Saturday, December 19, 2009

My ladie's man

Jack's school Christmas program was this last Thursday and it was seriously the sweetest thing to watch. When he got up on stage and saw all the Mommies and Daddies he got a little nervous and scared and immediately popped that little thumb in his mouth.
But then he remembered Abbie (who is a super hero...according to Jack). He started to make his move. He is very sly.
Once he had a hold of Abbie's hand everything was okay. Thumb came out of his mouth and he was ready to perform...okay well, he was ready to stand there while all the other kids sang the songs.

No wonder Jack loves Abbie so much...she is such a little doll!

When it came time for Jack to say his lines, he was AWESOME! He said "S is for Santa and sleigh." I'm not too sure other parents understood it but I knew what he was saying and I couldn't have been prouder. After he finished his line, I of course, cheered rather loudly and Jack looked at me from the stage and said, "Thanks Momma." This must have given him a boost of confidence because he began to look around at the audience and noticed the rest of his fans. He turned to his friend and said very loudly, "There's my Grandma and Grandpa, and Uncle Matt. He has Super Mario. It's a cool game."

All the kids had brought a present and the way the teachers decided to pass them out was too play musical chairs and every time a child didn't get into a chair then he or she got a present. It took a little while but Jack and Rylan soon figured out that if they didn't sit down they would get a present. So of course they both refused to sit down in the only chair left. Finally Mrs. Donna stopped trying to convince one of them to sit in the chair and gave them both their present. Such smart boys.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sneak Peek

This morning I decided to make sure the kid's Christmas jammies fit and weren't in any need of alterations. I tried to snap a few pictures because I know that I will never get a chance once presents are being torn open and wrapping paper has taken over the living room. Jack thought it was Christmas so he was especially excited and hyper and Addie was just excited because Jack was bouncing off the walls. It took a good hour of bad pictures to just get these four that were decent enough to post.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This can't be normal

Lately I have had to lay down with Jack at nap time so that he will actually calm down and go to sleep...otherwise he manages to pretend his bed is a spaceship or fishing boat and therefore keeps himself too occupied to think about sleeping. So about 3 weeks ago we were laying is his bed and I was trying to pretend to be asleep while he was wiggling and squirming all over the place. My eyes were closed but I could feel him looking at me. I opened my eyes and there were his big brown droopy little puppy eyes staring at me from less than two inches away.

"Momma, let's touch foots," he says. "

"Fine, Jack. Go to sleep."

"But you have to take your socks off. I need to feel your foots."

So I take off my sock and Jack snuggles down in the bed finding my foot with his and within minutes he is asleep.

This has now become our routine at nap time. He refuses to fall asleep unless our "foots" are touching. But a few days ago I wasn't able to lay down with him for very long and when I got up he was still wide awake. I explained he was going to have to fall asleep without me and if he didn't he couldn't play his video games (that's right my 3 year old is a video game junkie...I blame his dad.)

"But Momma, (in the most pathetic voice that melts your heart) I need to feel your foots."

"Sorry Buddy. Not today. Here, touch Cuddles with your feet." (yes, Jack has a Cuddles too...he's blue.) I stuck his Cuddles under the covers and got his feet situated.

"No Momma. I need something cold and your foots." So I glanced around the room and grabbed the first smooth thing I saw...a lotion bottle. I stuck it under the covers and he rubbed his little feet on it.

"Oh Momma. This feels nice and cold. Thank you Momma." And within minutes he was snoring.

This whole scenario freaks Levi out a little but I just love it. Yes, my son may be a little weird but we all have our idiosyncrasies. I think it is so sweet that he is comforted and calmed by my "foots" or by the lotion bottle posing as my "foots." I know it won't be but a blink of an eye and he will no longer want to kiss or cuddle with me and I'm going to soak up all the loving I can while he is willing to give it!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Look Momma, It's God!

Having a three year old always leads to interesting conversation and most the time I end up stuttering and "ummmming" my way through explanations of Jack's "whys." When it comes to God I've been especially befuddled because I myself haven't quite figured it all out yet. It is very important to us as parents that our kids know God and Jesus as a personal relationship and not these imaginary characters that they pray to before they eat dinner and go to bed. So we try to encourage Jack to just talk to God about anything he wants. But Jack is having a hard time just talking into the air and doesn't quite understand that God is there listening even when he can't see Him. To be quite honest I still have a hard time with that sometimes too. Most of our conversing with God right now is about being scared and asking for protection. But once again I feel that Jack thinks I'm crazy that I expect this God that he can't even see to keep the wolves and bad guys away from our house. He likes my explanation of angels though because I explained that they are warriors with swords...and that makes them cool. I guess because he can picture them they make more sense in his world. But the other day we were at Hobby Lobby and he saw an angel on top of a Christmas tree and he said, "Look Momma, it's God!" I explained that it wasn't God but an angel but he refused to believe me because it looked like a girl in a dress and didn't have a sword. So I just gave up.

But I have hope that some of it is making least I have found a way to keep him excited in learning about Jesus. Well, actually my Mimi found it. She bought Jack this beautiful Advent calendar and every day he gets to pull out a little book with a short section of the Christmas story in it. We read the story and then he gets to hang the little book on his Christmas tree. He already understands that Christmas is about Jesus...or is supposed to be, and he is constantly wanting to skip ahead and read the book with baby Jesus on the cover. But the other day we were listening to Christmas music and he heard the word Savior. He asked me what is a savior and I explained that Jesus is our Savior. He said, "No, Jesus is a baby. Maybe it's Santa!" Ugh!

I just keep reminding myself that he is only 3 and of the male gender and so I can't expect him to fully grasp who God is...heck, I'm still figuring it out too. And that is what I think is the most important part of this is realizing that despite my inability to convey to my son how to know God, God is always seeking him...and me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Making Christmas Ours

Thanksgiving week is always so busy for our family because not only do we have 3 dinners to go to but we also begin our Christmas preparations. The day after Thanksgiving is just as much a holiday to us as Thanksgiving because that is the special day that we pull down all the Christmas decorations from the attic, spend hours unravelling hundreds of strands of Christmas lights, pluck insulation fuzz out of the tree, and carefully unwrap each beautiful blown-glass ornament. This day is important because it is the introduction of Christmas into our home and therefore we like to set the mood. It was rather difficult to do that this year though due to the 80 degree temperature. But we weren't deterred! We woke up that morning and after everyone had eaten their breakfast we began our mission. Levi started a fire in the fireplace and I turned up the Christmas music (which is a little embarrassing because we were playing the MercyMe Christmas album LOUDLY through our outside speakers and 2 of our neighbors are actually band members so I'm sure they now think we have some weird obsession with them since we just played that one album over and over all day long.) Levi began his not so fun job of stringing lights perfectly straight along the roof of the house while Jack stood on the ladder and begged to be allowed on the roof...over and over and over again. I got the more exciting job of going through our Christmas totes and setting out the decorations.

But this year we are changing things up and while I love my beautiful but very breakable ornaments they just aren't smart to have on a tree that my kids will not leave alone. So, in keeping with our family motto for the year ("Keep it Simple") I decided to forgo the ornaments this year. So our tree is just lights and berries but I have to say that I really like the outcome. Jack doesn't seem to notice that it is lacking in decor and just loves that everything "glows." I had to get new stockings this year to include Addie...she was here last year but I had just gotten her a stocking that said "Addie's first Christmas and I couldn't use that again this year. But I found the perfect stockings to fit our family and decided to reinvent our Christmas motif around these perfect stockings. So most of our old Christmas decorations have stayed in their totes and although they are beautiful I realize now that they just don't fit our family of four any longer. I decided to make our Christmas decor about us and although it isn't typical and glamorous I love it! I'll explain... For the Christmas skirt I used a quilt Levi's Nannie made is the loveliest tree skirt I've ever seen! I set out an old rusty framed heart that my mom always kept in the kitchen window and gave to me when I moved out and had no furnishings. On a table with a little Christmas tree just for holding Jack's handmade ornaments I also placed a basket with the roses I carried at our wedding. On our fireplace is a stained glass window that Levi gave me when we were in college and draped across it is Addie's 1st Christmas stocking. And one of my favorite things is my Christmas card holder. It is bare right now but soon it will be overloaded with tons of beautiful cards and pictures of our wonderful family and friends. So my home may not ever make it in Elle Decor but I can't think of anything sweeter than being surrounded by all our family memories.

Another very important day for our family is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The first year Levi and I started dating we began the tradition of chopping down a Christmas tree at the Christmas Tree farm with my brother and mom. The first year it poured rain on us and we were miserable...but we still went back the next year even though it was once again raining and cold.It rains every time! I don't know how it is possible that the weather is always poor the Sunday after Christmas but it is. But it is funny because when Levi told me the weather forecast for Sunday was going to be rainy I was actually glad. It just wouldn't be right to not be miserable as we searched out the perfect tree. This year was Addie's first year and Jack's second and it was probably our best time yet! It did rain on us but just a little and we were successful once again to find the only perfect Christmas tree on the whole farm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our Fixer Upper

I am about to get started on my newest project of decorating the kid's playroom. I am so grateful to have a room that is just for toys because, to be honest, I am not sure where all the toys would go otherwise. Before Addie was born we just stored everything in Jack's room and in baskets and totes throughout the house. But with the addition to our family also came the addition to our house, therefore providing bedrooms and bathrooms for both kids and a playroom. I absolutely love the "new wing" for several reasons. First, I am proud of my husband's very smart idea to design our house so that it could be built in stages. We laugh because we are the only people we know that built a fixer-upper. But when it was just the two of us we had no need for a four bedroom house...and then we thought it would be 7 years before we would have kids...ha! So now we are officially in stage two with one more stage to go (adding on a massive 4 car garage with apartment and shop attached. I know! Sounds huge and crazy but Levi swears we really do need all that space. I'm not convinced but he deserves it regardless.) The second reason I love our "new wing" is because it is paid for. We didn't have to take out a loan to do it because we saved and saved and saved and it feels sooooooo good. Granted, if the bank foreclosed on our home they would take it all. I doubt they would let us keep the kid's rooms. =) And thirdly, I love the fact that we built it ourselves...with much help from our friends and family (specifically our dads), of course. I am so proud of our home, not because it looks like anything designer or fancy (in fact it is everything but that) but because it literally was built with our own blood, sweat and tears...every part of it. And we did it together...our labor of love. I found some pictures of us working on the house. I remember feeling so old and grown up then because I was the proud owner of a real house but when I look at the pictures I am surprised at how very young I was. What were we thinking building a house at 21 and 23! I was still in college...practically a baby! But we did it and loved every minute of it...well most minutes.
Levi and his tool belt...very sexy. He spent every spare second out at the house working on it. He loved it and was definitely in his element.

I told you I looked like a baby! This door was so important to me. It was a old door someone had gotten rid of and for some reason I just fell in love with it. I sanded that thing for days, maybe weeks...I don't know, it felt like a really long time. Finally, my Daddy took pity on me and finished the job, painted it red, and installed it so that when I came to the house, there was my perfect red front door. I still love it...every scratch, dent, and nick, like I said...perfect.

I'm looking forward to once again putting on my painting clothes (that have every color ever painted on our walls on them), turning up the radio, and spending a weekend stuck in the playroom with my favorite guy as we tape, caulk, and paint...together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Addie's Brithday Party...Finally

I finally got a second to post these pictures of Addie's birthday party. I have to admit that I stressed way too much over this event. Most of my stress came from the fact that I had ordered this cake for the original birthday party date but when we all got the flu and had to cancel I was stuck with a fairly expensive cake and no one to eat it or even see it. So I took a million pictures of it, wrapped it in saran wrap and stuck it in my fridge praying that it would not sag, sweat, or fall apart like all the experts were saying it would. Amazingly this miracle cake stayed looking beautiful for a whole week and ended up tasting pretty yummy too (at least that is what everyone said.) I felt bad for feeding everyone week old cake but you do what you've got to do.

Picture taken on the original day of the party.

The desert buffet.

I stupidly hot glued this boa to Addie's high chair and I am still plucking feathers off of it.

These cookies were so much fun to make. I got to put all my high school experience of doodling to work.

Party favor table.

I found these little party favors on Etsy. They are individually wrapped packages of sidewalk paint. We tried them out the day after the party and they were really bright and showed up great on our driveway. I plan to order the larger sizes for my kids this summer.

Mommy, Addie and Daddy before the party.

Kisses for the birthday girl!

My hope was that Addie would be walking by her party because her little pettiskirt is just so pretty when she is standing...but she chose to wait until literally the day after the party to take her first steps.

Jack and Dakota hanging out on the tractor doing boy stuff.

Addie and Avery on our merry-go-round doing girl stuff.

What am I going to do about that thumb?

Sweet girl! Of course she has her Cuddles!

Mommy, Addie, and Cuddles

Addie with her Uncle Matt and his beautiful girlfriend Brittney.

Pretty Lorelei walking like a big girl.

All the boys hung out on the merry-go-round. Apparently there was too much pink inside the house.

A precious moment captured between Addie Grace and her Pop. Love this!

I know this part of the party stinks because everyone has to just sit around and watch me open up a gazillion presents. Kids parties are only fun for the mommies I think.

My beautiful niece, Haley helping me unwrap all of Addie's gifts since Addie wasn't interested.

So many gifts! Thank you everyone!

Jack was so excited to be getting new fact he plays with her new gifts more than she does.

Addie pushing around her new Bitty Baby. She's going to be such a good little mommy someday.

Little missy wasn't too sure about all the people crowding around her and singing. She looks so scared. Poor baby!

She didn't care for her cake. She tried a few bites but wouldn't ever dig into it. I was a little disappointed because a pile of cake and icing smeared cheeks always make cute pictures. Oh well.

After the party was over Addie decided to become interested in her presents. (Look at that cute smudge of Cheetos on her cheek. So adorable.)

This is my favorite thing from the party because it is sweet notes from all our friends and family to Addie on her special day. Everyone groaned a little when I made the announcement that I wanted them to spontaneously come up with meaningful words to be put on paper and treasured forever but I really love that we have these special notes of love. They really will be treasured forever

Happy birthday Addie Grace! You are my joy and I love being your mommy. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to paint a whole room pink, buy every bow I see, play with dolls, go crazy with for anything with ruffles, and dress you up in tutus and fairy wings. I look forward to fixing your boo boos, painting your fingernails, dressing up barbies, hearing about first crushes, having long talks, baking with you in the kitchen, having a shopping buddy when the boys do their guy thing, laughing hysterically over nothing,watching you graduate, buying your wedding dress, holding your babies, wiping your tears, sharing coffee, catching chick flicks, and basically watching you embrace this amazing life our God has given you. I love you my little Love Bug forever and ever.