Friday, December 15, 2017

Creative Parenting

 I thought we'd take a break from all the Christmas talk today. On our most recent trip, something came up that my hubby thought might be interesting to share. He thought I should share with you some creative parenting that we've come up with due to how much we travel.

   So, little back story on this first one... Our daughter hates her car seat ( so does our son for that matter). But our daughter has figured out to push the chest strap down and get her arms out so that she can have some freedom. She is not allowed to do that, and as soon as we notice, it is very quickly fixed. She used to tell on herself and as soon as she was out she would go "Hi, dad!!" in a very mischievous tone. Now she has gotten smarter and knows that if she's quiet we may not turn around and notice as quickly. Well, in one of the times that we did notice, my husband had turned and was correcting her with me while he was driving. While turned, the van veered a little and we drove over those ridges on the side of the road. It was in that moment, the Road Monster was born.

   When she heard that sound of us driving over the ridges, she jumped and went "Dad, what that noise??".  My husband replied "That's the Road Monster. He's trying to come get you because you're out of your buckle."  She very quickly put her arms back in and started yelling "Go away, Road Monster!!".  So now she thinks there's a monster that eats bad kids in the car, and every time she tries to take her arms out or won't stop whining, the Road Monster makes an appearance. It has worked well so far. We think it's pretty genius, but I won't ask your opinion. πŸ˜‰

  Disclaimer on this next one: If you do Santa, that's between you and your kids and I don't judge you, so don't judge us for this. Although every time I see a kid who believes in Santa I think "Cute kid. Baaaad judge of character". I've realized that in the life of a two year old that watches any kind of cartoons this time of year or that even leaves the house during Christmas time, there is no possible way to hide Santa from the at all. And although we have told our daughter, she doesn't quite understand about the whole real truth about Christmas. If you have a two year old that does, your kid is a genius. Just saying. So, last night actually, we came up with a temporary solution I guess you could say. 😏

   We were driving through a park that had Christmas lights and as you would expect, half of the displays were of Santa Clause. They had a very nice nativity, but then about 15 Santa displays. So when our daughter yelled "There's Santa!", my hubby came back with "Ya, there's that bad man". We then proceeded to tell her that he was a bad man who always tried to steal all the presents that daddy and mommy would buy. Shortly after, we had her yelling "Don't touch my presents, bad man!!" πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚  Again, how you deal with Santa is up to you. This is what we're doing for now. We're like Planet Fitness here. It's a judgment free zone. So don't judge.

    I'm really curious to see how my son reacts to things. He's not quite at the understanding age that our daughter is. And I'm even more curious to see how having baby #3 is going to change things. How much more creative your parenting must get with each child. This third pregnancy has changed me much more than the last two so far. Hormones and pains and all. I'm at the stage where I go through my closet I start throwing clothes on the bed saying "Stupid. Ugly. Out of date. This is ridiculous. If I can't find something nice to wear, I'm not going!".  But in the end it's all worth it for that beautiful baby #3.

Just wanted to share this attempt at a Christmas picture. I don't know what I'd do without these boogers. 

   Don't forget about today's quote! There are actually two, but they are from the same movie. Which I happen to be watching as I write this post. If you guess White Christmas for the last quote you would be correct! But no one seemed to guess, so 2,000 meaningless points to mom since she stumped you all! They can't all be super obvious quotes so don't give up too easily, guys! 


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Shoes

So last Friday Stephanie blogged about her issues with shopping for Christmas gifts for the guys in our lives. It's not only true that it's hard to shop for them, but there's an added aspect to this whole procedure as well.

As wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, etc., we feel the pressure to not only provide a meaningful gift to the male loved ones in our lives, but we also want to surprise them. We want to give them the perfect present to help make it a perfect Christmas. Which is hard to do when we don't know what they want in the first place.

Of course, if we do surprise them with a gift that's not really something they wanted, we can tell. We get a half smile. An unenthusiastic "thanks". And then after the gift sits in the corner unused for the next three to six months, we'll ask them about it and they'll tell us that it's not really something they want or can use.

But there's a whole other side to this dilemma. Because they have to give gifts too. And in many ways, it's just as hard--if not harder--for them.

After all, it must be difficult to know what to get the women in their lives when they don't even understand the women in their lives. Add to that the fact that many men wait until December 23rd to do any shopping, and you can see what a challenging task they have.

Somehow men always manage to make their choices and be sure that they're giving the perfect gift to boot. They either have a tremendous amount of confidence, or they just don't stress that much about whether or not we'll like it. Or they give us something that they know they'll use anyway.

Women, however, not only want to make sure that they give the perfect gift, they also want to assure everyone that they received the perfect gift. We may hate it, but we'll smile. We'll exclaim how perfect it is. And then we'll even wear it or use it so that the giver can see what a perfect gift it was.

Except that it wasn't.

For instance:

Many women would probably not consider these shoes to be the perfect gift. If you do, I'm not dissing your taste ... who am I kidding? Of course I am. I'm sorry, but these shoes are ugly. And weird. They're not an athletic shoe. They're certainly not a cute casual shoe. And they most certainly are NOT my style.

However, I received these as a Christmas gift several years ago. Not wanting to hurt any feelings, I smiled brightly and exclaimed my thanks. I even wore them later that evening when we played  keep away outside. it was cold, and I wore them with socks. It was not my brightest fashion moment. I do remember being grateful that it was too dark to see my footwear, and hoping that somehow the game ruined the shoes so that they could never be worn again. As you can see, the shoes weren't ruined. They still were never worn again.

I honestly don't know what my husband was thinking when he bought these shoes. Perhaps he was thinking, "hey, she's not really athletic, but these aren't really athletic shoes, so they should be perfect for her!" More likely, though, he might have been thinking, "These shoes are the only ones in her size on the clearance rack. Score!"

Like most people, I enjoy the anticipation of gifts, both giving and receiving. But I don't want to have my Christmas ruined by unwrapping terrible gifts and then pretending I like them. So what's my solution?

I buy my own presents. Then I give them to Kylee or Stephanie to wrap. My husband will usually comment a week or two before Christmas that he hasn't even bought me anything yet. "Don't worry," I reassure him. "I already did the shopping for you. You were very generous." In his defense, he usually gets me some nice jewelry as he's pretty good at picking that out. Or he gets guidance from Kylee or Stephanie who have been coached on what things I would like.

You may think that takes all the fun out of it, but I don't think so. I end up both giving and receiving the perfect gift. Now what's not to like about that?

If you guessed the Grinch as the source of the movie quote from Monday's post, you got it right! Here's today's quote:

"I hope I can return the electric blanket!"

"Where have you got that?"

"Under the underwear."

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Christmas Tag

Christmas is almost here!

If you aren't quite in the spirit of Christmas, here is a fun little Christmas tag to help you feel a little more holly and jolly.

1. What is your favorite Christmas film?
It's a tie. Both of these are great!
If you guessed A Christmas Story for last week's movie quote. You were correct!

2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
All of mine have been White except for the two Christmas's I had in Florida. 

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
Every year we trade off Thanksgiving and Christmas between Michigan and Illinois. 
Don't you wish you could be in two places at once?

4. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I love all Christmas music. Blast this Christmas music. It's joyful and triumphant. Except Christmas shoes... that one can be muted.

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
When we are home my husband usually can't wait for our girls to open presents. So he gives them each one to open. 

6. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donar, Blitzen... And The most famous reindeer of all. Rudolph. 

7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
This year we are home for Christmas. So  I'm looking forward to making Christmas cookies and our Christmas Eve Game. 

8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
It's fake with white lights.

9. What is your all-time favorite holiday food/sweet treat?
Mashed Potatoes and Fudge.

10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
Both. Who doesn't love getting gifts? It's also fun watching someone open their gift when you know they will love it! 

11. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
This year is definitly one of my favorites. My husband is the best and gave me my gift early.
 New Anniversary bands, I love them!

12. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I actually love wrapping presents and I would say i'm pretty good at it. All the gifts I wrap have to go into boxes before I can wrap them. They have to all be perfect in shape... 

There it is folks. See, don't you just feel all merry inside? 

So, the big question is ... Real Tree or Fake Tree? White lights or Colored?

Also, don't forget about the movie quote. Think you can guess it it?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Issues

    Today, we're going to discuss the issues. Gifts for men and stocking stuffers. I don't know about you, but these are two things that stump me every year. Men always say that women are so hard to shop for, but really.... jewelry, a scarf, a purse, shoes... that's a lot to go with right there.  Now men, they are hard to shop for. When men need something, they go get it. They don't think "oh wait, Christmas is in the next couple of months. I should wait and drop hints." They just go out and get the item and go on with their life.

      My husbands hobbies are hunting or electronics. Seasonal and Expensive. Hunting is a seasonal thing. A hobby that ends right before Christmas. So really, you can't buy a hunting gift because they can't even use it for a whole year. On top of that, there are very few inexpensive hunting items. Bullets, tree stands, guns ("You'll shoot your eye out!"), bows, arrows, camouflage.  It's all expensive stuff.  Not to mention, he watches all the finances?? Explain to me how that's supposed to work with surprises? Then he likes electronics. There's nothing else to be said about that except we're not taking out a loan for a Christmas present. Maybe his gift could be that we could go window shopping at Best Buy and I'll smile and nod while he looks over all the newest gizmos. We'll see how that goes over.

     My dad has never been easy to buy for either. This year we all asked my mom what to get dad. She said ammo is always good. ok, so we all buy that and he opens 6 boxes of the exact same thing. Yaaaayyyyy πŸ˜‘ Can you say "Boring"?!?  I think growing up we would either buy him a tie or socks. That's why every guy has 101 ugly ties in his closet that he will never wear. Kids with good intentions. We all put our heads together and tried to be a little more creative this year. I'll let you know how that goes.

     Then there's the other big issue of the season. Stocking stuffers. Why is this an issue you ask? Because you can either go with big and awesome or funny and practical. I never know which to do. If you go big and awesome, why waste it on the stocking instead of putting it under the tree. On the other hand, is it super dorky for a wife to get her husband the same deodorant that he always uses? Probably.

    So, here's what I'm asking of you. What are some good stocking stuffer ideas, and how do you figure out what to buy the men in your life?

   By the way, Wednesday's quote was from 🎺🎺🎺 The Santa Clause! Jennie Howell, you get 1,000 meaningless points for guessing the correct answer. And we're going to throw in a bonus 500 points for being the only person to guess!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!  Don't forget, people, to guess today's quote. You don't want to miss out on these awesome points!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Happy Birthday, Nick!

Eighteen years ago tomorrow, this little boy came into the world. In this particular picture, he was all dressed up for his first Sunday at church. Who would have thought that this adorable not so little bundle (9lbs., 15 oz), the last of six, would keep us so entertained throughout the years?

What can I tell you about my baby? For starters, I guess I could say that he's not such a baby anymore. At well over six feet, he could end up being the tallest of all of his brothers.

He's also got a very deep voice that he works out when he sings bass.

Most people from Madison Baptist should know when Nick's birthday is because he announced it regularly in church when they asked for birthdays and anniversaries. July or December, he had no problem reminding the congregation that he was born on December 7th. I heard that, even after we left, occasionally someone would still mention his birthdate.

When Nick was little, he kept us, as well as himself, quite entertained. Where some kids have imaginary friends, Nick had a whole imaginary village. He was friends with Bo and Lare. Beth was his girlfriend, and Rufus was the dog.

Nick also spoke in "Nicky Language", something that I think quite irritated his teacher at times. Joel interpreted occasionally, but the language was Nick's invention.

As Nick got older, his imaginary friends faded, but in the past few years some new personalities have taken root. Well, we call them personalities, but Nick quickly corrects us by telling us they're "egos" instead. The difference, if I understand his explanation correctly, is that personalities talk to each other. His egos only talk to other people. For this I guess we should be grateful.

His first ego is Gibby, a cajun from Louisiana, with a pet gator named Nippy. Gibby speaks with a heavy cajun accent (think Swamp People) and often starts a conversation with, "Back in my day ... ". He's a cheerful fellow mostly, and modest too. He often cautions young people to keep their ankles covered.

Not too long after that, Nikolai came into the picture. He speaks with a thick Russian accent, and quite often talks about putting people in front of a firing squad.

We did a pirate theme for Vacation Bible School this past summer, so I shouldn't have been surprised when a pirate ego made an appearance. I believe his name is Captain McScruffy, and he often wants to make people walk the plank. I haven't heard from the pirate recently, but Nick has informed me that ego is mostly seasonal.

This fall I had Nick helping me clean on top of the kitchen cabinets. He happened to find some contraband candy that his dad had stashed up there, and suddenly Hectare came into being. He picked up the candy and gasped, "I found the treasure, just as the legend foretold!" Hectare is soft-spoken and Finnish, although once in awhile his accent sounds Irish or Scottish.

Nick has had a low deep voice since he was little. It was often amusing to listen to him sing during Patch the Pirate Club performances because, while other kids were doing their best to sing the tunes, you could hear this low one-note tone singing jut below all the other voices. Thankfully, Nick's expanded his range beyond that one note, and now he does quite well singing bass in the choir and with his brothers.

Nick blends in well with his brothers as they all tend to be entertaining characters. It's just that Nick brings so many more personalities egos to the mix. Sometimes I do want to ask him, Can we take a direct flight back to reality, or do we have to change planes in Denver?

Still, Nick was the perfect ending to our Boyd bunch, a special group of guys that love life and each other. They make sure they get the most out of life as well. No one would ever describe our family as boring!

At any rate, this baby of the bunch is turning eighteen tomorrow. Happy Birthday, Nick! I love you, and I'm so proud of the man that you're becoming. I love the guy that brings out Gibby when situations get tense, making everyone laugh by saying, "Well that's just hurtful". I smile at the young man who always manages to calm down one of his baby nieces and get them to go to sleep. I'm proud of the guy that makes up whole stories about the adventures of Purple Girl and Pink Girl and Blue Man and keeps his nieces spellbound with his tales. You're funny, special, intelligent and soft hearted and I wouldn't have it any other way. Always remember III John 4, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

By the way, If you guessed "Elf" as the Christmas movie that Monday's quote came from, you were right! Did you find today's quote?

Monday, December 4, 2017

5 Reasons Why I Love Christmas!

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year isn’t it? Well, besides my birthday because it’s also wonderful. Except it’s only one day, not an entire season. Here are 5 Reasons Why I Love Christmas.

1. Family Time - I love holidays that involve more family time. Quality time with my family is something that is very important to me. God blessed me with an awesome husband and beautiful daughters. Why wouldn’t I want more time with them?

2. Decorations - I love everything about Christmas decorations. The only exception is decorations that have to do with Santa … I don’t have any of those. I love decorating our Christmas tree. It's something I get to do with my daughters who enjoy it just as much as I do. We love surprising my husband with all the decorations when he gets home. 

3. Music - Don’t tell me you haven’t had Christmas music playing on your Pandora since October. I know you have. If you’re anything like me, the moment it gets chilly outside it’s completely acceptable to turn on your music. “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

4. Food - I feel as if everyone is more cheerful and jolly around Christmas time which makes them love cooking and baking more and more. There is just something about season that makes you think that you can turn that beautiful dessert you just saw in a magazine turn into a reality.

5. Presents. Oh, the Presents - When I was younger I was definitely one of those kids waking up early to get their parents out of bed to open presents. What kid isn’t up early? My children. That’s who. They like to sleep in, so I’m in their room waking them up to open presents. Don’t get me wrong, I still love opening presents but it’s much more enjoyable watching your children open their gifts!

Those are just 5 of the Reasons Why I love Christmas. So, what about you? What do you love most about Christmas?

If your answer to the last post's movie quote was “Jingle All the Way.” You are correct!

Today's movie quote is in bold. Can you guess it?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas on the Go

   I think I mentioned in my last post that we would only be in our home for a short time this holiday season and that I wouldn't be decorating. Well, I fibbed a little. Not on purpose though. We will only be home for a short time, and I had no plans of decorating, but once we got home and I was trying to work on some of the Christmas presents that I'm making, it just didn't seem like Christmas. So, we decided to decorate just a little.
and I do mean just  a little. We put up a 24 inch tree and our little ones had tons of fun sitting on the kitchen table and decorating the tiny tree.  We even put some presents under, well more like around our tree. 
These are the books for the 24 Christmas books I mentioned last post. The kids are already asking when they get to open their presents. πŸ˜‚

      Anyways, like I said, we only have a short time home so I have a lot to do. We are still in the process of unpacking from our last trip, which was over a month long. 

Still very early in the process...  I'm procrastinating because I'm dreading the thought of putting it all away just to put it back in suitcases next week. I guess I have no choice and I'm down to a little over a week left, so "It's turbo time!!!".

     This year I am trying to do as many homemade gifts as possible. I had quite a bit of material leftover from my last project, so I'm using it to make doll accessories for my daughter and nieces. My goal is to make a diaper bag, blanket, pillow, and a couple of diapers for their baby dolls. We'll see how that goes. I'm going completely without a pattern...soo....ya.  I also have another gift that I'm making, but I can't go into detail because the receiver of the gift reads the blog. She kind of has to because she also writes on it. So, maybe you'll get pictures after Christmas! Anyways, I'm only halfway through the secret project and haven't even started on the doll accessories project. On top of that I wanted to make a skirt for myself before Christmas. Seeing all that I've written I'm beginning to wonder what I was thinking when I decided on these gifts. I guess my sewing machine will just have to travel with me until Christmas. πŸ˜•

     In other news, we went to the doctor this week and.... 

The kids are very excited, well our daughter at least said "awww, so cute!" when she saw the ultrasound picture.  My hubby may or may not be a little disappointed that him and our son will be outnumbered. I didn't have a preference either way, but I am excited that by this summer the boy to girl ratio in my family will finally be in favor of the girls!! Between my dad, brothers, and my son it was eight guys to six girls. After our daughter is born and my brother gets married we will be 9 females to 8 males! It's the little things in life. πŸ˜‚ 

Speaking of little things. My 17 month old son put together his first sentence today. "Momma, my diaper poo poo." Proud moment... I think. 

Don't forget our Christmas game! The quote is in there in bold! Leave your movie guess in the comments! 
Happy December!