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Yesterday we got the most snow we’ve gotten so far this winter.  As many know I love snow, which is much to my husband’s chagrin.  I even liked it when I had to go to work, however driving in it then wasn’t near as fun.  Now after a few days in, we HAVE to leave the house just to get out.

Our boy also likes the snow, and I love for us to be outside even in the dead of winter.  Here he is ready to go out:

“I want to go outside! And I look so cute in my new Cars scarf. Please can we go outside!”

Once outside, his favorite thing to do this year was eat snow.  I couldn’t get him to stop.  You’d think taking a face plant, while pretending to be a doggie eating snow would make one cold and want to stop eating snow, but not this guy.

This is after the face plant in the snow...See: Still eating snow.

If you’ve got snow on the ground enjoy it!  I always think it would be nice to live someplace warmer, but then I realize we wouldn’t have snow days like this to enjoy!

A while back I realized there were like NO pictures of me and my two brothers.  So when we got together for Christmas this past weekend I made someone take a picture of us!  Here we are.  The three amigos:

Here's hoping the receding hairline isn't contagious...Just kidding boys

We’re all different people, and during a recent project, that has become even more evident to me, as we’ve had various different people in our home to work on a renovation.

But what has been made clearest to me is that attitude does so much, and how important it is, despite whatever job you do, or whoever your boss is, to do it with joy.

This afternoon I’ve listened to the two gentleman in my basement sing at the top of their lungs to their favorite music.  Each time I see them they have a smile, and are so kind.  Talk about doing what they do with joy!  I never knew electric work could bring such happiness.

Each person who has come through our doors, has brought their own personality, but the ones we’ll remember most are those who have done a good job and done it with joy.

We each have days which may be less than glamorous, or a bit frustrating, but we’re loved by our Lord God, and each thing we do should be done with joy.  What a reminder.  I’m sure the guys that pick up our trash each week probably don’t love what they do, but they always smile, and talk to our little guy if he’s outside.  And it brings me joy not to have a heap of trash by the corner.

Being a mom each day can be messy, frustrating, and a challenge, but when I rock my sweet boy before a nap and read him book after book, I have joy.

To live by joy, is to be given joy.  Enjoy your day and be glad in it!

 

I now know what my parents must have felt like when we got up before 6am as we were eager to see if Santa had visited our house.  Our little guy got up about 5:50am, and despite putting him back to bed, we were all up and he was busy enjoying presents by 6:30am.

We all know what happens with a tired little guy though, and here is a prime example:

This is what happens when a 2 year old gets up way too early.

Needless to say shortly thereafter he did take a two hour nap and woke up much happier!  I thought those of you longing to see our little guy on Christmas might like a few happier photos to view.  Merry Christmas from our Household.  It’s time for lunch!!

Three cousins, Christmas Eve 2010. He gets to see his other cousin in several weeks.

We're just waiting for him to say he doesn't have anything to play with...

Christmas Week

Two year olds are fun.  Most days.  Most moments.

Ours is a challenge sometimes, but he is such a fun character.

With it being Christmas week, I’ve looked to do different activities with him each day to tie in the Christmas story or Santa, or both.

Today was reindeer day.  We took his handprints and made them into antlers on a headband.  I think this has been his favorite activity so far, and he loved that he looked like a reindeer:)

Could there be a cuter reindeer?

I love Christmas Cards (didn’t my title just say that)!  I love sending them, I love getting them.  I especially love the ones with pictures!  Before e-mail, text messaging, and the Internet, notes inside were the best part.  I love even reading everyone’s crazy Christmas letters.

Even if it isn’t someone I’ve been in close touch with for a while, it is a way to just say “I’m thinking about you as the holidays arrive!”

I can remember growing up and having TONS of Christmas cards arriving around the house.  I loved getting the mail around the holidays and I still do.

Just one observation keeps coming up with me this year (and if you’ve sent one of these they are still beautiful):  We have yet to receive a religious oriented Christmas card.  And I am continually reminded – isn’t the Christ child what Christmas is all about.

Of all the Christmas cards that have arrived this 2010, all but the photo cards and one or two others, have Santa or a Santa reference on all of them (ie:  A Santa hatted dog-several of these, or snowman, or sled with a santa hat.)

I love Santa Claus and the mystique as much as the next gal, but it is becoming harder and harder to keep Christ in Christmas.

A speaker I heard this morning made the statement that Christ gave us the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life for us, and that by being a giving person, we are emulating Christlike behavior.

That is so special and a great way for us to show our love for our friends and families.  But let’s not remember that night so long ago that brought Christ into the world in the first place.

Let’s remember that young girl that made her way on a donkey, pregnant, and I’m sure exhausted, and the hope that God through her brought into the world

Let’s remember what Christmas is all about.  God’s love for us, a wonderful gift that lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

I love Christmas Cards as noted above, I'm just not always the best at sending them out. This is what they look like if yours hasn't arrived yet (maybe it's lost in the mail - yeah, that's it!)

A few years back my mom and I began our tradition of Annual Mother Daughter Christmas Cookie Day.  We bake and bake for a whole day, ice the cookies, make them pretty and share them!  This year our Annual Day actually fell on National Cookie Day.  We thought that was quite appropriate.

Our beautiful cookies after a productive Christmas Cookie Day 2010! I think we both look a bit tired after a long day of baking.

This year with a very active two year old who also loves to bake we added a new addition by inviting my cousin’s daughter to participate (translation – help corral a certain two year old).  I think he ate at least a couple of cupfuls of powdered sugar.  And I think my cousin’s daughter also probably ate a cookie or two too many (translation – tummy ache) 🙂

This year we baked your traditional sugar cookie cutouts, Oh Henry bars, spritz cookie press cookies, chocolate covered pretzel rods – and new this year – the hubby contributed some of his famous no bake cookies to the mix.

We all had a great time and I love that we have our tradition.  These are the memories and tradition you pass down from one generation to another.  I’d love to hear what some of your favorite Christmas holiday traditions are.  Please share by leaving a comment!

When we first got married and had our first home, our tree was immaculate.  It looked like it could have been in a magazine.  All pinks and golds and uniform ornaments.  It had the perfect matching tree skirt, and we had great metallic gold stockings to match.

Then our next homes held equally uniform and classy trees, with floral picks set throughout, ribbon cascading down and uniform gold and deep red christmas ornaments hung throughout with beaded ornament hooks.

Fast forward to our tree this year.  Brad and I both noted this year how we like the look of the tree with our more unique ornaments set into motion by our little boy.  We now have Santa on a motorcycle, footballs, teddy bears, a small nativity ornament, and much more.  We now put those Purdue ornaments on our main Christmas tree as well as all of those unique ornaments friends and staff have given us over the years.  Grandparents have already added to the family collection too.

It’s a little more like life for our family in general.  Much more a menagerie of things going on than when it was just the two of us.  And we like it this way (most days…).

We like our more unique tree (and life) and look forward to adding more uniqueness to it each year.  This year the boy’s Christmas ornament is Mickey and Pluto decorating a tree, in honor of his first trip to Walt Disney World this year.  Our next door neighbor said that is one of the first souvenirs they purchase on each trip anywhere – a special ornament, and I must say they always have a beautiful tree.  I like this idea and think it is one we’ll try to institute in our family too.

 

I think this face just shows the mischief our home has in store for it.

 

 

Fall Days

A few weeks back, when the leaves were changing, and before they all fell off the trees with haste, we took a trip out to the woods at grammy and poppy’s.  We got some good fall pictures.  We’ve taken some each year since the boy was born.  I hope at some point to post the progression.  Right now the boy is telling me to get off the computer…

Fall Family Fun in the Woods at Grammy & Poppys, Late October 2010

Don't know why, I just LOVE this picture!

We are so proud of our little guy.  Born in July, he’s a tad patriotic, and loves to carry around his American flag that his MeMe sent home with him.

We’ve been learning the Pledge of Allegiance at church recently, and today have been practicing in preparation for tomorrow, Election Day 2010.