Tag Archives: christmas


Meet our Elf, Chippy Booty-Batter.  He came to our house for the first time last Christmas.  He was named Chippy after the elf in the tv show “An Elf’s Story”. We aren’t very original because we literally took the name straight out of the show.  Of course, we had to silly it up a bit and add the last name of Booty-batter (Miller’s idea).

The kids love to find Chippy every morning. We put him in the tree, on top of the refrigerator, in the front hall, and any where else we could find to put him. Some days Chippy didn’t move at all, but that was because Tom and I forgot.  Unlike some elves, our elf doesn’t cause any mischief…that would require too much work on our part.

Some people find it surprising that we have an elf because we don’t do Santa. Years ago I told the kids that Santa wasn’t real. I explained to them that long ago there was a real St.Nick that gave gifts to children but the one in the red suit was just pretend. I couldn’t lie to them, and I didn’t want Santa to get all the glory. I wanted to keep it about Jesus’ birthday.  Faith and Wilson still want to believe in Santa and wish that they didn’t know the truth. I think Wilson is a bit mad a me for telling him. He was kind of “Bah-humbug” and cynical this Christmas, even about Chippy.  In hindsight, I may have stolen some of the fun of Christmas by not doing Santa. We have the tooth fairy in our house, how is that any different? So, now we have an Elf that I use to try to make up for the lack of a magical Santa.  And yes, I lie about Chippy being real.  I have also begun to lie about Santa being real.  Miller asked me the other day if Santa was real. He said, “Santa is real, right Mom? He is real, right?”  I answered with a vague, “Some people think he is real and others don’t.”  Miller insisted, “But he IS real, right mom?”  He said it so sweetly and with such innocent certainty that I agreed.  I have decided that I really can’t win either way.  So I guess I will do it both ways and see how it turns out – an social experiment of sorts.

Either way, Christmas is over and Chippy is back in the North Pole until next year.  So long, Chippy!  Tell Santa that we said, “Hello!”


Christmas came and went very quickly this year.  It seems to happen like that more often than not.  Christmas is two crazy days of church services, gifts and time with family and then it is over. Tom’s dad was with us for Christmas again this year.  We went to Little Church for the Christmas Eve service and had our traditional family picture taken….

 After services Doug came over to help us set up the basketball goal while I stuffed the stockings.  It was great having him over to help. It seemed much more festive.  Here is Doug pretending to slam dunk the ball…

 The kids woke up around 6:00am on Christmas morning (too early) but thankfully they chose to watch tv and eat the candy in their stockings instead of waking us up to open gifts.  This year we adopted the tradition that Tom grew up with – putting the stockings on the kids’ bedroom door knobs. This pacified the kids and gave them something to play with while the parents slept. Brilliant!!  I was able to sleep until 8:00am on Christmas morning.

The boys loved the basketball hoop and it is still sitting in the middle of my living room. (I bet it stays there another week.)

Faith loved her bike with gears, her baby doll stroller and the cheerleader outfit that my mom made for her…. We have always had a rule in our house of “no pets”.  However, Wilson pleaded his case last month on why he should have a fish. I gave in. We now have a beta fish for a pet.  He has yet to be named.  We will see how long he stays around…

 If you haven’t noticed from the pictures yet, we were all wearing shorts on Christmas morning. It was almost 80 degrees outside.  Miller rode his new scooter around with only his pajama pants on (this actually happens more often than not).

 It wouldn’t be Christmas without one of the kids getting upset because they didn’t get the gift that they so desperately desired.  Wilson wanted the Hot Wheels Spin Storm race track. He started crying when he didn’t get it from us so my parents rushed over to give him the gift that they had bought for him – a Hot Wheels track. Christmas was complete! 

The presents were opened and time together was spent.  A successful Christmas and we still have almost a week left of Christmas break.  I wish it could be like this year round.

First day of Christmas Break

I have been looking forward to Christmas vacation ever since Thanksgiving break ended. I have two full weeks with no preschool, no lunches to pack and no 6:30am alarm. Very exciting!!   

My first day vacation was just as I had envisioned it….almost. I slept in until 7:30am (not bad).  Of course, I hadn’t imagined all five of us sleeping in the same bed together, which we did. It was a bit crowded but nice at the same time. 

I let the kids watch tv while I planned out what we were going to eat for the next week. I decided that Christmas break would be a great time to gather recipes and ditch some of the processed food that we have been eating. I even made muffins today. They were delicious (Except faith and wilson would not eat them, of course).

Then Faith and I had some quality girl time together painting our nails and doing my hair.  

 She even squeezed me into one of her bigger dresses. Haha. No picture of that one. 

I painted even painted with Miller and cleaned up a bit – all before 2:00pm.  A full day. The rest of the day was spent sitting in traffic and waiting in lines at Walmart and the post office. Yuck! That was a bit stressful and gave me anxiety. Tomorrow I think I will leave out the last minute shopping and just enjoy another quiet day at home. Ahhhh….vacation. 


Christmas is here!  We have had a wonderful 48 hours together with family.  The kids were so excited.   It was a busy couple of days, but today made it all worth it.  Here are the highlights:

-Tom’s dad arrived Friday and stayed for the week.

-Tom and I decided to demo our master bath and have a friend re-tile the floor and shower while we are in Pennsylvania.  We have been tearing about the bathroom for days and it is finally down to the studs.  I can’t wait to see how gorgeous my new bathroom is going to be.  Don’t worry….there will be a blog post about it.

-Tom and I served/deinered at the Lovefeast on Christmas Eve at Little Church.


Faith and Wilson got to be Mary and Joseph in the church play during the children’s Christmas Eve service….


-Doug, Jacqueline, Gabriel and Shepherd drove down to Charlotte to spend Christmas with us.  The kids were all very excited to be together once again.




Of course, we had to get our family picture next to the Christmas tree after the service…


The kids opened up their gifts on Christmas morning.  We give them each three gifts and a stocking.  Jesus got three gifts and so will they.  :)  Wilson’s big gift was a new scooter, since he was always riding Faith’s pink one.  Miller picked out his own gifts this year and then helped me wrap them.  It was great!  He is so hard to shop for since he doesn’t really play with too many toys.  Miller liked the candy in his stocking the best.  He ate all of it right away.




-Faith got lots of American Girl Doll items for Christmas.  I have had a doll that was given to me years ago stored away for her.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the doll she wanted.  I have known for weeks that this wasn’t the one she wanted but was hoping that it wouldn’t matter once she opened the doll….wrong. Now I am going to sell Ivy (the one on the bottom bunk) and buy the one she wants, Rebecca.  Tomorrow we will be going to the store to get the one she wants – it is Christmas and I want to give her the gift of an American Girl doll that she gets to pick out herself.  Amazingly enough, I put the Ivy doll on Craigslist and eight hours later it was sold.  :)  I love how the Lord just works out all of the details….



-We went to Lisa’s house for Christmas brunch (it is tradition).  I love going over there for breakfast.  That is what really makes it feel like Christmas Day.  Here is the whole gang…



We went to my parent’s house for a steak dinner tonight.  It was delicious and it rounded out the day perfectly.  Christmas is a time for being with loved ones and being thankful for all that the Lord has given us, especially His Son, Jesus.  It is hard to stay focused on what is really important at Christmas time – Jesus’s birthday, but we did it.  Yes, we opened gifts, but they were secondary to the fun that we had together as a family.  I am thankful everyday for the many, many blessings that have been given to me and my family.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Christmas Bears

Today we went to see the singing Christmas bears uptown.  The bears are very slow moving animatronical bears that sing Christmas songs.  We have been going to see them for years. The kids have been talking about going to see them all month, but after we got there the kids were not interested at all.  We watched the bears for a bit and then the kids were off to ride the escalators.  There are three sets of escalators in this one large area and it is too much for little kids to resist.  They had more fun doing this….


Than watching this…..




I, however, had the most fun doing this….IMG_3100.JPG



As tradition has set in place, we take the Lynx (Light Rail) uptown.  It takes just as long to drive to the train’s Park and Ride lot as it would if we just drove uptown, but then we wouldn’t have the fun of riding the train.  The picture says it all…yes, we were the loudest people on the train.IMG_3652.JPG



I am not sure if we will go see the bears again next year.  We probably will, but only for the other superfluous things that go along with the bears, like the train, escalators, drinks and peanuts, and a visit to “the big city”.

Christmas presents

I like to name the top ten presents that the kids receive each year for Christmas. They like them all and they play with them all, but there are always a few that stand out. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Pajama Panchos from Aunt Shelly. These are actually a really funny and useful gift. The kids love them. It is a fleece blanket with a hood in the middle. They each got one: a Thomas the train, a princess and a Spider-Man poncho. They wear them all the time!

2. Pillow Pet Dream Lites – This is a pillow pet that shines stars in the ceiling. Fabulous! Faith already had one and used it frequently so I got one for Miller. He loves it. I turn it on before I turn off the light at bed time, turn off the lights and then he dives in bed. He even carries it around the house.  It also keeps him occupied in the morning which is even better!

3. Roller skates – I bought Faith a pair of purple and white Roller Derby Firestar skates.  She isn’t very good at it yet, but she wears them all of the time.  I don’t remember roller skating being difficult to learn, but it seems that it is.  At least she keeps trying!

4. Little Virtuoso MP3 player and microphone – This was for Miller.  He walks around carrying it and singing very loudly into it.  Tom looked at me last night and said, “Who’s idea was this?!?” (knowing full well it was mine).  He likes it and it gets played with often.

5. Star Wars sheets – Boring gift but totally cool at the same time.  They are very retro.  I bought them at the consignment sale two years ago and have been waiting for Wilson to be old enough before I gave them to him.

6. Helicopter with a remote –  This toy didn’t last very long, but the kids loved it.  It it was a very small helicopter that flew very fast.  The only problem was that it was fragile and the battery life was only six minutes!  Tom wants to buy another one and try not to crash it as much.  We will see.

7. Crayola bath tablets and shaving cream – Aunt Kim gave the boys two cans of pretend shaving cream – a pink and a blue.  It even came with a pretend razor.  Luckily we had another pretend razor already.  The two cans only lasted one bath, but it was worth it.  They also received a small container full of what looks like Easter egg dying tablets: red, blue and yellow.  The kids put these tablets in the tub and it makes the water change colors.  This makes an “all natural” mom like myself cringe a bit, but they love it.  I feel like I am dying children instead of Easter eggs.

8.  Thomas the Train book with sounds –  Miller loves this book.  He pushes the seven buttons as I read the story.  He is even beginning to push them at the appropriate time.

9.  Imaginext Pirate Ship – Miller likes to shoot the cannons.  Unfortunately, we only have one or two of the cannons left.

10.  Griddle for the stove top – This one if for me!  I grew up with a stand alone griddle and Tom grew up with one that goes on top of the burner.  I now have one for the top of the burner and it is great!  I needed something to make four grilled cheeses or pancakes on at one time.  Thanks Tom!!

Christmas in PA

We had Christmas #2 on Saturday morning at Rebecca and Will’s house. Both of Tom’s sisters were there with their boyfriends and children. Otis always fun. The kids get lots of fun presents. I think the big hit (literally) this year was the hulk hands that Wilson received. He sparred many times all afternoon. He was pretty self controlled, all things considered.

After the presents were all opened we played, rested and snacked until dinner. My favorite snack each year is the giant pot of Chex mix that Rebecca makes. Yum! Everyone just scoops a bowl of it as desired.

It was a fun and relaxing day. We only get to see Toms family a few times a year so it was nice to see everyone together.