Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catching Up

As my mom-in-law reminded me, I haven't posted anything on my blog in a while. Looking at my blog, wow, she's's been over a month. It has been a crazy hectic month in our house, and I just haven't gotten around to journaling all the happenings around here. I will share some pics with you. (I know Gramma B wants to see some of these!)

Here's our Christmas photo we took one night. Nana took I don't know how many photos of us, and well, with 4 little boys, you get what you get. Perfection is not their game. As a mother, you have to stop stiving for it. So what if one or all 4 of your kids has a goofy face in the Christmas picture? Maybe we should all stop sending out pictures of us looking all good and perfect, and send out realistic pictures! ;-) Anyway, we finally settled on this one. Not bad, right? Wouldn't you know, the one picture that finally looks pretty good.....the mother has a goofy look on her face. Oh well, I took one for the team! (They owe me one!) They did much better when we went to the photographer a few weeks later to have our yearly family portrait done for our wall. The boys took the best picture on the very first shot the photographer took!

I like this one, but I got voted down. Just love the look on Owen's face (and I don't look so goofy...).

Tried to get a picture of the boys together....this is the realistic one.....

This is the best they could muster up. They're awfully cute, aren't they? The ones they took at the studio turned out soooo good. I love looking at them on my wall!

We've started a new family night. Our lives are so busy between Ben's work schedule and sometimes insane overtime, my part time work schedule, raising 4 boys, keeping a house, homeschooling, yada yada yada. We decided that we need to schedule some quality fun time as a family. Sunday night is the only night of the week, when Ben and I both know we'll be home (well, that is unless Ben is on call). So, Sunday night is game night in our house now. Our little church meets in a borrowed building on Sundays, so we have all of our services packed into the morning. It's a little strange not having an evening service like we were always used to, but it is nice to have family time at home. Here's a photo of Ben and the boys enjoying a high-spirited game of Hi Ho Cherry-O.

I love traditions, so I thought it would be fun to put together a gingerbread house with the boys every Christmas season. What I didn't think about was that the decorating would be way beyond their level when I purchased this kit. (hey, it was beyond my level!) So, I had to do most of the work. It certainly doesn't look like the cottage on the box, but the boys had fun adding on the candy and making it our own. Maybe next year we'll find a more child friendly kit. They boys thought it was great fun, though.

Our version of the Christmas cottage:

I knew Gramma would want to see these:

Evan, Derek, and Carter along with one of the little girls in their Children's Church/Sunday School class sang a couple of songs and recited a poem the Sunday before Christmas.

Evan had the line "What can I give him, poor as I am?" Hmmmm....looks kind of funny to see this poor Bethlehemite wearing a Lightning McQueen bathrobe! You go with what you've got! He did a great job....took his role very seriously.

Derek said "If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb." You can't see it very well, but he has dragons on his robe...that's to ward of the wild animals from attacking his sheep! He loved holding that little lamb. We could scarcely pry it out of his hands for days afterwards. Never mind that it has been in our stuffed animal basket for a few years, just waiting for some lovin'. Derek really liked being a shepherd, and said his line really well.

Carter said "If I were a wise man I would do my part." My mom took a Burger King crown and modified it to cover up the BK and added glitter to make a crown for him to wear. He loves it, and we still have it hanging around our house. He was very proud of his crown, and we were very proud of him.
"What can I give him? Give him my heart!"

One of the songs was Gospel Bells (the tune of Jingle Bells) and they each rang a bell while they sang it. They were all very precious. I love watching kids do Christmas programs!

I'll try to post Christmas pictures soon. We had a wonderful time with Ben's family at his parents' house near Cortland, NY, all of us together on Christmas Day. That hasn't happened in quite a while. Christmas season 2009 was a busy one and we didn't get to do everything we wanted to. Don't tell anyone, but I didn't even make Christmas cookies! Oh well. This year I decided I wasn't going to stress about all the things I wanted to do with the boys. That ruins the wonder of the season. And besides, Nana made some really good ones and shared them with us, so the boys didn't really miss out! And we had a fake tree this year. We weren't going to even be home for Christmas, so I let go of my attachment to having a real tree, and did the practical thing. Ben was pesky needles to clean up. And I got a deal. Spent no more on it than I would have on a fresh tree. Ben was so happy when I came home with it and told him I'd decided to use a fake one this year....he grabbed my face and kissed me. Wow....I had no idea a plastic tree could excite a man so much! ;-) I missed the smell of pine, but that's ok.
Christmas isn't about the evergreen scent, and Christmas cut out cookies, and picture perfect family photos gracing our Christmas cards. It's about little children singing for Jesus, its about honoring Christ's birthday, it's about sharing love with our family and friends with our gifts and our time, it's about teaching our Children about the Baby of Christmas and what His birth means for them. Those things we did do. And so, there are no regrets on missed traditions or activities....just memories made and a renewed gratitude for the Gift not laid under any tree, but laid in a manger.