Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Faux Christmas Eve

Each year we have a "pretend" Christmas Eve with Hannah before we head up to Jax for Christmas since she obviously will be with her family on Christmas. She was oh so excited and as we took her traditional picture on the fireplace where we have on Faux Christmas Eves past, it was so amazing to me to see of course how much she has grown but also to see my little guy trying to reach his duckie ornament on the tree and reaching for Hannah and just being his silly self. If you would have told me when Hannah and I first got matched that we would be sitting there taking that picture with my son added to it, I would have thought you were crazy! It made me realize just how much Hannah and I have been through together.
All in all, it was a really fun night. We ordered in some greasy pizza which we don't do much and so that was a treat for her, then Sam read the Christmas Story, and then we opened presents, and then made smores in our fireplace. In my head I saw the Christmas story moment being a little sweeter than it actually was.. I don't know why but I picured us all sitting around the tree, Sammy & Hannah sitting as still as statues of course and us having a lovely conversation about all that Jesus's birth means to each of us personally... reality check: Sammy waddled all over, tried to touch the tree, pet Franklyn, tickled Sam's feet while reading, and he babbled the entire time. Hannah was trying to "help" with him by crawling after him and whispering "Shhh" and trying to get him interested in a toy, then she listend for all of 2 seconds and declared it was boring and began the whining to open presents. Oh well.. live and learn. The moment was somewhat redeemed after Sam finished reading when I asked her why we give gifts at Christmas and she gave an astounding answer that was pretty amazing and related it all to his crucifiction and wow.. it helps to know she sometimes maybe listens to what I say after all! We did have a few good talks today about giving and went to visit my friend Myrtle down the street and then made TONS of Christmas cookies. Hannah named it the "Hannah & Teri Sisters Dough Shop"(?) and she even did all the dish washing/cookie cutter washing when we finished! Yay! We went to the Dollar Store so that she could buy some gifts for her family members.. in the past we have made the gifts, yea not so much this year. I couldn't get my act together to come up with some creative crafts that were different than the millions of others we've made and so dollar store it was! Now that was hillarious. She picked out some interesting things, only wish I could see her grandma's face when she opens her gift. I was very proud of her though, she was so thoughtful about what each person would like and she spent so long wrapping each gift with care. It was really sweet.
Do keep Hannah and her 2 sisters and brother in your prayers over the next few days and especially on Christmas. It is so hard for them to be away from their parents, although they love their grandma very much, it is heartbreaking to hear how EACH child prays EVERY time I hear them pray for their mommy & daddy to come back soon and to love them. Hannah talks a lot about them but this visit was especially rough on those terms. I won't go into details in an effort to respect her privacy but her little heart is struggling and she sure did ask some difficult questions to both me & Sam. So please keep each of them in your prayers and pray for them to have a peace about their situation and most of all to just enjoy their Christmas and have a blast being kids and not thinking about things that kids need not think about.
Along those same lines, pray for our little Cristina too. We got a letter from her last week and we just miss her so much. We have grown so very close to her over the years so it is really hard to only see her for a week or so each year. At least every few days and maybe more either Sam or I will say how we wish Cristina was here to see this or experience whatever we were doing. She had been in my dreams literally every night for the last few weeks so it was really great to get a letter, perfect timing. She seemed extra lonely in this letter, it was sweet though, she said she looks at Sammy's picture and it makes her heart feel happy to know she has us and our family and friends here in the states praying for her. We have given her TONS of pics and so she has pics of all of our friends, our pets, our family members and actually has met several of our friends now and one of my fam members, my neice/cousin (lol) Leslie who she LOVES. Anyway, unlike the Flores kids who do have their grandparents and extened family, Cristina only has her older sister. Now, I know Christmas has got to be fun at Casa, I know they go all out for those children but I also know that it has to be lonely too. One thing Cristina said to me this last August was that she thinks its weird she can have so many girls around her all the time but she still feels all alone. So, please say a little prayer for our sweet Cristina, she is one in a million literally, and for the others at Casa too. We just hope they feel the love they have from all of their "families" in the states & their dorm parents, but most of all, the love of Jesus, the Father of the Fatherless and that His love will heal and fill that void in their hearts.
Well.. we're off to Jax in the morning! I am so excited to see our families again! We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!