Wednesday, November 30

Christmas Decorating 2011

'Black Friday' was anything but that for us this year. Actually we haven't even participated in the up before dawn festivities. There has never been anything that I want or 'needed' that badly. And I hope there never is!

Our Friday following Thanksgiving was, in my opinion, much more enjoyable! My mama was here and I wanted her to be a part of our setting up and decorating for Christmas. Holidays have been hard for her with both of her parents passing away in recent years and she is an only child. I'm so glad that she has our kids to give her things to look forward to! They are her future. :)

We set up our tree, village and Nativity scene and pondered what traditions we would like to start with our family. I always remembered doing an advent calendar when I was growing up. Maybe you know the kind, that has the doors for each day and you have to find the right one for that day. Behind each door was a piece of chocolate! Every kids dream. I wanted to do an advent calendar with my littles but I wanted it to have a little more to it.

We also, when I was growing up, would do a different activity with the my mom that had to do with the Christmas season. Nothing crazy, just simple and a way to savor the holiday each day! I like that idea and wanted to do that with my littles. So I did what any 2011-itching-to-craft mama would do and searched through Pinterest for ideas of a calendar I could make for our family to use this year and in years to come!

I settled on this one:

{Photo and idea credit here}

And after adding my own twists and ideas into the pattern here's how it turned out:

I used burlap instead of linen and I love the effect it turned out to have!

Once I had the holder I needed to figure out how to fill it. I came across this advent calendar and activity set for little ones and can't wait to use it with the littles!

Click here to buy it for yourself!

It comes with a little word/picture card for each day's activity and scripture reading. Each day has a scripture reading and an ornament to make that goes along with that part of the Christmas story. After going through the whole calendar we will have read and talked about the Christmas story of Jesus' birth! I also alternated a chocolate kiss or candy cane in each day. :) 

There are also a few traditional {and a few new ones} activities that I wanted to include so I made my own cards for those and put them on the days I think they will work best for us. For example, driving around to see Christmas light displays, Zoolights, making goodies for gifts, writing a letter to our Compassion International child, and having a birthday party for Jesus!

Tomorrow is our fist day of our advent calendar and I can't wait to dive in with my littles!!

We also started a new tradition this year with our Nativity scene. Growing up we always kept baby Jesus out of the manger until Christmas morning! I got an idea from here {love this blog btw!} that we are going to start doing each year:

We wrapped baby Jesus in wrapping paper {I debated poking wholes for his nose so he could still breathe} and we'll open Him as our first and most important gift on Christmas day! 

Little Lady helped me wrap Him up and reminds me He's there everyday. What joy! 

Friday evening hubby and I left the littles with their Nana for some quality time and we went out to have some of our own. After a lovely dinner together we headed over to a local Christmas shop that is very popular locally because they have anything and everything imaginable for Christmastime! We picked out our family ornament and one for each of the littles, another tradition we plan to carry out each year. Here is our family ornament this year:

It's SO perfect and displays our family just way we see it, minus the baby bump of course!

And I just had to share my thrift store find from yesterday, as it makes an adorable addition to our Christmas decor!

I have been wanting and looking for a child's wooden rocking chair forever it feels like. And I finally found one yesterday for $10!! And the littles both love it as much as I do! Little Lady's feet don't even touch the ground yet so I know we will get many years of use out of it. I hope to pass it on to their littles some day too!

What are some of your Christmas traditions, old and new?!

Monday, November 28

Funny Little Lady

Just a few of the sweet and funny things that have come out of my two year old recently and on a daily basis:

* She loves for us to read Dr. Suess books to her and lately Green Eggs and Ham is her favorite. Hubby was fixing her lunch and put her plate of food in front of her at the table. She responded with "Thank you, Sam I am!"

* Hubby was taking her to the potty. On their way down the stairs to go to the potty she was taking her time (she has shiny object syndrome real bad). He told her she was a huge dilly dallier. She replied "No I'm not! I'm Evalyn!"

* She was playing with some of her toys in the bath tub. She has a plastic giraffe she is currently very fond of and as she was playing her attention drew away from the giraffe so it started floating away. It caught the corner of her eye and she turned to the fleeing mammal and said "Hey! Come back here you little stinker pot!" Wonder where she has heard that...

* The other bath toy that is a currant favorite is a tiger and she was playing with it by setting it up on the ledge of the tub and I would knock it in. After several times of this she said "Owie! The tiger bit me." I suggested she tell the tiger that isn't very nice to bite people. After telling the tiger that she said, "You bite me again you get a spanken. You want a spanken?! Ok!" as she proceeds to spank the tiger on the bottom. That was a sign of what our day had been like!

* Hubby was taking our darling daughter to the bathroom when she looks at him without hesitation and states "Bubba is a stinker pot and I am a ballerina." 

* She is very much into practicing her mommy skills these days and we find her mothering EVERYthing from her brother to her toys to the Christmas tree! Last night she was concerned that the {artificial} tree was thristy. She found her sippy cup and gave several branches sips from straight from the straw! After sitting on an imaginary chair next to the tree for several minutes, she excitedly hopped up stating asking the tree, "You have to go potty?! Ok!" and pretended to pick the tree up and carry it to an imaginary potty by the front door. And she was very proud of the tree telling her it had to go potty. :)

* And while in the bath tub she had a ball and had wrapped it in a wash cloth saying, "You done? Ok, dry you off." "You want to go in bubbles?" and after shaking the ball as if it were saying 'no' she said "Ok, you go to bed?" The ball nodded yes and she set the ball up on the ledge to go night-night.

* This morning I woke to "Mommy... Mommy..............KATIE! KATIE! KATIE!" over the monitor.

* Last month we went to the pumpkin patch and they had a corn maze there. Upon asking Little lady if she liked the Corn Maze she replied with "It's Cornmazing!" Gotta love that girl!

* The other day around nap time I was putting Little lady down for her nap. Over the monitor I could hear her talking and what not... her usual routine before she falls asleep. It went on longer than usual so I went back in her room to remind her that it was nap time and not play time. Upon entering her room I found clothes on the floor and a half naked 2 year old in her bed. When I asked her why she took her clothes off she replied. "I need to go to the swimming pool."

And that is all for this installment of Funny Little Lady!

Friday, November 25

Thanksgiving 2011

A few of the many things I give thanks for.

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 28 Weeks {3rd Trimester!!}

Size of baby:  Itty Bitty is about the size of a squash!

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  Gained 11 lbs

Maternity Clothes: Yes, but I'm much more comfortable in comfy or pj pants and t-shirts.

Gender: We are having a boy! We announced it here, in case you missed it.

Movement: Getting stronger everyday! At night especially but even through out the day he is moving around in there. I can even see my stomach pop out at some jabs!

Sleep: Acid reflux has been my worst enemy. I have to not eat several hours before going to bed, which usually means I go to bed hungry but I guess it's the lesser evil. I also wake up in the night and can't get back to sleep so I just lay there or turn from side to side until I can get back to sleep.

Symptoms: Most of the symptoms have died down, but I can tell it's the 3rd trimester as I'm usually ready to go to bed for the night by 2 pm.

What I miss: Sleeping on my tummy and not needing a body pillow in bed. 

Cravings: Pumpkin pie or anything pumpkin. Lucky me since it's Thanksgiving week!

Best Moment this week: Realizing I finally made it to the 3rd trimester! It's exciting to think that we are going to have another newborn in the house in less than 3 months!!

What I am looking forward to: Honestly, not being pregnant and getting back to being a not pregnant me. I just can't wait to hold this baby boy in my arms. :)

Tuesday, November 22

Little Dude {13 Months}

What can I say about you, sweet boy, at 13 months?

You have grown and changed so much in the last 30 {+} days! No walking yet, but you are a speedy crawler and I think you are happy with that right now. You love to roll around on the couch and will even stand up with out using anything while you're on the couch. You'll even stand there for a minute or two, swing your arms around and just look steady as a rock! But if we even try to walk with you by holding your hands, you are like putting a cat in water and keep your feet off the ground. Stinker!

You adore your big sissy and often wait for her at the bottom of the stairs while she is taking her nap or in the morning before she wakes up! If we didn't have a gate up at the stairs you'd be up there in heartbeat, you are a stair master!! The only reason I keep the gate up is to keep you and your sister where I know where you are at all times.

We are finally over the hurdle, for the most part, of your gag reflex keeping you from eating solid foods. In fact I am starting to see what everyone warns me about having a boy... you are eating 99% of the time you aren't sleeping! But I won't complain yet because you will eat anything I put in front of you and everyone knows mamas love a non-picky eater!! Lets just hope it stays that way. I wish I could say what your favorites are but you're just excited when I put food down in front of you so it's hard to tell!

Surprisingly, you are pretty good at communicating. You know where the cups are and crawl over to them and point when you want a drink, you have your own sign for eating or you just get cranky, and you actually have an impressive list of words you can say: drink {ink}, ball {ba}, up, down, please {pees}, cheese {whenever you see a camera, even a strangers!}, this {when you want something}, Evie, Hi, Bye, dad, eyes {as you point to any where on your head}, pull {as you pull off your socks I just put on you}... I can't think of any others right now. A lot of the times, you will repeat a word you hear someone else say and if we react with excitement you will just keep saying it over and over.

You love 'reading' books, chasing your sister around the island in the kitchen, bouncing around on the couch, being outside, swinging at the park, going down the slide on your tummy, climbing stairs, eating, eating what ever mama is eating, pulling your socks off, growling when ever you see a lion, tiger {or any other animal you think growls}, 'dancing' to music, pulling mama or sissy's hair, drinking from a straw, bath time, and trying to do any and every thing your big sister is doing!

You are an amazing wonder and so fun to have as a part of our family. Just thinking of you makes me smile! We love you and can't wait to see you grow into the boy and man God has made you to be!

Tuesday, November 15


Change is good.

Change keeps us from getting into routines and being complacent. Routines feel safe, I'll be the first to admit that! But that's not always what is best for us. Routine keeps us from relying on God and believing we can do life with out Him. When we have change, we are often forced to rely on God and trust that He will take care of the things we can't, the things that are unknown.

But, change is hard.

We have some change come up in our families routine in the form of a new job for hubby! The change has been unexpectedly harder for me than I ever thought imaginable. It's change in schedule, pay, insurance, and everything else we are used to. All the changing, it's brought out the ugliest of ugly in me! Yikes! The last few weeks were some of the darkest and hardest I've experienced in a long while. My rebellious spirit against the Lord was a rude awakening to some much needed change in my heart.

And slowly, I've been able to humble myself to allowing God to use the change for the better in our lives and in our family. I don't trust very easily, and that starts with my relationship with God. If I can't trust the one who made me or has my fate in His control, who can I trust? God's word tells me He is trustworthy.

During this past Sunday's message at church, it was said that "The greatest contender for God's best isn't the 'bad' things. The greatest contender for God's best are the things that I think are good." That statement could sum up the struggles that I've been wrestling with the past couple weeks. God is removing or weaning me from {asking me to let go of} things that in themselves aren't bad or sinful. They just aren't the best He has for me. But I try to tell myself, it really isn't bad or is God really requiring that of you? Which is just the Devil trying to get me of course with my greatest weakness, not trusting in God.

Change is good.

When I let go of those things that are not God's best for me, I feel free! I feel like me again and not a grouchy, ungrateful person that has been me for a couple weeks. I no longer face misery and self pity each morning, but instead see the unmeasurable blessings before me! I am so glad to be coming out on the other side of this cloud and seeing so much clearer that God loves me and He has a plan and He has better than better for me, He has the best!

I can not wait to see what it holds my family. I'm going to try my best to embrace the changes as they come and choose joy for the Lord!

Thursday, November 10

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 7, 8, 9 & 10!

I know I've been lagging in my blogging of thankfulness, but I haven't been lagging in the actual thankfulness...

Ok, maybe it's been a little bit harder this week to find the things I'm thankful for. It's been a rough week. The Lord is doing some serious sifting in my life and can I just say it hurts, a lot. But it's a good pain. A pain I may find hard to be thankful for today but I know I'll be grateful when I see the fruits of His work in me!

So on to my thankfulness:

Day 7:

I'm thankful that this heartburn, among other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, is only temporary!

Day 8:

I'm thankful for my 2yr old daughter who keeps me laughing even when parenting challenges arise. Her 
reason for taking all her clothes off in her crib? She needs to go in the swimming pool, of course!!

Day 9:

I'm thankful for 2 out of 3 working toilets and being caught up on laundry!

Day 10:  

I am so thankful for a beautiful day to take the littles to the park and get some fresh air today! We all needed it :)

Sunday, November 6

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 6

Today I'm thankful for my church family and all the amazing things that the Lord is doing through the people. I love that they are just about sharing Jesus, nothing else. I'm thankful for the sound biblical teaching no matter who is at the pulpit and that I am constantly being encouraged in things of the Lord in what ever I'm goin through.

Saturday, November 5

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 5

I am so very thankful for a loyal, steady, helpful, handsome husband.

Yesterday he surprised me with starting the crock pot dinner before going in to work while I ran errands with the littles. He even left me a sweet note of encouragement.

I love you, Brandon.

Friday, November 4

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 4

Since I missed a day...

I am thankful to have another day to be thankful!


I am thankful for the hope of Jesus and his return to come and take me home and be with Him!

Wednesday, November 2

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 2

Plenty of snow on the ground and more coming down

baked potato soup in the crock pot

and a day playing inside with my littles

  thats what I'm thankful for today!

Tuesday, November 1

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day 1

I'm taking the idea of expressing my gratitude for a different thing each day of this month from Kristen over at We are THAT family's blog. Just like her, I want to take time to acknowledge something I'm thankful for, even if it's just a sentence.

On this chilly first day of November, I am thankful for a warm house and a cozy bed and a hot meal.

What are you thankful for?


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