Monday, December 14, 2015

I got a modeling job!

Now before you get all - she's being bragadocious, hear me out.

I take my kids behavior personally.  Because after all, we are judged by our children's behavior, right???  So if they are acting sub par, I get a little "passionate".  This weekend we had one of those days where maybe too little sleep and too much sugar was affecting us all.  And the way my children were talking to their siblings was rubbing me the wrong way.  So I "passionately" (read: yelled) told them that they needed to knock it off.   And can you believe...gasp...they IGNORED me!  So the passion was elevated, to the point that I might have been a little crazy.

After I told them they were doing chores all afternoon and giving them a list, I had to hit the pavement.  Because there is nothing better than running when your mad.  If you haven't tried it,  you should.  Its a great time to have a good conversation with the Creator of the Universe too.  So as I was telling Him I thought I was failing and I just couldn't understand why they weren't kind and loving to one another and I couldn't understand why they were so loud and yelled at each other because I instruct them often to do the opposite, I was hoping I was getting my point across, when I asked, what more can I do???  And in true Creator of the Universe fashion, He told me two words.  Model it.  But I do model it, I argued.  I tell them all. the. time.  Then I have this flashback to my passionate rant.  Ok.  Point taken.  He was right.  I couldn't argue.  I hate it when that happens.

So I have a new job.  And it's going to be really hard for me.  It's going to stretch me.  It's going to make me think before I act.  It's going to take a lot of work.  And it will probably change me more than it changes my kids, because that's how these things work.  So...I guess I'll get started.

Monday, December 7, 2015

We still love you Santa, but......

No one loves Christmas more than me.  Seriously.  Lights, good food, Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You"on repeat, a tree, good food, parties, programs, did I mention the food?  Oh, and Santa.  Our family does Santa.  But as my kids are getting older, things are getting more expensive on their "Christmas lists".  And I get that, they are hinging on the teen years, with one already there.  But there has been a whole lot of "I want an iphone," going on in my house and I'm having a hard time stomaching it.  Since I grew up in the dark ages when we some how managed to have a super fun childhood without them, I've decided to revamp our family Christmas traditions this year.  Well, really add a few. I want the focus taken off the ever growing Christmas list, and put on giving to others.  After all, the only reason we have Christmas is because of that life giving gift of baby Jesus.  I won't be nixing Santa all together - he is a giver, after all.  But this year, my 3 very blessed children who have a cozy house and plenty of food to eat are going to learn to give to others.  How are they going to do it?

  • I'm encouraging  forcing my kids to buy presents for their siblings with their own money.  These are the people we do life with every day.  They see us at our best and our worst.  And I want my kids to know what it feels like to give to the ones they love the most (even if they won't admit it).  I'm providing plenty of chores around the house to earn money so no one can say they don't have any.
  • Making gifts for the special friends in our lives.  They are going to get to choose 3 families and we are going to make them baskets of Christmas cheer.  They will be involved in the shopping, baking, and delivering.  I want it to be from them - not just me!
  • A family service project.  I'm not sure what this is going to look like yet, but serving someone else together as a family is something I've wanted to do for a while.
I would love to know some of the things your families do to change the focus from receiving to giving!  Please share them in the comments!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tree 'O Memories

                    

The Christmas tree, the centerpiece of our festivities for the month of December. It's a big deal at our house the night of the tree decorating. We eat good food and all do it together as a family. Our tree isn't fancy or color coordinated. Maybe someday it will be. But the fun we have pulling out each ornament and remembering when and where we received them as we hang them on the tree trumps beauty.  I'm going to share a few of my favorites with you.

                     

                   
Andy's great aunt Evelyn painted this for us when we first got married. She has since passed away but we remember her each year when we hang this special ornament. 

                              

This is Karlys ornament from Mothers Day Out. The day they took this picture was the day her eardrum burst from an ear infection when I picked her up and I had terrible mom guilt for leaving her there all day when she was sick. 

                       

This cowboy ornament was won at a spirited ornament exchange party. It was the coveted ornament. My competitive gene just might have taken over. 

                    

These are all of my kids when they were at My Lambs Preschool. The are all the same age in these.  Sniff Sniff.

Because I keep it real here at JFS.  I'll only slightly mention how one of our vehicles broke down (for the second time this month) on tree decorating day, so our take out food for our festivities was cold and then Andy was reading the repair manual while I was yelling at him to put it down and HANG ORNAMENTS ON THE TREE!!  

May you have many December evening with a hot drink and a roaring fire while your tree does it's thing.