Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Contentment

We are on Christmas vacation here at our house. Although Reed has gone back to work, the kids and I are taking this week to just relish in Christmas. I am on break from being a teacher, but I am looking forward to what we will be exploring and learning in the second half of the school year. But for now, I am content. The kids aren't running around looking expectantly at gifts under the tree nor are they unsatisfied with the gifts they were given. Of course, Jonah thinks that there still is not enough Thomas related paraphernalia in our house and is already adding things to his 'birthday list' (His birthday is in April!!). Otherwise, the kids are for the most part quietly playing with the new toys and Lily is busy reading like crazy. These last few days I have been especially mindful of the areas of motherhood that I could work on a bit more. And, with the new year right around the corner I think it will be a good time to work harder. A few things on the top of my list: patience & better discipline with the kids. There's a lot more, but for now I also want continued contentment. It does my heart, mind & soul a lot of good. We'll see how long my resolve lasts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Purpose of Christmas

As advent is coming to a close and the Christmas season is upon us, I am trying to keep in mind the reason for our celebration. So, the other day I bought the new book by Rick Warren, 'The Purpose of Christmas'. I had heard that it was a quick read and figured with less than a week until Christmas I'd get it finished. I am just about done with it, but I am thinking that it may be a good book to read again and re-direct my attention. If nothing else, I think it will be a good advent reading book for me each year. Yes, some of the things it covers aren't anything new to me, but it does have a way of giving the gentle reminders needed in this season. Here's a little peak at what it offers:

Christmas is a time for Celebration!
*God loves you!
*God is with you!
*God is for you!

Christmas is a time for Salvation!
*Jesus saves you from something.
*Jesus saves you for something.
*Jesus saves you by something.

Christmas is a time for Reconciliation!
*Peace with God
*The peace of God
*Peace with others

I need to remind myself what the true purpose of Christmas is this year and celebrate it as a birthday party for Jesus! I hope to accept, unwrap and enjoy God's Christmas gift for all of us.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You know Gordon & Henry and Rosie & Percy....

....but do you know the most famous engine of all? Thomas the cheeky engine...

Ok, if you are not a parent of a 3 yr. old boy or have not been around my son Jonah, you may have no clue what I am talking about. If any of these names are frequently used in your house, then you probably have a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine living in your midst. Yes, Thomas is HUGE in Jonah's life. He knows each engine by name and can recognize them instantly. This obsession of his had me stop and do some counting the other day as we played:25 engines, 20 coal cars or other cars, 11 vehicles/other non-engine friends of Thomas. Yes, we really have that many! That isn't even mentioning the tracks and buildings that we also have in our house! Granted, we haven't purchased him all of these since he's received some as gifts and he has added to his collection probably for about 2 years, but at an average of $5-$6 an engine...well, you do the math. I will admit that although sometimes his Thomas-itis gets overwhelming, I don't think this is the worst toy to get addicted to. He loves playing with them and it really encourages his imagination as he has the engines all interact together. So, I'll continue to tolerate more Thomas in our lives and enjoy his fascination with him. Although I will say, great marketing and appeal to little boys (or even girls) like mine? Yes, I definitely think so!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Outside My Window

It's December in Minnesota. And Winter has officially hit. Enough said. Here's what things around my yard look like.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanks HG-tv!!

While watching HG-tv the other week (something I rarely get the chance to do), they were airing a holiday decorating special. They were showing 25 inexpensive ways to decorate for the holidays. A number of them caught my eye, but this one I figured I could actually do and would be a wonderful addition to the Christmas decor in our home. I was able to purchase all I needed at Menards(similar to Home Depot)for around $11!! I was THRILLED when I actually pulled this off and I am LOVING the addition it makes to our dining room.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Beginning to Sew

We bought Lily a beginning to sew kit for her birthday. It was a basic, pre-packaged kit with all the supplies ready for use. I thought it would be a good starter for her to get into some easy projects that her little hands could handle. I am also putting together for her some fleece squares for a tie blanket as a Christmas gift. Since winter can get kind of long here, I figured that would be an enjoyable project for us to work on. We'll see if she enjoys it as much as the little kitty and heart that were her first projects.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Can I have fries with that?

The other day as I was going about my duties in the kitchen, I noticed how peaceful things were in my home. The kids were contently playing together and they were going about the house playing something or other. A few minutes later I overheard Jonah talking in front of the fridge. I couldn't hear what he said and wondered what they were playing that would lead him into the kitchen, talking to the fridge! Shortly after Lily came in and proceeded to do the same. As she stood in front of the fridge I quietly stood behind her as I heard her place an order for food. I soon realized that they were out and about in 'town' and each had gone thru the 'drive-up' and placed their order! It was too cute, especially when I saw the reason they were ordering in front of the fridge: we have a magnetic Leap Frog Fridge DJ and the speaker on it does resemble a drive-up speaker! I had to chuckle at their creativity in recognizing the similarity. They certainly have wonderful little imaginations and I'm glad I get to see them in action every day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Christmas preparations are in full swing (almost) here. We've decorated the house and have started wrapping gifts. Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year! Of course, we try to also keep in mind the season of Advent in our home as well. We've been working on advent crafts and coloring pages already. We try to also use gentle reminders to the kids about the real reason for our celebrating at Christmas. Last year we were given a book titled 'Jotham's Journey' by Arnold Ytreeide and we used it throughout advent. The book is a wonderful storybook and we enjoyed incorporating it into our family advent reading. Each day the story unfolds and continues as you journey with a small boy as he searches across Israel for his family after getting lost. He is faced with meeting thieves,robbers,and kidnappers along the way and finally he encounters the wise men and shepherds as he finds his way to Bethlehem. Our kids enjoyed it, even at their young age. Let us all keep in mind who's birth we eagerly await at Christmas. This Advent, I know I need to be more mindful of preparing my heart for the birth of our King.

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