Saturday, April 28, 2012

Already?

 Aaron, Christmas 2005
 Christmas 2006


I was not prepared for the very matter-of-fact conversation I just had with my six-year-old Aaron.  It was a rare moment of just me and him in the car. It went a little something like this:
A:  Mommy, tell me the truth, is Santa Claus real or do you and daddy just put out the gifts on Christmas morning?
Me:  Why don't we wait to get home and see what Daddy thinks?  trying to change subject multiple times...
A:  No, I really want to hear the whole truth right now.  I have been curious ever since I could walk & talk and have been wanting to ask you for years now. I am more curious than most other 6-year-old, you know.  (yes, we know.)
Me:  What do you think?  What if the answer isn't has fun as believing in Santa?  
A:  I want the truth.  You said I can always ask you anything and you will tell me the truth.
Me: (Pulling over to the side of the road at this point).  Okay, yes it is mommy & daddy that put out your presents.  Santa is just a fun, make-believe thing at Christmas.
Aaron:  I thought so!  I have been thinking that well, ever since, well I was 3 and 4 and 5 years old!  I just never wanted to ask you, but well a girl at school told another girl at school back at Christmas time that it was the parents that did the gifts so I have been DOUBLE curious since then.
Me:  You okay?  It was fun to play along wasn't it?
Aaron:  Yeah, well if you & daddy buy the gifts why didn't you get me that Kung Fu Panda collection I asked for at Christmas?

Sheesh!  This was followed by a big discussion on money, time, element of surprise, etc. Also, insert big speech on not ruining the Christmas fairytale for younger siblings or friends here as well.  Aaron seemed quite proud of himself to know the truth.  And well, me and Scott feel like our little boy is just vanishing before our eyes.  It just seems way too young for this magical part of his childhood to be over.  He is already asking if he can help us set out the gifts this next Christmas.  We know, as does Aaron, that Santa is by no means the reason we celebrate Christmas or even give gifts - we always talk about how Jesus was the very best Christmas gift ever.  But we were not quite ready to have such a grown up conversation with our curious little boy either.  We know he will take his role of keeping the Santa secret safe quite seriously and have no worries about him spilling the beans to Caleb.  Nor if he did, do we have any worries of Caleb actually believing him.  Nor does it really matter that strongly to us that our kids "believe" in Santa. We want them to believe in the Giver of all good gifts - that Jesus Christ is The Way, THE TRUTH and The Life.  And that is where my conversation with Aaron ended, he blessed my soul and said "Well, at least I KNOW Jesus is NOT a fairytale!"  And that is most certainly the truth.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"My Baseball Party"

This was the easiest family photo - the kids were so happy to have all five of us with the black under our eyes that they happily posed with us to document the moment.  
Baseball decor ideas abound online - this would be cute for a baby boy shower also.
  My sister-in-law is a talented graphic designer so it was neat to have custom printables - thank you!
 Okay - Caleb was insistent that he have a baseball cake.  He saw a pic of one his Aunt Gloria had done and wanted the same thing.  I am proud to say that Scott did most of the cake work!
 Grammy ran the tattoo and black eye lines booth - Leah had sleeve tattoos by the end of the party... we might should be a a bit concerned about that...
 Menu was pure concessions - hot dogs, nachos, soft pretzels, popcorn and big pickles.

 Kids all enjoyed the baseball throw.
 Super easy cupcakes

 What would a baseball party be without a baseball pinata...
 Love this boy!
 The Cotton Candy was also a big hit!
 This is the shirt that Caleb will be living in for the next year apparently.  He insists on wearing it all the time! The boy LOVES baseball & has some impressive skills for sure!
 
For about a year now, all we have been hearing about from Caleb is “my baseball party.”   Yes, he has been planning his 4th birthday party in detail, down to the colors and guest list.  This past weekend we finally had the long awaited baseball party and it was a… wait for it… a hit, a home run, a grand slam, insert other happy baseball descriptive word here!   This was a super fun and easy theme to “run” with and Caleb had a blast!  So hard to believe our baby boy is four! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Denny's Day

The Denny's crew
Self-declared big girl.


For several years now, Saturday mornings have been known as "Denny's Day" at our household. Every Saturday at 9:00am, Scott and the boys meet up with Scott's almost 92 year-old Papaw at our local Denny's restaurant. Joining them is usually Scott's dad, brother, nephews, uncle or cousins. All in all, most Saturdays there are four generations of Scott's family represented. Rarely is the whole crew all there at the same time with ball game schedules, out-of-town travels, etc. but usually there is a family member (or 8) ready and happy to meet up with Papaw each Saturday. It is a great tradition and very special to be able to do with Papaw. For the first year of Leah's life, Denny's Days were MY special time - Scott would leave with the boys, Leah would go down for her morning nap and I would do something remarkable like a take a non-rushed shower or read. Lately, Denny's Days have consisted of Leah screaming when the boys left the house over the injustice of it all, and me coming up with some outing (ie: Walmart) to do with Leah so she would feel like she got to go somewhere. THIS Saturday was a big rite of passage as Leah had her first Denny's day. She was beyond happy and so proud of her accomplishment of being a big girl. I went with them to assist, but she and the boys did so well that I think Scott should be taking all three by himself soon... hint, hint, hint. She colored on the kid's menu, ate 4 pieces of toast, lots of sausage, and gave Papaw repeated hugs & grins. Papaw declared her invited back at any time and said that Denny's was not just for boys. :) It was a morning to remember for sure.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Parties

Aaron's kindergarten egg hunt
Caleb's reaction to having Aaron visit his class.
Caleb enjoying his banana split.
Leah walking out to her class' egg hunt
"Mo!!!!!!" (More) Leah's Egg Hunt chant

All 3 kids had Easter parties at their schools on Thursday, all within 2 hours of each other. First stop was Aaron's in a park near the elementary school. It was fun to be at his party, but he was mostly excited about our plan to check him out of school early for the day so that he could go to his siblings' parties with me. So off we went to Caleb's party - we missed his egg hunt but got there in time for his class' banana split treat. He was very happy to have us watch him eat his treat and even more happy to see his big brother. Then off we went to Leah's class. The girl has this egg hunt thing down. Every time she would see an egg, she would point like a pointer dog and yell "Mo!!!!" (more) and RUN and grab it. She was not fooled like many other 1-year-olds by getting distracted by finding out was in the egg right then; no, our baby girl has 2 big brothers and has masted the art of taking and grabbing quite proficiently. It is such a blessing to be able to be at each child's party. I think we had about 4 more egg hunts before the weekend ended but I will spare pics from each and every one.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Photo Shoot

Get ready for photo overload - these were just too special not to share them all! I am having trouble deciding which ones to print.

LOVE the colors in Leah's Easter dress this year! She will be wearing this lots all summer long!
We went to the field for the purple flowers, Aaron is the one who found this great spot of mixed colors - made for very pretty photos.

Which one to make a 8x10 ... I can't decide.

Love Caleb & Leah's hands holding each other's in this!
This is the "real" way it went with all 3 - they weren't being ugly but definitely messing with each other! Love this one too!

Caleb has entered the cheesy smile phase but it is really pretty cute! He was cracking us up!

So grown up looking and acting these days!
Below: Shot of typical Aaron with his exploring backpack and typical Caleb having to run while holding his pants up! :)
Our little Leah trying to keep up with the big boys. :)

We had a casual photo-shoot with cousins here this past weekend in a nearby field. Aunt Merydwen served as photographer and did a fabulous job! Thank you! While these are not traditional bluebonnet pics, we thought the mixed field of wildflowers was too pretty to pass up (and much safer than hanging out on the side of the road). I love this pics for so many reason - 1) how great is it to already have good pics of them in their Easter outfits?! Now we can go all Easter Sunday without "forcing" them to pose for pics 2) these kids are beyond precious 3) it was stress-free photo shoot and the kids were all genuinely happy - the cousins on-hand definitely helped with that! Aaron has always been our most difficult to pose but not in nature. He even took his trusty exploring backpack with him to bring home any nature samples. Love that boy's passion for nature!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Walk About

Walking in the hills pushing a double stroller has got to count as double the workout!
Our street.
Very common to see deer on our walks.
End of our street. Popular deer hang out.
My favorite scenery on our walks has got to be these baby blues!

Lately to convince the kids to go for walks, I have taken my camera along so that we can take pics of all the wildlife we find. I am reminded yet again what a beautiful town we live in. Our neighborhood alone gives us just a glimpse of it all, and our nature-loving Aaron is always quick to point it all out. I hope it never becomes common or ordinary for him. We are so very blessed and serve an amazing Creator. We also love that living in such a scenic town makes for lots of house-guests. We love having company and our friends have an open invitation - summer is our busy season with guests so book early! :) We are near San Antonio so always happy to meet up with friends there too!

On another nature note, spring has sprung! After the severe drought last year, we weren't sure if any of our newly planted landscaping and grass would survive. We planted our one and only tree in our new backyard last July. We didn't think it stood a chance. Lo and behold, it has started showing signs of life and blooms more every day! There is a sermon in this somewhere.

Jeremiah 17:7-9

7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”