Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So this morning, the kids and I are sitting around the table quietly eating breakfast when I decide to seize the teachable moment to discuss the true meaning of Christmas. Here's how our conversation panned out:
Mom: So kids... tomorrow is Christmas day. Who can tell me what we are celebrating?
Arianna: (without missing a beat) Presents! We get lots of presents!!!
(Mom starts to open mouth in order to provide the correct answer)
(Arianna see's mom's mouth start to open)
Arianna: I mean... Jesus! He was born as a baby!
**perhaps you had to be there. ;-)
Arianna and Benjamin collectively decided that they wanted to write a Christmas story to share with the family tomorrow. It's a "Transformer's Christmas" story. I just HAD to share! (This is definitely something I'm going to keep through the coming years!)
~by Arianna and Benjamin D.
Optimus Prime was eating a robot chicken with his robot friends. But not the "airplane guy" or the "cop car guy". They are bad. They can't come to Optimus Prime's house.
Bumblebee goes to Optimus Prime's house. And the good robot girls come over, too. Their names are Rachel, Aunt Cyndi, Amy, Amara, and Auntie Shauna. The girls and Bumblebee open presents and eat candy. Rachel got lotion so she can go to the beach and not get burned. Aunt Cyndi got a necklace to make her look pretty. Amy got a purse. Amara got two rings. And Auntie Shauna got a "sweet baby Jesus". Bumblebee got an Optimus Prime poster. Optimus Prime got a Bumblebee poster (from Optimus Prime).
Then they all went to so see Jesus' birth at Bumblebee Church.
Isn't this cute?!!!
2- reading the Christmas Story from the book of Luke first thing in the morning while everyone is still in their jammies
3- seeing my children dressed up in their Christmas best
4- for that matter, seeing RD dressed up in HIS Christmas best! :-)
5- outdoor lights decorating homes and yards
6- the smell of Christmas scented candles burning
7- getting a family picture taken for Christmas cards
8- a chance to update my address book!
9- getting Christmas cards from beloved family members and friends with their family photos on them
10- having Shauna and Charles home (my sister and brother in law)
11- hilariously wrapping gifts (the more creative and weird, the better!)
12- rest and relaxation
13- colorfully wrapped presents under the tree
14- watching my children busting at the seams with anticipation
15- Christmas lights, garland, and tinsel that warm the home environment
16- Christmas music quietly playing in the background
17- seeing friends and family (esp. those we rarely see throughout the year)
18- Christmas dinner (an all out feast)
19- the Christmas program at church
20- working in the kitchen with all the other ladies
21- the joy and thankfulness on other people's faces as they unwrap their gifts
22- rolling around and wrestling with the children on the floor amidst wrapping paper and ribbons
... and most importantly...
23- celebrating Jesus' birth
As I sit here rocking little Edmund in my arms, I catch myself imagining what it would be like to see Jesus, my Lord and Savior, as a mere infant. He was human. 100% human! He grew up to be 6 months old (like Edmund)... 2-1/2 years old (like Cassandra)... 4 years old (like Benjamin)... 5-1/2 years old (like Arianna)... As I look into the eyes of my children, I catch a brief glimpse of the reality that Jesus was once among us... that He, too, was a child. Oh, how I praise God for sending Jesus in such a way! He was like us! He, too, had a body of flesh. He shared in all the human experiences we do today. Jesus, fully man yet fully God... an equation I cannot fathom in through my human lens of understanding. A tiny babe... yet a mighty King.
Words cannot express my thankfulness, Father God, that You would send Your Son to earth for us... for me... Jesus left His throne of royalty and power to live, and die, amongst sinners. You lived to die... in order that we may find forgiveness of our sin and live in eternal bliss with You. Not because of anything that we have done, but because You first loved us. There is so much I do not understand. But today, hear my prayer of thankfulness for sending Jesus to earth as a precious little baby... to grow up and die so that we, as a race of humans, could be blessed with the gift of salvation. Tomorrow, as we all open gifts from our beloved friends and family, may our thoughts rest upon the best gift even given in all of eternity... You. ~Amen
Friday, December 12, 2008
After much prayerful consideration, I've decided to take off the rest of December from blogging. (For those of you with access to my family blog, I do intend to keep that updated through the month.) I'm sensing that God is wanting to take this blog in a different direction, and so, I am wanting to bathe these next several days in prayer in order that I may be fully in line with His will. I do not plan on quitting this blog... but I do feel as though God is pushing me in a different direction. More than anything, I am wanting to encourage my readers to further pursue God, especially in regard to femininity, women's roles, marriage, mothering, etc. I've been rather directionless as of late, but I do believe God has got some plans. See you all in January! Have a wonderful CHRISTmas!
Monday, December 08, 2008
I didn't do a thing...
And when I finally worked up the nerve to do a little something, my back got out of whack and I've been basically out of commission all weekend long. I can't fathom what I did, but the small of my back hurts! Hopefully today I can slip in and see the chiropractor.
Oh man... I feel it. Yuck. I've GOT to workout this week.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Love you, mom!
My kids are enthralled with the simplest of things. It's so fun. Who would have guessed that toothpicks and mini marshmallows could be so entertaining? They have a blast creating all kinds of things! And, of course, they get to eat the marshmallows when they're done playing. ;-)
Monday, December 01, 2008
Mon. 11/24: ran 2.7 mi @ 5.2 mph; speed walked .4 mi; total: 3.1 mi.
Tues. 11/25: ran 2.6 mi. @ 5.2-5.4 mph; speed walked .6 mi.; total: 3.1 mi.
Fri. 11/28: speed walked 3 mi.
Sun. 11/30: 3 mi. video w/ 3 lb. weights; 250 various sit-ups
Doing good in the exercise department. Portion-size department... not so good. -sigh- I just don't know why it is SO HARD to control how much I eat. I'll be doing good for several days in a row and then I start slipping back into old habits. By my eating habits, I'm thwarting the hard work I'm doing with exercising. I'm not eating bad... just too much. And I like my carbs... :-/ My prayer today has been that God would develop the "fruit" of self-control in my life. I know my body is His temple and I need to be taking good care of it. But only He can truly help me control what enters my body... I fail in my own strength.
I've revamped my daily schedule as well. The early AM thing just was an absolute no-go. I tried and failed miserably. I used to be an early bird, but my husband has slowly been converting me into a night owl. So after the kiddos are tucked into bed, I throw on my tennis shoes. While I'm exercising, RD gets his much needed "alone time" to relax from a hard day. I take a shower after my workout (yeah, another thing I don't have to do in the AM) and we can still have time together as a couple before heading to bed. It's been forcing me to work more diligently during the day to make sure all chores and cleaning are completed because I desperately covet the time I spend with RD in the evenings. I don't want anything cutting into that time! So when morning comes, I get up at 7:15am, have my quiet time with God, get dressed to my shoes, and by 8am I am ready to go! This new schedule is working marvelously!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
1. or gift bags? I prefer gift bags simply because I am horrible at wrapping gifts.
2. Real tree or Artificial? When we actually have room for a tree, we'll use an artificial. As for now, we'll stick to our super cool fiber optic mini tree... and we'll enjoy everyone else's trees.
3. When do you put up the tree? Ordinarily, Christmas stuff doesn't come out until after Thanksgiving. For some reason I couldn't wait. Our stuff's been out about 2 weeks already.
4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime after the New Year
5. Do you like eggnog? Not really. I prefer spiced hot cider and hot cocoa with mini marshmallows.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Cabbage Patch Kid dolls and legos sets
7. Hardest person to buy for? The person that buys things whenever they want... so they already have everything.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My children.
9. Do you have a ? Not yet, but someday...
10. Mail or ? Snail mail, of course
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Christmas '01... I remember it vividly. RD and I were already "unofficially engaged" and so, I was totally expecting a ring for Christmas. Sure enough, there was a small little gift bag from a local jeweler under his parent's tree... and it had MY name on it!!! I knew what I was getting! Christmas day came, all the family was gathered round, and RD excitedly handed me my jeweler bag... he was literally grinning from ear to ear. This was it! This was the blessed moment I'd anticipated all my life!!! As I cautiously pulled the tissue paper out... heart racing... I pulled out... I pulled out a... a set of yellow rubber dishwashing gloves?! WHAT?! RD explained that I had been complaining about the dish water drying my hands out, so he bought some for me. If his family hadn't been there, I would have socked him a good one. Instead, I about cried. He had other stuff to give me besides the gloves... but the bleak memory of NOT getting a ring... and getting yellow dish gloves instead... tainted my memory of whatever else I received that year. His excuse for using a jeweler bag was that he couldn't find anything else small enough to hold the gloves. Whatever! It was all in good jest... and he made up for it on January 9th, 2002... when I really DID get a ring at an unsuspecting time. It's funny now.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
13. When do you start shopping for ? We started back in late summer.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes... and I will never tell who or what.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Oreo truffles, ham
16. Lights on the tree? Yes. Lots! "Would you like a bit of tree with them there lights?"
17. ? The crazy Christmas CD my friend Kris made
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? RD and I's family swap Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families... so it really depends on the year. But yes, almost always we travel.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes
20. Angel on the or a star? star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve? No
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Obligatory gifts
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? silver & blue
24. Favorite for ? Ham
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So rather than throw away limp celery...
My kiddos "camping out" in the living room.
And for THANKSGIVING !!!
I printed off a picture of a turkey and told my three oldest to replicate it artistically. Here's what they came up with using Play-doh and bobby pins:
Here's what we were up to:
MORE APPLE BUTTER!!!
So anyway, here's RD peeling apples. It was something "mechanical" so he thoroughly enjoyed playing, er, I mean, working with it. Vickie also let us borrow a slab of countertop to use as well. Very convenient. (If anyone is looking to buy one of these, may I suggest purchasing a kind that clamps rather than suctions to the countertop. I've heard the latter do not work so well.)
There had to be something we could do with apple peels!
Then I remembered a fellow mommy blogger friend who made JELLY from peels. Intrigued, we tried it.
Here's our adventure: Apple Peel Jelly
Cook the peels down. (We threw everything in: peels, cores, seeds, stems...) We also added a cinnamon stick.
Looks yucky but smelled blissful!
Amazingly simple recipe. SO good... and you'd never believe it was made from apple peels!
*If you prefer a really clear jelly, use a jelly bag instead of a strainer.
We discarded what was left of the peels after straining. But apparently you can even use THOSE remains to make cider vinegar:
Take strained peels and cores, put in bucket. Cover slightly with water and allow to ferment. Strain once more. Use for cooking and/or cleaning.
Arianna made a get-well card and some bookmarks. We bought some thermal laminating sheets at Wal-Mart and are going to laminate them all so we can use/treasure her creativity.
Chicken Noodle Stir Fry. Very yummy!
Ya know those kids' sleepers with the footies?... The ones that are only good for one winter? They frustrate me! So... I cut the footies off and sewed a hem! Good to go one more winter.
Did a Google search the other day for Scooby Doo coloring pages, per Arianna's request. After printing it off for her, she runs to her book shelf and finds her Scooby Doo book... just so she can match the color of their clothing (so it's "juuuust right"). Smart kid!
Peppy Parmesan Pasta... yummmm
This stuff tastes SO GOOD in baked goods. RD and I are making some for Christmas gifts. Here's how you make it:
Vodka vanilla (makes approx. 1 pint)
Split 2 large vanilla beans lengthwise. Pack into a 1 pint glass jar. Pour over beans 1-1/2 cups of 100 proof vodka. Cover tightly. Let set in cool, dry place for 6 months for full potency. Use exactly as you would conventional store bought vanilla.
We cannot believe it!
Here's some pics of our "little" guy...
He just passed out right in the middle of the floor.
How he did that with all the commotion from his brother and sister's I'll never know...
-eats oatmeal, applesauce, bananas, yogurt, Cheerios (and pizza crusts!)
-sucks his thumb when he gets sleepy
-gets up on all fours, sometimes pushing his bottom up so he's on his hands and toes
-rolls with ease
-sleeps on his tummy
-is getting too big for his carseat!
-wears 6-9 months clothes
-sorta scoots on his tummy
-still loves being outside, even if it's cold
-loves to watch movies
-let's Arianna feed him
-has pretty decent control of his hands (so watch out!)
-loves to lay and watch our fiber optic Christmas tree
-will finally take a bottle!
-sleeps through the night most nights (from 9pm-8am)
-very relaxed/calm personality; easy-going
-hates wearing socks; kicks them off any chance he gets
-can sit up ok with support
-when laying on his back, he lifts his legs up and grabs his toes