A few years ago when we hit 12 kids, we said to each other, this family does NOT need more kids. What we need are more parents! We had a lot of great friends in Mankato ... you know that. And they are still our friends.
But since moving here we have been super blessed by a couple whose kids are grown who have been so good to us. They genuinely like our kids and theirs are young adults now, so they have some extra time. And we seem to fill it. Lots of it... and sometimes, when we need them to fill that role, it seems like our family has four parents. This weekend it was like that.
Historically we have had horrible Christmas decorating experiences. We have arguments and stress and crabby kids and parents. By the end of the night we are mad at each other and the tree doesn't even look that great.
But this time we asked Nick and Joy to help us have fun with it. They both love Christmas so we've made this a project. Nick and I made several trips to Menards and other similar stores and by last weekend the lights were up on the roof. And yesterday we went to cut down our tree at a tree farm. Joy had other commitments, but Nick drove his truck with Tony in it, and Bart and I and the other three boys who live at home. They each took turns sawing and we brought the tree home. Here's what that adventure looked like.
Tonight Nick and Joy came over and had chinese takeout with us and then helped us decorate. Joy (who is appropriately named) brought reindeer antlers and santa hats and made all the kids and Bart and I wear them. The tree is the nicest one we've had and we had fun!
I'm grateful for my kids cooperative spirits tonight. For them, they did good. And I'm grateful for our friends who took time from busy schedules (we had a packed day at church today -- two services, practice for Christmas program, and a memorial service that the choir sang out -- and they still made time for us.
So far, it's been the best Christmas ever. God is so good. It's so nice to feel happy. Aren't our kids gorgeous???