we're wrapping presents at the counter. Cole wants to choose the wrapping paper. Chase wants to choose the ribbon. Cole wants to choose the gift tag.
it take twice as long, because Cole wants to help me cut the paper, Chase is asking me "why" questions, and Cole wants to help by tearing off the pieces of tape.
they are soaking up my attention, even if it's divided. they are like glue, wanting to be near me. they want to help.
decorating the Christmas tree was the same way. an exercise in patience. Chase hung seven ornaments on one branch, and looked up at me beaming. Cole wanted to hear every story about every ornament, and find every ornament with his name on it.
baking is their very favorite. they both love mixing, cracking eggs, pouring in the ingredients. Cole painstakingly sounds out the words of the recipe that he knows - it takes forever, but its worth it, because he's so proud afterward. it's messy and crazy and loud. I have to remind them (and myself) to be patient for each of the steps. but when we're all done and ready to deliver the bread to the neighbors, they walk with me - Cole running (why walk when you can run?) and Chase with his toddling steps, his hand thrust trustingly in mine - to the neighbors, and Cole declares, "The neighbors will love the bread we made!"
every step. every bit of Christmas preparation. every bit of ANY preparation. it takes longer, more patience, more planning, more effort on my part. some days, I'm frustrated. can't I just once fully concentrate on a single activity at a time? not have to corral littles and direct and pay extra attention and clean up extra messes?
but then I remember how valuable this time spent with them is. how I am modeling patience and grace for them, so they will in turn model it with each other and others. and I remember what a privilege, what an absolute privilege it is that they WANT to be with me. someday they won't want to talk to me, bake with me, decorate the tree, help. and that day will arrive sooner if I'm impatient, rushed, frustrated, or controlling. I want to teach them to be capable, confident, helpful young men - so I put forth the patience now.
more than it matters to have a perfectly decorated tree; to have flour spilled all over the floor; to have mismatched name tags and ribbon and wrapping paper; what matters most is their beautiful, helpful, loving hearts - and I'll use every ounce of patience I have to make sure their spirits aren't crushed.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
There is just no end to fun adventures to be had in our valley! This year I discovered a trolley ride tour that goes around looking at Christmas lights. It was SO fun - I'm positive this is going to become a yearly tradition!
Chase was absolutely enthralled the entire time!
Isla loved the lights too!
Thursday, December 15, 2016
The seventh year in a row we've gone to cut down our Christmas tree! The rain stopped just exactly long enough for us to pick out the best tree!
Chase even helped with the saw this year :)
The official start to the Christmas season! Let the holidays commence!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
There's a mental list I have of all the incredibly exciting things I can't wait to do with Isla. French braiding her hair is one of them - I love braiding hair, and it was one of my favorite memories of growing up, French braiding my mom's hair every morning.
Last month, I managed to slip in a little French braid in Isla's hair. I could have died happy - I foresee many more fun braiding escapades in our mother-daughter future!
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
This week we wrote our annual letters to Santa! I love seeing what each child asks for.
Chase is deep in thought!
Cole originally wanted a fire station Lego set, but changed to any sort of Lego set. "Mom, I want to make it easier on Santa, so it's ok if he just brings me any Lego set. I like whatever."
I have a feeling Santa will bring them what they asked for!
Monday, December 12, 2016
Saturday, December 10, 2016
For the first time ever, we had ALL our kids willingly sit on Santa's lap!
No tears! No stuffies! No sad scared faces! Chase was SO excited, he literally ran into Santa's arms. Cole was nervous, but Chase's bravery was contagious :) I can hardly believe sometimes that these two are related, they are such individuals! And Isla was a total rock star, sweet as pie.
It was worth the 6 year wait!