Monday, December 29, 2008

Nativity Advent Calendar

Since I posted about our advent calendar, I have had several requests for the website we found it on-- Cherry Lane Keepsakes.  They were out-of-stock last time I checked, but maybe you can get a post-Christmas deal on it which is how I always buy holiday decorations with this one exception.   It's wood and metal so we felt it was worth it to have it last through years of use with young children.  

Since Charlton is an attorney we have gotten into the habit of making disclaimers for anything we recommend.  And since I'm posting it on my blog, the potential for a bad outcome is higher.  This is the only thing we have ever bought on this website and do not know a whole lot about it.  We were happy with the service on the order of this one item and were more than satisfied with the product that we received.  So there you go.    

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

I uploaded the pictures to this post last week but didn't have time to finish writing and post before Christmas Day and going out of town.

I got up a little earlier on Christmas Sunday to make sure we had enough time to take pictures before we left for church.  The Sunday before Christmas is special to me.  I always look forward to worship on Sunday morning, but we've been celebrating advent the whole month of December so I felt that my heart was more prepared for it this year.  Everything about Christmas is so fun from white lights to reindeer and I have no problem enjoying them all as long as we stay focused on our Savior's birth.  God sacrificed His ONLY son for us sinners who can do nothing to deserve it.  As I delight in watching my beautiful boy grow every day I can only begin to understand what a huge sacrifice that is.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

This year's Christmas picture bloopers from the three (soon-to-be four in February) cousins: Saige saw something that apparently was pretty funny to all of them.  So much for the idyllic picture I had in my head of the three of them snuggling and smiling in Popo's Santa sleigh.  Some one should tell you when you're becoming a mom that those rarely happen- especially when multiple children are involved.  =)  Steven looks like he's on a roller coaster; at least he's having fun!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Away in the Manger

We bought an advent calendar just in time for this Christmas season.  You wouldn't think that a nativity advent calendar would be hard to find considering that the purpose of advent is to focus us on the birth of Christ (and his return).  Unfortunately, that isn't so--Charlton had to surf through dozens of Santa and his elves, snowmen, and various other kinds of cartoon-like decorative calendars to find this one.  We wanted something that would help Steven become more involved in our family worship time and get him excited about the story of Christ's birth (the reason we celebrate Christmas).  
Charlton did an awesome job finding this one because Steven loves it!  Each door contains a magnetic nativity character that he places in the stable background.  He usually asks to do it during the day and always wants to open more than one door at night.  It has totally changed our devotional time because he is now enthusiastic about everything we are doing and is actively participating.  It's been a practical way for us to share and explain Christ's birth to him in a way him can understand.  He'll be sad to put it away but it's a new tradition that we'll look forward to having with him every Christmas season.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The First Noel

Yesterday we had our first Christmas with all of Charlton's family at Mimi and Popo's.  It was a full day of fun.

And yes, it came with a sword, how cool is that:
Just had to get this book for our very own "Fancy Nancy"!
Santa, who's Santa?  Is he as cool as Mimi and Popo?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

When Christmas Comes to Town

This what is looks like at Mimi and Popo's when Christmas comes to Houston.  Popo is the Christmas light expert of the family and people come from all over the area to see his lights.  This was the first year the kids really enjoyed the lights, and boy, do they LOVE them!  The choo-choo train is a big hit!  I took these quickly while the kids were running around in the yard tonight and they don't really do Popo's masterpiece justice (you have to see them in person) but it gives you an idea.  We had our Christmas with them today-more pictures to post tomorrow!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oh Little Child of Bethlehem

We have not left the house much this week but I have still had plenty to keep me busy.  Steven came down with a cold last weekend so we have been quarantined to the house all week to prevent him from getting more sick and passing it on to anyone else.  I feel sure that a cold is not on many wish lists this season.  
Poor kid has had a really bad cough that wakes him (and us) up in the middle of the night and naps, so there were a couple of rough nights at the beginning of the week but he is improving leaps and bounds everyday.  He's been sleeping through the night again for the last few nights and last night I got eight hours again- oh, how glorious!  His cough is almost gone so I think he'll be fine by Saturday which is when we are having Christmas with Charlton's family- that has been my only goal this week to get him as healthy as possible by then.  
It was with this goal in mind, I kept him home from school both days this week and I was really bummed about it because this week he would have had his first Christmas program.  His class was only singing one song, but I was still looking forward to getting every second on the video camera.   He loves to sing right now so I know he would have sung his little heart out and it would have been so cute!  (Sigh) I know that there will probably be many more Christmas programs in our future so I'm trying to move past it.  =)
We are very blessed with a happy little boy.  Even being sick this week, he has been happy and content to play in the house every day; although, he was down right giddy when we made a grocery run to Wal-Mart yesterday.  All this inside fun with me will just make all our Christmas gatherings even that much more fun for him!  He has so much enthusiasm for all things Christmas- it's fun to experience it with child-like excitement again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

I fell off the Blog Challenge wagon for a couple of days, but now I'm back!   This weekend we went to visit Charlton's grandparents and had our annual Christmas reunion with that whole side of our family.  It was a quick trip but it was good to see everyone none the less.  Mimi bought all the little ones Christmas pjs again this year and we commenced with the yearly group picture torture.  (I just went to Charlton's cousin, Kristi, blog and she has a great comparison of the three older kiddos over the last three years).

Steven (27 mos), Billy (27 mos), Bristyn (8 mos), Meadow (13 mos), Saige (28 mos)


All the great-grandkids with Mama and Papa

A pretty good picture considering I waited until right before we left to take a picture of these three.  We can always get a picture of the cousins here but the girls looked so cute in their polka dots and tights that I had to try.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Up on a housetop...'s a bird, it's a plane, it's...we tell him the "S" stands for Steven.

  He has no idea who Superman is but he went crazy when I pulled him out of his drawer for the first time.  I was looking for bright red pajama bottoms for his Thing 1 Halloween costume and saw these pjs- gotta love costumes that are multi-purpose.  We told him to stand on the ottoman and jump off which he already does anyway and loves!  Have you ever seen a cuter super hero? Don't you feel safer already?!

Friday, December 12, 2008

God Rest You Merry Gentleman

Steven decided to take a reading break from playing the other day  and Charlton found him in the middle of all his books in his room in this same position- his back against his train table and his feet up on this basket of books.  He moved by the time I got back with the camera, and Charlton put his pillow behind his back because it seemed more comfortable- so thoughtful!  Steven was so active so early (walking at 10 1/2 months active) that he was not interested in sitting still for us to read to him much until after he was 18 months.  He is still pretty busy but has "matured" so that he can now sit still and focus on different activities for a time; however, reading is now one of his favorites things to do and we usually tire of reading aloud to him before he is ready to be done.  Charlton and I both love to read so we are delighted to share this "hobby" with him and glad that it is something we can enjoy as a family for many years to come.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Frosty the Snowman

I stand does snow in Houston.  It's been a few years since I've seen any snow at all here especially in mid-December.  These pictures were taken when Charlton got home from work and I should have gone back out and taken some more before bed because our yard was a beautiful white blanket which of course is now gone.  We grabbed Steven's quilt and wrapped it around him last night.  He was really excited to go out and that excitement lasted about two minutes outside when he realized how cold it was, then he buried his face in the quilt and moaned to go in.  Of course as soon as we went in, he wanted to go back out.  Charlton built him a little snowman- raisin eyes and dried mango nose (I was out of baby carrots)- isn't that how the song goes?  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Saturday afternoon we went to our neighborhood's snow day.  They had artificial (obviously) snow in two small patches in the park for kids to play on.  This is the first time that Steven has encounter it first hand.  He points it out in books but as you can tell from his face it was much different in person and he wasn't sure what to think of it.  Walking on it was tricky and it only took one slip to put him bare belly on the ice (it was pretty hard by the time we got there)- that was the end of snow day for Steven.  Poor kid, that's probably the only snow he'll see all winter and he didn't get a very good first impression.  He much preferred the bounce house they had also set-up. 

Let's just go over to your house and play, Will.

Not super excited, are they?

This is so much more fun, Aunt Lindsay!

On the way home, Steven has the "I'm glad we live in Texas" look.  I won't tell him the real thing is pretty awesome.