It has been a while, each day I come here to my blog with the intentions of leaving a post, yet I find myself at a loss for words of what to write about. Our Christmas was wonderful and beautiful, however before the 26th even came, my mind was once again flooded with worries, that not even the most magical of Christmas days could make go away. I will start with Christmas. Christmas truly was magical and enchanting for my little ones. Beginning this Christmas season, I knew there wouldn't be much under the tree from their mama, so I busied myself for months sewing a special quilt for Caillou, crocheting an aqua, yellow, and pale green blanket for Jasper, sewing teddy bears and little lambs, funny looking monsters, dolly diapers and kimonos, and Christmas eve pajamas. I scoured our little old thrift store on several occasions finding wondeful picture dictionaries for 50 cents, a little yellow tractor and a sesame street talking truck for just a few coins eachs, old fashioned preschool puzzles and flash cards for a quarter, with each treasure I found I hid it away in my old trunk at the foot of my bed. A special package arrived in the mail one day, from a truly amazing person I have met through blogging. The package was full of wooden toys, puzzles, nesting blocks, a little wooden flute and kazoo, dinasoars to paint, lots of treasures, she lovingly sent to be laid under the tree for my boys. A bit before Christmas with some special Christmas shopping funds from my mama, together my mama and I did a bit of Christmas shopping, I was quite happy to have been able to have gotten a few toys to place under the tree from their mama, not that a mama's handmade presents aren't loved too, but there is nothing like finding a little train in your Christmas stocking, or a friendly rubber dinosaur peering out at you from under the tree. The week before Christmas, on Monday evening, there was a knock on our door. When I opened the door, there on my porch were a handful of members from my church, singing us a Christmas carol. The boys came out of their room to see what was going on, and by the end of the song our church friends were coming in with arms full of gift bags and boxes and large trash bags full of presents beautifully gift wrapped for my boys. I was in shock and in tears, and of course the boys were so surprised and excited, they weren't quite sure what to do! Caillou questioned if it was "the Polar Express" Jasper grabbed presents and ran as fast as his chubby little legs could take him. After they left, all I could do in my shock and amazement was wipe tears from my eyes and offer a prayer of thankfullness for the blessings that had just been given us. Our green and red polka dotted tree skirt, was no longer in sight, the Christmas morning that I worried about being so small for my children was no more, there were far too many presents to count laying under the tree. Far more than presents arrived that night, ture Christmas Spirit was delivered to our home. All week I could not get over my gratitude and amazement of the kindness and love delivered to my boys. Christmas morning was enchanting. Caillou could hardly contain himself, he was bubbling over with excitement and happiness and Jasper too was mesmerized and curious about all that lay under the tree. For breakfast we had homemade applesauce and blueberry muffins, something mama used to make for me that I loved when I was a kid. The kids had a blast opening all their presents. There were lots of toys and our church had also bought beautiful clothing for the boys, pajamas, even socks, and a church outfit too, all of which were carefully picked out and in my kids exact sizes. There were hand knitted hats and soft balls, and a soft, cuddly, new robe for me ( which I have hardly taken off since Christmas morning!) Somewhere in the midst of the present opening, my Mama ( boo-bah to the boys) Grandpa, Nammy and Grandpa Bob came up to our home. We had yummy homemade cheese enchiladas rice and beans that my mama spent hours preparing on Christmas Eve, and a homemade cheesecake that Nammy made. Nammy and Boo-bah brought trains for the boys, their favorite thing to play!! And last but not least came the very special present from Boo-bah and Grandpa, a train table. This has been truly the best present my mama could have gotten for the boys, they have played with it nearly non stop, there is the occasional train fight, or Jasper decides to climb up on the middle of the table and I have to remove him, but this so far has proven to be the toy that my boys enjoy the most and play the nicest with each other. Christmas was wonderful, but as I said earlier, not even the most magical of Christmas celebrations could distract me from life's worries for long. As I lay in bed that night thinking of all the wonderful gifts given to my boys, I wondered where I would put them all. Rent being due soon, and no way to pay it. I wondered how many toys and how much of the boys clothing we would actually be able to keep. What would become of the furniture and knick knacks, and all the things I have made for our home. Where would mny children sleep at night. When Ollie is born will I have our old crib to put him in, let alone a room for that crib. All these fears that I live with daily came back to my mind, and with those fears, the magic of Christmas was over for mama. It has been a year now of my husband's unemployment, a year with no paychecks. A year of surviving solely off food stamps to feed my little family, our church and family helping us keep a roof over our head, and constantly going without... our bills are the very basic needs, we don't have television or even a house phone, we don't have a car payment, just one car to share, no memberships, or extras, still the basics needs are not being met, the bread not being won so to say. It has been a year of living in fear of being homeless with my babies, a year of uncertaintly, hopelessness, and a year of great frustration and anger as well. I paint a vivid picture on this blog of the happy parts of my life, the simple joys I share with my children. And then there is so much more that I keep to myself. A life that goes unwritten on the pages of this blog, a life that upsets me to much to share. However today, on the first of the month of a new year, I find myself struggling to write only about the sunshiney and happy, and feel a need for change in all areas of my life. A need to create a better life for myself and for my precious little ones. A need to find happiness and security. I feel a need to share more of me, a need to express my true self, a need to once again find that true self. Somehwere in the events of my adult years at the ripe age of 26 I have lost the feisty girl I once was, the girl that felt capable and confident of anything, the girl that made her own choices in life and was scared of nothing, controlled by no one, and answered to nobody but herself and her own whims and plans. I am searcing for that girl, trying to find myself and my inner strength once again. Fighting to make a better life for myself, and find happiness and hope to replace my tears and worries. I don't know what this New Year holds for me. I don't what choices or changes I will make in my life, I know many need to be made. I do know, that somehow it has to be better. It has to be better than sitting here on the first of the month, rent unpaid. Counting down the 9 days until we receive our eviction notice. This year has to be better.