January 23, 2012

The Long-Lost Christmas Post

Christmas was almost a month ago. But given the month we’ve had since, it should not be a surprise that I’m just now getting around to posting the pictures. The fact is, today was the first time that I actually LOOKED at the pictures we took over Christmas. No joke. I dusted the camera off, turned it on for the first time in almost a month and looked at the pictures on it. It was actually kind of fun. Kind of like Christmas. So, without further adieu, here is how the Koper Family spent Christmas 2011:

The week before Christmas, my parents came to Abilene and spent a few days with us. But apparently, I didn’t take any pictures during this time. Then on some day before Christmas, I don’t remember exactly when, my parents and the kids and I drove out to McKinney to stay with my sister, Holly and her family. Steve came out the next day…or a few days later. I can’t remember, now. What a great story this is turning out to be. But anyway, we had a fun few days just hanging out as a family.

DSC_0444This was the first time my parents were meeting their newest grandchild, McKenna Jade.DSC_0447  She was a big fan of my dad holding her like “Super Girl”

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DSC_0549Grandpa Koper came out to spend a few days with us, too!

DSC_0607DSC_0632McKenna was a big fan of her Grampy.

DSC_0663Uncle Steve enjoyed picking sock fuzzies out from between McKenna’s toes.

My mom helped the kids make Christmas cookies. There were super messy and super fun and super yummy.

DSC_0426DSC_0428DSC_0442DSC_0486DSC_0489Dad’s just here for the cookie dough.DSC_0566

We have two family “traditions” we have started. This was our second year to do Advent, which is done every Sunday leading up to Christmas, where we talk about the Hope, Peace, Love and Joy we have in Christ and light a candle for each. And this was the first year we’ve counted down to Christmas day with books. I had 24 wrapped Christmas books and each night before bed, the kids picked one, opened it and we read it. Some of them were old, ones we have had for years; some were new; some where silly, about snowmen and reindeer; some were meaningful, about the birth of Jesus; some were cheap, from the dollar store; and some were beautiful, hardcover books that Jack (our book-ripper) wasn’t allowed to touch. I think it was a big hit and we will be doing it again every year. Especially since we now own 24 Christmas books.

DSC_0454My handsome nephew, Nolan enjoying a Christmas book.

DSC_0698Story TimeDSC_0700DSC_0701DSC_0706

We went to a Christmas Eve service at Holly and Stan’s Church. Since we were all dressed up, it was the perfect time to take some family pictures before we left.

DSC_0492DSC_0494Picture time took a while.DSC_0495DSC_0499DSC_0514

Eventually, we got it right.DSC_0517

DSC_0524Somehow, Grammy and Grampy got theirs right the first time!

Holly and Stan weren’t so lucky.

DSC_0531DSC_0544But they got it in the end!

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Our 8th Christmas as man and wife, and my parent’s 30th.DSC_0557

Christmas Eve was also the day we celebrated my sister, Holly’s birthday.

DSC_0567Nolan was pretty excited when the cake ended up in front of him!

DSC_0575My beautiful sister and her babies.

DSC_0615On the bottom of her gift from her hubby, was a map showing where he and Steve had traveled over the course of many hours to find her gift. They were awesome enough to wait until December 23rd to go out and find a camera and ended up all over the the Dallas area into the wee hours of the night.

DSC_0656Jack really enjoyed the birthday cake and ice cream. He made sure to get every drop out of his bowl.

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We had Christmas. I do remember when that was. And I do remember that we all went into the living room to open presents and then Gabby decided that she needed to go potty. So we all waited before starting the festivities. And waited. And waited. She must have sat in there for a good 15 minutes. But we waited. And eventually she emerged, triumphant and ready to start opening presents. I wanted to make sure and document that story so that when she’s 16, she can be super embarrassed that I told that story to the world.

DSC_0741First glimpse of the loot.

DSC_0789The boys playing patiently while waiting for Gabby to come out of the bathroom.

“Let the wild ruckus begin!”

DSC_0797DSC_0765DSC_0799DSC_0804DSC_0807DSC_0818DSC_0824DSC_0852Grammy crying over her calendar of Grandchildren pictures.DSC_0856My mom made us these profile pictures of the kids – can’t wait to put them up when we move into a house again….eventually.DSC_0858One of the day’s most popular gifts – Steve’s ping-pong set for the table. There was quite the tournament.

We are so blessed by our family. Our time together with them over Christmas could only have been better if Cara and Kyle Thornton had been there.

Whew! I did it! I blogged our Christmas. I can check it off my to-do list, at last! Up next: Move #1 of 3 for 2012. Our first move of the year will be documented with pictures and everything, but for now, You’re All Caught Up!

January 13, 2012

An Explaination to Why My Children Have Watched an Unhealthy Amount of TV This Week

I know that many, many women walk through what I am walking through right now, and they don't share it. I know it's not something people like to share. I'm not sure why. I'm a sharer. I'm sharing. So here it is.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for The Koper Family. On December 26th, we found out that we were expecting baby #4. But within a few days, I knew something wasn't right. After one middle-of-the-night visit to the emergency room and 2 follow up appointments, we have come to realize that this pregnancy is not normal and we will not be meeting this baby here on earth. God's peace and comfort have covered us. We are sad but we know that nothing is out of God's control. Thanks to everyone who prayed for us before our first followup. I know a few of you were freaking. right. out after I asked for prayer on Facebook. But I'm fine and healthy and even getting through this loss pretty well. I'm still in a lot of physical pain some days, and I'll be glad when that is over and I can really start to heal and move on. You know you've been resting too long when you're sick of Pinterest.

Going through this has shown me a lot of things:
                My husband is the most supportive, loving, kind and encouraging person I could every ask for. When I woke him out of a dead sleep at 2:30am and said I needed to go the ER, he didn't ask, "Are you sure?" or "Why?" He just jumped up, got the kids ready and got us out the door within 15 minutes. We had lived here less than 48 hours and didn't even know where the nearest ER was, but he and his iPhone got us there in record time. He has been nothing but caring and sweet through these last weeks and I am so thankful for him.
                 My parents are the most prayerful, faithful people I know. I know that I was covered in prayer before, during and after each of my follow up appointments, as well as during every day of the last few weeks. I am so thankful for them and for their constant prayer over me and my family, not only during this time, but always.
                The children God has given me are so amazing. They sat in the ER for 4 hours in the middle of the night as well behaved as ever. Since we have lived here less than 2 weeks and have no babysitters, they have sat through 2 follow up appointments getting constant compliments on their excellent behavior. They are so sweet and thoughtful and funny and beautiful and I am so thankful for each of them.
                My favorite verses have helped me though many tough times, and this is no exception. I love Paul's words: "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5

I'm sorry that I haven't even posted Christmas pictures, let alone pictures from our move. But I will, soon. I'm sure in another week or two I'll be back to normal and be ready to share our recent adventures with the world! So be ready!