Thursday, December 29, 2011

All Christmasy and festive

We had a fabulous Christmas.  Really. fabulous.
I like to use the word fabulous.  It's fabulous.  And delectable.  That's a fun word, too.

Okay.
So back to Christmas.  The fabulous one.
We were lucky this year to be able to spend Christmas with almost all of our family.  It didn't snow, in fact, it was like 55 degrees on Christmas day.  Holla!  That's my kind of Christmas!
There was lots of Bing Crosby, lots of food, lots of family, lots of fun and lots of love!

Christmas Eve Eve was spent at my aunt and uncle's house, exchanging white elephant gifts and eating.
Christmas Eve day was spent opening stockings and letting our kids get high on sugar and pop.
Christmas Eve night was spent at my sister's house exchanging more white elephant gifts (which we re-gifted from the first party) and more eating.
Christmas day started bright and early at 6am.  We woke the kids up to open their gifts and Isaac sat up and said (groggily) "um, it's still dark outside."  Once he came to a little more and figured out that it was Christmas day, he was cool with waking up before the sun.
The kiddos opened gifts, played with them for a while, then we headed over to my mom's.
We ate a delectable breakfast there, opened more gifts and headed back home.
Christmas day, Mike's parents and sister Sheri arrived and we opened gifts with them.
I've always wanted to host a nice Christmas dinner, complete with candles and our nice dishes.  Done and done.
Christmas night, we shared a wonderful dinner with my mom, my grandma, Mike's parents and sister Sheri. Everything turned out nice (or nicely)...whichever.












Pucker up.

Let me show you.  Like thith.





Layla opening (or inhaling) her present.





Decorating Jesus' birthday cake


Elijah's present for us :)



Decorating cookies with Daddy, Mommy, and Aunt Sheri! :)  

Elijah's snowman cookie.  He wanted to hold the snowman's hand for the picture :)





Oh Chloe.  Oh my sweet, sweet Chloe.  (shaking head)



Not Christmas themed, but still cute.  He wore himself out playing Zelda.  His daddy almost cried, he was so proud.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My child's first real sentence

He walked up to me, pointed to Mike and said "He's (eeesh) playing (payin) daddy's game."  Yeah, he was talking about Mike...probably trying to tell on his dad for playing his own game. :)
Oh yes, my child's first sentence was about a video game.
Are you surprised?
I'm not. =)

Monday, December 12, 2011

My daughter's a poet

The other day, Mike was downstairs looking for something in the girls' room, and came across a piece of paper that was completely filled with words.  Of course, his curiosity got the best of him and he had to read it.  He came upstairs and showed it to me.  I read it, thinking it was just another goofy story that one of the girls had made up (I need to post their stories.  You guys?  They are some of the funniest things I have ever read.)  The first line of the poem told me that it wasn't going to be anything I expected.  Oh my gosh.  I honestly thought that Laney had copied a poem from a book, or had copied something from a movie.  Oh no...she wrote it.  And I'm not talking 4 or 5 lines, here.  This was a whole sheet of paper filled.  And it wasn't the type of poem that was cute and rhymed and was about cute kittens in a basket.  This was straight from her heart.  I got to the middle and had to wipe my eyes to read the rest of it.  Laney found us reading it and was pretty upset.  She told us that she read it to Chloe and Chloe laughed at her, so she didn't want to read it to anyone else.  We talked with her for a long time about how Chloe doesn't know how to react to things that she doesn't understand, so she just laughs.  And then we talked about what an amazing talent that God has blessed her with, and about using our talents for Him.  She has such a tender heart.
Oh man, I wish I could post her poem here.   I'll ask her if I can, but I'm not getting my hopes up.  It was like pulling teeth to have her let us read it to both of her grandmas.  
I'm so thankful for this wonderful little lady that God has allowed us to raise.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas is about who, now?

I've mentioned before that we don't do the whole Santa thing.  Mike and I decided long ago that we didn't want him to be the center of our Christmas traditions.  or anywhere near the center, for that matter.  We have a good enough (more than good enough, really!) reason to celebrate, without bringing the fat guy into it.  I've never understood why people make such a big deal about him.  Don't we have enough crap taking the focus away from Jesus as it is?  We are guilty of taking our kids to sit on his lap, but his name is never mentioned in our house after that.  We'll probably just completely stop taking them to see him at all.  There's no need, since they know the whole thing's a sham.  Anywho, I recently came across this blog post, after someone on FB posted it to their wall.   I fell in love with it, and I just had to share it.  She very eloquently explains why her family doesn't participate in the whole Santa thing.  Here are some excerpts from her post:

Because I'm anxious to make enemies and isolate myself from any goodwill you've ever felt toward me, let me just start with a biggie: We've pulled out of the Santa charade. Our newest kids are 5 and 8, preparing for their first Christmas in America, and we're just not doing it, yall. Maybe because we've spent the last four years trying to unravel the mess we've presented to our other kids all these years, but hear me say it: We are giving Christmas back to Jesus. Not a corner of it; all of it.







There is no fake benefactor this year my kids can petition to get more stuff. Because honestly? For a five-year-old, how can Jesus compete with Santa? Our children don't have spiritual perspective; when faced with the choice of allegience, they have a baby in a manger, or they can get a jolly, twinkling, flying character who will bring them presents. This is going to be an easy choice for them. My friend Andrew, who identifies himself as a member of the "non-believer corner" put it this way:


I always thought it was strange how Christians will tell me they have this giant and awesome truth they know is true deep in their soul and want to share with me, but when 12/25 comes around they lie to their own progeny because, apparently, that giant, liberating, and awesomely simple truth is somehow just not enough. It may be a good narrative, but it needs a little something to give it some panache.


As importantly, it sets this tone for Christmas: Be good and you'll get stuff, which becomes so deeply seeded, undoing that position is almost impossible. When we teach our children to understand Christmas through this lens, then tell them at nine-years-old: "Never mind! It's all fake! Oh, and stop being so selfish because Christmas is about Jesus"...we shouldn't be surprised when our kids stage a mutiny and ask to move in with Grandma. Young parents, this is so much easier to do right the first time rather than try to undo later. Give your kids the gift of a Christmas obsessed with Jesus - and no other - when they are little, and it will be their truth all their lives.



Makes sense, right?  The whole post is worth a read.  We're going to adopt the tradition of giving our kids the gifts of Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.

We're as guilty as the next parents of buying too much crap our kids don't need.  It's over.  No more.  We want to instill in them values that you can't put a price on.  We want our kids to look back at their childhood Christmases (is that a word?) and remember the love and the way Jesus was the center of it all.  Not only at Christmas time, either.  Jesus is enough for us all year round. 
Remember the advent calendar I posted about?  We've been doing it each night, and it's a HUGE hit!  The kids love it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Interview with Jett

video

My first negative comment!

I got my very first negative comment on the old blog.  and I deleted it.  Why?  Well, when you have a serious complaint about something you have read (which obviously wasn't from me...since I copied the post from MckMama's blog), you confront the person without hiding behind an anonymous front.  Seriously?  Be an adult.  If you have something you want to say, say it. Maybe the comment was valid, maybe it wasn't, but when you  leave a comment from "anonymous", I really couldn't care less what you have to say. 
That being said, to anonymous, I hope you have a wonderful day. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A post of lists

We recently got our very first advent calendar...this one to be exact:

St. Nicholas Square Train Advent Calendar
So I've been researching what to put in the little doors.  I've read that some people put candy and other little trinkets, but I really wanted something more meaningful and more to do with the actual Christmas meaning.  So I looked and looked, and found this neat idea on this website.

1. Quarter--A quarter! That equals 25 cents. But 25 also stands for the number of days till Christmas, when God gave us His best present. Jesus told about one woman's gift and the way she gave it. Read: Mark 12:41-44

2. Grape Gum or Candy--Grapes make jelly and juice, raisins and wine. But Jesus didn't need grapes to perform His first miracle. Read: John 2:1-10

3. Smiley Face--Here's a smile! A smile usually expresses happiness. Jesus gave us many instructions to keep us happy. Read: Matthew 5:1-12.

4. Swedish Fish candy--Well, if you were surprised to find these fish, wait till you read the story today! Others were surprised to find fish, too. Read: Luke 5:4-7.

5. Birthday Candle--As you know, we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday. However, Jesus talked about something else that is related to this candle. Light! Read: Matthew 5:14-16.

6. Small Bell--You could make some noise with this. But it would not have bothered a certain man--until he met Jesus. Read: Mark 7:31-37.

7. Goldfish Crackers--These would not go very far if you were really hungry! But Jesus could make much out of little. Surely He knew how to multiply! Read: Matthew 14:13-21.

8. Cotton Balls--These cotton balls would be helpful in a thunder storm, wouldn't they? We could use them for ear plugs to muffle the loud noises that thunder makes. But we know someone who doesn't need cotton. Jesus can control the weather. Read: Matthew 8:23-27.

9. Piece of Map--People needing to use the other parts of this map are in trouble! Don't you get lost today! Read: John 14:1-6.

10. Soap--Do you like to wash? Behind your ears? Washing turned out to be a happy time for a man who met Jesus. Read: John 9:1-7.

11. Heart Candy or Sticker--Hearts. Wordlessly, they speak of love, don't they? Jesus spoke some commands about love. Read: Matthew 25:17-41.

12. Small Cross--We use the cross as a symbol, representing Jesus. Do you know why? Read: Phillipians 2:1-11.

13. Packet of Salt--Ordinary salt. Yes, Jesus related salt to us and our behavior. He also gave us some advice. Read: Matthew 5:14 and Colossians 4:6. (Notice that He doesn't recommend pepper!).

14. Sand--Don't try to eat this! It's sand. It reminds us that Jesus knows something about architecture, about buildings--and building lives. See His instructions: Matthew 7:24-29.

15. Silk Flowers--Flowers are pretty, aren't they? Jesus used flowers to teach us a reassuring lesson. Read: Matthew 6:28-34.

16. Raisins--Raisins! Many children are given raisins instead of candy for a snack. That's because they are a health-promoting and delicious fruit. Jesus told us how we can produce good fruit. Read: John 15:1-5.

17. Seeds--Jesus told a story about seeds that man planted. Then He explained it, revealing its deep meaning. Read: Matthew 13:3-8 and Matthew 13:18-23.

18. Christmas Carol--Christmas is just about a week away. And here is an appropriate song. Sing it loudly! Read: Psalms 100.

19. Rock--A hard stone! Can you change this stone into a piece of bread? Do you think Jesus could? Jesus was asked to do just that. Do know how He handled it? Read: Matthew 4:1-4.

20. Crumpled Foil--Try to smooth out this piece of aluminum foil and use it as a mirror. It's hard to see your reflection plainly, isn't it? Many circumstances are hard to understand, but someday everything will be clear. Read: 1 Corinthians 13:12.

21. Mustard Seed (or packet of mustard)--The mustard seed is the smallest there is! When it sprouts, it grows into one of the largest plants! See what Jesus said. Read: Matthew 17:20.

22. Dove--We've learned that the cross represents Christ, but do you know what the dove stands for? Read: Matthew 3:13-17.

23. Scrap of Wool Material--The threads that compose this fabric came from the wool of a sheep. Jesus called Himself the good shepherd. Do you know who His sheep are? Read: John 10:7-18.

24. Marble--A marble! Do you know what is sometimes called the "Big Blue Marble"? The world. God made the world for us. What does God continue doing to the world? And who is the world? Read: John 3:16.

25. Picture of Baby--Isn't this baby cute? When he was born, he made a whole family happy. Jesus was born a baby, too. He came to make the whole world happy. Read: Luke 2:1-20. Enjoy your celebration today. Continue to learn about Jesus--and love Him forever! 
*This comes from www.daniellesplace.com (among other places on the web)

**********************************************************************************

I read this post of MckMama's and thought it was too funny.  And pretty accurate.  I'm confident that about 95% of these things have happened to me.  

Have you, fellow mothers of small children, ever noticed something about women who are not the mothers of small children? Be it they are not parents yet or have moved past the small children phase, other mothers sometimes just don’t seem to get it. They don’t mean any harm, of course, when they ask you if you know that your baby’s diaper looks full. Of course you know that, but as the mother of small children, you just may not care at the moment, as you’re holding your tantruming toddler with one arm while trying to get to the car in time to pick up your oldest from Kindergarten.


Can you relate?


If so, then sit back and enjoy these other ways you know you might be the mother of small children. Yes, this is Part III of one of my favorite blog post series.


You might be the mother of small children if…


…you actually think redoing your own bedroom in a Curious George theme would be kind of cute.


…you’d rather have a bright new nightgown than a night on the town.


…you can just barely remember a time when “getting lucky” meant something other than managing not to wake your sleeping baby as you crept past his door on the way to the garage to get a Diet Coke during nap time. Now that’s lucky!


…watching other women get their hair blow dried at the WalMart salon as you push your cart full of kids and Fruit Loops by the window is as close as you’ll get to being pampered this week.


…you wish bras came in size 38 B/C because your right breast is now significantly larger than your left.


…you can still zip your wedding dress all the way up. When it’s on your left thigh.


…while sleeping at 3 am, you have ever awoken to the thought, “Who is sitting on me?”


…there is a chalkboard in your dining room, a paper plate turkey in your kitchen, Polly Pockets in the bathtub and a princess hair tie in your hair.


…when your husband asks you what special things you want for your birthday, you tell him in all seriousness that you’d like Post-It notes and Size 3 diapers.


…you think Dora the Explorer toothpaste actually tastes pretty good.


…you don’t remember the last time you shaved your legs. In fact, you can’t even find your razor.


…you could feed twelve goats for a week with the cracker crumbs currently in your carpet.


…you’ve ever signed a check with a green crayon.


…there is a small piece of hot dog stuck anywhere to you right now.


…you avoid looking in your baby’s diaper because if you look and see that it’s dirty, then you’ll have to change it.


…you wonder what the point of your bathroom door is, anyway.


…you’re seriously considering asking for pop beads for Christmas because you think they are so fun.


…you have first hand experience with what happens when a bottle half full with milk sits under the couch for seventeen days. And it ain’t pretty.


…you have ever pretended not to see one of your children touch the toilet water.


…you wonder if Diego has an older brother. And then you remember that you’re married. And that Diego is a cartoon character.


…you are all the way to Target alone in the car before you realize Dr. Suess’s Storytime has been playing in the CD player.


…without missing a beat, you can tell someone to please stop playing with their vagina at the dinner table, and then continue to butter your bread.


…there is a seven month old doing the finger slide on your iPhone right now, and you’re just happy that she’s entertained.


…you run out of washrags and consider using your sexy lingerie so that at least you could get some use out of it.


…you’ve ever had a dream about the Backyardigans.


…when your husband says he is going to give you a really amazing night in bed, you hope he means that he’s going to crash on the couch so you can sleep alone, because that sounds really amazing to you.


…when in a pinch, you’ve ever used milk out of a sippy cup for your coffee.


…you take off the sheets on your bed and discover six pretzels, fourteen Lego pieces, three socks and a pair of footie pajamas with a diaper still stuck in the foot. You cringe at the thought of what you’ll discover when you take the kids’ sheets of their beds.


…you don’t bother feeding the dog since the baby does that just fine from his high chair.


…though you’ll never admit it to your friends, you’ve discovered that you really like corn dogs.


…you think the five second rule is so last year. You now adhere to the five minute rule and, sometimes, to the five hour rule.


…you covet your neighbor’s minivan.


And a few oldies but goodies from last time, you also might be the mother of small children if…


…you sound like you have Tourette’s when you talk on the phone. “So, Sarah, do you and the kids want to meet up for–GET DOWN FROM THE FENCE RIGHT NOW–do you guys want to meet us at McDonald’s for–NO, YOU CAN’T!–for lunch at 11:30 as soon as we–DO NOT PUSH YOUR BROTHER DOWN ON THE TILE, OR ANYWHERE FOR THAT MATTER-get finished up here?” (by Rachel E.)


…you can touch your own nipples to your chin, or your bellybutton, whenever the mood strikes.


…you used to look down at women who wore their maternity clothes when they weren’t pregnant. Now you look up to them, because you only wish you still fit into yours.


What about you? How do you know you might be the mother of small children!?




A few of mine would be:
...you are so thirsty sometimes that you drink out of a sippy cup...without taking the lid off.  and then realize that the juice doesn't come out of those things fast enough.

...your 2 year old gets so messy at Walmart from eating the free bakery cookie, that you whip out a pair of your daughter's (used) underwear* from your purse to clean him off.

...you sometimes wish that restaurant menus had "Hot dogs with mac and cheese" on the adult menu.  Because how great would it be to have leftovers that the kids would actually eat?  Yay for easy meals!

...you know that when your child is constipated, the best remedy for it is the library.  Because OHMYGOSH!! Will we ever make out of the library without someone needing to go poop or pooping in their diaper?  I'm betting on no. because it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe this is just me?

...you think it seems like a vacation when you only have to take 2 kids to the grocery store with you. (or maybe that's a "you know you're the mother of many when...")

*okay. the underwear thing.  So we took Chloe to her first gymnastics class, and she was wearing her ballet leotard with underwear.  When we got there, I noticed that her underwear were totally showing under the leotard, so we went to the restroom where she took them off, and I put them in my purse.  That's the story of how Chloe's dirty underwear ended up in my purse. The End.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's beginning to look alot like ThanksChristmas

So, we decided to put up our Christmas tree a tad bit early this year.  It's just that Thanksgiving weekend is so busy with, well, Thanksgiving day itself, going to see the mayor's Christmas tree, and black friday as well.  And it seems like if we put it up the week after that, it's not long enough to have it up.  Heck, if I'm gonna go through all the toil of putting it up, I want it up for a nice, long time!
So here's what you'll see if you walk into our house right now.

1321480083255.jpg
{The stockings are hung by the chimney with care :)}

1321480164935.jpg

1321480248729-1.jpg
{Someone wanted their picture taken.}

It's so nice to have it done!  
I should also mention that we have a Christmas wreath hanging on the front door and pumpkins on our front steps.  It's a little bit confusing when you see it.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall, I think I love you

Fall is growing on me.  Not literally, of course.
I used to despise fall.  It's not Fall's fault.  He can't help it.
It's just that, well, I may actually be having a love affair with Fall.  Don't tell my precious Summer.
For some reason, this year I am totally digging all the things that Fall brings in with him.  The smells, the decorations, the beautiful colors of the leaves, and even the temperature change.  That may also have to do with the fact that it's almost mid-way through November, and I've yet to wear my heavy coat.  I hate cold weather!  Have I mentioned that before?

Anywho, we're having lots of fall fun around these parts.  Pumpkin patches, leaf-pile jumping, warm baked potato soup* with crusty bread, pumpkin pie candles, and Christmas music are just a few things we're enjoying lots of lately.  Oh wait, did I say Christmas music?  OH YES I DID!  I know that we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet, blah blah blah.  Whatever.  I'm no Scrooge (like some people that won't be named.  Mike.) when it comes to playing Christmas music. I've been enjoying my little Christmas music play list for quite some time now.  And I don't intend to stop.

So here's to Fall.  And to celebrating Christmas all year long.  :)

*  Oh.my.heavens.  I found the most delectable recipe for baked potato soup.
    This is a Fall recipe MUST HAVE!


Ingredients

3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Minced fresh parsley
Directions

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

I used 4 potatoes and 4 cups of broth, which made just enough (but I always like to have leftovers), so I will probably double everything next time, and use like 6 or so.  Oh, and I didn't use the hot pepper sauce, but it was still tasty!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My baby is 2!!!!

What?!?!?  
Jett is 2.  Sound the alarm. Something is wrong.
I'm still in denial that he turned 1, and now he's 2? 
I no longer have a baby, or even a toddler. 
He's a kid.  A strong-willed, humorous, snuggly, hyper, blond-headed, blue-eyed kid.

2 years ago, I was staring into this precious little face.







Just one year ago, we were here:



And my baby boy now?
He's 2. 



 He's my love. 

You make my world go round, Jett.  I'm so blessed to be your mother.
Happy Birthday, angel boy.  I love you so much!
xoxoxoxo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Isaac is 4!!!

Saturday (yesterday) was Isaac's birthday, and I would have posted something, but we were too busy having FUN all day!!! 

Friday night, he chose to spend his night out at the mall, to play in the play area, and he also wanted to eat there. So we all had a delicious, nutritious (or not) dinner of food court food. :)  Afterwards, we went to Toys R Us, so he could pick out a birthday present.  He picked a stuffed Mario (go figure.) and a new used Mario Galaxy game.  
Saturday morning, I made him a breakfast of red and blue (Mario and Sonic) pancakes,


let him open the rest of his presents from us,





and then we headed to the pumpkin patch!






 We came home and got ready to have his party with just a few friends and family.  Grandma Carol made him a Sonic cake (much more special than a store bought cake, in my opinion) and we also had pizza, to offset the sugar in the cake.  We tried to go with nothing but organic health food.  Can you tell? ;) He opened his gifts, and he just played and played with his friends till about 11:30 that night, then he crashed.  Oh, I forgot to mention that half-way through his party, after eating pizza, and before gift-opening, he fell asleep on the recliner. :)  He had to take a nap, his party was that INSANE!  =)





{are you noticing a theme throughout these pictures?  Sonic and Mario are like family to us. :) }

{Isaac with his Sonic cake - made with love by grandma!}



I'd say he had a pretty spectacular birthday! :) 

I truly cannot believe he's 4.  I know I say that about every kid, and every birthday they have.  and I mean it each time.  Don't kids grow too fast?  Time goes at about 10x normal speed after you have kids.  True? 

My little Ike the Spike is growing up, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. 
I love you more than you can imagine, Isaac.  Sometimes I feel like my heart will burst, with all the love I have for you!  You will always be my sweet little Humble Bumble.   I love you!  Happy 4th Birthday!

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