Sunday, December 28, 2008

happy birthday jesus

Here are the mangers we made and also their birthday party for Jesus!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

playing balls at grandpa's work

Our family trips to Kentucky always fly by.  It always seems like we run around everywhere,  trying to see everyone,  and go home regretting not seeing everyone we wanted to see and still be exhausted.

Well, once we got to our first stop to Kentucky,  I was already exhausted.  It felt like all of December was like a trip to Kentucky.  Trying to get everything done.  Trying to see everyone.  Trying to make "Christmas" what it should be.

So we got there and I asked Zander what he wanted to do (not that he really makes the decisions,  I was just curious).  I said,  "What do you want to do today?"  

He answered,  "I want to stay here with Grandma and Grandpa and I want to go play balls at Grandpa's work."

And I said,  "Okay,  That sounds great."

I was glad to have an excuse and take a break to relax......with nowhere to go.  (Matt took the kids to the pool hall to see my Dad at work).

Which makes me think about growing up with my dad owning the pool hall.  Being the daughter of the pool hall owner in town was such a cool title to have as a kid.  The City Pool Hall has the best hamburgers ever ( I love to brag about people coming from California to have a taste).  The City Pool Hall has been featured in state regional photo exhibits and papers.  So,  I had a lot to brag about.  I remember in Kindergarten, bragging to my teacher that my Dad now owned the pool hall and she argued with me about it (because he had just become the part-owner).  I was furious that my own teacher didn't believe that my Dad owned the Pool Hall.

Even with the coolness of it.....there were some things that weren't that cool, however.  Being a girl,  I couldn't play pool there.  I remember going to college and telling people my Dad owned our local pool hall....they would be so impressed.  "You must be a pool shark, "they'd say.  Usually I would smile and say, "Yeah."  But there were times I got in trouble for that.  Like a time a guy I really liked took me somewhere to play pool.
Because I had never played pool in my life.

Coming from a small town in Kentucky,  girls playing in the pool hall, at that time,  was simply not acceptable.  I remember complaining to my Dad and he would say,  "I'm sure girls can play pool too but I just can't do that because a lot of my customers wouldn't play."
It was just the way it was.  I didn't love the way it was,  and told my Dad,  but that was just how it was.  My Dad always taught me that I could do anything I wanted to do no matter what.

The cool thing about my Dad was he never made Me feel inferior......he just explained that was how he ran the business because that was the tradition in our small town.  And now,  that I'm older,  I understand completely.

The even more cool thing about my Dad is this.....He lets my kids run wild through the pool hall.  I'm sure you'll see from the pictures that Kaya pretty much does what she wants.  He not only lets my kids play pool, he lets them stand on the tables and roll or throw the balls around. We asked the kids what they wanted to do when the grew up and worked at the pool hall.   Zander said ,"I'll cook the cheeseburgers and Kaya can be the boss."  I'm sure that is how it would be.

So,  I'm not worried at all about Kaya having a grandpa who owns a pool hall and not learning to play pool (it is a wonder what grandkids do to a person).  I'm pretty sure Grandpa will let this little girl do whatever she wants...  

the curse of a new camera

I know I've talked about it earlier.....I love my new camera.

Maybe a bit too much...

I uploaded my pictures of all of our Christmas festivities to share with all of you (and if you aren't family and friends who check my blog for pictures of my kids...bear with me,  it will mainly be picture of kids the next few days....I'll start actual "writing" soon enough) and I had 720 pictures on my memory card from the past five days.  Truly Ridiculous!!!  I know.

So now I'm trying to sort through all of them.  So if I share way too many shots just remember I could have shared 720.

The next few days I'm gonna share some of our family moments of Christmas.  This was truly one of my best Christmases.  I'm so glad I feel so much better and could enjoy my wonderful kids.  The only sadness of the season was missing grandparents who have passed away ....but I have a strong feeling they were here with us loving the childlike moments with us.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

catching up

Is it really December 20th? Did the month really fly by that quickly?

I feel like I've been in a haste since the day after Thanksgiving. Rushing around, working is almost a blur.

I had to get ready for all of our Christmases by yesterday since we were going on our yearly whirlwind trip in Kentucky. All of this week I've been saying, "I have two days (or one, whatever) until Christmas, not seven."

But everything got finished. I did it. Now it is time to catch up.

Time to catch up with family.
Time to catch up with playing with my kiddos with no time limitations.
Time to catch up on sleep because grandparents love getting up with Zander and Kaya ( I had 9 hours last night...........heavenly).
Time to catch up on blogging (which I have truly missed sharing my thoughts with you).

It is so nice to actually prepare for Christmas so early and to have these moments with my family to enjoy. I look forward to sharing some of our favorite moments with you soon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

loving Santa

It is that time of year again.  The time to go visit Santa.  Each year I have envisioned my perfect children sitting on his lap and whispering their wish lists in his ear.  And usually one of them cries,  scared to death of this strange man in red.  So I've accepted the fact that they may cry,  but we go on anyway.

But this year was different.  I hope I always remember the sweet, special visit with Santa they had in 2008.  

As soon as we got to the front of the line to see Santa,  both Kaya's and Zanders eyes lit up.  They both sat in his lap with no reservations.  They whispered,  giggled, and told Santa what they wanted.  And Santa was so wonderful......I just love him so much.  Zander told him something that must have been pretty funny (we still don't know what,  besides as Zander says "It's their secret).  Anyway,  after Zander told him this secret,  Santa laughed so loud--I'm pretty sure he could be heard throughout the mall.  When I went to get them out of Santa's lap, he said to them,  "What a great way to start my day!  I'm so happy I got to see you this morning."  While we were waiting for our pictures to print,  Santa kept waving at Zander and winking at him while he waited for other kids.

I'm not sure who was more excited to see Santa....the kids or myself.  Merry Christmas, Santa.  You made me have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

childlike giddiness

I truly believe the month of December is the fastest one of the year.  In the midst of preparing the perfect flies by.  I've been thinking of great moments that have happened this week that I wish I could find the time to reflect upon and post about but the minutes, hours, and days speed by.  I'm getting less sleep (still preparing for that perfect Christmas) doing much more (preparing for the perfect Christmas) and still it seems like there is less time to do all that I enjoy.

By preparing for the perfect Christmas it seems like life is on crazy fast-play on a tivo recording.  It is rather ironic that the message I was trying to convey in my homemade Christmas cards is one I need to listen to myself.  I wrote a poem for my dear family and friends that I'm sending cards to (the sad part is I'm still working on all of these cards.....I think I'll finish them by tomorrow.....after a month of cutting and pasting & staying up into the wee hours of the night).

But as I looked over these pictures I wanted to share,  the poem came back to mind.

May your heart be filled with sweet moments of play,
Innocent joys throughout the season's busiest days.
May your heart imagine of wondrous things to be,
Or special moments of friendship shared with a cup of tea.
Allow your heart to share freely with the ones you are with,
Let is sing joyfully for those you miss.
Give your heart the chance to gallop, dance, or sing...
And embrace the childlike giddiness the season can bring.

I experienced one day this week that captures the spirit and love I was trying to wish everyone else to have.  I spent the morning with two dear friends that I used to teach with and their beautiful children.

This is what Christmas should be about.  Loving your friends,  sharing moments with them, and watching your families blend together and have the perfect play-times with each other.

Thanks Kara and Stephanie for your friendship and to your precious children who bring childlike giddiness to my Christmas season.  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

you are my sunshine

Kaya sang this to cheer up her grandma today.  I hope her singing brings a smile to all of your faces too.  She is looking at herself in the window as she sings....and got sidetracked by Daddy at the end....

19 days until Christmas

Today in our countdown bags we found this treat....

I also got a treat new camera!  I was so excited to use it during our trip to Monkey Joes.  I loved the quick shutter speed on the sports setting.  

Only 19 days until Christmas and we had a picture-perfect day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

christmas countdown

I had grandiouse visions in my head of two very cute fabric/felt advent calendars shaped like elves that I was going to hand-stitch for my kiddos.
My mom used to do this for us. The countdown calendar she made was cross-stitched. I loved the excitement of a small treat each day of December! I even took it to college. I remember friends coming over to my dorm room to see what I got for the day.

So I really wanted to start this tradition with my kids.

Then I saw the idea of counting down with bags from Wondertime magazine. They just put the number on the outside and hung on ribbon. I decided to go a step farther and decorate each bag with a photo from past Christmases. I then mod-podged (which I'm totally addicted to now.......I'm looking for things around the house to mod podge) the photos to the craft bags to give each sepia colored photo even more of an antique look.

The kids were so excited to open their first bags!

I attached garland to my banisters and paper-clipped the bags to it.

I love the look of the bags and how the decorate the house. I look forward to filling them up each year with treats!