Friday, December 11, 2009

She is a big sister and a little sister. She is creative and crazy. She loves to love and is an amazing hugger. She is currently toothless. She is a good friend. She can be quiet and loud...very loud. She loves animals and anything tiny. She is confident.

She lives in her own little world most of the time. She looks like her mommy and has her daddy wrapped around her finger. She loves basketball but hates soccer. She laughs uncontrollably at times for no reason at all. She likes to color and create. She loves the little things. She really loves M&M's...a little too much. She is 7 today and we couldn't imagine life without her.

Happy birthday Ponsi!

p.s. pictures courtesy of sentimental soul photography (aka my sister Leah) :)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I know...a very rare double day post. But this is worth it:

Every child God creates is so very unique, but some just break every possible conceivable mold. Jamie is watching a loud, action movie with a friend tonight and it is well, loud. The girls were complaining about the volume as I put them to bed and I just told them to bury their heads in their pillow or wear some headphones. I just went in to check on them and this is how I found Isabelle....

Apparently, there were no headphones or earmuffs readily available so she made her own with two styrofoam cups and some post-it notes. You gotta love that kid!
Activity Advent Calendar: Day 5- Shopping for thoughtful gifts

A beautiful tradition of Christmas is sharing gifts with people we love. Our kids exchange names with their cousins in Ohio and Tori was expressing to me earlier in the season how she wanted to pick her OWN gifts for her cousin. Admittedly, I am a bit of a control freak and like to have a say in what they are choosing, but I am learning to (big breath)...let go. ;) This Saturday as part of our Activity Advent Calendar we embarked on a new adventure and visited the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis to shop for our cousins. They were having a Craft-O-Rama with all kinds of vendors selling homemade crafts and gifts. The first challenge in shopping with children, or maybe with shopping in general, is fighting the desire to look for one's self. As the girls and I shuffled through the very crowded fair, they were all too eager to choose trinkets for themselves and a little less eager to shop for cousins. Shopping for ourselves would not have communicated the message I was hoping to get across this day. :( But then, and I love when this happens, Tori spotted the perfect little treasure for her cousin Mikayla. She showed it to me waiting for my thumbs up or thumbs down on her find. Now, it is nothing spectacular, and I can't tell you what it is exactly, but Mikayla will like it. And in that instant, our time at the Craft-O-Rama became far more enjoyable and the much more valuable lesson was learned. Once the girls had tasted success in finding something thoughtful for another person, they became eager to find more things for the other people on their list. Truly it is far better to give than to receive. Merry Christmas!

p.s. Most of our Advent days we have been reading books or baking for we started building our own Nativity...stay tuned. :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.
Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for the second coming of Christ.
--from Wikipedia

I don't know about you, but I could use a little Advent spirit this year. I never grew up using an Advent calendar. (I would have been all about it because I love candy) But I never really had even heard the word until we moved to MN and our church recognized the 4 weeks of Advent with candles on the stage. Advent...expectant waiting as we celebrate that Christ has come and is coming. What is not to love about that?
So, last year my friend Tara told me she was going to do an activity advent calendar with her kids....hmmmm...this is good stuff I thought. I told her to blog about it so I could steal all her ideas, but she did not cooperate. :) So this year I am navigating it on my own. Christmas is one of Jamie and I's favorite times of the year. We love soaking in every moment of the season with decorations, christmas treats, festive music, sharing gifts and time with friends and family and this year I will be finding one small thing to do every day to celebrate this wonderful season with the girls. I pray you find your own ways this year to soak in the hope, joy, love and peace that the Advent of our Savior brings. Happy Advent!

Day 1: Miller Activity Advent Calendar- Gingerbread House--this is way harder than it looks. My mom normally does it with them and probably should in the future, since my roof totally cracked and caved in and I had to use paper to save it. :(

p.s. don't expect pictures of every day...that would be a Christmas miracle! :)