Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Yesterday, I was getting her dressed and she asked, "Can I touch my bottom?" I said, "No, it's dirty. Don't touch your bottom." She said, "Can I touch my tummy?" I said, "Sure." She looked down at her tummy and patted it. Then she looked a little higher up her chest and said, "Can I touch my (then in a high pitched, quiet voice) teeny, tiny breasts?" I said, "Um, I think not...let's just stick to touching your tummy." (what is it with little kids and nakedness???)
A few minutes later, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy? Sometimes I love you." I started feeling all warm and fuzzy, until she quickly corrected herself and said, "No, sometimes I love Sierra." (my brother in law's DOG) She's into this phase where she coy-ly avoids affection. And if I sneak a kiss on her check, she rubs it off with her hand. It's terribly insulting!!! She used to say, "EW!" but now she'll say, "We don't say, 'ew,' we say, 'I love you!'"
On Thanksgiving, my mom saw her rubbing her face after I kissed her and said, "Kaylin's rubbing in your kisses," loud enough so that Kaylin could hear and Kaylin looked confused, like she was thinking, "Wait - I wanted to rub the kisses OFF, not rub them IN - what am I doing wrong?" So now I go with the angle that she's rubbing the kisses in, which drives her nuts, so maybe she'll stop wiping them off soon.
Also, kind of random, Kaylin suddenly doesn't like shadows. I've tried to show her that they're harmless and even fun when you do shadow puppets, but often at night, she'll say, "Mommy, I don't like the shadows." The other night, she pointed specifically to the shadow that her ceiling fan creates, which could explain why she gets up every night (no matter how chilly it is) to turn on the fan...maybe to get rid of the shadows cast by the individual blades - ?
Thanksgiving morning, I returned home from getting some killer deals at CVS and showed Kaylin a nail polish that I bought for her. She looked at me shocked, spread out her fingers, held her hands in front of my face, then said in her loudest, most teen-like accent, with a very serious look on her face, "Are YOU going to paint these PIGGY TAILS?" She was so excited that she accidentally called her finger nails "piggy tails." Oh, to have that moment on film. I want to burn it into my brain, it was so funny. (I know - you had to be there. And I can't do her voice influction in a blog...it's just not the same.)
We decorated our Christmas tree on Tuesday and the kids had a blast. While Mike and I strung the lights, they occupied themselves by "taking a nap" on the couch together. They thought they were hilarious.
One last thing, Ryan's new nickname for Kaylin is "fast little running girl." He calls her that often - at least once daily. Kaylin is laugh-out-loud hilarious to watch when she runs. Her little diaperless rear end scooting along cracks me up. I finally got it on video. Her sweater was too big, so instead of tucking her arms under her pits like she usually does, she was trying to pull her sleeves up. But I had to post this because she went running into Ryan's arms giving him a huge hug. Awwwwwwww...
Friday, November 28, 2008
After rummaging through my supplies to use up what I have on hand, I began printing the main message of "still merry" on the cards. Around card 8, my printer went on strike. Grrr........
I even did a little insert with our picture on one side and a short update on the other. (my printer fixed itself, then broke again, then fixed itself...I cursed myself for printing my own pictures to save money...)
But, lo and behold, in two days, I have not only finished making my cards, but they are stuffed and in labeled envelopes, ready to be mailed.
Now, I have to forewarn some of you that you won't be getting a card from me this year. I know, I know, it's sad, but I got over it, so you should too. I went to buy stamps the other day and when I realized that I'd be paying a week's groceries on postage for 120 cards, I axed half of you. Sorry, but it had to be done. And those of you that live locally, expect your card to be hand-delivered next time I see you. If I sit and clip coupons and scout out the sales in the grocery fliers to save $5, you'd better believe it's worth it to NOT mail a dozen cards to save the same $5! Feel free to call me cheap, just not to my face. Because my husband's unemployed...I may have a weak moment and burst into tears on you, appearing oversensitive, and no one needs that guilt!
Where did that rant come from? I just wanted to show off my cool card design and brag about my
ADD super efficient holiday weekend! Anyway, I hope you have all thought about making or sending cards, emails or e-cards this year. Your friends and family will appreciate them!!!
I didn't think Ryan would remember the movie from last year, so on Saturday night after church, the kids took a quick bath, got into their jammies and we snuggled up with warm cocoa to watch The Polar Express movie in our dark family room. (Ryan must have told me five times how much he loved the cocoa!)
On the way up to "The North Pole," they served warm cocoa...
and chocolate chip cookies, passed out by "the chefs"...
Then on the return trip, we sang Chrismtas carols...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I didn't hesitate for a moment, but I was quite overwhelmed. I couldn't hold back the tears as I laid my shoes at the alter, knowing they would go to someone who really needs them. Someone who has so much less than we do. Someone deserving of the generosity of a whining housewife whose husband might be out of work for a little while. I felt so small and so selfish, wanting to give more. Wishing we were in a different financial situation so I could give more freely to others.
As we walked to pick up our kids, I saw hundreds of people proudly walking around in socks or bare feet. Many still wore their shoes, and I didn't judge them for it. Our congregation was not warned about this random act of kindness and who knows what some people pay for their shoes! Or if they're their only shoes, like Mike. He was wearing his only gym shoes and we don't have $40-50 to spend on a replacement pair. (You know men...they have brown shoes, black shoes, tennis shoes and flip flops. That's it!) My poor husband felt so selfish and guilty walking around with his shoes on after the service. He was riddled with self-doubt, debating about whether to sneak back into the worship center to give up his shoes.
I hope you're feeling grateful this Thanksgiving. No matter what your personal situation is (and I know some of you are going through the worst of the worst right now) - remember to look forward and look upward. I know it sounds cliche, but God never gives us more than we can handle. (as an argument, I've also heard people say, "I wish God didn't have so much faith in me!")
It will definitely help to find some perspective in your situation. Take some time and give back this holiday season by serving meals at a homeless shelter or volunteering your time with an organization in your area. If you're doing well financially, do random things like paying for the car behind you in the drive through. (but don't cheat and ask how much their bill is first) Buy a cup of hot coffee (or cold bottled water if you're in a warmer climate) for the homeless man you pass every day on the street. Offer to babysit for a single mom in your neighborhood so she can do some Christmas shopping. Adopt a family and shop for their wish list with your kids. There are so many things you can do for others, the possibilities are endless.
Generosity is contagious. Do your part and start spreading it!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I usually throw out some random, useless facts to discuss around your holiday table, but I thought I'd do something a little different this year. I just came across this great list of ways to express your thankfulness this Thanksgiving season.
Because if you practice a thankful attitude, you will have a more cheerful heart. And if you complain less, you will be more content. So look inside of yourself this weekend and focus on the blessings in your life.
Some suggestions for helping your family have a heart of gratitude:
- After your Thanksgiving meal, go around the table listening to each person say what they're thankful for from the past year. To take this a step farther, record what everyone says in a notebook and keep a log each year.
- Create a "thankful tree" or a "thankful turkey" and add either leaves or feathers made from construction paper with things written that you're thankful for.
- If you're hosting the Thanksgiving meal, provide disposable containers for your guests to take home leftovers.
- Read Psalm 100 in unison
- Give your kids money on Thanksgiving Day and instruct them to help someone else in the name of Jesus and tell the family what they did on Christmas Eve.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
For this post, I saved the best (and most important) for last. For those of you who are Christians, the focus of your family's Christmas needs to be on Christ. With kids and lots of hussle and bustle, this has to be something very intentional that you choose to do.
Here are some great ways to refocus your family's attention on Jesus.
1. The Jesse Tree. This idea originated from Isaiah 11:1-2, which refers to the fact that Jesus would be born from the line of David, whose father's name was Jesse. Instead of re-typing the whole premise, check out this link for Simple Mom's explanation. You can also reference http://www.jesse-trees.com/ or check out books like "The Advent Jesse Tree" by Dean Meador Lambert or "The Jesse Tree" by Geraldine McCaughrean.
2. A traditional Advent Calendar. Advent means to celebrate that which is coming (the birth of Christ). There are many ways you can celebrate using an Advent Calendar. If you want to do something a little deeper than opening a door each day and pulling out a piece of chocolate, purchase (or make) a calendar with pockets or larger holes behind the doors. Write out notes to stick in each pocket. The note could contain a passage of Scripture, a family activity or challenge or a fun fact about the true meaning of Christmas.
3. An Advent Wreath. If a daily calendar is too much for you, consider an Advent Wreath, which is celebrated for the 4 Sundays prior to Christmas. The instructions for what you need for this project come from Secrets to Getting More Done in Less Time by Donna Otto:
- Buy or a make a wreath and place four candles around or in the wreath and one candle in the center of the wreath
- On the Saturday before the first Sunday in Advent, a prayer is said and some conversation about the use of the wreath is suggested. Usually the head of the family is resonsible for this time, as well as the lighting of the candles.
- On the 4th Sunday before Christmas, light the first candle. This candle is the Prophecy Candle. Verses to be shared are: Luke 1:30-31, Isaiah 2:1-5; 11:1-9; 40:3-11. If you do this before a meal, the candle can be left burning throughout the meal.
- On the 3rd Sunday before Christmas, light the second candle. This candle is the Bethlehem Candle. Verses to be shared are Luke 2:24 and Isaiah 7:13-14.
- On the 2nd Sunday before Christmas, light the third candle. This candle is named the Shepherd's Candle. Verses to be shared are Luke 2:8-20, Matthew 2:1-12 and John 5:30-47.
- On the Sunday before Christmas, light the Angel's Candle. Verses to read are Luke 2:1-7, Matthew 2:13-23 and John 3:16-21.
- On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, light the Christ Candle, the candle in the center. Select appropriate spiritual readings to focus on the birth of Christ.
4. The Advent Book - this is a beautifully illustrated book that walks you through the 24 days of December before Christmas.
5. Check this out:
Thanks for hanging with me during this 12 Days of Christmas Series! I hope you got some good tips and will be able to incorporate some of the ideas that were shared. Go enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow and remember to wear your comfy, stretchy pants!!!
Monday, November 24, 2008
* Snowman Pretzel Sticks
* Cinnamon Ornaments - Last year, Ryan's teacher had them put a paperclip through the top before baking them and added a ribbon to hang on the tree. Ryan tripped while carrying his ornament home that day and it shattered into a million pieces. We'll try again this year!
* A mini-"gingerbread" house made from graham crackers (this one's easy for even the 1-year olds to help create)
Christmas card ideas:
* Handprint Santa
* Thumbprint Reindeer
* Gift bags - either Reindeer or Snowman
* Rudolf Handprint
There are a bunch of additional ideas on the Family Fun website. Again, don't be overwhelmed by these ideas...just do something fun and crafty (and Christmas-y) with your kids. You'll be glad you made those memories for them!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
- Red Licorice for the gobbler (we omitted)
- Allow the turkeys to sit for a while so the frosting can dry