For the last year we have written down our memorable moments and added them to our memory jar. We can’t wait to sit down on this New Year’s Eve and read through them all. It is full of many happy moments, a few sad ones, some big milestones the kids have made and some letters with encouraging words from friends and family. I love to think back on this last year and read the reminders of a new family friendship that blossomed and be reminded of the amazing experiences we shared together on a small farm in South Carolina. I love to be reminded of the experiences etched into my kids hearts and minds as we watched them grow and learn. I love to remember God’s provision over our situations and see how he carried us through to this new year. We have so much to be thankful for in this last year. I can’t wait for our night to be flooded with that very thought.
And Happy 13th Birthday Mera!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We hope many joyous memories were made for you this year!
We love being in the great outdoors, so much so that cold blooded Radford motivated us to get up and go hiking Saturday morning in chilly temperatures. It was a blast. While Mera was giddily frolicking ahead of us, Luna was right at our heals either looking up at us or whining to get in the warmth of someone’s coat. And pretty sure Mcree might be at the limit for the kid backpack but he much prefers it and pretty sure if we let him walk the path on his own we would still be bribing him to walk faster. I especially love watching the boys be boys in the freedom of the wilderness.
As I sit here in my sun drenched comfy chair waiting for my cup of hot tea to finish brewing while smiling at the truth in the country music playing in the background, I am overcome by the feeling of richness. Life seems so meaningful these days and I have savored every minute of our sweet family time.
For several years my dad used to get sentimental and tell us that he was sure it was his last Christmas. We never believed his dramatic comments and thankfully he is still here to celebrate life with. But now as I watch my children excited about the twinkling lights, the presents, and trying to help them fully understand that God sent his son Jesus to save us, I find myself overwhelmingly grateful for this life I have been given. I am pretty sure my dad’s statement was less of him thinking he was leaving this earth and more of him thinking it doesn’t get any better than this moment right here. It sure doesn’t.
Every Christmas is a little different and although I wish there were more family here, I am so thankful for our sweet family of 4 and the memories being made.
Photos Include: a ferry ride to see the gingerbread villages and playing on river street (when a pirate showed up).
things to challenge their strength
places to be loud
things to jump off of
an animal to care for
permission to get dirty
free to be barefoot
a hug when they get hurt
someone to watch and cheer at their dare devil stunts
something to swing a sword at
a stick, a rope, and space to run wild
This pretty much sums up play in our front yard every day!
Other fun adventures this week include:
Going to see day old piglets at the farm
Reacquainting with the rooster named Gressett
A ferry ride and visit to see the gingerbread villages
Sharing Christmas with the Farmers and sharing the English cracker (crown) tradition
Multiple play dates at parks in town
Eating home-made pumpkin cheesecake
And hanging out in the boys room with their new bunk beds
There are so many reasons for this sweet little addition to our family. Luna is a mix between an Australian Shepherd (Mom) and an Australian Blue Heeler (Dad) (aka Cattle Dog). We drove out to what seemed like the middle of nowhere Georgia to a home tucked away off a dirt road to meet her. We prepared Gress that we may not leave with a dog (yeah right). When we drove up there was a sign hanging between 2 posts that read Oasis and there we met lots of cats and some beautiful dogs (German Shepherd, Aussies, Blue Heelers and mixes of them all.) The family knew we were most interested in a female puppy and since they only had one female left, they brought her to us and she immediately laid her head in my lap. SOLD!
She is 11 weeks old today and she is oh so sweet. After watching Gress with all the many animals at the farm and recently the kittens, I knew this was going to be special to him. He has taken such ownership of her and is in the process of teaching her how to be potty trained. He (and she) are doing great! Now if he could just remember her name. Mcree just say’s “hold puppy, hold puppy” and sits down for his turn.
If we were trying to add a little adventure back into our lives, I think this pretty much covers it for awhile.
I sometimes get to the end of the week and wonder where the week went. I keep reminding myself to savor these moments…they surely are fleeting.
We are excited our friend’s farm has moved to Savannah. Pregnant pigs, 70+ chickens, a herd of cats, multiplying bunnies, and lots of truck loads full of stuff….they are finally here. Gress and I have had to force ourselves to not go there every day. Gress’ new favorite thing to do is love on the new kittens and walk by the pond. The farm is one big playground for the boys. It is beautiful and I can’t wait to see the farmers make it come alive.
Mcree had his 2 year old check up this last week. He is growing like a champ. He was all smiles, even while he got his shots. I love this sweet boy. We chatted all the way to the Dr’s office and back. I love my one on one time with him and am really going to try and schedule more of that.
I always used to hear that kids aren’t learning as much in school as the holidays approach. Or maybe I am just convincing myself of that as I get less creative and want to play more during this time. This week we used some math time to count by tens the hundreds of little people we once used for our companies advertising campaign. They are now sorted and bagged and ready to be sold thanks to Gress. We also got a new toy thanks to our neighborhood garage sale. It was quite a bargain and Gress has already logged hours of play on it.
Not sure all my gifts are bought or my Christmas plans are all in place and my cards definitely aren’t even sent yet but somehow it doesn’t really matter compared to what this season is meant to be about.
Most nights we gather round as a family before the boys bedtime and we read Little House on the Prairie. We have been reading this series for months and months and I am not sure who is more excited to hear what happens next in the story…(pretty sure it is tied between Rad and I followed VERY closely by Gress). After each story we all say…”just one more…” and we give in and read well beyond bed time. I often close my eyes and pretend I am there in the log cabin with just a stove to warm me. I can remember watching the shows when I was little and I was excited to find out they are playing on tv right when Mcree goes down for a nap.
So for a few afternoons I have let Gress watch the show. Great idea right? Usually I am busy trying to get the dinner ready and chores completed so it is a great break for Gress to have some chill time…or so I thought. Today he came into the kitchen with tears streaming down his face crying about some sad scene on the show. I gave him a hug and a little while later he told me about some scene and how he would beat up someone if they did that to him. I guess in your adult life you do block out all the bad stuff because I really only remember good things about Little House and the Prairie.
At this point, I decided to come sit down and see for myself. I have to say reading it and watching it are two TOTALLY different experiences. Reading it is much more magical and less relationally dramatic. But what I didn’t consider was the commercials that played in between the show. Pretty sure they are trying to reach ALL demographics with these ads. The first commercial was for Dish Network (and I have to say I kind of tuned it out). Gress spoke up and said, “mom, that dish tv is really great. You can watch all the channels you want and even pay for movies. That dish is great.” Does he even know what he is talking about. Commercial #2 plays and it is for a wheelchair scooter. Gress says, “mom, so if you fall in a few months, like really fall, you can get a scooter.” Great Gress, hopefully I can just stand back up. And then the third commercial comes on. Oh boy. It was for NO NO Hair Removal (electric razor kind of thing). This lady starts rubbing it on her arms and showing how her hair can be removed. Then she says, ” You can use it on your mustache and you won’t have a mustache.” and Gress looks at me with a funny confused look and says, “her mustache mom, her mustache?” And then he asks, mom, “what is a bikini area?” Oh boy. That was it.
No more Little House TV watching for this 5 year old. Good thing there are other exciting things going on, like the bunk beds being complete and 2 little boys sleeping soundly (or so I hope) in them now.
I LOVE …
hearing Gress reminisce about last years memories. I am so thankful we get to carry on traditions year after year. Growing up my mom always made holidays so special and I am glad to share that love with my kids!
I LOVE …
watching ALL my boys play together. Rad plays so differently than I do and I have so much to learn about how boys play!
I LOVE …
seeing my sleepy boys and knowing they had a full day of fun.
I LOVE …
getting to love and take care of my friends (and their kids).
I LOVE …
watching the boys have fun, even if it means messes and dirt and more laundry.
I LOVE …
hearing Gress encourage Mcree to do something he wouldn’t himself dare do, (kissing a statue in a restaurant) and then hearing us all giggle at the silliness of it all.
I LOVE …
these sweet boys are completely different and that I get to experience that day after day.
I LOVE …
all these moments I get to see them grow and learn every day!
I think Mera has decided to stick around for awhile more. MY HEART IS SMILING!!! She FINALLY ate and drank a little (after 4 days of not doing so) and is up and walking around (although it still looks pretty pathetic to see her trip and sway when she walks). She barked at a cat across the street today while laying out on the grass (although didn’t move a muscle to attempt anything further). So glad she is feeling better…my heart was really breaking for her! Love you sweet Mera!! You can follow me around at my heels any day!