Friday, December 29, 2017

New Year, New Plans

  I've never really done much in the way of New Year's Resolution. Maybe an occasional "be healthier" or "read my Bible through in a year". But I've never really sat down and thought about what I wanted to change or accomplish in the coming year.

Until now.

There are a lot of changes happening in my life this year. Ones that are going to happen whether I resolve to do them or not. I'm going to have my third baby, leaving my home and moving to another country, going back to school, learning a new language, teaching my children in that new language, going to a new church, figuring out how to cook, clean, and in general be a house wife in a completely different environment... I think you get the point.

  Having all of that coming at me, I couldn't help but sit and think about what I wanted to change and accomplish this year, just out of necessity. So, I have a few goals this year. They are really for January through July to prepare for leaving, but you gotta start somewhere.

  First there's the personal goals. Our lives right now consist of a lot of late nights of travelling or church, so usually I wake up when the kids wake me up, which usually is still earlier than I'd like most mornings. But that tends to lead to rushing through the morning and cramming things (like a shower) in later in the day. So my first goal is to start getting up before my kids. Like I said, you have to start somewhere. The mornings that I do get up before them, I enjoy getting that quiet time for my devotions, and coffee, and it helps the day to be less crazy.

 My second personal goal is to start a prayer journal. I used to do one a long time ago and should have been doing one all through deputation. It's amazing to look back through the journal and really see and remember even the little things you prayed for and see how God worked them out. But especially with all the changes happening this year, I am going to start that back up again.

 Then there's the organization/household goals. With baby number three on the way, I think it's past time for my oldest to be potty training. I refuse to change three diapers. Just refuse. She's got the concept down and goes herself occasionally, but it's the consistency and just getting out of the diaper that we have left. We'll be home more often the next few months so this is happening.

My second goal in this area is my garage. This is one that I don't really have a choice on, because it has to be done by July regardless. It's really more than my garage, but that's where I need to start. The sorting, and tossing, and selling, and storing of all of our belongings. I have diaper boxes in every nook and cranny of the clothes my kids have grown out of. Then there's a couple containers and boxes of bigger sized clothes that we are collecting to take with us to the field. There's also the insane amount of toys that two children have collected over the past three years. It's really ridiculous. Have to sort those and decide what to keep, store, or sell. Having to pack with limited space to move to another country really gives you a new perspective on what you actually use and what you keep for no reason at all.

  So there you have it. My few goals. What are your goals for 2018??

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas by the Numbers

Thought I'd cover some of our Boyd Family Christmas by the numbers. The following was consumed and/or experienced between Saturday and Tuesday:

35 dozen cookies
20 pounds of ham
10 pounds of potatoes
5 pounds of fudge
multiple types of candies

Lots of cuddles with Papa

12 bottles of sparkling grape juice
4 gallons of milk

Living room bumper cars

2 gallons of lemonade
over 100 bottles of water
1 romp in the snow

One nap after playing in the snow (her hands were so cold she refused to take off her gloves)

multiple games
5 grandchildren
4 generations
102 presents
25 stockings

untold numbers of peek-a-boo and this-little-piggy

And a lifetime of memories. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight! When I wake up, I'm getting a catscan!

Monday, December 25, 2017

We Have Exciting News!

We have an announcement!

For those of you who know us personally, you know that this particular news is something that we have been praying about for a while. Everyday we have been praying specifically that God would give us one. Even our girls have been praying every night before bed. We got to the point where we were so ready for one, we would even get a little discouraged if someone even posted about one on social media. 

Today we are happy to announce we’re adding to our family… 

or should I say we are adding something that better holds our whole family!

Wait for it ... 

We got a New Van!!

We traded in our 2014 Nissan Sentra. It was a great car, however it got a little cramped with three car seats, three kids, and it just didn’t leave a whole lot of extra room for anything else. So we knew we needed to started looking for something a little bigger. We started looking at vans about a year ago and found out we just weren’t able to get one. So, we waited a few months and realized God wasn’t going to give us one unless we were consistently praying for one. We knew the kind of van that we wanted, so we prayed about specific features that we wanted our van to have. 

In just three short months, God answered our prayers and this weekend he gave us a new van: a 2016 Chrysler Town & Country. We could not be more excited to have something bigger than a car. I think one of the coolest things for me about getting this van is that we got to point out to our daughters the specific things they prayed for about the van that God gave to us and he truly cares about the small things. God is Good, all the time!

So, if you see us smiling this Christmas, you’ll know it’s because we are no longer crammed into our car and because Smiling’s my favorite.

Friday’s movie quote was. Drum Roll, Please… Christmas in Connecticut.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Highlights

 I was debating what to write about this post, and I had several thoughts. So, I'll share them all with you. I know what you're thinking... this is gonna be a long one. But my pastor always says that the more points he has in a message, the shorter the message. So, we'll see if the same applies here.

  • I  thought about sharing how the holidays are sort of vacation time for missionaries, because no one really wants to have a missionary in during Christmas season. Too many parties, and cantatas, and caroling, and activities. Doesn't usually work to add in a missionary. I don't blame them, and I'm enjoying the time off. But if this is vacation time, why am I so tired???
  • Which brings me to the next topic. My kids sleeping schedule. For some reason, they have decided that it's either not bedtime before 1:00 in the morning, or that even if they do go to bed early, they need to wake up and spend time with us between 11:00 and 1:00 at night... I love them and all, but I'm usually well past ready for sleep by the time thy actually settle down for bed. Could it be the sugar cookies that they've been grazing from the table all week? Or the soda they are constantly finishing off for Papa? Or the candy that they seem to find everywhere in the house??  I've stopped even asking "where did you get that from?".
  • I also thought about talking about the relationship between a little boy and his Papa. This kid wakes up asking for Papa, bangs on Papa's door whenever he can't be found, and pretty much only wants Papa. I hugged my dad tonight while he was holding my son, and my son shoved my face away exclaiming "my Papa!!!".
  • There was also the shopping trip taken yesterday that was quite adventurous. It involved three different mothers, three small children, some last minute Christmas shopping that we tried to hide from the three small children, three different grocery lists plus one combined family dinner list, two shopping carts, adding a third shopping cart at the end while we stood in an aisle and sorted out all three lists and who was paying for what, 30  minutes in the checkout line because it was only four days before Christmas, and that fact that there is no picture for it all because it was madness. Organized madness, but still...
  • I could share the fact that carolers came to mom and dad's house tonight, and it was the first time I've ever been on the recipient end of Christmas caroling. It was very cool! But that would make for a very short post. 
  • Or I could do a post about the Christmas present sorting that took place this morning and how it took an hour to sort out which present belonged to whom, and why we seemed to be a present short for all of the guys even though it had been added up before and was determined there was enough. Then to find out, after we had adjusted and resorted to make sure everyone had enough,  that the missing presents were sitting in dad's closet all along. Oops... 
  • I could talk about how it's been difficult to figure out what to get my kids and husband this year. My son is at that age where his interests are changing from baby to big boy, but they're not completely there yet. He likes the older toys, but still loves to chew on them. And the toys for bigger kids aren't as choking hazard free. My daughter loves toys, but has way too many, plus we'll be packing up and leaving this coming year so don't want to waste money on something big that we'll just have to store or sell.  And I've already posted before about how difficult it is for me to figure out what to get my husband. 
  • There's also the topic of how my dad hands out presents on Christmas morning and how he has been known in the past not to look at the tag closely enough and given presents to the wrong people. We're all family here, but it's still awkward to speak up and be like "ya...that's not for you." 😯
  • I could write about making cookies with the help of a two year old, a three year old, and a five year old, and how the kitchen looked like an explosion of flour. How we ended up with 12 dozen sugar cookies . How when we frosted them we ended up with a bag of cookies that were only for the little girls, because those were the one's they decorated. And trust me, if you saw how many times those frosting knives got licked.... you wouldn't want them either. 
  • Or how yesterday, I finally finished my last present sewing project. And how if I don't have to sew again for another year, I think I'd be fine with that. 
  There are probably many other things that I could share, but as Felix Bassenak says "when the bag lets out the cat, somebody gets scratched". So, to you all I say merry Christmas!!

 Don't forget the quote. It's not a popular one so I'll give you a hint. Google the name. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Feeling All the Feels

Sometimes we humans aren't very smart.

It's not enough that we get bogged down in all the events that surround the holidays. We tend to over extend ourselves to the point that there is no way humanly possible for us to actually enjoy the season.

There are decorations to put up. Parties to attend. Programs to perform. Songs to sing. Presents to buy. Presents to wrap. Goodies to bake. Foods to eat. Family to see.

Do you sometimes feel like you're just checking things off the list and looking forward to the end of the holidays? Do you ever aim for the "perfect" holiday? Did you get it?

I learned a long time ago not to have too many expectations. If you're determined that everything be absolutely perfect, you end up only seeing the failures and flaws. How much better to simply enjoy the happenings as they come along? For instance, do you see happy faces and memories, or do you see a powdered sugar nightmare? (Answer:  BOTH!)

For us, this is the last Christmas that we will all be together as a family for quite a while. Sometime next year, Zack and Stephanie will finish deputation and head to the mission field. It would be quite easy to push hard for making this the perfect Christmas.

The problem is, last time I checked, we're all human. None of us are perfect. So it's not really possible to have the perfect holiday. Not in the sense of everything happening just exactly as it's supposed to.

But I'm aiming to have the perfect holiday anyway. I plan on doing that by enjoying every moment that comes along as opposed to planning every moment. Don't get me wrong, Christmas for almost twenty people does not happen without some planning. But I don't want to be so busy checking things off my list that I miss what's going on right in front of me.

I don't want to be so busy shopping that I miss the interactions with slightly impatient little grandkids that just want to go play on the playground.

I don't want to be so absorbed in frosting the perfect cookies that I miss the laughter and fun around the table.

I want to stop and enjoy the hugs of my college guys when they come home, and revel in watching my sons laughing and joking together.

I want to watch my grandson as he adores his grandfather and follows "Papa" around.

I want to see my granddaughters giggle and play with their cousins while waiting for the day they can open all their presents.

I'm going to enjoy the slightly weird and wonderful Christmas that only Boyds can have. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be us.

This year I'm working hard at feeling all the feels. That'll give me a perfect Christmas.

I hope your Christmas is perfect in it's own weird and wonderful way as well. "Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal. And a Happy New Year!"

Monday, December 18, 2017

"It Would Be Fun" They Said...

I hate to admit it, but oftentimes I view events as things we have to do rather than things we get to do. It seems more of a chore list, if you will.

I love Christmas time but it seems like its the time of year where things start to slow down and then Boom: the schedule fills up with Christmas class parties and programs. Yesterday, was one of those busy days. In the morning, there were two Sunday school class parties going on, plus I was working nursery with more kids than usual, and in Junior Church we had food and gifts. Then in the afternoon, we had to set up and prepare final touches to our Christmas Program. 

This year as part of our Christmas Program we had our Junior Church kids sing two songs. So we sent an invite to their parents to come and watch them. There was a pizza party and devotional for the children when they were done singing and then a cookie fellowship to follow the evening service for everyone.

Junior church was memorable. You know how kids get when they know they're getting something special: they get over excited and it tends to lead to some misbehavior. Without going into great detail, Junior Church was an adventure for sure.

For the evening service and Christmas program, we ran the bus to get kids and parents who wouldn't be able to come otherwise. I was hopeful that we would have a lot of kids come but I hate to admit I had very little faith. When it was getting closer to time I saw kids showing up with their parents and they kept coming and coming. I had to take care of a few last minute things in the nursery before heading down to the auditorium for the start of the program. When I walked in, I was overwhelmed with excitement as I saw the entire front section full with young children ready to sing.

After they had finished singing, we gathered all the young people and headed towards our pizza party. 

Have a pizza party they said. It will be fun they said...

We got downstairs and the kids were so excited, we started handing out pizzas and had our devotional. Then it was time for presents. 

Earlier in the day yesterday, I truthfully couldn't wait for the day to be over. It would be two more "things" checked off our "to do" list. 

We weren't expecting so many kids so we were short a few gifts, we asked for volunteers who wouldn't mind waiting until next week to get their gift. We had a little 5 year old who started crying because she had to wait and it broke my heart. We asked her older sister if she would give her gift to her sister. She agreed, after she saw how upset her little sister was. As we gave the bag to the little girl she cried more. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "I'm happy." It made me cry and then made me think.

We don't have to do these things. We get to do these things. The ministry isn't always easy nor is it always fun. However if you have faith and find joy in the "things" that you get to do, working in the Ministry can be is so rewarding. 

Yesterday, we had 19 visitors and 9 people saved. Praise the Lord!

And the only picture I took from the whole day and makes this momma's heart so happy is the photo of my daughter praying before they sang their first song. 

"And may all your Christmases be white. Merry Christmas"

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! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

An Announcement and A Game

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Ours was pretty good.

Only good, not great.

The reason it wasn't great was because the whole family wasn't there. Every year our married children alternate the holidays they spend with their in-laws and the holidays they spend with us. This year Thanksgiving was the off holiday, so Matt and Kylee and Steph and Zack and all of their little ones were not around the table. That's okay, though, because that means everyone will be here for Christmas!

We were missing another person from the table this year as well.  This guy headed down south to spend Thanksgiving with a very charming family. We really missed him, but he said he had a good time.

He ate.

He visited.

He ate.

He fed chickens.

He ate. (I'm sensing a pattern here.)

At one point he set off an alarm and had the cops come to talk to him.

He ate.

He came close to being a person of interest in a nearby break in.

He ate.

So, you know, nice holiday, and fairly typical ... for a Boyd, anyway.

Oh! I almost forgot! He did something else while he was gone as well.

Can't wait for another episode of Boyds at a wedding:  the family ... the potato salad ... the fun ... the taco bell ... the camouflage ... the blood ... the pick up lines ... all these have been part of Boyd weddings. 

Welcome to the family, Shelby! Hang on because being a Boyd is one wild ride!

That was the announcement. And now for the game:

In case you haven't noticed, we're heading into the Christmas season. In keeping with that Christmas mood, we're going to play a game here on the blog throughout the month of December. In each post we will include a quote from a Christmas movie. The quote might be part of the post for that day, or it might be something we tack on at the end--it all depends on how creative we feel at the time.

You will always know what the quote is because we will put it in bold. Your part of the game is to post a comment on the blog with the movie that the quote came from. The winner each day will receive 1,000 meaningless points, a brief touch of Christmas magic, and the overwhelming desire to watch the movie of the day. Make sure you play along because otherwise you'll be a grinch!

See what I did there?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Future Vlogger

My big girl turns Five today!

As you watch your babies grow through each stage of your life, it seems like you can't wait until they start walking and talking.

Talking is now something Stella is very good at! So good in fact she is doing it all the time. She starts the moment she wakes up and she falls asleep talking at night. She even talks in her sleep.

She has been quite a busy little girl lately, when she isn't playing with her toys or watching my little pony. She has been hijacking my phone to take videos.

In honor of her Birthday, I've picked a few of my favorite videos to share with you. They start the same, so keep watching!

Does anyone have a questions you would like Stella to answer in her next video?

Have a great week! 

Friday, November 24, 2017

It's that time again!

  It's finally here! We'll, ok, I know that winter doesn't technically start until December 21st, but I'm pretty sure that everyone automatically shifts from mode to winter mode the day after Thanksgiving. I just can't get into the Christmas decorating and shopping for presents mood when I'm thinking fall. So, for me today winter officially begins!

  I love how Christmas really goes through the entire month of December. First you decorate your home. Then there's always the church Sunday school Christmas party which is usually at the beginning of the month so everyone can come before they start getting busy. Then for me there's my birthday so PRESENTS!!!  Then there's the groups that go caroling about midway through the month. Then there's the Christmas cantata a Sunday or two before Christmas. Then traveling to see family and finally Christmas!

  This year we won't be able to decorate for Christmas because we'll only be home for a short time in December.  It's just not worth the hassle of pulling stuff out or buying decorations for a short time. So, to get some Christmas spirit in my house I decided to do the book a day thing. You wrap 24 Christmas books and the kids get to open one each night of December up through Christmas. I'm a little behind seeing as I've only got a few books and only a week to come up with the rest. But I'm looking to ebay and some Thrift stores to come through for me. I have faith it'll come together. 😁  The hard part is finding Christmas books that aren't all about Santa Clause. I will never understand why parents want to give toy credits to a fat man in a red suit. You're also basically telling them that someone will be breaking into their house and stealing cookies every Christmas eve, but that we should like the fat cookie burglar. Don't hate me for going there, but it's the truth, people!

  We have quite a few Christmas traditions.  In our family we bake and decorate sugar cookies with the little kids... And some of the older ones πŸ˜‰.  We have appetizers and do a family game on Christmas eve. Then we have cinnamon rolls and the Christmas story on Christmas morning, followed by presents. My favorite tradition is that the guys all clean up after Christmas dinner since the ladies did all the cooking! Feel free to take that one home! So what are your Christmas traditions? And most importantly, do you get lost in  the hustle and bustle or do you take the time to slow down and enjoy what God has given you and remember what it's really all about?