Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beth keeps me busy

Over the last month, we've had lots of things to do with Beth. Here's the short version since I'm so behind on blogging:

Thanksgiving Children's Choir performance
Missionary meeting- Beth's Awanas book talked about missionaries. It wanted her to talk to missionaries, find out where they work and how they tell people about Jesus. Well, after getting permission from her teachers to stray a bit from the requirement, and being the teacher/nerd that I am, used the opportunity to have Beth learn something new. In our neighborhood are Mrs. Jo and Mr. Louis, who were missionaries in Kenya for 35 years. I thought it would be a great chance for Beth to really learn instead of just filling out some questions in her book. While at their house, they told Beth about the people in Kenya, showed her various native dress outfits and talked about how much the people of Kenya wanted to learn about Jesus. I'm so thankful to them for allowing us into their home and sharing with us. I don't think Beth will ever forget it.

Reading Day at school- A whole day of jommies at school! Jacob and I volunteered to help read to the elementary classes for Reading day (yes, in our jommies too). It was fun! Beth loved that she got to stay all day, instead of her usual half-day, to have special Chick Fil A lunch, and attend a special program at the end of the day.

Christmas Children's Choir performance

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Help please!

My dad entered a "Favorite Christmas Memory" contest with a radio station in Houston. His (my) photo is one of the top 10. This is when Beth was 20 months old and super excited about a doodle pro Aunt Casey gave her.
To vote, click here, scroll down to the 6th picture, choose Mike R under the picture then scroll down to click vote. You can vote every day! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

There's an Elf on the Shelf!

While I was decorating for Christmas, this book and little elf just showed up. I don't know where they came from (wink, wink), but it sure was exciting!

We read a great story about the elf who watches over the kids all day. At night, he flies back to Santa with a report of behavior. The next morning, he's landed in a new spot. We can't touch him though, or he'll lose his magic and won't be able to fly back to Santa. On Christmas Eve is his last report, and then we won't see him again until next year. At the end of the story, the kids got to name our elf. They chose "Tinsel", like the elf we'd seen in the play.

So, there Tinsel sat his first day. Beth was quite concerned with this. She was so quiet (a VERY rare occasion)! Then, out of nowhere, she offered to go clean up her room. YES! This is good stuff! She had a great first day. Jacob, however, was having a hard day. Every time he'd start to throw a fit, Beth would kindly remind him about Tinsel's watchful eye.

The next morning, Beth's first task was to find where Tinsel had landed. It took her a little while. While she was eating breakfast, there he was, above the table. She couldn't take her eyes off of Tinsel. I think she was a bit bothered that he was so close, watching her. Jacob just laughed about where Tinsel was. Great.

Since then, Beth starts every morning looking for Tinsel. He's been on the Christmas tree, in each person's stocking, in the blinds, on the mantle, in my Christmas village. Beth's biggest concern is when Tinsel has landed somewhere he could possibly be touched- the candy bowl, my to-do file system (don't make fun of me for that!). We get BIG warnings to stay out of those things. The other day, Jacob climbed on his chair to get a better look of Tinsel, and she just about lost it screaming at me to get Jacob. I can't help but be tickled. Jacob, well, he still just laughs and points when he finds Tinsel. I'm really hoping next year, it'll work on him.
One morning, Tinsel arrived with a note from Santa and Mrs. Claus, telling us how glad they were that Tinsel had come to our town to live in our house. The specific details in the letter blew Beth away. Good stuff! We've also visited the to play games and find fun things to do.
I just love the magic and wonder of Christmas through a child's mind! I look forward to Tinsel joining us for many Christmas seasons!
Update: I completely forgot about this picture that Beth drew about the day Tinsel showed up on the Christmas tree. Notice all the detail about the room and the surprised look on their faces. Sorry I can't get it to turn sideways.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanksgiving at the lake

This year, we headed to Kevin's aunt and uncle's place in Marquez, Texas for the family Thanksgiving gathering. We've been out there a few times over our 10 years together, and every time I've forgotten how nice it is out there (this pic is the pond, not the lake, but it looks so peaceful, doesn't it?).

We ate- Jacob liked getting a cookie, taking one bite then getting another one, repeat- and ate some more. Hey, we were there a while! :)
We watched Cowboys- men in one room, ladies in the other, kids mostly outside (supervised).
We played outside- a boat ride for some, a visit to the pond to feed catfish and see the cows, fun with LOTS of acorns and sticks and rocks, and just running around.

The kiddos both crashed hard on the way home. Spending time with family, is my favorite part of any holiday. What a treasure to enjoy each other! We had 3 generations of folks there- 15 adults and 4 precious kiddos. I think one day soon, we'll take Aunt M and Uncle C up on their offer to bring the kids out to the lake for a visit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

During Thanksgiving week, both Kevin and Beth had the week off. The whole family got to head into Fort Worth to watch Santa Claus is Comin' to Town at Casa Manana- a great little playhouse with children's plays (and other ones too). I've taken the kids before to various Easter or Christmas plays, but this was Kevin's first.
A cute story line, some singing and dancing- a great production! Jacob sat still for the entire 70 minute performance. He only fussed once when Santa was walking around the audience.

I look forward to these plays every season, and I can't wait for the next one. As a matter of fact, I just looked to see that Cinderella will be showing around Beth's birthday. Hmm.....

Bethlehem is not that far away

Friday, Beth's school had their Christmas program- Bethlehem is not that far away. It was about a family who needed reminding about the true meaning of Christmas.
Beth's class, plus the 3 and 4 year old preschool classes, dressed like animals that were probably in the barn where Jesus was born. They said a few poems and sang a couple songs. Beth did a great job other than not smiling because she was nervous. Who woulda thought she'd get nervous?
Please forgive the shaky video. I was trying to keep Jacob from crawling down the pew at the same time as video-ing the kids.

Isn't this the cutest horse you've ever seen?


Hey, look what I found, lost in the posts list! Sorry it's late, but it's still cute!

This year, our church hosted a Trunk-or-Treat. We got the kids dressed up and went out for some fun with our church family. Lots of folks had decorated trunks/pickup beds, some even had games for the kids to play. Beth and Jacob had lots of fun, getting lots of candy and even slowed down long enough to hand out some candy (ok, Beth did, Jacob just ate his). Kevin and I enjoyed fellowshipping with friends.

Sugar the horse even came dressed up. Those fuzzy things didn't stay on long!

Jacob is the cutest Superman!

Beth had 3 possibilities for costumes, and this is what I found- a 50s girl. She already had saddle shoes for school- how perfect! And, like any girl, she was thrilled her skirt twirled!

Taking a break at the truck to hand out/eat candy

As soon as we got home, we checked out all the loot. There was more than enough! We grownups enjoyed the chocolate, Jacob loves dum-dum suckers and candy corn, Beth has discovered Laffy Taffy. They were deleriously tired and hopped up on sugar highs.

What a fun night!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My little entertainer

Oh, Jacob is such a hoot! These are just a few of his funny moments caught on camera lately.

So proud of his Frosty sweater

He emptied all the toys from the bucket and found it to be quite comfy for tv watching.

While I put away laundry in Beth's room, Jacob took all the animals off the shelf and donned Beth's glasses. Notice the trend of making a mess for Mommy?

And finally, singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with gusto

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thankful Turkey

Looking at all the Thanksgiving crafts ideas, I liked the Thankful Turkey best. It was something we could all participate in. I wrapped a styrofoam ball in brown yarn, made a ball of light brown yarn, cut out feathers from construction paper and attached them to toothpicks, cut out a beak and that red thing from construction paper, glue face to the head, attached head with toothpick to body. Then, we were ready for making our thankful feathers.

What we're thankful for:
Jacob- green, my turkey, eggs, my family
Beth- my family, God, outdoors, my church, food, me, my home
Laura- my salvation, my church, my family, my home, our health, friends, laughter
Kevin- blessings, church, God, job, my family, my wife, Beth and Jacob

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving from our family!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mainstay Farm

The first official field trip for Beth's class was to a precious local pumpkin/Christmas tree farm- Mainstay Farm. I love that I get to go with her, and that they don't mind if Jacob comes along. For Beth, I think the best part was probably riding the bus to get there and back.

The presentation about the farm was far more interesting than I would have expected. The owner talked about how when they bought the land to have a farm and decided to name it, they chose Mainstay, based on I Corinthians 15:58 (Be ye steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, ...knowing that your toil is not in vain). Months later, when they decided to start growing Christmas trees, they learned that a special stake, which is called a mainstay, used in helping the baby trees- it marks the seedling; it protects the seedling when storms come; it gives the seedling stability, disciplining it so it will become what it is intended to be. Just like the Lord is our mainstay! How cool! They give this presentation to both Christian and public schools. What an awesome testimony! Of course, for the entertainment factor, she couldn't find her chicken.
The kids got to watch a very interesting film about how pumkins grow,
race to dress a scarecrow,
play on a giant slide (Beth's teacher used Jacob as an excuse to go down the slide herself),
play in a haybarn,

roast marshmellows,

take a hayride through the Christmas trees,

and play in a big tree house.

All before lunch!
Then, a picnic lunch (and a quick visit to the gift shop- where I got some homemade blackberry jelly and an adorable ornament). Since it was the end of pumpkin season, the kids were told they could take home as many pumpkins as they could carry. After lots of indecision, we went home with 6 little pumpkins!

Ooey, gooey reward

Beth (really, Kevin and I) worked so hard on the school fundraiser, she earned two prizes- Chick Fil A lunch at school (10 items by the early date) and a field trip to Peter Piper Pizza (15 items total). She was so excited to ride the school van with her friends to the pizza. Kevin, Jacob and I met them there for some extra supervision and a little fun. There were 3 kids from Beth's class who earned the trip. I think there were 15 kids in the elementary who earned the trip.

The kids got a great behind the scenes tour of pizza making. Then, they got to choose the toppings for their personal sized pizza.

While pizzas were cooking, they got to play games and ride rides. Beth mostly played in the playset and drove the race car. She managed to play a few games to earn tickets. Jacob's favorite ride is the carousel. This was the Dino ride, and I'm not sure what that look is about. Silly boy!
Pizza time! They were so proud of their pizzas, and they were quite yummy.