Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

The Christmas tree still stands, bare, in the corner, the ornaments all removed but the star still atop the bristly boughs. Ryker, the enthusiasm and innocence that only a 4 year old could exhibit, says, "I think it is snowing today because it's almost Christmas-time again!" He says this with such glee, because he felt the temperature higher than 50 this weekend when the four of us took to the park for baseball, running, and playing...a January surprise for any Hoosier, and must have felt like we were so far away from Christmas, so quickly. Today, with the winter chill's swift return, Ryker rationalizes that it's Christmas once more.

The greatest part is that he is right on: it is Christmas time. In years past I remember feeling somber on the 26th of December, the magic and the anticipation vanished, seemingly tucked away for eleven long months. I see, now, that there is no need for the let down. In a sense, the day after Christmas should be even happier because Jesus is here...He has come and we are one day closer to Him coming again. So, my response to Ryker was simply, "Everyday can be Christmas in your heart, buddy." We headed to the living room to do some singing and dancing (which has been a part of nearly every day for the last month or so. 

Deklan, our resident DJ, has always loved music. He received a boombox for Christmas along with an iTunes gift card. It has easily been the most played with item in our house for the last three weeks. He has multiple favorite songs that we've burned to a couple of discs for him, along with a few cds that he has received over the past year or so. He turns on the music, sets it to one of his favorite tracks, then CRANKS the volume to a far too high decibel (at which time we ask him to turn it down and give him a warning...three times and you lose your tunes for the day; this is why the boombox is also the most frequently confiscated item in our house), then sings at the top of his 2 year old lungs and dances around energetically. Ryker and D  praise and worship with such gusto. We have several videos that you'll have to check out here, here, and here to get an idea of what this looks and sounds like. Suffice it to say that it makes this mama's heart burst with joy (and laughter) to hear them exalting our King. (Side note, it is an absolute hoot to hear them singing the song from Madagascar know the "I like to move it, move it" one with the addition of polka dot, polka dot afro circus. Yeah, I don't know how you keep a straight face while you hear/see that!)

Our family had a wonderful Christmas with lots of time spent with our loved ones. We traveled up to Goshen for a mini Brenneman family reunion. With the exception of a few cousins, all of the family was together for some amazing fellowship, incredible food, and many laughs. At this point, there are dozens of little ones (and at least 4 more on the way) and all of them played well together despite the lack of naps. What a blessing to get together with everyone!

We had a fun filled evening with the Spillmans. Having Emerson around for the night was at the top of Rykerman's wish list. The boys had a blast playing all night long. There was a giant nerf gun war throughout multiple rooms in the house and it is safe to say that everyone involved in the battle made it out mostly unscathed and as a result of the intense action, rested really well (a victory for us Moms, if nothing else!).
We got to visit Grammy & Papaw and see our extended family for some food and fun. Rilei and Ryker were inseparable. Once again, it was such a joy to  be together with family.

Christmas Eve was exceptionally memorable this year. For the first time, we were going to be at our own house. We were very excited to be able to attend our church's candlelight service. It was breathtaking...I literally got all emotional as I looked out across the sanctuary to see all of these flickering lights, the gentle reminder of The Light the came into the world and how powerful the impact is when each believer shines His Light for others to see...the darkness cannot help but flee. We left church only to find Ryker wasn't feeling quite himself. He had a low grade fever, so we gave him some meds and he drifted off to sleep. We were slated to visit with my extended family that night, so we packed food and gifts and the boys up for the road. Ryker was in good spirits when we got there and seemed to turn a corner, only to start feeling worse. He curled up with Grammy in a recliner and cuddled with her under a fuzzy blanket by the fireplace trying to rest a bit after dinner. His fever had returned, and in a big way...over 104 degrees! I will spare you the details, but I will just say that I have some fantastic ladies in my family, ladies that don't think twice about jumping in to help, whether it be to hand us a trash bag or help throw Ryker in a tub or even to lend us clean attire and launder all of our flu drenched duds. Such grace and service on display at our Christmas gathering. Thank you, all, for not hesitating for a minute to help us in our time of need...and I am so very sorry that the flu bug attacked you days later as a result of your sacrifice. Poor Ryker was down for the count. We took him home for some much needed rest. Deklan was loving his time with his cousins, playing baseball and watching Veggie Tales with Tyler. Despite the unexpected ending to our evening, we enjoyed the short time we did have celebrating Christmas with my family.

Our Christmas was spent helping Ryker recover from the flu. We were all together, we were singing Christmas songs, we were remembering The Reason for our gathering and for our every breath. We capped off the evening with a birthday celebration, cake and song for our Savior.

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