Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas

What is it about December? How does it bring out the best and worst in people all at the same time? I will be the first to admit that December brings a high amount of stress to my life...the worry that I'm forgetting someone's present; the chaos of shopping among a zillion other moms whose children are all screaming in different pitches - creating quite a dissonant chorus playing in the background (and sometimes the foreground) of my shopping trip; the guilt I feel when my bank account plainly shows me that I cannot buy what my husband really wants for Christmas; the frustration when half of my window lights go out; the pain of burning my fingers over and over with matches (but I love my candles so much!); the pressure to make the toffee and the fudge and the cakes and the cookies; the list could go on and on.

HOWEVER, I must also be the first to admit that I smile more, think of others more, pray more, and hug my kids more in December than any other month. This Christmas season has been the hardest (for the single fact that Brian has been gone on interviews for the better part of it) and the best I've ever had. Two Christmases ago, I was touched to a new depth by our Savior's love for us...and each Christmas since, I have been blessed to remember those feelings. Those feelings this year have been no different - however, a wonderful new element has been added: the magic has returned.

When I take a minute to think about my favorite Christmas sights I've seen this year, the first one that pops into my head is that of McKenzie's bright, wide eyes, cocked head full of curls, and big smile as she hears bells from 'Santa's sleigh' or learns that "Rudolph wants a CARROT?" Her excitement is contagious for Carson who, though he might not fully understand why things are so exciting, is full of energy and laughter. And I am happier, too. Small things give me greater joy (for example: I was running on a treadmill at the gym earlier today watching an Andy Griffith rerun with closed captions, and as the opening music started, the captions read 'whistling sprightly tune'. I broke out in a huge smile when I read the word 'sprightly' and looked around at my running neighbors to see if anyone was accompanying me in my joy. They weren't... so I enjoyed the moment alone).

This is a wonderful season. Full of stress and angry people, yes; but as long as I don't become one of those angry people, there is so much joy to be felt, so much laughter to hear, so much good to see.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Alder Updates

Time keeps getting away from me - it's been much too long since I've posted! The nastiest part of the human mind is that it forgets too quickly, and all the wonderful thoughts, funny kid sayings and stories I've had in the past couple of weeks have soaked through the 'retaining' barrier into the 'I'll never remember that again' darkness. This is why I write in my journal...this is why I take so many pictures to scrapbook...this is why I blog. What I write, I remember. And I want to remember everything.

So - on to remembering!

* Brian flew out to Miami earlier today for another interview, and while we were all in the car on our way to the airport, McKenzie asked, "Where are you going again, Daddy?" To which Daddy replied, "You remember. Where am I going?"
"Oh yeah!" she exclaimed, "You're going to your Ami.........but Daddy, what's an Ami?"

* Carson's new trick: he has learned where his belly button is! This is a major thing for us - we've been trying to teach him body parts for a while now...and he seems to finally be getting it. :) The belly button is, by far, my favorite part of the body to teach to kids. His face is so excited when he lifts up his shirt - but the best thing about it is that he can't really see his own belly button very well because of his big, round he pulls up on his belly, trying to catch a glimpse! And both of my kids have insisted on finding everyone else's belly button after their own............what a funny thing! McKenzie used to call hers her "Bee-bupt". Carson also knows where his nose is. But we're having a hard time distinguishing between the 'eye' and the 'ear' - so many things to learn!

* Carson's first word: "Tickle" Could there be a cuter first word? And everything else is a "Da" or a grunt. We have a long way to go. :)

* McKenzie's new favorite animal: flamingo. She constantly calls her brother a 'little flamingo'. I'm not sure where she even learned about flamingo's, but once she found out there was such thing as a pink animal, it was bound to be her favorite. Our new library book has a page with flamingo's - it took a while to calm her down after she saw the picture.

* McKenzie's new favorite game: Charades. This mixed with her new favorite animal is quite entertaining. Here's a slide show of us playing Charades with her aunt Michelle while she was out visiting.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Crazy Christmastime!

The day after Thanksgiving the Christmas decorations break through their boxes! Here's a little slide show of us all decorating for Christmas.

Dang Dishes part 2

Well, I finally did the dishes the morning after my last post. I recruited McKenzie's help to unload the first load from the dishwasher (yes, I had two full loads...), and as she was putting the clean silverware into the drawer, she said, "Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! Now we can eat with whatever we want, whenever we want!"

Maybe having clean dishes is more important to her than I realized..... :)