Christmas, for the Love

for the love of Christmas

Christmas, for the love

Sweet moments of Christmas past

It’s time for my annual, “You can do this Christmas traveling thing” pep talk. Did you know that by January of 2015, we DID have every single one of our 12 suitcases that we had flown with?

I sweated out the traveling, but as usual, it was not so bad. I don’t even think we went to the Emergency Room last Christmas, and we have visited our share of Emergency Rooms on Christmas breaks. Yep, we have visited ERs in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky (or was it Tennessee…or North Carolina?), and Virginia over Christmas vacation.

No, this year is going to be happy, healthy, and bright like last year. I have faith.


“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”   1 John 4:10-11

Tomorrow I’m going to do something that sounds, even to me, a little bit bonkers.

I am going to board an airplane with all four of my boys, ranging in age from 2 to 10, and fly nonstop California to Georgia, for the second time this year, and Alan isn’t joining us until a week later.  When I arrive, my parents will be there to pick us up. Then we will all 6 ride in one mini-van, with a giant wheelchair lift on back, to my parents’ house, 4 hours away from the airport.


Christmas, for the love

Christmas 2012 with grands

The kids are beside themselves with JOY. They can’t wait!


Christmas, 2011

I have mixed feelings, like I do every year. Why do I do this to myself?

For the love. For the love, for the love, for the love.

Christmas, for the love

Daniel and his great-grandma, 2012

Family is the best, because we get to relax. So the kids watch too much t.v. and play too much Wii over Christmas. Go for it, kids. It’s freezing out there, and I want to go lay down.

Mom and Dad fully know that I will sleep every bit as late as John David will allow me to do so. Maybe even 9 AM!!! 10, if I can get away with it. And then I might take a nap again later…

Mom and Dad totally expect my boys to eat them out of house and home, and they are prepared for that. I get texted about 15 grocery questions before our arrival.

Christmas, 2011

Dan and his granddaddy, 2011

For the love. They love us.

Christmas, for the love

Joshua, getting love from his Aunt Ellen

How could you not love a family like ours? We have all the classics! Dad will be sleeping in his recliner, Mom will bake, and the boys will be all excited and running around in circles. I will be walking around, trying to monitor their sugar intake, a fruitless effort at Christmas, really.

Christmas, for the love

2012. The year Amy and I were both pregnant.

Once we finish visiting my parents, we will visit Alan’s family. That’s a much bigger family. We will be sharing a house with TWELVE people there.

Christmas, for the love

11 of the 12.

Mother Teresa said that if we all went home and loved our families, as they are, just loved them for who they are and took care of them, we would not need all the charity organizations.

Love. It is the most powerful force in the universe. You can’t live on this earth and not experience it, because God is here, and He is love.

Christmas, for the love

2009. I’m telling you Caleb was the biggest 2-year-old EVER.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”   1 John 3:18

Christmas, for the love

2014 That’s still my favorite shirt. I gotta be careful not to wear it on picture day..


 2012...I think.

Daniel, and his ridiculously pretty cousin

By the way, last year I was blessed so much by this trip that all of my pain went away from New Year’s until May! I thought my hip and shoulder problems were truly over, I felt so great. I’m hoping for a repeat of that! No pressure or anything!

Whoo-hoo! Let’s do this Christmas thing!


Yes, that’s me. 1982ish.





  • Nonna

    Enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Wishing you a very easy and uneventful flight. Glad everyone is well. Study hard, Alan. I will get a grocery list from you when you arrive. See you all very soon.

  • Daddy-O

    Here’s a very appropriate Bible verse for you: “To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth—because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever” 2 John 1 & 2

    Have a safe trip and see y’all soon!

    • This comment has brought me encouragement all throughout this trip to Alabama, some of which went smoothly, some of which was a literal pain in the rear. Thank you for these words of truth! I read them in my Bible this morning too and was double encouraged.

  • May God bless you with an uneventful, peaceful, quiet trip with those boisterous blessings! And with a love-filled, family-filled, Christ-filled Christmas.

    P.S. I have pics of myself wearing the same sweater two years in a row. My husband`s niece always points it out when we look over the family pictures. I put this postscript in as a helpful reminder to you! 🙂
    Alma Mater recently posted…Out of the Mouths of Babes: EleanorMy Profile

  • Wow, well good luck if it hasn’t happened already! Family is love and Christmas is family love and more.
    You got this.
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  • Jen

    Love all the love! I hope your suitcases all end up in the right place and you have a wonderful and very blessed Christmas time with your family!
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  • This is very precious April. It is a huge thing too board that airplane and fly across the country with your 4 boys, but when I see the pictures of the faces of your loved ones with the boys, I know every minute of the inconvenience of the travel is worth it.

    One of the hardest things for me was not being able for the children to travel to New Zealand to visit Nana and Poppa. Just WAY too expensive. It did happen once. My wife never asks anything of me, and once when we were doing dishes together, just in a side comment she would love to take the kids to New Zealand. I did not respond, but for about a year I kept checking deals on the internet, when I’d get home from my afternoon shift at work. There finally came a deal …still pricey, but the cheapest I had seen, and presented to my wife 5 tickets for her and the children to go “home”. Am really glad was able to make that happen.

    There was an emergency, my youngest was 5 at the time was airlifted by helicopter and was in ICU for a month. Lynne was with Fiona pretty much the entire time in hospital, and the other 3 had quality time with their Nana and Poppa. A story in itself, back in Canada I thought I was going to lose her.
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