Our Christmas

by | Dec 29, 2007 | Advent and Christmas, Personal Reflections | 2 comments

My cousin recently posted about “keeping it real.” It is so true that our blogs can sometimes make our lives look perfect. I know that I for one, when looking at other blogs, can sometimes get frustrated and overwhelmed and think, “How on earth does she get ALL of that accomplished!” I then have to step back and remind myself, that I DO have 5 children under the age of 8… and sometimes expect WAY too much from myself! Then I think about a friend who left a comment here at my blog saying, “Can you homeschool me?” This made me laugh so hard… If she only knew! So, in an effort to “keep it real” I’m going to tell you the story of our Christmas this year!

It started with me waking up, Christmas Eve, somewhat sick. (Thankfully I was spared getting very sick till the day after Christmas!) We had been battling the flu and colds for a couple weeks. So, I got up and took some vitamins and then I realized I hadn’t even THOUGHT about what my children, or myself for that matter, were going to wear for Christmas. I knew I had my daughters taken care of thanks to my sweet cousin. So, I tried on a few different things in my closet, all of which my dear hubby said no…no… um, no… NOTHING fit! (Still working on losing that baby weight, and in the meantime nothing fits, my old clothes are too small and my maternity clothes are too big! What does fit is VERY casual.) So, I ventured out (when I should have been making cookies!) to find a Christmas outfit! I found one!! Yeah!! It took going to a few stores, but I came home with a darling new black, gray & white paisley skirt, black beaded sweater with top and new shoes! I was set! And Hubby liked it!

In the meantime, the rest of my family was decorating our tree. I really wish we could do this earlier… Next year, we might compromise and decorate it the day before Christmas Eve and then just wait to turn on the lights till Christmas eve. We’ll see…

So, it was time to get the boys clothes ready… Now, I THOUGHT this would be easy. They could wear what they wore last year… Um, nope! Captain REALLY grew this last year. Rascal could wear Captains vest and pants from last year, and I had pants for Captain, but no sweater or vest. Then there was sweet little Snuggles. Surely there was something from when his older brothers were babies… And there was, PLENTY in fact, just in the wrong sizes. At this point I am kicking myself for not checking BEFORE I went shopping. Aaarrggh! What to do, WHAT to do??

Now… Those of you that know me, know I have an obsession love of a certain children’s store. Just maybe one of my siblings would happen to be in town (30 min away) and be able to pick something up for me!

I picked up the phone… YAY!! My 17 year old brother was near the mall! Don’t you LOVE cell phones!?! Why did I ever give my mom a hard time for letting all my teenage siblings have their own cell phone??? It can SURE come in handy! Scott said sure, so I got on the phone and had the girls at the store searching for an outfit for Snuggles. The Christmas line had been out for MONTHS and was pretty picked over, but that was fine with me, since it was also hugely discounted. (I only shop the clearance racks at this store…) They know me well there, and Emily went into the back and found a full outfit: top, vest, pants, socks, shoes and hat! All for only $.99-5.99 (for the pants) each, as well as a cute green cable knit vest for Captain. Thank you Scotty! I could now breathe again.

Then it was nap time, the girls were too excited to nap… Then bath time… Time to get the appetizers ready to take to the Christmas Eve Party we were attending… Time to get the boys ready… Hurry and get myself ready, and TIME TO GO! (We were running late… surprised?) But everyone was set to go, and I was now ready to relax and enjoy Christmas!

We stopped at my neighbors on our way out. It was nice to visit and the kids were able to give them the ornaments they had made as well as some treats!

Then we were off to town, for the party and Midnight Mass. The girls fell asleep and I didn’t think anything of it. When we got to our friends house, hubby picked up Chiquita, and said… “She wet!”


She had. And I had not packed anything extra for her to wear. She never has accidents… EXCEPT, when shes sleeping. Luckily, when she had been placed in her car seat, her dress got caught up, so it was dry, but her tights and panties were SOAKED. I took them into the bathroom and washed them in the sink. Chris was a dear and tossed them into her dryer. Someone, I’m not sure who, put her tights back on her, OVER her diaper… And I laughed when a friend of ours, found her panties on our friends living room floor! Oops! How did THAT happen?!?

Nevertheless, we had a WONDERFUL time at the party! The boys were all especially captivated by the train under their tree!

When the party ended, we still had 2 HOURS till Mass started. Hummm… Is this really a good idea? The kids are tired and I was starting to feel even sicker. We decided to drive around and look at lights for awhile and then decide.

We saw some BEAUTIFUL homes totally decorated! And LOTS of others looking too!

At 11:15pm, we were in the church parking lot for Mass. The kids were sleeping, all except one who was saying his neck hurt… Oh, no! And then it hit me… WE PUT CHIQUITA BACK INTO HER WET CAR SEAT!” Yep, she was soaked again. I sent Rascal, my one awake child, to go and get daddy, who was in the church saving seats.

We went home… I was sad. I LOVE Midnight Mass. But for us this year, it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe next year!

Once home, hubby and I put the kids in their new Christmas pajamas, finished wrapping presents, and decorated the children’s rooms until I actually fell asleep on the couch, waking up at 6:30am with more wrapping to do!

The kids woke up and were SO excited! You can read a few of their comments here.

After looking at the clock, I said to hubby, since we are up, maybe we CAN make the 8:30 Mass, instead of waiting till the later one! We decided to go for it, everyone was ready pretty quickly… In the clothes from the night before. I had washed what needed to be in the middle of the night. Then as I went back to my room and looked at the clock: 7:45. The clock in the living room said 7:15. OH NO! It takes 30 minutes driving time to get to the 8:30 Mass. We were late. So plans changed yet again and we went to a 9:00 Mass 8 minutes from home, which was actually nice! (We usually travel 30-45 minutes for a somewhat more traditional Mass.)

We had a bit of time now, plus we wait till after Mass for the kids to open their gifts, so we took this opportunity to bless the nativity and the tree!

Then it was off to Mass. Mass was beautiful! The small church was rather full, but not packed. However, our children were the only little ones in the church. They received LOTS of attention after Mass, and I could see that they brought many smiles to this older crowd!

At home once again, I set out making the breakfast I had hoped to have pre-ready! Thank you hubby for picking up that yummy coffeecake at Costco “Just in Case!” We sang happy birthday to baby Jesus, and the kids blew out the candles. They then opened their stockings while I baked Ham & Cheese Brunch Squares. (Highly recommended! They were DELICIOUS!)

It’s amazing that even with all the craziness the day before, Christmas ended up being very blessed and magical! We canceled our plans to go over to my parents, and spent the day home (other than Mass) watching the kids open and then play with their new gifts.

Michael was so cute playing with his stocking… He was in heaven with his new elephant teether!

The girls received a new kitchen play set which I was able to purchase at a recent silent auction for only $40! (Costco was selling it for $139! The fridge had a few defects that hubby was able to fix. But for $100 less, I couldn’t pass it up!)

Twinkle Toes also LOVES “Searching Books” and has spent HOURS searching for pictures in her new 1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland!

The boys INCLUDING Daddy have been having a blast playing with Captains Rodeo Set! Hubby’s been working on a post over at his blog which I will link to when he is finished! My camera is FULL of rodeo pictures! I am a bit curious as to what they are working on?!

Ever since a trip this summer to visit some friends, my boys have been asking for Playmobil toys… Rascal was so excited to receive a new Warrior Ship!

And ALL the kids have been having fun with their new blessed toys!

My hubby spoiled me with a gift card to Barnes & Noble, and a couple new pairs of shoes! I always have SUCH a hard time finding shoes, but he always finds me the cutest pairs! Aren’t they darling? He even got me a new copy of my FAVORITE CD, since my old one has been missing since our family reunion this past summer. He can be SO thoughtful!

The kiddos were so excited about EVERYTHING they were given including gifts from relatives and Godparents! We were even surprised with a set of coloring books from a couple of my Uncles Tad & Jeb! (My dads twin brothers, whom we haven’t seen in years!)

Hubby & I limit the gifts we get our children to 3 each, since Jesus received 3 gifts Himself. However, when you add in the stockings, and gifts from everyone else, multiplied by 5 kids, it ends up being quite a bit… Too much in fact! 🙂 I’m still trying to find places to put their new things… This does, however, provide an excellent opportunity to donate some of the older toys to those less fortunate.

And to make the day even more lovely, it started snowing! By the next morning, we had a beautiful winter wonderland!

Since Christmas, we have just enjoyed staying home… Since I wasn’t feeling up to going anywhere, my parents and siblings came over to our house the day after Christmas to exchange gifts. We all had a blast eating homemade Chex mix and playing Apples to Apples! A local store had 2 for one games the day after Thanksgiving and so we’ve been having fun playing them! Captain received Stratego and loves it!

So, there you have it, our unedited Christmas! It was both stressful AND peaceful, crazy AND fun, holy and blessed, all at the same time! Plus, the children all have many new memories of this Christmas, Jesus’ Birthday, the REAL reason for the season!

I hope your Christmas was a very joyful and peaceful one!
May you be showered with blessings this coming year!

Note: All pictures can be clicked on to see a larger size.


  1. Margaret

    Thanks for that post! It felt like it was just for me (even though I know it really wasn’t). But it is comforting to know you are not alone in the craziness of motherhood. I popped over to that homsechool woman’s blog you posted. Yikes! Anyone would have a complex after viewing a blog like that! So, just know…you are not alone and thanks for sharing! Love you!

  2. Trina

    I loved reading about your Christmas. Isn’t life wonderful with a large family? You just never know what kinds of surprises and adventures you are in for!


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Prayer of Mothers

Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

Our Family

Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-19, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

A Little About Me

Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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