Monday, December 17, 2012

Bits of Christmas in Our Home

Our first Christmas in our new home has been really fun to decorate. It has all turned out quite lovely. We have this tree in our kitchen that was given to us by my mother in law. I love the way it looks in this corner.


And here is the view from our living room and entry.


This is the live tree in the living room. Very simple.


And the family room. This is our main tree. The one filled with family ornaments, and presents, and of course a train that my parents gave the boys.


Stockings hung on the chimney with care.


I think I printed this print from graphics fairy.



All lit up.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

11 Years

Jaiden turned 11 years old last week. We have had a very rough couple of months, but he knew it was his birthday, and he was as happy as a clam.

He has been doing really well this year in school. He is learning to read on his computer and has started doing more academics than life skills. He's really catching on!

We are so proud of him.

I pray everyday for ways to show him we love him, and ways to help him.

We have a pretty big change coming up that we hope will help him more than anything. I'll let you know when we know for sure.

He's such a wonderful young man!

Brothers lighting the donut cake:




Happy Birthday Jai. We love you!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Art of Living

A few years ago I discovered blogging. Some of the blogs I read we're so wonderful for me  because they made me realize that all of us women-moms all want the same thing. To create a wonderful home and memories for our children. It may come in different forms, and may mean totally different things to each of us, but the goal is the same.

Through the years we've seen picture perfect homes, amazing crafts and projects, ideas on intentional parenting, homesteading, simplifying, etc. We've signed up for numerous social networks, found our creative side, made new friends, and captured more memories. We've also spent more time on the computer, more time finding more ideas, and more money buying into all those ideas. Sure here and there the ideas have been fantastic, the friends we've made have been such a blessing, and we may have even saved some money at times, but there is a fine line that is easily crossed when everything becomes too much.

What do we do with all the ideas crowding our heads? When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a mom. I wanted to cook and clean, read to my babies, bake Christmas cookies,  and make big shopping trips to SAMs (grin). One of my favorite things to do was read decorating magazines for ideas on how to decorate our home. I wanted it clean, comfortable, and cozy. When I got married, I showed my husband a house I had ripped out of one of those magazines. It was dark blue with white trim. It had a lake behind it, and lots of windows. It was rainy there which probably added to its coziness. I imagined our life in that home. Clean, white fluffy bedding, us sitting by the fire reading with our oldest boy.

Over the past few years I've tried and failed many times to live up to the thousands of ideas I see online. Wondering if I'm being an "intentional" mother, going back and forth with buying organic healthy food, simplifying only to find myself wanting for more the next month, adding things to our home and turning right around to find something I would've liked better, worrying if I should take our boys trick or treating, or how I should celebrate this and that, seeing others' ideas on living and not feeling I'm doing enough. We've fallen into googling any and everything we don't know, searching for ideas, recipes, cleaning schedules, and even how to be a good mom, wife, Christian. We have to get online to post pictures, check email, talk to friends, get our recipes for dinner, and check our calendars.

What if we woke up in the morning, made a cup of coffee, talked with our kids while making breakfast, checked the calendar hanging on the wall, grabbed a pen and paper to write our to do list. What if we made our same ol' favorite meals week after week with a few fancy ones here and there. What if we made a gingerbread house and some Christmas cookies with our kids in the weeks leading up to Christmas. What if we picked out a few really wonderful outfits we love and not buy anymore until there was a NEED. What if we decorate our home and it stays the same until we fill them with grand babies. What if we buy our children a  only few presents for their birthdays and Christmas and that's it for the year. What if we drove the same car for 20+ years.

What if we spent our time minding our business? Whatever it looks like for you. For me that would mean, cleaning, cooking, laundry, homeschooling, reading, and taking a walk around the neighborhood. Not bothering to worry about good food and  bad food, but having a variety of  good, basic food and snacks. I think that is good enough. Not doing a craft a day, but when one strikes the urge. Not simplifying for the soul purpose of adding more stuff...just, not adding more stuff to begin with. Not trying to figure out how to create the best memories for our family, just simply living and enjoying them will create a balanced and happy childhood. Things as simple as Saturday chores, Sunday dinner, decorating the Christmas tree, bedtime stories,  and playing games together are surely enough.

There is certainly a time and place for inspiration and motivation. Online is a great place to "meet" with friends that are far away, but it's okay to not have the social need met all of the time. It's okay to get bored doing laundry everyday, we don't have to fill every single moment with something to do for us and our children. It won't hurt us. It, in fact will help us enjoy the extras all the more.

I'm finding a balanced life that suits our family. I want to know these little boys. I want to kiss my husband when he comes home from work. I want to hop in the car on a cold evening and look at Christmas lights. I want to dress up for church in Sunday. I want to laugh while doing school work because I taught the boys to make duck noises with their hands. I want to check out hundreds of books from the library. I want to have more babies and give them baths in the sink. I want to turn on the sprinkler on a hot summer day for children to run in. Things we were more than likely already doing before we found a thousand more ideas.What I hope our generation realizes is we were already doing enough. Maybe we find a few great new traditions here and there, but it is okay not to add anything else.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Leaf Jumping

Last weekend Dan cleaned up the yard. The boys begged him to save a pile of leaves for them to jump in. They would line up, and Dan would throw them in. So much fun!



This guy was more interested in having a cup of cocoa.


I love this boy. He is the biggest help and has such a wonderful heart.


Doing their own little thing. I sure love having them around!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Cards

I can't believe it's this time of year already! I am pretty behind on getting things done as far as Christmas cards, gifts etc. So yesterday we set out to finish buying Christmas gifts, I took pictures of the boys, and I came home and made these cards. The hard part? Choosing which one I like better, ha! Have you gotten all your shopping done and cards finished? We still have a few things (like a scooter) to get for the boys, and my boys are just DYING to buy something for their daddy. Other than that, we are done!


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