Saturday, December 11, 2010

Four Eyes

For a couple of months, I noticed that things were starting to look fuzzy and I was getting headaches. Surely I didn't need glasses. I got some glasses in high school just for long distances but never really wore them. I didn't notice a difference. So its been about 9 years since I've had my eyes checked.

2 weeks ago I decided it was time. I wasn't blind or anything, but things were definitely a little fuzzy. Sure enough, the doc said I needed glasses and have astigmatism in both eyes. The frustrating thing was when he said this "You will probably want to wear them all the time. But your prescription isn't strong enough to need contacts." What the heck? I have to wear these things on my face all the time but can't have contacts. Kinda frustrating. I went to find some cute, stylish glasses so I would feel "cool and trendy" wearing them all the time.

And this is the result. What you can't see is that they are plum with turquoise all on the inside :)

I gotta say, I still don't wear them ALL the time. Partly, because Carson pulls them off my face. And partly because I'm just still not used to this. I don't know if I'm ready to be a full on glasses wearer. So I've been kinda wearing them as needed. They are more for distance anyways so I can make it without them if I'm reading, etc. But for the most part, they should PROBABLY be on my face. So if you haven't seen me in a while, meet the new me :)

The Coffee Monster

Friday nights have been unofficially our "Family Date Nights" for the past few months. We try to just spend the evening with the four of us either staying home playing games with the kids or going out to eat and doing something fun. Brody's all time favorite date night activity is going to the fountain on restaurant row to get ice cream and look at the fish.

Last night we decided we would go as a family to finish getting a couple of remaining Christmas gifts for family. We had dinner and then Matt suggested we run through Sweet Eugene's because he was craving a Snickers Latte. I was not going to argue with that.

We pull up in the drive thru and a girl with out of control curly hair comes to the window. Her hair do I say this nicely...umm..just nasty. And everywhere. She had this beanie/toboggan/whatever on that had ears and like a wolf or something on it. That combined with the hair was quite a site. I kept these thoughts to myself, but as she walked away from the window, Brody said "SCARY!!" Matt and I busted out laughing because we were thinking the same thing. She came back to bring us our debit card, and when she left this time, Brody said "Monster!" He was on a roll. She gave us our coffee and as we left he said "Bye Coffee Monster."

Oh the honesty of a child. So people that work at coffee shops and choose to look like you haven't bathed  recently, this is what little children think of you!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the Season {Part 2}

*This is a long post with lots of pictures. Just warning you.

We kicked off the season on Monday, November 29 by decorating the house. We invited 2 sweet girls from our Hope Group over to have dinner and help us. Unfortunately, Aselle was swamped with school so Beth came alone. We baked cookies that afternoon and she got to see my non baking skills. It was quite funny. And all I was doing was using a box mix and cookie cutters. Nothing too difficult here people.

We cooked dinner together, played with the kids and when Matt got home he unloaded the boxes from the attic. With Mariah Carey Christmas (duh!) playing on the ihome and White Christmas (my all time fave Christmas movie) in the dvd player, the house slowly transformed. It was fun watching the tree slowly go up and how excited the boys were. They were such helpers to Daddy and Carson even danced around the room he was so excited. We ended up getting a later start than planned so we only got to the lights that night. By the end of the night, we had stockings hung, winter dishes on the shelves and the others packed away, and the tree up with lights strung.  Oh, and the star on the tree bc that was Brody's special job before he went to bed.

Beth helping the boys hang their stockings.

 Carson getting ready to start his happy dance.
Carson mid happy dance. I wish you could see his face!

 The boys giving daddy a high five for putting up the tree.

 Trying to help.
Beth helping me unpack my winter dishes. I get so excited when these come out. And bc they are winter and not just Christmas dishes, I can use them through January :) 
One of my favorite parts of White Christmas. *Matt said to note that he did not watch this movie and had no part this shot being on the blog.
Carson enjoying the Nativity Scene. 

Brody was so proud of himself for putting the star on the top. He had been waiting all evening for this moment.

I finished decorating the tree the next day during naptime. I tried doing it with the boys but it just didn't work. Brody hung a couple but decided he would rather do other things. Carson just decided it was way more fun to take them all off and watch them crash down to the floor. We've already had a couple of casualties. 

 I think we need to rearrange our stocking colors.   

I got a lot of my ideas for this year's decorations and new traditions from Kirby's post last year. I decided to try to make the Christmas Family Photo Frames. Basically you deco podge frames with either wrapping paper or Christmas scrapbook paper and put family Christmas photos in them from each year. I couldn't find a picture of just Matt and I from our first Christmas. And our second I was big and pregnant and probably never took pictures. We did take one that was on our Christmas card from that year but I can't find it. So I decided to start with the first year we had kids. So I only created 2 this year. Each year I will make a new frame and add the previous year's Christmas photo. I am excited about this fun new element of our holiday decor! I will say though that this was not as easy as I thought it would be. I think I'm just not as good at this stuff as I thought I was or hope to be. But overall, I'm super happy with how they turned out. Beth was a great cheerleader and motivated me to keep going bc I was ready to throw them in the trash! 

Apparently the Apels have more influence on our holiday that I ever knew! A few years ago, they gave us this elf so we could start our own "move the elf game." I don't know what's it actually called but that's what we call it. You set the elf out at Christmas and its never mentioned. When you see it, you just move it to a new spot when no one is looking. It has to be in plain sight and in the living room. I forgot I had put it out on Carson's stocking and noticed this morning that it was in the fruit bowl on the bar. So I moved it here. And when Matt notices, it moves again. So if you come over, join in on the fun! 

Some activities we have planned for December:
Expedition Express to go look at Christmas Lights (again, copied from the Apels. Sorry, they just have really good ideas and children that are a year ahead of ours so they are a great resource! I can't wait to make some golden tickets!)
Watching Christmas Movies
Making Graham Cracker Houses (not a fan of gingerbread)
Making a Christmas Card Prayer send us a Christmas card so we can pray for you all through next year!
Baking gifts for our neighbors
Birthday Cake for Jesus (Brody talks about this one all the time and asks when we can make it!)
And a few other surprises that I don't want to spoil! 

We are very excited to start celebrating this Christmas season with our children. We love seeing how excited they get by seeing the tree, the stockings and talking about Jesus' birthday. Come celebrate with us all month long! We have lots of fun things planned and you are welcome to join us! 

Tis the Season {Part 1}

Everywhere you look on the web, blog posts are popping up about Christmas. Well-known bloggers as well as small time, stay at home moms like me, are blogging about Christmas decor and traditions. Its just that time of year. Everyone is getting excited to celebrate the coming season. Our houses are adorned with trees and wreaths and the stockings are hung.

But something else I've noticed as I read all these blogs and sites..and its only because they are all Christians....everyone is remembering the real reason we celebrate.


Its so easy to get caught up in the decorating and shopping. I'm not gonna lie, I absolutely LOVE IT! I love the feeling of my home with cinnamon candles burning, lights twinkling, and the Little People Nativity strewn across my living room floor. [We believe in a "hands on" approach to learning the story of Jesus' birth :) ]

But there's so much more to it than that. We want our children to know the TRUE meaning of Christmas. That God sent His one and only Son into the world. That He came to save us from our sins. He died on the cross and rose on the third day. That all the other things are just fun ways we use to celebrate Christ and that we want to incorporate Christ into all those things..from decorating to gift giving.

This is the first year that Brody actually understands all these things. So this year it was SUPER important to be sure to make sure the birth of Christ is at the forefront of our Christmas celebrations. So we found a few ways to have a daily reminder of why we are celebrating this month. We aren't doing an actual advent study so I found a few things to use to teach Brody this month.

God Gave us Christmas Book
I stumbled across this book at Toys R Us on Black Friday and really love what it has to say.

Big Picture Story Bible
Brody loves reading this Bible in general, but he always goes to read about "Baby Jesus" all throughout the year.

Coloring Pages
The site looks weird at first, but if you scroll down, there are links to print coloring pages that tell the story of Christ's birth. They also include the corresponding scripture.

Today, being December 1, was the first day we started. We read the "God Gave us Christmas" book, and then read a few pages in his Bible to begin the story. I got my Bible and we talked about God's promise of a savior (Isaiah 7:14) and how the angel told Mary she would have a child. (Luke 1:26-38) Since his attention span is short and I want him to actually remember the story, we stopped there and colored a picture of Mary with the Angel. While we colored we talked about who Mary was and what the angel was telling her in the picture. It was so sweet hearing his little voice tell the story back to me.

Tomorrow (and the rest of the month) we will review the previous day's story and add on to it until we get through the entire birth of Christ. I have coloring pages for each major part of the story to really help him see it all. Today he absolutely loved the time we spent doing this so I'm looking forward to sharing this with him the rest of the month!

We decided that we aren't doing Santa. We don't judge anyone that does or think that you are wrong for "doing Santa." And we aren't telling our children that Santa is bad. To them, Santa will just be another make believe character like Lightning McQueen and Buzz Lightyear.  When the little bear in "God Gave us Christmas" mentions Santa, his mother explains to him first of all that Christmas isn't about Santa, but also that Santa was originally known for generosity and care. That's supposedly who St. Nicholas was and if that's true, there's no problem in thinking that there used to be a really nice man who helped the poor and cared for the needy. But we all know that's not who the modern day Santa is. We just feel that Santa puts so much emphasis on receiving gifts. Yes, our children are getting gifts for Christmas. But we don't want that to be the focus. Christmas gifts aren't a reward for being "good little boys and girls" like the songs about santa say. Jesus was given to us without strings attached. He was God's gift to the world to save us from our sins. You should read these posts here and here if you are questioning the "Santa" thing yourself.

If you're worried we're going to ruin Christmas for your children, don't worry. Its not like we go around telling little kids that Santa isn't real. And Brody doesn't even understand who Santa is this year so he won't be ruining it for your kids in the preschool. He's been asked by sweet sales ladies if he's ready for Santa and he just nods, clueless to who this Santa person is. He has seen pictures in ads or out and about and he calls him Christmas Man. Which then sparks the perfect opportunity to talk about Christ and Christmas.

Coming up...Tis the Season {Part 2}...Pictures of our Christmas decor and stories of decorating our house with 2 small boys.