Friday, January 14, 2011

He's a sneaky one

alternatively titled "Why do I leave the house?"

We had a great morning with a college friend and her kids.  It is always amazing to catch up with old friends and hear about the ways the Lord is working in the lives of those we love.  I'm thankful for her encouragement and the way she openly shares about what she is learning and the ways that she is growing.  So excited about where the Lord is taking their family right now!

ANYWAY- we met at a JumpZone kind of in between our two houses so the kids could play.  Its a cool place with lots of fun inflatables and I liked that it was all in one room so there wasn't much fear of kids wandering off somewhere (I thought).  I knew to keep a close eye on Cbug (I've referenced his amazing disappearing skills before) and Lou stayed pretty close so I always knew where she was, too.  I wasn't worried about KJ at all.  He ran between obstacle courses, doesn't really need help and wouldn't wander off too far without telling me (again- so I thought).

About an hour into our fun, KJ came to find me (he had been checking in every so often) and this time he had white icing all over his face.  Right behind him came the owner of the establishment, bearing KJ's party treat bag.  No, we were not there for a birthday party.  We were just there for open play.  But KJ found a way to join a party anyway.  VERY IMPRESSIVE as it required putting his shoes back on, following a little crowd to a party room away from the main room, and being "checked in" by the staff who had a list of names of kids that were invited to the party.  He apparently stayed at the party long enough to sing to the birthday boy with the other guests, eat his cake, drink his juice box, and collect his party bag before politely asking "Where is my mom?"  It wasn't until then that anyone even realized that he wasn't an invited guest. 


I was H-O-R-R-I-F-I-E-D and embarrassed, of course.  I mean, obviously if he had time to eat cake he had been out of my sight for awhile without me even noticing.  Awesome, ABL, awesome.  I couldn't believe it.  I made him go back and apologize to the mom, return the party bag (which they insisted that we keep) and thank them for being such good hosts (even to the crashers).  He cried and cried he was so embarrassed and we had a long talk about not going anywhere with strangers- even if they have cake.  Maybe especially if they have cake. 

He said "they told me I just had to put my shoes on and I could go in".  Fair enough, but from now on, please don't go to ANY PARTIES without your Momma.  EVER.  And yes, that same rule will apply when you are a teenager, thankyouverymuch.


Friday, January 7, 2011

They say its your birthday!

With his birthday so close to Christmas, Cbug always has to wait for his party (it won't be for a couple of weeks), but we try to make the day special for him still.  Its funny how the things that make a (newly turned) 3-year-old happy involve junk food. 

First stop, a trip to the donut store.
What a tough selection- so many yummy choices, who can decide?

And he opened a few presents
(with careful supervision from big brother, of course)
Little did we know that one of his presents, a book about garbage trucks doing their job, would actually be a clue as to how we would spend some of our morning. 

And we just spent time enjoying time with our favorite three-year-old
(and big brother would like everyone to know that he is four, which is more than three).

I told you the garbage truck book was a clue!  We spent the next part of the morning chasing the ultimate trio- the garbage truck, the leaf truck AND the recycle truck- around our neighborhood.  We followed "clues" and made a game out of trying to figure out which street they hadn't been down yet.  Don't knock it until you try it.  Its an AWESOME game (at least to our Cbug).  He is LOVES watching these trucks pick up trash, etc.

We also spent some quality time on the playscape- laughing, running, JUMPING, climbing, chasing, racing and playing with friends.  The boys were so excited when they figured out that, with some of their buddies there playing, they had the ages covered... 3-4-5-6.  So precious!

 We had Sonic for lunch and Daddy made homemade pizza for dinner and the kids and I made, iced and decorated the Christmas cookies that never got made during the holidays (told ya so- junk food GALORE).

The cookies were served as the birthday cake!  However, we did make sure to save the ones that had been given some "extra love (read: slobber)" for the boys to eat.

Then we ended the night watching some of Cbug's new Thomas movie (thanks Hatch). 
A perfect day for all of us- especially Cbug.  What could be better than celebrating our favorite 3-year-old by doing some his favorite things?


Thursday, January 6, 2011

REWIND- Christmas Part IV

I know it is back-tracking a bit, but even though Chistmas parts I, II, and III were fantastic, Christmas just wouldn't be complete without part IV- so now you have it...

Christmas at Grammy's, our last major Christmas celebration for the year, was a great day of relaxing with RRL's family.  It was especially amazing this year because my Momma and Daddy also joined us. 

I loved having so much of our family in one place.

I think we have started a new tradition.  We should ALWAYS take an adult picture AND a kid picture. 
The adult picture, like this one, should be after the kids are down for naps and we are really getting to enjoy each others company.

And the kid picture, like this one, should be right. smack. dab.  in the middle of the craziness.  Because they are crazy fun and it just works better that way.
This way we get a true picture of everyone (and maybe its so I don't have to be in any pictures while sweating...maybe).

Other fun traditions were started and carried on, as well.  The kids really enjoyed the Nativity story with Grammy,

 ate a great meal (which for the kids meant a few bits of sustenance and then plenty of dessert), and had lots of FUN with some of our favorite people, Aunt B and

Uncle J.

Oh, and don't forget, Lou got her first "shooting" lesson.  I mean, it was just what she needed to round out her day of rocking babies, cooking in her kitchen, and having tea parties, right?  At least she is wearing a bow while doing it.  Goodness.
 And then, because what  celebration would be complete without it...
I made them pose.  Again.  But look how stinkin' cute they are.  I just can't help myself.

Real life doesn't stop for Christmas.  We still had tantrums, accidents, bickering, a sick middle boy and lots of messes to clean-up.  But I loved every minute of the holidays this year.  We really did have an amazing time with our families and making memories with our children.  Special thanks to our Moms who go WAY out of their way to make it so special and so much easier on us in our current stage of being outnumbered by toddlers.  You have no idea how much it means to us...then again, maybe you do.


Monday, January 3, 2011

My favorite 3-year-old

One of the things I love most about Cbug at this stage is the fact that he makes some AMAZING faces!  From the first day of his little life, he has never been one to hide his feelings.  He is one of the most expressive kids I've ever seen.  Except when he's not- and he's got the blank stare MASTERED for those occasions as well.

So, in celebration of his THIRD BIRTHDAY, I thought I'd share some of the faces of sweet CCL.
*As captured in the pumpkin patch by Cindi and Cass

*As captured by Aimee of Eden Hayes Photography this November.

Oh. My. Word.  Couldn't you just eat him up...and laugh at him...and wonder what is going on in that little mind?  And the best part is that it all happens within a matter of minutes.  There's just a glimpse for you into why we are so smitten!

Sweet Cbug-
        It is impossible to believe that you are three. You have looked forward to being "stree" for an entire year and the day has finally come. You’ve spent the day reminding us “Its my birthday, you know?!?!” Yes, yes we know!
       A lot has happened this year- you started pre-school, you now wear big boy underwear, you’ve learned to spell your name and write it (with the letters scattered around the page), and your vocabulary has changed by leaps and bounds. It now includes some of our favorite words to hear you say like “actuwee” (actually) and wast night (everything happened “last night”). You've provided your parents with several really scary moments this year, between asthma attacks and disappearing acts, but you've also provided lots and lots of laughter. Between knock-knock jokes, your deep hearty giggle, silly grins, and sneaky smirks- Oh how you make us all laugh!
       Recently someone summed you up perfectly with one word- PASSION. You are truly passionate about everything you do. EVERYTHING. Your passion for how you feel is always very evidently displayed- happy, sad, glad or mad- we never have to guess how you feel. And when you love something, you are ALL IN. You love trains (especially Thomas, James and Percy), Buzz and Woody, all things related to the movie CARS (especially Mater and McQueen), and wrestling with your brother. When you are playing with your favorites you practically disappear into your pretend-play. We love to watch you carefully set up a “city” with your blocks and cars or get immersed into a favorite book. Once you are there it is almost impossible to distract you from your passion of the moment.
       We love that you are passionate about the things you love and that you are quick to tell others about how you feel. We are praying that the Lord will help us, your parents, mold those attributes in you to be used for good and most importantly for His GLORY. We pray you’ll never be shy about sharing your passion for God and his creation with others and that your passion for life will lead others to a deep relationship with Christ, who is so very passionate about you, too.

We love you to infinity and beyond, sweet Cbug!
Love, Momma

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Part III: Home Sweet Home

As much as I love our Tennessee Christmas, and as much as we always look forward to Christmas with RRL's family...
The times in between are truly my favorite (and obviously Lou's, too).

There is something about Christmas at home, making memories with our little family of 5 that really helps me remember what the season is all about.  It is so easy to remember all the ways we have been blessed when I'm surrounded by the laughter (and even bickering) that come from our three rascals and when I'm snuggled by our Christmas tree with my favorite man.  This never fails to point me to Jesus, to be thankful for all that was sacrificed and all that is celebrated during Christmas time.

Here are a few of my favorite memories from our Christmas season at home this year.

We attended Christmas Eve Service at The Hills, enjoying candlelight worship and story time with "Mr Rick". 


Then we went took failed (yet priceless) family photo attempt number 567289 for the holiday season

and headed home to put cookies out for Santa/carrots for reindeer (I happen to know that Santa is used to all of his/her food being touched by small fingers) and Nonna read "The Night Before Christmas" (so wonderful to have her here "live" this year instead of via skype).

Finally, three crazies headed for bed (where two little boys enjoyed a brand new set of blue Christmas lights).

The stockings were hung, the presents wrapped under the tree and a true CHRISTMAS MIRACLE occurred when everyone was in bed before midnight and slept until after 8.

I didn't take a single picture of the kids opening presents, but judging from the after-math, I'd say the gifts were a big hit (and Lou cooks a lot like her mom-dishes everywhere while she talks on the phone)!

Lastly a few videos.  KJ singing Silent Night and Cbug singing Away in a Manger (their songs for the preschool Christmas show) and one of Lou just being her crazy self- telling jokes and saying Merry Christmas.  Enjoy!


I'm so very thankful for these memory treasures made with my favorites!