Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a new year

Someone is going to be two very soon and someone else will be five very soon after that. My babies aren't babies anymore but there's going to be a new one of those too! There are moments when I wish I could just freeze them in time the way they are...because it can't possibly get better than this? Then it does. Yes, it gets harder, more challenging, more tiring and more frustrating but with all that comes so much more of the good stuff. It does keep getting better.
Welcome, New Year, and all the good stuff you have in store.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

us in black and white

Shawn gave me some fun new photography equipment for Christmas like these black and white muslin backdrops and a Speedlight. Oh and the wireless remote hiding in my hands in that last picture. No more wondering how to get me into the family photos. My next photography challenge is going to be teaching Shawn how to use my camera before the day in February when I'll be busy at another task and photos will have to be his priority. That day is getting close isn't it? Oh my.

Friday, December 26, 2008

our day

Chaos and mess (the good kind)....

Cozy atmosphere and sweet toys....

Good entertainment and all kinds of fun...
Yep, I'd say our day was pretty chill...

Hoping yours was a delight as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:8-14

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

in the works...

Kenna's horses are getting a home for Christmas. He is such a cool Dad.

Much baking is happening in the kitchen. Shawn's only food request for the week -desserts. Lots and lots of desserts. I'm on it...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

and there were shepherds...

I was so proud when Tristan's teacher informed me that he was chosen to play a part in the Nativity for the pre-school Christmas concert. A handful of students were chosen and they wanted Tristan because he is so "mature and obedient" (her words). Yes, my pride certainly swelled that day. I was excited to see my mature little boy play the part of a reverent shepherd worshipping at the manger...
My mom ego was put back in it's proper place after watching my little shepherd boy and his buddies climbing on the stable like a jungle gym and conducting a lively discussion about what exactly was in the wise men's gifts as the pre-school classes filed in one by one to sing their songs. Well, they are four year olds, what did we expect? Then, as my sweet little shepherd came forward to be recognized at the end, this was the best look I could get...

Oh, no wait - I did get a better one. When he began to shoot at me.

Monday, December 22, 2008

winter wonder

Winter arrived quietly in North Carolina yesterday. While most of the country is digging out of their snow drifts, we have been puzzling over the warm bubble that seems to have surrounded us for the month of December. I guess I shouldn't complain...I guess it would be a pain to shovel the drive every day, bundle the kids up in winter gear only to have them cry potty! or spend hours stuck indoors due to below-zero wind chills...I guess. Then again, there is the sledding, the winter wonderland outside the windows, the cozy hours by the fire and the amazing still that is snowfall. Oh I do love snow. Well, for now we will just have to settle for the paper version taped to our windows but there is hope, winter has only just begun.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

better than glitter glue

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

Saturday, December 20, 2008

felt and glitter glue

In my recent craft search, I discovered that if a project involves glitter glue it is an instant winner with Tristan. I liked the two Christmas tree project ideas found here and here, so we combined them into one easy-for-us project. We traced and cut circles of felt, decorated them with glitter-glue dots, let them dry, stacked them on a wooden doll pin and stand -and voila! Cute, mini-trees that can even be handled and played with when finished (this is important as kids would much rather enjoy their handy-work than display it!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

holiday greetings...a whole lot of them

I realized too late that I hadn't ordered quite enough Christmas cards and would have to scrutinize the address list or buy more cards. Then I received my cards in the mail yesterday...all one hundred and fifty of them. Shutterfly sent three times what I actually ordered and paid for so I informed them of the glitch but consider the extras a nice little Christmas gift to me. Paring down the list is no longer a problem but what does a person do with nearly a hundred extra Christmas cards?? I guess I should make more friends. Fast.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

princess kenna

She has a style all her own. I let her get away with it as long as I choose her first layer (because so far it's been pretty easy to leave the princess skirts behind as we get out of the car without her noticing). I love to see what she'll choose from her basket of dress-up clothes or even her brother's closet and just how many layers she'll put on before she starts tripping over herself and changing her mind. Never a dull moment with this girl. Never.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

reading by Christmas light

We love to read together all the time but right now, when we get to cozy up by the lighted tree and read our Christmas books, it just seems so much more special.

*a few of the kid's favorites already in the reading basket...
Carl's Christmas by Alexandra Day
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Bianco
The Polar Express by Christ Van Allsburg

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
Winter by Gerda Muller
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones -This book is beautiful -and not just for kids. We have read it over and over again and will keep reading it over and over again!

*a few under the tree wrapped and waiting to be added to the Christmas collection...
Santa Mouse by Michael Brown
One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
Hurry, Hurry! Have You Heard? by Laura Krauss Melmed
The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers

* and still on the wish list...
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson Mom used to read this to us at Christmas time! I loved it and I'm thinking that old paperback copy might still be floating around somewhere...?
Little One, We Knew You'd Come by Sally Lloyd-Jones Christie introduced me to this beautifully written and illustrated book recently. It's the story of Christ's birth told by Sally Lloyd-Jones (author of the Storybook Bible mentioned above). It is also a simply precious picture of the love and anticipation of parents waiting for their little one.

Monday, December 15, 2008

O Christmas Tree

I remember feeling cheated as a kid if we didn't get our tree from a farm. Almost every year, we drove out to WhoKnowsWhereVille, Texas to cut down our pine (really, where was that farm anyway?) Carrying the saw and measuring stick, we walked tree to tree complaining about the choices (too short! too skinny! too many holes!) until we found the perfect one to strap on top of the family suburban....

Since we live on the outskirts of WhoKnowsWhereVille, North Carolina, we didn't have to go very far for a tree. We picked one of the two farms nearby and went in search. The kids were more interested in collecting sticks and worrying that we might not find our way back to the car from that forest of Christmas trees, but we did find our way home and with a lovely fir in tow.

There are many broken ornaments now awaiting super glue but the tree, so excitedly and lovingly (if a little carelessly) decorated, is beautiful.

Friday, December 12, 2008

indoor play

Cold and rainy weather, total darkness by 5pm and a tired mama (who feels like she is carrying a large baby octopus) have forced us to spend a lot more time indoors.
I'm realizing we've begun to wear out our current stash of craft supplies and I haven't been very motivated to help my kids occupy their time creatively (evidenced by the fact that "Dora" is the second word out of Kenna's mouth every morning after "milk"). So, I'm on a hunt for simple, fun crafts and I've already placed an order for a few extra special supplies to stuff in Christmas stockings from this fun store. (Crayon rocks and smelly pencils -can I have some too?!)
Tristan's writing has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few months and he has even begun to spell out a few simple words on his own. He is a smarty pants and loves to do reading lessons at home from this book while Kenna looks on excitedly repeating letter sounds like a pro (also a smarty pants and not about to be left in the dust by big brother).
I really like these websites here and here for ideas, so I'll start there. Anyone else have suggestions or favorite activities and crafts to share?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

holiday photo tips

I take pictures of everything, almost every day, all year (oh, you noticed?) Well, for those of you who tend to leave the camera in the diaper bag on the trip to the zoo, or forget to buy film for the birthday party, or hope that another mom is taking pictures at the school field trip – I would bet the holidays are the one time of year when you don't forget. Am I right? Film is loaded, batteries are charged and Christmas cards are signed and waiting for photos. It starts in October at the pumpkin patch and continues through New Year's Eve confetti. Everyone wants to capture and display their memories from such a special time of year.
So, with that in mind, I thought I would share a couple thoughts off the top of my head on taking better holiday photos of your kiddos. But if you want to read them, you have to head on over to Lacy’s blog! While you’re at it, be sure to check out her website and Etsy store and let her put her creativity to work on all those great pictures you’re going to take.

Monday, December 8, 2008

these faces of mine

I can't get enough of these two faces. Sometimes I think I've had enough. When the whining and fighting and struggling and messes and tears (theirs and mine) get to be too much...sometimes I think I've had enough. This is hard, this being mom. Then I see their faces. Suddenly it all makes sense. It's all worth it. When I really see them, I can't get enough.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

my boys

It was fun to see Tristan and Shawn ice skating together. It made me think of ice skating with Tristan last Christmas. Shawn was in Iraq and some days I had to fight back the tears in the midst of doing something fun -like ice skating -because I missed him so much in those moments.

Thanks for reminiscing with me this week. I hope you have enjoyed these bits of our Chicago trip. We're home and rested and getting into the Christmas spirit now so I'm sure there is plenty December fun to come. Maybe we'll even manage to get that family photo taken...

Friday, December 5, 2008

holiday spending in Chicago

German goodies at the Christkindlmarket, $30.

A ride on the flight simulator with Dad at the Museum of Science and Industry, $8.
(Tristan is now more than ever convinced he wants to drive race cars. Not fly.)

Cupcakes at Sarah's (because the line for Bratwurst at the German market was too long!), $10.

A hug in Chicago? Free.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

still life

(photo by Shawn)
I'm glad a picture is worth a thousand words because I'm not all that great with words. I look at this photo and read of sisters, cousins, matching blankets made with love and care and thoughts of the babies who will soon snuggle up in them. Even the books and puzzle pieces strewn on the floor at our feet tell of the little ones already held in those two sets of arms.
You see? It's not just a picture. It's a moment that could be described in thousands of words. A little still in the midst of so much life.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"gingerbread" houses

They were actually graham cracker houses, except for this rice cake creation for little Thaddeus. We had to side-step a few allergens for Thad but the result was adorable sticky-sweet fun all around...

Kenna didn't actually decorate her house but was clearly OK with that...

(this photo by Christie -nicely done!)

Lily's house came complete with peppermint barricades. Yes, barricades. Because Lily's house is inhabited by a gingerbread king who is going to be president soon so you can't drive or walk by his house anymore. Can you guess who lives just down the street from little miss Lily?

You never know what you're going to get when you set out to make Christmas memories with the kiddos. I think the candy made a lasting impression on them but it was the sights and sounds for us parents. Thad contentedly decorating his little rice cakes, Tristan's peppermint canons, Lily's presidential barricades, Kenna's exclamation of "Yaaay!" when she managed to break through the roof with her teeth...Yes, watching these four little people is sweeter than all the candy in the world.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

picture perfect

After taking the kids to an adorable production of If All the World Were Paper at the Museum of Science and Industry's Little Theater, we attempted a few family photos outside. The setting could not have been more agreeable and I have a feeling the Purifoy Christmas card is going to be quite lovely this year. The Campbells, on the other hand, are still trying to work out how to get the photographer into the holiday photos.

Monday, December 1, 2008

holiday memories

We made it home after a very long drive involving one poopy diaper blowout, a lot of pretty snow, entirely too many bathroom stops, a 4am nap in the Cracker Barrel parking lot, one crocheted baby blanket partially finished and a new appreciation for my parents and all those long car trips they were brave enough to take us on. I have such great memories from those trips and it is strange and wonderful to realize now that we are helping to create those memories for our kids. Scrolling through my picture files I'm seeing a lot of holiday fun to be remembered, starting with The Meal.

I have to admit, my only real contribution to this turkey was arranging the herb garnish on the platter. I stuck to potato peeling and cranberry cooking so Christie could focus on the bird and I do believe we made a good Thanksgiving team. Nothing burned up, dried out or fell on the floor (that might have happened once when I was given charge of a very large bowl of mashed potatoes many years ago...something about a snowy mountain ski jump sculpture, a broken bowl and salvaged potatoes that still got served...)

No broken dishes here. I'd say this was one successful meal -and pretty too.
Related Posts with Thumbnails