Yesterday I put Grayson at the table with the other boys for lunch time. I put his little seat up on a chair so that he was "at the table". He kept smiling and laughing at the boys. He thought he was so big. It was a nice lunch. They were kind and playful with each other and no one was whining. (a change from the rest of the day)
We had a busy couple of days, but Christmas was a wonderful time of family/friends and the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Christmas Eve we spent time with the Kronwald side of my family. We had a baked goods gift exchange which was the best idea ever. I came home with some delicious cupcakes and super yummy zucchini bread. That night we also went to Jerry and Mary Woods' house. We had another delicious spread of food and got to spend time with Mark's family. Mary always puts together a great activity to help the kids learn real Truth of the holiday that we are celebrating. She had Scripture, paired with an ornament, for each kid to put on the tree. Davis really enjoyed it this year. He is able to understand so much more this year. He really enjoyed building our advent calendar in the mornings leading to Christmas.
Christmas morning, Buzz, Billie and Amy came to our house for breakfast. (This is a break in tradition for us, but since April and Clayton didn't get to come home this year, we outnumbered that clan 5 to 3 so they came over here). The boys didn't seem to realize that all of the presents that had been accumulating under the tree would get to be opened on Christmas morning. They caught on quickly. After breakfast and gifts with them we headed to my mom's house and then my Grandma's house. When the boys were finally in bed I was grateful. Grateful that we are able to be with so much family, grateful that God blesses us with SO many things that we enjoy but don't deserve and particularly grateful that by His grace we are able to know Him and His truth and teach that to our kids. My favorite Christmas song is "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". The picture of the glory of heaven rejoicing over Jesus' birth and the reconciliation of God and sinners is just an amazing, overwhelming picture to me. I sang songs with the boys every night before bed and that was also Davis' favorite song - Parker likes "Away in the Manger".
We had such a good time doing "Christmas-y" stuff with the boys with this year. We made gingerbread houses at Aunt Lissa's house and took the boys to Zoo Lights. Davis loved the talking giraffe - he is still asking to see it again. After he stood there watching the giraffe for a while, he then kept asking, "now let's go see the talking lions . . . zebras . . . hippos . . ect". He assumed that all the animals that we usually see at the zoo would have a talking version. Parker's favorite was tree display where the tree lights are set to music. Of course, this all came second to the LARGE amount of garbage he ate that night, including but probably not limited to: a churro, cheese crisp, cheetos, and popcorn - yuck! Davis really liked making his gingerbread house - Parker really liked eating what should have been on his house (huh - same story as zoo lights, maybe I should reign in this problem). You might notice that he is holding the side of his head in his picture. He got some marshmallow in his hair at the neck line and freaked out about it until I got him in the tub a couple hours later. He was still holding his neck when we got home. So dramatic!
Melissa and I were working on pulling pictures for my mom's 50th birthday and she found this picture of Matt. I couldn't believe how much it looked like Grayson. Matt is a probably 8 months old in this picture but it definitely looks like Grayson. I know everyone thinks he is Davis' look alike, but he looks even more like Matt to me. I guess we'll see, they change so much as they grow.
Grayson had his four month check-up yesterday. How has it been four months already? The stats: almost 17 lbs and 27 inches = a big boy. He is still 97% for height and dropped to 70% for weight. (with the exception of his weight - he is almost just like Parker.) I got the go ahead for feeding him cereal so I wasted no time. I am convinced he will start sleeping better with some cereal in that tummy. As you can see from the first picture, he didn't love the cereal but he did love sitting in "parker's" high chair. Obviously Parker will probably have to promote to the table here shortly. I was telling Mark last night that when Davis was Parker's age we had just moved him to his big bed. I know Parker is supposed to be huge compared to Grayson but he is still kind of a baby to me (for the record - he will be sleeping in his crib until he is begging to get out of it). After a well-visit, I am always reminded to be grateful that God has given us healthy, strong, sweet little boys. I can forget that provision in the midst of the chaos three boys bring! Praise God for his goodness to us.
It was SO cold and gloomy yesterday (my car said 50 degrees at 1:00 in the afternoon) so I made a big pot of chili and cornbread and we watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with the boys. Very fun. I really was freezing yesterday and thought to myself several times . . it is probably a good 40 degrees colder than this everyday in Alaska where my sister-in-law and niece and nephew live. I CAN NOT imagine - I'm a desert rat for sure. (I just noticed the kids are half-naked which doesn't make it look very cold - the fire was on :)
I just realized I was tagged by my friend Heather who definitely wins the award for my most creative friend (you have to look at her blog). So I have to come up with seven random facts about myself:
1. I (like Heather) have never had a broken bone or needed stitches from an injury - though I am sure I will get more than my share of such experiences with my three boys.
2. My first job was a waitress at my dad's restaurant Sir George's - I was fifteen.
3. I've had some awesome hair: I used to bleach it completely blonde (awesome roots), I used to perm only my bangs for some extra height (pretty), I had to cut my hair completely short because it got burned from a bad perm, and when I was little I was bald on the sides for years (like a widow's peak) because my hair was ironically SO THIN - obviously that changed.
4. I've traveled to Italy, England, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and lots of other random Caribbean islands but have only been in four US States. I would love to go New York, DC or any other east coast states.
5. I haven't been to a movie since August of 2007 and before that I hadn't been to a movie since 2004. (This is ironic because I love going to the movies so much that I used to be hard pressed to find a movie that I hadn't seen yet in the theater - Kids (and husbands) change your preferences I suppose :)
6. I danced in the Super Bowl half-time show when it was in AZ ten years ago. . . . Diana Ross was the performer . . . I guess AZ didn't have that much pull yet when we were still playing in a college stadium.
7. I have fled the scene of a crime . . I was in a car accident with my sister when I was 16. I had no driver's license, I was in my parents' suburban, and I was not even supposed to be out of the house (I was grounded) - all of this on top of the fact that I had just rear-ended a woman. I went to the grocery store to call my parents and then hid in the bathroom of the store. I think it took Melissa all of about 3 seconds to find me. Here's something really ironic - I was definitely at fault and was unlicensed and was hiding and still managed to walk away from that accident with not a single ticket. Faulty police work or the grace of God.
8. I'm cheating and adding a number eight because I have to note that a "not-so-random" or unknown fact about me is that I have the world's WORST memory so my sister had to pretty much help me make this list. . . . . thus the blog - so maybe I will 'remember' some things about my kids.
I tag . . . Melissa, April, Adriane, Jenn, Jen H. have fun ladies :)
My cousin Kelly started a photography business a couple of years ago and does an amazing job. I have been wanting her to take pictures of our family for a while and we just got around to doing some for Christmas cards this year. Yes, you will all be getting our cards in the mail shortly, but I couldn't resist sharing some of the pictures she took. She is great! I have to plug her website . . you should check it out One3P Photography.
Obviously my favorites are on our Christmas cards, but here are some others we really liked:
The boys by the tree the night we put it up - yes Grayson always looks scared when "surrounded"
Parker's first candy can - LOVED it obviously as he is double-fisted (his and Davis')
Davis thinking he would like a candy can - he didn't - he gave it to Parker
Mark, hanging off the roof putting up lights - the house looks great after several mishaps
I love Christmas: the decorations, the family traditions, the food. Right now, I just loving watching the boys experience everything and make memories. Davis remembers some things from last year which is precious and everything is new this year for Parker. P thinks the tree is beautiful and he loves the lights outside and on the banister. Davis loved finding the ornaments that are his "favorites" (the old car ornaments, his Lightening McQueen ornament from Aunt Amy, and the John Deer tractor we bought him last year). He hung them all on one branch for safe keeping. Davis also loves watching the Polar Express (he calls it "train express"). I knew he would love the huge train - I'm not sure he even cares what the movie is about.
There are several things that I love about this video. First, the background story. Davis has wanted to whistle for several months. Until just recently, he used to make a whistle face then make a "whistle-like noise" pretending to whistle. He did it all the time: in the car, while playing, and (the funniest) while sitting on the potty. One day, on accident, he actually whistled while making that face. He was so proud that he had figured it out that now he whistles all the time and shows everyone how he can actually whistle. Parker, the sidekick, is not happy when he can not participate or parrot something Davis is doing. He quickly discovered that if he blows into our play doctor otoscope - it makes a whistle. Thus, if he ever hears his brother whistle, then he is quick to retrieve his whistle tool and chime in. It's a crack up.
Now other funny things about this video - beside the obvious - are:
Davis "nudging" Parker at the end as if to say "don't steal my thunder"
Grayson staring up at me like "why are those boys so crazy?"
This is the sweetest thing to me. Parker loves the song God Is So Good. He affectionately asks for "good to me" many, many times a day but particularly at bedtime. In the last couple of days I have heard him "singing" it to himself in his bed before I get him up in the morning and today he was singing it while he was playing outside. It is so precious. The only words you can decipher are "God", "good" and "Meeeeeee" but his little singing voice is so cute and I love how much he loves this song. Obviously I had to prompt it to be able to record it but I particularly love it when he is spontaneously singing to himself.
This is done with a great amount of love as I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste from a mac page so I am retyping this thing as I was pretty much required to complete this on my sister's page. You know the drill - copy and paste to your blog so I can read it :)
1. Wrapping paper or bags? Paper only for me - I love to wrap gifts because I love to give them.
2. Real or artificial tree? Artificial - I know this was one of those things that you come to in your first year of marriage and it was just a "given" to me that we would go out and buy an artificial tree (its all I have ever known) and it was a "given" to Mark that we would go buy a real tree. I think he has adjusted to unpacking and fluffing as opposed to a tree lot (I even converted his parents). No mess and no allergies . . yeah fake trees.
3. When do you put of the tree? It goes against Mark's Christmas code to have decor up before the day after Thanksgiving. The tree was technically assembled a little earlier this year but no lights or decorations till after.
4. When do you take the tree down? Weekend after New Year Day.
5. Do you like Eggnog? No, but also never tried it.
6 Favorite gift received as a child? Nothing stands out honestly - I did love opening our stocking together. That is a happy, fun memory to me that I want to be special for the boys too.
7. Hardest person to buy for? TROY JOHNSON - hands down. Even if you answer this question with a different person it is only because you have never had to buy for Troy before. I am so excited to say that this is the first time in four years that we did not draw Troy's name. HOORAY!!!
8. Easiest person to buy for? kids for sure, also my brother Matt - he loves just about anything
9. Do you have a nativity? I do and it is one of my favorite Christmas decorations.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail - I always have good intentions . . we'll see.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I honestly can't think of anything - but have to comment on my sister's answer - seriously - who picks a gift from their mother-in-law as worst gift ever and publishes that on the www.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Nothing traditionally. I recorded Polar Express for Davis a week ago and he LOVES it - so I've seen a lot of that lately.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? After Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? no
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Kuchen - I don't know why we only make it at Christmas - it is fabulous.
16. Lights on the tree? Yes and HAVE to be colored for me.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night (makes me think of my dad) and I like all of the traditional ones particularly an orchestra/no words version. I just like having it on this time of year in general.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We don't travel at of the metro-phoenix area but you would think so with the miles we put on our car going from house to house to house to house to house . . well you get the idea :)
19. Can you name all of Santa's Reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Vixen, Prancer . . and I'm spent ??
20. Angel on the tree top or star? Star - the more colorful the better
21. Open present on Christmas Eve or morning? Traditionally both. My favorite is the few moments where it is just "us" (mark, the boys and I) at home with our stockings in the morning. Love it. But I love the times of tradition with all of our family too.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Trying to keep the balance between fun traditions with the boys and full blown "love of stuff" that is being jammed down our throats . . . stop sending toy catalogs to my house!!
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love the ornaments we bought on trips (we started buying an ornament everywhere we went on our honeymoon - even small day trips) so those are good memories. I LOVE an ornament that my aunt found in my Grandma's house after she died last October - she had selected ornaments for each of us and had them labeled for us. I love her and miss her tremendously. It is a beautiful gold angel and it is my favorite.
24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? I don't care what the real food is as long as there is Kuchen. I guess the few times we have made my family's strudel recipe I also love that.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? To be able to spend time with everyone and have everyone still have a good time. I just want it to be special and fun for the boys.
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? I'm gonna go with Amy W.
27. Who is least likely to respond? Mark's cousin Adriane - but I want her to put it on her blog - I love reading her blog. (http://wordofmymouth.blogspot.com)
I am a mom and a wife. I know that those two things are the greatest blessings God could have possibly given me. I have three wonderful little boys that bring joy, entertainment, laughter, unconditional love, lots of energy and occasional moments of trauma to our home. Davis was born in January 2005, Parker was born in February 2007 and Grayson was born in August 2008. God also blessed me with a wonderful husband who keeps me grounded in the midst of what is sometimes of whirlwind of chaos. He is a great dad to his sons and a wonderful friend to me. I am cannot comprehend God's continual blessing to our family, much less His amazing saving grace. I can only be thankful and pray that God would make me more and more aware of His greatness.
Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations.