Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Waiting for Santa {Project Two Times Twelve}

It would have been way more appropriate for me to have posted these images before Christmas got here, but seeing as how I barely made it to Christmas on time and with my sanity in check, it would have been irresponsible of me to be here posting pictures.

Not that that has stopped me before.

But now that we have made it through Christmas, and had an enjoyable time I might add, it is totally responsible of me to post these now.

It just will feel out of order.

Again, not something that has stopped me before.

I am a little bummed out about how these turned out. I was so hoping for real snow for Christmas pictures, but that was a no go this year.  As I waited and waited, time dwindled and dwindled.  So, even though these are exactly what I was hoping for, they did stretch me to think a little differently than I would have normally, which is totally the point.

So here are the kids waiting on Christmas:

You totally need hot cocoa when it is fake snowing outside:

Yes, that is our family Christmas tree that I had The Hubs drag outside.

The Little Man thinks he might see Santa off in the distance:


Some more love:

My favorite: 

Can you see how hard The Girl is hugging The Little Man?  There is LOTS of excitement!


Yes.  The snow is fake, but the happiness and excitement of waiting on Christmas is real. A few things:  I wish that the images weren't quite as flat.  I mean the lighting could have been much more interesting if I hadn't waited so long that I had to take what I was given.   Also, I wish that I could have had them a bit further away from the fence, however, there isn't that kind of room in our backyard. 

Overall, I do like the pictures.  I like the color and the emotion.  I also like our tree being in the background, and I did have fun learning how to create snow.  I realized after the fact (like two days later) that I totally forgot to take pics of each child individually.  Oh well.  I have plenty of those.  Another thing that I have learned, is that I LOVE being outdoors.  Even in the winter.  It's just so much more fun than studio.  I hope to lean more in that direction, with my work, in the next year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

So...Tomorrow's Christmas...

I'm having a little bit of a hard time accepting the fact that tomorrow is Christmas.  CHRISTMAS!  I know it is totally cliche to say, but this year zoomed right on past me.  I can honestly say, I have no idea where time went!  Also, because there has been but only the slightest bit of snow this season, well, it just doesn't feel very Christmas-y around these parts.  I know, I know.  You would think I would be happy with the whole no snow thing, and for the most part I am.  Except it doesn't feel like Christmas at all.  Heck, it barely feels like November let alone December.

So this morning, I decided it might be fun to go and re-read some of my past posts on Christmas.  I figured it would be fun to relive some old memories, see some old pictures,  and in general, try to get in the mood. 

It did help.  Sort of.

Then I started surfing around the web browsing some of my favorite blogs.  And I came upon this post, by a lady I have never met, but boy, I think I would really love to.

Anyway. Go.  Read it

I bawled.

Then I read it again.

And I cried some more.

I'm not sure that I'm in any more of a "Christmas mood", but I have been given a good dose of perspective. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Now That it is Christmas Break...

Two days ago, the bliss that is Christmas break fell upon us.  Well, technically it was four days ago, if you count the weekend.  Since The Hubs and I made an escape this weekend to one of my most favorite places, Arizona, I am not really counting this past weekend.  Upon returning home, it has been busy, busy, and a little more busy.  I have decided that Christmas break should really be three weeks.  One week per major holiday, and then a week to recoup. 

I have a feeling that even if that was the case, I would still want more.

I'm so greedy like that.

Anyway, after doing copious amounts of laundry, sheet changing, errand running, and some more laundry, we did take some time yesterday to hit up the Nature and Science Museum in our city yesterday.   One of the very organized and overly wonderful moms I know set up a tour for a group of about 25 of us.  The tour took us through the museum and taught Creationism.  It was so wonderful and eye opening.  I loved that the kids and I were able to have this experience.  It was a great way to spend the day.

On the way home we were listening to music and singing along.  One of the main lines of a chorus had us all singing, "You are strength in my weakness..." Shortly after singing the line, The Little Man paused and asked me, "Mom, do you know what my weakness is?"  not really knowing what he would share with me I asked, "What's that?"

"Cheese.  Every time I see cheese I just have to eat it.  I love cheese!"

Me too, buddy.  Me too.

Other things on the list to do this week, besides eating cheese:

1. Finish Christmas shopping....I know...I know...
2. Wrap purchased gifts.
3. I have a very dreamy vision of this glorious day of baking with the kids.  There will be no frustration, tons of patience, and so much fun they'll be talking about it for Christmases to come.  I'll let you know how that turns out.
4.  Three family get togethers.
5. Christmas Eve services (which I am so excited about that I can barely stand it! We haven't been to Christmas Eve services in years because of family get-togethers).
6. Project Two Times Twelve.  I have a great idea for this...we'll see if it all pans out as great as I am thinking it will.
7. Witnessing The Girl read approximately 40 or so books.  Seriously, her nose has been in a book since break started.  I think she is on her 10th.
8.  Finish watching/catching up with The Sing Off.
9.  Possibly squeezing in a jammie day...not likely, though, until next week.
10.  Watching in amazement as my kids as they take in Christmas, and praying that the real miracle that we are celebrating is filling their hearts.

Looks like I better get a move on it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is it Christmas Break Yet?

It would seem as though I don't blog that often unless I am challenging myself to be here each day with something I am thankful for.




I guess I'll have to figure out if I am going to find  a way to deal with that or move on. 

I am still undecided.

Here are a few things that are on the top of my mind:

1.  I am shocked at the lack of retailers who do not have cute Christmas outfits for children.  I guess if you are over the age of five, and under the age of being invited to a swanky Christmas/New Years party, you will not be dressing up this year.  When I asked a store clerk to guide me in the direction of their "dressier" items, he told me they don't sell those types of clothes in the winter.


I tried to explain that I was hoping to find something nice for Christmas services or Christmas pictures.

He looked at me like I was speaking a different language.

OK.  So, clearly this particular establishment was choosing to focus a little more on casual type clothing.  So instead of trying to get Christmas attire here, I thought I would just settle for picking up some Christmas jammies.  We (including myself) love getting Christmas jammies every year.   Guess what?  If you are a boy and where larger than a 5T, well then, you must not like to wear Christmas jammies.   I guess I should rephrase that.  If you think that skulls with Santa hats on or snowboarders are "Christmas-y" well, you are in luck.  (When I asked how snowboarders are considered Christmas jammies the clerk told me because they are in the snow.  Oh.  It's crystal clear now.) I searched high and low.  I did hear through the grapevine that Super T had some on Black Friday, but obviously that wasn't going to be of much help to me now.  So,  poor Little Man is sporting some jammies that have trucks on them.  In the back of the truck is an Evergreen tree with some snow on it.  That's the closest I could get.    Maybe if you are big enough to wear sizes larger than the toddler section, and you are a boy, then it's totally dorky to wear Christmas jammies? 

So we are all dorks.

It wouldn't be the first time.

2.  These comments from The Little Man made me laugh:

The Little Man was getting ready to go play outside since it had been so beautiful outside.
p: Mommy?  Can I go outside to play?
me: Sure!  That sounds like a great idea
p: OK, I'm going to get my shoes on.
In the meantime, our dog Grace had recognized the word "Outside" and was quite excited at the thought of going outside to play, as was demonstrated by her ferociously wagging tail.   Soon enough she whacked The Little Man right in his...well...here's what he said:
p: (Bending down and looking Grace right in the eye) GRACIE!  Calm down, girl!  Stop whacking me in the privates!

I probably shouldn't have, but I did laugh out loud. 

Later that same day The Little Man and I were in a tense game of Memory.  I had already gotten a few matches myself, and was totally holding my own, I might add, but then The Little Man got on a hot streak. 
p: (Flips over a match) WOW!  That's cool!
me: Good job.  Go again.
p: (Flips over another match) Wow!  That's pretty crazy! (Totally trying to hide his excitement). 
me: Go again, Bud!
p: (Misses the next match) Oh well.  You're turn.
me: (Misses a match) Oh, shoot.
p:  That's OK.  That was really well played.

Oh, my sweet encourager.  His comfort and good sportsmanship helped me to make it through the game without loosing hope.  (Plus, I totally won).

3.  Lastly, The Girl.  Each year her school sells candy canes before Christmas break.  You can get a candy cane delivered to a friend with a message for fifty cents.  The Girl really likes to do this each year and sends all her BFF's little Christmas messages.  This year as she was filling out her order form (with her yearbook out, no less)  she asked me what the Candy Cane Budget was this year. 

I do appreciate a girl who knows and appreciates limits.

I told her, "Well it's whatever you decide it to be."  (I was under the impression that she understood that she was paying for these gifts.)

She went on her merry way filling out her order form.  I was starting to get a little nervous when I looked over her shoulder and saw quite a few names written down.

me:  So, do you know how to add up the total?
d: Yes! 
me: Well, how much are you up to now?
d: I haven't stopped to count yet.
me: Well, just remember every two people you have written down is one dollar out of your piggy bank.
d: WHAT?!?  I have to pay for these?
me: Yes.  These are your gifts.  If they are coming from you, they should be bought by you.
d: Mom!  You know that I am trying to save up my money until I get $100.  You are totally cutting into that!

With a little more discussion about gift giving and a  budget, she was able to whittle her list down to four people.

4.  As we have been blessed to watch some Christmas programs put on by the kids' schools this week (pictures and more on that to follow), it has become quite clear how much taller The Little Man is than most of his friends.  At his school performance, he was the 2nd tallest on the stage. The other little boy who was taller than him is in Kindergarten.  Then today at BSF the older classes gave a little singing performance.  He was at least two heads taller than EVERYONE on stage.   What will this look like next year?  It will look like someone forced there seven year old to join the kindergarten class.  The Hubs keeps reminding me that one day it will all even out.  I guess I shouldn't worry about it too much since The Little Man is completely oblivious to the fact that all his friends come up to his shoulders.

My sweet giant boy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Off By One Letter

A conversation from the back seat:

d: Oh mommy look!  The birds are flying in a "V" formation!
me: Yup!  Looks like they are headed South
P: Yea,  they make a "V" when they are vibrating.
d: Vibrating?  No, you mean MIGRATING.
P: Yea, migrating.

The Hubs and I DIED in the front seat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Wish This Was the Card I Sent Out This Year

I know we've done these in the years past, but every year they make me laugh.  The kids think these are the most hilarious things that have ever happened to them.  They laugh until they are violently overcome with the hiccups.

Have a Rockin' Christmas!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Permanent Chocolate

Had this conversation with The Little Man today after a snack of toast with Nutella.  He was a MESS.  I don't know if I have ever seen him quite as covered in food since he was first learning to feed himself.  I don't know what happened, but I turned around for what felt like five minutes, and found him covered in Nutella. Whatever happened to him at snack time I guess is between him and the chocolate toast, but I just wanted him to clean up before he touched even a single thing.

me: Whoa, Buddy!  You're a mess!  You're going to need to clean up right away.
P: I know mom!  I am just trying to have snack, OK?  When I am all done I'll clean up.
me: OK, when you are finished head straight for the bathroom and clean your face.
P: I will!
me: Let me know if you need any help.
After a couple of minutes in the bathroom by himself, I hear some grumbling.
me: What's going on in there Bud?
P: I am trying to clean up, Mom!
me: Do you need help?
P: No, Mom!
The Little Man emerges from the bathroom, and opens the door just in time for me to see him wipe his still chocolate covered face on my GUEST TOWEL.  *Grrrr*
me: BUD!  Did you just use the nice hand towel to clean the chocolate off of your face?
P: Yes, mom!  I had to do something.  This chocolate is permanent!
me: What? (as I get a closer look at him, and see he still has a quite a bit of chocolate covering his face).
P:  This chocolate is permanent.  I can't get it off of my face! I'm just going to have to live like this forever now.
me: Chocolate is not permanent.  Let me help you clean it off.

Thankfully, he let me help him, and the chocolate came right off.

I thought about sharing with him that chocolate is only permanent on your hips and thighs.  Faces are safe.

He might be a little too young for this kind of wisdom.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pretend Like This Post is Dated November 30th

I SO wanted to make sure that I didn't miss the last day of November with my "Month of Thanks" challenge I set before myself.  Alas, I had an interesting day yesterday, and flat fell asleep at 8:30.

Oh yes, I did.

I have had two things I wanted to express thanks for yesterday, and here they are:

1. I had the opportunity to spend the day with The Girl and her class on a class field trip.  They were wrapping up their Westward Expansion unit and wanted to cap the whole thing off with a trip the the Plains Conservation Center.  Here they have all sorts of wonderful and interesting things that teach about what the early settlers of our state used/lived in/had to work with.  There were sod houses, one room school houses, farm sites, and all kinds of chores to be done.  The kids were supposed to be make believing as though they were kids in the 1860's.  It really was set up to be a wonderful time.  The people that work there are very committed to teaching, and do a great job with large groups of children.  Really, the whole day was set up to be wonderful. And it so could have been.


It was a whopping 30 degrees and the wind chill was a whole 3 degrees.  I probably don't need to tell you that when you are out on the plains, the wind really whips.

Oh!  And we were outside for FIVE HOURS.


You all know how much I love cold weather.  It was torturous at times.  Towards the end, when I had finally lost all patience and was very close to calling The Hubs to come and pick me up, there was a point in which I almost got nasty with our tour guide.  I won't get into the details. 

It wasn't thankful or nice.

So, as I drove home and the feeling was starting to come back into my fingers and cheeks, I reflected on the fact that I had a chance to get out of there.   The people who first settled here many years ago didn't have that luxury.  They were stuck in their sod homes with no heat and no electricity.  They had no way to get out of their chores because it was freezing cold outside because their very lives depended on it.

I became thankful, and fast.   I am so thankful for heat, for shelter, for insulation in our home, warm clothes, and all things warm.  I would have totally crumbled had I been forced to live back in the 1800's. 

Also, I am very thankful that God has provided me with the opportunity to be able to take the time to go on the field trip with The Girl.  Even though the weather was less than stellar.  I love being able to be apart of her daily life.

2.  Yesterday was my parents 38th wedding anniversary.  I am so thankful for their marriage.  It hasn't always been the easiest of roads, but they have stuck by each other's sides through the thick and the thin.  They have sacrificed themselves for their marriage, and fully understand that a good marriage takes work. What a wonderful example they have set for me and my sisters.  This day in age when people around us live for themselves, their needs, and their hopes and desires as well as a society, who as a whole, sees so many things as disposable and not worth effort and hard work, I have my parents to look at and see the opposite.  They have shown me that sometimes it's just not about you.  In a marriage there are many things you just have to die to, and the first thing is self.  They also have shown me that marriage is something that takes work and effort, but in the end it is so sweet.  Congrats, Mom and Dad on 38 years!  I am thankful for your marriage and the example it is to me.