating!


Little man loves the snow. He has finally mastered the art of throwing a snowball. Of course we threw lots and lots of snowballs.

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Little man wanted to make a snowman but the snow was too deep. He kept getting stuck in the snow and if you know little man, you know he’s not quiet about his frustration!

CIMG0052 Every time he screamed or carried on I threw a snowball at him. This usually got a smile out of him! I really didn’t mean to hit him in the face. Thankfully he thought that was hilarious. Believe me, he got me back!


Thankfully it wasn’t too cold, so we spent a long time playing in the snow.

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It kept snowing and snowing…

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Since there’s not much you can do to stop it, you may as well enjoy it.

CIMG0100 And that we did!


We really did have a wonderful Christmas. In spite of missing my kids and grandkids. In spite of not getting to go to my sister’s house and spending the day with extended family. In spite of not buying and wrapping a single present. In spite of not making a big holiday meal. In spite of getting over a foot of snow. In spite of things not being perfect. In spite of all these things and more, Christmas came and it was it’s own special wonderfulness.

This is to all of you that made our Christmas time special. This is to all of you that made someone's Christmas special. You are an angel.

Thank you.

Here’s to all the Christmas angels.



Love & Hugs, Lori

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa…I know I am writing this kind of late but I figure that you’ve probably been busy reading everyone else’s letters any ways and what better time then on the eve of the birth of Jesus?

I’ve tried really really hard to be a good girl this year but of course there is always room for improvement. Presently, I am on the naughty list, (according to little man)but being the mean mom that am known to be, I am sure that you will understand some of these offenses that I am known to commit…such as saying the word “No.”  I hope that you are able to grant these long list of wishes anyways, as that would make this the best Christmas ever.

It’s gotten pretty cold here in Minnesota and else where around the globe and we have been hit with snow as of late. Do you think you could bring some winter coats and boots and warm hats and mittens to the homeless people?

Also, if you could give them a warm place to lay their heads tonight, that would be great.

To the people with hungry bellies or no food to feed their children today, could you please give them a hot meal and some food in their cupboards?

Too those without a job because they have been laid off or for other reasons, please provide a job for them.

To those that have lost their homes due to a fire or foreclosure or whatever reason, please provide them a place to call home.

To the orphan children please bring them a Mommy & Daddy to love them. But, in the mean time could you put someone in their path to properly care for and love them?

There are some Mom’s & Dad’s that are without their son’s or daughter’s, because they are off fighting in the wars. Could you please give them some peace and comfort and work it out for them to talk to their child?

To those in other countries, fighting a war, could you please wrap your arms around them? Could you please keep them safe or better yet, bring them home?

To the Mom’s & Dad’s that have lost a child, could you please bring them a truck load of comfort as they grieve and miss their child even more during the holidays? To those that have lost a parent, sibling or friend or anyone for that matter, please bring them comfort.

To the person sitting in prison, lonely and broken, could you please bring them a visitor? Could you bring a bucket of love and comfort to them? Especially for the one’s imprisoned for something they didn’t do. To their families, could you please provide for them and help them not feel so alone?

To those that are suffering from an illness that leaves them homebound, could you bring them the comfort of a loving visitor? To those suffering in pain bring them some relief?

To those that are lonely, sad or depressed, could you bring them some peace of mind. Could you bring them some hugs and a hope for a better future?

To those that are separated from loved ones for one reason or another, could you fill up their hearts and bring them comfort and fellowship?

To those that are separated from loved ones due to divorce, a bitter grudge or family feud could you bring them the ability to forgive, and let go of what is in the past and help them move towards healing and repairing the hurts?

To those that have no money for giving gifts to their children, please provide gifts for their children and even them. Please bring gifts to the children that don’t have.

To the persons having to work even though it’s the holidays could you bring them much joy and peace as they work? To those that are working in retail at this very moment that people are doing last minute shopping, could you please bring kind respectful people that act in the true spirit of Christmas to their check out’s?

To those traveling through snow, freezing rain or even perfect weather conditions, give them safe travels and for those with young children, put those children to sleep so that the parents can drive in peace.

I know this is a long list and quite honestly Santa, I could have added a lot more but I will stop with one last request.

As your flying here and there and everywhere tonight, could you please take a moment and plant a kiss on my daughters head in Idaho? And on my Grandson in Nebraska? And my son, my 2 daughters, my son-in-law and granddaughter in Florida? Could you please take a moment and sprinkle some Christmas magic and  love from me on their great big beautiful hearts and homes?

Thank you Santa. I know this is a tall order to fill. I know you will do your very best! I believe. I believe. I believe!

Hugs & Love, Lori

PS And Santa if you could totally heal  my beautiful friend, that I care for each day, that would make my Christmas the bestest ever!

PSS Little man just told me that I am not on the naughty list anymore so we should be good to go. Right?

PSSS One last thing…could you make the little’s behave perfect for their uncle while I go off to work today?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Memories & Sad Good-byes

 I have been looking at past Christmas pictures of the 3 little ones. And how the story of Us began.

Little man was just 6 months old when I shared my first Christmas with him.

Christmas 2005

Jordans 1st Christmas 

Eight months later, little lady came along.  Our first months of wedded bliss was spent in a crazy rollercoaster of adjusting to parenting again and being in denial that this was long term.



Christmas 2006





By the time Christmas 2007 came around, we had accepted these interruptions to our lives and embraced them. We knew we were in this for the long haul.

Christmas 008

Nevaeh our precious angel

Jordan our little man





Our grandson had been born and he and his mom lived with us, so another joined our zoo crew.

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Aidyn our little honeyChristmas 2007

Thus began the many pictures these 3 have had taken as they grow up together.

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Christmas 012







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Christmas 2008








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102_1029   Gerry and I and kids cropped

And now the Christmas season of 2009




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Making new memories in 2009

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My little’s


 I am amazed at how fast time has flown by since our story began. How far we’ve come. How much we’ve  grown in body, mind and spirit. I am thankful for these moments of having our grandson here visiting so we can continue these memories for each of them.

What a gift each of them are. What a gift they are to each other. What a gift this time together was to each one of us.

We spent our last days together, mostly playing. They literally dumped out every single toy in the house. They were loud and wild. They fought. They giggled. These simple moments were the best.  We ate pizza and popcorn. We had ice-cream and Christmas cookies for breakfast. Oh yes we did.

On Sunday morning, I bribed them with candy canes and the Christmas cookies we made, to take these pictures. For the most part we did good.

We left mid-morning to make the just over 3 hour drive to meet his other set of grandparents. We listened to much fighting and crying. And then finally this…

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She actually was the noisiest one of the bunch but put on a smile for the camera. And she never did fall asleep once. Let’s just say, we had to stop and pull over a few times and we are not looking forward to her teenage years.Boy’s really are easier then girls.

Saying good bye to my grandson yesterday ripped out my heart. Listening to my little’s cry and seeing them hug  good-bye was heart wrenching.

That was the ending to our very best, wonderful, amazing, fantastic, terrific week together.

It’s hard not to cry because it’s over. Yet it’s easy to smile when I think of all that happened this past week.

I know we have lots more memories to make. And I know I will keep on telling the story of Us.

Love & Hugs, Lori