Blessings of 2009

Okay, so I never make resolutions. So instead, I like to make a list of the blessings that God has given me over the past year. So here goes:

  1. We found a wonderful new church home-Grace Community Church.

  2. We got to know a lot of great people from the church by being involved in several things- Christmas choir, summer Bible study, and community group on Wednesdays-it was so wonderful to be involved again!

  3. Josie made it through her first year unscathed :).

  4. Josie got tubes for her pitiful little ears, and since then NO more ear infections!

  5. Jake and I both still have wonderful jobs.

  6. In my job, I have had an opportunity to team teach, which means I really get to focus on the subjects I like the most :).

  7. My Daddy gave me the motivation I needed to start running again….and this is a blessing in two ways-1. It is something really fun that Daddy and I can do and enjoy together and 2. I was able to lose all the rest of the baby weight!

  8. Β I have made some new friends and gotten closer to some people that were probably only “acquaintances” before.

  9. Jake and I still continue to grow closer and more in love each day :).

  10. My faith in God has grown immeasurably this year.

Everyone who reads this post, please leave a comment to list one blessing you have received this year!

Gifts and Bible

Josie has really been enjoying her new Christmas gifts. She keeps asking for her “bag” (sleeping bag). She likes to unroll it and put various things inside. She has pulled her frog and her bee all over the place, she likes to take all of Mrs. Potato Head’s clothes off, and she has played with her new play dough twice. She will not go to bed without her “hop-hop” blanket, and tonight she had to take her new baby doll to bed. She also has rolled the little tractor that came with her new barn all over the place.

Tonight when it was time for us to read our books before bed, Josie asked specifically Β to read her Bible. I know she doesn’t really know what that means, but it just melted my heart to hear her say “read Bible.” I have planned on making reading a Bible story, plus a regular book a part of our nightly routine when she got old enough, but I guess that time is now! She really likes her little Bible, so I know she will really like reading out of it every night. Besides, what a wonderful way to remind myself where my mind should be before bed, too! In case your wondering, the Bible Josie has is “The Little Golden Bible Storybook.” I picked it out for her for last Christmas. It just has paraphrases of some of the major Bible stories, and it gives the scripture references for each one. I picked it because it is a board book, it has really good illustrations, and the paraphrases are pretty accurate, for the most part. The stories are simple, but they use a lot of the same phrases as a normal Bible. When she gets a little bit older, I plan on getting her a different Bible, probably this one. But for now, the Golden book one is great :).

Christmas

ETA: This post is REALLY long, and mainly just a journal-type entry for me so I can remember for years to come :). Read at your own risk!

So. Christmas. I finally just got done uploading, sorting, labeling, and tweeking all the Christmas pictures. Took awhile. You can go to brandyfentress.smugmug.com to see them all, but I am of course going to post my faves πŸ™‚

Christmas was good. I do love the holiday, even in the years when I may not be exactly excited or ready for it :). Josie loved Christmas this year. She was not all about the presents-she could take them or leave them. Once she opened one, she was pretty much done, because she just wanted to play with it-she didn’t care that there were more and that there might be something else. So present opening with Josie was a very long and drawn out ordeal. Especially because, every time she tore one piece of paper off a gift, she had to throw that piece away before she could rip another one off-no just throwing it on the floor, not with my OCD child :). I was glad she was so slow and methodical, though-it let us just kind of sit back and enjoy :). Plus, this is definitely the last year she will be like that, for sure!

We started on Wednesday night by reading Josie the Christmas story from her little Bible. She was so sweet-I loved to hear her little voice say “Jesus.” Then, Christmas Eve morning, she did the sweetest thing while we were getting ready-she brought me her little Bible and said “Jesus”, and wanted me to read to her :). So, of course, I did.

Christmas Eve morning we went to Jake’s mom’s for brunch and exchanging gifts with his family. It was lots of fun and REALLY good food :). Josie got her first Christmas presents-an outfit, some pjs, a pull-behind wooden bee which she LOVED; a Little People block set, 2 puzzles, a wooden sandwich set for her kitchen, and a Little People icecream truck. She was so cute pulling her little bee around :).

After we left there, we went to Nana’s to celebrate with my mom’s family. Things are a little crazy schedule-wise there now, because all of us grandkids are now married or engaged or dating, so everyone is in a million different directions. We were all able to be there at the same time for a little while, though, so that was good. The only bad thing is that in all the rush we forgot to take a “cousins” picture-that has not happened in years!! We always have one. We will just have to get one the next time we are all together. Josie had fun at Nana’s, too. She got a new baby doll pram, a baby doll, a wooden pull-behind frog, some clothes, a Mrs. Potato Head, and a Sock Monkey metal tea set (so cute!). The hit was the pull-behind frog-something about those pull-behind toys!

After we left Nana’s, my immediate family all went to my Mom and Dad’s so that Chad, Casey, and I could exchange gifts and give our gifts to Mom and Dad. This has been our tradition for a long time…I don’t know if it will stick, though, now that we are all getting older and attached! Josie got some Mega Bloks from Chad and Lesa and a gear-turn thingy from Casey and Kyle. (I have no idea what it is actually called). After, that, Jake, Josie, and I finally went home. This was the first Christmas ever that I have not stayed at my parent’s, but Jake and I both wanted Josie home with us, just the 3 of us, for Christmas morning.

Christmas morning was good. We had to wake Josie up before 6:00, though, because we had to be at my parent’s at 7:15. She was super sleepy, and not ready to get up, but once she woke up a little bit we showed her what “Santa Claus” had brought her. Santa did not go overboard this year, because we truly want for nothing; Josie has plenty. (and besides, her family gets her so much, I don’t know what else Santa could have possibly brought! πŸ™‚ ) She will probably get more later on, but right now, we are keeping it small. We want to make sure we always focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas, so Santa will be there, but not be the main focus of Christmas for us :). Anyways, Santa brought Josie a Pottery Barn anywhere chair-Josie loves to sit on everything, especially things that are just her size. She was really excited to sit in it. She also got a sleeping bag, and on the sleeping bag came with a little water bottle-and THAT was the hit of her Christmas morning-not the chair or the sleeping bag, but the freebie water bottle πŸ™‚ Go figure! In her stocking she got a coloring book, some watercolor paint, play dough, and a book. She had to paint right away-she was really excited about that!

After our Christmas, we went to my Mom and Dad’s so they could give us our “Santa” gifts-my Dad refuses to give that up! πŸ™‚ I am really excited about my gifts- you are going to be seeing a lot of them! Mom and Dad got me backdrops-black and white! and Jake got me an umbrella light kit- So now I basically have my own photo studio-yay!!! Josie was really excited about her gift from Grammy and Pappy-they got her a play house! For now, it is staying at their house for her to play with-especially since they moved her bed upstairs and sat it up in the house! She was so cute-she made everybody play in it with her-Jake, Daddy, Mom, me, Chad.

Christmas morning my dad’s side of the family always comes over for breakfast, and all the men cook. It was yummy, and good to see everyone :), and as always, a little crazy in the house! Andy and Christie got Josie a little fleece blanket with frogs on it, and it is the only thing she will sleep with now-she calls it her “hop hop” blanket.

Christmas afternoon we went back to Jake’s mom’s for lunch with his family, his uncle and aunt and cousin, and his Granny (she has been in the rehab center (NHC), but got to come home just for the day). It was a good, relaxing day-Jake, Josie and I even got a nap!

All in all, a wonderful holiday, filled with LOTS of good food, wonderful family, and some rest.