Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Season is Coming...

We are busy getting the house ready for the Christmas season. The boys have begged and asked and begged with each decoration that has gone up for MORE decorations to come out of the attic. We are getting more and more festive with each red and green bobble that goes up.

The boys helping daddy clean up the bushes to ready them for Christmas lights.
Fall in the Front Yard

Okay, that didn't last long. Off to playing.
Fall in the Front Yard

Sure wish mommy would have put a jacket that zips on me.
Fall in the Front Yard

Time to run!
Fall in the Front Yard

He seriously owns like 10 jackets, but I couldn't resist using the one that matched. I promise to only use jackets that zip now that the cold weather has arrived.
Fall in the Front Yard

More pictures to come of the boys enjoying the Christmas decor.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Train Set Up 2010 {A How To Guide}

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

There are few things as exciting as setting up the Christmas train in our house.  It is the kind of excitement and joy that is so overwhelming that it most often involves some tears ('cause Christmas trains don't go up quickly, my friends).  But by the end of the painfully slow process all the little engineers are happy, oh so happy.

Step 1: Watch Daddy pull boxes and boxes of Christmas fun out of the attic.
{Warning: this step takes longer than a 4 year old expects it to.}
Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Step 2: Set up the Christmas tree, because the train must have something to run around.
{Warning: This step will take MUCH longer than a 4 year old expects it to.}
Christmas Train Set-Up 2010
(discover/remember that the section of lights in the middle of the tree does not work, make mental note to look for a new tree in the after Christmas sales).

Step 3: Vacuum up artificial tree needles that fell off the tree in the process (really make plans to look for a new tree, this one is looking rather thin). This is made much more fun by Daddy pretending to vacuum up the kids.
Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Step 4: Remove the engine and the cars from the box.  So very exciting, but still frustrating to wait on the track to be ready.
Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Step 5: Set up the track.
{Warning: this step takes longer than a 4 year old expects it to.}
Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Step 6: Place the engine and the cars on the track, and surprise, surprise they can do this all by themselves.  How are they old enough for that?
Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Step 7: Take turns being the engineer and watching the magical little train go round and round the track.
{Warning: This step is much shorter than the 4 year old expects it to be.  He would prefer to not eat, sleep or potty for the next month and a half.}
Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set-Up 2010

Christmas Train Set Up 2010

Thrilling video of the train going round and round.

Same joy, 2 years ago.

And 3 years ago.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunny Day, Run and Play

Walker Swinging
Walker, December 2007 at our favorite park. *

Today the weather is a beautiful gift after a few days of rain and clouds.

We made a trip to our favorite park.  Because, you know, we have three days of need-to-play-outside built up, that has to go somewhere.  The park is made to accommodate the little guys, but it also is low on the "mud quotient." Which is especially important post-lotsa-rain.

It was one of those, "they are growing up before my very eyes," trips.

Baby learned how to go up the stairs and down the slide, all by himself.  Like, he didn't need my assistance for large blocks of time.  Grateful, but wow.

Walker and Eli played together some, but they also made friends independent of each other and played apart for a good part of the time.  This is new and different.  Usually they are within feet of each other.  They are spreading their wings, not only from me, but from each other.  Again, grateful, but wow.

I love the new people they are becoming as they are more and more independent, but I also miss their baby ways.  It makes me realize more each day, they are not mine to keep.

Eli, January 2008, at our favorite park.*
Happy Eli

*I was camera-less today, so these are pictures from a couple of years ago.  Same park, same cute kids +1.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Making the Most of the Weekend

We had 2 birthday parties, Walker's first camp out, a baby shower, a spend the night with Pops and Grandma Jayne, and church.  All with Daddy out of town.

Riding bikes with Pops and Grandma Jayne.
Bike Riding at Pops and Grandma Jayne's

I actually prefer the time that Jason is away to be super busy.  Sure it is crazy, but I like the distractions.

As evidence by the fact that the boys spent the night away Saturday night and I spent the night painting.

It is so nice to be able to complete a project from start to finish with no distractions.  Now, that is a treat.

This is Jason's new office space.
And also, War Eagle. One day people will be hanging pictures of Cam Newton in their houses.

Go Bo.

So glad to have Daddy home for a few days.  We aren't always so productive while he is away, but it is great when everything works out this way.

Sort of related, but not really.
Shades of the future.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Being outside feeds these boys' souls.  They crave the freedom (don't we all).  They need the freedom (don't we all).  They want to get their hands dirty creating and moving.  They need to run and jump and play. Thank you, Lord Jesus for these amazing fall days.
And corralling (some of) the chaos outside is nice, too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Same and So Different, All at the Same Time.

All three of the boys are so unique.  They have their own little personalities, likes and dislikes.

Colin's personality is really starting to come out.  He is loving and cuddly.  He is stubborn and opinionated.  He thinks he is just as old as his brothers while still wanting mommy to treat him like the baby.  He is brave and independent.  Oh, how I love seeing shades of who he will be.

But there are moments, when I catch my breath.  When I see Colin doing something the same way his brothers did just a few short years ago, I am amazed at how fast the time has gone and how fast the time is going.

Colin - yesterday, 17 months.


Walker - October 2007, 20 months.

Wow.  I love that I have these moments in my head.  

And I love that the camera has given me tangible ways to express them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcome November

We had a totally unscheduled weekend, and it was lovely.

We had slow breakfasts, made short trips to the store, tried to finish the 47 thousand projects I began during the week, saw friends and family, played outside in winter coats, and just generally enjoyed being together.  I love all the fun that fills the busy holiday season, but we needed this calm "just us" family time before it all begins.

Saturday morning we went to see the (model) trains.  They are still being set up for Christmas at our local science museum, but there was more than enough to excite the boys.  Walker* in particular.  He could have taught those engineers a few things if they could have let him help.  *He has a (more than) slight obsession with all things locomotive.

Tiny little towns that can be controlled with the push of a toddler's finger.  Yes, please.

So much joy over the little things (literally).

They spent  a couple of hours running from one display to the next and then back again.  We ate a fantastic (if I do say so myself) sack lunch as a family, checked on the giant eel and the sad looking jelly fish, took one more lap around the trains then then headed home for a rest.

We spent Sunday morning diving into James at church.  Sunday was also Orphan Sunday.  I spent time praying for the orphans of the world and praying for obedience in serving them.  Love has a great post up on ways we can be "doers of the word" here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Building a City


Yesterday we built a city.  We used all the different kinds of blocks we have.  Which is a lot, more than enough blocks for city building.



It took several hours of working for a while and then taking a break and then going back to the "job".


Everyone helped.

Sometimes the builders took things apart.  Then we learned about rebuilding and kindness.


Walker is meticulous and has a plan.  He knows just what he is building.  He built a very delicate and elaborate footbridge through the center of town and boats for the water.

Eli picks the blocks he likes and builds something and then decides what it is he has built.  He has a great eye for seeing what things look like.  He built several movie theaters and skyscrapers.  He also spent a fair amount of time "fixing" things in the city.

Colin is going to participate.  He built much of the wall and the towers.  He would not destroy things as long as I was giving him something to build.  He was  going to be involved, one way or another.

The city still stands today.  We shall see how long it last. But, these memories, they are mine forever. {Because we built much more than a city out of blocks yesterday.  Thank you, Jesus.}