Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

We were considering going to Zoo Lights tonight with some friends, but since it is really cold outside and the kids are recovering from colds, we thought it would be best if we stayed in our nice warm house. So to make tonight special, we surprised the kids with an indoor camping trip.

During naptime today, Hank assembled the tent. We bought the tent years ago, actually right before we found out we were pregnant with Taylor. We had never been able to put it to use...until today. When the kids woke up from naptime, they were so excited. When Landon saw it, he said "whoa!" and when Taylor saw it, her eyes got real big and she started to squeal with delight.

So we let the kids play in it for an hour or so before we took them out to dinner. When we came home, all they wanted to do was chase each other inside the tent, outside and around the tent, and in 'n' out of the was good, cheap fun!

I am thinking that camping indoors will become our New Year's Eve tradition. I want to wish you all much PEACE, LOVE & JOY this coming New Year. I pray that 2010 brings health, hope and happiness to you and your family. May you be blessed beyond measure!
Monday, December 28, 2009

Days 27-28

On Day 27, we had dinner over at Grandma and Grandpa's house. After dinner, Grandma made hot chocolate while everyone watched the football game. Of course Grandma's hot chocolate is like dessert all in itself. The kids loved the whip cream on top. In fact, they liked it so much that Grandma started feeding them whip cream straight from the can!

Today is also the day that we started giving Ryland rice cereal. A side of me wanted to put it off another month and enjoy nursing my baby as much as possible, but the other side knew he was ready for it. We have been getting little sleep this past week because Ryland has been waking up every other hour to eat. He also had a cold that made it hard for him to breath and eat at the same time. Either case, my sleep deprivation got the best of me and I decided to make the move to solids. So for the next two weeks, Ryland will get to taste rice cereal before adding on baby food. Is it normal to feel sad that my last baby is reaching milestones? Soon he'll be walking and talking ;-)

On Day 28, we started back up our yearly tradition of praying for our friends and family members who mailed us a Christmas card. Last year, we picked a family to pray for each day during our dinner-time prayer. This year, we are picking two cards a night and praying as a family. Taylor and Landon had a great time rummaging through the cute cards and looking at the photos. Taylor's prayer started out like this: "Dear Jesus, Thank you for Shane, Thank you for Tish, Payton, Maverick."

I seriously wish I could have tape recorded her little sweet voice. It made my heart melt and made me proud. Landon can't say his prayers yet, but he is sure to add in a big hearty "Amen" whenever he can.
Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day & Day 26

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
--Burton Hillis

"Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends."
--Margaret Thatcher

Christmas was wonderful! Our new little family of five slept in and took our sweet time opening gifts. I think the opening of gifts actually lasted over three hours. And it wasn't because the kids were ripping through gifts and on to the next ones (I'm sure that will happen in a few more years). Instead each child opened a gift, gave it to Mommy or Daddy to break free from the packaging and insert a battery, and played with it for 20 minutes until we pushed them onto the next gift. It was nothing like I had imagined it to be.

Of course we didn't want the day to be all about gifts. Instead, we wanted to focus on the fact that Christmas is Jesus's birthday. We sang "Happy Birthday" a couple of times throughout the day, and Hank told the Christmas story and used a nativity set that someone gave us as a wedding gift almost 12 years ago.

For Christmas dinner, we loaded up the kids and took the long trek to my brother's house. Stephen took a great family photo, a rarity in my family, and I hope to get my hands on that soon.

On Day 26, we dragged the kids to a couple of stores to make some exchanges. But for a majority of the day, they played with their new toys. I am so glad that Hank and I agreed to only purchase three gifts a piece for each child. What we gave them was plenty; what Santa gave them was more than enough; and what their grandparents and family members gave them was beyond plentiful. Our kids are definitely not in need in any way. In fact, we need to go through our current toy stock and give away what has been outgrown or not played with. I'm sure there are plenty of children in Mexico who would love to have them. In fact, my mom just reminded me that we used to take all of my outgrown clothing and toys down to Rocky Point every year and give them away to people in need. Maybe that is a tradition I need to carry on.

Now it's time to think about getting our goals for the coming year established, cleaning house, and spending precious time together as a family.
Thursday, December 24, 2009

Days 22-24

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

On Day 22, we headed over to Chick-fil-A for dinner. Hank's mom told me they were having craft night and would be making reindeer antlers at the restaurant. So since we still needed a Christmas activity for the day, we invited Grandma and Grandpa to fine dine with us and make crafts at Chick-fil-A. I must say, my chicken salad sandwich was delicious. And the kids, especially Miss Craft Queen Taylor, had a great time. (BTW, Chick-fil-A will be starting craft night every Tuesday night from 5:00-9:00 pm in January I think. The owner is starting this new activity and will be creating a monthly calendar soon so check it out.)

On Day 23, my parents came over for dinner and brought over a car full of Christmas gifts. Hank had to work a little late on this day, so it was very nice to have the company and help feeding the kids. We ate a yummy roast and opened gifts like it was Christmas morning only it was Christmas Eve Eve. Some of their favorite gifts were handcrafted luggage with stuffed animals sewn to them and fake food for Taylor's kitchen set. We were all sad to see Oma and Opa leave at the end of the evening...normally they spend the night with us.

Today is Day 24 and what a fun day it has been. Hank woke up with the kids and let me sleep in a bit since Ryland has been waking every couple of hours during the night due to a cold that he caught. So when I finally made my way downstairs around 8:30 am, the house smelled of bacon and coffee. Yummy! We took our time and enjoyed being together as a family. We attended a early afternoon church service at CCV and it was awesome. It totally kicked my Christmas spirit into high gear. Hank's parents joined us and it was a neat way to spend part of our Christmas Eve.

For dinner, all of Hank's side of the family came over for a yummy potluck dinner with ham and tamales. The kids were once again spoiled by all of the grandparents. After all of the gifts were unwrapped, we brought in one last gift from my parents, Hank's parents, and Hank and I. We gave all three kids a train table. They might be a little young for it, but already we had to coax Taylor to go to bed because she stayed up playing with it until 10:00 pm. I told her she needed to go to bed so Santa could stop by and drop off more gifts. The kid actually told me, "No, I don't want Santa to come over, I have enough gifts." I was stunned...and thankful I guess.
Monday, December 21, 2009

Days 20 & 21

"Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect."
--Oren Arnold

Last night we went to the Overson's annual Christmas party. It's really more of a birthday party for Jesus. Marv made a great shepherd and recounted the Christmas story from a shepherd's point of view. The kids did pretty well and had fun seeing Grandma and Grandpa. At the end of the evening, the Overson's generously gave each child a gift. Taylor was pretty excited about that. And I was pretty excited to get a bag of carmel popcorn to take home.

This morning Taylor made a snowflake. It turned out quite cute and was $1 craft from Michael's. I placed the glue drops on her snowflake, but Taylor did all of the decorating. Thankfully the project came with a photo to follow.

Wondering what the boys were up to? Well don't feel too bad for them that they didn't have craft time. Instead, Landon helped himself to one of the giant carmel popcorn balls from last night's party. He's been chewing on that for an hour now. And Ryland, well he drifts from snoozing to cooing in his swing. Everyone is happy so it's all good!