Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Christmas in the Books

Well, here we are, an hour away from 2013, and I thought I would quickly wrap up the end of this year's activities.  I must record it, of course, for the years to come.  One of my favorite things to do is to go back and read my own blog and see what we were doing one, two, three years ago.  So fun to have this record of our life.  But, I am also so very tired right now, like more tired than usual, so I am going to do a quick list/picture we go...

 Forget decorating the cookies, he's just going straight to eating the sprinkles

 Christmas Eve and how John was really feeling about the entire situation, and then another attempt at a picture with my children
and how the pictures really go

really yummy Christmas Eve dinner at California Pizza Kitchen after attending the service at Church of the Apostles in Atlanta

and the annual Christmas Eve opening of pajamas and bubble bath

bright and early Christmas morning.  See Ada's princess santa hat?  That was purchased when she and Scott went to the Dollar Tree to buy my Christmas present from Ada.  On that note, want to know what she got me?  A vase with fake flowers.  And she is very proud of that vase with fake flowers, which now sits on my dresser per her request.  "To make me think of her."  Gotta love it.

opening Woody!!
and the rest of the crew, including his own Woody costume

Okay, on Christmas afternoon we traveled to Scott's parents' house, but I forgot my camera, so no pictures from that.  The rest of the pictures are "stolen" from Ann's facebook page, and they are from the second half of the week spent at my parents' house.

Kate and Ada

the sisters

Merry Christmas, everyone, and happy 2013

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Continues

Well here we are only 3 days away from Christmas morning.  And as usual, I am scrambling around trying to get "it" all done.  As in, I began the day bright and early at the local outlet malls finishing up my Christmas shopping.  The thing is, I started early this year, but I somehow still had last minute things to do.  Of course.  I even was there when they opened (okay, okay, 15 minutes after they opened), and the parking lot was already packed, but it was still better than it could have been.  Scott tried to drop me off at the store last night, while he waited in the car with the kids, but when I walked in and saw the check out line stretched all the way to the back of the store, I marched right back out and said I would come back alone in the morning, by myself.

I think this Christmas more than ever, I have thought a lot about how life doesn't stop just because it's Christmas time.  There is, of course, tragedy, that reminds me that Christmas isn't all magical and Santa Claus, and then there is the day to day that sneaks in and reminds me.  John is still almost three and getting more spankings, and therefore more hugs and "I love yous" than ever before in his short little life.  His bad attitude and tendency toward disobedience doesn't stop because it's Christmas.  Sickness and fever and general inconvenience gets added to the mix, and John isn't really in the "Christmas spirit."  And I just feel a general heaviness in my heart.  But, I think that heaviness at Christmas isn't necessarily inappropriate.  It might even make the miracle of Christ coming as a man to rescue us and redeem us even more hopeful, even more miraculous, and even more worth celebrating.  He has come because of the weight of this world.  And I just keep thinking,  "This is not the end of the story!!"  He came once and He is coming again.  And as Ada and I talk about all the time, the hurt will be over.  She asks, "you mean, it won't even hurt when we fall down?  And there won't be any more scary dreams?"  And little John's heart will want to obey. My heart will want to obey. He is coming again, and he will right this world. 

"Advent teaches us, who so desperately want to work to save ourselves, to wait for the One who came to save us and will come again to redeem us."

-Nick Lannon-

(found the above quote here--a church we will be visiting in the new year as we draw closer and closer to the "big move.")

Anyway, I really just wanted to post a few pictures of us, the Moore Family, doing our best to celebrate Christmas.  And to say, we will be traveling to Alabama for almost a full week, splitting our time between the two families.  I wanted to do a quick "check in" before heading out on Christmas day. 

 What we have here is us trying to our own version of Advent.  We have had this little sticker count down since Ada was around John's age, and it has worked well for us.  I can't remember exactly where we got them, so I can't link to it.  Basically, each night we read and discuss a few verses of the "Christmas story," and then Ada and John put a sticker on the chart, counting down the days until Christmas.  At the top of the "path" is a picture of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem, and at the bottom is the manger, which you can see above.  Okay, this is all well and good in theory, but Scott grabbed the camera the other night and captured how it really goes.  Ada loved doing this sticker count down even when she was younger than John. But John likes to put the stickers all over his face, not on his chart, usually on his chin, cheeks, eyes, etc, and then he says, "look, I'm Santa Claus!" which he clearly thinks is hilarious (as does Ada).  Then usually at some point, Ada starts a string of sneezes that goes on for a long while (Ada sneezes a LOT, like in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, during Advent "time", etc. etc.  she keeps a kleenex box near her at all times), and it's hard to talk above the sneezing and the nose blowing. 
 Then when John is bored with covering his face with stickers, and usually as we are trying to each go around and pray and thank God for a specific thing--that he sent his son, or to help us to love him more than our "treasure" (that was last night's as we talked about the wise men), John opts to try to stand on his head instead.  And at some point, being really honest, I get super frustrated and might even say out loud in an annoyed tone "let's just put them to bed."  I mean, there is never a more clear picture of how much we need Jesus and his rescuing us than when I try to do Advent with our kids ;)

 Next Christmas event.  Cookie making and decorating.  This year, knowing that Ada was counting on this, and also knowing that time and energy were quickly running out, I just grabbed a cookie mix and a tub of betty crocker frosting, and called it a day ;) 

 I just realized that we haven't decorated the cookies yet, and I am sure I will take pictures of that as well.  Probably should have waited to post this ;)  Oh well.

 All our Christmas cards.  Isn't it so much fun to check the mail during the Christmas season?  Ada and I love it.  Well, Ada loves it all the time.  She holds on to such hope every single time that she checks the mail that there will be something just for her.
 Christmas countdown sign, thanks to Ann.  And the Nativity Set that my mom sent me as an early Christmas gift.  I am so excited to have it!!!  Before this, I only had the fisher price little people nativity set. 
 My favorite book to read at Christmas.  I've blogged about it before.
The cookies, ready to be decorated as soon as John wakes up from his nap.  Ada is not waiting as patiently as the cookies.

And what our house really looks like at Christmas, messy and football on tv (will the football season never end?), and a very haphazardly decorated tree.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ada's Christmas Ballet Program

Of course, the thing on my mind tonight is the nightmare in Newtown.  The absolute nightmare.  It's one of those things that if I don't fight it, could create a whole lot of fear in my mind.  Make me want to take my kids and hide from this world--as if that is possible.  What I am attempting to do instead is to remember that God is sovereign and good and unshakable.  And he is going to redeem this world.  That is what we celebrate at Christmas.  That Jesus was sent to "ransom captive Israel."  And that the only even possible response is to share the gospel.  It's the only answer to any of it.  There is a Savior and a Redeemer.  And he can Redeem us, Redeem our depraved hearts from the sin that entangles. 

And I am just so thankful that Ada and John are safe and tucked into their beds tonight. 

On a much more happy note, and thankful note for my little Ada--who is in kindergarten, so of course that is where my imagination goes--but just so thankful for our normal, happy, night that we had last night at Ada's Christmas recital.  A mini-recital, really.  The real deal is at the end of the year. 

Ada was very, very nervous, so we were proud of her for getting up there and doing the dance anyway.  And, by the way, Ada's class danced to "Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, hence "girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes."

(this was before the performance, and captures how she was feeling about the whole thing.  But she did it!!!  We videod the performance, so all pictures are of before it started.  Sorry there are so many, but you know how it goes)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Happenings

We are, obviously, in full-on Christmas mode around here.  And now that Ada is five, there is a growing collection of things that she counts on each Christmas--traditions that are forming, I guess you could say. 

One of her favorite Christmas events is a visit to Lenox Mall to ride the Pink Pig.  This is one of those events, that as a parent, I just don't get thrilled about.  I don't even fully grasp what a Pink pig train type ride has to do with Christmas?  But, it's fun for the kids, so we do it.  However, because it doesn't seem all that "Christmasy" to me, Scott and I decided to do the Pink Pig before Thanksgiving this year.  Normally the Pink Pig involves insanely long lines, and we predicted that the lines would just not be that long before Thanksgiving.  We were so right.  No lines. at. all.  So, for the Moores, Pink Pig before Thanksgiving from now on.  (it did not make the food court any less crowded, however).

Okay, so Pink Pig--check.

Ada has also requested since last year to visit Santa this year.  Which, we aren't big Santa people, but I don't have a problem with Santa either.  I remember being a kid, Santa is fun, obviously, and magical.  I just mainly want to make sure that my kids look back and know that Santa was in no way the focus of Christmas. But, I do like the classic kids with Santa picture, etc. etc.  I tell all of this to set up the insanely long line we stood in today to see Santa, because my heart isn't really in Santa anyway, and to then stand in line for two and a half hours to see him, well Scott and I didn't have the best attitudes.  But we promised Ada that we could do it, and it was one of those situations that once you have stood there for an hour, you aren't know what I mean?  Plus, the dad behind us  was also feeling about as enthusiastic about the whole situation as Scott and I were feeling, except he had a wife on bed rest, who is about to give birth to their fourth daughter, so we felt like we were all in this thing together, even though the guy was a stranger to us, before the Santa line.  I know that is a lot of information to give you about the Santa line, but Scott and I have looked at each other all day and said in disbelief, "we stood in line for two and half hours to see Santa."  But, the kids loved it, and they had fun during the wait, running around and playing at our town's square, while Scott and I switched out the job of waiting in line, and there was free hot chocolate, and it was Christmasy, in it's own, small town feeling kind of way.  Oh, and it was 70 degrees.  We were so hot while we waited to see Santa.

But, we got the picture.  The classic Santa's lap picture.

The insanely long line that moved so slowly.  Can you find Scott?  He's got a beard.  And see the soon-to-be fourth time dad behind him?  Our new friend. 

 Playing under the giant ornaments while we wait.

And finally, we see Santa.  Do you see John's nervous face?  Still when Santa asked, he said he wanted Buzz for Christmas, never taking his finger out of his mouth.

Okay, finally, we were done with Santa, and it was Christmas tree time.  Scott and I were having to "pray about our attitudes" a lot at this point, if you know what I mean ;)

But we got the Christmas tree, with a tired, past his nap time John in tow.

We are Home Depot tree buyers, fyi ;)

So, there you go.  Christmas is underway.  The house is decorated (which required a return trip to Home Depot because we bought the worst garland in the history of garlands, but they let us exchange it and throw the old garland into the Christmas tree scraps), and we survived the longest day of Christmas "fun" ever. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Helping Daddy

A couple of weekends ago, Scott's car was having some trouble (not sure of the details, but Scott would want you to know that he fixed the problem himself and was seriously patting himself on the back over it.  I was proud of him, but probably not as proud of him as he was of himself.  Just kidding, Scott, love you), so Scott spent a while working on it.  Of course, if there is an opportunity to be outside, the kids are all over that, so Ada and John went outside with him.  In about a minute, John, not saying a word to anyone, walked inside, and quickly returned with his own tools, ready to help Scott with the car.  You know, in whatever way he might be needed.

Can I also say that I love age two, and I am a little bit sad that John is quickly approaching three.  It just seems like at age two the cuteness peaks.  I love all ages that my kids have been, of course, but I feel sad to leave age two behind.  At the third birthday, it's time to turn to big boy things and babyhood is really over.  It leaves me a little sentimental.

In other John news, the other night, in an effort to break Christmas down the simplest level, I asked John whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas.  And he answered, with much enthusiasm and confidence, "Santa!!!"  We are working on correcting that ;)