It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas Yet

king become baby

I’m in a strange place this year. We are one week from Christmas, and it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. I’m not sure why it doesn’t feel like Christmas time. This is truly one of my favorite times of year. I love the lights and the tree and the songs and the snow. I love THE Christmas story. The story of Jesus’s birth is the beginning to the greatest gift creation has ever been given. We get cards in the mail, and I make cookies and wrap presents. And I love it all.

This year is just different. Maybe part of it is the weather. It has been unseasonable warm this December. In fact last weekend it was in the 60s. I live in a place that is supposed to have a white Christmas. I want that foot of snow on the ground and snowflakes to fly Christmas Eve. (Last I heard they were calling for rain on Christmas Eve with a slim chance of snow on Christmas Day.)

As for the tree, we had it up early this year. We have never had a tree up before the middle of December, but this year we got it the last weekend in November. And then that sucker fell over completely decorated and broke our ornaments and lights not once but twice. Finally yesterday we got it decorated for the third time. I’ve told everyone that if it falls over again, I’m tossing it out the front door.

I have the most lovely nativity scene. I think it was Tuesday this week when I finally got it out. The boys and I drew and painted leaves to cut out and tape into a paper wreath to hang on our front door. The papers are still in a stack waiting to be cut out. There is a Charlie Brown and a Veggie Tales nativity set around here somewhere that haven’t been put up.

As for wrapping presents, well, we will need to buy them first. Christmas is one week away and we have exactly 1 gift for each of the boys. And it’s not that we go crazy with gifts piled a mile high, but just one under the tree with make for two very disappointed little boys Christmas morning. Someone really should start thinking about (and actually doing) our Christmas shopping.

What about that Christmas picture of the boys in front of the tree I like to take every year? I guess I did take one last weekend but it was just because that’s where they were standing when I took their picture and the tree only had lights on part of it because we hadn’t redecorated it yet.

And maybe I’m not the only one feeling this way this year. We don’t send out Christmas cards. Every year I think about it and then just never get it done. But even though we don’t send them, we always get a few. So far this December we have gotten exactly zero Christmas cards. And the boys love to look at all the Christmas lights on the houses when we are out driving around. It seems like there are just less lights up this year.

The boys did finally get to see Santa last weekend after missing all of the other opportunities we normally have in December with everything that’s been going on.

cameron and santa connor and santa

Thanks, Misti for the awesome photos! It was a great time and a great Santa, but it was also in the 60s and the boys didn’t even wear coats that day.

And the boys are just the exact opposite of where I am. They are so excited. They ask every day if it’s Christmas Eve. The saw Santa and made their lists. They talk about Jesus and His birth. They play with the nativity. Sunday they are in a program at church. They loved Piney (the Christmas tree) even when only half her lights worked and she had no decorations.

I’m not sure why I’m feeling this way this year. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s missing Grandpa. Maybe it’s because I had been picturing this Christmas looking a lot different than it does this year. I’m just not having that excitement that I normally feel especially by this time every year. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas yet.

I’m sure over the next few days the boys’ excitement will rub off on me, and it will finally start to feel like Christmas. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas yet.

It’s been a while

If you’re a regular around here, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been away. I hadn’t planned on being away. My original plan was just to be gone from Christmas to New Years as we enjoyed time together as a family. It seemed like a good plan as I wasn’t planning on writing a post of New Years. I felt the same way about it this year as I did last year.

And then life happened. We’d be in the middle of something and I’d think, I need to blog today. And night would fall and lying in bed I would remember that I hadn’t gotten around to blogging. I really have to blog tomorrow. That’s the thing about writing. If you do it often, you keep doing it. If you stop writing, it’s really hard to start again. Several times I would get around to charging the iPad and turn

ing the Internet on, only to look at the blank page, shut the iPad and Internet off and walk away. Maybe tomorrow, I’d think.

So tomorrow has finally come. After almost two months away, let’s catch back up.

Hope For the Holidays was an amazing success. I believe everyone who asked for help got some sort of help. I couldn’t have done it without you guys. Thank you to everyone who prayed, who shared, and who gave. I’m hoping we can do it again next year, and it be even bigger and better than it was this year.

Around our crazy little house, things have been really good, too. My baby turned 5 in January. That seems so hard to believe. He’s turning into a little man right before my eyes.

IMG_0373

We finally got enough snow that the boys could go out and really play in it.

Cameron

Cameron

Connor

Connor

I’ve been baking a lot. For several years, I’ve been baking bread and have tried my hand at pasta a couple of times. I really enjoy baking so we started thinking about what else I could make at home. It turns out that flour tortillas are fairly easy to make at home and use ingredients that we keep on hand. It took a couple tries to get them to roll out nice, but it only takes about an hour from start to finished product. You can find the recipe I used here. (if you try it I add a little extra salt and use shortening instead of lard)

Tortillas

Tortillas

After tortillas, I was feeling really adventurous. I googled bagel recipes and it turns out you can make those at home, too, and they are so much better than store bought. In fact, I have a batch rising right now. That recipe can be found here. (I use 4 cups of flour and mix the ingredients like I am making bread.) The hardest part of bagels is trying to hook the ends together so I stopped making them like that and instead make a disc and put a hole in the middle with my thumb. We love ours topped with shredded cheese.

Bagels

Bagels

And to be really wild and crazy, we booked a room at a local hotel last weekend so the boys could spend some time swimming. They loved it, but kept asking when their uncle Justin was going to get there. The only other time they’ve been to a hotel is when we went to uncle Justin’s wedding, and the boys really think if we’re going to be at a hotel, uncle Justin should be too.

Cameron

Cameron

Connor

Connor

So that’s what we’ve been up to. I’m back now. The first post is always the hardest. It’s just a matter of getting words, any words onto the page. I have thoughts, topics, opinions and songs so expect to start seeing them again.

Oh! Who could forget that after about seven months of refusing a haircut, Connor finally agreed to get one (only after I made the deal that I would take him to the zoo as soon as it opens if he agreed to the haircut. Yes, we do use bribery.)

Haircut!

Haircut!

I Can Only Imagine

Recently I’ve been thinking about the end times and Jesus’s return. There are days where listening and reading about what’s going on throughout the world that I think the end must be near. Then I look at my 2crazylittleboys and I think about all the living we have left to do. And then I want to laugh. As if any living we have to do here on earth could be even a fraction of the goodness that is a waiting us in Heaven.

I imagine that all the things MercyMe describes in this song will happen when we see Jesus. I believe will we stand in His presence and fall to our knees. I believe there will be times where we sing His praises and times where we will be unable to speak for His overwhelming glory. I believe there will be times that we will dance for Him and times where in awe of Him we will be still.

Whenever I think of Heaven, I think of sunlight, or I guess it is better said Sonlight. For the glory of God will shine so brightly there will be no need for the sun to shine. I think of it being warm, the perfect temperature in the perfect place. Warmth and light and God’s amazing glory.

I think of the Garden of Eden and how lovely it must have been. All of God’s creation in perfect harmony. God’s creation as we see it today is remarkable and how amazing must it be to see it while standing in His presence?

And on cold and snowy days like today, I look at my front window and see His creation covered in the most lovely coat of white as the flakes fly from the sky. And then I think of it in the terms of Heaven where I imagine it to be warm. And I think of the absolute joy it brings my 2crazylittleboys to watch the snow fly and then to go out and roll around in it.

How could something that brings so much pure joy not be found in Heaven?

Can you imagine a Heaven where it is the perfect temperature and there is snow?

It boggles my little human mind, but I know that it is possible. I can only imagine what it will be like, and I know even the best things that I can imagine don’t even come close to how amazing it will be.

I can only imagine.

Can you imagine a Heaven with snow?

rolling,

rolling,

rolling,

rolling,

rolling down the hill

rolling down the hill

I Can Only Imagine
MercyMe

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
forever worship You
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You, Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

Has Anyone Fed the Fish?

On Saturday, I shared with you how the Zombie Apocalypse is going to begin. Yesterday, the whole family spent the day in our pajamas resting with the hopes of Monday everyone being well again.

So much for that idea. Last night, Cameron started throwing up again and it has continued into today (although not nearly as bad as Saturday was).

I did get one decent nights sleep to keep the zombie-ness at bay. However, through my coffee fueled caffeine haze, I’ve noticed some other things that happen when kids are sick.

1. Of course, is Zombie-Mom.

This is important enough to mention it again. For the warning signs and what to do, check out Saturday’s post.

2. Hands-off Dad

For the record, this is not a complaint. Dad is to keep a safe distance from sick kids. He is the breadwinner and must go to work. He can not go to work if he is also throwing up. He also must be well for all the random trips to the store to get supplies for Zombie-Mom and sick kids. Because Mom is a zombie, this will require more than one trip. As soon as Dad gets home, Mom will remember one more thing we have to have.

3. There are never enough pillows, blankets, sheets.

Without fail, your sick child will throw up on every blanket you try to wrap around them. And their pillow. And your pillow. And the spare pillow.

Which leads to

4. You will run out of laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets and vinegar (which makes a great fabric softener).

Every time you turn around you will be starting another load of laundry. This is a never-ending process. You may also find that your washing machine may sound like there is a monster inside it trying to break out. It is almost impossible to make the washer level when you put pillows in it. This also leads to complaints about the noise said washer is making.

5. Pet fish may die.

Seriously, does anyone know if I fed the fish today? What about yesterday? And while we’re talking about it someone should probably clean their tank. And maybe feed them.

6. You will have a large supply of juice and crackers. They will be the wrong juice and crackers.

The goal is to get some food and liquids into the sick child. Our go-to’s are juice and crackers. Something that will hopefully settle the child’s stomach. Of course, the child doesn’t want those crackers. They are the wrong size/shape/flavor. The juice? Also wrong flavor/color. It doesn’t matter what crackers and juice you get. Just know they will be the wrong ones.

7. Well child will suddenly need 3000% more attention than on a normal day.

Most of this attention will be needed when the sick child is throwing up or you are trying to clean up the sick child. Expect the well child to stand right in your way, trying to hand you a book as you are running to find the bucket for the sick child.

And the worst part for us today is this:

8.

The view from our front door

The view from our front door

 

It’s snowing. And all my sick child really wants to do is play in the snow. Not today, dude. And probably not tomorrow.