Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A prayer-filled purpose for Christmas cards

First, thank you to everyone that participated in the SB Christmas card exchange this year. It is such a blessing to my family every year. It is my privilege to organize this and I look forward to doing it again next year. I love my SB family. We don't walk this journey alone, and I'm glad we don't have to. 

Second, do you ever wonder what to do with all those Christmas cards you receive each year? It would be a shame to just toss all these beautiful cards in the trash. A couple of years ago I decided that I would take one card a week and pray over that family/person. Sometimes I would contact the person directly to see if there was anything in particular they needed prayer over. I admit that I wasn't always consistent and I would often forget. I'm giving it another go this year. I'm determined to get through the entire stack of cards in 2015. 

At the beginning of every week I will pull out one card and make a commitment to pray for that family/person for the rest of the week. I plan to involve the boys in this as well. It's a blessing to take the time to pray for others. Sometimes we forget that. I know I forget that. I'm committing to praying for others in 2015. Are you?

"Pray without ceasing" -1Thessalonians 5:17

Monday, December 29, 2014

First Tooth!!

My sweet Benjamin finally lost his first tooth. I say "finally" because this tooth has been loose forever. It has barely been hanging on the last couple of weeks but Benjamin would not let us pull it out. It finally came out on it's own today! He was so excited.

He's such an overachiever that the adult tooth has been growing in behind the loose tooth!

We don't really do the tooth fairy but we still celebrate this exciting milestone in our own way. His tooth is in that tiny blue box. He has been holding onto that box for the past few days, just waiting for his tooth to fall out.

First Benjamin turns 6, and now he lost his first tooth. My baby is growing up. 

Christmas at MeMe's

We wrapped up our Christmas holiday at MeMe's house this past weekend. The boys always have a blast there and they were so excited to be going. We usually stay at a small cabin that has been in the family for a number of years.

Benjamin sportin' his new pajamas.

The boys sitting at MeMe's table unwrapping Hershey kisses for me. I needed the kisses to make chocolate pretzels.


Jam session on MeMe's piano.

Relaxin' in the recliner. 

Thumb suckin' in the recliner.

Cousin Laura brought her new baby over for us to admire. Caleb was instantly smitten. He loves babies. 

We celebrated MeMe's 84th birthday while we were there.

A little game fun with Grandpa Joel.

With my boys. LOVE.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

December ADVENTures: Days 24-25

December 24: Watch a movie

By the 24th I was just lazy and tired. Movie it is. We cuddled up on the couch and watched "How to train your dragon". 

We also managed to go to the park and get some fresh air.

The boys got these toy bow and arrows from Granny and Paw-Paw last weekend. They love them. Glenn would shoot the arrows really far into the field....

...and Benjamin would try to get them. He had a blast chasing flying arrows.

Caleb is forever on the look-out for birds. He did spot a couple of Chickadees.

A little tire swing fun. Both boys got incredibly nauseous. 

December 25: CHRISTMAS!!

Of course the boys were super excited on Christmas morning.

Benjamin was excited to finally get some Hex Bugs. He's been begging for these.

Caleb got some new bird books including one with a CD of different bird calls. He wasted no time and started studying the bird calls right away.

We headed to Gammy and Grandpa Al's later in the day.

Caleb got the Skylanders game. He has wanted this game for quite some time.

Benjamin got some K'nex to build with. A perfect gift for my little builder and creator.

Christmas isn't quite over for us just yet. Next we head to MeMe's for our final Christmas celebration. 

Merry Christmas, selfie style!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December ADVENTures: Days 22-23

I think I can...I think I can....I think I can...Oh, I'm running out of steam. Only a couple more days of activities left! Yay! It ain't easy coming up with 25 activities. We are on the home stretch now though.

December 22: Make SNOW!

I got this idea here. It seemed easy enough, only 2 ingredients (baking soda and shaving cream). Not a lot of planning necessary which is important when you are on day 22 of activities.

This is kinda cool. When you mix the baking soda and shaving cream together, it does make a substance that you can mold and shape to some extent. It's strange.

My boys opted to just run their monster trucks through the snow. I will warn you that this is really messy, although it is fairly easy to clean up.

December 23: Christmas Crafts
(see how I'm running out of steam? I can't even come up with something specific....just Christmas Crafts)

We did a couple of crafts today. First we made a Stained Glass Nativity Scene. I got the idea/printable here. The boys liked this quite a bit. They thought the finished product was pretty cool.

Carefully applying tissue paper on the contact paper.

Cutting out the silhouette. I printed them out on black paper to make it easier.


We kept the craftiness going and made some bow wreaths. Basically you take a paper plate, cut out the center so you have a ring. Then staple a bunch of bows on it. Done.

Easy and done!

Caleb decided to keep the creative juices flowing this afternoon. There is a really cool art website for kids. It's called Art for Kids Hub. It's basically a "how to draw..." site that is video driven. This dad draws all kinds of things with his kids right along side him. Caleb is usually very intimidated by drawing. He is hesitant to just draw on his own but he LOVES this site. He will sit and watch video after video while he draws along with the step by step directions. It's really been great for him and has increased his confidence in art. Today he watched a video and drew a picture of baby Jesus.

Watching the video.

Getting started.

How great is this! He is so proud of the things that he draws and it really inspires him to try more things. I love this site. I've even sat with Caleb and done a little drawing of my own. I highly recommend it. Check it out.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December ADVENTures: Days 20-21

We've had a busy couple of days so prepare for a lot of pictures.

December 20: Granny and Paw-Paw's Christmas

Going to Granny and Paw-Paw's is an annual Christmas tradition. We look forward to it every year. It's nice to have all of the family in one place at one time. The boys had a great day.

There was a lot of cousin on cousin wrestling while the kids waited to open their presents.

This is what Caleb thinks of waiting to open presents. He's not amused.

Benjamin got several small Lego kits and he immediately went to work at putting them together.

A little help from some little cousins. 

After lengthy Lego building, Benjamin went outside to try out his new bow and arrow set.

Caleb was mostly interested in playing basketball. It's his thing.

Granny and Paw-Paw have a lot of bird visitors to their feeders. Caleb and I sat outside for a good while so he could watch the birds. He was so excited because he saw several that we don't get in our own backyard. I wish all of you could see Caleb's passion for birds. He is so knowledgeable and appreciative of these animals. He can name just about any bird you put in front of him. He could probably tell you where that bird lives and possibly even tell you the wing span. He knows his stuff. 

Caleb quote: "These birds are just so beautiful".
This boy will have some kind of job in the field of nature. I just know it. His passion is deep.

December 21: Spina Bifida Christmas Party....but more importantly....Benjamin's 6th Birthday!

My sweet baby turned 6 years old today. I can't believe it. It really does go by so fast. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was born? 

So last year we went all out on Benjamin's 5th birthday party.  This year was very low-key. Benjamin really didn't want a big party and December has been such a crazy busy month...I don't know when we could have planned a party. No party this year but we still wanted to make the day special and fun for our birthday boy!
His favorite colors are "shiny gold and orange." Okay. So, I bought some shiny orange decorations (easy to find this time of year) and some orange party ware. He woke up this morning to a festive table. He loved it.

We always do birthday donuts. 

Some serious bed-head on this SIX year old!

It worked out that the Spina Bifida Christmas Party was also today. The event is at a local flight museum. Benjamin was so excited about this.

Decorating a cookie.

He put exactly 6 m&m's on his cookie, because he's 6.

That's a good dad right there. Carrying a very heavy, and very big 9 year old boy up and down stairs so he can see the inside of a plane.

My little monkey.

Action shot!


The boys had a blast at the SB party. Afterwards, we headed home for dinner and cake...because we really haven't had enough sugar today.

Still can't believe he is six. 

If you haven't read Benjamin's story, you should. That little booger made a grand entrance into the world folks. It makes for quite a story. 

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