Tag Archives: holidays

Things Toddlers Say

Good morning and happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day! We definitely had a great day – I was resting up after the race, and we visited Hubby’s mom, had dinner out with some friends, and topped it off with gelato. I call that a good day! Here are this week’s funny quotations from the kids. Enjoy!

One evening, we saw this beautiful sunset with the rays coming out…IMG_3866EK: It’s Jesus! His light is there!
J: I see his arm right there!

D comes to me, holding The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Me: It’s a book about the caterpillar!
D: Meoooowwww!
Me: Very close.

EK: Oh no! There’s a fire ant!
Me: Just flick it off the porch.
EK: But what if it STINGS me?! It’s the kind!

Talking about riding her plasma car in the yard, EK: That was. So. Darn. Fun!

EK, talking about my race: There might be bugs.
Me: Yeah, I hope they don’t bite me.
EK: You’ll be going so fast, they won’t even be able to.
Me: *glowing*

J, on Mothers Day cards: I don’t know how to make a card! It’s so hard for a baby or even a kid!

EK wanders upstairs at 11:30pm: Dad, I left my bunny outside. Can I go get it?
Hubby: I’ll make sure it gets back inside.
EK: But I’m worried that an owl will get it and feed it to its owl babies!
Hubby: But it’s a stuffed bunny. It’ll be okay.

J and D were having a tiff, and J finally hit D. EK walked away from the fight and said, “That’s on you, buddy.”

Hubby made homemade pizza…
J: This green stuff in the pizza that I don’t want to eat is mint. Can you say mint?
Me: Actually, I think it’s arugula. Can you say arugula?
J: Arugula! Great!

Me: I’m glad you guys didn’t watch any tv today. It’s good for you to do without tv sometimes.
J: Ha! Yeah, yeah, yeah…
Me: *fearing teenage years*

What have your kids said recently about each other? Do you have any funny sayings from Mother’s Day?

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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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.

From the Manger to the Cross


Oh, how the first Sunday of advent prepares my heart for Christmas. Today is a day of celebrating, and also a day of being intentional about turning our hearts to the manger to await the coming of our King.

To turn my heart away from decorations and gift-buying can sometimes be hard. Often, getting caught up in Black Friday sales and locating the perfect decor for the unfestive corner of my home take precedence after Thanksgiving. Because t this morning, my pastor likened Thanksgiving and Christmas to s kind of homecoming. We typically gather with our families or even travel to our (former? forever?) homes to be with those we love. He nudged us to apply this sense of “homecoming” to the Christian life. A homecoming not for physical things, but coming home to the eternal love of a Father, the spirit of loving, giving no and worshiping a King who has sacrificed everything to bring us home.

We are reminded as Christians, especially during the Christmas and Easter seasons that we are only in a temporary home. This world is not our forever home, and we should never forget that. The home we look forward to joining is the perfect place to spend eternity, together with the saints and our Jesus in heaven. We have been adopted into the most prestigious, loving and healthy family there is, assigning us to a feast table beyond our wildest imaginations. We are accepted and loved and made whole in this familial identity. We have indeed found our worth in the sacrifice that was made on our behalf.

So as you enter Advent, turning your heart to the manger, don’t forget that the manger leads to the cross. We are on this journey together, pointing to the same destination in a few months’ time. This anticipation of the arrival of our King leads to His death, but also His resurrection, the mind-blowing realization that He has done the work to keep us His and whole and bring us home.

Our Thanksgiving Meal

Tomorrow, I’m hosting my family for Thanksgiving. My mom and dad have been here all week, and Mom’s helping Hubby and me get things all ready. It is going to be a beautiful blend of traditional things in my family meeting the gourmet tendencies of Hubby’s family. It’s going to be some kid-friendly items, and some things that my kids likely won’t touch. I’m really  excited.

Here’s our list of things we either have/made already or are making tomorrow:

Prime Rib
Honeybaked Ham
Chicken and Dressing (For you northerners, that is not inside the chicken. The chicken is in the dressing.)
Green Bean Casserole
Potato Salad
Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Onion Pie
Cranberry Salad
Kale (prepared in the southern style of collard greens)

I know. No turkey. But don’t those other meats sound SO GOOD? And a little GBC can’t go wrong, especially coupled with potato salad, and cranberry salad. What’s a southern Thanksgiving without something called “salad” that doesn’t include lettuce?

My aunt is also bringing homemade rolls and various desserts… including her amazing rum cake (yum?!) and at least one meringue pie. FOR THE WIN.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods? Are you hosting or traveling? Either way, I hope you have some fun plans!

Christmas Eve, Y’all. 

Time stamp: 1:49am, December 25

Santa’s presents are out. The rest of the presents are wrapped. The tree is lit, as it will be all night. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and sugar plums are just out of my field of vision. 

Hubby and I spent seven hours today at church, preparing for and carrying out three Christmas Eve services at our sweet church. I loved it- every moment. It was awesome to be on stage with the “all-star team” (Hey guys!) and see people from every service mingled in together. I’m a fan of church on Christmas Eve to get you in the right mindset before Santa and his BS take over. My kids are basically to young to get that gifts are because we love each other, so unfortunately (fortunately?) we haven’t bothered to worry about missing out on most of Christmas Eve, stretching bedtimes and naptimes to accommodate our crazy musical schedules and particular family dynamics. 

But in the midst of tantrum big toddlers, five-month-olds who won’t sleep, and burgeoning excitement over cookies, presents and pajamas all day, I’m pushing through my tiredness for fun. I’m going to ignore the clock, snuggle with the Hubs and just come to terms with the fact that I will be s little strung out tomorrow. 

Because it’s Christmas. And I love y’all. 

Have an amazing day tomorrow. Merry Christmas. 

When you try to go to bed but you still have a bow.

Trimming the Tree: Thought Processes of Preschoolers

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

I was so excited this year to get my Christmas decorations out and spend an evening with my family trimming the tree. Advent is my favorite time of the year and I love starting the season with music and lights and family.

I got box after box of carefully wrapped decorations from the attic, as visions of sugar plums danced in my head, and as my mother forcibly held my almost 2 year old son back from climbing the ladder after me. My 3 1/2 year old daughter, well-acquainted with the magic of Christmas, danced around the room, alternately shouting about how excited she was about the artaments and shouting at her brother to not break them.

We unwrapped the shiny, sparkly goodies and helped the first round of them get on the tree. I put the most fragile as high as I could, and let the kids do what they could reach. J quickly lost interest upon learning that actually putting the string around a branch was difficult, and resorted to pushing all the buttons on the ones that made noise (cue the off-key renditions of Disney songs and light shows that could cause seizures).

Having only broken a couple of ornaments so far, I felt like it was going well. The next day, however, as I admired our handiwork, I noticed a few things. This is what my preschoolers must’ve thought:

First of all, ornaments look best on the bottom of the tree. Either that or they didn’t bother to reach above their waistlines. Clusters of ornaments hang at my knee level and below, mostly including the “fun ones” or ones that my daughter made.

Secondly, once a kid got hooked on one branch, it had to have at least four ornaments before moving on to the next one. Branches are weighed down so heavily that I’ve moved several ornaments off to relieve pressure.

Third, similar ornaments must be hung together. If they came in a set together, they were meant to be hung near each other. Why spread them out evenly? (Close proximity of polka dot hats and silver garlic blubs – thanks Hubby for pointing that shape out.)

Lastly, the tree is not the only place for ornaments. The kitchen table, nightstands, and the middle of the floor are all acceptable places for tree ornaments to be residing. Note: if they make noise, they’re in a kid’s hand all the time.

All in all, I kinda dig it. I can have a tree worthy of Southern Living when I’m an empty-nester.