a very Dicharry Christmas

I hope you and your families had a beautiful Christmas full of the Light and Love of Jesus.  Our Christmas was full of love, family, plenty of sugar cookies and Story's sweet smiles, all reminding us of what a blessing our God has given us in each other.

It's special for me to watch our family traditions evolve.
There are memories I'll always treasure of Christmases I had as a little girl, trudging through the canyons to find the perfect "charlie brown" Christmas tree, playing spades around the dinner table with family that came to visit, listening to my grandfather as he read the Christmas story from his worn leather Bible.  And now it's our turn as parents to make memories for our children to cherish.  It's my belief that it's the simple things, the times spent enjoying one another, reflecting on God's great love, and sharing that love with others that make the holidays so special.

Last year we started using an advent calendar, with an activity each day of December leading up to Christmas as a way of preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus, of anticipating that first birth and expecting His second return.  This year I wasn't as diligent with the calendar activities, but my kids enjoy it so much I know I'll be doing it again next year.  We did read The Jesus Storybook Bible the week leading up to Christmas with selected readings each day, and on Christmas morning the kids all snuggled up to their daddy on the sofa while he read about the coming of Jesus--God's great rescue plan  (the Jesus Storybook Bible is our absolute favorite).  We had family game nights, lots of Christmas cookie cutting, strolls through the Christmas lights, a visit to the tree farm with Mimi and Papa D., gave away stockings to Superstar Kidz, and cuddled up for Christmas movie marathons.  

On Christmas Eve we went to the annual Dicharry Family party and watched the Bonfires on the Levy.  Then we popped fireworks at Mimi's house and finally snuggled five exhausted little kids up in their beds at midnight.  Christmas morning we celebrated at our house and then once again at Mimi and Papa D.'s.  It was altogether wonderful and my heart is so full of the blessings of family and home and love.  These days are ones I know I'll cherish forever.

And as I look forward to a new year, I'm hoping to cultivate the contentment that settles in a thankful heart.  Always cherishing these moments.

Happy New Year, family and friends!!  
Praying it's full of the blessings and love of Jesus!


Prince of PEACE

"The people who walk in darkness
      will see a great light.
   For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
      a light will shine...

 For a child is born to us,
      a son is given to us.
   The government will rest on his shoulders.
      And he will be called:
     Wonderful Counselor
     Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father
    Prince of Peace."

                           ~Isaiah 9: 2, 6

My Dearest Jesus,

You offer me peace.

In the last minute hustle of merry Christmas shopping,  
When clerks are rude and we rush without stopping.  
In the frantic holiday baking and the merry present making.  
When my house is a mess and my sinus is dripping... 

You offer me peace.

In my mad dash of wrapping and secretive stashing.
When my kids eat all the candy and are driving me batty.
Through stubborn winter colds and piles of dirty clothes.
When the husband works late and the babies stay awake.

You offer me peace.

Hands held out, Your gift to me.

And I receive you with joy.

My Prince.

My Peace.

*reposted from two years ago.. oh, how I needed this reminder

P.S.  I'm sharing over at Beautifully Rooted today--an oldie but goodie :)


The Story Grace Photo Shoot

There's something so otherworldly about newborn babies.  

They smell like heaven and they feel like tangible joy in your arms.  There's a sweet peace that clings to them  (especially when they're sleeping, can I get an amen?).    Story Grace is one of those fresh from heaven babies that floods your soul with lightness.  I wouldn't call her an "easy" baby, but I've never had one of those, and they must be boring.   Every one of my babies had tummy troubles even though I nursed them all.  But even with the fussiness, there's such a sweet spirit about her.  

These pictures capture so perfectly the beauty of my Story girl.  A sweet and talented friend of mine who lives in my neighborhood, Austin Vidrine, came over to snap these pics in Story's nursery.  To say I love them is a vast understatement.  They're a dream!  They tell a story...her story.  I had been planning it for awhile, making headbands and decorating her room.  I used quilts from her Mimi's house, her Aunt Beth's vintage suitcases, an antique book of poetry from her Grandma's ranch, and even made a headband from a silk rose that belonged to her Great Grandmother Ruby. 

It just felt right to take these pictures in the room Story will sleep and dream in.  My house was full on the day of the shoot, a couple friends of mine stopped by and there were nine kids in all.  It was chaos at times with all our kids running in and out and crawling underneath and between, but Austin was a dear and Story was a darling and slept through most of it for us.

Thank you, Austin, for beautifully capturing my little piece of Heaven.  These are photos and memories I'll cherish forever.


great plus attitude equals gratitude (or something cheesy like that)

Story at almost three weeks in a headband I made for her (#don'tworrybabygirlmommyknewyouwouldbebaldsoshemadeyoulotsofheadbands)

Joel, "The Stache", and his two sisters Beth and Sarah

tl:  my dearest Astair  tr: only half of the thirty something family that were there  
bl:  a few of the cousins  br:  pumpkin centerpiece I just had to photograph

And now we are seven.

I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness.

And God is reminding me that this is what grace-filled living is:  to be thankful at all times.

I remember it like it was yesterday, rocking two infant twins, one tucked in each arm nursing.

I wondered then how I would make it through the long nights and demanding days ahead.  

I remember the weight of their warm bodies filling my arms and flooding my heart, doubly blessed. 

My mind had been wrestling with worry and exhaustion, but at that moment, gratitude won.

And gratitude is the orchard where the fruits of the Spirit are grown.  

"Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all cultivated in the thankful soul,"  I felt that soul deep God voice whisper, "And this is how you will make it through-- by giving thanks continually."

My heart has been reminded and I will continually count my blessings...

1.  The smell of newborn skin
2.  A little girl asleep on her daddy's chest
3.  Giggles from a two year old and his sweet hugs
4.  Gifts and meals from wonderful friends
5.  Grace unending 
6.  Being loved by a good man
7.  My boys  (all of them)
8.  Sweet sister love from the best big sister ever
9.  Almond M&M's  
10.  Christmas lights

and tomorrow holds even more...


my how time flies my darling

If there's anything that can be said after now having five children, it's this:

I know how fast time flies.

It feels like just yesterday I held my first baby in my arms, nursed twins through sleepless nights, and rocked a squirming Legend.

They grow in a blink, their tiny, cuddly bodies grow tall and heavy in my arms.

The best advice I ever received as a new mother was to cherish every single minute--especially the sleepless nights.

They won't last forever (even though it feels like it's been seven years since I've had a good night's rest).

Those twelve, two, and four a.m. mommy and baby appointments are once in a lifetime chances to hold my baby close, nourish that tiny body with my own love and warmth and pray the kinds of prayers only mothers up all night can pray.

This is  meant to be taken slowly.
And I'm not rushing anything.

Time moves too quickly as it is.

As chaotic as life can get with five children, I'm learning not to rush.

To live in the moment and to love in the moment.

That's been my prayer of late.

Story Grace.

Ah, she's brought sweet grace to our home already.

Grace that I'm learning to take hold of with both hands and cling to like the life saver it is.
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8
I'll take it, Lord!  All Grace. 

And speaking of the greatest gifts that come for free,
I've been dying to share pictures of a package I got in the mail   
the day before Story was born.
It  had been a hard morning.
And then this showed up on my doorstep.
The most lovely package from a dear friend, Mary at Finding Healthy Hope.
And it blessed my socks off.
We've never met in person, only through our blogs, but 
she gets me.

Just look at all the darling things she sent!

How creative are these felt and stick arrows?  Five arrows bound up with a tag that read:  Psalm  127:4.
"Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth"
And God reminded me all over again what a tremendous blessing children are.
(remember, it had been one of those days and I really needed this reminder!) 

And I could rave on and on and on about these adorable crocheted baby mocs.
Mary's sweet daughter Elly made these and I am in love with them!

Love this sweet baby afghan.

And this.

Yes, Lord.

It says it all.

Everything I want my heart to say.

What a gift from a truly beautiful friend.

I am blessed.

My heart is so full of thankfulness for the friends and family I have.

For warm meals from dear hearts and for the body of Christ, his church, an extension of his love.


Our Story

She's here.
Our Story Grace.
And we are all head over heels in love.
Life has slowed down over here.
We're finding a new rhythm.
Taking every minute in,
 experiencing life through the eyes of the newest born.

She's our Story for now,
but she's God's Story first and forever.

*We are thanking God for her health, her clavicle was fractured during birth, but she's doing wonderfully


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