Thursday, December 16, 2010


Brandon Kent - 1982

I've shared with you before that I truly have only a handful of regrets in my life and thankfully NONE are serious!  That said, and even though this was something totally out of my control, if I regret anything from my own childhood it's that there were not more pictures taken of my siblings and I when we were children.  There are only two Christmas pictures that I know of in existence before I became an adult and certainly none were snapped with me and old Mr. Claus...
Brandon and Baby Adrienne
1984 it any wonder that I became a picture-taking-fool when I had children of my own?
I did!  I was!  I am!
I was one of those crazy-loony mothers who nearly went into a meltdown if she didn't get her kids photo taken at the local Mall at Christmas.  Tisk, tisk, tisk if you must, but as I look over the photographs today of my tiny little children my own heart skips a beat...
Oh to relive those days...recapture that innocence!

Each picture was worth not only stressing about but totally worth standing in line for!  Now that my babies are all grown up I'm thankful I only missed a few years.  A couple of times when Adrie was tiny she totally flipped out and would NOT sit on Santa's lap...and so I didn't force her!

If you want to know the truth these were my happiest days.  And it's NOT that I'm not happy now because I certainly am!  It's just I loved being 'Momma' to little children and knowing they were safe in their beds at night brought to me peaceful sleep.

My children were taught early the true meaning of Christmas.  They learned while still very tiny all about the miraculous virgin birth of baby Jesus and His beautiful mother, Mary.  They listened eagerly to each Bible story about the Angels and the Bethlehem Star.  They were taught of the Three Wise Men from afar and the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  And, of course all about the swaddling clothes and how there was no room for them in the Inn~

We lovingly tossed in stories of the ever lovely Saint Nick and his American counterpart, Santa.  I believed then (as I do now) that the fantasy did them no harm.
And...they agree.

The year they caught the dreaded Chicken Pox they were so very ill and we paid our visit to Santa on the last day possible.  Their faces were covered with the telltale signs of the condition...thankfully by then they were no longer contagious!   Not only did they catch the stuff, but they missed out on their Christmas parties at school as well as the children's program at church directed by my Mr. AGPMan and I.

The Christmas before we moved into our La Chaumière de Briarwood Adrie lost her front teeth!  It took more than a full year for them to grow back in which is why she smiled with her mouth closed in the picture below.  Six teeth on the top row were missing at the same time! 

I remember well Christmas 1992!  I distinctly recall Brandon telling me he was getting too old to sit on Santa's knee.  He agreed to ONLY visit him that year because Adrienne 'still believed' and he didn't want her to feel alone!

Sweet big brother!

This is the Christmas Brandon wouldn't stop laughing at the Mall Santa!  As he put it "Mom!  That is the dumbest, stupidest looking Santa I've ever seen in my life!  No kid is gonna believe he's the real deal!!!"
Saying Goodbye to Mr. Claus

The year Adrienne turned ten years old my children paid their last visit to dear old Santa Claus.  Brandon humored me for the last time and tagged along as Adrie smiled for the camera.  What I love most about this picture is that at nearly twelve years of age Bran put my feelings and those of his baby sister first. 

By now my girl was turning into a real beauty and Bran was no longer a 'little boy'.  Sniff....

Now..the thing I miss most about having little children around during the holidays is the constant giggling, laughter and wide-eyed expressions at Christmas.  Their childhood days went by far too quickly and they both left me way too soon.  I'd live their growing-up years all over again if I could.  I miss them and their sweet little faces more than I can say!

Got memories?
Blessings to you as you thank God for them!

Love to you...


joanne said...

heaven to me would be re-living those wonderful childhood years over and over! Thanks for the walk down memory lane, your children are lovely and it's fun to see them grow and change. but those Santa's???

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Rebecca,

Well sure we got memories too... But I did see the sign with the miles to the North Pole on one photo.
Ours needs a sign with the distance to our adopted daughter who lives a good 4,000 miles away and to our foster daughter who lives some 12,000 miles away... Guess that tells it all. It was a great time when we let our foster daughter (who was deaf at that time) come over for a couple of months; including Christmas! She graduated from the University with honors and we rewarded her for it. That was the most true American Christmas we've celebrated as a family... For the two of us it's different and we're just grateful for the many things we've been able to do for others. That's our Christmas!

Lots of love and may your Christmas be a Merry one with Fond Memories...

Mariette's Back to Basics

Linda said...

Pictures are fun to have. Lots of mine got stolen when the kids were young and someone broke in and stole a lot of stuff. Who would steal picture albums??? It was crazy! But none the less they are gone!

I am glad that you have all of these Christmas pictures...they are cute. They were such beautiful children. How old are they now? My girls are 43,42, and 38. My how that doesn't seem possible!

But life just flies by ...especially since I have gotten older. (:>)

Love, Linda

Mr. AGP said...

My Dearest Rebecca, I want to thank you for always being so diligent about taking lots of pictures not only at Christmas but anywhere we went and on any occasion we were celebrating. I love all the pictures we have and they bring back such wonderful memories. Those years went by so quickly and without all those pics I am afraid some of them would be more difficult to remember. Thank you so much.
Also, thank you for always being such a great mom. I remember Bran as he was getting older would always look at you and say "you are such a mom!" And of course he was right and he actually would not have wanted it any other way. You always were, and still are, there for our children and they know it!
And now all those motherly talents are being put to great use as you practice being the best Nana ever.
I wish so much we could live those years over again but alas, it does not work that way. However, thanks to you we have tons of pictures to go through and in a small way relive the memories.

Merry Christmas my Darling!


Bluebell said...

That is such a lovely post and I love all those dear photo's. I too have these photo's, it was the best time when the kids were still believing and the excitment in our house was manic. Kids are so innocent and I loved it when mine were small I was one of those rare mothers who loved the school holidays because my kids would be at home. Like yours mine are now grown and living their own lives and I hope me and their dad had a hand in making them the lovely people they are.

Kelly Mac said...

This was the first year that my boys didn't have their picture made with Santa. My daughter still did, and it's a gorgeous picture, but it makes me sad when I look at it because it seems so empty withouth the other two. And it reminds me how quickly she'll outgrow it.

NanaDiana said...

Rebecca- I never saw Santa Claus as a child...but I was a there are no pictures of my brother and I with Santa either..nor does my hubby have any of him with Santa. I think that was a time of life when pictures were not as important as they are today.

Your two kids are adorable..all the way through..from babyhood to big kids-How wonderful that you have the pictures to go with the history. Hugs- Diana

Anonymous said...

I can relate! I don't have the Santa photo's but Christmas morning photo's year after year show happy giggling children...sometimes I miss them so, but love how they turned out!


Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Those are such precious
pictures ~
I loved looking at
your babies grow up
through the years ~
What beautiful memories!!


Theresa said...

Oh how sweet! I love old pictures and there aren't nearly enough pictures of my siblings and me as kids! Times were different then and so many mouths to feed! I love pictures and I am so thankful for blogging! I can't tell you how many times I look back over the year and see exactly what was happening on a particular day! Have a blessed day dear Rebecca! BIG HUGS!

cottagepinkperfection said...

Ahh....memories, nothing and no one can take away. Thanks for sharing yours with us.

God Bless!

Julie Marie said...

Dear Rebecca and Mr. AGP... loved seeing this post from Christmases past, and reading these comments, especially the one from YOU, Mr. AGP!... love that your family ALWAYS comes first, like my own, and how blessed we are to have beautiful photos to go along with our precious memories... love to you both... xoxo Julie Marie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful memories of past Christmases, Rebecca.....such darling little faces with Santa!!
We had Christmas photo cards made with our children until the oldest were in their teens and decided it was time to quit......!! I do have a few of them with old St. Nick, too...
precious memories!
What a touching post from "your guy", are so blessed...
Have a happy weekend and I hope you are not having to join the shopping madness!!!!!! I still have to go...
Hugs, Francy

Anonymous said...

The most important part of CHRISTmas for me and my children was not only blending the true meaning with the cleverly crafted fantasy but also in teaching them giving was more joyful to the soul. We used to make up sweet baskets (cookies, fudge, banana raspberry bread etc) and leave them on our neighbors doorsteps, ring the bell and then hide behind a tree or bush (the neighbors knew ahead of time so not to think us stalkers.. ehhe) and then watch my childrens faces. I swear to you, my hand to GOD, they loved it. To this day it is brought up how we used to sneak up on our unknowing (I always giggle to this) neighbors. To hear from their mouths to this day just makes my heart sing. We also pick an angel to sponsor each year. My daughter was into this more than my son but he made his efforts known by his contributions of lego's.

I also raised my kids with the rule of one gift per child from santa. This way if we had a year that was not quite as fruitful as the one prior, there were no great expectations. I will never forget one year when they were 5 1/2 & 7. I asked each of them seperately if they could only have one gift from santa, what would they request from him. I was shocked & blessed. They both, seperately I will remind you, requested books like the one I read every day.... a bible. That night when I put them into bed, gave them hugs & schmoo's, I reflected back on the moment and I cried. We were poor, soup kitchen church handout, poor. But I found a way (I sold some personal items) to purchase them childrens bibles. Truly one of my dearest memories to this day that sustains me when times are tough.

I too was a huge picture taker! Thank goodness I did too as now they have photos they can pass down to their own children one day.
Lovely post R!!

Debbie said...

Rebecca, my "children" are now 32, 27, and 22 years old and I too go down memory lane especially this time of year. Now my 32 yr. old dresses and plays the part of Santa, but I am fortunate to play Mrs. Claus right along side of him..priceless..Debbie (Maine)

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Yes Rebecca...I have many precious memories. Very sweet post.

Unknown said...

So good to have all those pics from years gone by..those are all treasures for sure.
Love ya,

Sonya Badgley said...

Dear Rebecca,
I so wish I would have taken more pictures! So many memories I would have loved to look at...your pictures are just precious. If I could go back in time just to take pictures, I would.:) Thank you for sharing them with us.
May you have a blessed Christmas and many more wonderful memories.

Mari said...




Unknown said...

I love these pictures Rebecca :) How sweet!! And I love that you have one from every year. I wish I had pictures of my boys every year with Santa. I try to take as many pictures as I can also. It is wonderful to look back on them over the years. Just too precious not to!!
Love and hugs,

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

My children in are their 40's and 50's now and some are grandparents.
Still..remembering the tree piled so high with gifts that you could only see half the tree was a sight.
I didn't take photo's but they are all right here in my head. I do think I might have one or two...then it went from trike's to bike's to motorcycles to cars...and then gone. you, I have my memories, Rebecca.
Thank you for sharing your memories!
Your children are beautiful..
Merry Christmas, sweet and precious friend!

Cinnamonstitch said...

Hope your holidays are safe and wonderful, I have the same photos of my kiddles, there was such a big difference in age from my oldest to my youngest, that I was lucky to have all of them visit with santa up to last year, in which my oldest was 23 and my youngest 10. I took all the photos and copied to smaller size and made ornaments for our christmas tree. This year will be hard, because my oldest and his little family moved to Texas, only 1500 miles away :(
So looking at them grow up before my eyes in these pictures is expecially hard this year. But I know they are safe and happy, that is all that matters.
Have a blessed Holiday.
Hugs Cynthia

Terri Gordon said...

Oh Rebecca, This is such a special post, just wonderful. Your children are beautiful. I remember I used to back my children into Santa when they were babies, so that they could not see him. Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing this lovely post. Hugs, Terri

Deanna said...

What wonderful pictures of your children with Santa!

Your children are precious!

White Lace and Promises said...

Looking back over some of your older posts and sobbing. You are sooo much like me! Nothing I loved better than being a mommy! Sniff, sniff.

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