I am smiling all the way to my toes right now because I just went back through all the pictures from the time we had three bonus kids staying with us. Hayden’s best friend Madi, and Carson’s and Bailey’s girlfriends Liana and Ashley, stayed with us for almost a week after Disney and before Christmas. Our house was full, loud at times, crowded, messy (nothing new), and I wouldn’t change a single bit of it. These girls are such precious people and all three make my boys better people. I genuinely love each of them (independent of their respective relationships with my boys).
The bigs and bonuses had planned a Christmastime morning celebration for us all with gifts to go around. They even had thoughtful gifts for Matt and me, the littles gifts, as well as gifts for each other that reflected their own personalities and relationships. I am not rushing things here, but it felt like a taste of future Christmases and it was delightful!
The weirdest thing about that pile of presents is that I didn’t organize this event. I didn’t even provide the tree! The kids did this all on their own and had the sweet hearts to include us rather than just doing a kids-only Christmas thing.
I didn’t do a great job taking pictures as I was so busy soaking it all in, and I forgot to fix Anna’s hair before pictures (something I’m pretty set on doing for her sake), but I’m sharing them anyway. They make me smile and make me happy in a profound way.
Below is a slideshow of more pictures of gift-opening time.
Anna kept stealing Ashley’s monster shoes and managed to snag them to wear while we watched The Year Without a Santa Claus.
One of the days she was here Ashley taught me how to make traditional Filipino Lumpia. They turned out so so good! We only had time to fry three before we had to rush her to the airport, but I cooked all of them later and my family devoured them!
Before we took Ashley to the airport I got pictures of all the bigs and bonuses. The pictures are in reverse order in the slideshow… Anna had to be in some, of course!
Looking back on my 2021 I’d have to say that having these people in my house and the feel of my home on the day they hosted a Christmastime morning was the highlight of my year. And that’s saying a lot since we had just gotten back from a fantastic trip to Disney World!
We are a blessed family, indeed. What a way to end a tough year.
Praise be to God and to God be the glory.
This post was written on 2uesday, 2-2-22, and backdated to 12-11-21.