Sunday, December 16, 2007

The B word

It seems that I have had more "holiday" stress this year than others. I am a self-admitted procrastinator, and I always rationalize this by stating that I work better under pressure. The end result is that I usually get everything done on time, but I am staying up all night and driving myself (and maybe some other people in my house) crazy doing it. Sort of reminds me of some 10 page papers I started the night before they were due in college....

So I have been trying to combat the b word....BUSY...and I keep purposefully reminding myself what Christmas is supposed to be about. Not what our American culture makes it about - buying, buying and more buying. Yesterday I was out shopping, and it was seriously insane in every store or parking lot I was in. Instead of being consumed by that feeling of rushing from here to there, which leads to being frustrated at anyone who get's in your way (a slow check-out clerk, 3 women walking side by side down an aisle (totally oblivious to anyone else) when you are trying to get by, someone who steals the parking spot you had been waiting on...yes, these have all frustrated me this shopping season!), I tried looking for opportunities to surprise someone by being nice. And man, are people surprised by someone being nice during the Christmas shopping frenzy!

Which brings me back to what Christmas is all about. Grace, sacrifice and peace. Grace because we didn't deserve it. Sacrifice... because, now that I have kids, I can't imagine what it would be like having to live without one of them for 33 years. And peace, because we can't have it without him. I hate how often I forget that without Jesus, there really would be no reason to celebrate.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Grandma Terri's Visit to Texas

Seth loves Grandma Terri! Since Steve's mom has been gone, Seth has called many women "Grandma Terri". Women love to be called Grandma by their grandchildren...maybe not so much by unfamiliar children who think they look like grandmas? Here is a list of some of the women that Seth has called Grandma Terri...
1.) A blonde woman in her 30's whose son takes guitar lessons from Steve
2.) A random woman passing us at the grocery store
3.) A woman in a business suit and the flight attendant on Steve and Seth's plane to California

Steve's Grandpa (Grandpa Steve) is not well, so Steve and Seth are in California for a 4-day visit. Here are the 3 handsome Steve's (my Steve, his Grandpa Steve, and his Dad Steve) at Christmas last year. Yes, it does get confusing when we are talking about the Steve's!

I have declared this time a vacation for myself as well, so I have been scrapbooking and watching movies. I have been able to focus more attention on Caleb, and as he has been sick for the past week, he is a bit more receptive to cuddling than he normally is. Here is a scrapbook page that I made for Seth.

And this is how Caleb likes to spend his mini-vacation...

Back to Grandma Terri's visit...Terri decided to get the boys a "manly" kitchen for Christmas while she was in town. First, we went to Toys R Us to take a look, and did you know that some play kitchens now cost in the $250 range? Amazing. And they are made of plastic! We were trying to steer away from the pink and lavender varieties, and they do cater to the male chefs of the future now by offering kitchen in neutrals and even blues. So the more we looked, we realized that a wooden kitchen was a better quality toy, especially for two rough little boys. We found the cutest kitchen at Target. It came in a suspiciously small, yet heavy, box. When we got home, I realized that the box was so small because they had broken the toy down into 1,236 pieces that we now had to assemble.

Well, maybe not 1,236, but there were over 150 screws and wood dowels in the assembly kit. So it took Steve and I over 2 hours to put it together, but I have to say, we had good teamwork and it was not that painful.

Seth was taking a nap while we put it together, so we took it out and set it up in the living room so he could see it and be surprised.

Seth loves the kitchen, and his favorite part is that it has a microwave. He is fascinated by microwaves. He had so much fun checking everything out:

Caleb gets to play with it mostly when Seth is at school. When Seth is playing with it, he guards it and is like a really intense defensive player in basketball. Caleb even tries to just run up really fast, grab a dish or a utensil, and run away because he knows that there is no playing side by side with his brother in the kitchen yet.

Thanks Grandma Terri! We love our kitchen! Love, Seth and Caleb

This is just a shot of Seth riding in the basket of our stroller. We took a really long walk at the park one day, and Seth got tired and wanted to be carried. So we put him the basket underneath the stroller (which lasted about 3 minutes) but made for a good picture!