Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Different Kind of Christmas

This year's Christmas has been in the planning for a couple of years now. As I have mentioned before, our family has had numerous celebrations this year - anniversaries, special birthdays (all birthdays are special but I'm talking about the decade changing ones!), graduations, new babies, etc. So we decided a couple of years ago to take a family trip and originally we were going to Italy. But somebody forgot to tell the girls not to have babies until after the trip. Well, actually somebody did tell them not to have babies until after the trip - and thankfully they didn't listen.

So then we decided that perhaps a Mexican cruise would be nice. But then we learned that babies have to be at least 6 months old before they can go on a ship. Okay - nevermind.

We finally chose to go to Florida - as the one common denominator we all agreed on was that we wanted to go somewhere warm. So on December 27th - our kids, grandkids, mothers-in-law, and us are boarding a plane for Florida. We have rented a house for a week that has a pool and is only 2 blocks from the beach. We are stoked. Becky assures me that we will fit right in with all the other tourists wearing flip-flops and shorts while the natives are wearing their coats and handwarmers.

One of the stipulations was that if we take this trip there will be no Christmas present buying this year. All our money is going to the trip. I don't know how it is going to feel on Christmas morning to wake up and not have a single present to open, but I'm sure enjoying it right now. I cannot believe the stress it has taken off this holiday. Nothing to buy. Nothing to wrap. Nothing to exchange. It is wonderful!

Instead our gift is a week of being together, playing games, fishing, laughing, reminiscing, eating, and visiting the Mouse of course. Inevitably there will be some arguing and some stress. But that's okay - it comes with the territory of big families. With all the changes going on in our family, knowing that in just a few short weeks Michelle and Brad and Tyler will be leaving for three years, I plan on doing what Mary did - and just ponder all these things in my heart.

And because I can't seem to post anything these days without pictures of my sweet babies - I hope you don't mind indulging me!

I made these little Candy Cane hats for the babies. I envisioned them more like a stocking hat and not this Dr. Suess kind of look. Oh well.

This is the little sweater and hat I made sweet Ava from the Itty Bitty Nursery book. I want to make one in every size so she will always have one to wear - it's so snuggly!

Our sweet boy and girl. They are such blessings to our hearts.

Grandpa's boy


Becky said...

I was JUST thinking about you. Really! I was thinking about how much you would love today here in Florida. It is warm .. no it is just plain HOT outside. My cookies are wilting as they sit on the counter. The frosting does not like humidity.

Those babies are so adorable. What in the world is Tyler doing standing up? Stop growing boy!!

And those hats and sweater are too cute. You have the best dressed grands I have ever seen.

I know you are going to have a wonderful vacation, and that sounds so tempting, not to buy and wrap gifts. You'll have to do a big brunch on Christmas and enjoy being together.

Judy said...

That sweater IS darling! I love the stem!

Oh and I'm just a teensy bit jealous of your holiday plans!!! Have so much fun and give Mickey a hug for Molly! :)

elizabeth said...

Your holiday sounds divine. Time spent with the ones you love beats any gift under the tree. The memories you all will be making are truly priceless.

And I love the hats! :)

Karen said...

Post as many pictures as you want of those sweet babies. I never tire of it. The hats are so adorable. Your vacation sounds wonderful. What better gift than to have everyone you love most, together at such a beautiful place!

nancygrayce said...

Well, it's not Italy, but Florida is good! Where in Florida are you going? I live in Panama City. We have had only a few, very few cool days, maybe one cold, but right now it's short sleeve weather! So the natives will have their flip flops on too!

Barb said...

I think your family's plans for Christmas are wonderful, Robin, especially with all that's going to happen shortly afterwards.

Never worry about posting too many photos of your sweet babies. All us Nanas out here understand (and do the same thing LOL) and everyone else will be a Nana someday and then they'll understand too. All the photos are part of the privileges of being a grandmother.

Your babies are adorable and I love the Dr. Seuss hats!

Mrs. Julie Fink said...

Such beautiful little ones! I love the things that you have made for them. Have fun in Florida!!! How wonderful to be together as a whole family!

Willow said...

I think your idea about not buying presents and using the money to go somewhere together is a great idea! I'm thinking, I'm thinking, there's next year...

julie f said...


I don't know if you remember me...I was Jessica's 1st grade teacher (and does that ever make me feel old to see that she is in college!). I just had to stop my "lurking" and say how much I appreciate you sweet, transparent heart. I enjoy your writing style so very much, and gain much inspiration from the things you share.
I will be praying for your family as changes come and I know you will cherish your times together. I'm so proud of Michelle and Brad, but know that your heart is breaking...even though we begin letting go when they are so young, I guess nothing really prepares us for this.
Thanks again for sharing your heart...blessings on you! (Would you tell Jess I said hello?)

nancygrayce said...

Oh, you'll be way south of us, so it's bound to be warm! I hope you and all your family have a wonderful time!

Spring Fricks said...

Oh your going to see the Mouse?? That's our favorite place to go. We have season passes and go as much as possible.

You guys will have a blast I'm sure.

I love the sweater you made. It's beautiful.

Dawn said...

That purple sweater - adorable and beautiful!! I love the Dr. Seuss hats - would love to have some for the twinnies!

The trip sounds awesome. Just thinking of coming back from Hawaii a year ago yesterday has made me nostalgic - well, I have been for the entire 10 days, actually.

The only good thing about going private was so I could still post pictures of the babes and the bigger kids. The trade-off is that not many get to come over and visit, and those who can have to remember to do so! What a pit.

Well, lots to do - I haven't even finished shopping, but today's the day - no kiddoes, lunch with a friend, and off to get the few things I plan to buy.

Saturday - new fridge finally arriving (a few cupboards have been moved by a very talented fix-it man to make room), 30 people for SS party that night (nobody;s fault but my own!), choir practice in the afternoon, cantata Sunday, DC's family arriving late that evening - 4 staying here, 30 of us for a week - eating dinners in the church gym. Oh, my. Busy times ahead! Your time in Florida sounds fabulous - pray the weather cooperates!

When do your kids leave for Peru? Is it all coming together financially, etc?

A Day In the Life . . . said...

Robin - we decided, before we married that we wouldn't buy christmas presents, but would do something remarkable, and together, each holiday season. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as Bela gets older, but I think its a wonderful idea, and you all will have a great time!
Happy Holidays!

Robin said...

A) Beautiful Grandchildren

B) Can you please teach me how to knit? Love the sweater!

C) Merry Christmas and enjoy your cruise!

Robin said...

oops, sorry. Enjoy your FLORIDA. Gheesh. This is what happens when I try to get caught up on 331 posts in 45 min. =)

Dawn said...

When do you leave?? So exciting!

dianne - bunny trails said...

How wonderful, Robin! I hope you have a very blessed and terrific Christmas.

The candy cane hats are just TOO cute! Cracks me up that they turned out a la Seuss!! :D

Kathy S. said...

Your grandchildren are beautiful! Your craftsmanship superb...HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS, and happy vacation
Ahh, warmth...only by the woodstove these days...

gail@more than a song said...

Your babies, and the things you've made them, adorable!