New "Gwasses!"

 Finally pictures are up and running! I didn’t blog yesterday because I was struck down with a nasty sickness. Ben had to take over with the kiddos and even made a delicious chicken noodle soup for dinner!

It’s one of a few meals he can make well:)

I was experimenting with the camera today, trying to get shots of Little Miss, while she took pictures with “her” camera. i.e. our old camera that got water spilled on it. Here she is being a little ham:)

I can’t remember if I blogged about E’s new glasses much. We picked up her glasses on our way to Ohio last week. It was so amazing~ she willingly put them on and just blinked and looked around from left to right. Then a beaming smile spread across her sweet face and she exclaimed, “New gwasses! Like new gwasses!” She didn’t stop smiling for so long and it brought tears to our eyes to see her joy.

This new prescription is working wonders! Her eyes are almost perfect all the time! There is a slight turn occasionally with her eye but the glasses correct it immediately. They are SO much better than her old prescription and the joy on her face as she looked around in them will stay in our thankful hearts forever. What a gift!

She’s our darling girl!

Christmas

My boys are a bit unusual, in that they don’t ask for a whole lot for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a reprieve from, “Can I have that?! or “Can we buy that, plleeeeeaaaaassseee?”

But it’s also strange. I remember sitting with the JCPenney catalog at my Grandma’s house and spending the longest time picking out which special toys I wanted. Not that I remember getting any of the stuff I marked……hmmm.

Anyways, it makes it hard to come up with a small list for anyone who asks! I tend to buy things they need or toys that I hope will last a long time and not be “yesterday’s smash hit” in 3 months and relegated to the shelves.

On Black Friday, I’d say my favorite place we went was to Once Upon A Child! They were offering 20% off of everything; a better deal than any of the other lame-o stores. I got a few clothes for my ever-growing Samuel and then I found the greatest deal!

A huge Lincoln Log set for only $10!!!

Eliana and I got it out today and counted the pieces. 263 pieces!! Do you have any idea how much lincoln log cost?? I figure if the boys don’t end up playing with it, I can always turn around and sell it for a whole lot more than I bought it on ebay. Good deal!

Another reason I am glad that the boys aren’t begging for lots of things is because I want them (and me!) to keep the real meanings of Christmas in mind. Not to be bamboozled and wowed by all the things that we just have to have. I mean, apparently every child and their brother is asking for an ipad this Christmas or new phones, or gaming systems or other crazy stuff. We don’t have a money tree in the backyard and I don’t want my kids thinking “getting stuff” is what it’s all about. I want them to have good memories and get some things they want and I know the people who love them get pleasure out of giving them gifts. Goodness, I love giving gifts!!

I just hope we can find a good way to give this Christmas. To honor the One whom this season is really all about. To keep the focus on Jesus, on loving the people around us and spending time with our family.

We’re right back to the grind of things here. Ben was up and out by 6:30 this morning to catch the train and the kiddos and I scrambled to jump back into the school routine. It always takes a few days to get everything put away from traveling and into their rightful places.

Somehow, though, our things always multiply when traveling and it takes me awhile to figure out where everything should go! We are going to haul out our Christmas decorations on Friday and have a little Christmas party. Music, homemade pizza and cookies, The Grinch and tree decorating! The boys are pretty excited:)

Here’s last year’s tree decorating. Nothing like decorating in your pj’s and underwear! ha!

Oh, and look how little Miss E was! Wow. She has enjoyed seeing some Christmas lights on the houses in our neighborhood. It will be fun to have her take part in the festivities this year! Even if that means taking on and off ornaments and making more mess than help:) It’s fun having children around to bring new life to traditions and such joy to the simplest of tasks.

I hope to have new pictures up soon~just waiting on a camera part. I miss taking pictures!

In a nutshell.

Traveling to be with family.

Hearing the laughter and giggles from the kiddos.

Allowing myself to finally listen to Christmas music!

Noise.

Kisses and hugs from loved ones.

Shopping on Black Friday.

Giving thanks for God’s goodness.

Invitations to stay with family next month.

Victory over Michigan.

Images tucked away of love, family, laughter, memories.

New beginnings and miracles.

Good eating and Game playing!

Busy Days!

I am so thankful that we came “Home” this year for Thanksgiving. It’s been a really special week and busy, too. We have a whole bunch of tired peeps over here!

Tonight we had a dinner to say goodbye to those heading out of town and filled with leftovers and the party ended quickly when the babies said, “Enough!” It’s been so tiring for the adults, let alone the little kiddos.

This morning, at 4 am, my mom, 2 of my sisters, my aunt, cousin, grandma and I got up and did a little Black Friday shopping. It was so weird because there were NO lines whatsoever! All the kooks (sorry if that was you!!) went out last night apparently and everyone else must’ve thought the deals were gone and didn’t go out.

We didn’t think the deals at any of the stores were particularly good this year but we still enjoyed a few stores and our annual breakfast meet at Panera:)

Tomorrow we watch the final Buckeye game with family and then we head home! Back to cold weather, school and regular busy life. I do love this time of year though. Extra time with those we love. Priceless to me and even more valued after all these years of living away.

However, after 4 thanksgiving dinners/lunches 2 days in a row…..I think I’m all turkeyed out…..

OH! IO!

We made it safe and sound to Ohio tonight! It was a fairly uneventful trip, with not too much traffic. We stopped on the way out of Chicago to pick up Eliana’s new glasses! It would’ve just melted your heart to see her. She willingly let me put them right on and looked all around like, “Whoa!” She got the biggest smile on her face and kept saying, “Like it, new glasses. Like it!”

She is so sweet. Love that she can see! And the best part is that so far, we are noticing NO eye turn at all!! Hopefully this full-strength prescription will do the trick. Yea.

The boys are having a tough time settling in tonight, getting used to a new place and new noises, etc. We are staying with my Grandparents this time, which is new.

So excited to spend time with our families this week!

Whirlwind!

Today was a whirlwind of a day! The boys were up bright and early, helping me clean for some friends who came to play this morning. They were hard at work, scrubbing the kitchen floor, cleaning up their room…..Samuel had a rough attitude on Saturday when I made them clean and was much better today, although later he complained that it was such a boring weekend, full of cleaning. I said, “I’m not the only one who makes a mess around here and it’s only fair that we all pitch in and help. Plus, did you not enjoy having your friends over today?”

I got a reluctant yes. I must be the wicked stepmother, forcing these poor, unappreciated children to clean! 🙂

I had to keep Eliana up from her nap because we had parent-teacher conferences today. She was SO tired by the time they rolled around. I originally scheduled them during naptime, thinking Ben would be home with her, but forgot he would be attending the last day of conferences today. Sigh.

We got glowing reports on the boys!! Both are scoring really high on the testing (Illinois test they take fall/spring each year) and are really well-liked by their classmates and teachers. That’s really, really nice to hear!

We went straight from conferences to the library to get some books for our trip to OH tomorrow and on to fill up our gas tank before heading off to basketball practice. Eliana fell sound asleep on the way to basketball, so another mom walked the boys in so I could sit in the car with her for awhile.

She was out cold! She woke up grumpy and had an early bedtime tonight!

The boys just love basketball. The coach always compliments their athleticism, which I tell him they did NOT get from their mama! I am not known for my gracefulness…

All people under the age of 30 are snoozin’ in bed and my dear husband is finally home from this grueling weekend. Off to pack and get ready for Turkey Day!