Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mommy's Moment: Christmas

 Phew.

Honestly, I feel out of breath. Christmas is over. This year, I think I squeezed just about all I could out of this season and I can contentedly say, I'm happy to move on.
 
All my memory making magic is, well, depleted.
 
Do you feel the pressure each Christmas? To make it "THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER" for your kids? I'll be honest, I do. Part of it's fine. I think it's natural and good. And then of course, part of it is unrealistic and likely due to the million posts on Pinterest that set these crazy expectations as well as the tendancy to compare to all your amazing friends on Facebook. And yes, just being honest, I get caught up in it even when I am trying not to.

But thankfully, it doesn't take much to create "THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER," for my kids. Nope. Why, the moment we put up the tree five weeks ago Grant said, "This is the best Christmas ever!"
 
Check. 






 But of course, what is Christmas time without traditions? Like, the infamous gingerbread house where it takes every perfectionist bone in my body to not try to reposition every misplaced gumdrop or broken candy cane?


 
What makes it even more special is having Grandma there to join in. And I realized, if my mom can forego the chaotic gingerbread dweeling, so can I.
 
Do you know my mom?

 
A huge Christmas fail for me is always, ALWAYS baking. Folks, I'm not a baker. Never will be. But, nonetheless, I try. So, we tried our hand at making shortbread cookies from scratch. Besides the event taking the whole morning, thus making us late to our Classical Conversations Christmas party, the cookies, well, were three stars shy of those "homemade" cookies in the bakery section at Publix. But, I must say, the kids had a blast.
 
I still say baking and made from scratch cookies, are well, for the birds.
 
That's some holiday spirit for you.
 
I won't even begin to describe my failed hand at peppermint bark that left me at the mercy of Pepperidge Farm's Mint Milano cookies (sprinkled with peppermint for that Christmas spirit) for the cookie swap I attended.




 We added some new traditions this year. Like our Christmas chain countdown...that was successful up until about, oh, day, ten. It seems we still have a few chains dangling from the doorway.
 
Enthusiasm was there.
 
 
Another new one, opening a new Christmas book every day until Christmas. Now, this was pretty neat. Yes, I wrapped up 25 Christmas books. Some were old and some I scored for nothing on this site called Listia. So I really didn't pay anything out of pocket for these books. The kids enjoyed opening one each day and we read them during our read aloud time.
 
Those boxes in the back, another attempt to create memories. Thanks to the Target $1 clearance section, I got these for ten cents each. Inside we put a Scripture verse and an activity for the day.
 
This is where I realized I couldn't keep up and I think maybe an activity EVERY OTHER DAY would be more doable for our home. I'm not sure that the kids actually realized we didn't do about 1/3 of the activities I said we would.
 
Fail.

 
We attended the Locust Grove Christmas parade, a first for our family. The highlight of the parade, lots of candy.


Even Molly joined in the fun.
 

 
I found a few crafts on Pinterest. This one was really cute.
 
 
 
And we made ornaments out of beads. A huge hit for Grant.
 
 
Finally Christmas Eve arrived. The kids got a box with pajamas, hot cocoa, and a new game.
 
Operation.
 


We decorated Jesus' birthday cake.
 
Excuse the Pledge sitting right next to the cake. It seems in our house there is always something to clean up.


 
And, like most everyone else, Christmas day was spent enjoying the gifts and calling loved ones to thank them.
 
 

 
 
And as we enjoy these fun times, I try to remind our kids that these gifts are just a taste of the goodness of the Lord that far exceeds any earthly gift we could receive. I pray that in the hustle and bustle of this season we can remember to worship the Giver and not the gifts.
 
Praise the Lord for coming into a war zone to rescue us. May we all "taste and see that the Lord is good."
 
Merry Christmas to you all.
 
 
 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A New Blogger in Town

Let me formally introduce myself.
 
I'm Molly.
 
The beagle.
 
This is my mom and some of my brothers and sisters. We hung out in the back of this truck.
 
Waiting.
 
Who were we waiting for?
 
 
 
 
I guess I was waiting for him...


 
along with Kate, Hannah, my new mommy, and my new daddy.

 
At first, I was a little nervous. They took me away from my family. But it sure was warm in that van. I liked it.

 
And it was in that van that I officially met Kate. A passionate girl she is. Love at first sight I believe. For her at least. I was still trying to warm up to all this new excitement.


 
 As for Hannah, well, she's much more careful. I guess it comes with age. I quickly learned she was my safe place. And I liked it.


 
My first day ended with a bath. How embarrasing. Have you ever had an audience while you bathed? I hope not. Besides feeling sheepish, I was incredibly cold and couldn't stop shaking. I was beginning to second guess my new life.


Thankfully my safe place quickly returned and I felt like a million bucks.
 

 
And now, it appears I am one of them. I'm one of the gang. And, besides the occassional neck lifts and upside down adventures (mainly thanks to the youngest of the crew) I'm really liking it here. I just hope my brothers and sisters are as lucky as I.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Beautiful Friendship

It's good to have cousins, especially boy cousins. Especially boy cousins who enjoy an invigorating game of Super Mario Brothers.
 
Like Kyle.
 



He understands the best spot in the house is crucial for optimal performance.


 
And he realizes the importance of game faces and doesn't hold them against me.

 
And most importantly, he understands the joy that comes from sliding your Mario dressed in a penguin suit right into those meddlesome Koopa Troopas.


Yep.

Nothing beats it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kate and Molly

 As all the world has heard, like the infamous "shots heard around the world," we have a dog.

Her name is Molly.
 
And being the youngest, I've got to fight for my special one-on-one time with her.
 
The time to snag her is right after her puppy high when she's too tired to wiggle away and when Hannah is distracted for the moment.
 
And when I get her, I have to make the most of my time with her.
 
So, like a football player trying to make a run, I grab her and go.
 
It doesn't matter where I go, I've just got to go because I know my window of time is short before she gets intercepted by the opposing team: Hannah, Grant, even Mommy or Daddy.

 
 
 


Molly is always up for the adventure. 


 
Sometimes, we luck out and find we don't have to run anymore. That's good because all that running tires me out. Apparently it does the same to Molly.
 
Sometimes, I eat my lunch so fast so I can get to Molly first. I sneak past Mommy so fast so she doesn't take the time to wipe my face.
 



I think Molly appreciates my tenacity.
 





 Afterall,
we little guys have to stick together. I'm certain she's so thankful to have me watch after her.
 
After all, I am her mommy. 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wreckless Driving




Mommy hopes this isn't a future indication of the driving days ahead. She's not sure what to be more upset about, that we drove the jeep over Grant's bike or that we are all smiling. Yes, America, we are your future drivers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

When the Sibs are Away...

When the sibs are away
I get to play.
 
Where I become master of Mommy's blender.
And my pantless bottoms don't offend her.
 



There's not a need to wait in line.
This baby is all mine.
No one to tell me, "My turn,"
It's my five mintues to watch it churn.


 
And no need to pull on Mommy's leg
to plead and cry and beg
to get the best chocolate covered beater
Nope, today I don't need her.
Because I am first in line
And so I withold my whine.
I get it right away.
Yes, this is a beautiful day.


 
For me, I can't complain when Hannah and Grant are gone...
It's time to live it up...because I know it won't last long.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Hug it Out



You know, with two siblings, both younger, quarrels happen. Whether it is because Kate threw my My Little Ponies haphazardly across Mommy's and Daddy's room and they have magically disappeared or because Grant broke two of my coin banks...quarrels happen.

But sometimes, sometimes, you've just gotta hug it out.

HUG.IT.OUT.

And, with that, I'll leave you with the wise words of Jack Shephard..

"if we can't live together, we're gonna die alone."

So, we're living together and what better way to solidify that bond than with a group hug.