Monday, November 30, 2009

Luke 2
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed....And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem....To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child...."
(I'm certain you can figure out the "cast members" here, but just in case you need a little help...Grace is "Mary" and Danny is "Joseph"...the "stable" is built out of two kitchen chairs draped with a blanket, and the "manger" is an empty toy basket. "Baby Jesus" is a baby doll Grace received from her daddy and the "swaddling clothes" are dish rags. Grace staged the entire scene and bossed, err, directed the entire household--including the dogs--in the retelling of the Christmas story. Grace is NOT smiling in the above story because she is still "great with child" and that is serious business people. Danny...err...Joseph IS smiling. Perhaps he's just happy he found a place for them to sleep .)
"And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered...And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

(Ahh, that's better...she's smiling now. Baby Jesus is here...He makes me smile too.)

"....And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger...."
(Sam is a shepherd in this photo...but pay attention...his role changes according to his behavior. And Joseph isn't smiling anymore...sitting on that hard floor makes a boy's back ache)
(Harry and Simon are sheep...or maybe donkeys....or cattle...I'm not sure. All I know is that they are, in fact, livestock. And they will sit VERY still if you tempt them with "people food")
"And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child."
(THIS is the instant that our sweet little "shepherd" became "Herod" the evil king...per the bossy director, err, "Mary". Sam got silly...and he started pulling down the stable and trying to throw baby Jesus across the room. Grace looked at me and said "Mom...Sam is HEROD!!! Get him outta here!!!")
(And did you know??..."Herod" likes Fritos! No joke! This pint sized evil ruler was tamed by a bowl full of salty snacks. And the "holy family" was able avoid his wrath. Wonder how history woulda been different if Frito Lay had been in business??)

"But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart..."
(She's a sight...this one. And life is never dull. Never. Thanks Grace. For helping us remember what Christmas is really about)

We're baaaaack...

That's right...we've returned from a wonderful whirlwind trip to the great state of Texas. We had a fantastic time, and the kids logged some serious Grandma/Pawpaw quality time. I'll post more later, but right now Sam is intent on sabotaging my typing...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I have much to blog about...

Wow...I took a look at my camera last night and realized I haven't downloaded pics in quite awhile. Which means I haven't blogged in quite awhile. Downloading makes me think of blogging...and boy howdy, do I have a lot to blog about. Grace is home sick from school today (a puking 4 1/2 year old is quite a site to behold...poor thing didn't really understand what her tiny body was doing) and the weather is kinda gross. No snow...just cold..yesterday I had the windows open, we even turned the A/C on. But today? Oh's definitely November today. So it's perfect blogging conditions...and the coffee is hot and oh so good.
Where to begin? Well, we had family pictures taken by a rockstar photographer friend of ours. If ya'll don't have a friend that is a photographer...GIT one! She captured the spirit of our family in ways I've only imagined before, I think it was due in part to the fact that she knew us (Well and prolly also the fact that she is crazy talented!) Here's the link to her blog. There are a few "teasers" on there. She took over 60 photos...and I have the entire CD of them! So if you wanna see more...come on over and take a look, the coffee is--you guessed it--hot. Thanks Karyn! Below is a photo of Grace getting her hair hot rolled the morning before the photo session. I remember my mom doing this EXACT type of "torture" to me...I also remember crying that the rollers were "HOT and burning my ears, mama!!" just like Grace cried to me. Ah, the memories we make for our children.

Do ya'll know that Grace is my songbird?? She is. She sings all. the. time. About everything. She sings her way through Wal-mart. Belting out tunes at the top of her teeny tiny lungs. People stop in the aisles...they grin at me...they grin at her. Lemme tell ya, this kid can spread some joy when she sets her mind to it...other times she spreads other things, but let's focus on singing and joy...ya know, the good stuff. But really...she loves to sing. And she's pretty good at it. So I got her involved in a program at our church on Friday mornings called "Kids Praise". It's a group of 3 1/2-5 year old kiddos lead by two ladies from our church...the kids have met for the past 8 weeks and learned 4 songs about God's love. Then they preformed the songs at a nearby nursing home. It was big fun for the kids, and the residents in the Alzheimer's unit seemed to enjoy the presence of children. Here is a pic of Grace at dress rehearsal. I couldn't take pics of the actual performance or the residents or the nursing home. Something about privacy and HIPPA and blah, blah, blah. Just take my word on this one...there was some serious kid sized joy being spread around.

And brother. Oh baby brother. He is naughty. And when he is very naughty, he gets very quiet. One morning, I was in the back folding laundry and I realized I hadn't heard a peep out of the boy in at least 5 minutes. I'm sure that you're thinking "5 minutes? What can a kid do in 5 minutes?"...the answer?? A lot. I came into the living room to find him like this...

He found the cord to my camera. The one that connects it to the computer to download pics and also connects it to the TV to display pictures on the big screen. We have never connected the camera to the TV...heck, I have a hard enough time getting it connected to the computer! But Sam...oh Sam....he discovered that the cord does in fact fit perfectly in the video plug ins on the side of the TV. Which amazingly enough, is right where we would plug the cord in...that is, if we plugged it in.

And not only did he figure out where the cord was supposed to go...he actually got it plugged in correctly. I was so amazed at my little dude, that instead of immediate discipline measures for, you know, stealing my camera cord, climbing on a toy, and plugging random things into our TV...I grabbed my camera and took pictures to prove to Danny exactly what Sam was doing. He was so entranced in his task that he didn't notice me until I had snapped a few incriminating photos. Then he noticed me...and like he always does when he has done something naughty, he looked over his shoulder and said "Hi Mama"...BIG grin...."uh-oh"...Yes, Sam "uh-oh" indeed...this one is gonna give us a run for our money....
And...just so you can sleep peacefully tonight...we moved that toy Sam used to climb up on...but it really doesn't matter. He'll find something else to use to get him what he a stack of books, or pillows, or a dog...

So that's it...for now...there's more...there's always more. But I need more know, while it's still hot.

OH...and no one ever told me how to draw a line through a word...can you help a girl out here people??

Monday, November 16, 2009

It has been...

an especially bad day. If I were going to pick a book off the bookshelf to describe my day to you, that book would be Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day...because that is what it has been. A terrible horrible no good very bad day. And not for any particularly big, monumental reason. I honestly couldn't tell you where exactly it all went wrong...but it did go wrong. And I am ready to get a one way ticket to a sandy beach under a Caribbean blue sky. I shoulda figured it out this morning when Sam took a pen and "decorated" my recliner. My leather recliner. This pen does not come off of leather recliners. Just FYI for those of you with 19 month olds armed with ink pens hanging around your house. (Yes Emily...I tried the Magic has no love for pen marks on leather recliners.) Or maybe I shoulda known when the weather man reported "sleet possibly turning to snow"...or perhaps the green snot pouring out of my children's noses might have forewarned me of my terrible horrible no good very bad day...but alas, no...I didn't even see it coming. Much like the Christmas ornament the baby just threw at my head. Didn't even have a chance to so much as duck to try and miss what was headed my way. It has been a terrible horrible no good very bad day...yes, that is what it has been because when Grace woke up from nap and asked for a snack, I told her "Sure! Let's have popcorn"!! But apparently popcorn was NOT what was on the menu...nope, crying was on the menu because "Moooooommmmmmeeeeee! I don't like popcorn!!!!!" In fact, Grace dislikes popcorn so much that she carried on for over 30 minutes about how much she hates popcorn...It started with crying, turned to wailing, and then wrapped up with a rousing finale of screaming at. the. top. of. her. lungs. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I lost it, Sam lost it...even the dogs lost it. And then...she stopped...and the house was very quiet. Eerily quiet. There we sat--Grace, Sam, Harry the dog, Simon the extremely worried dog, and me--in the thresh hold of Grace's room. We all looked at each other...someone coughed...someone laughed...the baby squealed and threw a Christmas ornament. Grace looked up at me (she has the most amazing blue eyes, like marbles) with all the seriousness of a 4 1/2 year old, reached out to me and fell into my lap and said "I'm just not having a bery good day." Then she handed me a little porcelain box. You know the kind. Bought from Dollar Tree last year during Christmas time. It has Mary/Joseph/baby Jesus figurines glued on the top, made in China, made to look expensive but only costs $1 ??...Yup, that's the one. She claimed this box as her own when we pulled out the Christmas decor this weekend (yes, early I KNOW...I have my reasons. I may even blog about them, if you're lucky...but back to my original post)...she worried and worried over what to put in the tiny treasure box. Her costume jewelry was too big...her Barbie shoes not fancy enough...what to put in that box?? I never asked her what she put in there, I assumed she had found the appropriate treasure because she stopped talking about the fact that the box was empty. As she handed it to me, she opened the clasp with her delicate fingers, it was almost a reverent moment--"It's my Jesus box, Mama", and revealed the contents. A quarter...and a feather. A feather she found weeks ago, when the weather was not "sleet and possible snow". I remember when she found it. I didn't think she kept it. And a quarter--the very biggest of her coins. It was a moment. A time in my life when I was forced to stop and remember that life is bigger than a terrible horrible no good very bad day. It is bigger than pen marks on a chair. And bigger than a 4 1/2 year old and her hatred for popcorn. We must bring out treasures to Jesus, no matter how small and insignificant they forgotten they may be. This is after all the reason we give gifts at that we may remember the greatest Gift of all. Even if it is only a forgotten feather and a quarter. My day got better...sure it was already 5pm and I had spent most of the daylight hours trying not to explode, but it did get better. Funny how one child can drive you mad and drive you into the arms of Jesus all in the same breath. And I can assure you, without a doubt, that we will NOT be reading about Alexander and his "terrible horrible no good very bad day" before bed tonight. Nope...we're reading the Christmas story.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hang with me here...

I'm trying something...

I want to see if this works...


Suwheeeet!! It worked!! how do I draw a line through a word?? Anyone??

Oh and just so this post isn't completely pointless...
Grace was playing with her nativity scene yesterday and said "Hey Dad! Will you hand me the wise man with the mushbeard?" Bwahahahaha! I think it makes perfect sense...not a mustache, yet not a beard...a "mushbeard"....

Friday, November 13, 2009

This little apple...

didn't fall very far from the tree...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Great Pumpkin

"Scoop out the inside of a pumpkin,

(Note Sam's grin in this picture. Danny has coined name for this "signature smile" of our sweet Sam. I cannot type it hear, as we have little eyes reading...catch my drift?)

(Please, try your very best to ignore the fact that the baby is sitting on the table...)

(I got the glamorous job of scooping out the "guts"...but then I baked the pumpkin seeds. YUM! One of my absolute favorite traditions from when I was a child. The smell of those seeds, seasoned and roasting, rushes in a wave of delicious memories for me.)

Give it a mouth,

(Sam was totally into the entire process. From scooping out the guts, to "helping" Danny carve the design. I think it was because it involved tools...this kid LOVES tools)

(Grace, however, wanted NOTHING to do with the carving of the celebratory squash, and after the obligatory pictures, recruited Paw-paw to help her with a puzzle.)

A nose,

(SUCH concentration!!! I love this expression on Danny's face. This is serious business!)

and two big eyes.

(Sweet, strong hands of the men I love. And NO! That is not a knife in Sam's hand...again, please pretend not to notice!...But for the record, he actually knew what to do with the knife....which is cool and scary all at once)

Put a light inside the pumpkin...Wheee!
A Halloween surprise!"
(Okay, it's not a "mouth, a nose, and two big eyes" like the song says...but I think it's way better!!)

Wanna see God this morning??

Go to MckMama's blog on my sidebar or you can go to this link...but before you do...go pee, get a cup of coffee, and sit down somewhere're gonna be Addicted...with a capital "A"

God is SO awesome....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You gotta love a man that is secure in his masculinity....

Even if said "man" is just a little baby and doesn't even know what masculinity is yet...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So...blogger tells me this is my 100th post...

I've been anticipating my "100th post"...I've seen others post about in on their blogs (I'm a blog stalker...I have a problem...don't. say. a. word.) I thought when I clicked on "new post" at the top of my screen to begin composing my 100th blog entry, something big would happen. A pop-up perhaps (I'd welcome a pop-up in this case), or perhaps big lettering that announced "Congratulations, this is your 100th post!!!!!!!!!!!!!"...but...alas...nothing. Absolutely nothing. In fact I wouldn't have known I was on my century post if I hadn't been keeping a close eye on my blog list. But, despite the underwhelming lack of fanfare, we're gonna celebrate! Are you ready?

I could celebrate by telling you that I had 10 1/4 inches cut off my hair...because that is a lot of hair and more than enough "life" material to type about in my celebratory 100th post. 10 1/4 inches I am donating to Locks of Love. I started consciously growing it out in February of this year. And let me just pretty as long hair is, it is a royal pain to fix properly. I am rid of my ponytail and I couldn't be happier. This short do is freeing!!! I did this in honor of a dear friend and her daughter...both in heaven...both missed greatly. I rejoice in the day I get to see them again. But in the meantime, I can honor them with my hair...which as I found out, was a fantastic daily reminder of those loved and lost.

OR I could celebrate my 100th post by telling you that the linoleum in my kitchen is GONE!...that's right! This weekend, with the patient help of our parents, Danny and I installed a little under 180 square feet of Pergo laminate flooring. It. looks. beautiful. It is everything I dreamed it would be and more! And it was fairly easy to install, although my legs, hips, and back would tell a different story. So please, come over, sit at my kitchen table...I'll make you a warm cup of coffee (I got a new coffee pot...doesn't that entice you even more?) and let's enjoy the new flooring together.

These things above are wonderful...they're fun...but they're not how I'm going to celebrate my 100th blog entry. Nope. I'm going to celebrate by leaving you with this....
My two sweet goblins on Halloween...that's right...I'm going to leave you with a "teaser" of posts to come...a promise that this 100th post is certainly NOT my last.

I gotta add a small prayer request...can I do that?? I hope ya'll don't's something very small and probably very insignificant to most of you, but...we can't find our cat. His name is Lance. He comes and goes, inside and outside, as he pleases. He usually comes home each night for food and snuggling. But we haven't seen him in about 3 days. Could you send up a few prayers for our cat? He's a great cat...and we really are starting to worry about him. Plus, one shouldn't go through these cold, snowy Missouri winters without a cat.