Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Dinner and Gifts

Our two spoiled little darlings were quite excited to wake up Christmas morning and tear into gifts. Having just celebrated a birthday only a week prior, Ezra was an expert at ripping off paper. In fact, he started early with the ripping when he snuck into mommy and daddy's room the night before to open some gifts...some his, some not. Here is Caroline with a pot and pan set from Grandpa and Grandma Idaho.
And here is my current favorite picture of Ezra. "It's a grader!" He's been asking for a grader for the past year. Grandpa and Grandma Idaho came through big time!
Caroline's contribution to cooking the meal.
Grandma brought a delicious stuffing casserole and came to the rescue with wonderful gravy.

Daddy and Ezra waiting "patiently" at the table. The table was sadly lacking. With most of our extra things in storage there was no way to make the table pretty or fancy. I was quite sad thinking of all my beautiful china and serving pieces, the table cloths and cloth napkins that would have added that "just so" touch. Especially since we are so rarely home for Christmas. Thankfully, Christmas is not about having things "just so". We are thankful for food to eat, family to share it with and a warm house to enjoy it in. And above all else, for the Baby who came to earth from Heavenly glory to one day shed his precious blood to wash away our sins and make us as white as the lovely snow that fell all week.

Some of the fare.
And the drinks. Here's another opportunity to sing the praises of Trader Joe's. I do love their sparkling lemonade and what better time to enjoy some than Christmas dinner! We easily polished off the bottle. Ezra and Grandma Idaho helped me out.
And this is what we looked like after the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, layer salad, creamed corn and rolls were devoured. Rather than enjoy pecan pie right off, we opted to run to our beds for nap time. All but Grandpa, that is, who stayed awake to kindly pick the turkey bones clean.
And now going back in time to when we first woke up. These are the stockings made from paper and sewed up by Ezra and I. I hole punched around the paper and then Ezra and I used yarn to lace them up like lacing cards. It was sure fun! This can also be done with felt, although hole punching felt is a lot harder (but still possible).

Beginning the process of becoming beyond spoiled.
Ezra's new street sweeper.
Caroline opening the huge gift from mommy and daddy...a kitchen set!
This took Grandpa and Daddy most of the morning to put together.
I promise that she is happy with the present--just not with the camera :) Ezra loves the kitchen set just as much as Caroline does. The pot and pan set that Grandpa and Grandma got her goes perfectly with the kitchen.
And after a long day of eating and playing they raced off to bed. Ready, set...go!

Grampa and Gramma Hiiii-do

Grandpa and Grandma Idaho arrived Tuesday evening to spend a few days with us. They had first planned to spend a night in Walla Walla on the way here, but with a new storm hot on their heels, they pushed through and made the drive all in one day. And boy were they glad they had when it started snowing hard that night and the next morning. Excitement levels were quite high while two little bodies wriggled on the chair by the window watching for a van with Idaho plates to pull up to our house. When they did arrive, Grandpa backed the van up to re-parallel park and Caroline burst into tears thinking they were leaving as soon as they arrived. But--they stayed! And they brought gifts. A construction tool set and hard hat for Ezra's birthday. And a darling jumper sewn by Grandma for Caroline with a matching hat she crocheted. What fun.

Even more than the presents, Ezra and Caroline are enjoying Grandpa and Grandma Hi-do themselves. Grandparents always have time to cuddle, read books, play and listen to stories told by Ezra. We're so glad that they're here!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Marathon Post of Snow Play

I have been trying to post for the past 3 (I refuse to type out the number "three" in defiance to my days as an English major at the UW. I reserve the right to break lots of rules and have diaper brains now that I'm just a plain old SAHM!)days, to no avail. My Internet has been mad at me. Today it's finally working and this post is looooong. Sorry! First, a weather appropriate craft. And then some fun in the snow. This craft celebrates the evergreens our state is so famous for. We call it "Trees in Snow".

First off, if your children are old enough--this is a great lesson on symmetry. You can talk about what symmetry is and show them the "line of symmetry". Fold a paper in half and draw the shape of half of a pine tree. Remind them the importance of never cutting on the folded side of the paper. Then, cut out, unfold--and voila, you have a tree. You can either cut out one tree on a piece of card stock and then trace it multiple times on green paper and have the kids cut out their own trees. Or, if you are working on the symmetry aspect of this project, skip the tracing step and have each kid draw and cut out their own tree.

Then, glue your tree (or trees) to blue paper.

Then the painting begins!
This is a fun way to paint. Just cut up a kitchen sponge into small pieces. Dip in white paint, and you have your snow! This is a great lesson on texture. Caroline really seemed to get it (right).
Ezra decided that texture is for the birds! My tree is having a white out blizzard just like we are!

This is Caroline's snowy tree scene--my mother eyes thought it quite cute, sorry it's sideways. Of course, because this was one project I planned to save for a scrap book, Miss Kine got into it that night and ripped them all to pieces. Oh well, we'll just have to do it again. The kids won't mind in the least.

The final products.
The next door neighbor's granddaughter, C, is so kind to our children. She comes over and asks them to play outside often. She even brings out baskets of her childhood toys and plays in the grass for hours with Ezra in the summer. On this particular day, the grass was not visible. But she did have a snow fight with Ezra, made snow angels with him, pulled both kids on the sled and carried Caroline all over the yard. Caroline just lay on her back in the sled like a princess demanding to be pulled all around. Can C have some extra credit for all this hard work, Miss Acton? Please????

After a long day of playing in the snow and making crafts in the house, we need a drink of milk in a cozy chair while daddy tells Ezra "Once upon a time when you were a little boy" stories before bed.

Ezra has also finally felt the attraction of hot cocoa when he comes in from the cold. I wondered when this day would arrive! Guess he had to turn 3 before he fell for hot drinks.

I see you!
And now I must run away to my bed, my grandpa and grandma Idaho just arrived and I need lots of energy to play with them! They barely beat the storm to our house, praise the Lord for safe travels for them! Merry Christmas to you all. Ezra and I will be back soon to show you our presents : )

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He's Fweeeee!

Three years ago today, a precious young man entered our lives. We were so excited to meet him. And today we are so excited to know him. I don't generally love pictures of myself, but the above photo is my favorite all time of myself : ) The absolute joy I remember feeling in that moment was incredible.
Here's our boy turning one--still a redhead.

And turning two.

And A brand new 3 year old opening his presents. A doctor kit and a motorcycle and four wheeler. Wow!
I wanna go outside and play too, guys! (She didn't enjoy the cold for nearly as long as Ezra did).
Getting all dressed up for the fun outside.

His favorite birthday gift of all was having daddy stay at home today and play in the snow with him. He's been praying for snow for the past few days and he got the answer he wanted today!

Enjoying a "cup of dirt" with some candles in it after dinner tonight. We had a quiet celebration with just the four of us. Grandpa Tractor and Grandma Harbor will come over for cake whenever the roads are safe.

We love this boy so much it hurts. And boy has he made the past three years fun. Thank you Lord for putting him in our lives. May we honor You as we raise him to Your glory. Thank you dear friends and family for all of the phone calls and messages he received today for his birthday. He is blessed to have each and every one of you in his life. And his precious little three year old heart holds all of you close!