Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Favorite Memory of All!!!

Of all the Christmas memories we are making this season, one night stands out in my mind. We had just the sweetest most amazing night decorating our tree with Hannah & her sister Samantha (who I can no longer call by her nickname of Sammy b/c it was just TOO confusing!). We love each in the Flores family so much but it is difficult to balance ministering to each of them and maintaining my one on one "Big Sister" relationship with Hannah so we limit the times when all 4 are here and let Hannah decide if she wants one on one time or wants to bring a sibling. The others understand that she may want time alone with us and they are really great about it. We also decided to put the siblings on a rotation to cut down on the bickering b/c when allowed her choice of who comes with her it became way to stressful. SO.. this particular night was Samantha's turn and it was a FABULOUS night!

We had all the non-breakable kid friendly ornaments ready to go on the bottom half of the tree and Hannah, Samantha, and Sammy all decorated it up! They were giggling and just having so much fun. So much thought went into where each was placed (well minus Sammy, he just put ALL of his on ONE branch that quickly fell to the floor) and our tree is just beautiful now! My favorite moment was when it was time to put the star on the top. Everyone wanted to do it so we decided to pull up a chair and let each kid try. Samantha went first but she couldn't quite reach it. Hannah went next and gave it her very best effort but again, was too far away. We all agreed the best plan would be to lift little Sammy to the top and so up he went and he did a great job! He placed the star in the cutest most crooked little way (we have even decided to leave it crooked b/c it reminds us of that sweet night)! It was instant cheers and celebration and huge group hug, I know it sounds cheesy but it was just the best, sweetest most happiest moment. Of course I had to take it to the next level and tell the girls just how much we love them and how special it is to us that they can share in our family traditions and Samantha & I got all teary. Sam said we were being too girly but I know he was loving it too!

We all raced cars Sammy's cars together and played some soccer then both girls made us dinner! Sammy helped a little too but I was very impressed with how much of dinner they could handle on their own without any help from me. They each made yummy pans of pigs in the blanket and a giant bowl of green beans. It was absolutely scrumptious and we followed it with some delicious desert and then.. the sugar highs set in!! Good times! We played all kinds of things and Sammy literally ran from one end of the house to the other laughing.

As happy as I was on that night, I couldn't help feeling a little twinge of pain. It isn't fair that the kids we love so much in Guatemala can't be a part of family moments like that. At least a few times a week Sam and I talk about what Cristina would think if she could see some of the places we go to (the lights at North Floria or how big a Super Target is, that kind of thing) and although a select few of them are in the adoption process most of them will not know the sweet tenderness of those precious family moments. Sure the missionaries at Casa try to do the best they can to create a family environment but with 500 kids, it is just not the same. I am just broken over this! It makes me question why and even question God. There are just so many children without families. My heart is broken for them always but especially now at this time of year. I want to do more for the kids in Guatemala and the orphans around the world for that matter. At this point we can all do one thing for sure at this very moment... PRAY. We can first pray that God will place people into specific orphans' lives to share God's love with them , to care for them and show them how to find their fulfillment and hope in Him. We can pray for God to stir in the hearts of the Christian families who do have room in their homes and hearts for children to be moved to adopt or even just sponsor orphans. Lastly, we can pray for the many families who are in the adoption process to have their cases sped up and processed in a timely manner so their children can be home with their forever families.

On that note.. pleas pray specifically for the Williams family. Brad and Kathie have been in the process of adopting Daniel (Danilo) from Casa for 2 1/2 years now and are in the home stretch. They have been swapping living in Guate with him and the spouse here in states with their other 3 kids and they desperately want to have everyone together at Christmas. It is Daniel's dream to have a real family and now he does and he just wants to be with them at Christmas time for his first real Christmas. Please pray for a miracle as they are in their final days of all the processing fiasco!

Lastly, I have to take a moment and brag on my man. There was a mailbox key mistake on this particular night that he handled with such love and grace, I was one mighty proud wifey. Hannah had gone to get the mail like she always does earlier in the evening but when it was time for Sam to take the girls home his car keys (that also have the mailbox key on them) were nowhere to be found. We asked Hannah to retrace her steps and came up with nothing. She was all upset and it came down to Sam & Hannah walking back down the street (at this point cold and pitch black) to search the ground for keys while Samantha and I scoured the house. I would have expected Sam to be a little exasperated and annoyed (the clock was ticking and all 3 kids' bedtimes were quickly approaching & Hannah kept changing her story of where she went at what times) but he stayed calm and cool and was just so sweet with Hannah. He made sure she realized it was just an accident and he even got her to laugh about it. The keys showed up inside thanks to our neighbor Joe (hallelujah!) and a few fervent prayers on my part and all was well. I am so proud of the way Sam handled it and the example he set for the girls to see. No yelling, no annoyed attitude, just love, grace, and forgiveness all the way. I know Jesus was smiling down on him. I love you honey!!!

Samantha decorating our tree... yes that is Franklyn's little doggie ornament *tears!* we miss him so much!

Hannah with her ornament she made for us when she was 5, so sweet!
Samantha's try at putting the star on
our Banana was so close to getting it up there!
and my little lovey made it happen!!! Go Sammy!!!
Hannah's plundering actually paid off for once, she found our 2 missing ornaments.. my cherished ornament that was my Gram's and my own baby's first Christmas from 1979
YAY!!! We got the star on!!
The three little chefs hard at work
Don't worry I put them in the oven for them.. safety first!
Desert time!
Silly silly!! I think SAM's sugar high kicked in first!

They spoil him rotten!
He loves his "tunnel" and says "Mantha mo tundel peas?"
He really thought they were having a horsey race and he totally beat Hannah, they are so sweet with him

Its beggining to look a lot like Christmas....

We have been making memories left and right around at Casa DeLucca! Fun fun fun! As most reading this know Sam was laid off and it has been a fairly rough year for us and things have been rather tight financially speaking. I never had a real Christmas tree growing up but Sam's family only had real trees so every year he desperately wants one. We knew there was NO WAY for that to happen this year and then things just worked out and fell right into place! We needed to put the tree up rather early for various reasons and when we took out our old fakey tree it was sadly covered with yucky-ness (I'll spare you the details) & long story short we had $30 extra dollars we had allotted for groceries but realized that with us spending the week at mom's for Thanksgiving we could put the $$ towards other bills... did we? NOPE! We had a very wild spontaneous moment and out we went to get a real tree!! We both felt a little uneasy about it in the ride over and we went back and forth on if was the right way to spend the money (we should pay bills, spend on others, give extra in tithe, etc...) then my sweet husband announced.. "if we're gonna do it lets do it and stop worrying and if we aren't then we need to turn the car around" SO.. we did it!!! Yes our "wild" times have changed from 10 years ago but hey! We had a blast picking out the tree with Sammy it was so fun! I have to admit I am over feeling guilty and now LOVING the real tree and the smell and hope we don't have to go back to fakey ones. They aren't any more of a mess than our fake one was anyway b/c it also shed needles for some reason? Sam was just so cute bringing the tree home, he had a goofy grin the whole night and he was just like a kid while we put it up, too cute! It was worth every penny for the happiness it has brought him!

I have loved watching Sammy's excitement and anticipation of Christmas! He has FULLY embraced with his whole being that Jesus's birthday is coming and he is just about as excited as he can be. He is head over heals in love with our manger scene. I thought it was hard keeping Hannah's hands off of it... oh wow. Sammy is even worse!! I finally decided after about day 2 of having it set up that I needed to just accept that more would be broken this year (Joseph's poor hand and the Shepard's entire foot are still waiting to be glued on from an unfortunate Hannah incident last Christmas). Sam and I decided to try to encourage no touching but not let it take away from the learning and fun of it all. I can remember as a child how I would just stare at Baby Jesus in any manger scene I saw and quite often would sneak him out of the safety of Mary's lap to hold him and sneak a kiss before I would put him back when I heard my mom's footsteps (sorry Mom). I LOVE that my own son and Hannah have the same adoration and fascination as I did. I have just fully enjoyed watching them learn and be excited about the birth of our Savior, it is so amazing to experience all the wonder of Christmas through children's eyes (wow do I sound old??). Sammy tells baby Jesus "good morning" most days and typically tells him "bye bye" when he leaves the room. It is just precious. He likes to stand there and tell us who each person is and why they are there and make the animal sounds for the sheep, cattle, and donkey. It just brings US so much joy to see that he in some small way can already "get" the importance of it all. With that said I am not sure he understands why every house we go in has a giant decorated tree in it but hey.. he is only 2. =)

Merry Christmas everyone!

He picked out our tree for us, it has a giant gaping hole on the side but we didn't care we just turned it so the hole is in the back =)

He found the one!!!
Sammy laughed almost the whole ride home, he just couldn't get over the fact that daddy put a tree on top of our car!
Such a good little helper watering the tree! Thanks for the tree stand Kim!!! IT worked perfectly!