Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Letters

Every Christmas I buy them an ornament as a symbol of their year and attach a letter to go with it.  Libby got a seal this year because she thinks that she has a pet seal(it's a long story).  Maggie got an Elsa because she pretends to be her all day, everyday.  I am Anna everyday.  You don't even want to know what happens if I break character. Cooper got a clock because I want him to know about the nights he and and I spent awake together this year.  When we pull the ornaments out each year and decorate the  tree I read the letters out loud and cry.  No one else listens to me when I read them now, but they will one day.  I hope one day they read them and know what a gift being their Mama is to me.  They need me now to make breakfast, and read books, they need me to wash faces and hands, and play games all sorts.  What they don't know is that I need them too.  I need their little frames crawling into my bed before the sun comes up.  I need their uncontrollable laughter at the end of a long day.  I need their tired heads asleep on my chest.   I need their breath on my face when I tuck them in at night.  Oh these precious children, what a gift they are to me.  God uses them to stretch and grow me in ways that I never knew I needed.  I learn through them things about myself I never knew before, and I see so clearly my desperate need for my Savior.  Yes, they are my gifts this year. 
I couldn't want anything more.
Grace and Peace

Monday, December 22, 2014


I love Christmas traditions.
I realized that I was much more enthusiastic about them when I wasn't the one in charge of making them happen.  This realization happened yesterday when I asked the girls if they wanted to decorate cookies.  Libby literally started talking so fast that I have no idea what she was saying.  I knew it was going to be messy, I knew it was going to take preparation, but I knew they were going to love it.   I want them remember that at Christmas time we baked cookies together, so that one day they will do it with their little ones.  
 Cooper thought we should just eat all the dough.
 I wish you could here her talking...it is non stop.  A running commentary of everything she is doing.  Even when she messed up and it stuck to the paper, she just talked herself right through it.

 He was quick with that spatula.  A couple cookies fell at his quick hand.

 She looks proud of herself.
 We ended up moving everything away from him.  He either broke, or threw all things that were near him.
 Pretty sure I take cookie decorating too seriously.  I stole the chair right out from under my child so I could get that candy cane right.  Cooper probably smashed it when I wasn't looking.
 I gave Mags a teddy bear shape to decorate and when I looked down the bear was submerged in sprinkles.
 I wonder if she was trying to be like me.
 Eat at your own risk folks.
Babette and Grandad~ Maggie told me today that we couldn't them because we are bringing them to your house :)  Be  ready to try them.
Grace and Peace

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dear Santa

I'm sorry I cheated on you this year and went to see a different Santa.  I couldn't bring myself to drive all the way to Richmond to see you, it's a lot of work for one mama.  So we went to a Santa close by.  He was good, but he wasn't the real you;).  Forgive us Santa, for moving too far away to see you every year.
That Crazy Jones Woman

I thought about it.  Driving to Richmond to see the same Santa that we have seen every year since Libby was born.  Kevin said that I should give myself  break and do it the easy way.  So we went to Hampton, and their Santa is very good too.
Here is the unofficial "official" shot.  Maggie is making progress and though she wouldn't sit on Santa's lap, she would sit on Libby's lap which is the closest she's got so far.
Cooper, not so much.
 There's my darling shy girl.
 I love this moment every year.  The moment when it's almost her turn.
 I don't even know if she really believes in Santa Claus, but she loves seeing him.  It hit me that very soon she is going to be past this stage...too big for his lap.  Childhood is so fast.  I still remember the one and only time I sat on Santa's lap and didn't cry.  It was at my Aunt Judy's house and his beard was fake for sure.  I was probably six.
 Here is Libs mothering Cooper and Maggie worrying that I won't go with her.
 I'm here Little Mags, I won't make you go alone.
 Talking through the process
 Santa knows who Elsa is, perfect, he and Maggie can be friends.
 High-five and Cooper is a fan.

Thanks for the free photo and the candy cane.  We'll see you next year Santa!

Grace and Peace

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

One of the years that I did my Christmas countdown, I gave myself permission to take the weekends off.  I'm going to make up for that today and post twice ;).  I just want these next couple pictures to exists on my blog.  I took them on my phone this week and my kids are wearing red and smiles and I think they are some of my favorites!  Ironically, I have very little red in my closet, my children on the other hand, could double as Santa's elves.
 Sometimes they love each other.
 "Jump" I said!  School's out!
 Can I just say that I think he is the most handsome little boy that I have ever seen.  He's mine so I'm supposed to think that.  The rest of the world seems to think we have three daughters.  We get asked "how old 'she' is" all the time. Normally, we just smile and say, "she's one," sigh..what to do with strangers?

Grace and Peace

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I interupt this Christmas countdown to bring you Halloween.
Every now and then, I stay up past my bedtime and scroll through the pages of this blog to remember what life has been life like.  I stare at my kids and wish I could go back to the moments just for a second and remember them in their littleness.
Next year, when I'm up past my bedtime, I don't want to wonder what happen to 2014's Halloween.
Our theme was "things with wings."  I didn't mean to have a theme, it just panned out that way.

 We had a peacock, a monarch butterfly and an owl.  Because I like to torture myself I made the costumes again.  Every year I do this, and every year I ask myself why I don't just buy them.  Before you feel impressed by this, please know that these costume involved no sewing, very little money (because we had most of what we needed) and a lot of hot glue.

It was pretty cold Halloween night.  Maggie and Cooper didn't last very long before they were ready to come home.  I took Libby around the neighborhood and I don't ever want to forget how excited she was to run up to every house that had a light on.  Her energy was infectious.   When I would lag behind she would yell over her shoulder "Mommy, come ONNNNNN!  
And just so the record will show what a horrid mother I am, we convinced the children to choose ten of their favorite candies from their Halloween loot to keep and donate the rest to the soldiers who are deployed to countries that apparently don't have candy.  Our dentist gave them a dollar for every pound they donated.  I don't ever remember my mother being so cruel...However, I do remember the Halloween candy disappearing mysteriously before Christmas ever rolled around.  Hmmmm????
Merry Christmas and Happy Halloween too!
Grace and Peace

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing

Have you watched White Christmas this season?  You need to make that happen asap?  Just so you know, my favorite scene is "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" scene.    Enjoy Maggie dancing...
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Grace and Peace

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

School Programs

Children's program's are a spectacle. Everyone wants to see their little one up close and personal.  Last year we arrived on time and got seats clear in the back of the room.  She was a mere speck on our camera lens we were so far away.  This year, I though we would be in the clear since her class needed to be there earlier than the other children to get prepare for the Nativity scene.  You can imagine my surprise when we arrived, on time again, and the parking lot was full...I think I said something like "crazy preschool parents."  
 Of course I'm one of them!
We got better seats this year, not quite so far back.  My girl was so proud to be a camel.  She got to make a camel noise and was pretty good at it.  Who new camels even made noise?  I didn't.  She was not happy about standing next to the shepherd, he was not happy about standing on stage at all.
 I love this moment that some how Kevin captured. It's the moment after they take the stage and she scans the audience trying to find us.  All the crazy parents are waving with both arms, or doing that loud finger whistle to get their kid's attention.  I just smile my big, proud smile, knowing that if she looks hard enough she'll find me.  When her eyes find mine, she does her shy smile which is so not in her nature, but comes out in moments like these.  I love that moment when she needs us  to be there for her and because we are proud of her she feels proud too.
She did a great job!  No wild dancing this year :)
 My cousin said something profound to me last Christmas about children's performances and I tried to remember it this year.  He said that all those videos we take of our children preforming we never really watch and by filming it, we normally miss the whole thing.  I put my phone down for this performance and just watched her. It was good advice.  I'm still glad that Kevin took a couple pictures though. (Babette watched it too, I think she was just trying to get a picture here, she didn't look at her phone the whole time).
 I don't know why she looked so big on Sunday.  They all wore red to church on Sunday, and you know how I feel about red in December.

 I missed my chance to get a picture of them all together.  I feel like in December on Sundays for church everyone should wear red.  I have stuck closely to this rule ever since Libby's first Christmas when I put her in red almost everyday.
 Poor little Mags didn't feel well on Sunday, she's perked up now.  One day she'll have her moment on stage.  I think she'll surprise me with her energy.  All this time I thought she was shy.   She'll show me.
Until next year's Christmas show.
Grace and Peace