Hello, 2013. Clanahan Family Rules.

I'm not really going to wax philosophical about 2012. It was a wonderful year in a lot of ways, not so wonderful in some ways, but it was God's gift of time to us. And for that I am grateful, grateful for each year. Grateful for each moment with our family and friends.

As I was thinking about 2013 and what it may have in store for us all, I kept coming back to some sort of Clanahan House Rules. I guess because we've spent a fair amount of 2012 disciplining and attempting to instill values in R&Q that we believe are important. Anyway, here is a list I've come up with initially. It may be modified somewhat as we go on, some things are just hopes for the future, and some are already constants.

Clanahan Family Love Rules - 2013

1. Love the Lord, Your God, with all your heart, mind, and soul. (adopted from Luke 10:27)

2. Cherish your family above all else.

3. Respect your father, mother, and sibling always. We will not always get along or agree, but we must always respect and love.

4. Treat your friends and family the way you want to be treated. Share what you have, even if it's the last animal cracker or your favorite car/baby doll. And be generous in spirit with your giving.

5. Be polite ALWAYS to EVERYONE. Say "thank you", "please", "yes, ma'am/sir", "no, ma'am/sir". Requests will not be honored until these words are used. : ) Always says "I'm sorry" even it's the last thing you want to do. Be the bigger person. 

6. Write thank you notes for everything. We are privileged to be blessed with family and friends that care about us and do amazingly generous things. We WILL write thank you notes and Ryan and Quinn will be a part of the process, even if it's just scribble.

7. Laugh. Laugh through the hardest days, even when it may be through our tears. Laugh because we live an amazingly blessed life. Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more. 

8. Institute a family night/day. Just time for the four of us, no interruptions, and a time for us to enjoy being together, whether it be watching a movie together, playing with cars, or going to the zoo. The time is special if we are together.

9. Stress less. Life is too short. I've been reminded of that all too often lately. Yes, there will be stressful days but we can react differently to the stress. Nothing, no amount of money, bigger house, nicer cars, fancier toys, or cuter clothes can make us truly happy. It is just not worth the stress to attain those things - mo' money, mo' problems. 

10. Celebrate as much as possible. We have some awesome things coming up in 2013 to celebrate --- my niece Kayleigh will arrive in February, the twins will turn THREE in June, and Matt and I will be married 10 years in September. Those are just the big things that I know about. I know there will be many more little things (or maybe big???) moments to be thankful for and enjoy. I want to celebrate everything and give thanks.

Blessed to have experienced 2012. Looking forward to 2013 - here we come!

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Christmas 2012

What a blessed and wonderful Christmas we had this year. We so enjoyed spending it in our home and were fortunate enough to have Gigi, Steve, Uncle Blaine and Aunt Christina join us. (We will celebrate with the Clanahan Crew this weekend). While the kids definitely didn't quite understand the concept of Santa (and naughty vs nice : )  ), they were VERY into all of the Christmas jingles, cookies, presents, yummy food, and lots of attention. Seeing their smiles and hearing their exclamations of "Open! Open! Open!" after seeing every gift just made my heart leap. And totally made Santa's last minute shopping efforts worth it (Santa and company were fighting a stomach bug in the week leading up to the big day). Although I question whether Santa had a little too much egg nog because he definitely went a little overboard on toys that make lots of noise and have tons of pieces --- I know he couldn't have been completely sober to bring that madness into my house.

Multiple pieces and noise aside, the kids loved every single thing and have thoroughly enjoyed playing with their new toys. Given their age and my ability to tolerate messes without getting a twitch, we did put about half of them in a closet upstairs and will break them out in intervals. No one needs that much stuff at once! One thing that will not be put away were their new bicycles from Gigi. They were a total hit and the kids spent a good hour before the cold front rolled in practicing up and down our street. We need them to grow a little bit more to truly be able to pedal correctly, but they just enjoyed using their little feet to propel them down the sidewalk. My little babies are not so much babies. I almost cried seeing them "ride" their new treasures, because wow. Where did the time go? Just 2 Christmases ago they couldn't even sit up on their own. Pardon while I sob.

We spent a wonderfully relaxing Christmas Eve making cookies with Aunt Tina, a blessed church service, then a fancy dinner out at Perry's. The kids, despite their expected tiredness, did rather well at their first fine dining experience and chowed on some very expensive chicken fingers and fries. Then we came home where Gigi distributed our matching pajamas, and the kids opened their traditional Christmas Eve gift (special ornaments for the tree - holiday Barbie for my princess and a firetruck for my all-boy toddler). 

In keeping with Anderson tradition, present opening lasted a good three to four hours, pausing for snacks for the kids and lunch for the adults. Once naps were indulged, we all gathered back together for our prime rib dinner, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and a new addition of butternut squash casserole. Ohhhh, so good. And I love how traditional our dinner has remained over the years. I look forward to it every year.

Anyway, here are a few (haha, not really!) pictures courtesy mostly of Uncle Blaine. Thanks for capturing these, Uncle B! The only thing missing is a good picture of the family altogether. Maybe next year!

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