Monday, December 12, 2011

Thankful for the Imperfect Moments

I have to admit, it's been kindof fun having Joshua slowed down with a broken arm. We've had to look for quieter activities other than trips to the park and bike rides. We've enjoyed reading some stories together, and playing lots of board games.

Today was the day that the cast came off!

Here he is a little nervous getting ready to get the cast off. Safety goggles on!

And here it goes...bzzzzz.....
It vibrated his arm, and so he giggled the whole time!

Down to the Radiology department for the follow-up xrays. Then back up to the physician's office for the official word that everything looks great. He was given an order for taking it easy for one more week. She also have him a paper copy of his xrays shrunk down; I told Joshua I would laminate for him so that he can use them as bookmarks.

Megan worked really hard on her spelling word sentences today.

Joshua got a remote control spider for Christmas from my mom. The cat seems to really like it!

We are working on having the kids help us make some of our Christmas gifts. There are blogs out there with kids making perfect crafts - this is not one of them. :) I often joke about how the Hallmark Channel has set unrealistic expectations about Christmas activities with the kids. Funny how on tv when kids decorate the Christmas tree, it comes out fantastic and everyone is happy. However, at our house when we decorated the tree, there were tears about Josh putting his ornament too close to Megan's, and serious grumpies over why we don't have candycanes on our tree (we have candy canes, they just happen to be still in a box in our kitchen). So I find myself often having to pause to check myself to make sure I am not placing an unrealistic expectation on how I want the day to turn out, because surely I will end up sadly disappointed and in the process miss the magic of the imperfection of our family.

I don't know how it ended up that we don't really emphasis the Santa part of Christmas. I guess the kids just learn what they live, and when they were littler, our church in Alaska had great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day activities, and so it was so easy to keep the focus of the holiday where it belongs. Now that we live in more main-stream culture, it's hard to not be bombarded with all of the commercialism of the season. I'll confess that I love to walk around the mall with a yummy warm drink and window shop, but sometimes I feel like the small Christmas gifts we've chosen just aren't enough. Fortunately, keeping our tiny budget in check is really easy this year since we are using some of Dave Ramsey's plan. Another thing that has really helped us (um, more like me, Keith isn't really the Christmas present shopper in our house) is putting a bit of a limit on gifts. I can't remember where I read it from, but a few years ago I started thinking less about getting "stuff" and more about really putting thought into the kids gifts. I take no issue with folks that go out for Black Friday and purchase stuff just because it's a good deal. I used to do that, too. It's fun and I did enjoy the hustle and bustle of it. Somehow, it just seemed to me that I was buying stuff because it was a good deal, and not necessarily because it was something that one of my gift recipients would really truly like.

For each of the kids, I usually follow the guidelines of:
*Something you want
*Something you need
*Something to wear
*Something to read

It's worked out quite well for us and it helps to balance out items acquired throughout the season. A few of the kids presents are home made presents this year.

As far as the big guy in red, he really doesn't get much credit for things around here. The kids all know that Santa the person doesn't exist, but that the spirit of Santa is a part of the season. We also pretend that Santa fills stockings, in the same way that we pretend about the tooth fairy. When I was a child, I grew up with a "drugstore stocking" - deodorant, hairspray, chapstick, lotion, etc. I tend to put a few necessities in the stockings (a new toothbrush is a must!), but I will say that I tend to go all out on stockings, with some of the small gifts inside wrapped as well. I collect fun little things all year long so that at the end of the year, I probably have more trinkets than can fit in the stockings. I keep all these things in a box in my closet and pull out a trinket for special prizes during the year. Keith and I both grew up with an orange in the toe, and so that's always a must. I prefer mine to be a chocolate orange, but Keith thinks those are gross.

Speaking of home made gifts...the kids are working hard on putting the finishing touches on some presents this week.

Daniel's class continues to learn about Christmas around the world.
Today's contribution was the Dreidel song - over and over again in the truck on the way home.

Megan's homework tonight was to write a sentence using each of her spelling words. Read #10. I usually help correct her work before she hands it in, but tonight, I'm leaving this one alone. We'll work harder on the spelling list and correct meaning of "pasture" later in the week.

And tonight I leave you with Daniel in his 2 sizes too small Orlando Magic pjs telling Pepper goodnight.

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