A Very Merry Christmas

Joy has FILLED this house!  The magic and wonder of Christmas has been tangible in our children.  They have enjoyed giving AND receiving.  We have sung Christmas carols, worshiped, feasted, celebrated & surprised.

In an attempt to share way more pictures than feasible, I've created two collages.  These will give you a better feel for some of our highlights:

From left:  Our tree (and cat); the girls in their new "I love Santa" pjs on Christmas Eve at Llamas house; their stockings; reading the Polar Express, an Orris tradition before sharing gifts on Christmas Eve; Heidi sound asleep while Santa visits (she always kicks off her covers!); our beautiful girls in their Christmas dresses before church (the girls picked out their own dress this year...hence no official family photo...I couldn't pull together bright red and hot pink); Hazel deep asleep (love how she always gets sweaty hair!)

*you may notice the girls Christmas pillowcases.  That was my little holiday craft this year :)

From left top row:   Promptly reading Heidi's new "Pete the Cat" book; Hazel pulling the stellar wrapping off their new vanity; immediately playing beauty shop; spending most of the morning with their magical princess vanity

From left middle row:  Heidi snuggling with her Pete the Cat doll after opening gifts; Hazel testing the lollipop that is EXACTLY like the one she cut out and glued to her wish list for Santa; Hazel coloring her jumbo princess book; Heidi & Llama using glitter glue on her jumbo Hello Kitty book

From left bottom row:  Jake made me a "ruler" so I can keep track of the girls' growth, Jake reliving his childhood on his new "old school" Sega; the girls setting up their new tree house/ doll house.

PHEW, what a Christmas, eh?  We are surely counting our blessings this holiday season!

Merry Christmas to all!,
the Kosker Quartet


Holiday preparation

This had been a blissful weekend.  Friday evening the girls had an event at the church, so Jake and I had a free evening which we spent sharing good conversation over a yummy restaurant dinner (compliments of an early Christmas gift from a beloved elf).  Saturday was my mom's birthday so I spent the afternoon making lemon bars...from scratch..., artisan bread and lasagna.  God decided to send copious amounts of snow for her birthday, so instead of guests, we enjoyed a quiet yummy evening together and topped it off attempting to make a gingerbread house (we dearly dearly missed my artistic sister during that fiasco).

Today, I'm refocusing in finding my joy.  Over dinner, I finally admitted to my husband that the year of my dad's illness and now the roller coaster of grief has changed me.  Unfortunately one of the ways I've changed is that I've lost my joy, my humor.  That is the opposite of my dad's legacy.  Granted, my sweet girls bring me lots of joy, but the ability to be funny has escaped me.

Not so coincidentally, today's scripture and hymns focused a lot on the gifts that are soon to arrive in the form of Christ's birth.  The gift of joy is one of those gifts.  What epic timing!  What good news!  Please join me in praying that this gift will return to me.

This afternoon I am contininuing my preparations for this great day.  I've just finished making the dough for gingerbread cookies (dad's favorite) and now I'm going to join Hazel as she works on her enormous fruit loops garland and watches The Polar Express (a Grandpa Junko classic) for the very first time.  I hope he's smiling every time she whispers "wow".

Excuse the unedited photo.  In an effort to realign my life, I'm allowing myself to write less and use the convenience of my school iPad for these short posts.