Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas x3

We have celebrated Christmas! It all started on Christmas eve when Jack (our elf on the shelf) left a note and gift for the children for being such a great host family and ended this past Monday with my whole family coming over. In between we had Christmas day here and the day after in Greenville with Matthew's family. The children got lots of
attention and love along with some very thoughtful gifts. Christmas just gets better and better the older our children get. We are so glad that we have been able to see both sides of our family to celebrate! We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Q: Who likes chocolate pudding?

A: Emma Kate

Back it Up, Blog

I am so very excited about a project I am working on. The candy wreath I vowed last year to create? The ribbon and fabric wreath that Amy made, which looks so cute in her pitures? The clay hand print trivets of the kids for gifts? Pillow case dresses for the girls Christmas outfits? Nope. Those projects are still waiting. I am working on backing up my blog in book form. It is a lot of work, but is so much fun to revisit the posts that have documented our family's lives during the last year or two. Here is a link in case you are interested too:

At first glance, it isn't cheap, but after thinking about regular photo books (the cost or printing, buying the books, etc) or scrap booking (stickers, books, papers, and still prints) I think they end up being cost effective after all. Can't wait to finish it and have it here!

Doc and M came to visit this weekend, which allowed us to have a date night and finish some Christmas shopping. The kids enjoyed the attention of grandparents and it was nice for all of us to get to visit. Thanks for coming up!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sweet Faces

Well, the blog has been idle for a few days. Not much to report. We've have some cool weather and have had a few pajama days and even a pajama weekend. These pictures are from this weekend. I love how they were playing trains together and even better is the look Sam is giving Caroline!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quite the Odyssey

I had a meeting last night for Caroline's preschool Harvest Moon Festival. It was held at a beautiful home on a quiet country road. I left the meeting around ten o'clock and immediately was forced into another meeting...with a deer! I have to say, my mood soured from there. It was still foul when I woke up this morning and was dealing with the insurance claim, car rental company, and the sheer ligistics of the whole mess. I am starting to see things in a better light, so I am going to focus on the good things that arose from this situation:
1. My passenger, my dear friend Teri, was not injured.
2. I am still in one piece
3. When I called my husband to tell him about the car, his first question was about me and not our minivan...I don't give him enough credit sometimes!
4. We have insurance and it will cover this (after paying the deductible).
5. My children weren't in the car with me.
6. The insurance company and car rental company are being very easy, helpful, and accommodating.
7. I have lots of neighbors and friends who have offered to babysit while I run errands, lend me their vehicles, and listen to me vent. I am blessed with a lot of people who take very good care of me and I think events like this are really good reminders of that.

I am not thrilled with having to fork out money right now for a deductible and I don't really like my routine being rearranged, but when all is said and done, this is no big deal.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nativity Craft Idea

Caroline loves craft projects and here is a cute one I found that is also a behavior reward system

Cotton Ball Crib: Here's another family Advent tradition for those with little ones. Build a simple (think popsicle stick) "crib". Get a large bag of cotton balls. Each evening, reflect on the day with your little ones and see if they had a good behavior day. If so, they get to add a cotton ball to the crib, and make it a little softer for Baby Jesus. (Sometimes it helps with the daytime behavior if you remind them during the day that unless they shape up, they won't get to put in a cotton ball that night.) Then on Christmas, you can put Baby Jesus in the soft crib that they helped to make.

We'll post pictures after our crib is made. Let us know if you make one too!

Gift Giving in Advent

I feel like Thanksgiving gets us in the mindset for Advent. We already have a thankful heart and now we are ready to appreciate what was done for us rather than what we have. Advent is the season that takes this "gratitude attitude" to another level. I have to admit that until our children came along, I didn't give a lot of thought to advent or even how important it was to put "Christ" in "Christmas", but children change everything! It is a big goal of mine this advent season to let the kids know the meanings behind our traditions and reason for our faith. In teaching them, I am the one who is really learning!

This arrived in my email account today and I think makes the perfect advent activity. It will be my goal for Caroline and I to try to do these five things daily. It will be a fun way to tie our behavior into our faith and I don't know about you, but I can use work in these areas anyway! I won't post what we do because we aren't looking for credit in our "gift giving"; it is the effort of giving that is important.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! —2 Corinthians 9:15

Having trouble selecting that perfect gift for someone? Here are five suggestions:

The gift of listening. No interrupting, no planning your response. Just listening.

The gift of affection. Being generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, and pats on the back.

The gift of laughter. Sharing funny stories and jokes. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

The gift of a written note.Expressing in a brief, handwritten note your appreciation or affection.

The gift of a compliment.Sincerely saying, “You look great today” or “You are special” can bring a smile.