Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa Baby

My apologies for 3 out of the last 4 blog posts having Christmas songs as titles.  I can't resist.

After 3 years of Santa picture fails, we have success!  The long wait to see "Can a Sauce" as Emma Kate calls the Big Guy in Red, had to be an eternity if you are 2 and 3 years old.  A small bit of resistance by EK was forgotten when she saw her big sister climb up on Santa's lap, and they each told him their desires for anything baby doll related.

Here's a look at what I like to call "Persistence is the Key"

2007 - Jolly Old St. Nick

2008 - The hair's a little longer, there's an oblivious baby added to the picture, but the scream's the same.

2009 - Emma Kate has become the screamer, and poor Grace looks too petrified to scream.

2010 - They finally realize this is the guy who brings presents. :)

A Star is Born

We are those parents.  Those that attend their child's school Christmas play with video camera and point and shoot camera in hand.  The parents with the pew full of family that can't wait to see said child's break out performance.  The parents with the younger child belting out Christmas songs all throughout the program.  Yup, we are those parents.

The preschool program, Love Came Down at Christmas, was rescheduled a handful of times (no, literally a whole handful of times) thanks to snow and ice.  After hearing the lyrics to the songs for weeks, anticipating Grace's performance as Mary, and explaining to a disappointed Grace that the program had been rescheduled yet again, we were so glad to finally see this sweet little play.

Grace gave us a little wave when she came out, and then it was all business.  She walked over to her spot, laid Baby Jesus in his manger, sat in her spot with her little legs crossed, and sang each song.  I wonder if a mother has laid her baby in a manger with such care and pride since Mary, mother of Jesus.  I'm quite certain that no other portrayal of Mary has been quite so wonderful.  Maybe I'm biased, but isn't that my job?

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

You know those houses with picture perfect decorations?  The ones that will break if break if breathed upon, are fingerprint-less, and are perfectly placed?  Yeah, that's not mine.  Nope, my house was decorated with the help of a couple of master pint-sized designers.

This is the first year that both Grace and Emma Kate are REALLY into Christmas.  When I brought the first box of decorations out, they squealed with delight.  They are super possessive of their stockings and are in awe of the nativity, lights, wreath, garland, and everything else Christmas related!

Our trees may have clumps of ornaments in places, the presents may have been used as foot stools and chairs on a couple of occasions, and my new Christmas platter may have been drawn on with a permanent marker.  But, my children have taken ownership of the decorations and couldn't be prouder to take all who enter through our front door on a tour, explaining the decorating process each and every time.

Come on in and take a peek.

On second thought, it is perfect.  Perfect for my family.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I was just getting ready to compose a letter to Old Man Winter about how much I dislike being cold and how much I miss summer.  And then, the arctic temperatures paid off.  Flakes began to fall.  And fall.  And fall.  And then I got the call that school was cancelled. :)

As much as I dislike the cold, I do enjoy a snow day.

And, there is something simply wonderful about the excitement children have over playing in the snow.

And, there is something magical about watching your yard being transformed into a Winter Wonderland amidst the Christmas decorations.

Magical indeed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Kind of House I Live In

Remember that game MASH we used to play when we were little? The game where your entire future was mapped out, including the type of house you would live in. Rarely does reality match childhood visions. I certainly could not have dreamed the kind of house I would live in.

I live in the kind if house where little helpers drop brand new rolls of toilet paper into the toilet.  And then try to flush them.

I live in the kind of house where the formal dining room detailed on the house plans with wainscoting is a playroom filled with pink and purple. I live in the kind of house where we have much more use for a playroom than a formal dining room.

I live in the kind of house where you can find a potty seat in the foyer and a princess couch in the bathroom on any given day.

I live in the kind of house where "The cookies are ready! The cookies are ready!" is said with the same urgency as Paul Revere's midnight ride proclamation of "The British are coming!".

I live in the kind of house where I get to play DJ Lance as my own Yo Gabba Gabba characters dance around singing "Try it, you'll like it".

I live in the kind of house where fingerprints made with lip gloss, chocolate, popsicles, and paint can be found in places you wouldn't dream little fingers could reach.

I live in the kind of house where we've traded independant sleepers who put themselves to bed and sleep all night in their own room for co-sleeping and all night cuddles.

I live in the kind of house where tutus and princess costumes are as common as cardigans and jeans.

I live in the kind of house where we believe "the sparklier the better!"

I live in the kind of house where we may eat cheeze-its and smarties candy for breakfast.  Hypothetically, of course.

I live in the kind of house where imperfections are a given, but where hugs and kisses are given freely and love abounds.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Little Star

When I received an email in my inbox from Christian author Anthony DeStefano about his upcoming Christmas book, I was excited.  When I received a copy of it in the mail and read it to my children, I was super ecstatic.  Why?  Because this book has held the attention of a 2 year old, a 3 year old, and a mommy whose age shall remain undisclosed since we received it.

Little Star is a fresh take on the birth that changed the world.  Little Star is the story of The Star of Bethlehem.  It reminds us that during this time of year, we can so easily get distracted by shopping, decorating, parties, and the general business that we all seem to face, but the real reason we celebrate CHRISTmas is love.  The love of God.  The love that made God, the Almighty Father, step down from his throne and come to us as a helpless baby.

I encourage you to check out Anthony DeStefano's website and Little Star.

Don't forget to put the shopping lists and to-do lists aside to worship Jesus on his birthday and all the year through!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Dear Grace and Emma Kate,

Last week, we celebrated another Thanksgiving.  If you take the Easter post, replace eggs and bunny with turkey and pilgrim and replace Easter with Thanksgiving, you've basically got the details of this holiday as well.  As if right on cue, the vomitorium began the night before Thanksgiving and lasted just long enough to knock us out of the Thanksgiving meal at Granny's.  Even so, we have so much to be thankful for.

The Thanksgiving season is spent making turkey crafts, learning about the first Thanksgiving, and listing things we are thankful for.  That is a list that could go on and on.  And on.  Yes, God has truly blessed us.  But here's the thing.  If you take away all the blessings, one thing remains.  God.  You see, His grace is sufficient.  He is all we need.  No matter if all those things on our thankful list were taken away, no matter what obstacles we face, no matter who is against us.  God is more powerful.  He is always there to pick us up, carry us through, heal us, and supply all our needs.  God is never surprised, never makes a mistake, and is never inadequate.  So give thanks in all circumstances and know that God will supply all your needs through His perfect plans.  He is worthy of our praise.

As you grow and learn more about God, my desire is that you will learn to trust His promises.  The world will fail us, we will fail on our own, but God never fails.  He offers His grace to all of us.  Claim it as your own.

Oh, how thankful I am for God's grace.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.                      2 Corinthians 12:9 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Princess Musings

Listen.  Do you hear it?  It's the sound of a kidless house.  Grace and Emma Kate are at Nanny and Pop's for the night, and Justin and I are at THE most happenin' hot spot.


Maybe that means we're old.  Maybe that means we're boring.  But, I muse that means we're content.  Content to have takeout on the couch.  Content to watch HGTV or ESPN on a Friday night.  Content to just be with each other. Inevitably, the conversation turns to our little princesses.  Even though they've only been gone 2 1/2 hours, I miss them.  Princess musings have taken over.

  • They are loud.  Really loud.  They talk loud.  They sing loud.  They play loud.  They have loud toys - even the ones that aren't meant to be loud.  For example:  one grocery cart has a squeaky wheel; the other grocery cart's wheels sound like a dump truck on our hardwood floor.  This could be a side effect of princesses climbing in grocery carts made for plastic bananas and french fries.  I wouldn't trade the noise for the world.
  • Emma Kate loves to put her hand up your sleeve and scratch your forearm.  Don't question it; just go with it.
  • Everything has to be equal.  Don't think of dressing one princess in pants and one in a dress.  Giving one princess more anything than the other is a serious offense.  And, FYI, if you're getting them a Christmas present, save your sanity and mine and make them identical gifts.  Trust me.  Santa knows this tidbit as well.
  • Grace is as much of an organizational enthusiast as I am.  The malls better get ready for her skillz to be performed on their Christmas displays.  Target and Dollar Tree have already fallen prey to the Mad Organizer.
  • They love, love, love milk.  
  • Emma Kate has begun stuttering.  Grace went through a stuttering phase too.  I even talked to my school's speech pathologist about it, and she told me it was a really common phase.  It's pretty cute when Emma Kate says, "Wh, wh, wh, what you doin' gals?"  FYI, gals = all people regardless of gender.
  • They fight like any good set of sisters should.  The day is not complete until we've heard "Gwace hit me," "I had it first," "Emma Kate took my lipstick," "It's mine," and "Whhhaaaaahhh!!!!"
  • Grace is loving school.  LOVING it!  She pretends to be Ms. Cyndi all the time.  Grace is pretty darn efficient with her classroom discipline.  At least her pretend students follow directions.  She's still working on getting Emma Kate to do so.
  • When she grows up, Grace wants to be a mommy, doctor, cheerleader, and princess.  Emma Kate says when she grows up, she wants to be orange.  She loves orange.  She reminds us of this fact several random times throughout the day.  Shoot for the stars, Babies.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Walk Down Halloween Lane

Hard to believe we've got 4 years worth of costuming itty bitties for Halloween!





Pumpkin Sioree

What do you get when you combine fabulous fall weather, a visit to the pumpkin farm, food, pumpkin decorating and carving, and grandparents?  That's right - a pumpkin soiree!  Here's a glimpse into our little family celebrating fall the pumpkin way.

The business of picking pumpkins.

The business of lunch.

Cake Balls.  If you've never tried cake balls, visit Bakerella's website.  Don't walk.  Run!

And, now for the business of pumpkin decorating and carving.

The final products. 

Happy Fall, Y'all! :)