There's lots happening on the Hartin home-front. We breezed thru Halloween (Isaac was a fireman, Piper was Red Riding Hood & Tinkerbell, and the boys were just scary boys). It seemed like two days later we were celebrating Thanksgiving with our families. December was much the same. Our schedules have been filled with basketball practices and games, volleyball, and family gatherings.
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I love putting up my decorations right after Thanksgiving so I can look at them the whole month of December. In fact, I still have them up! Celebrating the birth of my savior is a fun time for me. Christ is the reason for the joy in my heart. I know my final destination, and it's all because of a baby born 2012 years ago, named Jesus.
Because we have such big families, our Christmas is spread out over about a two week period. It's a lot of fun. The kids were all blessed with lots of stuff, but I think the best part of Christmas is getting to spend it with family.
We had my sister-in-law take our family portraits a while back. I love how they turned out.
I'm learning a lot of lessons in parenting. It's not easy. We've had to deal with issues I never thought we'd have to deal with. We also had to make some tough choices. Anthony decided, before he ever moved in with us, that he wanted to move back to Weatherford to be near his old friends from there. We tried to make a good home for him here, with opportunities he wouldn't have anywhere else. Unfortunately, his heart wasn't here, so we told him his only other option was to go live with his dad. He moved out right before Christmas break. God tells us in Romans 5:3-5 that we should allow our children to make mistakes, so they have a chance to learn and grow from them. "...tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope..." Ben and I believe that.
I've started a year long devotional about parenting, and I'm reading a book called Praying Circles Around Your Children. I'm so glad God is working in my heart and drawing me closer to him thru these trials that he's putting our family through.
So, here we are to the beginning of a new year. I have high hopes for this year. William will soon enter the double digits, and Michael will be a teenager. We have the rest of basketball season, then baseball season, then summer. Summer is always full of fun, and this year with 3 extra boys, it will be even more so. Then Timothy will move on up to Junior High, while Isaac will start Elementary School. It will just be Piper and I at home then. Lots to look forward to. I'm also praying for some spiritual breakthroughs in our kids. They've asked lots of questions about salvation and baptism lately, so I'm praying this year, we'll be able to welcome a few more children into his fold.
Until next time...