Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Gibson Jack!

H appy birthday to our Gibson Jack! What a wonderful, crazy and exciting year you have had.
  In your fifth year of life you...

attempted snowboarding for the very first time. had your adrenal system go to sleep. moved to a new house. learned to ride a bike. went tubing for the very first time. discovered the age old secret of surfing the waves. switched schoolsbegan to read.  mastered the art of tic-tac-toehit a golf ball farther than your mamma. rode a bus for the very first time. started swimming like a fishhad the courage to try the alpine luge racesang in your very first Christmas programhad your adrenal system wake up.  gained 5lbs and grew 5 inchesplayed your first game of soccer.  earned the right to the top bunk bed..again. and laughed at least three hundred times a day.

And now, as you enter your this new year, we pray that you may be courageous and strong in all that you do.  We love you to the moon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas slump

A t 2:45 every afternoon, you can find me on the floor in my classroom, conferencing with an eight year old trying convince inspire them to add rich, poetic details to a story they have been laboring on.

many times i ask them to jump into their story to describe what the main character sees, feels, smells, and hears, showing them along the way that by adding what the character senses they are building a bridge to their reader.

our senses are a way to mark occasions, celebrate seasons and make memories.  just the sight of sushi reminds me of vacations, where the only thing on my mind is whether to read or take a nap. smelling a campfire in the distance makes me instantly laugh thinking of the stories told in the confidence that only a campfire can promise.  blood curdling screams from an infant, instantly have me on my feet bouncing and rocking back an forth, and the smell of tacos bring back the nauseous feeling only a pregnant woman knows.

and the way that a sense can remind you of memories happy and sad, so too can a season.

and the Christmas season is no exception.  for many it is a season of warmth, love, family and the celebration of the birth of our Saviour.  for this party of four it too is all of those things, however, i have found myself in a slump this year.

in recent years, lets just say the last five, we have had a not so pleasant memory to mark each Christmas season, ranging from the stomach flu to our home being broken into.  and this year i have found that instead of enjoying a season of relative peace thus far, i am bracing myself for the Christmas ball of bad luck to drop.  and it hasn't.  and instead of enjoying the refreshing calm of this season, i am missing it. 

so on this twenty second day of december, i am brushing all past painful memories of this season off of my pessimistic self and preparing my heart for the birth of our King and the good memories to be made while surrounded by our family and friends.  may you too be open to the many blessings this season brings.

Monday, December 20, 2010

toys of Christmas past

E very Christmas, there is always that one gift.  the gift that lights up your child's eye, and the one they carry with them for the next two weeks. 

today, i realized that this year's gift may have already been gifted to my boys as their brand new pillow pets ate breakfast with us, traveled to the pulmonologist with us, snuggled in with us for a movie, and are now spectators of a wild soccer game currently being played in the basement. 

however, though the instantaneous connection is a good indicator of a buzz light year caliber toy,  the true test is whether a toy can stand the test of time.  

so, in honor of all toys of Christmas past i thought it would be fun to take a look at the toys that have sizzled or fizzled with this party of four.

in the parent magazine toy category we have the tumbling blocks vs. the magnet school.  the tumbling blocks are so old that i cannot find a link to them anywhere.  however, although they may be oldies, they certainly are goodies.  they have been used for car ramps, obstacle courses, soccer goals, chairs and yes, they have even been tumbled on. 

the magnet school on the other hand, has only been played with when i take them out and try to force persuade my children that they are a educational fun toy.

in the game category we have sequence for kids vs. the very hungry caterpillar game.  sequence for kids has been played over and over again and is pleasing to those age 3-32.  the very hungry caterpillar game on the other hand has been tried over and over again, but always meets the same fate of being stranded alone on the living room floor.

and finally in the very special p category, puzzles vs. puppets, we have crocodile creek puzzles vs. melissa and doug puppets.  both, i hold very near and dear to my heart, however, only one ever makes it's way out of the toy box.  the puzzles sizzle in the p category, and the puppets fizzle.

what toys of your Christmas past have stood the test of time?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010


We recently started a new car ride trend. it goes something like this: when driving in our car, usually after a long period of time, we all stack our hands on top of each other, huddle style, and on the count of three, raise our hands in the air while shouting something fitting for the moment.

today, after a lengthy breakfast downtown and an even lengthier search for the perfect Christmas ornaments, elliott called for this party of four to put their hands in the middle. when all hands were in, elliott cheerfully proclaimed, on the count of three say, we’re going home! our hands bounced, smiles filled our tired faces and erased our tired eyes, and we all breathed a sigh of relief that we were finally on our way home.

and we were on our way home, i promise, until a sign caught my eye. it was big. it was red. and it said, store closing.

in a second, steve had pulled down a side street, made a quick u-turn, and slid into a spot smack dab in front of icandy. a store with all the charm in the world.

against every ounce of common sense we took our over-tired boys and headed in.

as soon as we entered we saw that there were treasures in every corner. all marked up to 70% off. steals, i’m telling you. steals.

we walked around the store once. we walked around the store twice. and each time we found one more thing we had over looked the time before.

after well over an hour of perusing, contemplating and dreaming, we had made our choices and came home with these treasures. plus a few more.

so if you happen to find yourself near the corner of wealthy and fuller and have a hour few minutes to spare, it is definitely worth checking out.

who knows, you may end up just walking out with several items of wooden d├ęcor that you never knew you needed!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our camera was ready, the video camera was charged, all grandparents had found their seats, and we were as prepared as any parent could be for our first school Christmas program.  the precious kindergartners started filling the risers and with the first note played, i realized i forgot one thing.  kleenexes. 

tears of joy flooded my eyes as i saw my first baby holding his ha ha ha ha sign, proud and nervous all at the same time.

and tears of gratitude closely followed as the church was filled with little voices singing, away in a manger.  is there a more fitting song for the true meaning of this holiday season?

we have been blessed and now, thanks to gibson's amazing Christmas program were reminded of the true awe and wonder of this advent season.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

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