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.


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