Wednesday, December 24, 2008

...and the children were nestled all snug in their beds....

...and mom & dad aren't far behind!  Sarah & Ava passed out almost immediately.  Amazing how missing that afternoon nap makes for an early bedtime!  We spent the afternoon/evening at my cousin's house and then left to go look at Christmas lights.  I was cracking up at Zachary & Josh singing "Feliz Navidad" - well - TRYING to sing!  Then they got into some theological discussion about Jesus being God.  I was amazed at the "stillness" of everything.  Stores were closed, traffic was was like it was the middle of the night! By the time we got home and the kids discovered the pjs that were "left" for them (see previous post), excitement ensued so we once again had to wind down - but that didn't take very long!  Sarah still doesn't really "get" Christmas, but she is beside herself with the thought of opening presents!  The pajamas alone nearly put her over the top - I can only imagine what tomorrow will be like!

I tried to remember what my Christmases were like at Zachary & Josh's age.  I think when I was 10, I got a tape recorder and a guitar.  Actually those came from my grandparents.  When I was 7, one thing I remember getting was a --- you are so going to laugh -- a "J.J." doll.  I mean "J.J." from the show "Good Times"!  You pull a string and he would say 'Dy-no-mite"!  Really - I am dead serious!  I know I got lots of other things, but those are the things that stick out in my mind.  I was an only child - it didn't take much to amuse me!

Tomorrow morning will be a blast!  Sarah will be the most fun to watch.  Her theme this year is Dora.  Ava is still borderline Elmo - but she likes Dora too.  Josh would be happy with a ball of yarn and Zachary's stash is just a hodge-podge.  He is so hard - he's very particular and really never asks for anything.  Charles & I were examining everything and thought it really looked bare - but everything is so small.  We honestly didn't go all out - there is no need to and we really don't want our kids to expect it.  They have 2 uncles (plus other family) who spoil them greatly - which is fine!  I think all kids deserve to have someone who will go all out for them.  Uncle Danny & Uncle Randy are extremely creative and put lots of time and thought into their gifts.  I am so grateful my kids have them!  They love their uncles and love spending time with them!

I hope all of my friends and family have a blessed Christmas.  I am in awe of how blessed I am this season.  I have no doubt there will be some serious changes in our family next year (no - I am NOT pregnant!) but for right now - this moment - under this roof is my best friend and 4 little rays of sunshine who mean more to me than anything else in the world.  I have everything I could ever want this Christmas.  God has been so good to me.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve!

At least - that is what Josh determined it was this morning!  The kids are so excited...they love all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  If they had their choice, they would spend the whole 2 weeks at other people's houses!  They are not "home bodies" by any means!  I've been trying to squeeze in time to try to do this or that, but there is never any "time" left!  It finally occurred to me the other day that if I just listen to them, they'll let me know what things are important to them.  They've talked constantly about going to "Nanny & Pops" - which we did last Saturday - to have Christmas with them.  They count down the days until Christmas Eve when they get to see their cousins....then there is Christmas day when we go to Charles' aunt's and then his mom's.  They love being with family!  That really is what is important, and I am glad they think so too.  They are looking forward to the traditional "making of the Christmas cookies" on Christmas Eve.  We do the whole rolling out the sugar cookie dough & using cookie cutters thing, then decorate with cream cheese icing & other assorted toppings.  They have such a good time, and Santa REALLY likes the cookies & milk!  ;-)  While we are gone to my cousins, one of "Santa's elves" comes by and leaves a package of Christmas pj's on each child's bed.  This has happened every year since Zachary was a baby...and has turned into one of the highlights of their Christmas.  I love how this is such a magical time for them - as it should be.  I want them to feel this way for as long as possible!
Sarah is really starting to get into the season...she loves seeing the presents and is always  asking "Is that present for ME?"  Ava is still a little young....but she will catch on fast!  Sarah got a tea set last Saturday at Nanny & Pops and we have been having tea parties.  She is quite the little hostess!  I don't know where she picked up on that....unless at mother's day out.  If I am still --- she is handing me a plate & cup!  Last night, she got up to go get in bed - hugged me and said "You my best friend"!  I just melted!  Granted, just an hour earlier I had been trying to think of a way to detach her from my side....but that just made my year!  She can be a sneaky little thing, but she is also as sweet as she can be when she wants to be!

I hope all of you have a blessed Christmas and remember in the midst of all the chaos the real "reason of the season" - that sweet baby who came to save the world.  The other night on my way home from work, I was listening to the radio and they were playing "Mary Did You Know?"  I've heard that song a million times, but suddenly one line really struck me....."and when you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God."  That is just awesome to me.  Here this little teenage girl is blessed with the gift of giving birth to the Messiah.  She got to cuddle him and love on him like any mother would her newborn. Think about all the times you have kissed the sweet soft cheek of a baby - but Mary got to kiss the face of God -- Awesome isn't it?  Merry Christmas everyone! 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is It 4th of July, Or Christmas?

Seriously.....the reason I ask is because Sarah seems to be declaring her independence these days. "I DO IT!" is heard constantly! Don't get me wrong...I'm glad for her. She's testing her wings. The problem is when she does things like insisting on picking out her own pajamas - and she chooses her Elmo tank-top and shorts when it is 25 degrees outside! Do you realize what it takes to convince a strong-willed child that she needs to wear long sleeves and pants when that is not on her agenda? It's exhausting! She wants to pick her own breakfast (cookies or popsicles), her own clothes (explained above), put ON her own clothes, put her own toothpaste on her toothbrush, wash her own hair (as well as Ava's!) pour her own milk/juice (I don't think so!), put all the clothes in the dryer (I can work with that - even Ava joins in), buckle her own self in her car seat...the list goes on and on. Now - when Charles is home, that is a totally different story! Her independence is out the door and all we hear is "No! Mommy do it!!!" I have to buckle her in her seat (she has finally consented to letting Charles get her in - but he can not - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE - buckle her. It HAS to be me. He can't give her a bath, get her juice, get her name it. It's all about the mommy! Even Ava (aka..."Little Bit", "Bitsy", "Tiny Mite", "Spider Monkey", "Chihuahua on Crack"....) is getting into the act. When she phone rings, she says, "I get it!"... same thing when the dryer goes off ... "I get it!" It's really cute!

So anyway -- that is just a few of the musings happening at our house. Our crazy week is about to come to a close and I could not be happier. Christmas luncheon Sunday, and musical Sunday night. I can't wait to see it! The stage and choir look fabulous, and the kids do an AMAZING job! There are some really talented singers in that bunch! Yes - my own child is included - but even so, all of the soloists are so good! It will be exciting to see it all come together! I know Zachary & Josh can't wait! The boys have 1/2 days Wed., Thurs. and Fri. next week and then they are out for 2 whole weeks...yea! I think I'm looking forward to it just as much as the boys are -- no lunches or snacks to pack....sleeping late (anything past 6 a.m. works for me!)....just relaxing....aaaaaaahhhhh! Then, I'll be counting down until spring break, but now I'm getting ahead of myself.... :-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Yes - I'm Still Alive - and So Is Charles! :-)

Wow!  Has it really been 2 weeks since my last post?  It does seem like an eternity - but then it also seems like yesterday.  I know I sounded a little psycho in my last post -- sorry!  I was stressed and very sleep deprived - which we all know is a bad combination!  Charles has recovered nicely from his surgery.  He's starting to ease back into "normal" life - whatever that is!  He came home the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  For the first time in our marriage (12 years), we had to skip our traditional Thanksgiving dinner at his grandmother's in Oxford.  We hated missing out on the best food EVER, but fortunately, his brother and mom brought us leftovers.  

Thanksgiving seems like forever ago.  We are now in the throws of the Christmas season.  I feel like I have just topped the first massive hill of a roller coaster and am soaring out of control at top speed to the bottom.  My eyes are closed, and I am holding on tight!  This time of year is just insanely busy - which is probably why I actually dread it every year.  I know - how horrible!  Let me just give an example...this week involved 3 nights of karate (that was just by chance), school program, trip to Wolfchase for Santa pics (which deserves a Prozac for everyone!), Zachary's b'day party, another b'day party for him to go to Saturday....and then there's next week.  Karate Monday, rehearsal for the church Christmas program Wed-Fri for the boys (btw - Josh has a major solo and I am floored!  I never even knew he was interested until he tried out!), and I work Mon, Thurs, and Fri.  Charles will LOVE that!   We have another b'day party next weekend, as well as the church staff Christmas luncheon, and the Christmas program.  I'm HOPING things will slow down the next week.  We need to have a couple of nights of just loading up in the car with hot chocolate and going to look at Christmas lights.  Sarah gets so excited about the lights, and she loooooves her Christmas tree!  I had resigned myself to the fact that we were just not going to have one this year.  That is Charles' project - his baby!  No one helps him because things have to be placed "just so".  With him having surgery, there was no way he could get everything out of the attic and I sure couldn't do it.  He went last weekend and bought a skinny little tree that is really cute!  A far cry from the massive one that normally ornates our living room!  We have this one in the den, right next to the t.v. - a good thing because Ava has to be watched like a hawk!  She really doesn't mess with the ornaments - only the candy canes (which have now all been moved to the top half of the tree!) Our little "chihuahua on crack" (as we so affectionately call her) quickly discovered that they can be easily broken and eaten!  Sarah really doesn't bother the tree - thank goodness!

Well - it is getting late and I am working a little while in the morning, so I need to get some sleep...I promise not to wait 2 weeks before my next post!  I hope you all have a great weekend!