The Elf on the Shelfmade his appearance this morning. The boys were VERY excited. I think this is going to work out well! The difficult part came when we had to name him. You can tell I have a house full of boys when some suggestions were "Blaster" and "Ironhide" (from Transformers.) I was trying to guide them toward naming him after one of their favorite saints, or Caspar, the name of one of the three wisemen. After many silly and unacceptable names, we agreed on Luke. They, of course, used the name from Star Wars while I could accept it because it is still the name of a saint. We shall see how long Luke's presence leads to good behavior, hopefully it will last until Christmas!
Today marks the first day of Advent. I love this season. We decorated our house yesterday. I have been sick and felt awful but tried to get in the Christmas spirit, I think I failed most of the time! The boys are very excited about Christmas this year. I am finding it difficult to find a balance between celebrating the secular holiday (Santa, elves, stockings, Rudolph etc.) and the real reason for the season; the birth of Jesus. Does anyone else have to continue to remind their kids about "the Jesus part" of Christmas? I want them to enjoy Santa and all of the things that go along with that, but ultimately I want them to know that Jesus' birth should be our main focus. This is one reason why I love Advent. I am going to be doing some Advent activities with the boys, we have a wreath and calender and we may be doing a Jesse Tree this year. I am subscribing to the Advent Adventures, which should help give me some ideas to have the boys grow in their faith in addition to enjoying the fun of Santa. How do you help keep your kids in the "right" spirit during the holidays?
FYI Moms! These websites Baby Stealsand Kid Steals are a great place to check daily for money-saving deals. You can sign up for daily emails to let you know what the deal is. They do sell out fast so you usually need to check them early :-)
Oliver has needed his 1st haircut for awhile, but I kept putting it off. It is really hard to cut a 7 month old's hair! By the way, what is with my baby's orange nose?! Henry had this too. I try to cut back on the sweet potatoes and carrots but it doesn't help. It must be because they have such fair skin?
This received rave reviews from some of my mom friends and is a really cute way to get your kids to behave during the Christmas season. I told my boys Santa was sending one of his elves on the first Sunday of Advent. The elf comes to stay at your house during the weeks preceding Christmas. Your kids name him and are allowed to talk to him, but not touch him. Every night, he reports back to Santa about the kids' behavior. When he comes back he moves somewhere different in your house. The kids can talk to him, but he is under strict orders NOT to talk to them. We've had some attitude problems in our house lately and I am hoping that this will help with an adjustment! Maybe a simple "THE ELF IS WATCHING YOU" will make life more peaceful? This is the website if you are interested in having an elf come stay with you!
'Tis the season for thanksgiving. Joseph, my oldest son, has been bringing home many different activities that require him to list what he is thankful for. The most recent were leaves on which he needed to write things for which he was thankful. His first, immediate, response was "I'm thankful for my baby brother." I was so touched by his answer! If you don't know Joseph, he tends to be a little selfish at times and is REALLY into his toys. I completely expected his first answer to be Legos! Isn't it great when you have those tiny "I must be doing something right" moments?! When he said that he was thankful for Oliver, I remembered that quote that I hear so often "the greatest gift you can give your children is a sibling." I have found this to be true in my family. My boys, though they do fight, are learning patience, charity, selflessness and many other virtues by dealing with their brothers. I often need to remind myself about this when things get a little crazy in my house. I have been reflecting on this a lot lately, as I see my neighbors and relatives' children growing up. I know that in the moment, I can get stressed out and overwhelmed, but I also know that this time is fleeting. Sometimes, people think we are crazy for wanting more kids, but I know that I am blessed that God has given me these three little boys to help form into good men. I am so happy that my kids seem to realize that they are blessed too.
I have been bugging my husband to buy me a pair of diamond solitaire earrings for awhile. Whenever he asks me what I want for a gift, and usually when he isn't asking, I mention this. Well I think my boys have been listening! Yesterday, Henry's friend gave him two pennies. While we were in the van, waiting for Joseph to come out of school, Henry said "Here Momma, you can have my two pennies because I know you really want a diamond. You can buy a diamond with my money for your birthday." He was so sweet and he really meant it! I think I need to stop talking about my diamond earrings in front of my boys, and my husband probably wishes I would stop talking about it in front of him too!
So, in case you didn't know, I have a food blog too. My husband and I really love to cook and to eat! I happen to really enjoy baking too. I recently mentioned how much I like King Arthur Flour on my blog and they sent me a bag of flour. SWEET! Thanks King Arthur! Like I have said before, I am VERY frugal, I will take anything if it is free! They also sent me a catalog. HELLO?! Where have I been? They have the best variety of baking tools, food, and mixes, I have ever seen. I was so impressed with it, I don't even know where to begin to figure out what I want to order first. So, if you are a baker, check out this website King Arthur Flour, or even better, order the catalog.