Sunday, December 30, 2012

Their space

When we lived in our rental house one of the things I loved to do was look at blogs and websites to see how people decorated their houses. I really looked forward to was decorating my boys' rooms. I imagined their rooms looking sort of like this:
or maybe like this:

but what I got were rooms with mismatched furniture and decorations that I hadn't quite planned on. It seemed that as soon as the fresh coat of paint was dry, my boys would start drawing and finding things to hang on their walls. I would cringe as they took their pictures and taped them to their walls, or put up stickers that I knew one day would be hard to remove. At first I hated it. With all of their stuff on the walls I knew I was never going to have a cute "blog-worthy" boy room, but then I finally accepted that it wasn't MY room. It was their room and they should be able to decorate it how ever they wanted. The other day I was on a cleaning spree so I cleaned their rooms and rearranged the furniture a little. When they saw what I had done they added some more of their personal touches and I was fine with that. After all, it's their space. I want them to feel like they can do with it what they want. I want them to be creative and feel free to put things on the walls that they chose and to enjoy being in their rooms. It's hard to let go of my image of the perfect room and give them the freedom to do what they want, but I figure after they move out I can decorate any way I want.
Trevor's wall
Colin and Logan's drawings and stickers

Thursday, December 27, 2012

10 days

In 10 days my baby will be 5. He was supposed to be born at the end of January but he decided to come 20 days early. He was anxious to join our family. I remember a day when Trevor and Colin were around 4 and 2 years old and I was getting lunch ready. When I called them into the kitchen to come to the table the two of them came running. I saw them sitting there and then I looked back towards the hall because I knew someone was missing. Isn't that funny? There was such a strong impression that I actually looked and expected another kid to come running to the table. That was my Logan. He was ready and I was  not so he had to nudge me. He was my best baby. The easiest baby. He was sweet and good, he was always happy. I took my time and really enjoyed him. I held him a lot and he let me. 5 means big kid. It means going to school soon and being away from home more. But then it also means I get to go and help in his class and see him learning new things and making friends. Logan has such a strong personality. When he was little I thought he was going to be really shy but he's a lot more outgoing now and he has a stubborn streak in him. He's totally a mama's boy but he loves his time with Dave. He loves to ride his bike but he does not want his training wheels off. He loves to read books, play with Legos, play computer games and watch TV and movies. He's funny and smart, he likes when we do preschool at home and he loves going to "school" at the library for story time or to my friend Jamie's classroom. He still sleeps with his baby blanket and almost every night he gets out of bed to sleep on the floor. He loves his brothers but he hates being the youngest and  always asks why he couldn't have been born first.
New born Logan with his big brothers
Logan on his 1st birthday
2 years old - this is how he used to smile

3 year old - loves his Mama!

4 years old - almost 5

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Four gifts

Today at church many of the comments and lessons were about how to focus more on Christ this time of year and less on the other aspects of Christmas. One of the things Dave and I have always tried to do is not get the boys too many gifts at Christmas because we never wanted them to get to the point where they expected lots of stuff. But sometimes we would look under the tree and think it looked too sparse so we'd go out and get a few more gifts. But they weren't always thoughtful gifts. They weren't always things that were appreciated. Tonight, while I was looking at some of my favorite blogs, I came across this post on Emily's blog.  It was just what I needed to read. She wanted to do something so her kids were more grateful for the things they got. Dave and I often say the same thing about our boys. Because, really, they have never gone without; they have never known what it really feels like to want for something. So I read Emily's post to Dave and how she was going to change how she did Christmas for her kids. Everyone gets 4 gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. We loved it. We went through the gifts we had already purchased for the boys and made a list, then checked it twice and decided on the 4 gifts to give them. There might be less under the tree this year, but hopefully the gifts will be more thoughtful and not just stuff. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

When I was single and living on my own I made all of my decorations for my Christmas tree. I made gingerbread ornaments and a popcorn and cranberry string to hang on the tree. I thought it looked so cute and when I came home and saw my homemade tree I thought I was just the most crafty, clever girl ever. After Dave and I got married we kept the gingerbread ornaments for 2 more years, but slowly started to get more. One of our traditions is that every year the boys get a new ornament for the tree. We did that when I was little and I always loved picking a new one or being surprised if my Mom got them for us. This year we took the boys shopping and let them choose their own....what an ordeal! But it was still fun and they do love the ones they picked and are constantly taking them off the tree and repositioning them. A few more traditions we have is setting up the tree and decorations the day after Thanksgiving. The first Monday in December we go to the Ethel M. Chocolate factory and go look at the Christmas lights in their garden and then get donuts for a treat. We always have a big Christmas Eve celebration for my dad's side of the family...that tradition has been on going for years and years. We also have a family Christmas party at my mom's house where we have dinner and exchange gifts. Tonight we are going to start a new tradition. I told the boys since it's December 1st we are going to make hot chocolate and cookies (maybe popcorn too) and watch Polar Express. I love all of the fun that comes with Christmas, the traditions, spending time with family, writing letters to Santa, remembering Christ and hoping for a better new year. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. 
My mom made this for me one year. Love how cute and simple it is. 

This is our manger and the "straw". When we do something kind for someone or serve someone we add soft straw for the manger.  The goal is to fill the manger by Christmas so baby Jesus has a soft, warm place to lay. As you can see we have not been very nice the past week.

Stockings my mom made, the Jingle blocks my mom made and the paper chain are scriptures. We will take a scripture off each night and read it and it will count down to Christmas.

We don't have a lot of decorations but the ones we do have make the house feel like Christmas. I love that every year the tree has a few more decorations.

My new decoration for the year - the wooden tree my sister made for me. I love simple things.