Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Look What We Got for Christmas!

Hoping You all had a Great Christmas.

With five children in the house this is the usual picture here on Chrismas morning;

Gifts galore!

And I always wonder where it's all going to go!

Here's some of the contents of those parcels;

Girl Power!

Sir Jacob strikes again!

But best of all - we got this on Christmas day too and it didn't go away for two whole days! I can't remember my last white Christmas - it was FAB!!

Snow on Chrsitmas Day

Another snowy pic

In fact there have been a number of fantastic things about this Christmas. One of them being that Abbie has suddenly become dry at night. One wet bed in more than a week. And WE didn't do a thing - it was all her doing. The best gift she could have given us! :) Another thing was that Phoebe, on Christmas day, said "I love you Daddy" as a sentence - for the first time - another great gift! :)

Now, of course there is the after-marth of Christmas to deal with - which I have not yet even attempted to tackle. It took us all afternoon on Christmas day, plus a couple of hours on Boxing day afternoon to get to end of unwrapping the presents. So yesterday and today have been spent playing with them all and making LOTS of mess!! The boys have been learning the rules to new games (like Junior Cluedo & Battleships) and that has involved us grown-ups playing too, of course :) The girls have been spreading feathers all over the house and generally spreading all the little 'bits' that seem to come with girlie toys everywhere. Tomorrow it is my intent to begin to bring some idea of order to the chaos. I have in mind that Paul is going away for 3 weeks on January 10th and I REALLY want to have the house straight and clean before he goes becasue I'm VERY sure I won't being doing much housekeeping when he's gone, He normally does all the cooking here and as that is going to fall to me while he's away that would be my cleaning time (not that I ever do much of that either) AND we will be back to school and playgroup routine - and he won't be here for drop offs at 9am, so I'm going to have to get 5 children out of the house by 8.30am two morning each of the three weeks - something I have NEVER done, or wanted to do!! At least it is only for 3 weeks and not more than that!

Anyway I digress! As far as storing all the new toys; every now and then I buy new storage places (bookcases, and fabric covered cuboards, IVAR, etc...), plus we have massive double wardrobes in both children's rooms, BUT they are all FULL of either clothes, or toys, or both already! I have been trying to think about what could be feasibly got rid of - what is not played with anymore? What could be stored somewhere outside the house until it's needed again? Problem is, with children ranging from 1 - 7 there is not much that falls into either of those catagories. Maybe I could put away the really BABY toys (outgrown by a 1yr old!) - for the next 6 months!! Even the garage has gained new occupants in the form of a new bike and a set of skateboard ramps, so that's pretty overcrowded too! We have 9 bikes (Jacob's old one and a big pink one waiting for Abbie to grow into (that I got cheap)being surplus), four scooters, 5 skateboards (Jacob has a full-size and a 'trick' board), plus boxes of balls and out-door games (cricket, swingball, etc...) - and three disused wardrobes (of the landlords) full of boxes of clothes & shoes that are not currently being worn, camping equipment (long since used :( ), - I could continue, but I think you get the picture!! We don't have a loft and the cellar floods - as some of you may remember from the summer postings. BUT, when all is said and done - I WILL find room for it all and once all the boxes are got rid of it doesn't look nearly so much!!

Tonight we all sat together after bath time and watched Home Alone 2 on telly. The boys loved it and it was a great way to spend the evening. :) I just love having lots of children and it really has made for a fantastic Christmas this year. They all seemed to grasp the wonder (both spiritual and 'fantastical') of it all and were really gripped with excitement for the first time I think. When Abbie opened her stocking gifts on Christmas morning (before church they just have few small gifts to keep them going until the afternoon) I think she would have been quite content if that was all she had - bless her! (maybe I'll remember that another year! ;) ) I asked her, "So is that lovely. Have you got what you wanted?" Her answer was, "yes, they're lovely. I'm very happy ... except for a ballet barr" (with a little wistful shrug). She didn't know, at this point, about the mountain under the tree, or that the 'Bella Balerina ballet barr' was amongst the gifts. In fact she didn't open the barr until Boxing Day (it was the very last gift to be opened) and she never mentioned it again - but she danced around the room when she eventually opened it!!

Oh, the beauty of childhood innocence and the lack of expectation (although not lack of hope) that it holds. My prayer is that, despite the fact that my children seem to get their every dream each Christmas (thanks to a large extended family on both sides), they will not take their blessings for granted and will always be willing to be generous with what they have and remember to think, pray and give to those who have so much less than themselves. This year Paul and I have decided we will, as a family, sponsor a child. It is something we (Paul & I) have done before and we believe that, now the boys can write too, it would be good for them to get involved in this kind of project. It will help them all see and understand more clearly, we hope, just how less fortunate children live and yet, their faith is not dependent on what they own.


Sarah said...

Wow! Glad you had a good Christmas. We sponsor a child through Compassion and have found it to be really good - although I must confess I keep forgetting to write, must do it more!

I cannot imagine what it must be like having to tidy and find space for toys and things used by 5 children, you are amazing!

All the best with your de-cluttering/tidying/chaos management - I know what you mean about getting sorted before a challenging time. 3 weeks is a long time - what is Paul going away for?

Caroline said...

He's going away for his practical placement (part of his degree) and actually he said today that it's meant to be 4 weeks, but he's hoping to get his 100hrs done in less than that - I hope so too!!

Jules said...

I love the piccies Caroline, glad that a good time was seemingly had by all :-)

Just popped by to wish you a very happy new year, I hope 2005 is a happy, healthy and successful one for you all!