Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i want to keep believing...

...My kids saw Santa Claus the other day at our neighborhood Sleigh Ride. They were very happy to sit with him and tell them what they wanted (all things they did not ask for before by the way) but they said he probably was just a helper.

The other day, my mom came to visit and take the boys (and I) to the Nutcracker ballet for their birthday. She drove with my grandparents so they could visit my uncle who lives close by me. Sunday, my uncle brought them back to my house so they could leave with my mom. Anyway, my grandmother was talking about my uncle's step--granddaughter writing a letter to Santa and she asked, "Does she still believe in Santa at 9 years old?". Grandma was sitting right by Rhett and Noah was close by.

My kids didn't bat an eye.

Which begs some questions from me: Are my kids too gullible? Too naive? Trying to hard to keep some magic? Pretending right along with me? Or just not ready to stop believing?

In Rhett's 8 years, he has yet to question the existence of Santa Claus. He has had some questions on how it all works, yes, but never, "Is he real?" He tells of kids in his class that does not believe but he is actually sad for those kids. Will they get presents, he wonders? He truly believes in the magic of it all.

Lately, however, he does have to try harder. It is like I was. His mind was really starting to question things but he doesn't want to address all those doubts quite yet.

He thinks he knows why Santa can get to every house on Christmas Eve, for instance. The earth rotates to the right. Santa travels to the left; therefore, time stops. That is why Christmas Eve is the longest night of the year.

Noah has had questions in the past, but not this year. This year, he just believes. He wants a bell from Santa's sleigh like the child in The Polar Express. He is very worried that he is going to get a jar of tears from St. Nick (like my brother did once but that is not a story Casey likes to remember I bet) and when I get on to him for having a bad attitude right before Christmas he straightens up right away.

Noah is 6. I remember two years ago I thought Rhett's last year of believing was upon us. That is when his cousin that is his same age, stopped believing. But Rhett still believes. And I really think that he will be heartbroken when he finds out the truth of Santa. I actually can see Noah heartbroken as well.

I guess for now, though, we will enjoy Christmas looking through the eyes of a children who still believes in magic with their whole hearts.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

it is Noah's day

...I can hardly believe my baby is turning 6. Six is such a big number. It means big things. No more little. Except that you still love to cuddle. And you still are a mama's boy (much to daddy's dismay).

This day could not have come any slower for you. For months you wondered how long it would be until your birthday. Even last night, you asked at bedtime, "How many more hours until morning Mom?"

Grandmom is here to take you and your brother to The Nutcracker on Saturday. Friday, though, is your day. You are going to take 3 of your friends to lunch. At Burger King.

"Burger King?" I asked. "Really? Why not Red Robin?"

"Red Robin doesn't have toys. I want a toy."

"You just want the dinky toy?"

"It is my day." you answered with a smile.

You are right. It is your day. You know you are special. :)

Happy Birthday bear. We love you very much!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

8 years old and one day

...Here are some photos of yesterday:
Rhett, opening presents in the morning. He first opened a big package and it's a coat.
Then he opens another package with shirts. I can tell at this point he is faking his happiness over the presents. But wait for it, wait for it-
Yes! A true smile! A Wii Football Game! Exactly what he wanted. Excellent!
This photo is of their little get-together after school with neighbors. Actually, it was the best non-party I have ever thrown. The kids all played well, they loved the snacks (popcorn and hot chocolate) and they all enjoyed the cakes. There were just a couple of presents to open afterward but it wasn't a big deal. Everyone had a great time.

Rhett said he had the best birthday ever. Why? I think it had to do something with the fact that his teacher gave him no math homework. That just made his day. :)

Just 3 more days until Noah's birthday. More excitement to come!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

to Rhett, on his 8th Birthday

The night before your birth, I was nervous you would not want to come out. The move to a new town was just mere days away and I really needed you to come. We went to the hospital and the doctor said he would induce the next day. We called our parents. "No need to come right now" we said. "We would be just fine."

The morning came and the nerves got the best of me. We called back and told our mothers, "Mommy, please come!" The doctor did his thing and we were told to wait. Your daddy was hungry so he went to your favorite restaurant, Subway, and sat down to eat his no-doubt delicious footlong sandwich.

Meanwhile, you decided you were ready. Kind of. I think you thought you were ready and then decided maybe not. Two hours of pushing was not fun for your mom and as we have told you before, the doctor had to use a vacuum attached to your head to pull you out.

I think about your personality and it totally fits you. You get so excited about things, so ready for them to happen and then your nerves hit. Maybe you don't want me to leave you alone at the birthday party. Maybe wanting to be Joseph in the Christmas program was a bad idea.

However, you forge ahead with a little push from us and you shine.

The second you entered the world, your daddy and I started to cry. The new rush of feelings for such a small thing was strange but wonderful. You were beautiful. So much hair, such chubby cheeks. Beautiful.

You changed our lives. We were completely and totally in love with you.

Today you are 8. I can't believe it. You are supposed to be that little baby that we brought home, so sweet and sleeping so soundly. You hardly cried. Hardly made a fuss. That is so you. You wish to make everyone happy and feel bad when you are angry with us. You do not throw fits and rarely did when you were little.

You are a happy child with many friends. Your friends think you are hilarious. You love this fact. I think you think you are the funniest person you know. Which cracks me up.

You love watching football and want to play in the pros. That is if your parents ever allow you to play.

You know exactly how to push your brother's buttons to make him mad but I know there is no one more loyal than you. Even when you try to goad Noah, you do so half-heartily because you hardly have a mean bone in your body.

You love rules. You hate when people bend or break the rules. Fairness is very important to you.

You are so smart. It frustrates you when you can't get something right away. I think that is why guitar was not for you. You love reading and I just have to let it go that your favorite books right now are the Captain Underpants books.

I love being your mother, Rhett. I love every minute of it. I am so proud of the person you are becoming. I love that you worry about people when they are sick and want to take care of them. I love when you tell a nonsense joke and giggle like it is the funniest thing in the world. I love your hugs and I love that you want to look your best in the morning.

Happy Birthday sweetie. Have a wonderful day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas memories

...I am not as good as my sister about remembering things from our childhood. Let's just say that I wasn't the most observant child and I was also pretty self-absorbed. (Many times, one could find me in front of the mirror, admiring myself). But I try, especially around Christmas, to think back on all the traditions and memories that made the holiday so special to me.

I take after my mom. She is the one who started the Christmas craft tradition. One year she bought wooden letters in our names, pink ribbon and hot glue and viola! we had--names on a ribbon that we hung up by the tree.

Another year we fashioned wire hangers in a circle and tied hundreds of yarn bows to make a wreath. I remember getting tired of that one quickly. Each time I thought we got close to finishing, my mom would squish the bows together and there would still be so much wire left to cover. We gave them away as gifts.

Open House.
Each year, we would go to Winona's Flower shop for her open house. It was just a mile or so from our house so it was easy to get to. There would be punch and cookies and that is why Casey and I went. We would look around at all the plants and flowers and eat cookies and punch. I remember Mom buying a red mailbox with greenery that opened and closed to music one year. We liked that one.

Each year Mom would remark how much she liked luminaries. Each year we would not get them. Of course, Dad was right when he said that no one would see them because we lived in the country.

Christmas Cookies.
Chocolate Crinkles, Spritz, Sugar Cookies. So many good cookies. For many years, our church would hold a Cookie Walk and my mom would go on a baking frenzy and the one thing we hated was we could not eat the Chocolate Crinkles. Then the day of the cookie walk, since my mom helped, we could not get a box of cookies until after it was over. And guess what? The Crinkles were gone! We were so disappointed. But, Mom would always make another batch for us. She must have loved us or something.

Advent Calendar.
The beloved felt Christmas tree with the pin-on ornaments. Beautiful and lovely, hung up on the wall beside my parent's bedroom. Casey and I would conspire on how to work it so that me (or him) would be the one who got to pin the star on the tree on Christmas Eve. We never forgot to do it. Now in a new house, my mom still hangs up the calendar and my heart rejoices when I see it.

Christmas Eve.
Getting dressed in our Sunday best (even better, more sparkle) and going to church for the Christmas Eve service. My favorite service of the year. There were candles that we lit at the end. The lights would go down, we would light the candle in our hands and sing "Silent Night." As a child, I knew this was what Christmas was all about. Everything else was fun and nothing would be the same without it, but I knew it wouldn't be Christmas without Christ.

After church we would go to Granny's. So much family, so much laughter and fun, so much good food. One year I received a big doll and Casey received his first golf clubs. My doll had a beautiful pink dress. Another year all the great-grandkids received hand-knitted slippers. Mine were yellow. The thing about my great-grandparents house was they had a huge, white church all lit up in their front window. I loved looking at that. Another reminder of why we have Christmas.

Christmas Morning Photo.
As you probably have seen if you read Krista's blog, my mom would make sure and get a photo of us on Christmas morining, looking very sleepy. She was great at getting those shots just like she was great at getting shots of us blowing our candles out on our birthdays (cheeks blown out, eyes closed). All lovely memories now.

I wonder what my kids will remember about their childhood Christmases. Whatever they remember, I hope those memories are just as happy as mine and remind my boys that Christmas is about being with your family and celebrating Jesus. And creating fun and eating. That too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

the end

...On the 12th Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:
a countdown to their birthdays,
a dead battery camera,
a book read by Noah,
a sneaky look at presents,
handmade ornaments a plenty,
a reindeer named Scout,
one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5,
a happy birthday wish,
a decorated house
a plate of sugar cookies!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

are you READy for this?

...On the 10th day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:

a book read by Noah!
on the first snow of winter,
a sneaky look at presents,
handmade ornaments a plenty,
a reindeer named Scout, one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5, a happy birthday wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.
Yes, my baby can read! He wanted me to read Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess to him yesterday morning and I told him to give me a few minutes because I was cleaning up and he must have gotten tired of waiting because the next thing I hear is him reading, "Pup Up. Pup is Up. Pup Cup. Pup in Cup." I am so proud of him and he is so happy.
Yesterday afternoon we had real snowflakes. Not freezing drizzle (which we had all day prior to the snow) but snowflakes. I love snow. I don't love the wind and icy roads that come along with it, but the snow itself is beautiful and magical.
Yesterday was a great day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

ooh, shiny

...My laptop internet is not working, so I cannot post pictures of the 8th and 9th day of Christmas, but that is okay because some of those were handmade gifts.

Here goes: (As a mental exercise, I try to do it all by memory. Did you know that?) :)

On the 8th and 9th Day of Christmas my two boys gave to me,
a sneaky look at presents,
handmade ornaments a plenty,
a reindeer named Scout, one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!,
a trip to Firehouse #5, a Happy Birthday wish, a decorated house
and a plate of sugar cookies.

Noah so far has found a webkinz and some legos. I take the blame for him finding the webkinz because I didn't hide it well. But the legos were in a closed box. I had already told him not to look in any boxes! He did it anyway. Right in front of me. He wasn't sorry he did it either. I could just tell. ;)
The ornaments are another story. Saturday we braved the crowds and went to Hobby Lobby to buy some things so they could make ornaments for family. Rhett picked this box of styrofoam balls, sequins and beads. I really didn't think about what that meant until we got home, opened the box and I saw hundreds of sequins, beads and straight pins. Yikes. Rhett got into it for awhile but he soon grew tired of the threading the bead, sequin and pushing it into the ball. I am determined to finish the box so that is what I have been doing. And boy is it fun! (I hope you could tell the sarcasm in my voice). Ok, I admit, it was fun at first. But I too am tired of this craft. In the end, many family members will find beautiful, shiny ornaments under the tree and even though I did most of it, at least pretend the boys did it. Because they really tried.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Noah's dear Santa and my hair

I am a little late on Dear Santa Friday but here you go:

Dear Santa,

I want a Nintendo DS, some Webkins, Pokemon toys, Batman Legos game, and one more stuffed animal and I want, I think, a new ornament. That's it.

I am gonna give Mrs. Claus a cookie. Do you really have bells on your sleigh, because I don't really know. Do your elves have pointy, long ears? One more thing, what is your phone number and address on the North Pole? Have I been a good boy?

Love, Noah

A note on my hair: Thank you for the compliments the other day, Christy and Holly! I actually did do something a little different. I colored my hair a darker shade and had just gotten my hair cut and my stylist fixed my hair so that is why it looks so good in that picture. I told her I wished she fixed it everyday.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

all of the other reindeer

...On the 7th Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me

a reindeer named Scout,
one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5, a Happy Birthday wish, a decorated house, and a plate of sugar cookies.

There is a book called Olive, the Other Reindeer which is about a dog who helps out the other reindeer at Christmas. I thought of that book the moment Rhett put those silly antlers on Scout's head. He bought her those at the school's holiday store. (They can bring money and buy gifts for family. The gifts can range from whoopie cushions to floam, both my favorite things) Scout does not like the antlers much but she complied long enough for a photo. Can't you see the joy in her face? Ha! I am thinking that Santa will probably not ever ask her for help. Oh well.

Friday, December 05, 2008

lost and found tooth

...On the 6th Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me

one lost tooth found,
Silly Webcam Photos!
a trip to Firehouse #5, a Happy Birthday Wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.

Thursday morning, at 4 am, Noah woke his daddy and said he had just lost his tooth. He had pulled it out all by himself. I think the last time was so tramatic for the boy that he really didn't let on how loose this tooth was to anyone. Fast forward to Thursday afternoon. He came home and wanted to see his little tooth. He tried to shake it out of the envelope the tooth was placed and shook so hard it fell into the carpet. Panicked, he came and got me. We searched for about 10 minutes and couldn't find it. I could tell Noah was getting upset so I told him we would call Aunt Krista because she would tell him all about her lost tooth that fell into the carpet, never to be found again. I wanted her to tell him that the Tooth Fairy came anyway because he really did not believe me.

We called but she was not there. Bummer. But! when I walked back into Noah's room to check one last time---there it was! Exactly the place I had searched over and over again. I guess I needed fresh eyes. So Krista, you helped anyway! :)

So one lost lost tooth was found again. Noah was happy and all was right with the world. Until this morning.

Noah, coming into my room, holding his dollar bill from the T.F.: Mom, next time, can I just keep my tooth? And why didn't the Tooth Fairy leave a note?

Sigh. Never completely satisfied, this child.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

sing it out now

...On the Fifth Day of Christmas my two boys gave to me:

Silly Webcam Photos!
A trip to Firehouse #5, a happy birthday wish, a decorated house, and a plate of sugar cookies.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

the fourth day

...On the Fourth Day of Christmas (yes, I realize it is Dec. 3, not the 4) my two boys gave to me:

a trip to Firehouse #5,
a happy birthday wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.

The firehouse was a great place for boys to go. This one was the newest one in Edmond, so it didn't have traditional things like the 2nd floor bunkhouse and the firepole but it was still cool to see how fireman live when they are on their 24-hour shift.

First they told the boys about how they work 24 hours at a time and Noah looked at me and said, "24 hours! Woah!" Then when the tour was over, Noah looked very disappointed. He asked, "Mom, is that it?" I said, "Yes, the tour is over now." He answers, "But it hasn't been 24 hours yet!" He thought we were going to stay the whole 24 hours too!

The firemen were so nice and said we could stop by anytime. One of the guys showed the boys how fast they could put on their suit (36 seconds). Then he put on his oxygen tank and mask (another 36 seconds) and talked to the boys with all of the gear on. That was neat because he told them not to be afraid of him when he looked like that because a fireman is one of the good guys. He also told them that he could go in the fire because no skin was showing and he was protected. Good lessons.

Have a great day!

PS-Yesterday was not only Mallory's birthday, but it was Abbey's too! So, Abbey, I hope you had a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

on the first, second and third day

...On the first day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:

A Plate of Sugar Cookies.

On the Second Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to me:

A Decorated House and a plate of sugar cookies.

On the Third Day of Christmas, my two boys gave to {Mallory}:

a Happy Birthday Wish, a decorated house and a plate of sugar cookies.

Happy Birthday Mallory!!

to be continued...