Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas is coming....

It's coming! Dare I say this, Christmas isn't my favorite holiday. Don't tell my kids. I love that Christmas is the Saviour's birth. I wish that was all that went along with the holiday. I know it's up to me. I get so stressed with the cards, gift buying, food prep, tree cutting, decorating, and social calendar. NONE of this has anything to do with celebrating Christ's birth. Each year I'm a little better at slowing down and focusing on what matters. It doesn't matter if I get my sons' teacher the perfect gift. It doesn't matter if I make a million cookies, candy, and special things. Last year I started putting up my nativity set first thing. I put it up on the fireplace mantel where it's front and center. As I get stressed and start feeling the dread I go and gaze at Baby Jesus. It helps get my perspective in order. I want my kids to enjoy Christmas and think of it's true meaning. I want them to know how blessed they. We will be collecting money for the poor. Buying gifts for children in orphanages and local charities too. My goal is to spend more time in prayer during this Advent season. That will surely get my mind focused on what is important. I don't want to completely leave out the Christmas traditions that bring myself and my family joy either. So, I've learned to start early and pace myself. Here I go. May the Glory of the Lord endure forever.....especially in my heart and mind this Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2007

First Snow

We had a fire in the fireplace.
We had soup and bread for dinner.
What a perfect night for snow.
The kids were very excited and wanted to know if it was Christmas!

Out of the mouths of babes!

As I was squeezing into my just out of the dryer jeans, I commented that they were "oh so tight and that my stomach was getting too fat". My sweet 4 yr. old then says, "No, it's your butt". OUCH! That will teach me to comment on my body in front of the kids;)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Today and Everyday

We have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about what we are thankful for. There is so much! I think the thing I am most thankful for is our bounty of food and clean water. I am thankful that my children are always full. I can't imagine the horrors of seeing your child go hungry day after day. This picture was taken in Ethiopia just outside the Layla House Orphanage gates. This mother was sitting with her daughter collecting what money she could. I think of them often. I pray for them often. May their bellies be full. May God bless them and all of us on this special day of Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Feast Day

The Presentation Of The Theotokos Into The Temple is celebrated today. Take time to reflect on the most holy of mothers. Go to this site to view the wonderful story of this feast day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

School Crafts

I love all the art and craft projects my boys bring home from school. This week we have the cutest Thanksgiving themed items. The turkeys are from the 6th grader and the village is from the pre-schooler. Baby guy hasn't been doing any turkey art but he did FINALLY cut another bottom tooth! Woohoo. He is 20 mos. old and only has 7 teeth! It doesn't stop him from eating anything, including steak:)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Worn Out

One of our favorite children's book series is the Olivia books by Ian Falconer. Olivia is so funny and just cracks us up. At my sew day yesterday I made a pillowcase out of Olivia fabric. It really sums up how I feel at the end of the day......Worn Out!
This is a must on our Christmas list! What are your favorite children's books?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Give Thanks

Psalm 104:33
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

This is our Thankful Tree hanging on our dinning room window. Each night after dinner we think of things we are thankful for. Then we write it onto a leaf and put it up on the tree. We have much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daddy is Home

My hubby works 3, 12 hour shifts a week as an ICU RN.....on graveyard. He sleeps during the day, eats dinner with us at 5:00 and then leaves for work at 5:45. He returns home at 8:00 in the morning, goes to bed and starts it all over. He works long hours with little or no breaks in a fast paced stress filled environment. The nice part is that he has long stretches of time off with the family too. The kids (and I) are really missing him after the 3rd and sometimes 4th day in a row of not seeing him except at dinnertime. When it's Daddy's day off the boys know it and wait all day for him to sleep and then get up and PLAY!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Church Cats

My friend in Greece sent this to me. Too funny!

A mother looked out a window and saw Johnny playing church with their three kittens. He had them lined up and was preaching to them. The mother turned around to do some work. A while later she heard meowing and scratching on the door. She went to the window and saw Johnny baptizing the kittens. She opened the window and said, "Johnny, stop that! You'll drown those kittens." Johnny looked at her and said with much conviction in his voice: "They should have thought of that before they joined my church."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Boy games

Finally, someone to play Risk with Papa! Well, at least Mr. Boss (new and more fitting nickname) was learning math values of less than more than.

Baby Guy's new game called Raid the Pantry. This was done to a brand new package of noodles. That night at dinner Mr. Boss asks, "Is this the same noodles Baby Guy dumped out today?" Yes, it was!...hey, my floors are clean and I didn't have time to go to the store;)

Another of Baby Guy's Raid the Pantry games. He filled the garbage with all my canned goods. Isn't anyone watching this kid?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bunk Beds!

The big boys got bunk beds yesterday. They are very excited. Baby Guy is trying to figure out how to climb up to the top. So far he can't do it but I know it won't be long. Baby Guy will be joining the big boy room when little sister comes home. I'm shopping Craigslist for a toddler bed.

Snuggling on Tuba's bunk.

These pictures were taken by Mr. 4 yr. old....I was on the phone and when he asked if he could take a picture I just handed him my camera so he would be quiet. Then I went out of the room and 30 minutes later I remembered that he had my camera!!! Yikes, he took 30 some pictures. Not bad...he already takes a better picture than his dad:) He was up on the top bunk shooting photos of his brothers.

Smile Tuba!

Oh, and he took photos of the stars and planets above his bunk that he put up yesterday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hugs Anyone?

13 Year Old Girl Gets Detention For Hugging. This is the headline that caught my eye today. Schools are moving to a no PDA policy which includes hugging. What? Hugging? Now, I've worked in plenty of schools and seen PDA gone too far....but hugging? I think that is taking things a bit too far. I remember back to middle school and I hugged all my friends. Most of you know that I'm a huggy person and we are a huggy family. So I say, give someone a hug today in protest of this silly rule. Here's some of my favorite huggers!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Marble Jar

I invented the marble jar as a way to reward and encourage "acts of kindness" between the boys. If I see or hear one of them doing something nice or saying something especially nice to each other then I give the child a marble to put into the jar. Once the marbles are filled to the top of the "Ball" on the jar then we go on a special outing. This time we will be going to the Children's Museum. It's also a great way for me to focus on the postive behavior. Some days feel like endless time outs and this gets me looking for the good things they are doing. Today Mr. 4 yr. old got a marble for hugging and comforting Baby Guy. It was a hoot because Baby Guy was bawling after getting a time out for whacking Mr. 4 yr. old. At least nobody holds a grudge!

Let There Be Light

I love daylight savings time! I have never cared anything about it before but this year putting Tuba on the bus in the pitch dark has been terrible. Each morning he would point out the stars to me as we stood at the end of our driveway waiting for the bus. is glorious...we stand in the light and wait. I feel more awake and energetic (even if I'm standing at the bus stop in my pj's). Tuba has been easier to wake up too:) Of course the sun sets now at 4:50!'s worth it to me this year. To learn more about daylight savings time check out this link.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Shopping for a cause

The holidays are just around the corner. It's time to start thinking about getting some gift buying done. Here are two great places to shop.

Our adoption agency runs this store at There are many beautiful Ethiopian items including, clothing, scarves, crosses, toys.

There are also some beautiful things at featuring scenes of Ethiopia. Also, adoption cards and announcements....these are hard to find!

Happy Shopping!

Costume Showoff

Here's my boys (Tigger, Star Wars Storm Trooper, and Darth Vader).

And here's my friend's little boy in the MOST amazing home made costume ever! It even had lights on the front that blinked. Hay-you win the "Mother-of-the-year-costume-extraordinaire-maker"!


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