There are many pictures that can illustrate this post, but since they are on Randall's computer and it's going to take you a few days to get through this long post anyway, they'll have to come later.
This year Isaac is three and a half and Asher is almost two and I expected it to be a really fun Christmas for them. Isaac is almost old enough to look forward to and enjoy all the things that excite me about Christmas: decorating the tree, baking cookies and leaving some for Santa, snow and snowsuits, giving and getting gifts, singing Christmas carols. We definitely had fun doing all of these things including playing in the snow with our new snowsuits! Unfortunately, all the excitement that led up to Christmas was cut short by a number of illnesses. As I prepared to sing for 5 Christmas Eve services at the Crossing, I got a pretty bad cold that swelled up my throat. The day of the first services I went to a clinic and got some steroids that cleared up my throat and all my symptoms went away within 24 hours. It was great. Unfortunately, that night, Asher threw up. It was only once overnight and all day he seemed fine. But the next night Isaac started throwing up and did so all night. I finished my singing and then Randall got sick. I had just enough time to finish all of my Christmas projects and clean the house before it hit me, too. We seemed to be all feeling better on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas day we woke up and Santa had visited us! We briefly peeked at what he brought and then packed and loaded the car and went to Grandma and Grandpa Kirkland's. We brought Tabby (the dog) with us as well as our luggage for Oklahoma City. Tabby hung out in the garage while we exchanged more gifts. This year we had an eco friendly Christmas. We made many of our gifts and tried to buy homemade or eco friendly gifts. It was a really great and meaningful time with the Kirklands. Just as the entire clan was coming over for lunch, we had to get on the road. So we scarfed some turkey and potatoes and made our 9 hour trek to OKC.
Randall was sure that the fast food places would be open by dinner time so when we stopped in Joplin for dinner we were surprised to find everything closed. A few miles from the highway we found a Mazzio's Pizza place and were able to have a "nice" Christmas dinner. Unfortunately (again) I left Randall's Discover card there. Idiot.
We made it to OKC late Christmas night. But had a great time there. Isaac and Asher LOVE their Grandma and especially their Oklahoma cousins. They were spoiled rotten by everyone and didn't eat anything but sugar for the entire week. We spent a lot of time playing games, holding precious babies, and resting together.
On Sunday, we visited a new church plant where our nephew, Andrew, has been leading worship. The Littleton's tripled the population of the church, it was great for their end of the year tallies. Andrew led us in some beautiful worship songs, but the sweetest thing I ever saw was Isaac and Asher playing melodee bells to a couple of familiar Christmas carols. It took me by surprise. I sent the boys downstairs with the other kids and a couple of adults and they came up 20 minutes into the sermon and very successfully played Away in the Manger and Joy to the World. Asher shook some jingle bells and Isaac was in charge of playing the yellow bell. They were so great and I cried like a baby. It was quite embarrassing but my absolute favorite part of the whole season. I loved being surprised by the way my children were able to worship God.
The absolute worse part of the season was when we found out that Tabby had eaten another deathly dose of rat poison. Yes another. A month or so ago, we had mice and Tabby got into a couple of boxes of d-CON outside our house. I noticed a few hours later and got her some vitamin K (the antidote) in time before we ever saw any symptoms. This time around, it seems that she ate some rat poison on Christmas morning at my parents house. We didn't realize this until she started vomiting and coughing up blood on New Year's Eve. We took her to the vet, but weren't sure if there was anything we could do at this point. The vet said that the poison was doing it's job and stopping her blood from clotting, so her left lung was 50% full of blood at that point and it would probably get a bit worse. Her chest might start pooling with blood and putting pressure on her lungs, or her lungs might keep filling and eventually drown her. We took her home with more vitamin K (about 10 times as much as the last time around) and all we could do was wait and see. Her coughing got worse as the day went on. But when we left for our New Years Eve party at Aunt Nita's she quit coughing up blood. She hasn't since! We think she'll probably make it. After a few more weeks of vitamin K we'll see how her blood is clotting and I'll never buy rat poison again! It seems Tabby's name is fitting and she thinks she's a cat with 9 lives. She's already on her fourth…
Overall, it was a good Christmas and God continued to show up in miraculous ways.