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.

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!


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