Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Homemaking

I'm not a huge "homemaker", but I do try to do things that I think will be fun for my daughter and her friends.  This year, before Christmas, we made Christmas cookies. It was store bought cookie mix, but we rolled it out with a rolling pin and cut out the shapes ourselves.  After the cookies baked, my little girl and her friends had a blast decorating them! 

Then, Lilly got to decorate a gingerbread house with her daddy.  She always has a great time with her daddy and she was very proud of the house!

On Christmas Eve, since we preparing for Jesus' birthday, we made a birthday cake and some birthday muffins.  It was the first time Lilly had helped me use a mixer and she really enjoyed it.  She really enjoyed eating them too!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Need Ideas

Okay, I need some advice from anybody who has potty trained a child.  My daughter is fully potty trained during the day, but night time is a whole different story.  I put her in a pull-up at night so that she can go potty when she needs to, but she wakes up soaking wet each morning.  A lot of mornings, it is even soaked through to the sheets and I have to change them.  I do give her a sippy cup of water that she usually empties by morning...I'm pretty sure I need to stop giving it to her, but I have tried and it is like when we took away her binky - she cries and cries. 

Any ideas?  thoughts? 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Harder than I thought (41-65)

If you normally read my blog, then you know that I've started a list of things I am thankful for...I'm trying to get to 1,000 w/o repeating any.  So, here's the next bunch:

41 - solitude (especially after being surrounded by lots of people)
42 - seeing a smiling face when I enter a room
43 - hot, hot showers/baths
44 - twinkling lights on a Christmas tree
45 - Christmas displays that include the Nativity - yeah, Baby Jesus!
46 - glass of cold water when I'm parched
47 - hearing stories from older women around me
48 - hearing a good piece of parenting advice that I know I can use
49 - being able to be honest and truthful with my friends
50 - happy expressions when people open a gift I have given them (I'm not the greatest gift-giver so I cherish the moments when I actually did well)
51 - a gift I wasn't expecting
52 - time with family, even if nobody is talking
53 - playing games w/ family and friends
54 - true laughs from those around me
55 - people who are willing to be open and honest with me
56 - knowing that all my "needs" are met - I have everything I need in Christ!
57 - anticipation of change - knowing that I can plan all I want, but God already has it under control
58 - many hands doing the same thing - makes the job much easier..usually!
59 - teaching my daughter something new
60 - learning something new myself
61 - the intriguing mind of a 2 year old
62 - the entertainment of a 2 year old
63 - the entertainment of all the people God has created
64 - living in a free country where I can worship God
65 - music, especially praise music

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas at our House

I remember my childhood Christmases.  Mostly what I remember is being surrounded by family and getting cool things in my stocking.  That being said, I want Christmas for my daughter to be a time of making memories, like mine were, but I want those memories to focus on Jesus and not the "stuff" she gets.  If we didn't have Jesus, we wouldn't have a Christmas.  So, we don't have a Santa that comes to our house - our daughter knows he is the man with the red coat and hat and a white beard and she loves to look around and find Santa waving in light displays around town, but we tell her that her gifts are from Mommy and Daddy and whoever else sends gifts.  We tell her that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus' birthday and this year she is excited to make a cake for Jesus and we've been thinking of gifts to give Him.  I don't really care that other people have Santa in their house, but my biggest problem is that he is so big in our culture that everywhere we go, people ask my little girl "What did you ask Santa for?" and then I get the strange look from them when I reply, "Santa doesn't come to our house." or "We don't do Santa." 

Here are my 2 main reasons for not doing Santa:
1) I don't want to lie to my child.  God tells us not to lie and I can't say that I'm comfortable with telling her that this strange man came down our chimney into our house and brought all these presents to you because you've been a good little girl this year.

2) We tell our kids this "imaginary" story about Santa and the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy and sooner or later they find out that these characters are not real, and we also tell our kids about Jesus - who is real...I don't want to take a chance of my little Lilly thinking that Jesus fits into the same category as these characters.

This year, we have done a devotional called The Jesse Tree, we made ornaments to hang on the tree that went with each day's scriptures.  We picked an angel off the Angel tree at church and we picked out the gift together and then delivered it as a family.  We baked and decorated sugar cookies and my husband made a gingerbread house with my sweet daughter.  On Christmas Eve we will bake a cake for Jesus and decorate it and then we will go to the service at our church.  Afterwards, we will go to Waffle House (that is a tradition from my childhood) and then Christmas day we will celebrate Jesus' birthday with cake and games and gifts and reading the Christmas story from the Bible. 

I have read many blogs about other people's traditions and I have a few that I plan to implement next year because I think they really bring home the message that this time is about celebrating Jesus.  I do hope that my family can find ways to really celebrate Jesus at other times of the year as well!  He deserves at least that from us - he was sent here to Earth as a sacrifice for our sins and it is a free gift to anybody who chooses to accept it, what better gift can somebody have than eternal life!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What to do with all these Christmas Cards?

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all the "snail mail" we get!  I love getting cards and pictures from friends.  Love it even more when there is an update on somebody I haven't heard from in a while, but that isn't as common now since we have facebook. :)  Every year, I have a hard time deciding what to do with all the cards once the Christmas decorations are put's an idea I got from a former co-worker in Japan:

She puts all the cards in a basket and each night her family pulls one out and prays for that person/family and then lights a candle for them.  

For the past 2 years we have been doing this very thing, except we do it in the morning and we don't always light a candle.  It is wonderful to think of my friends and family throughout the year and not just at Christmas time. 

So, to all my friends and family, if you send me a Christmas card, just know that you are thought of throughout the year. :)

Now, the question is, what to do with all the Christmas cards from last year? ha ha

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Thousand Gifts I Cherish (#21-#40)

#21 - For this time of year when we can celebrate Jesus!
#22 - For living in a place that doesn't get too cold.
#23 - For being able to watch the squirrels find food in our back yard
#24 - For eyes that I can see with - although I pray that God will help me see other's more like He sees them
#25 - For ears that I can hear with ..praying that God is the filter of what is heard and retained by those ear.
#26 - For a nose to smell with
#27 - For a mouth to eat with so I can get nourishment into my body
#28 - For legs to walk on - I pray I can walk where the Lord wants me to go with them
#29 - For hands that I can use for many things -I pray that they be used to glorify The Lord God that created me

#30 - For a mind that works, i can make decisions and think about the things I hear, see and do
#31 - Thankful for the little voice in the morning that says, "I'm awake, the sun's up, Mommy!"
#32 - For a little daughter who loves and nurtures her baby dolls and shows compassion.
#33 - For the time in the evening, after my daughter has gone to sleep, to spend time w/ my husband - reading God's word and praying and laughing about the day
#34 - For people who have a different point of view and make me stop and think about my own
#35 - For books and literature that help me evaluate what I hope to gain from parenting my child and help me raise her in a godly way
#36 - For the lights on our Christmas tree that remind me of childhood Christmases.
#37 - To have met people who have less than me and learn first hand that people's happiness isn't dependant upon the amount of $ or "stuff" they have.
#38 - To have met people who have more than me and find out that just b/c they have more doesn't make them happier or better or any of those things we sometimes think.
#39 - To see my husband laugh and smile - I love it when he smiles just for me, but it makes me beam to see him happy in a group setting.
#40 - For girl's nights out when I am encouraged and can just be me - not mom or wife (even though I am honored to have those titles.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Being Grateful #11-#20

11.  To live in a country that allows me to freely read my Bible and worship at church without fear of being harmed physically.

12.  To be able to keep in touch with my family and friends through the technology we have today.
13.  For friends who are there to encourage me when I need them.
14.  For having lived in enough places to know that the grass is not always greener on the other side, so to be thankful for the place God has placed me in at the moment and not always think about how much better some other place will be.

15.  For the opportunity to have experienced living in another country.
16.  For all the trials that I have had in my life - they have helped shape me into the person I am now.
17.  That I am in a peaceful place in my life.
18.  For a house that has heat when it is cold outside.
19.  For a house that has a/c when it is hot outside.
20.  For a daughter who desires to be near me at every moment ( I know it won't last forever).

Monday, December 6, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (1-10)

I'm starting late, but I know that I have well more than a thousand things to be thankful for.  Some things come to mind so easily so I hope I don't repeat any of them. :)

1.  A new life in Christ!  Many of you may not notice the difference in me, but I know the reason behind why I do many of the things I do is changed because of HIM!  Before I would do things to get the credit for myself, now (most of the time) I do them to glorify my Creator, the one who knows every hair on my head and who has the perfect plan for me!  He created me to worship Him so that is what I aim to do!

2.  A husband who loves God and his family.
3.  A husband who is responsible and supports our family so that I can stay home w/ our daughter.
4.  A loving little 2 year old daughter who is curious about everything.
5.  A mom who listens to me go on and on about my day and provides advice
6.  A dad who is there when I need him.
7.  A younger sister who makes me smile and often acts like the older one. :)
8.  A younger brother who is so talented
9.  A much younger brother who amazes me every time I spend time w/ him
10.  Step parents who love my parents.