Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...Where oh where do I find thee?

We've had a fake Christmas tree for as long as we've been married, the same fake Christmas tree.

This year we've decided that we want to go real. The real deal.

However that leaves us a couple options - 1) buy a $5 Forest Service permit and go chop down our own or 2) pay...who knows how much ($30? $40?) for a tree at a store, etc.

I thought option one sounded the most fun, a memory maker. It would provide some good photo op's too.

However Billy is thinking along the lines of a not-so-fun hike through snow with four kids and him doing the most work in the freezing cold. haha

So it looks like option one is OUT (for this year at least, and the next couple years when we have little ones so young still) unless someone can point us in the direction of an easy to get to place to find some trees. Requirements are: must not be too hard of a place to get to, and must not require too much hiking.

But I just can't see spending $30 or more on a Christmas tree!

For the locals who read this blog:
Does anyone know of any good places to buy Christmas trees? Where are the best places? What are the average prices? We're wanting a large tree...not HUGE, but probably like 6ft?

Also, I came up with a brilliant option three but I don't even know if such a place exists here...what about a nearby Christmas tree farm, where you can go pick one out and cut it down yourself? Sort of like a U-pick pumpkin patch? But for Christmas trees.

It's times like this that I wish I was back in Oregon where I spent about 4 years of my childhood at. We had a Christmas tree farm. Lots of Christmas trees. Nice ones too. :)


Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Santa Talk

Warning: If you have little ones reading over your shoulder, you may want to have them leave the room now....

Okay sufficient enough warning?

Well it was time for the talk. No, not THAT talk. But the Santa talk, with Alex (who's 9.5).

I think he has just played along for a couple years now, but he wasn't ready to know the truth yet from mom and dad.

It all started while we were in the kitchen, the other brothers weren't listening thankfully, but we were having a hard time coming up with a Santa gift for Alex. He wasn't giving us much ideas this year. So we asked him what he wanted from Santa, and that he could ask for anything (almost anything) because it's Santa and you always ask for the biggest present on your list from Santa. He then answered that he can't, because we can't afford everything. Aaack!
Billy corrected him and said that WE don't buy it...Santa brings it. Alex gave a very peculiar look to Billy. We tried talking to him about Santa first, but Alex wasn't buying it.
He said that kids at school talk. "EVERYONE knows..."

So Billy took Alex for a quick ride around the block to tell him the truth. When they came back Billy told me that Alex started crying. :( Not because he thought it was true and was sad it wasn't, but because Alex said he felt guilty. He felt guilty outing the truth of Santa I guess. He did suspect for awhile now but felt too guilty to ask us about it, because...well it's like Santa! And he didn't want to second guess Santa. haha

That led then to a discussion about what is real vs. what isn't real. (the tooth fairy was outed too) I made sure to explain that while Santa, the tooth fairy, etc was not real that God IS real and he should never doubt that. I explained that Santa is a fun magical thing that parents like to do for their children, because it was done for us in our childhoods and even though we know now that Santa isn't real - it was still a special time for us.
However, I went on to explain, that God is real and Christmas isn't about Santa anyway. I think in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, that we get too far away from the real reason. The lights, the presents, Santa, and the excitement get in the way too much.

This year I bought a stocking for Jesus. I hope that it will help remind the boys about the real reason for Christmas. It's an actual stocking that has Jesus' name on it. It will be hung up with all of our other stockings (we put our stockings up when the tree goes up after Thanksgiving, and they stay up there until Christmas Eve when Billy and I fill them for them to open in the morning with their presents).
However toys will not go in Jesus' stocking, rather the idea is to fill it with good deeds, or promises (written on pieces of paper) to Him that we will/have done. I'm still working on the details, but you get the general idea.

I look forward to starting this tradition, and hope that we can start getting away from the excitement of "Santa" and rather have excitement about what we can give Jesus this Christmas in celebration of His birthday. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Updates

Well first of all...I'll talk about this lovely photo I've posted of Owen.
If you couldn't tell at first sight, I'll point it out for you - notice Owen's front teeth? One of his big front teeth and the small one next to it are brown.
During Halloween he was running on Grandma's wood flooring and slipped and fell RIGHT on his teeth. BIG OUCH. We thought they were fine though and just kept an eye for any discoloration. Well 2 weeks later they finally start to change color. It happened so fast too, in just one weekend.

I took him to the dentist on Monday and they said that since the teeth are his primary, or baby teeth then they really don't do much about them unless they start showing signs of infection.
SO basically, unless the teeth get infected, then Owen is going to have to walk around with two brown front teeth until they fall out on their own...which could be another couple years. Brayden is 6.5 and still has his baby front teeth.

I'm just glad we got school pictures before the teeth started turning brown! And maybe by next year they'll start to fade a little. I have heard stories of the damaged brown teeth fading back to white, or near white, after some time. *crossing fingers*
Poor little guy! I'm just glad it's not hurting him at all.

Second picture I wanted to show was one I found on my camera when I downloaded photos today. This picture is of Owen showing off his new Power Rangers scuba set that he was VERY proud of. It was too funny, and I'm not sure the photo captures the true nature of how funny looking it really was! haha

Okay other updates...things are starting to get busy with the holidays. Thanksgiving will be at our house with most of the family.
My mom, sister, and I are going to see Twilight in the theaters on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. WOhooo!
Billy has started actively shopping and gathering things for the nursery. Christmas is getting closer....yay!

On not so great news, I'm not enjoying pregnancy as much as I was last week. I generally had fairly easy pregnancies with the other boys, but this time the aches and pains are really getting to me! wahhhhh
I have a sciatic nerve pain problem going on right now, which usually is supposed to come and go but its been constant for almost a week now. OUCH. If you don't know what sciatic nerve pain is, it feels like an electrical shock suddenly shooting down your entire feels like your hip is going out of place. Even sitting here at the computer is making my hip just throb. :(
So needless to say, doing things like typical housework, grocery shopping, and all of the boys' activities is becoming really hard and painful. :( I just hope the baby shifts his/her position soon so that I can get some relief and the sciatic nerve pain goes away. I told Billy that if this is going to continue on the rest of the pregnancy then I'm going to be a very miserable and cranky person the next 10+ weeks. haha

Well that's about all the updates for now! We'll be very busy this week getting ready for our Thanksgiving company, but I will hopefully have more updates after next weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The time is counting down...

I had my 29 week baby appointment yesterday. Nothing exciting at these appointments anymore, not until the very end when they'll start watching me for signs of "things happening".

But I have appointments every two weeks now! aack!

My due date is 11 weeks from now, but I'll be full term- could have the baby any day- 9 weeks from now.

It's getting close! And we've done nothing to prepare yet, however we still have plenty of time.

It's funny how different things are with your first or even second child in comparison to your fourth or fifth and on children.

My first child, I had the crib all set up by now, clothes bought, a name picked out.....
This time I have yet to buy anything, we're still looking at cribs (although the nursery is Billy's job this time) and no names!

It will all fall into place before the baby is born though. After the holidays, we've still got about another 4 weeks until my due date...unless he/she decides to come before my due date which I really don't count on!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tag I'm it!

I haven't been tagged before, this is fun. Who would have known there was all these fun little games and things to do with your blog?

Okay I'm supposed to post the fifth picture in my picture folder, but I have many many different picture folders - I'll see what I have in my main folder though...

The fifth picture in my computer picture's folder, a little graphic I made on Pyzam - nothing too exciting here:

The fifth picture in my main "DC Pictures" folder on my external hard drive, DC Pictures is where all of my digital camera pictures are saved...because I have too many to put on my computer hard drive! haha:

This is my goddaughter who I rarely get to see anymore! I'll call her "J" for privacy purposes:

OOPs and I forgot to tag five other people...except I only have four other people on my blog to tag right now. ;) I need to add more blogs to my list!
Okay so I tag....Joy, Michelle, Beki, Jesse...and my son has a blog and is begging me to "tag" him. haha So I tag Alex too. ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Is there a weight limit on Santa's sleigh?

Oh how to deal with this one?!

Brayden this year is asking Santa Clause for.....a bike? Nope. A puppy? Nope. A video game system? Nope.

He's asking for a PIANO. He's gotten into this big piano obsession and wants lessons and all. He's tried to play the piano at friends' houses before and has always been interested in it, but now suddenly it's all he can talk about.
It doesn't have to be new he says, but he just wants one. A big one. And one with pedals.

I tried to sell him on the idea of a cool adult sized electronic keyboard, with a stand that he can sit at it and play. Then if he really likes playing a "piano" and does well at lessons, then we'll keep looking for a big piano and just wait for the right one (right price) to come along.


That doesn't have pedals, he says. It has to have pedals, and a bench, and be a real actual PIANO.

But does a piano fit in Santa's sleigh? Yikes!

I've been searching Craigslist everyday for a good deal on a used piano. I found one that has a missing key, which the people say they have. But is that easy to fix? I have no clue about pianos. NO clue. Don't you have to get them tuned every so often? Cleaned or whatever? I don't know!

Oh I hope he drops this idea soon...but I know Brayden and he never drops or forgets anything. When he wants something, he WANTS it. And besides, a piano and lessons would be nice for him? He needs to learn an instrument.
Alex is asking for a guitar from Santa.

It's going to be a musical Christmas!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

LATE Halloween Photos

Yeah yeah I know I'm late!

I've been busy though!

Halloween was fun and busy this year. Owen got to dress up three different times because he had a Halloween trick-or-treat party at his preschool, then we had the church Halloween party, and then actual Halloween.

Owen in his costume waiting for his preschool bus:

The church Halloween party was fun. It was a soup potluck, so I got to try lots of different yummy soups. I even talked Brayden into eating a cheesy broccoli soup. I didn't tell him it was broccoli, I just told him it was cheese soup with seasonings. haha He LOVED it though and had two helpings!
There was lots of great costumes at the church Halloween party too, even the adults got in on it! Billy and I didn't think that far ahead and were not dressed up. Maybe next year though!

Then for Halloween this year we decided to go to Grandma Beki's house (Billy's mom). It was fun! There was a couple small "haunted houses" to walk through in town, which of course Alex would have NO part of but Brayden loved every minute of it and didn't actually get scared until the last haunted house and there was a very real, very creepy looking dead body in a casket that he had to walk by. He finally admitted later that he was maybe a "little bit scared".

The boys and baby Billy trick-or-treating:
Brayden's costume during trick-or-treating:
Baby Billy's costume! Too cute:
Another of baby Billy's costume - a big pumpkin poof ball in his stroller:
Brayden's scary vampire face - picture by Grandma:

All the boys trying to fit on Grandma Beki's lap at the same time!:

The day after Halloween we carved pumpkins with Grandma and the boys had fun raking leaves for her and earning video game time!

The boys and their pumpkins - picture by Grandma:
Owen in the leaves - picture by Grandma:

It was all great fun, and now the boys have WAY too much candy. I've made the mistake of not hiding the buckets of candy yet so I keep finding the boys getting into it first thing in the morning, or before bed. uggh At least it's mostly gone now!

So here are the photos, and some that Grandma Beki took too that I thought were too cool so I'm posting them here also.

Brayden on the farm - picture by Grandma:

All of the boys, well minus the baby who was napping! - picture by Grandma:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

I am excited and nervous at the same time for the future of our country. I pray that our new president will be everything we need him to be and that he's promised to be.
On one hand I'm excited for new changes and the hope of change in our country, and I'm hopeful that our new president will be able to achieve this.
Yet I'm nervous that he won't be able to, that he won't live up to the expectations and that nothing will be fixed at all.

It was amazing watching the election news with my children last night. I told them that they were watching history. They will tell their children and grandchildren some day about the night that they watched the first African American man be voted into presidency. Of course the younger boys were just like, "yeah whatever....can I have some candy?" haha But Alex being older and wiser was very enthralled by it all. I kept catching him on my computer reading the front page news stories about Obama and the election. I think he refreshed my screen of the live results more then I did! We were at his cub scout pack meeting at the time the news of the winner was announced, but as soon as we got back home - he ran to the computer to see the updates.
Later when I tucked him in, he had his TV on the NBC election coverage. This was all very interesting, monumental and he knew it.

While my beliefs may not totally match up with some of Obama's stances that he has taken politically (such as abortion in general), I still believe...have hope that he'll be a great president.
I will continue to hope and pray that he will be everything this country needs.

In closing, I want to post a quote from a friend (Laura!) I know from the internet that I feel kind of wraps up what I was trying to get across, or say in my blog post today:
"My joy does not come from having a President elect who reflects my ideals and my vision for a future, but rather from having a President elect who has through sheer content of character and conviction been able to unite a country and a world. From all walks of life, black & white, young & old, poor & rich, Americans in astounding numbers were inspired to vote who have never voted, were inspired to hope who had given up hope, were inspired by change in a world in crisis.
In 45 years we have come from "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," to a man who was elected in resounding numbers as President of the United States.

I do not know how effective Barack Obama will be in these troubled times in the areas of health care, global unrest, ecological crisis, economic uncertainty, those are questions that only the future will be able to answer.
What I DO know, is that this man has managed to bring unity to this country, to bring change to this country, to unite a world in hope for this country, through his continued commitment to dialogue, his innate ability to inspire, through his unflagging audacity of hope. He has brought that hope to a nation in astounding numbers. He has brought that hope to a world in astounding numbers. If that is the ONLY thing he accomplishes as President, he has changed our country & our world for the better."