Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Esther!

This time of year gets crazy, no matter how hard we try to simplify it. Between Nov. 22nd and Dec. 27th we've got three birthdays and Christmas! Today we celebrate Esther's 3rd birthday. She is such a joy and a light in our house. She keeps up with Olivia and Garrett really well and tries to be a little mother to everyone. She loves taking care of the dogs, vacuuming her room, and doing everything herself. This girl doesn't just do it herself, she does it patiently, which I think is pretty awesome. She insists on wearing "spin 'round" dresses everyday and has been asking for a princess cake for two weeks. As girlie as she's become, this girl has no fear. She learned to ride a two wheel bike at the end of the summer. She will climb anything, jump off anything and jump right in to the wrestling match with daddy and the older two. She hates riding in the cart at the grocery store, this independent girl want to walk. The other day she was able to walk at the store and was so happy about it that she sang "Jingle Bells" up and down the isles.Here's an example of Esther's independence. She was getting herself ready for bed (which she does better than her older brother) and came over to me to help her get her zipper up. I thought this was strange because she always does the zipper herself. Upon closer observation, I noticed that her pj's were on sideways. One foot and arm were right, but the other's were wrong. It was a funny sight!

She loves taking baths with Gideon. Now that the others are older, they take showers and Es and Gid get the tub to themselves.

Always ready for a picture. What a beautiful girl.

We love you Esther "Bean". Happy Birthday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The presents have been opened. Our Christmas morning was small and perfect. When you cut back on the amount of things under the tree, you want the gift to really create a reaction of happiness. I think we succeeded. The kids had our humble pile of gifts opened in less than 30 minutes, including their stocking stuffers. We sat back and enjoyed our cup(s) of coffee while the kids played their new games. I pray you all peace and contentment this year. The Messiah lives, Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Yesterday it warmed up a bit and I went outside with the kids. I don't have any snow gear, so Josh's would have to do. Whatever! It kept me dry and warm!

Dad and Mom Christmas morning.

The kiddo's finishing up the gift opening.

The fam last night at the Christmas Eve service.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Michigan snow and Olivia turns 6

Seriously, I can't say enough about the crazy winter we are having here in Michigan. Last Friday Olivia started Christmas break early because they called off school, which her district NEVER does. Saturday we took our own dare and stayed in, enjoyed playing games, baking, reading and playing the Wii. Sunday we were once again snowed in, church was cancelled, and the boredom started to set in. Looking at the same faces for two days straight can drive you a little nuts! We watched the snow fall all day, and all night. Once again today, the white stuff fell. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight. The only day they aren't calling for a snow storm this week is on Christmas day. It would be a great present to get NO snow that day! We got out today to do banking and to get groceries. The snow was light enough that it wasn't too bad. I know for all the "Michiganders" around here I sound crazy, but this is a big deal to this east coast girl.
The icicles off the church are beautiful. I guess the snow is too!
Where do you think this bundled up guy is going? To shovel? Take the kids sledding? Nope! To work. Our road still hasn't been plowed, and this morning hadn't been driven on enough to have a path, so Josh had to walk to work. He walks most of the time, but when the weather is bad he likes to take the van. What a trooper!

Olivia turned 6 on the 17th. These are the ice cream cupcakes that I made for Olivia's birthday to take to school.

Here's the six year old showing off her creation. She liked helping put the sprinkles on.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm dreaming of a simple Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Crisps!
This year I'm doing it all simple and not sending Christmas cards. I'm not the type of person who can send only cards, I'd have to spend the money and do a picture card, and that's just not going to happen. Instead, all my amazing blog followers have received a lovely collage that took me no time at all to make. This Christmas I encourage you to take it easy. Don't do everything you think you HAVE to do, you DON'T! Don't let the unrealistic expectations you (or others) have put on you ruin what is the most wonderful time of the year. I dare you to stay home this Saturday and watch the lights on your tree. Read a couple good Christmas stories, starting with the one in Luke. Dance around the living room with your kids and maybe even take in a slow dance with your hubby :). Bake cookies with your kids, with no expectation on how they might turn out (you know, don't be a control freak). Sing 'til your throat hurts, laugh 'til you gut hurts, smile 'til you face hurts and hug 'til your arms hurt. I DARE YOU!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Lots of snow

I mentioned in the last post that the weather has been crazy. I have some more proof in this post and have added some pictures of the girls posing in front of our Christmas tree. I never thought we'd get one this year, because of the weather. I pulled Josh out of the office on Monday afternoon to beat the freezing rain that came later in the evening and the snow that started falling tonight. The first picture is just because he's so darn cute!

She thinks she's Hannah Montana. I think she better!

She's a little princess.

This is how Gideon watches the kids play in the snow. It keeps him pretty happy.

I think the kids do more eating of snow and icicles when they're outside than playing!

Like everything else, Garrett goes all out while playing in the snow.

Following the leader.

Friday, December 05, 2008

What it's about

It's beginning to to look a lot like Christmas around here! We got back into town late Monday night after driving 13 hours. The weather greeted us as soon as we hit Michigan and hasn't let up. It has been snowing for almost 3 days straight and is bitter cold. Olivia still goes out for recess everyday. And the kids have been outside playing in the snow most days too. Because of all the snow, it doesn't look like Josh will get the lights up on the outside of the house. It's just too icy on the roof and way to cold to be out there that long. The snow has also caused a delay in the purchase of our Christmas tree. We are hoping to get out of the house tomorrow and pick one out.

Of course the snow puts me right in the "mood" for Christmas, but the season of Advent has brought the expectancy of the season to a new high for me. As a family, we are reading scripture at dinner to really emphasis to the kids why we celebrate Jesus' birth and explain the sacrifice that He made for us. It's nice to see the kids retaining information and understanding Christmas for the true reason for celebration. All the information may be used against us, especially by our oldest. Here's Olivia's story:

I know, scary picture, but hang with me. Since we've been back from vacation, she's been exhausted. She told me every morning that she didn't want to go to school because she's so tired. These comments result in me telling her that in the afternoon she'll need to take a nap. At 2 o'clock every day, I've told her, "Olivia, you need to take a nap today. Remember how tired you've been?" To which she whines, "Yeeeeesssss!" About 30 minutes later, she pops her head out of the room to come out. This infuriates me for two reasons. One, she's tired and NEEDS to sleep. Two, she's disobeying me, and I can't seem to do anything or give her any consequence that makes her take a nap.
Thursday I told her, "If you don't take a nap today, you won't get to watch the next Christmas special that's on and you'll go right to bed." "Ok." She says. I think to myself, "This is going to work, she'll never want to miss TV." One hour later she comes out with her head down waiting for the blow. I say, "I guess you're not watching the next Christmas special." Her response, with as much attitude as you can imagine, "Well, you know what? I don't care about Christmas specials, they're not important. They aren't what Christmas is about. It's about God. All I care about is God, He's important."
I was silent. After I caught my breath from my daughter sticking it to me, I stuck it to her, "Well, if God is most important to you, than you should obey mommy, because that's what God asks kids to do. That's what makes him happy."
I got the last word that time, may be the only time.

A tree, all lit up and covered in snow.

Snow build up on the newspaper boxes (not mail boxes, b/c we have to go to the post office to pick up our mail).

We were testing the lights and Gideon thought they were great. I only had to tell him twice to take them out of his mouth.

Bean in the snow.