Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy St. Stephen's Day

...also known as "Collapse in a Heap Day".  The snow is finally hitting us-- it's snowing and blowing hard, and we're staying put. I'm sitting here with a largish cup of tea and an Amish cinnamon roll that surely contains enough sugar to put a reindeer into a diabetic coma.  Good time to edit Christmas photos and put up a few before my Mom calls me and threatens to cut me out of her will (ha!) (as if she would do that to her favorite child, *snicker*) because I don't share these handsome boys enough.

...ahhh and aren't they handsome?

...dashing... debonair... with crooked ties...

...they slay me!


And we even got one all together, dressed up and sort of smiling.  (Excuse the blur... we'll call it "soft focus".  When you hand off the camera, you never know what you're going to get.)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh... Christmas Tree

We finally got around to putting up our Christmas tree.  We've been so busy we weren't even sure when we'd fit it in.  I admit that I suggested skipping it, but... no way.

We have fun traditions around this that include music, food, and Mommy feeding Daddy bites of sausage and crackers while he tries to figure out why half the light-string is dead.

The more kids involved, the more fun, in my opinion.

Andrew was a little hesitant, at first.

But he watched Evan doggedly decorating the same two branches and then he just had to join in.

He mostly stayed close to the table and inhaled slices of sausage (yeah, you don't even want to know what his diaper was like this morning), but then he demonstrated his enthusiasm by kissing a snowman.

We all agreed that this might be among our strangest-looking tree yet, but I think that's getting to be a tradition as well.  When the trees come from our own yard with no grooming whatsoever, what you get is... what you get.  I don't think we would know what to do with a "perfect" tree.

But when the 7-year old is exclaiming repeatedly about how beauuuuuutiful our Christmas tree is, perfection hardly matters.

And speaking of "perfection":  I do not redistribute the ornaments after the kids go to bed.  However they put them on is how they stay.  They get moved around over and over everyday anyway!  Nathan and I just couldn't stop chuckling over Evan's "favorite branch" decorating style.

 There is just no way I'm changing that.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adventy Things

I asked Nathan recently if this Advent is shorter than usual.  'Cause it sure feels like it.  How can there be less than two weeks left until Christmas already?  I seem to recall that Advent usually is long and slow and takes a long time.  Right?  Isn't that how it used to be?  What happened?  Some kind of Advent conspiracy?

Today our Advent calendar marks 12 days left.  How can that be?

Jonah and I spent an afternoon making this calendar.  I've seen pocket-style Advent calendars before, but they always involve candy in each pocket.  I'm really not into candy-any-more-than-absolutely-necessary and "every day in Advent" is NOT absolutely necessary.  So I've never gone for it.  But then Jonah and I saw one in the store recently that had a snowman theme and used a little wooden candy-cane shape as a marker in each pocket.

***Attention:  We interrupt this crafty Advent narrative to deal with a mess of broken glass, mashed potatoes and water.  Please excuse any delay.

***Crisis averted.  Now back to regularly scheduled programming.

Okay... so... um... Advent calendar, candy, pockets.... oh yes.

So.  We saw this cool Advent calendar which Jonah wanted to purchase that instant, but I don't go for snowmen (brr) and promised we'd make something similar. So we did!  I used canvas, felt, and paint that I had on hand and this is what we came up with.  Nathan cut a little wooden cross to use as a marker and Jonah painted it.

Et voila! Counting the days until Christmas in style.

I have plans to make and send out a few Christmas cards this year, but it's so far not materialized.  I guess it's just more fun to sew and make cookies.

Speaking of making cookies.  I was doing so a few days ago in preparation for some visitors that were coming for the afternoon.  I used the hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar, and then gave the beaters to my two little elves for licking.  I had cleaned most of the mixture off the beater that went to Andrew, and he's no dummy,  lemme tell ya.  I ran to grab the camera to get a picture of my sweet helpers licking their beaters together and when I got back I found them embroiled in a tug-of-war over Evan's (more well-endowed) beater.  Andrew doesn't let go of anything, e v e r, and Evan tried valiantly to defend his portion.

So I put down the camera --no picture of adorable beater-licking--, broke up the battle, and tried to ignore Andrew's head-banging tantrum while I finished the dough.

Somehow, however, what with all Evan's passive tolerance, Andrew eventually obtained both beaters AND the wooden spoon, on the floor in sumptuous victory while his brother just looked on.  I think Evan knew that he's taller and could simply help himself to the bowl of dough.

Pretty sure Andrew's sugar-high and sugar-encrusted hairdo lasted all day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tea Time with Little People

Tea just begs to be shared.

Sometimes I love this, like when I have a good friend visiting.  Other times, by myself with my kids, I admit that I feel that it's a bit of a drag.

Coffee drinkers don't have this conundrum.  They make coffee and don't have to share it with any little munchkins.  "It'll stunt your growth." is all it takes to quell that possibility.

Sometimes I'm jealous of coffee drinkers.

But then...  I'm raising up a generation of people who enjoy the finer things in life.  Tea, brewed just right, with fresh cream... nothing compares.  Whether in a tea mug or a sippy cup, it's just the right thing.  

So I rebrew my tea leaves for them.  No caffeine for them that way, right?  Organic orange pekoe with a few cacao nibs sprinkled in is our favorite lately.  But maybe tomorrow we'll mix in some herbal chai.

And we have tea together, and it helps everything, especially if we're fussy.

It's the little things...

They say, "small entertainment for small minds" and perhaps that's true of children, though their little brains are growing so fast and hardly seem "small".

Is my mind small because I enjoy this just as much as he does?

I, for one, am so thankful that God made mothers so easily amused.

I love to delight in these silly antics and it's a good thing...

...hilarity sure breaks up the monotony.