Friday, December 19, 2008

Party Time!

The Community Hospice here in Gville hosted a kids' night for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and so those of us matched with the Flores gang got together and decided to go as group. Poor little Mark and Samantha waited so long to be matched so it is really great to be able to take them out as a family. Those of you who have hung out with all 4 together know that they don't always get along.. haha! That is an understatement, huh? Well we were 3 for 4, as Krista (the oldest) and Wendy (her Big) already had other plans but we still had a good time. Kim and Haley met us there and the kids got to have Christmas cookies and got to see Santa and Mrs. Claus and then we all went out for pizza. Yummy! Hannah saved her quarter and bought me a ring out of the machine with it , so sweet. She then really needed to borrow it though.. haven't seen it since. Santa was SO sweet with all the kids. He spent several min with each and talked about some serious stuff. Self esteem things, fears, I tell you, after Hannah's talk with him I felt like I had been in a counseling session!
Thought I would post a couple pics of the kids at the party.. look at Samantha's giant grin as she poses with her new Big, Kristen. They are just so cute together and a perfect match! They hang have so much fun together, it is all Samantha can talk about. She LOVES Kristen's horses. Mark is with his Big, Terry. He is also very proud of Terry. Terry is soo good and patient with Mark, just a great guy!
Funny story.. Hannah asked if Sam and I were going to get her a gift this year, when I said yes she said "OH THANK GOODNESS!" she was so relieved! I reminded her that it is rude to ask for gifts and she quickly said "oh, I wasn't trying to be not polite. I have been worried b/c I fight with my brother and sisters a lot so I think I got crossed off and am only getting coal. Teri, you don't understand what it is like to live with those kids. I try really hard but they just get into my bones!" =) So funny! I can assure you, she has done great overall this year and has been just as sweet as can be for the most part and has done really great in school so I doubt she will be getting coal.

I LOVE this time of year!

Christmas is by far my favorite time of year and it is even more fun with Sammy now. He was our early Christmas present last year but he was just shy of two months at Christmas so he couldn't really participate much. This year, wow! We jam out to his Christmas cd mom got him, he LOVES the lights and we have been reading a lot about Jesus's birth and what Christmas is about. We had fun taking him to see the lights at North Florida Regional, the hospital where he was born to see there ginormous light display. They had every imaginalbe decoration and the entire duck pond was lit up with Christmas music playing. So, basically Sammy's two favorites- ducks and lights, all in one spot. All that he said all night was "quack quack, la luz (lights en espanol)!" Too funny. Sam and I both talked about how it was way more fun than we thought it would be, we just have so much fun seeing him enjoy things. Very heartwarming.
Mom & Richard and Joe & Gloria came with us to see the Ganiesville Christmas Festival that our church puts on each year, it was phenomenal. It is something you would expect to see in a theatre it is that good. It has a great mix of dancing and traditional Christmas music complete with Santa and Frosty, but also takes you back to Bethleham and goes through key points in the Bible, all the way through Jesus's crucifiction and my favorite part.. when he rose again. Well.. ok my camels were tied for my favorite part. That's right, camels and a donkey, and Pastor Gary and Mrs. Freda flew through the sanctuary in a horse drwan sleigh! So cute! Sammy did really great, he dances and had his little hand up with me & mom during most of the songs.. again so sweet. I just loved it. We were really lucky b/c when he got bored and fussy and had to slip into hall we were near the animal staging area so he got to meet Fuzzy the donkey and pet him ALOT. He liked his ears and tail best (he laughed at Fuzzy's tail everytime he saw it) and he kept showing Fuzzy where his own ears were then he would bark at him. So.. we totally haven't made it through to what sound the donkey makes yet thus I guess he thought it was a big dog. The camels were cool too but he didn't get to pet them.
Anyway, the Christmas Festival really helped me gain a new appreciation for Christmas. I was already way in the holiday spirit as some have complained mine came a little too early (Kim and Sam) but seeing this play helped me gain perspective. I always try to teach Hannah how important it is that she celebrate Christmas for the true meaning of Jesus's bday and the love he had for us, etc. and Santa and the presents are just fun extra stuff. I realized that night though as the powerful music played during the scene where Jesus arose that Christmas is even so much more than Jesus's birthday, b/c it defines me. His coming to this earth on that night (well ok, not technically on that night) defines every decision I make and how I strive to live my life. That little baby in a manger is not just some great story, he grew into a man who died for ME and who CHANGED my life, who calls ME His beloved. How crazy is that? I surely don't deserve that and I especially don't deserve the intimate relationship I have with Him and the grace and mercy he gives me but I am ever so thankful. There are really no words to describe just how thankful I am.
Ok.. off to bed! Sam's parents are coming tomorrow, yay! I put a few pics up.. the one by the tree is at mom's , he was putting his toys and paper, etc in her tree to help decorate.. lol.