Thursday, December 30, 2010

Traditions, the Take Down, the End

We don't have too many established traditions as of yet. 
 At least, not much that is very original.
At the beginning of December, we start doing our little advent calendar.
We have a Bible verse in each daily drawer, pertaining to Christ's birth.
And, we usually have some little treats, too.

I generally don't like to go shopping in December.  
But, Scott & I always take a short time to go out with just each other 
& get a few things for the kids' stockings.

We have given each of the kids a special ornament from us, for each Christmas.
This year, I blew that one a bit.  I let them play with their ornaments 
& they have become toys instead.

On Christmas Eve afternoon/evening we open any presents 
that came in the mail from out of towners.
We have a nice meal.  So far we are going with the seafood theme.
After dinner, we open our stockings. 

We don't get good pictures.  That is a definite holiday tradition. 
We are always too caught up in the excitement & mayhem.  
It just doesn't happen.

Early Christmas morning, we pack up & head to my parents - kids still in PJs.
We open stockings there, & presents & my Dad makes breakfast.
We hang there until meltdown/naptime.
Then we go back for dinner.
And, we don't remember to take pictures of any of it.

A new tradition that we are beginning this year is the stocking note of hopes.
Check out this blog post.  I love the idea!
We will write notes tonight or tomorrow before everything gets put away.

We did a little photo shoot this morning, prior to our Christmas take-down.  
Gillian is frowning in most, because Christmas is over.
Each time the photo was taken, though, she ran over, 
crazy-silly, trying to see what a funny girl she was in each picture.

And, take down took a bit of a downward turn.
Gillian thought she should see what happened 
when she turned the screws in the tree stand.
Everything crashed on the ground.  What do you know?

I wasn't laughing.

We only had one casualty, though.  Which is pretty amazing.
Most of our ornaments are delicates.
I love this ball. 
But, we still have 2 more.
So, I was able to not have a total meltdown.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2010.  That seems crazy.

Oh.  Our New Year's Eve tradition is not staying up until midnight & not partying.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Bigger Picture May be More Accurate

When I went to bed last night, I had in mind to post these
adorable pictures of my two littlest.

Peyton wanted to "read" Moira her night time stories.  
The cuteness was just killing me.
He picked all books that he knew well enough to tell on his own.
She listened really well, too.
When it was time for him to tell her good night, he offered her a kiss...
..which she was hesitant to receive.

Now, this afternoon, I still have posted these shots of adorableness for you.
But, I probably should not just leave it at that.
Just because, things around here aren't all cuteness.

This morning, when I went to the bathroom right after getting up, 
saw a toilet completely FULL of toilet paper.
My boy is learning independence & used the bathroom on his own when he got up.
And, he used an entire role of toilet paper to wipe.
Lovely.  Now I get to pull it all out again.

My baby girl has been raging for sugar treats constantly.  
She pushes the little chairs into the kitchen to try to grab 
whatever junk food she can find.
She rages when she is told no.  Screaming, biting, flailing.
This was all day yesterday & started again first things this morning.
I threw a bunch of Christmas sweets away.
(I bought some lundberg rice cakes at the store today 
& they seem to meet with her approval as a treat.)

Her fits carried on throughout the morning.  
I knew we had to go do our grocery shopping before things got even uglier.
We got ourselves together & got out the door.  
She was happy enough.  It looked like things would go okay.

We were shopping in the produce section.  Things were fine.
Things were normal.
All seemed good.
For some reason, Gillian kept sucking her thumb.
I don't know why.  She never does.
I asked her why?  She just kept sucking.
I asked her to please stop.
She stopped.
But then, her baby behavior continued & some major defiance came into play.
Major.  This time, this morning, 
I left a cart with our stuff in the produce section & 
took the kids all back out to the car.
The whole time we were going out to the car, she was mocking the whole situation.
There was no somberness.
We needed to talk in private.
I took all the kids into the back of the car & shut to door.
After we had a serious talk & I had all my tears blinked back, 
I went to open the door.
Oops.  You can't open the trunk door from the inside.  
I (34 weeks pregnant me) had to climb over two rows of seats to get out a side door,
and come around & let the kids back out.

Our cart was still in the place we left it, with all our stuff still there.
We finished our shopping without anymore incidents from the older set.
(Screaming did begin near the end from the babe.  But, that is typical of now days.  
She always wants "hold" & to get out of the cart 
before I am quite finished with the shopping.)

Now they are all napping.
I was going to be sewing.  
But, so far, I haven't done any.  
I am eating ice cream instead.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Consumable Christmas Attempt

Christmas gifts have all been given & received.
There was joy in both.

We've been feeling the ridiculousness in the accumulation of stuff,
and we are trying to cut back.

Scott & I didn't give each other presents.
We decided we would rather go somewhere together, then get more stuff.
(Oh.  But, we did get me this sling that I have wanted for years....
Who could resist such a sale price?!) 

Non clutter creating things we gave were
amusement park passes, beef jerky, baby bubble bath,
homemade marshmallows & firewood.

I made homemade play dough for the little ones.
We put that into "learning packs".

I bought a download for flashcards from the Yellow Mums
& Scott laminated them all for me.

Scott came up with the best gift.
He created a family game that we all played together.  It was so much fun!
We played it with my family & everyone who could 
write their own answers participated.

Everyone was given a sheet of paper with questions 
that they needed to answer about themselves.
Once everyone turned in their answers, the moderator read it all off, 
& everyone had to write down who they thought the answers belonged to.
What musical artist totally blows you away?  What animal best represents you?
Sometimes it was pretty funny!

It was a fun day!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

h is for horse (& Holiday Hiatus)

h is for horse

We pretty have done close to no preschool work since before Thanksgiving.
I guess "h" has really been for holiday around here.

I haven't had much creative energy for school prep & such.
I guess my brain has been elsewhere.

I didn't come up with anything genius to do with the horse theme.
We got the Horse Eyewitness book from the library.
We are slowing going through that.  It's a little tedious for such little kiddos.
But, they enjoy it a page or two at a time.
We just borrowed a horses & ponies board book from my little sister.
The kids are liking it a bit more.

We did horse races.
We tried doing a slow walk, a fancy trot & fast gallop.
The kids thought it was a blast.
I got worn out real fast.

Anyway.  There is the proof.  That's about all we've done for H is for Horse.
That is over a few weeks time, too.
The holidays have overtaken us.

Not that we've been doing mountains for Christmas stuff.
We haven't really.
We've had some out of town family visits.
We've decorated some cookies.
I had a last minute bridal bouquet order -

Mostly I've been working to organize a fundraiser event for World Orphans.
We are holding a Dessert Auction this Sunday.  It should be fun.
I am baking away.
And, trying to make sure I have everything we need.
And, reminding people all the time to come.
And, praying for all the right people to be there.
I am hoping there will be a good group of people in this area
who get excited about the work that World Orphans is doing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No Kids Allowed

I went to a local flower grower this morning, with my little crew in tow.
I've been taking my little ones to the growers & into flower coolers ever since I had a little one.
4 years ago I did just have a little tiny babe, who snuggled in the baby carrier.
The crew has grown in number & has been aging.
Over the years, I've gone to numerous different places 
& they have always been very welcoming of us all.
Until this morning.

We walked into the rose warehouse.  
I was holding Moira & Gillian & Peyton were close to my side.
It was lunch hour for most of the work crew.  
There was very little activity in & around the coolers.
The sales manager walks by & sharply asks, "can I help you with something?!"
I told him we were there to pick up the red roses on hold for Erin.
He went to get them & came back & said,
"This is not a safe environment for children."
He printed out my invoice.  
I paid him & said, "I guess I shouldn't shop here anymore."
He rolled his eyes & said, "that's not what I said..
This is an industrial area & it is not safe for children."
So, I took my change & said,
"Well, I work with my children.  So, I won't be back.  
I'll just go back to buying roses from __________ 
(the other guy, the local competition)."
"I didn't say your children can't come!" (Him)
"Thanks" (me, leaving for the last time.)

I had been using this rose grower for awhile.  Every time I go, I bring my kids.
They have a great quality rose, a great selection of varieties & a great price.
But, if I get rude customer service & my kids aren't welcome, then I won't go back.

To describe the "industrial" environment, I think comparing it to Costco is fair.
That is, there is an occasional, singular, slow moving fork lift in the warehouse.
I would say, being there is less dangerous than going for a walk down the street.

I understand that a business has the right to ask anyone to leave.  
But on what grounds are you asking us to leave?
My kids were not being unruly.
I am not going to get a babysitter, 
so I can stop in at your business without you feeling uncomfortable.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Braving the Elements for the Perfect Tree

We went on a hunt for our tree last weekend, even when it was raining & muddy.

Scott's folks were in town & got to go on the adventure with us.

The kids all helped daddy saw the tree down.

We picked "Sitting Bull" for our own.
(At Johnson Tree Farm, all of the trees are named.)

Hyped up on sugar.

There were a few farm animals to enjoy.  
Here Gillian was shocked by a chicken pecking her finger.  
She didn't believe they would really bite her.
Then she got herself a good little nip...