"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." -Edward Everett Hale

Monday, December 22, 2014

Santa Claus is Coming...

To the bank!

It's that time of year again. Santa drives his sleigh little red car to the neighborhood bank and visits with all of the little boys and girls, and a few big ones.

Although I don't push the Santa visit, everyone seemed to be on board this year. I think Piper's constant talk of a roomful of cupcakes and cookies in years past helped a little.

So with the assurance that no one had to sit with Santa if they had a change of heart, and a warning that just because you ask, doesn't mean you will receive, we went to see the jolly old man.

A few days ago I found out what Piper really wanted from Santa. It seems that someone else has beat him to the punch on this item. But of course Santa knows all and will figure it out. In my opinion we should consider scheduling these Santa visits a little earlier, like October. Doesn't Santa seem a bit like a procrastinator showing up four days before Christmas asking for a list?

How ever it all plays out, in the end Piper will get what she wants and someone else can be the hero. Why should Santa get all the glory anyway?

Although Lila didn't see Santa last year, this was her second encounter this season. Santa also paid a visit to Chinese school and gave out some pretty generous gifts. I didn't get a chance to stick around for that, but I understand that she "wasn't scared" and "he was nice."

On this visit Santa kept asking her if she had been good. She got very nervous and wouldn't answer. She gets bonus points for not lying...

Levi changed his mind at the last moment. Too much commotion, too many people standing around staring, I feel your pain, Levi. He said he didn't tell Santa what he wanted because he likes everything. Instead he was more disappointed that he forgot to give Santa his gift. Yes, Levi took something for Santa. He'll have another chance on Christmas Eve...

Next up was Easton. When put on the spot, Easton can't answer a question to save his life. Instead, it is possible to get him to agree to anything. So Santa probed around for ideas and planted all sorts of ideas in Easton's head. Sorry little buddy...

So, we wrapped up the Santa experience with another warning that there are no guarantees and instead Santa may have a few surprises up his sleeve. 

Merry Christmas, kids!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Countdown to Christmas

We're continuing the countdown to Christmas around here,

AND kicking off the final week of school before winter break.

If the class planner is any indication, it's a week of school in which they won't possibly doing anything,

EXCEPT having fun!

Friday, December 12, 2014

'Tis the Season...

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Parties, Performances and Presents,

Magic, Mystery and the Messiah,

But we manage to keep it real with...

Scrapes, Scratches and Sickness...

All year round!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tree Frenzy

As adamant as Piper was to give the Thanksgiving holiday proper respect, when it was over, it was over. Then came, "When are we going to put up the tree?"

Every day, multiple times a day, morning and night.

The thought of decorating for Christmas was almost overwhelming to me. Not only was I feeling a little less than energized, but the "what goes up must come down" was quite terrifying.

Since a Christmas tree is not optional, I pressed on. Michael did the heavy work and thankfully, Levi and I had a chance to peacefully get our bearings and organize the ornaments while the others were at school. Normally it's a grabfest and total chaos. 

Levi's first request, "Where's the toy that has Bethlehem?"

This little "Bethlehem" toy never loses its excitement...

Everyone loves their personal ornaments...

Finally, although it's still a work in progress (and will likely stay that way), the natives are satisfied...

And so am I.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Still Thankful...

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but we're still counting our blessings around here. There are simply too many to count in a single day.

Most of the children were eager to share their top reason for being thankful.

The responses included:




-No response

Trying to match the answers with the kids?
Levi - Jesus.
Lila - Mommy
Easton - Marshmallows
Piper - Didn't want to play along at first. But, later answered "Mommy".
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Looking at Thanksgiving

Our Piper...just call her the Thanksgiving Police.

As we are out and about surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas, she is outraged that people are thinking about Christmas. "They should be looking at Thanksgiving!" she says. (I'm not going to tell her that some people actually shop on Thanksgiving day. She's not ready for that kind of news.)

Part of this new-found appreciation for Thanksgiving can be attributed to her activities at school over the past few weeks.

Last week, we were invited to attend the Kindergarten Thanksgiving play. Although Piper was less than thrilled to be a pilgrim, she and all of her classmates put on a wonderful performance. (Apparently, the Native American headdress is much more fashionable than the pilgrim bonnet.)

On Monday, Levi and I endured enjoyed two school lunches. First up was Piper's lunch. We knew she was excited to see us even if she didn't show it. I'm sure she didn't recognize us at first and she actually said hello, the cafeteria was just too loud for us to hear. And during the meal, she was much too busy eating to socialize. Twenty minutes just isn't enough time to drink a carton of milk and take a few bites of ice cream. I'm certain that when it was over she couldn't say goodbye because she was just trying to keep her composure, knowing how hard our separation would be. Otherwise, what could we have done wrong? We followed all of her instructions. I didn't wear my glasses and Levi behaved.

It wasn't the best time for pictures...

Next was the preschool lunch, and a much different reception. Levi and I skipped the tray this time and just watched Lila and Easton shovel it all in. No less than three people stopped by our table to comment on what great eaters our little ones are. "They're the only ones who eat this stuff."

I'm just glad there's a time limit to lunch. Otherwise, with these two and a bunch of food, the aftermath isn't pleasant. They really don't grow much, and the food has to go somewhere...

Getting in a picture while it's still socially acceptable...

We finished out the short week on Tuesday as guest readers in Piper's class. It was "Read the Day Away" along with pajama day and bring a small stuffed animal reading buddy. That sounds like the best of days to me. Well, except the part about wearing pajamas to school. I made sure to follow instructions again, no glasses, keep Levi in check. It seemed to go slightly better than the day before. We're learning.

But these kindergarteners, you gotta love them. From the boy who slept through the whole thing to the girl who brought the ENORMOUS stuffed gorilla reading buddy beast, the questions they asked and the answers they gave, I'm reminded that they are just kids. One child in particular may act like a teenager, but under the facade of independence, the guise of embarrassment, there's just a six year old girl who really does need her mommy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Here We Snow Again

Last year was the winter of all winters. Snow days weeks, bitter cold and more snow days. Personally, I'll be the first to agree with Elsa, the cold doesn't bother me anyway, especially now that I have my own heater on board. However, warmer temperatures are more desirable where children are involved. Coats and car seats aren't made for one another and a 'shoes are optional' kind of afternoon is the best of all.

But the absolute worst are those nasty snow days. One or two, here and there are a must for any childhood and quite enjoyable at that. But when they stretch together or become a weekly occurrence, then it's enough to drive everyone mad.

While elementary students haven't had any official snow days, Monday and Tuesday of this week brought two, two hour delays. Unfortunately in our house, a two hour delay does not mean two extra hours of sleep for anyone. It's basically business as usual, just a little longer time spent in pajamas. As a result, it's a little harder to get going and a lot harder to leave a house full of siblings in full play mode...

And for Lila and Easton, any type of delay means a complete cancellation. So that's two November snow days on the record for the preschoolers.

Someone may have cried on the second day of hearing "No school!"

And someone else was just fine with the news...

And yet someone else is filled with excitement at the sight of the first flurry. Visions of snowballs and snowmen followed by hot chocolate dance in his head...

And I'm thinking here we go again.


It can't be any worse than last year...

Or can it?