Friday, December 24, 2010

1 day and counting...


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2 days and counting...


and picking out a tree is so much fun!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3 days and counting...



and we love this nearby house at Christmastime. It's so lit up that they have a donations box and a wishing well to offset their increased power bill. The kids beg to go by frequently and so we do, and actually get out of the mini at least once each December to get a closer look. Probably later this week Santa will be there, albeit a skinny, unconvincing version. It just wouldn't be Christmas without Boultier Street. {Even Milla was duly impressed.}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

4 months old





Oh, my sweet baby girl. How is it that four months can pass both slowly and far too quickly?

At the four month check-up she weighed in at 14 pounds, 11 ounces at the 95%tile. {Look at those big thigh rolls... num num!}

We are loving this girl's smiles and giggles. I'm not sure what we did without her. Maybe one {hopefully soon} day, I can count on her to sleep through the night every night. She can do it, but doesn't always. We're starting to work on a nap schedule and she's trying to decide if she's on board with us or not. And she may never crawl because she detests tummy time. Absolutely. Throws. A. Fit.

I'm so looking forward to watching this one grow even more into the little girl God made her to be.

4 days and counting...



and this was our first attempt at a gingerbread house. The kids enjoyed decorating it at my mom's house. Apparently it wasn't very tasty, however.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Elijah


Remember these recently posted Christmas photos of my sweet first born?


My, how he's grown.

{please don't judge my sad Wii cake. he loved it anyway.}

5 days and counting...





and this year's preschool program was as sweet as ever. Miles {who really hates the pressure and attention of performing on stage} did a great job as one of the wise men, complete with a few necessary hand motions during the song just the three of them sang. Yay, Miles, because sometimes you just have to do things you don't want to do. And Ella relished her roll as a little lion. She particularly enjoyed when all the animals fell asleep. Very cute.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

6 days and counting...


and this is Christmas morning from three years ago. We thought our poor Milesy had a broken nose here, from climbing out of his crib in a not-so-deft manner. It ended up just to be a very bad bruise, and the last night he spent in a crib. A happier memory is that he called Santa by the most precious name that year... "Sampta." Oh, how I loved it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

7 days and counting...



and this is the one I should have used for our Christmas card, and I sort of thought I did... but somehow {my fault entirely} I ordered the first card I had saved instead of the second card that had this picture on the front. I thought I was doing the right thing... but my brain isn't functioning quite at top performance these days. {I wonder why?}

Friday, December 17, 2010

8 days and counting...


and this was three years ago, close to this very day. Today we'll enjoy the middles {that's what I now call Miles and Ella} in their preschool Christmas program. This picture was taken just after the preschool program back then, when my Ella wasn't even in school yet. Today she'll be a lion at the birth of Christ. A stretch I know, but they go with the animal costumes they have available. I can't wait to see my little lion and my {very} wise man. I'll share pictures later... but you already knew that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

9 days and counting...

and this sweet picture of Elijah's first encounter with Santa just happened to be taken on his very first birthday. Love it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

10 days and counting...

and Milla kept me warm during this year's Christmas parade.
Ten days isn't long when there's still so much to do...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

11 days and counting...

and we had a lovely time at Callaway Gardens last week. We all enjoyed Fantasy in Lights, even Milla until about halfway through our ride. I felt her sweet little head slump down against me, having given in to the allure of sleep.

Our one big problem of the evening, the thing that almost had me panicked, was that when our ride was done it was 9pm. And we had not had dinner. Blood sugar was running low in the mini as we rode into the huge metropolis that is Pine Mountain. Subway? Closed. KFC? Closed. Local pizzeria? Closed. Family restaurant? Closed.

Milla screaming. Ella whining. Boys fighting. Nursing baby in van as husband is trying to gather some sort of dinner together in a gas station. Peanut butter, jelly, cheez its, plastic spoons, drinks. What? They are sold out of bread. No. Way.

Sweet cashier says to go to the next light. There we find the Huddle House. A lovely sight. Thank you Huddle House, for warm food in cold bellies. For elevating blood sugar. For a wonderfully fun dinner, even if I did spill my tea, narrowly missing the littlest lady. From now on, I heart Huddle House.

at the Huddle House

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 days and counting...


and even though these muffins didn't rise because all the air was stirred {and stirred and stirred and stirred} out of them, I love this picture. This kind of "help" with baking makes things take a lot longer, but it sure is sweet. I'll just be sure to carefully monitor the amount of stirring next time.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

13 days and counting...


and it is so hard to believe that this was taken almost five years ago. Miles' first Christmas Eve. Dad's last. I miss him.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

14 days and counting...


and this was a fun day with friends two years ago.

Friday, December 10, 2010

15 days and counting...


and isn't Christmas morning wonderful?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

16 days and counting...

This was our 2003 Christmas card photo. How is it this cute little munchkin is now 8?
And only 16 days left? I better get busy...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

17 days and counting...

and I love this picture of Elijah's first Christmas.


He was 21 days old. So little. That dragon teether is around here somewhere, waiting for Milla to need it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

18 days and counting...

and I owe you one! We took an overnight trip last night as part of Elijah's birthday celebration, so I missed yesterday's post. I'll make it up with two pictures now. {Aren't you lucky?}


These are both from last year. The first is a 2009 Christmas card out-take. Pretty cute. A ride in Poppa's wagon with Ella being both pushed and pulled.
and yet another Christmas morning-in-pajamas-in-front-of-the-tree kind of picture. As you can tell, I heart this kind!

Back on the Advent photo schedule tomorrow, and perhaps with a few from our little bitty trip. It was so nice to get away, however brief it was.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

20 days and counting...

and there's nothing better than cuddly Christmas pjs. Except the three sweet ones in the pjs.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

21 days and counting...

and after six years I still love the preschool Christmas pageant. Miles made such a sweet dalmatian two years ago... this year he'll be a wise man.

Friday, December 3, 2010

22 days and counting...

and this is the Santa I saw at the parade tonight.




Thursday, December 2, 2010

23 days and counting...

and remembering a little boy who once asked Santa for an accordion...


Oh, how I miss him being little. In two days he'll be eight.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

advent

I had planned to have a semi-homemade advent calendar prepared for the kids to start enjoying today. In typical fashion, it sits on the kitchen table, started yet unfinished. My next thought? Get it done by Saturday and count down 20 days. Will that happen? Time will tell, but it looks doubtful. Someone needs to finish a little sewing for the girls (and they only have 24 more days to wear these Christmas clothes!) and someone else is having their 8th birthday Saturday. So, with schooling and sewing and birthday planning and celebrating and the in general feeding and care of all these people... yes, the semi-homemade advent calendar completion doesn't look promising. Let's just say I have a head start for next year, ok?

I am going to do an Advent reading plan found on youversion.com. Read what I found there about Advent:

What Is Advent? Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning arrival or coming. The Hebrews looked forward to the coming of a Savior or Messiah—the First Advent. Now, we are waiting expectantly for His return to sweep His bride off of our feet—the Second Advent. The Church has been waiting for Him to come back from the moment He left the first time.

Why Should I Participate in Advent? So, what does Advent have to do with celebrating the arrival of Jesus? Traditionally, Advent counts down the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Practically, Advent reminds us to look forward to His return every day. This season is about resetting Jesus Christ at the center of our lives. After all, when He comes to take us home forever, we want to be ready. Expect to be inspired, challenged, refocused, broken, motivated, unified, encouraged, and most of all, expectant.
I love that: "expect to be... expectant." I'm ready to wait for Him, aren't you? I'll try and share some of what I glean from my readings.

And just for fun, I'm totally stealing this idea from a favorite blog of mine because I love it - I will be counting down the days of advent with pictures from Christmases past. Bring on the memories! First up:





Ella's first Christmas and her first baby doll. Notice she was feeding her baby a scrap of wrapping paper. Sweet girl.

Monday, November 22, 2010

an early Christmas present...

is soon to be mine thanks to Shutterfly. I love sending out Christmas cards and really love receiving them. All those sweet little children, dressed up and smiling at me from pictures so carefully taken. It's just a part of the season for me. For the past few years, I have designed my own cards using photoshop with pictures that Jonathan has taken. This year, however, Shutterfly made an offer I simply can't refuse. In exchange for a blog post, I'll receive 50 free stationary cards. Thanks to Shutterfly, because during a Christmas season when I have a little baby adding {a little} chaos to our busy family and I can't seem to catch up on even the simplest of tasks lately, they have offered to take one task out of my hands. Whew... I feel better already.

Here are a few of my favorite of their MANY choices:


I am quite smitten with the idea of a folded card {like the last image above} this year. It's hard to choose just one photo, and this way I can include one or more on the inside of the card as well. And, just so you know, although I *heart* each of the above designs, I made sure not to post the one I'll end up ordering. Wouldn't you rather have a surprise in your mailbox in a couple of weeks?

Thanks again, Shutterfly, for making my Christmas a little easier already! Now, we need to dress the littles up and ask them to say "cheese!"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

fall fun!

So... Miles, Ella and Elijah evidently had fun while Jonathan worked in the yard yesterday. Especially Miles.
video

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Santa's here!

Last Saturday my mom and I took the kiddos to a {very} tiny and {sort of} pitiful early Christmas parade at East Chase. Santa was to arrive at the end of the parade, so we thought they would enjoy it. I wasn't sure I'd be able to get everyone ready and there on time, so I didn't tell the kids why we were meeting Gammie, just that we were.

When Elijah found out we were there to see Santa arrive, he indignantly {but thankfully quietly!} told me he was not interested in seeing Santa arrive since "he's not real." The {one} band that played was too loud for my hyper-sensitive to noise children. And only a small amount of candy was tossed. According to the kids {and I agree}, the parade was pretty much a bust.

Since we were out, I decided to drag my poor littles to another shop where we could take a picture with Santa for free and with my camera. A perfect opportunity in my estimation, since I didn't have to pay {a ton!} for a poorly taken, cheap print-out. Only thing I didn't like was that this particular Santa had a fake beard. Miles and Ella didn't seem to notice, and Milla didn't mind trying to eat said fake beard. {Gross!}

I just had to try it though, because this could very well be my only chance to get a picture of all four of them with Santa. I know Elijah, and probably Miles, will consider themselves way too big for it all too soon. Miles almost bailed on me this year, but I asked him to pretty please be in the picture for me, and he {unhappily} relented. As you can see here:


Elijah looks like my dad here with that big-cheeked smile. Miles looks pained. Milla looks bored {but so teeny-tiny cute!}. Ella looks happy. I love this picture though. Love it. These four will get so tired of seeing this picture framed on the mantle every Christmas for years to come. But I don't care. Sometimes momma gets what she wants. And {thankfully} I got this picture. Yay!

The three that can speak for themselves told Santa what they want, even Elijah who "is too old for" him. Elijah told him he wants a Wii, Miles told him "every remote controlled toy that's not for girls," and Ella told him a Barbie house. Seems like someone spoke for Milla, but I can't remember who or what they claimed she wants.

I snapped a couple pictures after the boys left the scene. Santa was left with just two sweet little ladies. Pretty cute picture. Don't you agree?


Monday, November 15, 2010

milla jean at 3 months


Well, my girl is no longer a newborn. She came here so big and bright-eyed {and opinionated!} it seems like she wasn't a newborn for long. It's going by way, way too quickly for me, but I also love seeing what's next and joyfully anticipate more and more of Milla's personality emerging. She's such a sweet little thing. Not the laid-back fourth child some said she'd be, but she's just right - just the way she was created!

At three months she loves: mommy and daddy, "talking" to whoever will listen, listening to daddy whistle or mommy sing, her big sister and big brothers, naps in the swing, arms to hold her, warm pjs after a bath. She does not love: waiting to eat, being cold, being put down when that's not exactly what she wants, stop lights or sitting in parking lots {that car better keep moving or she gets mad!}.

{smiling at big sister!}

enjoying {a little} playtime on the floor
On the {many} days that I feel tired, looking at this sweet babe reminds me of what's truly important. And {for now}, it's not how tall the laundry pile gets, the dishes in the sink, or how our school days don't always go as planned.

"...the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Happy 3 months, baby girl. Now let's see what happens next!

Monday, November 1, 2010

halloween

This year we had a Strawberry Shortcake, an Iron Man and a Mario {of course!}. I was up late making that pink hat for Ella. She cried herself to sleep because the white hat {she had previously agreed to wear} just wasn't going to cut it. There was also some concern because her eyes aren't green, but I told her there are some things I just can't change... she woke up on Halloween morning pretty happy with her new pink hat and didn't mention her blue eyes again.


These were taken just before trick or treating. Miles so enjoyed carving pumpkins the other night. He said, and I'm going to quote it because we just don't hear this kind of thing from him often, he said, "I'm in a very good mood!" and that "Tonight is the best night of the year!" Bless our little moody guy. Maybe we should carve pumpkins more often.

And here's our sweet Millaroo. My plans to make her a strawberry {to go with Big Sister} just didn't happen, but she looked sweet in orange polka dots.

Now, if we can get rid of all this candy and start our detox. I woke up to Ella asking me to open a piece of candy and Elijah telling me Miles was having candy for breakfast. If only they knew how many pieces I've swiped from them today. I'll never tell...