Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas 2013

What an eventful year! There is so much to say that I am actually starting this in July. The year began with a terrible tragedy. Max’s close friend, only 13 years old, passed away in the middle of the night for no reason. He went to bed perfectly healthy and just didn’t wake up. It was so sudden and devastating. His death has been shaping the lives of everyone who knew him throughout this year. We have learned to calm down about stuff that just doesn’t matter. Who cares if my washing machine is broke or my windshield had a golf ball thrown through it…..another kid needing stitches, losing our dog, chicken or ugly snake. I mean, really? Anything that would normally send someone over the edge has all of a sudden become meaningless. But what DOES matter has become much more meaningful…..our children, our faith, our principles and morals and the salvation of every soul we could possibly touch. That being said, we have actually had an amazing year. When your mind has been shifted from the meaningless to the meaningful, it can change your world!

He's dang cute and such a happy boy
At the end of January, all of the homeschool community got together to do an extreme makeover on the house of the family that lost their little boy. I knew then and now that this wouldn’t make them happy. All they wanted is their little boy back. His name is Nolan and he is the oldest of their 5 children. I could fill up pages of this letter about how wonderful he is. I say “is” because I see his blessings showering down on everyone, including me.  Nearly 70 people were involved in the reconstruction of Nolan’s home. It was supposed to be just a clean up/fix up kind of project but turned out to be so much more. The homeschool community pulled together like I had never experienced before and, most likely, will never experience again. It was amazing. People that never met this family showed up ready to work. Everyone wanted to be a part of it. But what was so amazing is that everyone that was a part of this was doing it for the right reasons….to provide some comfort for the grieving family. We knew this wouldn’t make their tears go away but we wanted them to have a soft and clean place to lay their heads in sorrow.

Two weeks later, Roy and I got possession of our new house!! As I am typing this, we are STILL moving in! I am never doing this again! It is so difficult to look passed the work, clean-up, painting, 2 mortgages, pregnancy.. etc, etc, so we can enjoy the benefits of our new home and land. The kids will have to remind us because they certainly took advantage of the move. The gifts are BEYOND measure. We had the biggest snow storm in history while we were here. The kids were sledding and sliding and 4-wheeling with sleds all over the place. We had the biggest flood in history that brought “awe” moments on each kids face. The water came up to our 4 foot high mail box. Thankfully, we sit on top of a hill so it would never reach the house. Our neighbors are too good to be true….generous, kind, helpful and have taken a liking to our kids. We affectionately call them Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The weather was beautiful all Summer so we could play comfortably in the creeks, ponds and land. Multiply these gifts by a thousand and this is where we live….12 acres of it.

Selling our old house has been our Summer project. Roy wanted it to be perfect before it went on the market and I wanted it gone a year ago. I finally put my foot down at the end of June and we put it on the market even though it was still under construction. In my opinion, I sincerely thought that the first person that looked at it would want it because I had fallen in love with it 16 years earlier. It was my dream home but my desire for my dream land was even greater. I was right! 3 days after it went on the market, our realtor called and said that someone was putting an offer on it and wouldn’t you know, it was an excellent offer. Roy’s hard work had paid off.

Our school year is something new, different and wonderful. One of our local Catholic Schools had shut down due to debt and low enrollment. The homeschoolers have taken it over. The homeschoolers brought in about 140 students and it is all being run by their parents. Now this is the way a school should be run… parents…..people that have an invested interest in the social and academic growth of these children. It would be an amazing dream if every Catholic school could be run by groups of domestic churches who follow the Magisterium of the church. This isn’t a pipe dream either. We are doing it at Christ the King and I am so happy to be a part of it.

The kids in a nut shell:

Nick – He has been going to the local community college, working, and socializing with friends. Roy swore Nick into the Army in September and will be leaving for basic training on January 6th. I’m not the least bit worried about him. I believe his relationship with his girlfriend, Kaylee, has deepened his faith and has given me comfort that he won’t be swayed into immorality when he leaves. I am proud of the direction he is going in and pray that he finds the path that God wants him to be on.

Mary Kate – She is still home and loving all the exact same things that she has loved since she was 2…..Musicals, coloring on dry erase boards, walking, and you! Yes, YOU!  It doesn’t matter who you are. She cares about you, loves you and wants to know everything about you. And when you come for a visit, she will show you her new room with all of her Special Olympic medals. She is still the kindest and most caring person you will ever meet.

Samantha – She is 14 years old and turning into quite a beautiful lady. For a little while, she was having a teenager attitude but that seemed to break after she started babysitting other people’s kids. She came home after her first job and was kissing, smiling and playing with her brothers and sisters! She knows now that we are normal. We are not so bad after all. Actually, we are quite nice and fun. Boys are taking an interest in her which is totally freaking out her dad, Nick and Max. It is so much fun to watch them react. Samantha is eating up all of the attention (from her family, not the boys!)

Max – Is 13 years old and awesome in every way. He searches for ways to make people smile and laugh. He wants everyone to believe he is awesome so he does everything he can to prove it with his generosity, mannerism, socializing and humor. It is working too. Everyone who has met Max falls in love with him. He just needs to work on controlling himself when a boy talks or looks at his sisterJ He is living his dream on our new land. He always has some project or adventure going. He is rebuilding a couple of old homes that were once on our property to try to preserve their History.  He fishes and traps animals from his new canoe on our pond. He is building his first tree house with Roy. And the best news….he is getting his homework done early so he can run outside and tackle his current project. He is one happy boy.

Theresa – She is 10 years old and we frequently make little jokes that if you want to stop a bully, call Theresa. She tells people the way it is. She doesn’t come crying to mommy when she gets her feelings hurt. She goes straight to the person and has a “talk” with them in her most sincere and charitable tone. She is good. I mean, she is really good. She is also our little lawyer. No one can win a debate with her, except me. Yes, ME! She can’t pull the wool over my eyes but she can over her dads and everyone else in the family. You will lose almost every argument with her because she thinks before she speaks, admits when she is wrong and thinks of solutions to get what she wants.
Ben – He is 8 years old and pure boy……dirty and stinky from head to toe, always in trouble, hiding live animals around the house, throwing chickens on our roof, eats like a cave man, etc, etc. His pose in the Christmas picture was all too accurate. Setting him quietly on a step with an innocent smile would be a LIE!  BUT, he still snuggles and holds my hair for comfort. He is kind and generous to other people. Even though I have gotten dozens of phone calls from his school or other parents, it is never because of any disrespect. He will be something special when he grows up. He will either be putting in a lot of time at church or just be doing a lot of time. We’ll see.

Josie – She is 6 years old and cute as a button. She has a cowlick  
smack dab in the front of her forehead which lead me to give her a perm to grow out her bangs. She is SO DARN CUTE with her curly red hair, perfectly round face and round and big blue eyes. Every story she and Ben tell me include big round eyes that light up when they talk. I wish I could capture that look on camera. Her job is to gather the eggs from the chicken coop and into her cute little Easter basket each morning. Sometimes she needs a reminder and she pretends to be put-out with the job while trying not to smile. She is too cute.

Matthew – Is 3 years old and still the boy of my dreams. No drama, no fighting, no screaming. He is just a fun little guy that everyone in the family loves to pieces. He is easily spoiled because he is so easy to please and so grateful for every gift he is given even if it’s just a stick. He will grow up never knowing about the life in the city that his brothers and sisters had. He will only know the outdoors, creepy things, 4-wheelers, ponds, creeks, tree houses, trails, etc.

Andrew – Arrived on October 5th. The whole family wanted a girl (probably thanks to Ben). The family is in love with him. He’s got the same grumpy boy look that my other boys had but is able to fly me over the moon with each little smile he gives me. What a gift. I never want to stop having kids….(that’s your cue to stop asking….lol). Yes, Andrew is in the picture. Look close!

This was the most eventful year we have ever had. We don’t deserve to be so blessed and happy. I worry that the other shoe will drop at any time and I hope I am prepared for it. I know that everything I have belongs to God and not me. I pray that I will remember this when it is time for God to take something or someone away. Until then, I will be happy with everything I have been gifted with.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


The Christy’s

Roy & Katy, Nick, Mary Kate, Samantha, Max, Theresa, Ben, Josie, Matthew and Andrew

Some of my favorite photo's

I'll never forget that feeling in my gut when I saw Theresa swing on this vine before we bought the house. Priceless
Max was surprised with a canoe for his birthday
Our neighbor found a use for all of our shoe's that didn't have a buddy. Yes, we had that many.
Again, our neighbor used his creative gifts to surprise our kids with a haunted trail on our land. We had a couple hundred people go through it just this year. I can't wait until next year!
CW4 Roy L. Christy Jr. swears in his son into the Army Reserves. Again, priceless


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