Christmas break was nice. My thrift store Christmas-gift-shopping was a success. Grandma also spoiled my kids & shocked their socks off.....like she usually does. It's nice that my kids don't actually EXPECT her to do that. She always spoils them, so they SHOULD expect it. But I sort of led them to believe that they might not get much from her.......so she wouldn't feel like she NEEDED to spend as much money as usual. She did anyway, of course. It's so fun to see them get so excited & to see that they feel so blessed & thankful. Between my awesome thrift store finds & Grandma's generosity, the boys have quite the Nerf Gun arsenal. And lots of other neat stuff.
Justin helped with a little bit of the Christmas shopping this year. He scored this awesome bow for Seth at a second hand store.
Daddy's story times have inspired creativity in the Homeschool-Drama-Club. This is Oliver Twist & his midwife. His mother died in childbirth. At least it's not Jesus, Joseph & Mary. Poor Tom.
Justin & I did a lot of THIS over Christmas break.Happy news! My sister Gloria has been staying with us for the holidays! It's been lovely having her around. I've sat up late nights having great talks with her, getting to know her better, talking about life & our childhood, etc. The boys LOVE her. She plays games with them, talks to them, reads to them.....laughs with (and AT) them. She babysat the other night so Justin & I could go on a date. We went to see Narnia. I felt a little guilty for not taking the kids to that, but we didn't have enough "free-movie" coupons to include them. Do you KNOW how much it costs to take them ALL to a movie?! We'll wait for it to go to the dollar theatre, thank you. We went to Costco....without the kids....and I don't feel guilty about that. We also went to the Library so we could continue our hot date at home on the couch......reading.
Auntie Gloria tells a good tale.
Jarod's favorite present: a cook book by Alton Brown, his hero.
Tonight, for dinner, I made my Very-Plain-Put-Everything-in-it-Casserole (that's my official name for it).....which the kids love & which my husband kindly, patiently tolerates. It's my "good-mother-compromise". I can pretend I'm cooking for my family like a GOOD homemaker would do. My VPPEC contains veggies, whole wheat noodles, protein.....and it's EASY. I like easy. Poor Justin. The boys make me feel so good about my "skills". They tell me I am such a good cook. Poor ignorant little fellas. I'm making it easier on their future wives. Setting the bar kinda low, so they will be pleasantly surprised when their wives cook for them. Unlike MY mama-in-law, bless her gourmet-cooking little heart. (OK. Well, not gourmet exactly. But REALLY good.) I just never had a chance. Anyway, tonight.....Jarod informed me sweetly, with a mouth full of VPPEC, "See, mom? You can actually make a very delicious, home-cooked meal.....just with everyday items from your kitchen!!!"
Thank you, Alton.
Jarod was very happy with this present as well. Yes, it's a snow globe. He has been asking me for a snow globe since August. He LIKES snow-globes, OK? And he likes Veggie Tales. I was SO excited when I found this Bob-the-Tomato-skiing-down-a-mountain-snow-globe at the thrift store! It was brand new, still in the box. It was half-priced, and....GET THIS.....it had "Jared" written RIGHT ON THE TOP of the box!!! I personally feel that God provided this snow globe JUST for Jarod!!! In fact, I told him so when he opened it. He said, "Well, Mom. God spelled my name wrong." For those of you who think I shouldn't have let him say such an irreverent thing about God.....I'm pretty sure God thought it was cute.
Justin found two huge tubs of Tinker Toys at the thrift store for very cheap. I'm just going to have him do ALL the Christmas shopping next year. He did GREAT. The boys are having endless fun with the Tinker Toys...but, as usual, are having just as much fun with the box they came in.
I need something like this for ALL of them.....but a little more secure. You know...for safety reasons...
Twas the night before Christmas......and Mommy was short a stocking, so she improvised with a big ole daddy-sock.
Daddy's annual Christmas morning Bible reading: this year from his IPhone. IPhones are awesome.
Sorry all the pics are so blurry. I couldn't find my other camera & was taking pics with my IPhone. Stupid IPhone. Yeah. It's a love-hate thing.
Tonight's drama: the boys went outside in the dark, 20-degree back yard to have a "Nerf War". Jarod & Micah came back inside a couple minutes later, sobbing hysterically that Jerry (our little black kitty) was stuck in the dryer vent outside the house. They thought she was stuck waaaaaaay down in the metal tube & would have to live there forever, being fed from the end of a wire hanger, broken & bent in order to hand little kitty morsels down to feed her. I was slightly afraid of the bloody mess I might find her in (due to the extreme nature of their sobbing), so I went outside, prepared with a flashlight & GLOVES. It turned out she was simply behind the grating NEXT to the dryer tube-thingy. I pryed that loose & she walked right out. I am Mommy-the-Animal-Rescuer. I am Mommy-the-Soother-of-Frightened-Boys. I kind of kicked Diego's butt. I'm just saying. GO, MOMMY, GO!!!!
My New Year's Resolution: to love Jesus more. I have made, and broken, so many resolutions over the years. Like everyone. I don't think He wants my resolutions, which I cannot accomplish without His strength anyway. I think He wants my love. I'm gonna work on that.