Sunday, December 30, 2007
...to my little (I mean big) girl. I say that only because I get corrected whenever I call her a little girl, she says "no, I am big!!!" She's right, she's three today. It seems like yesterday that we were saying hello for the first time. I know all parents say that, but we say it because it's true. Time goes by way too fast.
So, today Miss Cayden Rose, your daddy and I are praying for you-praying for you to know and love Jesus, to walk in his truth and bring joy to others as you do. Your name means "strength in battle" and we pray that you would choose your battle in the things that count-not against your parents or God but for God and his ways and his truth. We love you, little firecracker.
She choose dinner out at Red Robin's for her celebration, her favorite place with all her favorite people. Fun for all.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Found this picture that Zac took on Christmas eve- I love seeing his perspective, love seeing mom's lipstick (evidence of us spending a great week together), love seeing the snow out the kitchen window.
Here's a few other things I've loved from this Christmas week:
Levi trying on his new jammies that Mimi gave him: "I think Santa doesn't know what size I am."
The gasp of delight Levi gave when he saw the presents under the tree.
Our baby's intrigue with the whole thing and her loving the little horse flash light that Mammie found for her, looking at it sideways and turning it over and over.
Time spent with family-who doesn't love that?
Lazy jammie spent mornings.
Shopping with Mom-just us and a stop at Starbucks.
Love all this.
an amazing Christmas eve and day over here-we spent Christmas eve at Zac's grandma's with all the family, stayed up very late to play Santa and woke up to Levi's huge grin at 7:15 sharp. He was so excited to find out of if Santa had come. We opened presents for a bit in the morning, enjoying it all with coffee and muffins. Later we had the family over an early dinner-I really enjoyed having it at our house-getting everything just so, setting the table and really enjoyed the help of my mom and Zac's mom. It was so very fun-a full holiday.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Merry Christmas eve to all-we woke up to what Levi called "a Christmas miracle:" snow. It was beautiful-we couldn't get the kids dressed fast enough to get out and play.
My dad on his way out to get the morning paper-never mind the temperature is only 29. We are so blessed to have my family here for the week.
Hope that each of you have a great Christmas, full of wonderful surprises. Peace to all.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Been trying to savor Christmas around here-looking through it through the camera helps me to see it differently and appreciate it more. We spent the day working on gingerbread men (a favorite, light treat of mine) and collecting great Christmas books from the library. I look forward to digging into them with the kids through the week. So here's a peak at Christmas around here.
The tree in the playroom upstairs-the kids helped to decorate it-they've only knocked it down twice.
Handmade ornaments by Zac and other special ornaments from our childhoods-thought it would be best to put these up higher and out of the danger zone.
Christmas is very fun around here, we're trying to stay caught up in the wonder of it. Something that's helping me is Todd Agnew 's Christmas album with songs from the different perspectives of each person in the Christmas story. It's amazing, and has made me think of things in a new light. It's easy to gloss over the true meaning of Christmas only because we hear it so much but when I really stop to think about it I am amazed: God came to earth, the greatest gift of all-we did nothing to earn his reckless love. That undoes me every time I think of it. Reading through the words of some of my favorite Christmas hymns has brought this home to me.
O Holy Night:
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need—to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
So, Zac said he would have frosted them and that I had the patience of a saint....not so sure about that but we did create some very sprinkled cookies the other night. Despite a bit of frustration (Cayden stop licking the sprinkles off the tray, stop eating the cookies-we'll have none to frost, stop trying to shake the sprinkles of your hands and in the process spreading them all over the kitchen....) we did have fun and a very big mess to clean up after.
Notice Aida feeling left out in the background....
Even though it can be frustrating to do something like this with three busy kids it's important to me. It's important to create and encourage these traditions. My mom (by her own admission) is not a big baker but I have precious memories of being the kitchen with her and my sister around the holidays. I honestly don't remember everything we baked but I remember the time spent; the messes, the laughing and the happy feeling that comes from being together. I can remember one year when I was much older frosting cookies with my sister after she had moved out; I don't know what we were talking about but I remember we were laughing (and consuming lots of frosting and those poor unfortunate broken cookies, hey, someone has to eat those!). We were laughing hard enough to have frosting come out of our noses; now, I know this sounds gross but it's a great memory in my mind. That is why I continue to do things like this with the kids, not so we can shoot frosting out of our noses but so they can be part of happy memories. Because it's in moments like that that life is shared, discussions are had, secrets told. I want to be there in the midst of that for the kids. It's in these connections that they learn they are a part of something bigger, not just because that's what you do during Christmas but because it's what we do. Someday they may not care or get excited about all the traditions we take part in, but this year they are caught up in the wonder of it all and I plan on enjoying every minute of it while I can. They won't always be young enough to believe in Santa-I will cherish it (and the messes) while it lasts.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
We just received the best Christmas present we've gotten in a long, long time- a brand new camera, the very cool Nikkon D40. It is seriously awesome, we've been playing with it all day and have managed to get some great shots of the kids just playing around. It's such a blessing that we were able to do this this year-God is so, so good. It's not like we need a fancy new camera, our other one is working okay and gets decent shots, but he has taken care of more than just our needs, he takes care of our wants too. What an amazing personal God, who cares about the little details of our lives. I'm so glad he does and so grateful too-now I can catch and record little details like never before (and just in time for Levi's first ever Christmas program next week, how cool is that?)
Thank you God, and thank you Zac for agreeing to this joint Christmas gift. You are amazing.
Friday, December 7, 2007
I wasn't going to do it this time around but I had a light bulb moment the other night. There's an article in January's Creating Keepsakes about creating your mantra, a "powerful, personalized statement about why you scrapbook." I read the article and a it came to me as I was climbing into bed. Why I do this is mostly to tell the story of our lives, our personalities and the reasons we do what we do. But sometimes in the midst of creating the ever elusive "perfect" page I miss out on the fun with my family. Sometimes it's as simple as being there with them while they play make believe games, other times it's lost opportunities for games of Memory or Chutes and Ladders or even just reading a new book. I do not want to miss those moments; these kids of mine are growing way too fast for me to miss them. So this is my little reminder of what to do first, the rest will take care of itself or just have to come later. Most of the time I've really got more important things to do-usually it's playing. Yes, it means I need to make better use of my time, keep my desk organized and easier to use and take advantage of morning cartoons on Saturdays. I'll take light bulb moments as they come but I won't agonize over it-now I've got a stack of library books and three kiddos waiting on me....
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Isn't this sweet, Aida was so tired this night. We've been having naptime battles all week: Cayden not wanting to sleep and then waking Aida up, Cayden finally falling asleep after a long struggle and then Aida not able to go back to sleep. It's been rough and has led to two tired girls and one worn out mama-wish I could just lay my head down wherever and whenever. Lucky for her-she got to go bed at 6:30 that night and her sister let her sleep when she went to bed. Thankgoodness for just a bit of peace.
Isn't it funny how we sometimes fight the very thing that is so good for us? Whether it's rest or excerise or our relationship with God, we come up with excuses or throw fits when it gets down to getting it done. I don't want to be this way-Lord help me make time for you, it is vital for my peace and my attitude. When I make time to read the Word and pray I am in such a better state of mind-he is so good for me. During this crazy season I need that time more than ever so I can be my best for him and the people he's placed around me. Today I tell myself and everyone else "don't neglect that vital link."
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Here they are with thier masterpieces:
and a few of the process:
Finally, who could resist a sweet little girl loving on and kissing baby Jesus on the tiny nativity the kids got from Mammie a few years back. (While wearing Daddy's work glove.) Pray she always wants to be so close to him, loving him.
Now they are all in bed in a blissful, sugar induced comma-it truly was a wonderful and peaceful start for the Christmas season. Wish that for each of you, moments of peace in what can be a very hectic time and the reminder to create those moments-they don't always just happen. If we seek and pursue Christ's peace for our lives this Christmas and beyond, he will be faithful to help us find it.