o I'm afraid I'm very behind on blogging, so be on the lookout for multiple posts per day over the next day or two.
On December 6th we had our first Christmas celebration. Ben's dad, Richard, and stepmom, Gladys, spent the weekend with us. Richard grows a killer garden and Gladys is an awesome cook, so we were thrilled that they brought an entire Christmas dinner with them. That was the best present of all! At least it was for me. The kids and grandparents had a great time visiting, we ate way too much, and we spent the evening opening presents. It felt like Christmas was already here!
The kids all hammed it up. All the little ones wanted a picture made with *each* present, so I would have to take one picture with a box of crayons, another with a coloring book, and a third with the crayons and coloring book together, on and on and on. Ephraim hammed it up more than anyone else. He got a book that makes noise when you push buttons and a stuffed creature that yells when you push his button. He thought they both were hilarious! He laughed and laughed more than he ever has before. It's so nice when a gift is a hit with the kids and they show genuine excitement!
Ben's mom is coming up on the 20th for the weekend, so we'll have our second Christmas celebration at that time. Three of our grown kids and my mom are going to be able to be here on Christmas Day, so that's our third and main celebration. In fact, my mom is going to spend ten days with us this year, which is the longest time she's ever stayed with us. She's 85 years old, and I'm an only child, so I hope she's up to the noise and chaos! Brooke, our oldest daughter, is an NICU nurse and has to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we'll be having Christmas #4 with her family on either December 30th or 31st. Whew! By the time 2009 arrives, Ben and I are going to be exhausted!
I'm a work-at-home mom of thirteen children ranging in age from twenty-six years old to five months old. Eight are home grown and five were adopted internationally (Russia, Guatemala, Vietnam and Ethiopia). We live on an 85-acre farm, and we have home schooled since 1986. My husband is a family physician in solo practice. I manage his practice and file the insurance claims.