Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Jesus and the man in the red suit

Merry Christmas to one and all!  Believe it or not, things didn't get started around here until around 8 this morning, surprising Pop Pop, who called about 7:30 to see what was happening!  But once we started, wrapping paper was flying!

He he, Henry blends in with the presents!

Henry made a bee line for his stocking.  By the way, those stockings were made by Mom Mom.  

Big brother unpacked brother's stocking, while Henry checked out a new stacking toy.

Where DOES Santa find these things?

Oh yes, a 3DS!
And a whole mess of Skylanders (not shown)

Henry still liked his stacking toy.  Oh, and the tripod legs

Henry finally started to rip some paper, and found the pound a peg

Sweet baby!

Sophie the Giraffe was a hit.  It seems he's got a lot of giraffes.  Isn't it funny how you tend to buy certain animals?  He loves to chew on the giraffe legs and horns!

Finally brother jumped in to open Henry's gifts for him.  Henry didn't care. After he got one piece of paper  off, he was content.

Snuggles from Grandma on his first Christmas

And the big box.  A huge airplane and figures.  No, we didn't know it was that big when we ordered it!

Opening my gift.  Photo proof that I was there.  That and the voice on the video.  But ugh. I prefer to be behind the camera!

Someone was hungry!
 The rest of the afternoon consisted of  this...

and the most delicious ribs ever.  A little later we will be having Jesus' birthday cake, as we've tried to have it all day, but it seems someone was asleep whenever we tried!

Happy Birthday Jesus, thank you Santa and Merry, Merry Christmas!  

Christmas Eve and the Littlest Shepherd

Christmas Eve was a quiet affair around our house.  Daddy had to get up early and do inventory at work, we had some baking projects to finish and topped off by the fact that we've all been snuffly, it was a welcome reprieve to the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks.  

We did make it to the Spontaneous Christmas Pageant our church has on Christmas Eve.  It's the first time we've been to it, and Brant was pretty sure he was NOT going to participate.  Remember the stubborn streak from before, well..yeah.  That again. 

A few minutes before leaving for church.  The presents are growing. 

Laughing at big brother
 When we got to church, there weren't many cars in the lot.  So we told Brant that he may have to do his duty, "as a Scout" to help the out with the play.  A reluctant agreement turned to pleasure when he saw the costume and the crook he got to wear and carry.

Silly little shepherd!
 Henry quite enjoyed the pretty angels sitting in front of us.  Brant leaned over to me and whispered, "Aren't "the angels in the Bible BOYS?!"
  The play wasn't the traditional Nativity play, it was told in parts, with each part (angels, shepherds, wise men) all gathering during a verse of a hymn.

I know.  I don't know how that baby got chosen as Jesus.  HE's only one week younger than Henry.   But oh well, Henry looked a lot older than him anyway!
 After the play we all had communion and candle light.  Singing Silent Night by candlelight gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME!  And seeing my little boys faces lit by the light, meant to represent Jesus as the light of the world, just melted me.

After a very simple supper (can we say tomato soup and grilled cheese?), it was time to open the gifts from Aunt Carol and Uncle Jim.  It used to be when we opened the gifts from Japan too, but this year, we'll be celebrating WITH them on Friday.

Earlier in the day the Jesus birthday cake got baked, but we needed to ice it and decorate it. It was such fun watching Brant decide what he wanted to do and raid the baking box in the process.

Daddy photo bombed this one, acting like he was going to push Brant into the cake!

Masterful decorating, Brantley was sure it's what Jesus would have done.
 And so, it came time to track Santa on Norad.  He was in Europe, and getting closer to the flight across the Atlantic.  We mixed up a little snack for the reindeer and spread it out in the yard, got the milk and cookies ready to go and headed off to bed. But not before Mommy tried to get just one more picture under the tree.
Yep.  Still wiggly boys!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Growing up the daughter of a Methodist minister, everything in our house was related to church. Heck, our house even BELONGED to the church.  We were at every event, every dinner, every service.  As we got older, they weren't so much command performances, but expectations.  

After I got married I realized that not every family attends every event at church. As a matter of fact, I feel guilty a lot of times, feeling like I'm not raising my boys as intensely rooted in the church as I was.  I mean, we aren't at every service or meal.  Thankfully Brantley helps me get over this. 

Holidays are one of the times I feel this pressure the most.  For several years it didn't seem like Christmas because we would miss a Sunday in Advent.  I would miss a lesson about the Chrismons, or the lighting of a candle. 

Anyway, I digress.   The point is that we missed the services for the first three Sundays in Advent, for one thing or another.  Primarily being that our entire family has been wiped out and fighting colds for what seems like a month. The only person who has escaped it is Henry, and he's been cutting teeth!

So, Sunday we finally made it.  Daddy was off (YIPPEEEEEE!) in the morning and made it so much easier to get out the door.  And of course, the boys had to look their best!

Brantley just strikes me as a young man, not a little boy anymore.  

Good thing I still have Henry to dress in cute little suits, knee socks and saddles.  Big Brantley lets me dress the boys like this for about a year.  Then it stops. 

The service was beautiful, although saddened by the events of the past week.  It made the hymn, "O come all ye faithful" so much more appropriate. 

After church, Brantley finally found Elfie!

 And this morning, on his final day with us, he made Brant and Henry into Rudolph!  Silly Elfie!

Brantley's gift to Henry.  This just melts my heart!

Sweet Henry 

Holiday Program 2012

All of a sudden it was the night before school got out for Christmas and time for the annual Holiday Program at BDS.  While the normal rush to get everyone fed and dressed and BACK to school, we made it with plenty of time to spare, and get good seats.  Seeing as I have the 6th grade homeroom this year, I had to sit with my kids, but Carla, Hannah, and Savannah all got good seats for Grandma and Daddy!  It was so nice to have extended family at an event.  It so rarely happens for us, that it was almost a surprise to see them there! Of course, between Natalie, Cade and Brantley, they did have 3 of their cousins in the same program!

I didn't get any video this year, quite frankly, I didn't know how to do it on our new camera. 

This year really showed how much Brantley had grown.  Our boy can be very stubborn.  If he gets it in his head one way, there is very little that will change it.  Like singing or speaking in front of a crowd.  Or...saying "Yes ma'am" to his music teacher.  When he was in the 3 year old program, she insisted that he say it.  And made a big deal, apparently.  Because he wouldn't do it.  Ever.  Even though we have him say it at home.  But this year was a turning point. Not only has his stubborness tempered (well, a bit) he sang loud and clear. He sang and sang his songs at home.  

A little funny story, told to me by Brant's first grade teacher.  Telling the students good-bye Tuesday afternoon, she told them that she'd seem them later, dressed in their finest.  Brantley raised his hand and said, "Mrs. Jordan, I'm going to be dressed like a MAN!"   Getting ready for the program, he asked Daddy if he could wear his "spray" and "underarm stuff."  Daddy put it on him.  Entering his classroom, he proudly told Mrs. Jordan that he looked like a man, but SMELLED like one too! :-)  Don't grow up too fast Brantley, be Mommy's little man for a while!

December follies

We've had some great weather this December, and occasionally, things slowed down enough for us to enjoy it!  I've tried to get the kids to the park as much as I can, and it's really helped us through the last few weeks before school was out.  Not to mention, some quality time without distractions. 

Sporting his new Cornell sweatshirt from our friends Phyllis and Lanny

Sporting Brantley's hat from his first Christmas

 We also had to get our act together and make some Christmas presents.  We love to bake at the holidays, just to get in the kitchen together and putter.  Daddy came up with some great ideas for us this year, and we were looking forward to getting busy!

See, aren't these pretty?  The red could have been redder, but you live and learn.  They were yummy too!

Henry hung out in his Bounce Bounce, eating his new favorite munchie,  maple syrup wagon wheels. He likes to suck on them until they get soggy (yum!).  He'll often hold them out to you to "taste."  

Except Brady became the taster.  Sniff sniff...

Crunch! He got half and before I could stop Henry, he ate the other half!  It only took Brady 3 months to figure out who has the food in the family!