Tag Archives: Christmas

Currently: Christmas Edition and Photo Explosion!

Well, it’s time for a little Christmas update! We had so much fun hosting my family here for a few days, eating a TON of food (can you say 8lbs of prime rib?) and sweets, and giving and getting copious amounts of presents. Hubby and I spent most of Christmas Eve leading worship at three services at our church, thankful that our kids could enjoy the day with family, even if it was without us. Here is a little more about our Christmas, and what we are currently doing…

Smelling || my new candles from my brother and his girlfriend. They. Are. Magical. And no pun intended! 

Playing || dress up! In addition to a few new games and building-type toys, the big kids got several new dress up outfits, and they’ve been hamming it up big time. They both love playing dress up and pretending, so between my mom and me, we spoiled them with some new outfits. 

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Eating || this hunk of prime rib. It was so amazing I forgot to take a picture of it cooked before we ate it all! 

Enjoying || several days with family we don’t see as often. It might’ve felt chaotic with so many people and so much stuff, but I totally enjoyed it.

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Waiting || to take down our decorations and lights until New Years. I really enjoy the way my house looks when it’s this time of year, so I am rarely in a hurry to take them down.

Anticipating || seeing Moana later this week! I’m excited to go to the theatre again, and I’m hoping the kids all do as well this time as they did when we saw Finding Dory a few months ago. Snacks seems to be the best thing for maximizing their attention span.

Well, that’s pretty much it for what we’ve been up to. Here are a few more pictures that don’t really fit anywhere, but are super cute. I sure love my people.

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Things Toddlers Say 

Hey there, and happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We sure did – we hosted and had a total of 13 here for about three days, and completed our celebrations with sugary hangovers yesterday. Back to a little more normal today, thankfully. Here are a few of our funnies from the past week. I tried to live in the moment and keep my phone out of my hand as much as possible, but I did write down these for ya! Enjoy!

EK: You should sleep down here! (in her room)
Me: Do you think Daddy would miss me?
EK: No, he’s at a long gig. You can sleep with me because I don’t snore.
Me: *dead*

EK coming out of the bathroom: Mom, we really should clean the toilets.

EK, on our waiter at the Mexican restaurant: He looks like a prince!

Bedtime stalling techniques of the week:
EK: Can you ask Daddy to put a stained glass window in our house?
A few minutes later…
EK: I think Daddy knows how to make windows.

Christmas morning, EK: What is all this stuff?
Me: Santa came!
EK: Oh.
Me: *face palm*about the money I spent*

EK: Look, I made bacon!

J: Can you sing a song about a doggy?
Me, singing: How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the wiggly tail…
J: No, like Charwotte, with the black eyes and the house and the pumpkin patch.
Me: *still clueless*
Me, 20 minutes later: Charlotte’s Web!

J: When I was a baby like D, I broke something very fwagile.
Me: Oh really?
J: Yeah, it was a very adult cup.
Me: Oh wow. Well I’m sure it’s alright now.
J: Yeah, and when I’m an adult, I could drink a lemon.
Me: Okay…

J spent several minutes drawing eyes and “zipping it”, aka sliding the bar across to erase what he’d drawn. He drew D, and EK, and finally settled on “Mike the Monster who has one eye” (from Monsters Inc.). And then he asked me not to “zip it”. 

EK, at the children’s museum: Daddy! I’m gonna go climb the bean stump!
Whole room: *dies laughing*

Well, I hope you enjoyed our funnies! Have a great week!

I want them to open their presents already!

Christmas has always been a time of year that I’ve loved. I’ve loved giving gifts and getting gifts, listening to and performing the music, putting up and enjoying the decorations, and attending the extra parties and get-togethers. When I went away from my hometown for college, I loved coming home and experiencing Christmas in my town and my church. And now that I stay in my new town (well, now I’ve been here over a decade), everyone travels to me and my family, and it’s a different kind of fun.

In between the hosting, the practicing and performing, and the unloading Christmas-y stuff from the attic, I really, really enjoy shopping for my kiddos (I mean, for everyone, but especially my kiddos) and wrapping all the presents. Sometimes, I wrap little gifts and put them all into a bigger box, which I also wrap. I get it from my mom. Anyway, I’ve been hoarding presents big and small for so long (my Christmas shopping was 90% done in early November) that my excitement has reached a point where I can hardly stand seeing the presents under the tree any longer. There have been two separate occasions where I have almost handed everyone a present just to see their little faces.

I’ve been very excited about seeing them open their presents for weeks. I know that presents aren’t the most important thing about Christmas; we’ve spent hours reading and talking about the birth of Jesus and the surrounding stories. We’ve spent a lot of time making other memories – baking, driving around to see lights, making ornaments, and watching our favorite Christmas movies. But the one thing I’m still really looking forward to is their faces on Christmas morning, and watching them open each present, look around for, me and their daddy, and the excitement we can share as we see each new thing and spend the whole day just playing.

My grandmother and I were talking on the phone recently, about her plans to come up and be with us for Christmas. She mentioned tat she knew our house was full, and she’d be happy to wait till the rush was over to come, but that Christmas just wasn’t as wonderful without the presence children. And how right is she?! As adults, we often lose some of the magic and the excitement, but children can restore the wonder and fun of Christmas, if we allow their excitement to be catching.

I know that my excitement hasn’t waned since having kids, and each year, they’re a little more in tune to what Christmas is all about, and keeping the magic going throughout the Advent season, all the way through the new year. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My Kids’ 5 Favorite Tree Ornaments

I don’t know about your Christmas decorations, but there has been a lot of time, effort and money that’s been put into my Christmas tree. It’s an artificial tree that’s six years old. I’ve replaced the lights, compiled ornaments from every Christmas of my life (literally – we’ll get to that in a minute) and started getting some sweet things that represent my whole family.

This year, my kids have been carrying certain ornaments around the house and I keep having to ask them to be really careful. So I thought it might be amusing to share with you what their five favorite ornaments are… especially since none of them are handmade with pride or featuring their faces, like you might expect. 

1. The obnoxious singing cow. I’ll spare you details (aka the video of it happening) and just give you the cliff notes: it “moos” its way through “Jingle Bells” with questionable pitch.

2. My “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. It winds up and plays a song that I can get stuck in my head for days. I don’t even know what song it is. The kids have fought over it so much that it’s currently sitting on the mantle.

3. The cement truck. It’s J’s favorite because it actually rolls, but every time he plays with it, he reminds me that the cement mixer doesn’t really turn.

4. This North Pole-Christmas Eve-alert ornament. Supposedly it changes color when it’s Santa begins delivering presents (spoiler alert: I’m the one that has to switch it to change the colors). It also plays a song, and it happens to be really loud. Like REALLY LOUD. So I put it where they can’t get to it. 

5. Anything with Ariel on it. I’ve spent my whole life getting Ariel ornaments from my mom. She’s my favorite princess and it’s kind of our thing. Now, EK really loves Ariel too, and so we’ve started getting them for her as well. So our tree is covered in Ariels of all sorts, and so they’re the favorites of my daughter. So naturally, two are currently broken and several were broken in years past and are glued back together. Poor Ariel. 

 There you have it. All the favorite ornaments of my three kids under five. Do your little ones have a favorite ornament?

Currently

It’s time for another little update of what’s been going on in my life! There is mostly holiday shenanigans to report, but since it’s the first Currently of the month, I’m linking up with Anne in Residence and her guest host, Kellie from the B Hive. So, here’s what I am currently…

Doing || a lot of scheduling. December is busy for everyone, but often for musicians especially. Hubby has extra gigs, I have extra rehearsals and services, and those are in addition to parties, shopping, visiting, and actually trying to stay rested, we are doing quite a lot. We’re also hopping away to NYC next week for two days of a getaway for some fancy food, a concert, and a show! We’ve never been at Christmastime so we’re excited to see a holiday-decorated NYC.

Enjoying || the weather! I love right when the weather gets cold… it’s not freezing yet, but it’s cold enough to layer up, don my boots, and add a colorful scarf. Fall truly is my favorite season.

Cooking || a little of this and that. I’m still on soups (yeah, French Onion!) but Hubby has been hitting up some major Asian flair recently (in his genes, apparently) and he’s amazing at it. Here’s a snippet of the okonomiyaki he made for lunch today.

Wrapping || lots of presents, of course! My mom was here the past couple of days, so she helped me wrap, and I helped her wrap. My shopping and wrapping is almost complete. There are only one or two things left on my list, and I have finished J’s birthday stuff, as well! (His birthday is December 28th.) I’ve had a few wrapping papers that I haven’t opened up the last couple of Christmases simply because I hate having too many rolls to try to keep together. But I finished two this year, so I opened up two more! It’s funny how new, fun wrapping paper can add some excitement to the wrapping process for me.

Playing || with Magformers with the kiddos. They’ve always loved them, but I’m so glad they are back in a phase of playing with them all the time. They’re colorful, easy to manipulate, and great for all three of the kids’ current ages. We literally sat in the hallway outside their rooms last night and played with them for almost an hour. The only problem is that since there are typically three kids playing with them at the same time, we don’t have quite enough for them all to feel like they can make a structure as big as they want to. So I got them an expansion pack “from Santa”. Typically Santa’s gifts are for all three of them, so that his gifts aren’t as cool as Mom and Dad’s!

So there you have it! What are you currently up to?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Things are always funny at our house, and so I’ve compiled this week’s quotations and sillies for you. There are even a few Christmas-themed comments (and songs!) as well. Enjoy!

J, at the table: I gotta go pee!
Me: Why don’t you ask Daddy if you can be excused?
J: Daddy, can I pee pee excused?

J made a “necklace” out of these:And then brought me two of the links, saying: Look! I brought two slices of my necklace!

EK at dinner: I dropped my napkin on the floor! I hate napkins.

After several days of begging me to sing Christmas songs as their lullabies…
Me: Want me to sing a Christmas song?
J: Uh, sure. Which one?
Me: Uh, well, I don’t have to.

McDonald (as in the farm): Miss Donald, Mix Donald and uncle of Huey, Dewey, and Louis. I guess it makes sense.

J, in another room: This is not working! This is a sad day for me.

J, randomly melting my heart: Mom, you’re always gonna be my lady.

In the “Monkeys Jumping in the Bed” rhyme, J always says, “…and the mama-doctor said, ‘No more monkeys jumping on my bed!'”

In the sushi restaurant, J listens to the song playing in their house system: This song is called Mulan!

J on Santa: Santa’s waiting for me get RUDE!

At dinner…
J: Everyone take a drink of your water!
Everyone: Okay!
J: One! Two! Three!
Everyone: *drinks*
J: Four! Five! *drinks*

Hubby: Your hair is getting down in your food, babe.
EK: I’ll just put some conditioner in it.

J: What’s that on your shirt, Daddy?
Hubby: Probably whatever D is eating.
Me: I think he means the alligator on your polo.

And a couple of Christmas Carol Mash-Ups:
To the tune of Happy Birthday: Happy merry Christmas, happy merry Christmas! Happy merry Christmas, and a cup of good cheer!
“Away in a manger, the cradle will rock…” or “Away in a manger, lay down his sweet head…” I guess there are a lot of words in that song.
Santa baby, slip a table under the tree…

Do your kids misunderstand the words to songs? Especially Christmas songs?

An Advent Calendar of Surprises

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus

Recently I was chatting with a friend who was flabbergasted that I’m basically done with my Christmas shopping. Really, that’s just because I love Amazon and I’m at Costco once a week. It makes it a little easier for me. But still- it made me feel really good about how well I was doing in preparation.

I finally have my decorations up now, including an Advent calendar that I made several years ago. I love the idea and doing a little something each day, and I’ve done something different inside it each year. Since my kids are all under age 5, they are just now getting into knowing what I’m reading to them, or looking forward to the activities that are in there. So this year, I filled the little pockets with Bible verses (mostly chronological, about the angel coming to Mary, Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, etc.) and Christmas-themed family activities that I ripped off of several different folks’ ideas on their sites (watch a Christmas movie, sing a carol, etc.). Then I stuck a few jelly beans in five random pockets as a fun surprise. 

But I didn’t do all of this and prepare it until we should’ve been on day 3. We had already bypassed two whole days of December and it was the afternoon of the 3rd before I got started. So naturally, it’s a little scattered and low-budget looking. I didn’t print beautiful cards. I didn’t even write very clearly on half of them. I wasn’t super creative. You might say I was a slacker.

But giving my kids something to look forward to each day was important to me. I wanted them to look for a little surprise, and to wonder whether today was the day with candy. I wanted them to read a verse each day about Jesus’s coming, and have the reminder of what Christmas is about.

My kids don’t care that it could’ve been a little nicer or that I was two days late. They love surprises, and they love having a thing to look forward to. That’s all advent is, anyway: the looking forward to things to come. It’s the anticipation of Christ’s arrival, and the coming of a king. It’s a surprise, a glorious and wonderful surprise, the saving of souls and celebration of the saints.