Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From the Hirsch family, we hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas season and have a great New Year! This is our attempt at a family photo with our Christmas outfits...and we finally gave in to a silly face, crazy picture. 
Probably more accurate of our family, anyway!  :)

Ours was a blessed much fun this year, with the new baby Brie and three girls eager to actually be a part of handing out gifts and capable of tearing up the paper. It was funny at times, trying to get them to slow down. At one point, Belle was handing out gifts to whoever she could get to take them, even if they weren't theirs. Bekah was quick to help straighten that out- that was quite a stretch for her personality. We have laughed often this holiday.

We were able to finally breathe from all the preparations, and I've definitely learned what NOT to do in adding to the already hectic schedule. People, do NOT bake 12 loaves of bread in one evening. Yes, this mom of four did stay up til 4 am baking bread that WOULD NOT rise and had a frustrating run in with a Walmart employee who was obviously just worn out from the holiday crowd. Thankfully, God reminded me that her day was probably just as insane as mine and prompted me to ask her about it and how she was rather than tell her off like I really had wanted to at first. Amazing, how when we stop long enough to think, we can get over ourselves. Anyway, so just don't do it. Bake the bread early enough to freeze it so you're not up all night. :) I AM learning!

Anyway, a few things we got to do in celebration of our Lord's birth:

  • Had a Christmas celebration with the Wiehe family and got to hang out before it got really crazy. It was so fun to watch them open their presents. And hysterical, as we got them (Kurt & Melissa) what they had gotten for each other! (And that sweet Melia in the middle, she didn't want a purse, she wanted a dolly...but let me tell ya, a few days later, she was missing her purse cause her momma put it away until she had a grateful heart and as her sissy Natalie on the left carried hers around, it was making Melia want to have a grateful heart. A few days later when we we over there, she came up to me and said "I forgive you" which Natalie quickly helped her reword it to "I'm sorry I was ungrateful for my purse and said I wanted a dolly. Do you forgive me?" People- these are two little girls, learning. It was beyond cute.)

  • Christmas Eve morning we spent at Lynette's family's house, waking up like it was Christmas morning. Tia and JaJa were with us, so it was extra special, since all of that side of our family was together. We also got some very thoughtful presents, some even handmade. (Notice Belle holding up her sissy Brie's head. She was thoroughly worried about her head not being "up." Bethany is obliviously happy, in her own little happy world.)

  • Christmas Eve night we ate Chen's with the family (a tradition since living in Missouri) and then began our own tradition with the Igos, skipping the candlelight service and instead coming back to the house to have our own time together reading the Christmas accounts and letting the kids act it out with their nativity sets. And we tried to sing some songs, but kept forgetting the words. Then we played a mean few games of Sequence, which by the way, the women WON! This has been an ongoing thing since we've been friends, but seemed like the women were always getting beat. So, this was a nice relaxing time and one I'd like to keep instead of trying to juggle kids in the crammed sanctuary and keeping them quiet and not burning down the building with the candles. (The Hirsch/Reavis families in our annual color coordinated picture!)

  • Christmas morning we woke up and read from the Bible and then gave each other gifts in celebration of Jesus. It was really fun. It's funny to see the girls personalities come out as they opened gifts- Bekah more quiet, smiling, Belle screeching every time anyone opened anything, and Bethany trying to steal everyone else's stuff or beating them on the head with it, and Brie just chilling. I really enjoyed that Bekah has been so excited about getting gifts for people, and had asked about doing some "work" to earn money to buy her own gifts. She did, and got some things for her sisters at the dollar store. It was so sweet to watch her get excited about giving and thinking through what they may like and then her watching them as they opened their gifts. Bethany's reaction was so wonderful. I was blessed with way too many things from my sweet husband, but my two most favorites that I've really really really wanted- my very own new ESV study Bible (the new ones that came out!) and a Cricut for all my crafting needs. So fun! I was feeling overwhelmed at one point and told Gary that it was all too much, to which he winked and responded- you have to learn to receive graciously before you can give graciously, right? We've learned much in the giving and getting area- one being that.

  • Christmas day we went over to the family's and had a huge lasagna meal with them, the Igos, and Gary's dad. We got to just chill out and enjoy company with bellies full- way more fortunate than so many others. (The girls with Gary's dad, Mopa)
We have begun looking toward 2009 with prioritizing and planning. I love a fresh start. It's a great reminder of what God's done for us. Everything new, clean, hopeful. Gary and I have talked a lot about what we'd like to see happen with our family this new year.  He's expressed some things that God's put on his heart to lead us in, and I'm really excited. I know we'll fail at times and priorities will be turned upside down, but we're grateful that we can start over at any time. We hope to begin the year strong, prayerful and ready to be flexible with whatever God wants to do with us. We really desire God to be seen through our family, in whatever ways He wants to do that. We pray that for our family and friends too! Have a Happy New Year! Party like it's...2 thousand and nine!


The Perry Family said...

Wow! Your family has grown sooo much! They are all beautiful! I hope you remember me, Trista Griffith, from Spring Woods Baptist. I hope all is well, and you are having a wonderful 2009!