Saturday, December 31, 2011

Celebrating Christmas 2011

We had a nice and mellow Christmas this year.  The boys were up past bedtime on Christmas Eve due to our ex pat Christmas get together.  We had a lot of fun, Calvin had a blast, but Micah was pretty grumpy, so I figured he’d sleep in. 

 WRONG 5:30 he wanted up, after many attempts of getting him back to sleep I feed him breakfast, in the dark in his room and put him back to bed.  He eventually fell asleep.

Right after that I got a drink of water around 7:00 a.m. a sleepy little 4 year old comes strolling in, we enjoyed a Christmas cookie and some water together then we went back to bed until 9:30.  Beautiful.

I haven’t slept that late in forever.  A Gift.

Calvin of course woke up first ready for some waffles, begging to wake up Micah because he really loves waffles, so eventually his pleas won me out of bed.  Waffles it was, although we let Micah sleep longer. He finally woke up around 10 a.m.

Then it was on to our last Jesse tree reading, we sang a few songs and then added the pieces to the nativity scene on our advent calendar.  A certain little guy was bouncing up and down with excitement and eagerly turned around and right into the corner of the TV.  Ouch.  A HUGE goose egg appeared and we spent the better part of 20 minutes snuggling with a boo boo bear on his forehead.  Thankfully that didn’t ruin his day.  A little ibuprofen and some recovery time and he was ready to see what was in his stocking.

He loved all of his stocking.  All of his favorite things were piled into one place, what’s not to love? Chocolate kinder eggs, stickers, glow sticks, puzzles and a new movie.  He loved it and kept expressing his gratefulness.

Micah loved his new blocks.  They sort of distracted him from all of Calvin’s cool new toys.

Then we surprised Calvin with presents. He thought all the presents under the tree were for other people, so that rocked his world. The gift that left him bouncing around the house the rest of the day was his new spider man costume.

We consumed candy for lunch. Except Micah and me, he had crackersi had pickles.

I put a ham in the oven and mixed up some frosting and let the sugar fest begin:

Sugar cookies, then we decorated our gingerbread house. 

Which brought about more bouncing off the walls.

We skyped with our family.

Had some ham sandwiches for dinner and went to bed.
It was a beautiful day. 
One we’ll remember forever.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Father Freeze's Gift

Father Freeze, local version of Santa Clause was part of Calvin’s school performance and of course he brought each of the kids a present.

This is what he brought to all the boys in Calvin’s preschool class.

Yep, a gun.

At least it's not an automatic, although it does say sniper on the front of the box.

What are the chances of preschools in the states giving these to all the little boys this year?  I’m guessing the odds are pretty slim.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cute Little Snowmen

Calvin’s preschool had their New Year’s party this week and this year all the little boys had to dress up as snowmen, the girls got to be princesses.  A friend finally spotted a snowman costume at the market so we had to make a trip there after preschool one day to scoop one up.  I am so thankful I found one, I had no idea how to sew this crazy rendition of a snowman.

As part of the culture children’s concerts usually involve lots of singing, dancing, reciting of poems, drama and gifts for children.  It was so fun to watch his first real school program.  A weird sort of mama pride swells up in you as you watch your child clap, stomp, spin and sing.  That was very unexpected for me.  It was a very cute performance.

I’ll be honest I was very nervous for Calvin to recite his poem.  He knew it but I also know how shy he gets in front of crowds.  This isn’t the greatest video, but here he is quietly reciting his poem, he did it!  

I’m impressed, how many 4 year olds in America have to recite poems in front of a room full of people?  But everyone one of his classmates had a poem to recite and they were all different.  I have to come clean because this is the first poem I’ve had to memorize in a LONG time.  If you are curious his poem was about a Father bringing home a tree and how fluffy and fragrant it was, and in the end the Mother quickly decorated it.

Here is one last video of his performance.  This song was about a Rabbit and a wolf.  Adorable.  See if you can spot our “Snegavik”.  (Snowman.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Actually…..(don’t you just love it when that word comes out of a little kids mouth?)

Calvin’s recently added “Also” to his common speech. 
Here’s today’s conversation.
“You can either choose to have a cookie with M&Ms later or have M&Ms now and no cookie later.

“Okay I’m choosing to have a cookie later, and also M&Ms now.”
I tell you this kid’s on the road to becoming a lawyer.

He often changes his “remind”.

We’re still working on the polite way to say a few things,
For instance he’ll stay “Don’t you want to play games with me?” Instead of “Do you want?”

And when given a compliment he’ll say, “Yea I know.”

When he started school I made him a little draw string bag to keep his P.E. clothes in, and I told him it was for P.E. and he said, “Mommy I have to pee in there?”

He often requests, “scrambled toast.”  Any guesses what that may be?

This request is usually followed up by this, “You know the one with the powdered sugar on the top.”

Yep French Toast, although I think I like scrambled toast better, it may just be known as scrambled toast forever in our house.

When we race he tries to get to "basement" before you do.

There are so many things about this age I just don't ever want to forget.  This parenting stuff is tough some days but other days a simple "I love you mommy" makes up for all those tough days.  It's so worth it.  This little guy is just too special.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

our Jesse Tree

Marvin made our Jesse tree this year, and did a fabulous job.  It’s one of only a few ideas I found on pinterest that we didn’t have to modify in the slightest, what’s more basic than branches?  
Calvin’s loved the stories every night, and it was fun for him to guess which story it would be,it really helped to grab his attention.

We’ve enjoyed Ann’s version this year.  Last year we used a guide that had A LOT of scripture, while this was good for Marvin and me it was too much for a certain little boy.

I'm excited that this little tradition will help us focus our hearts to anticipate the real reason we celebrate each year.
Kathy we love, love, love our advent calender.  Calvin particularly loved watching Mary & Joseph move along the numbers.  Thank you so much for all the work you put into making it for us, it will be treasured for years to come.
 **For those of you who are unfamiliar with a Jesse Tree, each day of advent you travel through a different old testament story with the anticipation of a the promised Savior, and ending with the birth of the long awaited one.    It's been such a blessing to our family.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

2 months later

I generally try to keep our house picked up, although it’s a constant job with Micah around.  Since we have people in our home every week, and we have a small space, a small mess looks like a big mess.  So I’m trying new things that may help my housekeeping endeavors, like putting things away after I use them, probably not new to most of you but something I’m not so great at doing. 

This is not a big deal for some things, but certain things are a big problem for me, like all the clothes I tried on and decided against wearing, or my craft closest madness.

Now our bed has to be cleared every night before bed so that one is taken care of eventually, but my craft closet has been sometimes stuffed full of randomness, and disarray, since I can close the door and nobody can see it.

So I’ve decided to try to keep it tidy.  I added a project basket, which honestly has helped so much to reduce the chaos.  So the first picture of my craft closet was after some organization a couple months ago.  Thankfully Marvin came home right as I was putting the last things in, but he did get the full report of how there was fabric EVERYWHERE, from a little Mr. Calvin.


Here it is this morning. I just opened the door and snapped the picture.

I feel like I’m making progress.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with silly things like this?

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Mega Carrots

It’s not uncommon to find carrots this size in our part of the world.

That’s right one of them is 3 inches wide.  These were a bit bigger when I bought them as they were caked with dirt, but after a lot of scrubbing this is what I found.  I generally avoid carrots this size and try to pick out the smaller ones because honestly when they get this big they don’t have much taste, but these surprised me.  They were amazingly sweet, much like the carrots from the bazaars in Turkey.  They were worth the work to scrub them, now the question is will the next bunch I buy be just as good?  It’s always a tossup.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

Calvin is the perfect age to rediscover the wonder of Christmas I love it.  He looked like a pro decorating the tree and he really did a good job.  Since the initial decorating we had to do a little rearrangement due to the youngest member of our family.  He’s pretty thrilled over all the new things as well.  Unfortunately he loves to taste the decorations and try to unplug and plug in the lights. that’s been keeping me busy as well as him him scaling things. 

We had been given some static cling window d├ęcor things, which Mr. Calvin was in love with.  He was excited to decorate his windows in his room.  He almost used every single one, but when he ran out of room he decided he better put a few in the living room.  He sure doesn’t understand the term, less is more.  He’s more of a “go big or go home” kind of guy.

We’re enjoying this season.  I hope you are too.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


We had a great Thanksgiving, it was very low key, but we did enjoy a fabulous meal with our team, just a day early.  I decided to try to pick up my list that I started well over a year ago.  There are simply too many gifts in our lives to not write them down.

#136 Two little boys on my lap
#137 Surprise Snowstorms
#138 Watching big fat snowflakes flutter through the air.
#139 hearing the laughter of children sledding outside
#140 A warm and toasty apartment
#141 Finding tortillas at the grocery store
#142 Also finding saltine crackers at the grocery store.
#143 The sounds of legos clinking
#144 squeals of delight and the pitter patter of little toes when I get home from class.
#145 Fresh roasted pumpkin
#146 Little Friends Birthdays to celebrate
#147 Creating for birthdays
#148 Pumpkin Pie
$149 Football Games on the Weekend
#150 Sleeping through the night
#151 Snuggly little boys
#152 Books before bedtime
#153 a Van that makes a big shopping trip possible
#154 a working elevator in our building
#155 Stopping to chat with our neighbors each day
#156 Sipping tea with friends
#157 Seedless Grapes
#158 Finding hard apples to make applesauce
#159 A pampered chef gadget that makes making applesauce a breeze
#160 Filling canning jars with deliousness
#161 A quiet house
#162 Being able to watch a movie in this language and actually understand it
#163 Finding treasures in Calvin’s pockets every day.
#164 The simplicity and wonder of the surroundi1ng world from the view of a child
#165 Running water
#166 The promises of Jesus
#167 Seeing Family and friends via skype
#168 A Sleeping toddler filling up your arms
#169 Excitement over Christmas
#170 Sledding with Friends
#171 Giving