Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent Conspiracy

Last year our church got involved with this idea called Advent Conspiracy. If you don't watch the video (but please do!), it's about giving more "presence" instead of getting wrapped up in the stress of the Christmas season. The website says it best:

"Christmas can [still] change the world.

The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

Welcome to Advent Conspiracy."

I'm thankful for my parents' families, who have for years given to charities instead of exchanging Christmas presents. Whoever is hosting the Christmas dinner gets to choose which charity to give toward and presents the organization to the family. We also do a little five or ten dollar gift exchange and have some fun with that. There are so many opportunities to give to people in need during the Christmas season. This year Micah and I purchased some toys and hygiene items for Operation Christmas Child boxes, so we gave one for a boy and one for a girl. Our church took a mission trip this past summer to a village in Bolivia, so we are raising money to dig a well for clean water for that village. Our church also has "giving trees" that we can use to give towards to help families in our area, purchase things from World Vision for people in need, or help with the International Justice Mission. All are very worthy causes and powerfully help people who are less fortunate.

We're still working on what it means to us to spend less, give more, worship fully and love all. We have so much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 26, 2010

3 Months

Francess is smiling a lot for us now, and has even started to giggle a little bit. It's pretty funny the things you do to make a baby laugh.


Monday, November 22nd brought a nice bunch of snow for our enjoyment! Schools and businesses shut down for the entire week. Everyone got a really long Thanksgiving holiday break!

This is as about as far as Frankie made it. As soon as I took her outside she wanted back in for her nap. I'm sure there will come a day that she will appreciate the snow. :)

Micah enjoyed himself.... on top of our bushes!

He met a friend. The night before, when it was perfect packing snow, Micah and Dave went out to cover the pipes and then they made a snowman. It was blustery, cold and dark when they made him, but he stayed standing until the day after Thanksgiving.

November 2010

The leaves fell and blew around our yard, which is so small that it seems almost unnecessary to rake, but it's important to do. We had been putting it off for a while, but finally we went out and did it. It was a cold day, but it was a good thing we did it when we did because a few days later we got a bunch of snow. Micah had fun raking and then jumping into the pile we gathered.

Micah helped me rake the leaves
And he ran and jumped into the huge pile from our huge yard.
Frankie stayed warm inside

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Brotherly love

I don't think this picture can get any bigger - it's taken from my phone. But I had to put it up so you can see Frankie's cute smile and Micah's big hugs for her. Every morning he always wants to sit in the chair and hold her and he always asks me to take a picture. He loves his little sister and he's such a good, protective big brother. I love these little cuties. :)
***Edited: I did make this picture bigger!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

October happenings

Micah loved the pumpkin patch. We spent a few days there when we could in October. There were some beautiful, sunny fall days to enjoy there.

One day when we were there we met up with a classmate of Micah's from his preschool. It just so happened to be "Addie" Micah's most talked about classmate. I think it's a little crush. The past couple of weeks she's been on vacation and so his teachers tell me he asks about her all the time. I believe it because he talks to me about her too, that maybe the mountain we see is where Addie is on "baycation." She's actually at DisneyLand. She's a cutie, but I think it's a little too early for my liking.

Micah's preschool had a costume parade and concert for the parents on the Thursday before Halloween. It was the funniest and cutest thing to see all the little 3 and 4 year old kids dressed up in their costumes and singing their pumpkin or spider songs. They sang 3 verses of the itsy-bitsy spider and I just couldn't stop laughing. The first verse was "The teensy-weensy spider" and they all sang it in their highest-pitch voices so you really couldn't understand what they were singing until they got to "The middle-sized spider" when they used their regular voices. Then they went to the "BIG HUMONGOUS SPIDER" and Micah was so into it with his face and actions. He was front and center, loud and proud. He made everyone laugh when after one of the songs about little critters and apple fritters he said the teachers were the little critters. Micah dressed as a doctor for his costume parade at school. He also had a costume party for a friend's birthday party and dressed as the doctor then too. For Halloween he was a lion. Frankie was an adorable little pink kitty cat.

Canadian Thanksgiving:

These pictures must have been the calm before the storm. Here they are waiting for their food.

One of our (and our friend's) favorite fall traditions is celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with all of our friends. For the Americans that read this blog, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving the same way, with a huge feast - turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, yummy rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and any other favorite dishes that I am forgetting! In Canada it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which happens to be Columbus Day in the States. We celebrated a few weeks late so it wouldn't conflict with Micah's birthday party.

It is always super crazy but everyone loves it. This year we had 13 adults and (I think) 10 kids. I was slightly out of it with a newborn and may just be blocking it from my memory because of the chaos of it all. Our house is a fine size, but never feels big enough for that many people. I wish we had taken more pictures but I was stuck nursing my baby, or trying to keep the massive amounts of children from killing each other or destroying my home, or I was making sure all of the adults were getting hot food. It always stresses me out, but this year I made it as easy as possible. I made the stuffing in the crockpot, David took care of the turkey, I made a cranberry sauce and an apple crisp the night before, and everyone else took care of everything else. Actually, I also made a chocolate pecan sweet potato pie because the person who was going to bring the pies ended up not being able to come. I'm so thankful for my amazing husband who calmly took care of cleaning, setting up the table and taking care of the turkey while I was stuck nursing most of the day. I crashed into bed as soon as everyone left, but I always love having a little bit of "home" celebrated with my friends.

October 23

I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I suppose it's better late than never. Here is Frankie at 2 months. I did take this picture on October 23rd, I just haven't gotten around to posting it yet. She is getting bigger every day. At her doctor's appointment she was in the 90th percentile for her height and 60th for weight.