Monday, December 24, 2012

A bed for Baby Jesus

This Christmas Eve our family is making a bed for the Baby Jesus. All day long, as we do acts of service, kindness, and love we will put pieces of "hay" in the manger to make a soft bed for Jesus. When I explained it to the kids, their sweet faces lit up with excitement. Immediately, they jumped up to start their service to someone else. Ayden unloaded the dishwasher and Ellie cleaned up the living room. And they have been speaking very kindly to one another and trying to find other ways to put the hay in the manger.
I remember doing this one year growing up and thinking it was so special. I'm excited for our family to have this tradition. I love the feeling of peace and love that is already filling our home. I thought this idea would go along perfectly with The 25 Days of Christ that we've been doing. It's a great way for our children to understand the true meaning of Christmas: serving and loving others the way Christ did.

Birthday Not Forgotten

Spencer and I have birthdays only 3 days apart and about a week before Christmas. We don't usually do anything big, just a dessert and dinner of choice. The kids always make us special posters displaying our old age and loving words. But other than that, we don't make our birthdays a big celebration. 
But this year, Spencer went outside the box with a big Surprise.
I LOVE the Forgotten Carols! It's one of my favorite Christmas stories and we've made it a tradition to watch it on DVD every Christmas Eve, but I've never seen the live play. So I was VERY excited when Spencer presented play tickets as a birthday gift! He's been planning this for 2 months, what a sweetheart. It was so fun to watch it live and to see the tiny changes that happen in live performances. I think I had a smile on my face the whole time. Well, except during the song Mary Let Me Hold Her Baby, I bawled through that. Tears were streaming down my face! But I always do, no matter how many times I hear it. It reminds me of special people in my life.
We had so much fun going out together and sharing this. It was the perfect gift. I love that Spencer knows me so well!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What we've been Up to

These last few weeks have gone by so quickly and I haven't had time to blog all that we've been doing. Here's a long post (sorry) of what we've been up to the past few weeks. 

I LOVE putting up Christmas in the house and always want to get it up right after Thanksgiving. Spencer...not so much. I tease him that he's a Scrooge. But this year, I did get the Christmas tree up earlier than December 1st and Spencer was willing to forgo his "scrooginess"  and get lights up on the house. 
last but not least, the star on top
 We've also been getting to snuggle with Katie's baby, Kaleb. He is known in our house as "baby Kaleb" not just Kaleb. If you leave out the "baby" part, Tate goes "Kaleb what?" until you fix it and say the whole title. 
Ayden can't get enough of him and will hold him as long as he can.

 Ellie loves holding him too and especially loves his toes. "they are so tiny" she always says! I love that she's wearing curlers in her hair for this picture. It was in preparation for a Christmas Party.

 We also have had a few family parties to attend. The first was a bowling party with the whole Shaw family. 
goofy boy!

 All the kids had a lot of fun, Spencer is included in this category too. He played in a game against all the men in the family. I'm not sure who won, but I do know it wasn't him. All his hours of Wii bowling did not pay off. 
Ayden didnt want to have to use the ramp and wanted to bowl all by himself. Half way through his game, I think he came to understand the value of the ramp for little arms!
Ellie loved it, and no matter if she hit a pin or not was just happy that her ball made it all the way down the lane. 

 Our next family party was with my Aunt Paula and Dave Millett. She's not really our aunt, she's my dad's cousin, but we've always called her Aunt Paula. And they were kind enough to invite us to their family party. Santa even made an appearance. Tate was the only one who didn't want to sit on his lap.
Ayden asked for football cards

Ellie asked for Tinkerbell fairies
Tate was too nervous to sit on his lap, but he did whisper to Santa what he wanted while I held him, which was football guys. 

I was able to help in Ellie's class for her Christmas party. My neighbor Keisha and I put the party together and it turned out pretty cute. The kids got to make reindeer headbands and Christmas ornaments using their fingerprints as snowmen, and of course decorate cookies. Their teacher invited all parents to come for small Christmas concert.

Ellie loves singing so this was her favorite part. It's adorable how they all paid special attention to their teacher for their hand actions. I love Ellie's face in this picture, she was so excited! 
Miss Andrus does a wonderful job with her class and we are so thankful Ellie has her as a teacher.


We've had a very busy month and are looking forward to some days together as a family. The kids have been doing our advent calendar and "count down to Christmas" blocks. We also started a new tradition called the The 25 Days of Christ.(see the link) Every day has an ornament that corresponds with a scripture, picture, movie, and quote about Christ. It's been a wonderful thing for us to do together every night. And the kids love it, they always ask what ornament is next. We would recommend this for everyone. We wish everyone a beautiful holiday and can't wait to enjoy ours!
watching Christmas movies together

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New cousin

Last weekend, we got to meet the newest addition to Katie and Adam's family: Kaleb. He's such a sweet baby and my kids absolutely love him. They couldn't wait to hold him. I think Ayden was the most excited out of all 3. 

 At first Tate was a little wary of Kaleb, which was really weird because all week Tate had been pushing a baby stroller and "baby Kaleb" all over the house. Eventually, Tate got used to the idea that Kaleb was a real baby. 
Ayden didn't want his turn to end and kept asking for more. Afterward, he came over and whispered "Mom, when are we gonna have another baby?" He loves babies right now.

Ellie loved holding her new cousin too, but I think her favorite part was when Aunt Katie let her put lotion on Kaleb's feet. She was so careful to warm up the lotion in her hands first and so gentle as she put it on his feet and toes. And being a true newborn, Kaleb slept through every bit of it!

Tate got a turn to "cuddle" with Kaleb on the couch, which meant he got to lay down while holding him. Kaleb was awake this go around and the kids were mesmerized by him. Tate loved looking at his fingers!
We are so happy for Katie and Adam and so thankful they are willing to share these little moments with us. We love you all and are so excited for your new family. Congrats!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Who needs an Alarm clock...

...when you've got sick kids. I hate it when little kids get sick. They can never tell you exactly what's wrong and you figure it out too late. Last night, Aunt Dani took all 3 kids for a sleepover at her house. Wonderful! Spencer and I got to enjoy a nice evening together while the kids did crafts and movies with Aunt Dani. Perfect evening for everyone......or so we thought!
Around 11:15pm, I was just falling asleep when Spencer says "Do you have your phone up here in case the kids need something?" I'm not kidding, 30 seconds later my phone rings and it's Danielle telling me Tate has thrown up all over her. Joy. So we quickly went to Danielle's house and picked up Taters. He was laying on Danielle's bed, freshly bathed, looking pale and sad and the only thing he said was "I want Daddy." The poor little guy was so pathetic. 
After getting home and settled, we were just about asleep when Tate started up again. 3 more times through the night, and we were all exhausted. We chuckled about the Bill Engvall bit about nothing will make you go from laying sound asleep to jumping up out of bed wide awake like the sound of a child puking. So true!