Sunday, December 28, 2008

Makenna's note

Makenna made a red heart card for me and Michael and put it under the tree for us for Christmas morning. I thought it was so sweet that I wanted to share what it said.

When it's Christmastime I love to share. You love to spend time with your family. This year I do not care about presents. I want to spend time with my family and friends. I wanted to give you something special this year, so I wanted to give you a special card. It means I love you because you take care of me. I wanted you to be happy today. I love you. I love you. Love Makenna James Christiansen

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Olivia's hair

Olivia cracks me up. She has a personality like I have never seen before. She knows what she wants and nothing is going to stop her from getting it. She is the messiest little girl I have ever seen. She loves to color on any bare spot of skin she can find. One day she got a marker and pulled up her shirt and colored on her belly - in all the colors, then she pulled up her pant legs and did the same. Then she colored on the backs of her hands, pulled up her sleeves and got as much of her arms as she could, colored her mouth and then went to work on the bottoms of her shoes. After she was done she would walk around showing everyone her artwork. She was so proud! When she eats it gets everywhere. We can't keep a bib on her and they don't make them big enough to hold her mess. Her hair is constantly coated with things I probably don't want to know about or it's stuck to her face from her latest snack. When you look at her you can see it in her eyes. They are full of what's inside her. You can see her mood in her eyes. Her hair, though, says OLIVIA. I love it in the mornings when it doubles the size of her head and she has to tilt her head way back to see. I love it right after the shower when it's all curly and soft. Static cling does wonders for it and so does ketchup and suckers. Here are a few pictures and by looking at her hair you can get to know our little angel, Princess Lala.


What a fun couple of days! Christmas Eve morning the kids opened the presents that they give each other. We do it in the morning so they can have the day to enjoy whatever it is that they get. They were excited to finally get to open something.

That evening we went to the Feslers again for dinner, a little program and games. The kids love it. There were 17 people there this year. We are thankful to have them to spend the evening with. We got home around 10:45 and got the kids ready for bed as soon as possible, then Michael and I finished up what we needed to do and got to bed by midnight. I had most everything wrapped beforehand so it didn't take too long. We had to fill the stockings and set out the presents and write a thank you note from Santa. Then I had to put a treat next to each one's pillow (from Santa).

Michael got up at 6 to go do chores and I got up to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything. Dillon came down while Michael was gone and checked out his stocking. The others eventually trickled down the stairs, with the help of Michael, and we opened presents. It was a lot of fun. Despite the budget that I put myself on, we had the best Christmas we have ever had. I was blessed to find great deals and everything that the kids wanted was on sale. Maddi's favorite thing was a laptop that Stacey and John found for us (for free). Makenna loves her leapster (that I had to fight for the day after Thanksgiving), Zane loves his leaptser and his light up star wars shirt. Dillon loved everything - his train set and his hot wheels town. Zeke loved Olivia's horse and Olivia loved her doll.

The biggest hit though was the ride on battery operated 4 wheeler we got from the Walbas. Michael and I accidentally found it at Walmart. It was the display model and it was on sale for $99, regularly $298. It even came with an extra battery. I was so excited about it. We saved that for last and the kids went crazy! Everyone took turns sitting on it. That afternoon we took it upstairs in the barn and they drove it around. Olivia was the all-time passenger. Even Zeke could drive her around on it. Anyways, it was a fun day that we got to spend together. Yesterday my friend Sara, came over and brought presents for the kids. I have known her since 5th grade. They got play dough, markers, crayons, coloring books, construction paper, and drawing pads. They love that stuff and immediately put it all to use. It was in the 30's yesterday so when we got back from town they went outside and played on the big snowpile that Michael had made for them. They loved that. Today they are planning on playing on it again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Never Alone

A few months ago, I made an entry about life and how things can change so quickly. It seemed everything we had been planning for was ripped right out of our hands just as we were supposed to be receiving it. Since then we have been looking for answers and a way to move on. Answers haven't necessarily come, but very unexpected blessing have been given to us. We were still able to meet our goals despite the loss of Michael's bonus and raise. We have been able to sit down and do a budget so we can continue on our financial path with success. Things have still been frustrating, some days more than others. We have spent several months now waiting and wondering what was going to happen next. I don't do well with the unknown so this has been extremely hard for me. This started at the beginning of October and now Christmas is upon us. We have spent the last few months looking for jobs, hoping for opportunities and trying to make the best of what we were dealing with. We were surrounded by good friends and family that supported us and helped us. Without them we would not have made it as well as we did. Still there were times when I wondered why. I wondered where Heavenly Father was in all of this and when He was going to let us in on His plan. There were days I felt forgotten and wondered what I was doing wrong. Well, I've had some time to think about things and I've had some wonderful things happen to me over the last month that have opened my eyes to the fact that I am not alone. Little things, have brought knowledge to me that even though I still don't know what is in store for us, Heavenly Father has not left us. As a family, we have been blessed. We have faced a lot of sickness this season, but nothing has been too serious. Zeke went to the hospital, but he came home quickly. Another little kid has been in the hospital since Thanksgiving and won't be home for Christmas. She had the same thing Zeke had, but she got in worse shape than him. That is huge to me. There have been little manifestations to me as well. Ones that wouldn't have meaning to anyone but me, but through them I have been able to feel Heavenly Father's presence. I still don't know why things happen the way that they do, I still struggle with the unknown, but I am very grateful for the blessings that we have.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning is finally here, we’ve waited for so long
The children are dancing and singing as the radio plays Christmas songs.
Each stocking has a candy cane; there are presents under the tree
Bright packages with ribbons and bows are such a sight to see.
The children’s eyes sparkle just like the Christmas tree lights
The magic of the moment makes everything merry and bright.
The air is filled with joyful squeals as gifts are opened one by one
Santa Clause thought of everything, nothing was left undone.
The magic that was felt all season long is still filling the air
Oh, to be a child on Christmas day without a single worry or care!
To feel the joy of the moment and forget about yesterday
Nothing that tomorrow brings will ruin the special day
Believing hearts and child like faith is what makes the day so special
So close your eyes and step back in time to when you were a child so small
Take in the magic and with each opened package, feel the excitement grow within.
Then this day will be filled with wonder and amazement as you become a child once again

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Maddi's Baptism

Maddi got baptized on Nov. 30th. It was a wonderful day. She was so excited. We did it after church. Ron and Tina Fesler came and spoke at it. They did a wonderful job. The Olsens also came to see it. Maddi was excited to have them there. We love the Olsen family and it was fun to have them be a part of our special day. Michael baptized her of course and confirmed her. It was a very nice day. We missed our families being there, but enjoyed sharing it with our friends. That day was also our sacrament program. We had 11 kids participate. They did a wonderful job. Maddi sang a solo, the second verse of "I Am A Child of God". She also played the piano while Makenna, Zane and Dillon sang "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus". They did great and sang beautifully. Maddi played the whole song twice without any mess ups. I am glad that is all over for another year. Now we can have fun singing Christmas songs and getting ready for the Christmas program.

Here we go again!

Wednesday night I came home from town to find that Zeke had thrown up 5 times since 7pm. It was 10 om when I got home. He ended up throwing up another 3 times before he stopped. Thursday Olivia started getting a rash on her legs. I took her to the doctor Friday and they said it looked like a bacteria infection. They took a sample to see if it was E. Coli. I hope it's not. I don't want to deal with that again. This morning around 1 am, Dillon came in to tell me he had thrown up. I cleaned up the mess, Michael went downstairs to sleep and Dillon got in bed with me. He threw up again at 2am and then again at 3 am. This morning he is doing better. Olivia has thrown up twice this morning, which means that she can't take her medicine for her infection. Makenna is complaining about not feeling well too, but she has not thrown up yet. I sure hope everyone gets better soon. We don't want to have a sick holiday. The older kids have their 4-h Christmas party Monday night and their Christmas concert Tuesday night and then we have a fun Christmas party to go to next Friday. There will be horse drawn sleigh rides and everything. Keep your fingers crossed for us!