Tuesday, November 30, 2010

As For Me and My House

We have had tons going on at our house. Travel here and there - tropical (Puerto Rico!) and traditional (home for Thanksgiving!) We are reminded daily of our blessings. I was admiring my mother-in-law's plate in her kitchen that reads "As for Me and My House, We will Serve the Lord" and thought of our manic, hectic house balancing 2 jobs and a 3 year old. It was a good reminder.

After Thanksgiving we drove the long and winding road back home detouring through the NC mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree. Connor thought it was wonderful. And though the long drive becomes unbearably longer I have to admit the Norman Rockwell-ness of it made it worth the extra hours in the car.

We made it home Saturday so as not to miss Sunday church. During Sunday School hour they had an Advent Festival for families. We made this Advent wreath...If you grew up like me, your Advent candles were purple, pink and white in the center. So I definitely was scratching my head about the blue. It was explained the "royal" blue is the color of HOPE. That purple is used in Lent and indicates penance and repentance. Modern Advent stresses more the time of waiting, anticipation and - HOPE! Hence the blue.Connor really enjoyed the Advent workshop. I focused on pinning the greens while she unwrapped and put the candles in. Kirk focused on pruning. It was nice together time.

After church we had our traditional annual meal of pizza while decorating the tree. He turned out pretty great if I do say so myself! Connor loved the ornaments. She hung them faster than we could even keep up. What a treasure to have a child actively participating in Christmas cheer.Connor especially loves our nativity sets. This one my grandmother made long ago for my mom.This one was Carol's childhood set. I put it in Connor's toy area and it is fun to see her acting and imagining her version of Christ's birth.The last tradition we started this year has been a huge hit. Do you know about "The Elf on the Shelf?"There is a book and elf in the set. Kids are taught to name their elf and not to touch him cause he is magic. Elf watches kids all day and flies off to North Pole at night to report to Santa who is naughty and nice. And comes back before morning. The book explains it all...Everyday the elf is in a different spot - hence having flown away and returned. Connor is beside herself every morning trying to find ZIP (Zip is what she chose to name her elf!)
Recently she has taken to not letting us close her blinds at night. She wants to watch for Zip to fly away to Santa at night. One night she called out to Kirk that she actually saw Zip leaving out her window! Childhood years are absolutely priceless.

We are doing our best to be sure we and our house serve our Lord during this precious time of anticipation, tradition and togetherness.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shutterfly Promotion

Creating Christmas Cards is a part of marking this time of year for me. I come from a long line of family photo card traditionalists and I created cards my own cards ever since my college days. My first holiday photo card was of my roommate and me balancing textbooks on our heads in our Christmas sweaters in our dorm room! Beth was such a sport for putting up with me!
It is just a warm, welcoming way to connect with loved ones far and wide. Kind of makes me remember the Christmas season is more about appreciating the blessing of friends, family, and love - rather than consumerism mania.

It used to be such an ordeal to print the photos and slide them into card holders. My how digital photography has simplified life! I am a Shutterfly addict for Christmas cards. They have so many great designs to pick from:

I really wanted to use this design:
but it just didn't work out. You'll have to wait and get it in the mail to see what won out.
Shutterfly is offering a great promotion to bloggers that if you blog about their designs they will send a code for 50 free cards. Check it out at their site: http://bit.ly/sfly2010 for details.
Sorry for the promotional post, but the deal is too good to pass up. Happy Black Friday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Falling Leaves

I took Connor to school this morning (usually Kirk does the drop off and I pick up). The past 2 days have been rainy and icky and definitely umbrella-worthy. It is easy to put your head down and dodge the rain.

Not my child though.

As we were running into school she stopped and pointed up in the air. THE LEAVES ARE FALLING! THE LEAVES ARE FALLING! Indeed I looked up and there were the leaves circling through the air down to the ground all around us. We tried to catch them as we walked to the door. They twisted and turned flipping all around. We laughed and laughed. It made a rainy, grey morning a delight.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat - Gimme Something Good to Eat PLEASE and THANK YOU

This is my last Halloween post. We seem to have had a lot of Halloween-related activities this year!

We carved our pumpkin at the last minute. I am weary of rotten pumpkins so always wait til the end. Connor joined me in our front yard to carve, but she didn't want to get anywhere near the pumpkin insides. This surprises me since she is so headstrong, but as she said "it was too gunky!" That left me the sole pumpkin scooper.
Connor got this sweet Trick-or-Treat dress as a hand-me-d0wn. It was lots of fun to wear this season. If you press the witch there is a faint ghoulish tune that plays. Connor thought that was awesome! And showed everyone her singing dress.Voila! Jack has emerged!Also this weekend in addition to Halloween, it was our neighborhood's 100th anniversary! There was a kid-friendly festival around the block with jumpies, popcorn, music and arts and crafts. We had a ball! We have lived in our neighborhood nearly 8 years. What a difference this time has made in terms of transition. Now the kids truly rule the streets!
Everything was free at the festival except for the popsicles. The King of Pops is supposedly famous for his gourmet pops - and at $2.50 a pop (ha, ha) I had my doubts. But I stand corrected - they were YUMMY!
Connor entered the costume contest. She strutted her stuff right across the stage area while the DJ announced her costume - A CUPCAKE!
On the big night everyone was off to Aidan's house for a spooky party!
Aidan was a Fireman and Maury was Spiderman!
And sweet Finn was a Gingerbread Man!
We had a great time and tried to get some non-sugary treats into our little ones before the candy deluge began.
Spiderman was a popular choice. Here they all are shooting their webs!
Finally we made it to Trick-or Treat time. Connor and Carter were neighborhood buddies and tackled the candy job together. Connor was bold and ran ahead while Carter a little more social in his candy calls.
We worked hard to teach the kids to of course initiate with the "Trick or Treat" but also to look at the neighbor and say THANK YOU before running off to the next house. It may be Halloween but manners are still important.
They were the cutest Race Car Driver and Cupcake you ever did see!