Monday, December 27, 2010

Advent Day 24: Hang Stockings

Today was a sad day because Micah came down with the stomach flu and was sick a couple times during the day, and the rest of the day he was just laying on his tummy on the couch watching movies. Frankie, also, because she had her 4 month shots the previous day, slept for a long time in the afternoon. They were both out of it, but it gave me a chance to get the house cleaned up since we were having David's parents over for dinner. They brought the dinner, and it was a simple dinner of cracked crab, salad, and bread. I made a cranberry brie for an appetizer and we had Christmas cookies for dessert. It was nice to have his parents over, and it might be a tradition for them to stop at our house first before they head up to David's sister house for the night on Christmas Eve. Micah had a little bit of chicken noodle soup, opened up his presents of new Christmas jammies and the book "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and then went to bed. Thankfully, he wasn't sick during the night, but he was still getting over the bug the next day. He was not his super excitable self on Christmas morning, but he did enjoy it. I'm glad he was starting to feel a little bit better so we could go up to David's sister's house and enjoy the time with family.

Merry Christmas!

Putting out milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer

Micah and his pouty face, Frankie, and Nana. I have a better picture of Micah but decided to go with this one because it probably captures best how he is feeling! Right now he likes pouting for the camera (for reasons only a four year old would know though he couldn't articulate), so I kept it.

Someone dropped off a pretty baby under our tree!

Hanging stockings

Christmas morning!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Advent Day 23: cookies and lights

I did what the card said today but not really with Micah. We were supposed to bake cookies and drive to see Christmas lights. I made peppermint bark and some other kinds that either had to be heated or that I wanted done quickly, so this time it was not with Micah. The lights drive was never really done purposefully. We did it a few times just around our neighborhood on our way in or out of the neighborhood. There are about 650 houses so we can see lots of lights, but nothing really extravagant because our houses are all so close together and no one has big yards with lots of trees to decorate elaborately. I had heard about a neighborhood that has great lights, but it just didn't work for us this time. We had Frankie's doctor's appointment on this day and Micah had soccer until about 6:30pm so we came home, had dinner and got the kids to bed. Good thing we don't have very many more days of this advent schedule because I'm getting tired of coming up with an activity and having to follow through with it everyday! It's been fun while it lasted, and hopefully we'll continue the tradition in the coming years.

Advent Day 22: Open a present and Read a Christmas Story

We had a couple stories we wanted to read to Micah before Christmas, so we wrapped up a few to make it more fun for him. One was The Nutcracker. We had considered going to see the Nutcracker Ballet with his cousins in Seattle, but decided against it since it was a hard time for David to go and I wasn't about to try to take him and Frankie by myself. We've never read the story, so he (nor I!) would have a clue what's going on and I couldn't really predict what Frankie would do. So instead of going with them in Seattle, we saw that our city was also putting it on for a fraction of the cost. We thought we might go, but ended up not doing it. However, we got the book this year so we could read it and maybe one of these years we will see it and understand it.

Four and four

On December 23rd Francess turned four months. I captured a photo of her, although it wasn't the best time of day. I should have taken it in the morning because she is always very happy and smiley at that time. This was taken in the evening, after a long day of seeing the doctor, getting her shots and being at Micah's soccer game.

Miss Frankie is doing very well. She is 90th percentile for her height, 50% for weight and 75% for her head circumference. We thought we might start her soon on rice cereal but the doc said we'll wait until 6 months and keep nursing as her main source of nutrition as long as she doesn't demand to be eating like the rest of the family.
This month will be the only time in their lives that Micah and Frankie will have the same number respresenting their ages. Micah is four years and Frankie is four months. Here is what four and four looks like:

Micah, you are such a fun, energetic and joyful boy. I look at you and can't believe how grown up you are. Gone are your chubby cheeks, you are now a long, lean and strong boy. You are so interested in reading words and in learning to spell. I look forward to the day you will be reading books on your own to your little sister. You are such a great big brother, caring for and kissing Frankie. You amuse me with your sarcastic humor (you must get it from your father), changing lyrics to songs like "Santa Claus is coming to town" (So be BAD for goodness sake!). You are a joy with friends and your enthusiasm is contagious, though your excitement can be a little jolting for those that prefer a quieter type.

You take music and actions very seriously, and your teachers say you can be heard above all the other little voices at preschool. You know what songs you want in the car, (and thankfully they are usually songs and artists I like), but you are a little too demanding sometimes and need to remember you are not in charge. You are very observant especially on the roads we drive and you seem to never forget certain ways we go. You love to include others, you share well. You are working on listening, but sometimes we need to light a fire under you to help you understand what it means that we're in a hurry. It has been sad to see you with the stomach flu for the past couple of days over Christmas, but even with that your spirit has stayed strong, you've fought through it and you have still had a great attitude and a smile on your face. I just want to squeeze you tight, you are such a sweet little man.

My dear Frankie Jane: what a gift you are to our home. If I had my way, I would keep you like this forever so I could kiss your chubby cheeks and touch your supersoft downy skin as I already do all day every day. You are so mild-mannered and easy going. You rarely fuss, and when you do it's easily remedied with feeding, sleeping or changing. Soon we are going to have to work on sleeping flat on your back in your crib. I have created a couple of bad habits that may be hard to break. I imagine, though, that you'll take it like a pro and stay mostly happy. You usually just go with the flow, wherever we are - swimming or soccer or driving to and from preschool. Micah is running us all over and you are just happy to tag along. You love listening to Charlotte Church's Christmas music in the car with the rest of us right now and if you're fussy you will usually quiet right down and listen. Will you sing in the opera? :)

You are always so alert. You don't like to stay sleeping too long if there is something happening around you, and you don't complain about being aroused from a nap because you like to observe whatever is going on. You crane your neck to observe big brother and give him gummy smiles and even little tiny chuckles to his peek-a-boos. I'm sure he'll always be your hero. You are beautiful and I absolutely love your babyness. You will soon grow and require discipline, so I am cherishing each peaceful, quiet moment and even the sleepless nights because there will be an end to this period of time and different challenges will come. I just ask for one thing: as we get you sleeping properly in your crib at night, would you please start sleeping for longer than 2 1/2 hour bouts? That'd be great, thanks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Day 21: Visit Santa

This didn't turn out nearly as well as it could of. We thought Micah would be excited to see Santa, but it seemed like he didn't really care. David had something come up at work and he really wanted to be there, so we waited around at the mall for a while. Micah was happy playing on the play area outside Target for most of the time. When David got there we first went to eat, which turned out to be a mistake. We wanted to get pictures with a certain Santa, who has a nice, jolly look to him. But since we ate dinner first, during that time the jolly Santa switched shifts with another Santa, who had an OBVIOUSLY fake beard (one that moved when he spoke), looked like his belly was stuffed with a pillow, and just couldn't move. Micah has this thing right now about sticking out his lower lip whenever he gets his picture taken, so he did that for this picture too. They took two photos and somehow one turned out with a smile so we chose that one, but I think it would have been funny to choose the one with the pout.

We probably would have had a lot more fun had we gone on Friday with Micah's cousins in Seattle, who are really excited about Santa and might have helped Micah smile, and tell him what he wanted for Christmas. It's okay, though. After Santa photos we also took a couple seconds in a photo booth with the four of us stuffed in and took some family photo booth photos, which Micah thought was hilarious. :)

Reading: John 21:25

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Advent Days: 18 and 19

Again, I need to catch up. I'm sure it's okay that I'm not posting every single day because the 2 people who read this most likely are not rushing to their computers each day hoping to see what crazy fun we had. But it's a good challenge for me to try to keep my family updated on what we're doing, so I will keep it going for at least a few more days. David has been extremely busy with his work this month. Usually December is a little slower, but this year that has not been the case. So I can't have the laptop in the evenings to work on blog posts because he's doing something he deems a little more imporant. And usually in the evenings after I've fed Frankie and put her to bed I just want to veg out, but I have either been busy doing the dishes and cleaning up or wrapping presents. And besides, I would much rather do something downstairs near David than upstairs in the disasterous computer room that stresses me out just being in.

Day 18: Christmas Movie

Even though this day was a Saturday and we would normally plan something a little bigger to do with the whole family on weekends, we made it super simple because David was away the whole day working on migrating a server or something and he wasn't sure how long it was going to take. Which usually means for me to expect it to take all day. We missed Daddy, but still had a fun, simple day. Micah chose his Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas movie, which he had been obsessed with watching last year at Grandma and Grandpa's after he received it for Christmas. Earlier this month I said that Micah and David watched this Mickey's Christmas movie together, but I was mistaken. They had watched an old-school Mickey Mouse from the 80s, with clumsy Donald and his three nephews who tried to kill him with their snowballs. David loved watching it with Micah because Micah thought it was absolutely hilarious. I think David misses the cartoon violence because it just isn't quite like that anymore.

Once David got home I got together with my crafty friend (Lincoln's mommy) and broke out the sewing machine which hasn't been touched in a couple years. I had Frankie with me, so I didn't get a whole lot sewn, but with my friend Amanda back in town for a few weeks she renews my desire to get my craft on. :)

Reading: Isaiah 58; Matthew 6:16-18

Day 19: Family Game Day

After church we spent the whole day together, eating lunch, running some errands and then playing games, like chutes and ladders or on the Wii or Xbox 360. We all love games, so we had a fun time. Since David didn't watch the movie with us yesterday we also watched a short movie that we streamed from netflix with Jason Alexander (aka George from Seinfeld) who lent his voice for a cartoon Elf. I didn't know he's a broadway performer and he sang a couple songs during the show. Anyway, David made his yummy, extra buttery popcorn and we enjoyed a short movie together before bedtime.

Reading: Luke 11:1-13

Advent Day 20: Dress Up For Dinner

This night we were going to have a nice family dinner together, and it turned out fine... but I made the mistake of letting Micah choose the menu. He wanted hot dogs for our nice dressy dinner! Next time I'll give him a couple options to choose from, but I made the best of it this time. We ate hot dogs by candlelight in our dressy clothes. Haha. I also made a salad, some star-shaped pasta with butter and parmesan, and cooked carrots. At least we all enjoyed spending a nice evening together. However, something unfortunately did not agree with Micah and he started feeling ill after dinner and actually threw up sometime during the night.

Reading: John 1

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Days 15, 16 and 17

I need to catch up from the last few days. We haven't really been doing anything super exciting, so I'll just clump the last three days together. I needed a few days to take a break from the crazy activities we've been doing, and still I've felt super busy.

Day 15: Micah colored a few Christmas pages this day. He loves dot-to-dots and mazes, so I found some pages online and printed them out. The envelope that he opened had the card telling him what he could do, as well as the printed pages folded inside. A little something extra to find in his envelope made it a little more fun, but he lasted a whole 2 minutes coloring. :) (Bible reading today: Luke 1 and Jeremiah 32:17)

Day 16: He had his preschool Christmas production. Cute singing and actions, but we couldn't understand a word of their songs! They sent home a booklet with all of the songs they sang, so he's been doing them for us one on one, which helps to understand. We got video of this pageant too, so when we upload them to the computer I'll put them on here. I made up a plate of Christmas cookies to take to both of his teachers to thank them for their hard work and loving dedication to teaching our very energetic 4 year old boy. (Bible Reading today: Matthew 2:1-12)

Day 17: Today we met up with a friend who is back in town for the holidays and Micah played with his buddy at the BIG SLIDE that he asks about every time we drive by a McDonalds or Burger King that have indoor Play Places. We had gone once to this really big McDonalds Play Place with his buddy Lincoln and since then he asks to go there every time. We haven't been back until today when we went with Lincoln. He's probably going to assume we will only be able to go there if Lincoln is also there. So Lincoln and his sister Evan were there with their mommy, who had not met Frankie yet and was excited to see her. The boys were crazy on the huge apparatus and loved every minute of it. They were sweaty and red-faced when we left. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures from today. (Bible Reading today: Galatians 4:1-7)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Day 14: Tree Lighting at City Hall

Tonight we went to City Hall at dinner time. Micah got to eat cookies and candy canes, drink hot chocolate, watch Santa turn on the lights and sit on his lap. It was actually kind of fun! We came home and had some homemade butternut squash soup.

Bible Reading:
Acts 15:22-31

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent Day 13: Decorate Sugar Cookies

I'm getting tired! Thankfully yesterday's activity was something we had to do anyway (the church's kids Christmas program) and Thursday will be another easy activity because Micah has a Christmas program at his preschool. We finally got to decorating the sugar cookies today. Looks like he didn't want his picture taken, but he likes decorating cookies, obviously because he gets to eat one afterward! Actually, maybe he's pouting because a little milk spilled. :)

Bible Reading:
Psalm 150

Advent Day 12: Church Christmas Concert

The kids Christmas program was this evening. It was so cute. The 3 year old class sang Away in a Manger and Mary Had a Baby Boy (to the tune of Mary had a little lamb). Micah's class (the 4 year olds) sang Joy to the World. We have a video of it, and I'll get it on here soon. All I can say is A. Dorable. :)

Bible Reading:
Revelation 2:1-5
1 John 3:1-3

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Day 11: Gingerbread House

We made a gingerbread house today. We skyped with my parents, and Santa came to visit our neighborhood. Micah got a little present and a candy cane from Santa. My mom was wondering how we have time to do everything when she heard we were doing gingerbread houses today. My answer at first was that nothing else gets done, which is mostly true. But also true is the fact that we haven't completed everything. The sugar cookies from yesterday did not get decorated today. We still have some dough to roll, cook, and decorate. But the gingerbread house was simple because it was a $10 kit, which I think, like my friend Shannon says, is worth every penny for the massive headache they save. Everything is included in the kit, and this year even the house was already put together. Micah got a little hopped up on sugar today. :)

Bible Reading:
Genesis 1
Isaiah 1:18
Psalm 51:1-10

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Day 10: Make Christmas Cookies

We have already made a couple different kinds, but today was the actual activity on the card, so we made sugar cookies. Micah really enjoys baking. We only did one batch together because even though he tries to be careful, some angel heads or Christmas tree branches would break off. He likes to ... (I'm being very nice, usually it's "He MUST") do it all himself. He's four. We'll decorate them together tomorrow.


Matthew 1:22-23

Isaiah 7: 10-15

John 1:14

Advent Day 9: Make Cinnamon Ornaments

I got the idea to do this advent activity thing on the blog Not That You Asked. I have followed her since Micah was born because she and I gave birth to baby boys within days of each other. She is a very gifted writer and I love reading her blog entries, though I have never met her and I rarely leave a comment so she knows nothing of me. Her first advent day with her kids was to make cinnamon ornaments, so I copied this from her. They are super simple, and they made our house smell delicious for two days! It's just 4.12 oz of cinnamon and 3/4 cup of applesauce. You mix that together, roll it out and cut it into shapes. Use a straw to poke a hole in the top and then dry them out in the oven at 200 degrees for a couple hours, or lay them on the counter all day. Decorate, or just tie a ribbon through and hang them up! Micah enjoyed it. Dave hoped to eat them, and then thought 'what fun is it to make cinnamon ornaments if you're not allowed to eat them?', so we made "make Christmas cookies" day number 10.

My camera battery is dead and I don't know where the charger is, so I'm a little worried that the rest of my photo entries are going to have to be from phone.
Isaiah 9:6-7
Revelation 19:1-16
1 Timothy 6:11-16

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


With all this advent posting, and since Micah is the only one of our kids into the advent thing, I keep forgetting to post pictures of sweet Francess Jane! Here are some pictures of my cutie pie. (Oh, I have plenty, and of course I can't decide which is the cutest, so you get a few shots of the same thing!)

Below is a picture of Micah from January 2007 (when he was about 3 months old). I can't believe how much they look alike!

Advent Day 8: Write a letter to Santa

I grew up receiving presents from Santa, but he wasn't a huge deal in our house. I always knew what Christmas was really about, but I loved the magic of Christmas with Santa. We are teaching our family that Jesus is the real reason that we celebrate Christmas, but Santa is fun. We will teach how the idea of Santa got started, with St. Nicholas. We will still have gifts from Santa under our tree and we will visit Santa for photos.

So today, we tried to get Micah to tell us what he wanted for Christmas to make a list for Santa. Luckily, when we had gone shopping a few weeks ago, we took some pictures of things he thought he might like to ask Santa for. So we went through those photos and also tried to get him to think of things on his own, and came up with a list. He wasn't really into it. I think he thinks he'll show Santa the pictures on Daddy's phone when we go to visit him.

Bible Reading:

Matthew 25:31-46

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Advent Day 7: Watch a Christmas movie

Today Micah was supposed to come with Frankie and myself to book club and then we were going to drive around to see Christmas lights, but last night he woke up with a bit of a fever and a headache, so we changed our plans. He stayed home from everything today: mom's group, preschool and book club. But, he got to watch Rudolph during the day with me and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas after dinner with Daddy. Our cards are getting a little mixed up, but he's really enjoying this advent season. We were reading a Christmas story last night (Bisquit's Christmas Eve) and halfway through the book he snuggled up to me and giggled and said "I can't wait for Christmas!" He's getting really excited. I am too because I'm excited to see the joy of Christmas through the eyes of a child again.

Bible Reading:
Exodus 25

Monday, December 06, 2010

Advent Day 6: Outdoor Lights

I'm so glad I have a smart child. We were having a nice, lazy morning today. We were reading Christmas stories from the boxes we had our Christmas decorations stored in, then we were eating some breakfast at about 10:15 and Micah said "After breakfast I'm going to get dressed so I can go to swimming lessons." I jumped up, looked at the clock, and said "oh! we have to get going!!" Swimming lessons start at 10:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays! Surprisingly, we got there just a little bit late. I'm glad Micah knows what days of the week he has swimming since his mom doesn't pay attention.
So we were supposed to do something else today, but I would have needed to go to the store and I didn't get there. It was a pretty nice day, though, and Frankie took a good long nap this afternoon, so Micah and I put up the outdoor lights on the house and one tree. When David got home, he put the rest of the lights up. I love when the lights are up. Probably the hardest thing for me being in the states is having to wait until after Thanksgiving (at the very END of November) to decorate for Christmas, put up the lights, and listen to Christmas music. David made a slight concession this year to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving since we got a little bit of snow. It put him in the Christmas spirit. If it hadn't been icy and cold, he may have even put up the lights. I just think the Christmas lights are so pretty. I'm glad we have them up!
Bible Reading:
Acts 20:35 (NLT) "And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
1 John 4:10 (NLT) "This is real love - not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Day 5: Make Paper Snowflakes

We had a slight incident that prevented us from going about our normal Sunday activities. Getting into the car to go to church, Micah slammed the door on his finger. It looked pretty bad to us, so we took him to the emergency room. They took some x-rays and it looked like it had a tiny fracture, so he gets to wear a brace for the next couple of days.

I tried to take a couple pictures of him with his broken finger, but we were both laughing really hard at his posing for the photo. It did hurt him, but he's a tough kid and it doesn't look that bad anymore.

I'm glad today was an easy activity. We had to catch up from yesterday because we didn't decorate the tree yesterday when we were supposed to. We did that today. We also made paper snowflakes. I don't remember the last time I've made paper snowflakes, so I was thinking "how hard can it be? You just make some folds in a piece of paper and cut into it." Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. This was the first "snowflake."

Snowflakes really aren't rectangular, so I realized I should look it up online how to fold the paper. After looking it up, I found a good video tutorial and made a few with Micah before bedtime. Then I saw a friend on Facebook who was making lots of snowflakes today and looked at the tutorial she used, and I just had to make a few more after Micah went to bed. They turned out quite a bit better!

Today's Bible Reading:
Matthew 4:12-17
Isaiah 9:1-3
Matthew 5:14-16

Day 4: Decorate Christmas Tree

Yesterday was a busy day. We had our tree but David had some work to do and couldn't set the tree up earlier in the day, so we set it up last night and decorated the next day.

We watched The Grinch while we decorated, but once it was over Micah was totally into helping put the ornaments on the tree. I was surprised, because he usually isn't interested in them. There are ornaments that we've gotten for him each year. When we were first married I didn't like all the old ornaments that David had brought with him to decorate our tree, ornaments from his childhood. His mother had kept track of his ornaments from each year and kept them in a box for him to take with him when he got married. Now, when we decorate our tree, I kind of like some of the unique and cute ornaments that come out. I like how they bring character to our tree. Of course, some of the homemade (ie. the spaghetti-puppy-santa) ornaments remain in the box year after year, but there are some neat ones that Micah now likes.

Bible Reading:

Mark 9:33-37 (New International Version, ©2010)

33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”