Tuesday, December 28, 2010

::snow-globe effect::

This is the most recent measurement on our back deck. It is in the snow drift, but still...you have to make it through the snow drifts too! There is actually something quite fun about being completely snowed in. We only needed an instant fireplace kit. Other than that, we were set with a Christmas movie, hot chocolate and lots of new toys. 

The snow fall lasted from Sunday at 3pm until Monday afternoon. It has quieted down now and plows have been by and the driveway is shoveled (thanks, honey) and there is a path that is knee high that leads to a fort for the boys. And we are truly, if we ever doubted it, in a winter wonderland.

Happy In-Between of Celebration Time.
We are getting ready for our annual get together with our ever-fun friends, the Yarnells whom we'll be seeing tomorrow! Lots of laughs in store! 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

on angel's wings

...is how quickly Christmas feels like it's coming.

Unstoppable, yet so exciting.
Reverent, but jubilant.
Preparatory, but pausing. 

I love how each Christmas holds the same dear patterns, yet each one awaits us with its own surprises.

I love letting the lights on the tree be the last ones on in the house at night. Their magic twinkling around the room.

I love how with each new day, the presents seem to multiply under the tree.

I love how even though there is so much more hustle and bustle going on out there, people are still overall more friendly and cheerful. 

I love that our Post Office has an independent mailing machine that is open 24/7. And that there's no line at 11pm! 

I love that I just found my little stash of clearance Christmas books from last year, including: The Nutcracker (Susan Jeffers), The Gift of the Magi (O. Henry, ill. by Lisbeth Zwerger), The Child's Christmas (Evelyn Sharp), and Who's That Knocking On Christmas Eve (Jan Brett).

I love (*attention: spoiler alert) that my living room smells like fresh roasted coffee. We just received 2 boxes from Mist Valley who's coffee we have been LOVING every morning for the past few months! Their coffee is FRESH!!!!!! And the proof is in the taste. 

I love the excitement that is uncontainable in my children. And the sentimentality of adults. Particularly my dad. He sent me the sweetest FB message about how sad he is that we won't be together for Christmas.  :( 

I love that we have appx. 4 different types of advent calendars going on each day. Thankfully they are all simple enough to keep up with.  

I love the simple message that this season brings. One of hope and joy in the precious gift of our Savior. The simple, yet magnificent gift that so many pause to sing of. The gift that will soon be forgotten but will still remain long after the tree is at the curbside. The true, though cliche, "reason for the season." 


[photo above: our tree. filter done in Instagram. an awesome free iPhone app that I am loving]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

the pace of s l o w

Life these days tends to be one speed. Fast. I find myself eating lunch standing up, drinking my coffee while rescuing Caiden from another toilet catastrophe and helping the boys stay in motion with chores and cleanup. Sometimes, I get these thoughts of, "What in the world did I do with all my time when I just had baby Andrew?" The funny thing is, even though my life then as a mother could not be fairly compared to today, I still felt my days were so very full. It was all so new and every moment was spent enjoying, experiencing and enriching my baby's life. You see, this thing called motherhood, no matter how few or many children you have, no matter how busy, innovative or laid back they are, and no matter how organized or (cough*cough) unorganized you may be, is simply put, NOT FOR WHIMPS!!! It pulls from every corner of your being. Every physical, emotional and spiritual aspect. It bombards you every day with brand new challenges that expects you to be at peak performance. It doesn't regard the fact that you have taken care of a sick husband for a week, or that your teething baby was up not one, not two, but three times through the night and that your 4 year old is really going through a tough behavioral period. And it does not always wait for you to be ready to deal with each situation. As a matter of fact, I am quite suspicious that there is some kind of hidden signal embedded in our bathroom door and telephone that alerts the boys that "IT IS TIME TO ENGAGE"---for mom is having a quiet moment to herself. 

So, when a few hours of quiet came along this past week, thanks to a particular grandmother who took the older boys to do some secretive Christmas shopping, I 
immediately felt...wow. It is so  q  u  i  e  t  and   s l o w  here. This will be easy. Just Caid and I----I'll get so much done! 

But, you know, those thoughts of "the easy good old days" hit me across the face. Because Caiden, who is much like Drew was in learning and playing, is not satisfied with sitting and playing with his toys for long periods of time. No. He wants to be moving, and trying, and "communicating" and testing and on.the.go.  So, I was brought back to those full and busy days. Those days of one child, which is definitely less distracted and more focused time with the child, but I found that he was a little bit lost without the sibling avalanche going on around him to follow. So I called it a day of not getting those little things done and sat right down on the floor with him and followed his play. Which at that time, happened to be Mr. Potato Head. 

and we practiced pointing to our eyes...

and had some good laughs.
Just the two of us.

Mr. Caiden is growing up oh, so fast. And I see such a difference in him being the third child. (third boy, to be specific). Because this kid knows how to swish a sword and dog pile on his brothers and laugh at their inside jokes as his life's goal right now is to keep up...keep up...keep up. But when the day comes to an end, it's still his momma that he wants to cuddle. And that, I am holding on to for as long as I can. 

(p.s. Caiden clearly says momma...but still does not say dadda...and is totally playing his cards on this one! sorry, honey). 

[caiden & momma on the train going downtown chicago. summer 2010]

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

month twelve.

Happy December!

 No, I haven't finished my Christmas shopping already! But we ARE starting THIS today and I am oh, so excited about it! It is our "advent calendar" for this year. I wrapped 24 books, labeled them and each night until Christmas the boys will get the chosen book read to them before bed. You can see my friends' version HERE who first shared this idea with me. For more advent ideas, see HERE

These are the books that were selected for our first (annual ?) advent book reading, most of which we already owned. A few were a last minute rescue from our second hand store. You may also notice that I mixed in winter themed books with spiritual related books. We will be doing our Scripture advent reading separately.

Here is the list of books that we'll be reading:

1. Footprints in the Snow (Cynthia Benjamin)
2. Little Einstein's Christmas Wish (Disney)
3. The Little Drummer Boy (1968 Little Golden Book)
4. The Elves and the Shoemaker (Little Golden Book)
5. The Christmas Story (Little Golden Book)
6. Room For A Little One (Martin Waddell)
7. Owl Moon (Jane Yolen)
8. The Little Lost Angel 
9. Katy and the BIG SNOW (Virginia Lee Burton)
10. The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Graham Percy)
11. The Little Drummer Boy (Ezra Jack Keats)
12. Who Is Coming To Our House? (Joseph Slate)
13. Noel (Little Board Books)
14. Jingle Bells 
15. The Snowchild (Ill. by Deborah Kogan Ray)
16. The Christmas Mouse 
17. Socks for Supper (Jack Kent)
18. Father and Son, A Nativity Story (Geraldine McCaughrea)
19. Madeline's Christmas (Ludwig Bemelmans)
20. The Apple Tree Christmas (Trinka Hakes Noble)
21. Spunky's First Christmas (Janette Oke)
22. Winnie the Pooh's Christmas (Bruce Talkington)
23. Red Boots for Christmas (Carol Greene)
24. Mortimer's Christmas Manger (Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman)

I also needed a new chapter book to start with the boys and came across THIS gem at the library:

So, looks like we're all booked up for December!!??  
(sorry. I couldn't resist!!!)   :)  

What are some of YOUR (and your kids) favorite reads during "the most wonderful time of the year?"