Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Because I am in the midst of trying to mail out Christmas cards this post really spoke to me on simplifying. While I love both the sending and the receiving of cards (because I'm a bit extroverted and love connecting) I thought this lady's thoughts were really good to read in the midst of the process. And the following quote relates to so much more than sending (or not sending)/receiving cards:
I will assume my friends will be understanding and gracious, and they will still like me, even without cards. Benefit of the doubt is a gracious gift: it makes it so much easier to live with others. When you give benefit of the doubt to others, you are saying, "I am looking at the best in you.""I am looking at the best in you"...I love that line.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Yesterday we were really impressed by the Build & Grow program at Lowe's. Our kids were able to participate and build (from wood) gingerbread houses. Your child gets goggles, an apron, a badge for that day, and the project kit for that day. On future visits (they offer programs 2x/month) your child can earn additional badges to add to the apron for every workshop they complete. And, I would have to say that this is a pretty foolproof program...Tom was traveling this weekend so I took all 4 kids by myself (with no idea this would involve hammers and nails). I was proud of the boys for completing their projects by themselves...and impressed with Lowe's for designing real projects that teach building skills yet remain age appropriate. Isaac enjoyed his sucker immensely during all the pounding and banging...when he decided to start exploring under the table, fortunately the boys were almost through and we were able to make a quick escape before bringing down the store.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
You ask what I am doing to celebrate advent? I'm searching for Jesus. Every day. Literally. We have a nativity that has a minute sized Jesus that is removable from it's manger and can be placed in Mary's open arms. This nativity set is plastic and made for children to manipulate. While last year the thought of Jesus possibly being a choking hazard was an issue...this year we are passed that stage. Little Isaac is obsessed with finding Jesus each morning upon waking. Usually he gets placed in the other nativity...but sometimes he goes missing. Hence my searching. Although it initially amused me greatly...it also packed a punch. Am I searching for Jesus? Am I helping my children develop skills to strengthen faith or hinder it? So I am thankful for my daily (or multiple times a day) reminder to stop and look for Jesus.
These pictures are not complete (hopefully I'll be back to add more later) as I was using our old camera (remember "rolls" of film!) for most of the trip. We got a new camera (yeah!) at a Black Friday sale....only to be disappointed greatly in it's performance (to be returned)...and my sister offered to gift us with her old one (yeah again). So the pictures I have are from the one day I used it on vacation and show our visit with Krys & Jeff.
Tom and I completed a 6 mile run Thanksgiving morning, making that officially a new annual tradition for us (began last year). What fun to run together...something we are never able to do...through beautiful pennsylvanian snowy woods. Unfortunately I still managed to eat enough to gain weight over the holidays. But I'm still workin' at it...down 17 lbs. from when we started...with a long ways to go.
We enjoyed congregating with lots and lots of relatives. My mom's family is a living testament to family ties and enveloping love. So fun to bring our kids home to be with all of them.
A quick drive down to West Virginia allowed us to spend the night with Jamey & Cara and kids. It is so funny how we've been friends for so long now that we inevitably tell the same stories when we are together...they only seem to make us laugh harder. The boys are so into football, the girls so girly...and Isaac and Karis just can't seem to keep their clothes on around each other (see here). I know, I know...this could be a problem.
We were so surprised by Beth making an extreme effort to fly from TX to be with us. Amy & Steve coordinated their flights to come in at the same time. Unfortunately Beth's luggage is L-O-S-T as in not yet found (have you even heard of that before?)! Beth did a lot of soul searching that week and made the huge decision (that we are so excited for her about) to move to Denver, Colorado in the new year, pending her house sale. She is a fantastic nurse practitioner that either hospital is lucky to have. We are already dreaming about camping in the Rockies with her (the boys thought the decision was a no-brainer). While at my mom's I reveled in her famous french toast, and also enjoyed Amy's dutch babies recipe...I guess we Coleman's know how to do breakfast! Mostly, I delighted in watching our children be loved so richly by those I love so deeply. So much to be thankful for together.
The night before we were to leave, we were able to connect with Tom's sister Krys (on their way back home), her husband Jeff, and their really fun, sweet kids. Becca & Maddie just love each other. Neither of them has any sisters to "get" the whole girl thing...but they surely get it going on when they are together! The pictures will tell more than I could ever say...