Friday, December 23, 2011

Celebrating St. Nicholas

The story…

Once there was a great man named Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time, the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.  Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th.  Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.

Here are the kiddos with St. Nicholas outside a shop in Old Town Spring.  They were both pretty out of it so I didn’t get any good pictures, and Mary screamed when she looked up and saw who was holding her!

I found a cute idea here and printed some picures of St. Nicholas to put on the chocolate gold coins that we placed in little Alex’s shoes the night before his feast day, Dec. 6th.

He was so excited to find them in the morning!

During his preschool class that week, the kids made these cute little St. Nicks out of toilet paper rolls.  We didn’t want him to get destroyed so he is sitting in our Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


We had a quiet Thanksgiving and home, and I didn't feel like cooking, so we went to a buffet dinner at Golden Corral.  They were very busy, but we were pleasantly surprised with the food.

Pooped from all the turkey...

That evening we had fun watching the kids play with a box.  Oh, the simple things that bring joy to little ones!

Monday, December 12, 2011

11 Step Program for Those Thinking of Having Kids

I read this the other day and thought it was hilarious, especially the octopus part. Exactly how it is trying to dress Mary!

Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their. ..
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the livingroom from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. Be sure to eat cold food with one hand for dinner.
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at midnight and walk around the living room again, with the bag,until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial or surf the Internet.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive). Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then, rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7
1. Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice).
2. If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out
of your sight.
3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.

Lesson 8
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine-month-old baby.

Lesson 9
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street, Barney, Disney, Little Einsteins, Teletubbies and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney Channel or 'Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four-second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt sleeve or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Little Alex- 2.5 years old (almost)

Little Alex will be 2 1/2 the end of the month, but the next few weeks are going to be crazy, so I don't know if I will have time to update.  Here is what is going on with my little man.

He is big into pretend play and his favorite this to do is "cook breafas" (breaskfast).  He started this when my parents were here and we got his play food out.  But since there were so many pieces and they were getting everywhere, we put them up and he now uses random objects he finds.  Here he is using his stacker cups as bowls and blocks as food to make a delicious meal for his friends:

Playing fireman:

The thing he loves most of all though is trains!  He would happily sit and watch youtube videos of trains all day if we let him, and plays with his toy trains all the time.  

We went to one of those family arcade centers/pizza buffet places a few months ago.  The food was terrible, but they had this cute little train he had fun riding. 

Since he loves trains so much, we decided to take a trip down to Houston one Saturday and visit the Railroad Museum.

A really cool model train they had in one of the cars.

 A few other favorites:

Favorite books: Bay Einstein's Let's Go, Dr. Seuss books
Favorite foods: cheese, corn dogs, bananas
Favorite shows: Blue's Clues, Caillou, Thomas, and other train videos

Here's a video from a months ago of him doing his ABC's.  The l-m-n-o-p part still trips him up.

And singing about some of his favorite things:

Mary Clare- 10 month update

 My baby girl is going to be 10 months next week!  She is starting to babble a bit, and is having fun exploring her world now that she is crawling.  She still sleeps like a newborn and wakes up frequently, but the stretches are starting to get a bit longer.   Still co-sleeping as well and enjoying the cuddle time I miss out on during the day.

Not liking her first swing ride:

Eating Gerber puffs.  She LOVES these things!

Mary just adores little Alex and loves to laugh at all his silly antics.  And the feeling is mutual; he loves his little sister and doesn't even mind when she pulls apart his train tracks and gets into his toys (yet). 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Welcome, baby Issac!

Here is a pic of our new nephew, Issac Uriah, born Nov. 20th.  Can't wait to meet him!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Miss Mary is crawling- a month earlier than her big brother. 

She would do this all the time when she was learning and even now will sometimes crawl on her hands and feet (instead of her knees).  It looks so funny!

"Like this mama?"