The Christmas season begins for us (usually) the weekend after Thanksgiving when we pull out the lights and the ornaments, and begin our nightly Advent devotions. I love the anticipation that comes with this beginning; looking ahead at what is to come in December, and I also love the memories that are unpacked as each ornament is unwrapped and laid out in preparation for hanging. Almost all of our ornaments are either homemade or gifts and it is fun to watch the collection grow each year.
A couple years ago my mom gave me this cute pair, which I was tickled to find perfectly match the existing decor in our living room.
Between four boys, a dog, and a cat, it’s not really surprising that a couple years ago our tree took a tumble. A few ornaments broke and since then there are some I’ve been leery to hang on the tree. That is why this year’s favorite new accessory is the hanger for my Noah’s Ark collection and a few other special pieces.
The most meaningful ones though, are the ones that tell the story of our family…
From the year we were married:
The year our eldest was born:
As our family has grown, so has the snowman family. Here is the group from the year our children numbered three:
And the group of four waiting their turn on the tree:
They didn’t actually all make it up as one needed a repair…
(Between homemade and the ones that need fixing every year, I’m thinking that by the time our kids leave home our tree may be made up mostly of glue. )
With four of course we have plenty of these:
And the older ones have begun bringing them home from school:
Preparing our home and our hearts for Christmas was special when it was just the two of us; it is even more special now that we have four eager little persons to share it with. I look forward to the many years of awe and wonder ahead of us, as we prepare to celebrate the Christ child and his amazing gift to us.
It may seem strange to be talking about summer on December 1st, but if it makes you (and me!) feel warmer, then it will be worth it.
Boy #2 turned 6 in September. Due to the age cut-off in Mississippi he started kindergarten this fall, and is LOVING it! I’ve only heard positive reports from his teacher and I do think the extra year has helped his classroom maturity. He is very forthcoming about his day once he gets home and regales us with stories about his classmates (including telling our friend who does the afternoon carpool about his many girlfriends). Thanks to time spent with McNair, who was in town directing a production at Belhaven and who is never without a sketchbook, he has developed a keen interest in drawing and takes paper and a pencil everywhere he goes. He recently told us he would rather draw than go outside for P.E. Actually, his exact words were ‘I like to sit still and draw’, which I know is not true because even while drawing the boy CAN NOT sit still! (at home at least….)
In addition to starting school, the other big change for him this year was losing 6 teeth since February.
and last week…
Even with the added difficulty of eating his favorite fruit (apples), he is excited about the tangible evidence that he is becoming a “big boy”.
Sports may not be his first love, but we need to get those wiggles out somehow! He played soccer again this fall, scored some goals and had a great time.
He also loves Lego and can follow instructions well enough to build most sets on his own. He likes to create his own spaceships and battle scenes with his brothers. This summer they built an airport (with Daddy’s help).
His other favorite past time is being silly. He is great at making faces, making up dance moves (thank you, Theatre Camp!), and dressing up (usually as a Jedi) with the other boys.
As soon as I took this photo he said “you better not post that on Facebook!” (But I can’t resist sharing just how goofy he is )
I had big intentions this summer for so many things, updating this blog being one of them. Clearly that did not happen! And since my kids go back to school in just over a week, it appears that summer (the vacation part, NOT the temperature part unfortunately) is quickly coming to an end. Ah well…..
Summers in our household mean birthdays. We have one a month from June through September. Two are now behind us; my baby has turned 2 and my oldest baby is now 8 (how has that happened?!). As you can imagine, they’ve both changed considerably in the past year.
#1 loved second grade and did very well, earning A/B Honour Roll. He also played a lot of football with his friends at recess. His teacher made a comment to me towards the end of the year hoping that I wasn’t bothered too much about the amount of dirt that he brought home (white as a school uniform color–what were they thinking?!). He enjoyed soccer last fall, and baseball for the first time this spring, and plays copious amounts of sports in the backyard–baseball, hockey, football–or a combination of all of them.
I have a long way to go to being an adequate sports photographer, but this is my favorite from this season. (Love the shadow and the “levitation”)
He loves to read and has delved into chapter books this past year, especially The Magic Treehouse series and The Boxcar Children which he discovered in his school library. This summer we started working our way through The Narnia Chronicles, and he follows along in his book while I read out loud to him and his brother. He also reads to his brothers from time to time. It’s so great watching them discover a love for books!
So, since it is the latest thing, he asked for a Narnia party for his birthday:
As the oldest there are plenty of moments of bossiness, but he has become a great helper with his younger brothers, especially at getting breakfast. He also likes to help at the grocery store, and has been known to do his chores without complaining.
Remember what I mentioned about dirt? Boys just need to be in it for some reason!
Lego is a big part of his life and when they are building is about the only time it is quiet around here. Well, that and when the TV is on! His other favorite part of summer was getting to see Cars 2 in the theater and there has already been talk about buying it when the DVD comes out so we can watch it again and again! (imagine my excitement )
….and stay tuned for parts II – IV….
Kris has recently been able to take the boys to the Build and Grow Saturday mornings at Lowes. They have enjoyed the projects, and especially getting to spend some time with Daddy. The latest project was a special one for Mother’s Day that arrived home shrouded in secrecy. My kids haven’t completely grasped the concept of keeping a secret, so I loved that they worked so hard to keep me from finding out what they had brought home.
A couple days before Mother’s Day, my eldest said to me “Mom, you’re lucky to have 4 boys. Some people don’t have any boys!” Haha! I immediately thought about the wrestling matches, and the dirt, and the conversations about underwear and bodily functions, and the fact that they are so LOUD! But then I thought about the hugs and kisses, and snuggles, and how they ask me to play catch with them, and the bonds of friendship I see forming between them. And after receiving my gifts, hand built and hand picked for their mama by this rambunctious bunch, I feel very blessed indeed to have a house full of boys…..
My husband and I had a quick trip to New Orleans this week, and spent a couple hours walking around the Garden District. So many beautiful plants in bloom! And just in time for the i heart faces floral photo challenge. Hearkening back to my college days in the darkroom, I am still in love with black and white.
One year ago today, dear friends of mine arrived home with their new son. It was an emotional homecoming after weeks abroad, paperwork, lawyers, interpreters, and all the joys and pains that come with adoption. But they were welcomed with love by a group of family and friends eager to invest in the life of this child. What a blessing and a privilege it was for me to witness and document incredibly touching moments–as friends reunited and new friends were introduced, as adults embraced and children laughed…
The call to adoption this family has on their heart is such a powerful testament to the love we have as adopted children of Christ. I am grateful to know them and to know that lives will continue to be impacted because of that love.