Christmas Overholt Style

How does your family do Christmas?

For our family the Christmas season begins with the city Christmas parade.  We (actually Keith) puts out chairs early in the day, this year before dawn, to save our place in the parade route.  We sit with family and friends laughing, talking, and eating waiting for the fireworks to start the parade and Santa to end it.  The only thing we have to watch for is the homeless guy, who, one year sat in one of our chairs and peed in it.  Yes, you read that right, he sat down in the chair but was not bothering anyone so we left him alone and after a few minutes he got up and the chair had a puddle of pees so we tossed it.  Yeah that was weird, so now we don’t let homeless people sit in our chairs.

Our school puts on an amazing Christmas program each year, the bands, choirs and drama it is always amazing.  This year number 1 decided to try out for a solo part. We were pleased when he made it, although I am sure I held my breath the entire time he was singing.  There were approximately 400 students involved in the program and the story of Christ’s birth and life purpose were clearly evident and demonstrated in the performance.   And He did wonderful! 

We purchased a set of naughty elves this year, not elf on a shelf, but plain old naughty elves!  The kids were excited to see what they had gotten into over night, and would look for them before getting ready for school.  They were found in all sorts of naughty places a tangle of lights, holding the remote watching tv in the dark, upside down in the cereal box, wrapped up in wrapping paper, hanging from the chandelier, inside the fridge drinking milk from the Tinkerbell cup while the other tried to open my diet coke.  The little kids had fun searching for them and the big kids enjoyed watching them search without giving away the hiding places.

I love our church’s candlelight service on Christmas Eve.  This year number 1 was the narrator and I got tears in my eyes every time he read.  (By the way I cry a lot,and I mean A LOT, my kids are used to it and are not surprised to hear my cry-talk.)  But my favorite thing about the service is when our music pastor sings “Oh Holy Night” as the candlelight twinkle around the sanctuary.  It is breath-taking.  This year the baby did not try to blow out my candle.  I love how our family fills a whole row, and as I listened to our extended family sing, again I cried at the legacy our children are growing up in, a heritage of believers.  The cutest thing was when pastor was praying the baby clamped her eyes shut and held her hand over them the entire prayer it was pure sweetness to watch! I wanted to take a picture but decided it was inappropriate.

What is your Christmas season like at your house?  I work very hard to not be rushed and crazed during this time. I want my kids to remember the fun times, not the times when I was crabby, tired and barking orders.  I know those times exist and because of my poor ability at time management it happens more than I want.  But I want them to remember the good times, staying up too late playing games or watching a Christmas movie.  I want them to see lights and remember cramming the family into our van driving through a retirement village seeing all the houses decorated and seeing Santa at the end giving out candy canes or stuffed animals.  I want them to remember the feeling of sitting as a family in church in peace and happiness.  I have fun memories of my childhood Christmas and Keith has great memories of his family at Christmas time.

I love Christmas time!

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Its that time again… family Christmas card pictures

 It is that time again… family Christmas card pictures.   Or as Keith calls it family torture time.

 I will admit that it can be torture, there is the year I was pregnant with number 3 and I wanted to get a picture of numbers 1 and 2 in their matching Christmas jammies in a big Christmas basket holding a strand of lights and candy canes, and sitting on a little wooden bench in their matching Christmas outfits.  BUT  I could not get them to look up at the camera at the same time, forget sitting still or smiling…  I started by speaking sweetly, offering them candy and finally growling {okay yelling} “look at the camera and s-m-i-l-e!!!”  I was so very frustrated with them acting like an almost  2 yr old and almost 4 yr old…  yeah that day goes down in the bad mom file.

It has gotten much better now that my expectations are much lower, I just want ME to look good.  I start planning pictures as we begin assembling the Christmas outfits, this year was blue {and since my mom always buys the Christmas outfits we go with what she chooses}  The 2 little girls can still wear matching clothes but the big ones all shy away from matching smocked dresses, and I have no idea why…

Our pictures were  not too traumatic for anyone this year.  We were all happy, no one was sick, or hungry or thirsty, we all coordinated and the littles matched, everyone’s shoes fit, no one fell on the way to the park for the pictures.  We had cute props and happy kids it was going to be successful!  Number 1 is becoming the family picture comedian, he willingly climbed on a gate to hang my Christmas banner.  Number 4 was able to mostly look at the camera with his face and eyes, he gets distracted by the environment and often keeps his face towards the camera but when we go back to look at pictures we see eyes facing anywhere but the camera.  Number 5 was obsessed with the cute suitcases my sister brought along as props and would not put them down for even a minute  The littlest one did not run off during pictures this year although she did have a huge crying fit for some of the time.   There was a random “musician” recording a music video right by us who kept the big ones entertained and close to hysterics as they tried to not laugh at him.  Lets just say we are quite confident he will not be going far in his musical career, but a boy can dream.

So here it is our Christmas card picture.  This picture represents our family the best.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief until next year.

Merry Christmas.

Jen and family

We are the Overholt 8

We are the Overholt 8.  We are Keith, Jen, C O R J E and A.  I am writing this blog because my family and friends said I should blog about this funny, messy, and  honest times in our lives.  So I will share our victories and our defeats.  Our joy and our sadness.  Hopefully in this you will see how we love and grow as a family, with each other and in our faith in GOD.

Here is a little back history to get you started.  Keith and I met in college.  I actually introduced myself to him and his best friend, they LIED to me, telling me wrong names, which I called them by for 4 months.  Yes 4 months!  They thought they were so funny.  Fast forward to spring, we began walking and talking in the evenings, which lead to dating, which lead to love and marriage.  Now 20 years and 6 kids later here we are, Happily married living in a southern state, loving our family and our lives together.

We have 6 kids.  We have heard all the comments, the funny attempts, the disgust and the awe.  We have heard all the fertility jokes so lets just clear the air, get it out in the open.  Yes we know what causes this, and it is fun.  Yes we have a tv in our bedroom.  Yes we do have other hobbies.  And finally no we do not know if we are done.  We know each child is a blessing, a gift from GOD.  Early in our marriage we gave our children or potential children over to GOD, knowing that He who loves us more than we love ourselves, planned out our steps.  We know that HE knows exactly how many children we can effectively parent.  And we do not want to tell Him no and miss out on a blessing.  I have questioned His timing,  I daily question my ability, but knowing that He does all things well, I trust Him with our children or the number of children we will have.

I often refer to my children by letter or number, not because I view them as only a number but writing out 6 names all the time gets to be a lot of writing.  So for now they are C O R J E and A, in order.

Oh and one more thing.  I write like I talk one-big-run-on-sentence.  Drove Keith nuts in college to proof and type my papers, it just shows how very much he loved me.  And the sad things is my mom is a highschool English teacher.  Probably the best English teacher ever.  And she could not teach me not to write like I talk.  I will have Keith proof this blog for me but on the occasion where you feel yourself gasping for breath because there is no period when there needs to be one, realize he is probably out-of-town and cannot help me.