Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Monumental Moment & a Wonderful Day. . .

This little one was by far the cutest part of my day. . .





We are sick. We are all sick. Erik started himself on antibiotics today. Elijah is already on them. We are all coughing and sneezing, but we couldn't stay inside all day ~ no way!


I can't tell you how much I am enjoying having Joshua home from kindergarten and JCT home from preschool! We are having fun days, lots of fun, fun days. Today we did several fun things, but I must say that something monumental happened to me in the kitchen in the middle of the day today.


May I begin by saying that I did not put on make up today. I never do not put on make up. It like never happens. But, today it did. My counters are covered, completely covered, in post Christmas clutter. Where do I put all the new things?? For now their home is on my kitchen counters, and I don't like that plan, but I don't really have the time or energy to change that right now.


So, anyway, in the middle of the day today, I am leaning against my kitchen cabinets eating leftover cold salmon from dinner last night. I am surveying the mass chaos which surrounds me, and something, somewhere deep inside of me uttered this funny little phrase, "I'm letting it go." I was so surprised to hear something like that come from within me that I asked myself, "Did you just say that? Do you know that if you let go this chaos may just overtake you? You may find yourself in a clutter, dust, dirt filled hole that you will never, ever, be able to dig yourself out of? If you let go, what will become of your home? You can't! Don't do it!" But, the voice from deep within me persisted, "I'm letting it go." And, that was that. The decision was made. I was going to play and forget all about my counters, my crazy dining room, my out of sorts bedroom, the baskets of clean laundry piled up to my ears. . .


I decided to play.


So, that is exactly what I did.


Beginning with the fun little clown ice cream cones we made. . .


First we made homemade ice cream, then we whipped up some icing, and after that I let my little chefs decorate their very own clown. Well, I decorated Lijah's. . .





Decorating. . .





And, enjoying. . .






Then, we bundled up, and went outside to play which was very fun! When I saw how cute this little guy looked, I had to run up to the house to get the camera!



Elijah has learned to climb the ladder on the side of our swing set, so watch out world here he comes!! Joshua and JCT took turns catching him as he came down the slide!!



He loves to slide! His little sweet sick boy face lit up each time he went down!


Going down together. . .


But, it wasn't just the ladder & slide that Elijah got to experience for the first time. He is finally old enough to sit still on the tire swing. . .

And, he even swung on a big boy swing today!! Mostly this was not by choice, but because a cute little blue bundle was in his baby swing!!! All in all, I think he enjoyed his little upgrade!


Big brothers pushing little brothers! I love it ~ warms my heart!

And, as I type this, my counters are still covered. But, it was worth it. I do believe that it was worth it. In fact, I may just do it again tomorrow. . .

Our Family Christmas 2008

We returned home late Saturday evening, and everyone knew upon going to bed that "Christmas" would happen first thing Sunday morning. So, after the boys were tucked snugly in their beds, Santa and I began to set up the big toys and put presents under the tree!

Erik and I got up before the boys ~ which means we got up when it was still dark. I lit up the tree. . .

and the stairs. . .


I wanted them to wake up to a warm home full of little happies and awake parents waiting on them. Because normally, they wake us up! But, not this day! Not long after we got the house ready, we heard the pitter patter of little footsteps on the stairs. . .


Joshua's main present was a knight castle, and JCT's main present was this robotic remote controlled dinosaur!


They loved both things so much!!


And, Lijah had fun opening his happies, too!

My present for Erik was a little surprise! When Erik Daniel was 2 weeks old, we took him to get his newborn pictures taken by a local photographer. When the photographer was trying to get this shot. . .


they captured a moment on camera that they didn't mean to catch. It was one of those moments that happens quickly, and it was simply by accident that they got a picture of it! But, after the moment happened, Erik asked them if they happened to capture it on film. They flipped back through their digital camera and proudly assured Erik that they had in fact captured the moment! Erik was thrilled and said he wanted that picture for his office.

Well, that was back in September, and he had completely forgotten about the picture. But, I had not! And, here it is. . .


Note the stream flowing from Erik Daniel's mid-section! Boys! They never do grow up!

Anyway, the boys played all day mostly with their new castle and knights!



Erik loves to give. It is his gift. He is the giver of the two of us. Some years he calls me Scrooge because I don't like to spend money. And, please don't misunderstand him. He is not the type to buy our kids tons of toys, etc, or to get into the whole marketing thing. No, he just loves people, and this is one way that he loves to love on the people he cares for most. I am talking about friends mostly. I'll do a whole post one day about Sean and Erik and their gifts for one another. They are thoughtful beyond words. Erik met his match in Sean. His gifts to Erik are always thoughtful and from his heart. I love to watch them exchange presents. It is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. More about that another day. . .

Anyway, after almost ten years of marriage, I am beginning to catch on to his passion for giving. A little bit, anyway. . . But, this year we were given two very thoughtful Christmas gifts. The kind that are not just generically purchased, but rather deeply thought about and chosen with love! Both of these presents we used on our "Christmas," and they made the day that much more special!

But, before we used them, we made homemade pizzas. This is our usual weekend dinner! Yum!


Then, we used the first of our thoughtful presents. . .

The Cuisinart Ice Cream maker that Jen bought me!!! She knows how much I love to make homemade ice cream, and this contraption is awesome. She watched me make it while she was visiting this summer and decided then that this would be the perfect Christmas gift for me! And, boy, was it!!! No ice or salt needed, and the ice cream is ready in less than 30 minutes!! Lots of ice cream will be made at my house!! Here is Joshua's bowl. . .


After we ate our yummy dessert, we took the boys up for bath time. But, they had to play for a few more minutes!!!



And, I think I caught a glimpse of what David looked like in King Saul's armor. . .


Cute little soldier. . .


After baths we put Lijah to bed, and the big boys, Daddy, and I headed downstairs to use our other fun gift! Alan and Karen our good friends from Ocala, FL, gave us a Cuisinart Popcorn Popper, individual popcorn bowls for each member of our family, and a gift certificate to buy a movie at Blockbuster! And, all of this they did because Karen reads my blog, and she read a post I wrote about our family movie nights!! So sweet and thoughtful!!!

The boys loved watching the popcorn pop!



And, our cute little bowls. . .


We ate our popcorn and watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The boys love that show especially when they destroy the old home at the beginning!!
It was a great day! All around!
And, now what am I doing today?

You guessed it ~ mountains of laundry!!!!

Back to life, back to reality. . . :-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Joy in the Journey

And, so we left last Tuesday evening after Erik got off work and began our 12 hour drive to Orlando for Christmas with Erik's family. Yes, we drove 12 hours with four children five years old and under, yes, yes, we did.

The trip started out well. Erik called it "an adventure." And, that is exactly what it was. We stopped by Chick fil a for dinner, and we were on our way! But something happened somewhere in the middle of Alabama. . . something unexpected. . .

Vomit.

Don't you hate that? Out of nowhere Elijah throws up all over his pjs & his car seat. And, Erik and I just look at each other like, "You're kidding, right? That didn't just happen?" But, oh, oh, yes it did! And, there was like no place to stop for at least 20 minutes. So, the poor child just sat there with big blue eyes filled with tears, while we searched the exits for a gas station. Finally we found one, and we did our best to clean him up. Or, to be quite honest, Erik did his best to clean him up, because he is the best husband/father on the planet. Hands down.

As the boys were getting out of the van at the gas station to go with me to the restroom, Joshua yells from the third row, "OOOhhhh Gross! JCT poo pooed in his car seat!" And, once again Erik and I looked at each other like, "You're kidding right? He didn't just say that?" But, thankfully after further investigation, the supposed poo poo was only a chicken nugget from dinner that had fallen behind, literally!

We drove about halfway, and then stopped at a hotel. This was really quite fun! The boys were so excited! And, they all slept great! No more vomit!! Hurray!

Here they are in the morning before we started on our way once again. . .


We visited some friends in Ocala (Hi, Karen!), and then headed on to Orlando. We had a very restful, wonderful visit with family.

Erik Daniel enjoyed meaningful conversation with his Pop. . .

These pictures were just too cute! I had to include them both!!

We began Christmas by Pop reading the Christmas story from the Children's Message Bible. . .
He is holding the newest member of our family sweet Ella Faith!
Then, lots of presents were given and received ~ imagine 8 kids and 6 adults!
Thankfully, the vomiting episode was a fluke! And, the trip was a lot of fun! The way home we drove the 12 hours all in one day. It was a long day! When we were a mere 30 minutes from home 3 out of our 4 children began to melt down. Erik and I just looked at each other and smiled. Because, honestly, what else can you do when you are trapped in a small place with 3 screaming children, but laugh. . .
Especially when you have been driving all day, and you are almost home. . .

One Sunday Afternoon. . .

A few Sundays ago, Erik and Sean went to the Steelers/Titans game in Nashville. This meant that I was home alone with the boys from sun up to sun down on a Sunday.


My to do list that day looked like this. . .


* Send boys upstairs to play & wrap presents!

* Do Laundry

* Bake something for the neighbors

* Begin packing or at least make a list of outfits to bring


But, I did none of those things. . .


Instead this is what I did. . .


* Assisted the boys in painting the birdhouses that Sean and Deana got them for Christmas

* Helped the boys make a train track that goes around the Christmas tree!

So, fun, but just like a little boy ~ the joy they found in all of this was making the trains run into one another and wreck! Or, they would put a faster train behind a slower train and watch the faster train push the slower train off the track!


* Helped Joshua dress up as Santa, JCT as an elf, and organize their sleigh and reindeer!


In his best Santa voice, Joshua called the reindeer. Only I don't think Santa does it quite like my little Southern man. . .
"Comet & Cupid, Donner & Blitzen, COME ON YA'LL! COME ON!"

A close up of Rudolph!
Oh, what fun it is to ride!!!!


Erik got home just before bedtime and entertained the boys by making them count how many shirts he had on as he dropped them in a pile on the kitchen floor. . .



7 shirts ~ and he still froze!!!
I didn't get much accomplished, but we did have some fun!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy 4 Months, little Darling!!



What a cute little sweetheart you are! Love those chubby cheeks!!

I took you to the doctor a few weeks ago, and he said that you were quite healthy, my little man!! He said you were the size of a good six month old!! You were in the 90th percentile in height! And, you weighed in at 16 pounds 4 ounces!! Sweet man, you cried for a milli-second when they gave you your shots, and then you were over it! Tough guy!

Your biggest accomplishment this past month was finding your feet! I love to watch you play with them. You are a joy to me, and I thank my God for you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Afternoon Crafting. . .

About a month ago, I was really struggling with the hours between the time I pick Joshua up from school and when Erik gets home from work (3-6). The boys would get so wound up, so loud, so borderline out of control that I decided I either needed to make a plan to keep them busy during these hours or make a plan to escape my own home.

I decided to make a plan to keep them busy.
Good thing, huh?
I decided to have them come in from the van and sit at the table while I prepare them a snack. Then, they eat, and I read a chapter or two to them from a book. After this, I help them do a project. I try to prepare a little something before we pick up Joshua. We have done peanut butter playdoh. And, sometimes we do regular playdoh. I have done something as simple as printing out snowman coloring pages off the Internet for them to color. My mom has been helping me by emailing me ideas that she finds through blogs! A couple of our more fun activities have been. . .
Ice cream cone Christmas Trees. . .
Lijah spent more time eating his icing than he did icing his tree. . .
Working hard. . .


Decorating their trees. . .


All done!

JCT's has a smiley face on it! Can you tell?
Another day we made salt dough ornaments, and then the next day we painted them. These were super fun for me because I made them as a child! Happy memories! Here are a couple of our masterpieces. . .




After we finish our little craft, it is usually time for me to begin making dinner. So, I usually send the boys upstairs to play while I go to work. . .
I love this little afternoon schedule because it allows me to be part of their play and it keeps them from getting soooo wound up! Although they are boys, and you cannot suppress a little boy!! They are full to the brim with energy and joy, and that is as it should be!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Darling Dasher. . .

Jct had his preschool Christmas party this past Thursday. It was the first of 6 Christmas parties our family had in 3 days!! Tis the season to be busy. . . I mean, jolly! :-) It was a fun little party, and another opportunity to celebrate one of my middle men! JCT is a character, oh, my, yes, he is, and I love his little socks off! Here he is in the reindeer line up. . . He was Dasher, which I thought was quite appropriate, since he dashes about my house like a wonderfully keyed up deer should! Making sure his antlers were on straight. . .







The preschoolers singing Christmas carols to their adoring fans who snapped photos and shot video footage like crazed paparozzi. . .





After they finished their little program, Santa made a surprise appearance. This was meant to be a good thing, but it sent a few children into a fearful, tearful state. I would have been one of those scared little ones thirty years ago. . . My JCT however was not one of those afraid. He is too curious! Here is my inquisitive little guy checking out the man in red. . .





With his teacher, Ms. Kim. . .







I have been so impressed with her! She has taught JCT a lot over the past semester. She is studying to be an elementary ed teacher, and she will make a great one!!



Here he is with classroom buddy, Samuel, playing dinosaurs. . .






And, here he is with sweet Afton. . .




And, here we are. . .

Erik Daniel is just like an extra appendage! We go everywhere together! Thank You, Jesus, for my sweet little baby! We are like Mama Kangaroo and Baby Joey!


It was a fun morning and fun beginning to all our holiday festivities!
My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs
 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved