"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Friday, December 7, 2007

"Family Night" Fun

Every few weeks our family does something called Family Night. We usually do something pretty goofy in the hopes of teaching a memorable scriptural or character-related lesson to our kids. Last time we blindfolded our kids and had them touch a raw cow's tongue (making guesses about what it was). We got to talk about how "the tongue can bless or make a mess" and reinforce the power of words and what a powerful weapon the tongue can be. Tonight we allowed the kids to stand on the counter and drop an egg on the floor . . . it was really fun until they discovered that they had to clean it up!! We then encouraged them to "think about THAT before it goes splat"! to help hammer home the concept of consequences (and the importance of carefully considering our plans before acting). Emily declared it her favorite family night yet!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Tis the season . . .

to be jolly and to decorate sugar cookies and look at Christmas lights! Somehow Christmas is less than 3 weeks away . . . the house is decorated, the carols are playing, (wisemen from the nativity are scattered all around the living room!), but Santa is not "on the ball" at all around here! Fortunately, Christmas cards have almost made it to the mailbox! The kids are looking forward to Christmas break (so is mom).

Samuel finally made the "big leap" to sleeping in his toddler bed last night and surrendered his crib to Anna. Poor crib!, it's on it's 5th child who loves to bounce up and down wildly in it (while hanging onto the side rail) . . . it will breathe a sigh of relief when it finally gets retired!

Levi and Daniel are both doing a great job learning how to read. We recently unearthed some favorite books from Lisa's childhood (which our local library considers antiques--oh my!). Regardless, the older kids have been enjoying reading the adventures of the Happy Hollisters with mom (a fictional family with 5 kids who like to go on adventures and solve mysteries) . . . Emily took it upon herself to dub us the "Grateful, Goofy, Greniers!".

Samuel and Anna are an awful lot of fun to have around and the older kids are such great helpers with them. They are both horribly attached to their "blankies" right now and both have strange fixations with their shoes! When Samuel is mad he sits down on the floor, takes off his shoes and throws them (not very far!) . . . Anna has decided that every trip in the van (no matter how short) requires that she pull off her shoes and socks the moment we pull away from the curb! (and she's far too cute to be frustrated with!).

We recently wrapped up a study on "modes of transportation" in school--Samuel was delighted to have the side benefit of watching (over and over and over again) the "hopto-cockle movie" (that's "helicopter" to the rest of us!) from the library. He also loves to request juice and milk and such from the "fwidging fwato"! One of his favorite things to do when we are out and about is to push the buttons in the "outa-gator" (elevator). It will be a sad day when he starts pronouncing things like the rest of us do!

Daniel and I were doing some work in a phonics book a few days ago where he had to choose words from a list to correspond to certain clues. The clue was "it shines on the Earth" (sun was the list word they were looking for), Daniel's answer was Jesus! I far preferred Daniel's answer! . . . such a fun reminder in this crazy, hectic season that He came as a little baby in a manger so that He could shine His light into your life and ours. We hope that you have a chance to ponder that truth this Christmas season . . . life will never be the same when that reality sinks down deep into your being.

brothers! ~ 2007

Some cute "stairstep" photos of the kids from this fall