Saturday, December 27, 2008

Promises broken, (but luckily no arms)

I know I promised that I would get the pics up, but I got distracted by all the Christmas fun, and now, we are at the beach. Of course I will post, from the MRs. new MAC BOOK computer (Which so far is super fabulous, if not mildly daunting to be relearning to use the computer). Anyways, I was also lucky enough to receive an actual CRICUT Expression machine, so I will probably be AWOL as I die cut a million fabulous items!!

Moving on, I had to get this video up, because I cannot even believe it, but it's true!! 

Cubby can ride a Bike!! 
He went round and round the cul-de-sac after that, but of course I neglected to film that because I was watching so intently. 
So miss H is not too far behind, but her balance needs a little work still. Most likely she will be there in a day or two, but we had to take a little break from lessons so the Mr. could realign his spine. 

I can't even believe it, who would have thought, he's barely four!!
So, pictures to come of the Christmas fun, and Little Daddy's number 2 Birthday!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

We survived three church services this week. The final Sunday of Advent, a Love Feast in Historic Salem, and a children's Christmas Eve service tonight. I love worship, and even though it is a challenge to get the children all properly attired (the Mr. literally wrestled Little Daddy into his overalls this afternoon) when the timing is right and the children are engaged, it is quite possibly the nearest thing I have seen to Heaven on Earth.

When the lights were turned off at the Love Feast, and they brought those handmade Beeswax candles out both Cubby and Miss H were absolutely stilled. They had just seen these very candles being made on a field trip, and to watch Miss H's quiet concentration, as she held that candle and her pure delight in there being hymns to sing that she recognized. Her candlelit silhouette complete with uplifted chin and eyes of wonder..I tell you it was not only a memory made, but a warmth in my heart. (I would have had a photo of it, but I really couldn't juggle Lil Bit the lit candle and a camera, I know many of you just gasped in disbelief)It is a wonder to me at how many little nothings of a moment move me to tears at the sheer grace I feel in having been given so many people to love. Granted sometimes it seems they have ants in their pants, but that makes these other moments that much sweeter.

So the children are nestled all snug in their beds... although I feel certain it's not sugared plums dancing through their heads. We do have a little treat for you posted below. I certainly hope you enjoy it!!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Old Saint Nick

I consider the whole visiting Santa and sitting on his lap to be one of the hilarities of childhood. I myself have quite fond memories of the entire experience, including one year in which I kid you not Santa had an actual live CHIMP. The holding of said Chimp was the responsibility of my older sister but I still remember the thrill of sitting near it!! That being said, we made our annual visit to the fat man this year, with the usual trepidation on my part. Somehow we have some terribly shy children who won't just go hopping onto laps. Also , with four kids, odds are someone is going to be crying!!

We arrived early (we were number one in line) and surprise surprise Cubby and Miss H were very enthusiastic. They made plans to chat with Santa about the kind of cookie he preferred, and put the final touches on their letters. There was a small discussion about if Santa would like Soy milk or regular milk.

The big moment arrived, the gate opened... and Cubby and Miss H hopped right up there, huge grins plastered on their faces.. Lil Bit was not impressed by the fat man, and following her return she promptly fell asleep in the punkin seat.

Little Daddy on the other hand.. well take a look for yourself...

Doesn't he look like he's being kidnapped!! Granted, he had made his opinion on the subject perfectly clear. Everytime we mentioned visiting Santa he said quite clearly "NO!" Whatever, the experience is not so much for him as for me, and I found the whole thing quite hilarious.

Post lap sitting, I asked Cubby and Miss H what Santa had said about the cookies and milk, quite sheepishly she looked up at me and said... "Oohh we forgot." They did manage to squeeze in that Cubby would really like a digital camera, and Miss H would like a sewing machine. Little Daddy did not even want a candy cane from Santa, so I suppose he will be satisfied with whatever should happen to appear in his stocking.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Daddy's Girls

Having been one myself, I know the true comfort that comes from being a Daddy's Girl, and how in many ways your Dad is the first man you learn to love, and even now I measure my husband against this standard. What I wasn't prepared for, is what a treasure it is to watch a Daddy and his girls as they grow into their roles. I am painfully aware, that there will come a time when the Mr. and I will not be innundated by the caucaphony of young parenthood and instead of giggles and shrieks it will be silence that reverberates down the hall. I think from time to time what that will be like. My preliminary conclusion is that it will be bittersweet. I think to sustain myself through that bittersweetness, I will have not only my fabulous husband, and the abscence of sippy cups, but a catalog of great memories. Check out this daddy with his girls.

Daddy and Lil Bit (The reason we missed the Duke Game)

Daddy and Miss H four years ago.. (I know the Mr. has hardly changed at all!!)

Lil bit, by the way is now more than two months. At her last check up she was rocking it at 11lbs 3 oz, and a mind boggling 78th percentile in length, making our Lil Bit the biggest of all the kids.

Who knew?
Also... Here is Miss H aged 2 months in the same outfit!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A little Mischief

There is a mysterious phenomenon occuring around here, each time I have downloaded pictures from our digital camera there are mysteriously a few I did not take... these for example:

Now who in this house could be interested in touching something they are not supposed to? Certainly not Cubby who has asked repeatedly for a digital camera from Santa? Certainly not his frequent partner in crime Miss H. Honestly, I have to admit, Cubby does have a pretty good eye, some of his stuff is a little artsy...

So here's hoping the fat man sees fit to keep them off the BBandG (Bad Boy and Girl List for those not following Santa lately) and grant Cubby's heart's desire... (Miss H has her heart set on a Hello Kitty sewing machine) I'm thinking of submitting a few to National Geographics"My Shot" contest. Below is a little collection of some of these "anonymous" photos. Although in all honesty, the kids do admit to taking the pictures, and I don't mind too much (it's just memory space). It is also interesting to see what they consider picture worthy. And, I may have invited this mischief showing them how the camera worked about a month ago.

The First Christmas Play

Well, I have a few un-finished posts. Something must be up around here, as I have no idea why I have not had time to complete my thoughts, whatever could be the excitement?

At any rate, instead of waiting to finish all the unfinished.. I will post the new posts, and fix the others up later. (You know in all my free time).

We were very fortunate to have Hannah and Connor's first ever Christmas Program at school on Friday. The pictures are not very great, in part because of the camera and in part because of the lighting I think. There was also a slight miscommunication, in which I thought arriving by 11:15 as suggested by the school head would mean an acceptable seat, apparently the more responsible parents had stayed since drop off that morning. Had I known the show would be a sell out, I would have camped out the night before!!

All in all, I found this first Rite of Parental Passage, quite entertaining and hilarious. There were slews of Dad's armed with recording devices, (some on tripods) and enough anticipation to merit a true Broadway debut. I don't know which was more entertaining to watch the chorus of small children outfitted in costumes of their choosing telling the story of Christ's birth, or the crowd of parents (myself included) clamouring for the perfect view. Parenthood is a constant wonder to me, for what other force could cause pure delight in a stage full of people in costumes made with safety pins and hot glue moving about as the Christmas Story is read. I must also admit a complete appreciation for Auntie Abby, Uncle Josh and Mrs. Robyn who indulged my parental wonder and oohed and ahhed in all the right places, and didn't tease me a bit when I was disappointed at the photographic evidence of this obviously historic event.

So below are a few pics (again the picture quality is quite poor). Connor was a fabulous Donkey who roved the stage quite dramatically throughout the show. Hannah played Baby Jesus, complete with blankie, and did some very convincing thumbsucking and sleeping. Hannah also did an excellent job singing.. which I think you can see in one of the later pics.

Click to play The First Christmas Play
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

It's here, it's here!! The Christmas season arrived full force in our house last Sunday (I don't know why it takes two weeks to post it). To our great delight, Cubby and Miss H are quite the Tannenbaum decorators, and while we are well aware that Christ's birth really has nothing to do with a Christmas tree, it is such a great opportunity for us to remind the children of their family history it is a tradition hard to part with. As you can see from the pictures, there is a definite spacing issue with the ornaments as each child had a particular "area" that they preferred to hang things.

So, although I was raised to have a real tree, we made the switch last year to artificial when we realized that the expense of a real tree coupled with the purchase of new lights was a little steep, not to mention the little pine needles I was always finding everywhere, and the constant threat of fire!! Although the smell of warm plastic in no way can compare to the fresh smell of a real tree, these days I am a little more interested in economics than I care to admit.

By far the favorite ornaments are those sent by my loving Aunt each year (along with a box of See's Chocolates) from Disney. These Storybook Collections come in a box shaped like a storybook, and have excellent resin renditions of all the characters. Disney only releases two stories each year, (This year is Sleeping Beauty, and Toy Story) and they are quite affordable. It is my fantastic Aunt that taught me the importance of labeling my ornaments with the year and storing them in their original boxes. Every year when I open the huge Rubbermaids containing our ornaments I am overwhelmed with nostalgia for the weekends I spent with her and her careful attention to raising me right. This is just one of the things we share with the children as we decorate.

Other favorites, an adorable ceramic house my brother Michael painted in 1984, it is complete with reindeer hoofprints on the roof and a menorah in the window. Whenever I see it I am instantly flooded with memories of Legos, and Matchbox Cars, Scrabble, Monopoly, and a Chinese Game called Go. As well as a thousand rafting trips, hikes and nature walks. This was the brother who loved logic and reason, but seemed also to have a soft spot (very un-Spock Like) for his sister. When he converted and began celebrating Hannukah, he included us in his celebration, I have very fond memories of his patient teaching of the meaning of Hannukah, and the correct way to light the Menorah.

The children are conditioned now (with their own interest in connecting to the past) to ask about each ornament and where it came from, and it is a delight to me to share our history this way.

When the tree was all decorated the highlight of the evening was (this will make you laugh) the argument Cubby and Miss H had over who could re-tell the story of the first Christmas using the nativity set. They did opt to take turns, but the pure enthusiasm and desire they had for retelling the story of the birth of the Christ child warmed my heart. It is a delight for me to see these children of ours learn about their Savior and tell His story. When I get these little glimpses at the great goodness that can come from patient parenting I am thankful, it is a blessing to see the small fruits of your labor so soon, as well as an encouragement to know that this is only the beginning.

I hope your Advent is shaping up well, it is afterall the most wonderful time of the year!!