21 December 2011

Check-up time

This Christmas season has been very busy. We had a few visitors at the house, church has been very busy, and of course the baby thing has taken quite a bit of our time. I can proudly say that I am done with Christmas shopping, it's all in the house and needs to be wrapped. We have a tree, decorated the house, and even made a ginger bread house (today). We finished school and had our last school day on Thursday. We did alot this December....

But there was one more thing that I needed to do before the new year: have my bi-annual check-up at the oncology. This is not something that I am looking forward to, as necessary as it is, and as peace-giving it is once it's over and the good results are in. But then, the uncertainty of those good results makes me dreading the entire event. I never liked the procedure to begin with.

So this morning, I got up and had to deal with a sick child - thank God, because I had to focus on him and not on my anxiety. When I drove over there, I prayed in the car, thanking God for my healing, of the cancer and the aftermath. I praised Him for who He is. And I prayed for a clean bill of health. It's not that I expect something to show up, but you never know.....

The appointment went really well. I had to wait for quite some time, but that was okay - I had brought a book - something that is only possible because I have the grandparents at home watching the children. Praise to God that I was pretty calm already, but when the doctor walked in, I calmed down even more. This time, I knew due to the good news, we would have lots of things to talk about. (Talking usually settles my distress even more.) She knows the doctor from the fertility center personally, so she asked questions of how things are going, how far along we are, and of course congratulated us. It doesn't happen every day (in her life) that the patient has good news about a pregnancy when you were the doctor making that impossible in cutting out the necessary parts. So she is extra happy for us, as are the nurses - actually thinking about it, they might be even more thrilled. I could show of pictures of my two kids and the baby on the ultrasound. It was so nice to see their happy faces, and the joy it brought. What an awesome testimony to God's miracle.

There are three parts to the appointment - finding out if I have any symptoms, so she asks me a ton of questions, which I negated all - this is a good thing! Part 'deux' is the examination of my insides (and that is all I am saying...). She feels for new tumors or cysts - and the good news is that she didn't feel anything. I seem to be completely healed on the inside (long time after the surgery, she could still feel some hardened tissue that was of some concern to her.) And last but not least, she did the swap for the pap test which is slightly uncomfortable. And I have to wait for the results.... the only bad part.

So I am partly relieved, that things went really well today, but there is some anticipation left until I get that phone call from the nurse telling me that the pap was clear..... that should happen in two days, right for Christmas. After that, I will be able to completely enjoy Christmas and celebrate Jesus' birth.

Thank you to all my friends who prayed for me this morning, on a short notice. It gave me so much peace, and I got some very encouraging words right when I was sitting on the table waiting for the doctor. Thank you for that.

Editor's note: It's Thursday, and I got the call I've been waiting for a little earlier today. The nurse gave me the good news over the phone - I could hear the smile in her voice. And when I said "Merry Christmas to me", she laughed and said, that is a merry Christmas indeed. She mentioned again how happy they are for us and our little blessing. They can't wait for me to bring the baby once it's born.... They are such a blessing over there at the oncology. God is so awesome.
Actually, when I talked to the nurse, she told me that ALL the results from yesterday's tests were negative. Isn't that amazing?

18 December 2011

A Big Milestone

Today is a huge milestone - we are 12 weeks pregnant! 
(Yes, I think that deserves an exclamation mark.)

On one hand, time just flew by and I can not believe that one third of the pregnancy is already over. So that means, I only have six more months to get 'ready'.... as much as one can get ready for Number Three.

On the other hand, within three months, a lot has happened. We started this journey with a bunch of time-consuming preparations - lawyers, psychiatrists, financial advisers, and so on. Followed by the more exciting people at the fertility centers - amazing nurses and doctors that made this a very smooth ride for all involved. Our doctor obviously knew what he was doing and he did it well - and at the end, he was excited for us, and I think a little proud of himself.

Then there were alot of adjustments on a more personal level; hormonal, emotional, and practical. It was a time of change for everyone associated with this awesome journey. Schedules had to be matched up for appointments, childcare arranged for multiple children, and less practical things had to be managed between two families. Beth had to adjust to the hormones and the 'novelty' of being pregnant (again). She had to embrace nausea and queasiness, tiredness and fatigue, and some other discomforts. I had to undergo a period of grieving, and every feeling that comes with such a suffering. I want to point out that this was not anticipated YET it was healthy and necessary to receive the blessings that would follow the mourning. (*smile*)

Now, a new stage has begun. The first trimester symptoms are tapering off. No more fertility hormones have to be taken and Beth's body is doing what it is suppose to do. The grieving on my part is complete. Our friendship is stronger than it was ever before. JOY was embedded in both of us. And the excitement can be felt in the air. Yet we have managed to bring back a little bit of 'normal' life in the lives of both families - as normal as life can be in a "shared pregnancy".

I love that Beth is sharing so much with me, involving me in various situations. I appreciate the sacrifice on her side, just as she sees the sacrifice in my position. And believe me, this entire adventure is a blessing to all of us, and so worth it to experience. It is just so beautiful, and my heart jumps every time I think about the full significance of this endeavor.

In those past 12 weeks, we got to see the Baby four times, from being 5 days old to Friday when it was 11 weeks and 5 days. Every time, we were amazed at how much bigger the baby had grown. This last time happened during our first prenatal visit, and we rejoiced when we saw it leaping inside of Beth's uterus. The appointment went very well, the midwives at the local birthing center were supportive to our special situation, and I believe they will be part of making this a wonderful experience for me, too.

If you want to check out the little bump that keeps growing, here is a link to Beth's post that she wrote yesterday. Thank you, Beth, for being the vessel for my baby, and providing it with a warm place to grow, for loving it and for including me on the good days as well on the not-so-fun days, for acknowledging my place in this situation and for making me feel so special.

12 weeks - and counting down to the arrival of our blessing.
In the meantime, I am enjoying the ride on this wonderful adventure that is a true testimony to God's glory.

16 December 2011

Sharing a post from a friend

I just wanted to share a post written by my friend Bethany about the Duggar family and the loss of their child. Here is the link "Michelle Duggar's Miscarriage".

Bethany knows, just like me, how it feels to lose a child that you had hoped to get to know and see grow up. It is never easy to have to give that child up before even meeting it. I remember how desperate I was when I lost my two children - and that was before I had 'live' kids. It was so hard to be left with 'nothing' after the excitement and anticipation of finally having my own. It was a true loss and I had no idea how to deal with my grief and anger - nobody taught me what to do in such a situation. I was a young Christian, so reaching out to God was not always my first thought, not like it is now. I am so glad that the Duggar family are deep in their faith and have that comfort, it does make things a little easier. Their was a purpose for that little baby - look at what impact it already has made. God is a great comforter - He can heal and He has a plan for all of us. He doesn't want to see us sad, but rejoice with Him, because there might be a greater purpose for that child. It's not easy, but so worth it to follow God's plan as it is written in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are watching over us.

I love the pictures they took from the baby - in my eyes, it makes saying goodbye so much more manageable than what happen in my case, when 'baby' just got lost somewhere in the toilet. I am sorry that I have to write it out so point-blank, but that is something that I had to find healing for. I wish I even thought of taking pictures. So I am glad that they did and share it with us. Those pictures are so beautiful and they make me smile. It's a reminder how precious they are.

It touches me even more today, because we just came back from our first prenatal appointment and I got to see our baby, once again, 'live' on the ultrasound screen. We saw it move it's hands and legs, it turned a few times, and we saw, and heard, that strong heart beating. It was wonderful. And I can't wait to meet this little baby that is growing inside of my best friend's womb. Thank you, Beth, for following God's calling and be a part of growing this miracle. It's such a precious gift to receive and I am so thankful.

Bethany wrote a book that she published recently, it's called "Answers in a Time of Miscarriage". I won a copy of it and have read it, and it is a wonderful tool for someone that has experienced a miscarriage and needs comfort. I wish I had the book when I faced my two miscarriages. The link for it is here: http://www.preciousinfants.com/miscarriage.htm. 

You don't have to go through this alone. There are people out there to help you!

Devotional: Bring It To Jesus

Moment In The Word

TODAY'S VERSE TODAY'S VERSE "So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." Hebrew 4:14-16 (NLT)

TODAY'S THOUGHT Sometimes you need a helping hand. You need someone who understands what you are going through and can help you navigate difficult times. Jesus is that intercessor. He is God with all the power and wisdom we need, yet because of His volunteer time spent on earth in human form, He knows exactly what we are going through. He knows all our limitations, frailty, emotions and how to work with them and live a victorious life. He can guide us down the same path of faith, strength, hope and love that He took. So let's do what the author of Hebrews suggests. Let's come boldly to our gracious God and ask Him for the help we need today. We will find Him gracious, compassionate and able to help us when we need it the most.

TODAY'S PRAYER Dear Jesus, I come to You because You know all about me. You know my situation. You know my thoughts, my frustrations and my desires. You know my needs. I come to You because You are endlessly compassionate toward me and I know that You will help me when I need it the most. I give You this day with all of its challenges, struggles and complexities. In Jesus' name. AMEN

TODAY'S AFFIRMATION & MEDITATION -I come boldly to Jesus with all my needs Jesus is near. As you meditate, see Him inviting you to come to Him. As you draw close you can sense that He cares. You know in your heart that He understands you. He accepts you. He loves you. There is an affinity in your soul with Him and you can feel a joy build inside you. See yourself coming boldly to Him, because He asks you to. Affirm, "I come boldly to Jesus with all my needs."

These are NOT my words. 
It comes from my daily devotional (ron@calvaryop.org   •   http://www.layministry.com) and it just hit home when I read it, and I felt the need to pass it along to all of you. Most of our days, it is hard to comprehend who God is, what He does for us, and how MUCH He loves us. What a comfort to know that He understands us! At least it is to me. How many times have I gotten frustrated because humans failed to understand me, or at least tried. Now I can lean on my Savior with the peace that at least One hears my cries and has the ability to give me happiness. 
Thank you, Lord. Amen.

15 December 2011

What I learned on the journey...

... of being a Mami!

Being a mom changed my life forever, and I will never be the same. I am constantly challenged to keep up with the new 'phases' my children go through. Each one teaches me something new (or reminds me of sometimes we were suppose to learn before), so I guess we are all learning on this journey; kids, parents and grandparents; godparents and friends.

After the post that Beth and I had written about how we treat our books, I realized that I had changed already. I mean, before I had kids, I had those brilliant ideas in my head, about how 'perfect' things would be. Seriously, I was being very unrealistic. Now the reality of every day life with little ones has taught me a lesson (or two) that we can't plan - or rather no matter what we plan, it might not turn out that way.

* So, dear Beth, I have to admit, that there are a few books in our house now, that I don't care about anymore. Either Peanut beat them up, or we got them used; nonetheless, I am not getting mad at the ripped pages. She is getting better in very tiny baby steps - so I hope by the age she graduates from high school, she won't rip paper books anymore. (*grin*)

* Let's talk about toys - I treated our toys like they had to last the next one hundred years! How unrealistic was I? I mean my plan actually worked for Coqui - he is very careful most of the time. But when little Missie Loo came along, things changed around here, alot! She is teaching me that toys are meant for playing. If they break - oh well, that's the end of it. And I am learning to be okay with that. (After all, we should want to make room for all the new toys that are coming into the house every Christmas, Easter and Birthdays!)

* I had the same attitude about clothes. I wanted to get the most use out of them, meaning passing them along to as many children as possible. But really, a kid needs to be a kid, and unfortunately, they do get dirty. Now, I still want them to pay attention how they eat and teach them to treat their stuff with care. But once in a while, it is okay when a shirt doesn't make it to the next sibling. And we DO have spaghetti t-shirts -  Peanut calls it her 'Meatball shirt'.....

* I have learned that it is okay to need a time-out for myself. I am not talking about the occasional girl's night out. I am talking about a daily five to ten minutes when the kids are up, and I just need to sit down and make them wait for whatever 'urgent' need they have. It's okay. And I am doing it. Mostly in the mornings, when I have my much needed java and my time with God (or/and a good book). That is my time. Until Peanut gets up. And Coqui starts school.

* The things our kids teach us are amazing. Not talking about just the bad things or the things we thought we had figured out before they came onto our lives. I am talking about their character and how that can change us as a person. The things they say when we least expect it. So many times, I think I am talking against a wall or into thin air; but they are listening. And then one day, they prove it! It just takes your breath.

* What I did not anticipated were the words "I love you" out of my kids mouths! To hear them say those words without being asked - oh, it just makes me all mush! Those are the most beautiful words that a kid can say to a parent - and I know, I know, there will be a time when those words can turn into something else - well, I am not there yet, so I am enjoying this stage.

Apropos stage, I never realized how many stages kids will go through, and that there are any at all.

14 December 2011

A story of hope

I thought I'd share this story of "sister" - a story of hope, that sounds pretty much like my story.

Please read this article, it's not long, but it reflects alot of my own thoughts, especially the ones on grieving infertility and how it is brushed off by alot of people. But our God is an awesome God, and I was blessed once already by a wonderful woman that gave us the gift of a child that we wanted so desperately. And I am being blessed again by another wonderful woman to have a third child to welcome to our family soon.

Here is the article: "Human-factor-conceiving-after-cancer"

I am thankful that today's technology is so advanced for this being possible. And I am particularly thankful that I live in a country that allows surrogacy and gestational carriers - not like in Europe where it is still prohibited in some countries.


13 December 2011

An article worth reading

The title is "Flu Vaccine Worsens Flu-Fighting & Cancer-Fighting Immunity in Children".


You all know my opinion to vaccination - it's used way too often, and parents don't really think about what they shoot into their kids veins. That said, I DO know that some shots are probably necessary like polio or diphtheria or tetanus. But my thoughts on flu vaccination is pretty radical. I never had one for myself, and never gave one to my children. I believe that God designed our bodies to fight a flu on it's own. It's the American thinking of not wanting to be sick or having to use vacation time for sick time.

Read it for yourself, and maybe next time, you think twice before you get it yourself, or give it to your kids.

10 December 2011

Being emotional

Do you know the song "Christmas Shoes" by NewSong? It's a good song, less for the melody, but those words are making me cry every time I hear it. (Here is a link to the youtube video, in case you want to cry, too.)

So I was driving yesterday in the car, and it came on. Usually I would skip the song on our CD, but it's hard on the radio. So I braved it, but to no avail. It made me bawl......blurring my vision while trying to manage traffic in pre-Christmas season. Oh well.

The thing that gets me each and every time is the similarity to our family - or what it could have been, four years ago. When I was diagnosed with cancer, my son was only 13 months old. If I would not have made it, he could be the one in the song. Ugh, it gets me right now.... I am so thankful that God pulled me through and that I am still here to see my children grow - and yes children, and each and every one of them is a miracle in my eyes! God deserves all the glory because He blessed me in so many ways. I am very grateful for His love and mercy.

There were a few more Christmas songs during that drive that drained a few more tears - maybe I am just totally emotional these days!? Merry Christmas to you all. And may God bless you abundantly.

09 December 2011

Homegroup @ the Firestation

I am part of a home group that meets every Friday to go on field trips. We have been to the farm and to the play ground and other places. This morning, we went to a local fire station. Coqui was so excited. There is not much to tell, but I have a few pictures.
Our group with most of the kids, some real young ones are not in here, and Peanut did not want to stay either.
Unfortunately, Coqui did not look in any of these pictures, so I chose the one where Peanut looks straight at me. She was not very happy at the fire station, my little 'scary cat'!
Put your gear on! 
Demonstration of the transformation from a regular guy to a full armed fire fighter. It was suppose to teach the kids not to be afraid if there ever will be a guy knocking on your door looking like this: 
They said, that putting that suit on, adds between 60 to 80 pounds! Wow.
Finally, Coqui in action!

They also got to climb into the back of the truck. All these kids were pretty excited.

07 December 2011

How the past can catch up in a good way

"Anyone who is the least bit interesting has a past."

I read this in a blog post by an awesome woman who is going through chemo right now, after a hysterectomy. She is fighting the fight in such a graceful way.... I wish I could have done so. She described how she used to be and that she has changed. Well, most of us have. We are not who we used to be. Some of us have just simply become better, others have turned their life around. I am more of the latter. 

I have troubles seeing myself as an interesting person - at least my past has shown that I am not the most popular girl. My early childhood was overshadowed by rejections and disappointments from peers at school that taught me to be suspicious of people, fearful of their actions, and unable to form healthy relationships with friends and family. It scarred me for life.
So I became timid and really bad at socializing. The funny thing is, I had to leave the country in order to learn that I can be accepted by others, and even have friends. Wow. So when I had to stand up for myself in a foreign country, I learned to have self-confidence, and it gave me the knowledge that I am worse something. I was 18 at the time, and France was the place where I had the time of my life. And it was so hard to return to my native country, to go back to school there, and to move back live with my parents. But I did. And it went pretty well. Because I had learned to speak up for myself. I knew I didn't have to be a 'clone' of my parents. Finally, I had learned to be my own Self.

Fast forward seven years of finishing school, starting a career, having an awesome woman as a mentor that taught me so much, working in the working world, and then moving once again to another country, this time across the ocean - it made me a whole new person. I entered the US as a more independent person than I ever was in the 25 years before.
It took me another eleven years of growing and maturing to make me the person I am today. I accepted Christ into my life and that was a huge turn-around! Christians around me taught me to be a loving, kind, and selfless person; to be forgiving, nurturing, and generous; to have patience and self-control; to have joy and peace, and to accept blessings into my life (and see that those are blessings); and to be a good giver.

Toady, I can finally say that I like myself.

And now I can appreciate the saying that "anyone who is the least bit interesting has a past". Because I have a sone - I could write you a novel! There is good and bad in it. The bad had to be endured to accept the blessings now, and to appreciate the person I have become. I am still not where I want to be, but I know I am on my way. There is still so much to learn and to accomplish. I give God all the glory for molding me into this new creation that I am today. God is my sustainer - He made me stubborn for a reason, so I am gripping onto every straw that will pull me out of any 'dark hole' and that will teach me to thrive for a better tomorrow.

06 December 2011

Potty training gone wrong?

After the first child, one always has the great intentions to start potty-training MUCH earlier with the next one. That is a great plan. But it might not work....

... and here is why! I started to potty-train Peanut at or around six months. She did a few numbers on the potty and I thought that this might be alot easier than thought. I also thought, doing cloth diapers might help her to feel when she is wet. But it seemed not to bother her to be wet or dirty! Well, almost two years later, no success whatsoever! Which is so frustrating because I had all the good intentions. I guess that is not all you need for a successful potty-training experience.

My daughter is VERY stubborn. No, I am serious! If you don't know her personally, you have no idea of how stubborn she is. So it is to no surprise that she thinks she needs to have an opinion about things that are happening around her. Unfortunately, that includes potty-training. She keeps saying that she doesn't WANT to go to the potty.

And it is NOT because she can't - because she CAN! Oh, yes, she can. One day, I pull her out of the bath tub, dry her and send her to her room, thinking that Daddy will get her immediately to put the diaper on her. Well, I guess he was not as fast as I had hoped, because a minute later, my daughter stands next to me (back in the bathroom) and says she went pee. So you can just imagine my thought process: oh, no, she peed on the carpet! How do I get that out? With little hope, I asked her if she needed to go pottty and she said yes. Okay, been there, done that. On the potty she goes - and usually after about a minute she declares to be done, even though there is nothing in the toilet. Well, this time, sure enough, the moment she hit that seat, a waterfall of pee came out of her.... seriously! We clapped and put that diaper on. Then I checked her room, and there was ONE tiny drop of pee on the carpet, NOT a big deal at all!

So now you tell me, HOW much bladder control she has!!! SHE IS TOTALLY IN CONTROL here and I so don't know what to do about it. I have even tried to bribe her, but there is nothing really that would or could work with her. She doesn't care enough about anything to be bribed!

I thought and thought about it, what can I use to bribe her? What is important enough to her?
Oh, yes, her independence. So I took that away. I told her if she wanted to be a BIG girl, she needs to go potty. If she is not willing to do that, well then Mami is back in charge of dressing her! This actually seems to work - at least for now. So once a day, she is going pee - just so that she can dress herself! (hahaha)

Wish me luck with this....

So I want to add a funny story that involves her brother. I think it was last Friday, that she sat on the toilet for about fifteen minutes. No achievement. Coqui came in announcing that he needed to use the bathroom. He sat and after a minute, Peanut started to clap, saying "good job Coqui". So Coqui gives her that serious look and says: "Don't clap, I have been doing this for years!"

He is too funny!

02 December 2011

Change is good - Wendel is gut - Changement est bon - etc.

I have done a few changes on my blog to make it, hopefully, easier to read for my broad public that is spread all over the world.

First, I have added a field where you can sign up for email subscription. So every time I post something, you should be notified by email.

Second, I have added a widget for translation. So that my non-English-speaking readers don't have to use a third-party website to read the blog. When you click on your native language, the post will be translated for you. Modern technology is amazing!

And last but not least, I want to thank each one of you that keeps coming back and even comments. I appreciate you!

Ich habe ein paar Veränderungen in meinem Blog vorgenommen, damit es hoffentlich einfacher wird für meine Leser, die auf der ganzen Welt verbreitet sind.

Erstens habe ich ein Feld eingefuegt, wo Sie sich anmelden können für E-Mail-Abonnement. So jedes Mal wenn ich nach etwas veroeffentliche, sollten Sie per E-Mail benachrichtigt werden.

Zweitens habe ich ein Widget für Übersetzung hinzugefügt. So dass meine nicht-englischsprachigen Leser nicht zu einer Website eines Drittanbieters gehen muessen, um den Blog zu lesen. Wenn Sie Ihre Muttersprache anklicken, wird der Artikel für Sie übersetzt werden. Moderne Technik macht es moeglich!

Und zuletzt möchte ich jedem von euch danken, die immer wiederkommen und sogar Kommentare hinterlassen. Ich schätze euch!

J'ai fait quelques changements sur mon blog pour en faire le lire plus facilement - pour mon large public qui se propage partout dans le monde.

D'abord, j'ai ajouté un champ où vous pouvez vous inscrire pour abonnement par courriel. Donc chaque fois que je poste quelque chose, vous devriez être notifié par email.

Deuxièmement, j'ai ajouté un widget pour la traduction. Alors que ma non-lecteurs anglophones n'ont pas à utiliser un site tiers pour lire le blog. Lorsque vous cliquez sur votre langue maternelle, le poste sera traduit pour vous. La technologie moderne est incroyable!

Et finalement, je veux remercier chacun d'entre vous qui revient, et même laisssez des commentaires. Je vous apprécie!

01 December 2011

Do I tell them the truth?

Last year, we started a new tradition.... and I almost forgot about it this year.
Have you ever heard of the Elf on the Shelf? Well, he/she arrived last year in our house and was named.....

... but I couldn't remember! I had to go back to my post from last year (here) to find out that it got the name 'Olli'. I still like it. I got the calendars ready, but I forgot to pull Olli out last night, so I did this morning, and Coqui still hasn't found it yet. I am waiting for his excited cry out. (If not, I have to point it out to him.)

But with this and so many other traditions, there comes a little bit of a battle, on many levels, emotionally, spiritually, and culturally.

Most kids grow up knowing who Santa is and believe that he really exists. Santa has different names all over the world, but the idea is the same: a good guy in a red suit that gives gifts to the behaved children and spanking or coal or whatever not-so-nice thing to the ones that misbehaved. In Germany, he is called Weihnachtsmann or Saint Nikolaus, in French Pere Noel, in Russian it's Ded Moroz, and in Spain El Nino Jesus. So the elf Olli is suppose to help Santa keep track of those children and if they are behaving, or not.

So what threw me off was the idea of a guy having almost the same power as God. As Christians, we know the reason for this season, and the reason is called Jesus. So it is sad, to me, that we (me included) forget, sometimes. For me it is especially an (extra) effort to make the transition from my childhood memories that were so not God-focused and more traditional and cultural, to a God-driven attitude of celebrating Jesus' birth.
So about two weeks ago, I announced in my support group that I wanted to tell my kids the TRUTH about Santa. That did not go over well! We do live in the bible belt, and (most of) these women are believers, but they did not like me taking away from the magic of Christmas. What magic? Is Santa suppose to be the magic? Why do we need that? I don't think of my childhood memories as magic, they are just special. And shouldn't the birth of Jesus be magic? I mean any birth is a miracle, a miracle of God, of a human being entering this world as a creation of God. That is true magic!

I don't remember when I found out the truth, I really don't. It might have been a gradual process where one hears things at school and wonders for a long time, until the parents finally give in and tell what is really going on at Christmas. I DO remember, though, finding the secret hiding place of my parents - the place where they kept the presents that they had bought for us. Then I remember watching them through the keyhole carrying those presents, wrapped now, from their bedroom to the living room. So maybe this is how I found out. But I do not remember to be sad or anything. There was no breaking of the spell..... the magic (and I wouldn't have called it this way as a child) was not gone! Christmas was still special to me.

Today, as a mom myself, and especially as a Christian mom, I want my kids to know about Jesus first, then about the 'joy of giving', and then about receiving gifts!

So now I want to know from you, how you learned about the truth. Was it a shock? And did it destroy any magic? Or did you never know who Santa is?
And if you are a parent - when are you planning on telling your children the truth? 

Also: I want to send you to my friend's blog post from today: Beth wrote about a neat advent book in order to keep the thought of Jesus close to our hearts. Please check it out, here.