Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SBANT Holiday Party!

We took the boys to the annual Spina Bifida Association of North Texas Holiday Party. It was at the Airplane Museum again this year, the perfect place for a plane-lovin' Benjamin.

"Look at this one mom!"

Benjamin was all dressed up for the party. He got a lot of compliments on his shirt.

Caleb watching the "Weird Science" show. I love the grin on his face.

With my boys.
(sidenote: why is it so hard to get a decent picture with my kids? Caleb is always making crazy faces and Benjamin's eyes are closed!)

I have no idea why Caleb is making this face...maybe I stepped on his foot or something.

In the control tower.

Silly face.

"Can I touch it?"

Watching a plane land.

The boys had a lot of fun. Benjamin was in heaven with all the planes to look at. We are so thankful to have the SBANT. Because we have such a great local SB chapter we are able to stay connected with local SB families. It is such a blessing.

Because I like to reminisce, here are the links to previous years parties.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

B-Ball Tournament

Caleb's wheelchair basketball team had an out-of-state tournament this weekend. We drove about 4 hours to Oklahoma on Friday to stay one night for the tournament on Saturday. The boys were very excited about a road trip and an overnight stay in a hotel. Glenn and I were less than thrilled with the drive but this team and the coaches are such a blessing to us that it was worth it.

The boys always love staying at hotels.
Caleb was able to watch the Disney channel on a flat screen tv...we don't have either of these at home.

Benjamin loved the big bed with all the pillows.

Eating a surprisingly good hotel breakfast on Saturday morning.

On the court, ready to play.

We got to see our buddy Casey again.

They are fighting over the ball. This was in between games when the kids were just playing around.

Benjamin liked opening the covers on the court so he could look in the holes (again during the off time).

Climbing into a locker.

It is so fun watching Caleb on the court. He is still learning the game and he doesn't always know what he is supposed to do but he has so much fun. He truly loves it and he wants to practice and get better. I see true passion in him. 

Caleb played 2 games on Saturday (his team won both) and then we headed back to Texas. It was a short trip to Oklahoma but it was fun, exhausting, but fun.

Home Sweet Home.

Friday, December 07, 2012

A smelly craft (in a good way)

The other night at "Bethlehem Revisited", I noticed these oranges with whole cloves stuck in them. I had never seen anything like that before but apparently they are called pomanders. They smell wonderful. I thought it would be fun to make our own. Benjamin had more fun doing this (bubba was at school so he missed the fun).

Using a toothpick to poke a small hole in the orange.

Pushing the clove in the hole.

And repeat.
(his little hands are so cute)

Over and over.

He sat at the table for about 10 minutes working on this. Benjamin rarely sits still for that long.

Proud of his pomander!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Our ADVENTure: Days 3-6

Day 3: Make a gift for your teacher

Caleb's teacher had a birthday this week so I wanted Caleb to put together a small gift for her.

We poured some m&m's in a jar along with a cute poem and we filled the rest of the jar with "Heath" bars (that's the teacher's favorite candy). It was just a small gift but Caleb was pretty proud of it because he put it together himself.

Day 4: Christmas Cards

We are getting ready to send out our Christmas cards and because of the SB Christmas card exchange, we had quite a few cards to mail this year. Caleb helped out by drawing a small yellow ribbon on all the cards that are going out to our SB family. This card exchange has been so much fun! Seriously, this may have been my best idea ever!

Day 5: Give a gift to a family across the world

For this activity, I went to World Vision and we looked through their online catalog for an item that we could provide to a family in need. Caleb looked very carefully at the options.

He decided on a rabbit. I think he believes this rabbit will be a pet to a family, instead of a way to feed a family. I tried to explain it to him but he likes the idea of the bunny being a pet...and now he wants a pet bunny.

Day 6: Game Night

Tonight we decided to just have some fun with a game night. Caleb chose "Trouble". 

Caleb getting ready to whack the bubble to make the die pop.

Benjamin had to use both hands to push the bubble down.

Love my boys!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Our ADVENTure: Day 2

Day 2: Bethlehem Revisited

There is a church about 30 minutes from our house that does a "reenactment" of the night Jesus was born. I have wanted to take the boys the past couple of years but the event only lasts a couple of weekends every December and we always seemed to miss it. Well, not this year. We went on Sunday night and it was fantastic. The church transforms a large open area into "Bethlehem".

Caleb got to pet a sheep, a baby goat, and a chicken. Benjamin wanted to look, but didn't want to touch.

This shows how olives were pressed in to oil.

Mary and Joseph coming to Bethlehem to pay their taxes.

Roman soldiers

What school might have looked like in Bethlehem.

One of the shops.

The shepherds looking for baby Jesus.

The star over the manger.

Mary and Joseph.

It was really neat because we were able to just walk around in this recreated Bethlehem. We visited each structure:
He was showing different homemade instruments. Very cool.

Making bread.

What a dining area may have looked like during that time.


Grinding the wheat.

This guy was shaping pottery on a wheel that he turned with his foot!

Weaving baskets.

The Wise Men with their camels. The boys were quite fascinated with the camels.

It was a really neat experience. It was so elaborate and well done. I was quite impressed. I think "Bethlehem Revisited" will be an annual activity for our family. I was blessed by it.

Our ADVENTure Begins!

December 1 marked the first day of our ADVENTure. This is our third year to do the Advent box with the boys. Caleb was so excited to wake up on December 1st and see the Advent box out and ready for him to open door #1.

Day 1: Put up Christmas decorations 

We spent most of the day Saturday putting up the tree, decorations, and the lights outside. I handled the indoors while Glenn took on the outdoors. Benjamin could barely contain his excitement over the tree. He kept asking: "Is Christmas coming?"

Here's a cute/corny little frame I made the other night.
(and like most of my crafts, I got the idea somewhere else)

I decided to do our mantle a little different this year. 
I got my inspiration here.
I found the scripture subway art here and here.
(again, all my craftiness comes from some other source)

Our tree.

Our Advent box next to our small tree. Last year we used the tree to hang our daily Jesse tree ornaments. I decided to do things a little different this year. I stumbled upon Truth in the Tinsel last year but was scared to tackle a daily craft along with a bible story and lesson. I was very intimidated. I decided to take the challenge this year. I took some time (about an hour and half) to sit down surrounded by all our craft stuff and get each day's craft ready...all 24 days.

I put each day's activity in a numbered baggy so that I can just grab it when it is time to read the story and do the craft. It has made things super easy and way less hectic. Our afternoons and evenings are so crazy with Caleb's physical therapy, dinner, bath, bed...there just isn't a lot of free time. Having the activities all ready to go has made things run so smooth. And I'm giving myself some freedom here, it's okay if we miss a day...or two...or three. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing activity. I've really enjoyed Truth in the Tinsel so far. I can see how the hands on approach with a craft along with a story has a greater impact. Every craft, every story, every lesson points to Christ.

I really want to make the season more about others and less about ourselves. I see such a selfishness in my kids and I'm not saying that to be ugly. By nature we are selfish. It takes work and thought to put others first sometimes. In the past, our Advent activities have been about entertaining the boys, which is fine. I want this to be fun, but I also want them to think of others. I just wasn't sure how I wanted to implement it. Then I found the "Light 'em up" challenge. I won't explain it all here, you can click on the link to learn more. But basically "Light 'em up" is a way to make an effort to think of others, even people you don't know. The site provides a list of 100 possible activities. Caleb has already started reading the list and has circled a couple of things he wants to do. I'm excited to do it. Odds are that we may only do a handful of activities from the list but I think it is still an opportunity to show the boys ways to think of others during a time when it is so easy to think only of ourselves.

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