Catch Up Post

I had planned on posting all kinds of pictures before Christmas — the kids, the decorating we did, and some of the projects the kids did — but somehow I never got around to it. So, I thought I would do a quick post on a few things we have been doing.

On December 19th, Emily graduated from George Mason University — Magna Cum Laude. She double majored in Global Affairs with a concentration in Global Governance and Russian and Eurasian Studies with a concentration in Russian Language and Culture. She has worked very hard for this and we are so proud of her. 
We had one of the nicest Christmases I can remember. I was so stressed up until Christmas Eve and then somehow things just fell into place and Christmas Eve and Christmas day were so nice. The confusion was actually pretty much under control — partly, I think, because I decided to go ahead and let the younger kids open their presents before everyone arrived. We usually wait for all of our adult kids to get here and we all open together. But, there are so many of us and there is so much confusion that I think it kind of makes it a little too chaotic. So, by the time my older kids got here on Christmas morning — somewhere around 9:00 — the younger kids were mostly finished and then we started again with our older kids and grandchildren. I really don’t like confusion so this really made my day better and I think everyone enjoyed it more. There can be an awful lot of noise and mess with 20 kids and spouses and boyfriends and grandchildren.
After we finished eating and unwrapping at our house we loaded up all the kids to take them to their grandparent’s house. Then we spent the next few hours visiting and sharing gifts and eating. 
This year the kids got a lot of gifts that they can make or put together or do art with — a message in a bottle kit, art sets, puzzles, art tablets, games, origami and lots of books. So they have spent a lot of time reading and playing games and drawing this past week. Nice.
I do think that this holiday season was difficult on Sophia even though I tried my best to keep things calm and keep her routine. She doesn’t like too many people visiting and she definitely doesn’t like going places — Bill had to take her home early from the candle light service at church on Christmas Eve. It was just too much for her. 






As soon as Christmas was over it was time for my granddaughter Reagan’s first birthday party.  She had her party at our house and I think it was a hit as far as she was concerned. Especially since she got cake — not something my daughter usually lets her have. 








Happy New Year!


  1. The baby doll in the picture with Sophia looks like her! It looks like you had happy days and birthday girl is so cute.

  2. Funny, I never noticed that. But, she cares nothing for dolls — even though she got one as I can't see a little girl not getting a doll for Christmas. She like chewy toys that vibrate. They seem to soothe her.

  3. Beautiful pictures Sharon! I'm curious what type of work Emily will do with her degree? It sounds fascinating. I can understand Sophia's reactions. It sounds similar to my littlest who was a 3 lb preemie and could not take sound/lights/a lot of activity for probably the good part of 2 years. She has gotten better but it made for some isolating times for our family and/or having to remove her from situations before we'd hit a point where there was no ability to calm her for 2-3 hours. My best to you!

    Sue H.

  4. I'm not sure what kind of job Emily will apply for yet — she is just getting started on that. Sophia also had to be removed from the situation several times. Her therapists told us that when she started getting really loud and rocked more and more — faster and faster — that we probably needed to take her back to her bedroom or at least to a quieter room. Sometimes I felt bad when I would take her to her room but I knew she needed the more peaceful environment .

  5. Beautiful update. The little girls look like they're doing great and it looks like a beautiful Christmas. Beautiful first birthday and graduation pictures too. Glad you're all doing well!

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