The Macs

Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas

We pray that your Christmas was filled with abundant reminders of God's great love and faithfulness to us. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but along with it comes many mixed emotions...especially as we send out our Christmas cards. Our family picture represents the life that God has entrusted to us this year...not one, but two sweet boys. We love those boys so much and feel incredibly blessed to be their parents. But when we look at our family picture we cannot help but be reminded of a huge hole. A hole that our daughter Cora left behind. A hole that forever makes our family feel incomplete. We are so thankful that Christmas is about more than pretty decorations, presents, fun traditions, or even a "complete" family Christmas card. We celebrate because Christmas is the time God kept his promise to send a Savior. It is amazing to think that God sent his Son to the earth as a tiny baby to save save me. What an incredible truth to celebrate. A truth that assures us that because of that tiny baby in the manger and His death on the cross for us, we can have a personal relationship with Him. And we can look forward in great anticipation to the day we will stand "complete" before our Heavenly Father. A solid truth and HOPE that we can live by.

This little blog has been an unexpected blessing. Thank you for reading. Thank you for crying and laughing along with us. Thank you for praying for us and encouraging us along this life journey. We are so grateful for each one of you. We thank God for all that 2011 held and look forward to seeing what God has planned for our family in 2012.

Merry Christmas!
Love, The Macs

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

cousins + candy...lots of candy

Last night when I was putting Levi to bed, I told him that when he woke up his cousins were going to come over and we were going to decorate gingerbread houses. He was so excited that his cousins were coming over.

I don't think he had any idea what decorating gingerbread houses meant. But he sure was excited when he saw all the candy the next morning.

I hot glued the gingerbread (grahm cracker) houses together the night before. Messy projects with little people always go so much better when you are prepared. I learned that from teaching kindergartners.

Levi helped me set everything out on the table. And then we had to wait for his cousins to arrive. Man, waiting is hard. Especially when candy is involved. I kept catching those little hands of his reaching into the candy bowls.

I tried to get a picture of Levi with his two cousins before they got all messy. This is the best we got. Ellie tried so hard to get the boys to cooperate and smile. :)

Ellie did such a good job helping Levi. When I watch her with him, it gives me a glimpse into what it might be like if Levi's big sister were here. Always watching to make sure he is doing things right and helping him...sometimes bossing him around and putting him into a headlock to try to get him to smile for pictures. :) Maybe that is how Cora would have been too!

I was surprised that the gingerbread houses kept Levi's attention.

But he was very intent on spreading his frosting...all over his house and all over himself.

Of course they had to taste some too. Tripp really liked the frosting.

When the houses were frosted we had to take a break and play with Griffin.

My kids are well loved by their cousins.

Back to work. Now it's time for the fun part. Candy.

They all worked so hard to decorate their houses.

I am pretty sure a certain little boy ate 500 pieces of candy for every one piece he put on his house. I have never seen him consume so much sugar. Every time I looked over, his mouth was packed full like a chipmunk. Can you say sugar high?

And here are our finished houses...

Griffin (made by Mama)

I was sitting next to Tripp and every once in awhile he would look over at my house and say, "Good job, Jess!" or "That's good!" His kind words were so good for my gingerbread house building self-esteem. :)




And even when we were finished, ever so often a little hand would sneak back into the kitchen for more candy off of his house. It was such a fun project...but it is a good thing we don't have that much candy around here every day!

Monday, December 19, 2011


I really have nothing today...except this sweet picture I took when my hubby was home for lunch.

Sweet, huh? Our little Griffin is a snuggle bug. And thank goodness he is sleeping right now because he sure did not sleep much last night. He still isn't sleeping through the night, but he has only been waking up once and going right back to sleep. It was very unlike him. But in the middle of the night when I am frustrated and can hardly think straight because of lack of sleep...I try to remember those horrible nights right after we lost Cora when I would have done anything to have been up in the middle of the night holding her...I would have done anything to have been awoken by her cries. It makes those middle of the night moments with Griffin a little more sweet. It gives me perspective. It makes me thankful that he is here to hold.

So,  today I was planning on posting some pictures of Christmas-y things around our house and taking Griffin's three month pictures (he is three months tomorrow!), but it has been raining ever since I got up this morning. It is so dark and dreary in our house...except for the twinkling Christmas lights! And tomorrow it is supposed to be snowing! So, my plans will have to wait. And Griffin's monthly post will be late like usual. :)

Hope you are having a great Monday. We have a fun week packed full with Christmas celebrations and time with family. I can't wait to celebrate with my boys. Now...I'd better get back to wrapping presents and addressing Christmas cards before those sleeping boys wake up again!

Friday, December 16, 2011

a very tacky christmas

We have always hosted an "Ugly Christmas Sweater" party for our small group. This was our fourth year. But thanks to a new couple in our group, I'm pretty sure the theme has changed to "A Very Tacky Christmas".  Most of us just threw on an old Christmas sweater or sweatshirt, but last year this couple created their own outfits...complete with red spray painted boots. It was awesome. This year they sent out a text saying we better bring our A-game. So we had to step it up a notch.

Here we are...A Very Tacky Christmas 2011. Joel and I brought back the turtlenecks. My outfit was all too familiar...something I probably would have worn back in junior high...maybe not the Christmas motif but definitely the turtleneck and baggy shirt. I had some red and white stripped rudolph the red nose reindeer knee-high socks on too. I even embellished Joel's turtleneck for him. Doesn't he look cute?

And here is the rest of the group. The super creative couple was dressed as a Christmas tree and present. Cute. We have such a fun time together and we are so thankful for each one of these couples. And I am sure they are thankful I am putting their pictures on my blog! :)

This year we went to a Japanese grill for dinner and then met back at our house for dessert and white elephant gifts. That meant we actually had to wear our outfits out in public. We made a lot of people smile. 

And we had the best cook (I forget what they are actually called). He was funny. And he was even more than happy to pose for pictures.

The Christmas celebrations have begun! Hope you are having a wonderful week preparing for Christmas and celebrating with your friends and family. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The winner of the DaySpring giveaway is...

I collect nativities and would love the hurricanes to add to my collection! :)

Please send me an email Sara!

And don't forget today is the last day to use the 30% off coupon code for these three items:

Really Woolly - The Greatest Shepherd of AllChristmas Angels - Children's Christmas Book
Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio

Use coupon code Macs30 and get 30% off...

**Coupon code expires Wednesday, December 14th**

DaySpring has all of their Christmas items on sale now. So, if you are needing a last minute Christmas gift or want to shop ahead for next year, go check it out!

Use coupon code shipping25 to get free shipping on $25+ orders.

Shop Christian gifts, cards, decor, and more!
This post is part of DaySpring's affiliate program.

Monday, December 12, 2011

sam shirt {take two}

 Remember Griffin's Sam shirt? Well, a sweet reader sent Levi his very own Sam shirt...she thought he needed one too. Thanks so much Jessie. I really have the most thoughtful readers. Let's just say Levi was thrilled!

Lately, Levi has either not wanted anything to do with the camera...or he is a total show off when I pull the camera out.

I asked him if he wanted me to take his picture with his new Sam shirt on. He was all ready to show off pose for the camera.

 He even pulled a chair over to sit on. He is really into dragging chairs all around the house right now. Nice shirt Levi!

 I wish I could remember what he was saying. He was cracking me up. Almost two year olds are so funny.

Our little photo shoot lasted a few seconds and then he was off. We always have to keep busy and keep moving around here.

 Levi really likes stickers and coloring. I am starting to find stickers stuck in random places around the house. And someone is learning that they can only color on paper...not chairs, or walls, or couches, or carpet. Such a hard lesson to learn...and somedays he is a slow learner. :)

 Those pretty crayons are so tempting. Who wouldn't want to draw all over their mama's house? Don't worry...I don't let him. And he is learning the rules of coloring with crayons!

 After coloring we had to get back to the mounds of laundry. Another lesson he is learning is not to unfold mama's folded clothes. He gets such joy out of knocking over a stack of clothes. Such a boy!

I'm sure this one will be knocking over my folded stacks of laundry before I know it too. How do they go from sweet sleeping baby to crazy energetic toddler so fast?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Don't forget to enter the DaySpring giveaway. Giveaway closes tomorrow night. Click here to enter. There is a coupon code too!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

let the christmas decorating begin {dayspring giveaway}

I know, I know. It is a little late to be just beginning my Christmas decorating. We usually get our tree right after Thanksgiving, but it just didn't happen this year. The day we were going to go was so cold and so we stayed home instead. We finally got our tree and got it all set up and then we went to Colorado. So it sat undecorated for awhile. Now the lights and ornaments are on and our house is beginning to feel Christmas-y. I forgot how much I love that.

Last year I read Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper. It gave me a whole new perspective on traditions. I remembered Piper saying something about how we decorate our houses for Christmas, so I pulled that book out again this year to refresh my memory. Here is what she says...

How will our home look if our celebration is a picture of anticipation and waiting for God's plan to be completed, a picture of our joy in the salvation he has begun for us? What visible things will fill our house as we celebrate what God has done through Jesus?

I had never thought about being intentional even with my Christmas decorations. It got me thinking about my Christmas decorating in a new way. I want to make sure that there are things around my house that point to the whole reason we even celebrate...Jesus!

I added these Nativity Hurricanes from DaySpring to my Christmas collection this year.

  They are really pretty and I love how they tell the story of Christ's birth. Levi even likes to show me where baby Jesus is!

 I also picked up this Carved Wooden Serving Tray. I think I am actually going to give it as a gift, but I just had to pull it out of the box and take a peek. 

 Simple joy, unending hope, wonderful grace, authentic peace, unfathomable love...are the words carved around the edge of the tray.

 Levi even got in on the DaySpring goodness. Remember how I told you I was looking for some Christmas books to add to our collection? Well, I found two on the DaySpring site and thought we would give them a try.

The Greatest Shepherd of All and Christmas Angels are both great board books to use as we teach our kids what Christmas is really all about. The Greatest Shepherd of All tells the story of three mischievous sheep that follow the shepherds' trail looking for Jesus. Christmas Angels tells the story of the angels that appeared to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds surrounding the birth of Jesus. The Greatest Shepherd of All was a little too long and the pictures are pretty small to keep Levi's attention...but it would be a great book for older kids. Christmas Angels was perfect for my {almost} two year old!

Would you like to add some of these items to your house for Christmas?

DaySpring is offering one of my readers a
 $50.00 gift certificate to use in their online store!

Giveaway Details:

$50 to DaySpring

ONE winner chosen at random

One entry per person

Giveaway ends Tuesday, December 13th at 9pm (CST)

To enter visit DaySpring... 
then come back to this post and leave a comment
telling me what you would buy with your gift certificate.

Really Woolly - The Greatest Shepherd of All Christmas Angels - Children's Christmas Book
Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio

 DaySpring is offering a special discount to my readers on any of these three items!
Use coupon code Macs30 and get 30% off...

Hooray for 30% off! Thanks DaySpring!
**Coupon code expires Wednesday, December 14th**

Use coupon code shipping25 to get free shipping on $25+ orders.

Shop Christian gifts, cards, decor, and more!
This post is part of DaySpring's affiliate program.