Saturday, December 3, 2011

December Daily - Day 3

I love Saturdays. It is a relaxing day around the house. It is the only day that Ethan is able to play his video games for a short while during the day. It is quiet. Peaceful. Restful. Dave works Saturdays but when he comes home we are excited for the beginning of the weekend.

Today Ethan needed a bandaid. When I taught preschool, the children never liked our plain bandaids because it didn't have characters on it. I got in the habbit of drawing a heart on it before giving it to the child telling them that it was a special bandaid with love on it. I would kiss it then, put it on telling them not to touch it because the love was healing the booboo. So, I knew his hand needed medicne and got a regular bandaid and did the same thing. He chuckled and said, "That's cute. Did you draw that on there?" It made me smile that I can get the same reaction from him that I got years ago from the children in my classroom...

Today we went to the store to pick out Ethan's cousin, Jeremy, a birthday present. Jeremy is now 17 and Ethan wanted to pick out the present this year. He got him the new Lego Star Wars movie. Dave got it for Ethan about a month or two ago and Dave and I love watching it more than Ethan. It is so funny... So, we were sure that Jeremy would get a kick out of it, being the Star Wars fan that he is.

Today was the beginning of a blog hop that I had for one of my design teams. I enjoyed the over 80 comments coming through my email all day long. It was loads of fun and it made me happy to see that so many paper crafters loved my Christmas project video I created for the hop. 

Photos coming soon...

December Daily - Day 2

I tried to be a little easier on myself this year. Some of the advent doors hold small treats or prizes. This gives me a little bit of a breather on filling the month with activities to do. Today, Ethan was excited to pull out a little package of legos. I am so surprised I fit it into the small opening. Ethan actually had a job in pulling it out. Ha! I am now not regretting purchasing little items during the year that go on sale or clearance and then putting them away for Ethan's Christmas stocking or the advent.

Ethan was excited to build his little spaceship and within fifteen minutes it was taken apart and strung all over the house. ;) That's why I only purchase the small kits that are ten dollars or less. I know I will be putting that puppy together at lease fifteen times this week.

The rest of the day was spent at the grocery store and at home making dinner. You would think it would be more of an eventful day; but for us, it seems like just getting out the door takes half and hour or more. We also played a few games of Uno (all in which I won - for a change) and Old Maid (in which I also won). ;)

I am not sure, but I think his distracted personality comes from me. I remember my mom asking me to do something and I would have done several things on the way to doing the one thing she asked me to do. So, of course, finishing a list of chores took two or three times longer. I see a little of this in Ethan. But, then he is only four. And he is a boy. So that explains some things.

We had several fits today. That's life. That's why documenting every day in December is real. It's not just about the good times, but it records our life right now. Now isn't easy. Now is filled with whining, tired days, and his fighting mom and dad. But, it is the here and now.

So, Ethan was surprised when I picked up the camera during dinner and took a picture. He didn't like that. Dinner is usually filled with complaining about having to eat his one "no thank you" bite. But hey, it is about capturing the everyday moments. Right?

Dad and Ethan sat together for a while and played video games together. Ethan doesn't stop talking the whole time and usually sits on Dad's lap or next to him with his arm wrapped around his shoulder. It is darling...

Before bed, I got to snuggle with the little man and read three Christmas stories with him. Every day it is quite the job to show this little one the true meaning of Christmas. With giving him the picture of Jesus in the manger right before bed, I hope it fills his mind as he sleeps.

Photos coming soon...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Daily - Day 1

So, the first day of December has come again and so has December Daily. I tried to not have too high of expectations today. since the last few days have been some of the worst in a while with Ethan. But, I couldn't help it. I guess I get excited getting the advent calendar filled with activities and fun things.

I mean, last year, was the worst December we could of had. What was I thinking potty training Ethan in December?!!! Helllloooo! It was terrible and something I try to forget. Now, every year, as I get ready for December 1st, I think of how much fun it was NOT last year.

Now, today, was a blessing. Not only did Ethan remember that it was the first day of Christmas, but he must have forgot about throwing fits every five minutes when he opened the first door of the advent. He read the activity himself and was actually excited about being able to go to the store to pick out a new ornament for the tree. Of course, he picked a blue, plastic, glitter covered, CUPCAKE. Did I mention it was blue? He walked around with it going, "Yum, yum, yum," while mimicking that he was eating it all up. Oh. dear. me.

We were able to make a trip into Turner today to drop something off at Aldersgate. We played on the playground I helped raise money for, which was put on the camp in May, and even took a small walk through what we use to call "the forest."

Us waiting for Sarah to return to class from picking children up from lunch.
We then visited Sarah's classroom and my boy was so well behaved. He asked Sarah why her classroom had no toys in it. But, he was content in picking a book out of the fifth grade library, sitting in the bean bag chair reading. Of course, he picked a Magic Treehouse chapter book and sat and read it. It was so comical to see him intensely reading this book where most preschoolers wouldn't have picked up one book let alone sit and read it. Ten minutes later, he turned the last page and gave it to Sarah, saying, "I finished. It was quite a long one." As if he really read the whole thing!

The rest of our day was filled with Hide n Seek, Chase Me, Tickle Me, and board games Dinosaur Bones and Connect Four. That was after my usual chores for the day, washing dishes, laundry, and cleaning the bathrooms.

It was a good day. I am thankful for it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Update is Well Deserved

So much has happened in the last few months that it has been hard to keep up on the family blog. Although, I love to journal and record our family's stories it's the challenges that are hard to write about. When I get older I want to be like my mother who says that we were angels and never did anything wrong. Although I am sure her memory is quite altered, I am sure she never had to deal with the extremes that Dave and I have to deal with. ;)

So instead, I will do what Becca did recently on her blog. I want to share a list of things that we are into right now.

1. Eating clean. Dave and I have been eating clean since the beginning of the year. I actually like avocados, tomatoes (in moderation), and fruit and vegetables haven't tasted this good. Things I miss... chocolate in large quantities. ;)

2. We moved into town. I love being able to run to the grocery store without it taking several hours. We are ten minutes from Becca's work, the post office, Walmart, Safeway, Trader Joe's (opening soon), and Winco! I can make several stops and still get home before lunch.

3. We started our own vegetable garden.

4. We live near several parks for Ethan to play on. We love to run, play chase, go down the slide, and swing high. Dave meets us there sometimes on his way home from work.

5. Vintage cartoons are Ethan's favorite. He loves Tom and Jerry and laughs hysterically every time they fall over. Which means he laughs non-stop.

6. Relaxing in our sitting room with a fire and reading a good book. All three of us end up doing this together.

7. Dave is into finding new reciepes to surprise me with. It is like eating at a restaruant every night while not gaining a pound! ;)

8. We now get local television and have been shamelessly watching American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and The Office. I love the antenna. ;)

9. We watch movies after Ethan goes down. Dave usually falls asleep during the first ten minutes. I then stay up and finish it and have to roll him off the sofa to get him to bed afterwards. ;)

10. Laying back and relaxing on the weekends. Since we live in town and I am not working evenings, it seems like we have more time to enjoy our weekends.

I loved making this list. It helps me to see how much God really has blessed us with our new home and neighborhood. We see our family more and treasure our family time.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vacation Rocks!

Yesterday was one of the best days we have had here at home in a long while. Although being on vacation keeps us up late at night (enjoying late night movies, video games, internet surfing, sewing - a lot of sewing) it is nothing coffee can't cure for a while. When the coffee kicked in, Dave and I got Ethan ready to go to Portland. We went to the Lego Store so he could build his own Lego-guys. It was great to see him so happy.

 Sometimes a little time out of the house does you good. ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Video: When I'm With You

When I'm With You from Jennifer Evans on Vimeo.

December Daily

This is the first year that December has flown by with many of my goals for the month out the window. I have always enjoyed December Daily but this year, I have to admit, it has been a challenge for me. Many people who are life artists (those who document life with journaling, paper art, or photography) say to write or capture the everyday even if it is bad, because well, that's life. Life isn't perfect or always goes as planned.  For me, though, I want to remember the good. Remembering the bad just makes you think negatively. Sure, I know life isn't perfect or all sunshine and roses. But, don't you want to remember the sunshine and roses more than when you got locked in the bathroom again and in the stress of it shaved your eyebrows off? You may be laughing right now, just imagining it, but it is a hard life to live. Maybe potty training wasn't the smartest thing to do in the month of December, but when is it the best time than the present? 

In the mist of it all, we also found out that my boss found someone perfect for my position, earlier than expected. He wasn't going to be looking for someone until February but God doesn't work in our time line, but His own.  At the same time, the camp is looking for a new food service manager, which means we might be finding a new place to live in a couple weeks. It all depends on who they hire, how big the family is, or if they want to even live on camp. So much uncertainty. 

I am reading One in a Million - Journey to Your Promise Land, by Priscilla Shirer. Becca and Sarah are teaching this book in their bible study coming up next year. I originally got it so I could know what they were talking about when in conversation. I had no idea it was exactly what I needed right now. Life feels like a dry trip in the wilderness right now. Just taking one step in front of the other to get through the day. Priscilla gave great advice in the book; she said to write down every miracle or glimpse of God down. Then when you are going through a new wilderness or hard time that you can pull out that list or journal of all that God has done to remember that He will always be there. 

So, in the last few weeks, I have had a few glimpses of joy that have kept me in the spirit of Christmas. I will list them below...

Sweet fellowship with women at Bible Study.
Blessing our pastor's wife on her birthday with a handmade gift. 
Going to the Singing Christmas Tree at church. (I love choirs!)
Ethan sitting on my lap while I read him Christmas stories.
A trip to coffee and Blackberries (a new gift shop we found in Salem) with Becca, Josh, and Ethan.
Going to see Christmas lights with Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Dave.
Making a foam gingerbread house with Ethan. 
Sewing projects just for fun.
Josh, Becca, and Sarah taking me out to coffee, a crepe, and another trip to Blackberries. 

Then, last weekend, I created a beautiful video of Ethan. I realized that I should make more of these just so I can watch them while in a dry-spell on the way to the Promised Land. It really gives encouragement. I can't wait to figure out how to export the movie so that I can share it. Becca watched it and cried. So, it must be good. ;)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December Daily - Day 8

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I asked God to reveal himself to me in this dry and thirsty land. (Believe me, it's been quite dry this week). The crying and screaming started with Ethan's first sentence this morning. Our activity of Ethan creating his own Christmas cards was like pulling teeth, but they turned out good. I wish we had made more but six was enough for anyone to have to sit and make. ;)

Then, this afternoon, I put pants on Ethan, and took him down the street to the market to get a snack. We ate our snack watching Veggie Tales' Saint Nicholas. No matter that the movie tried to stay to the true story but then went off on a crazy ending. Like I said, no matter. Why? It was the first time I had laughed in several days. Ethan too. We belly laughed at the silly song. Those are the memories we need to hold on to. The ones that make the day, not break it.

Ethan stayed in those pants the rest of the day. I came home to dinner on the table, my husband's smile, and JJ Heller singing in the background. It was enough to encourage anyone. Dave went to the store while I praised God for his love and goodness in song. Sigh... a little light in this week is just what we needed. Isn't that what God does?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Daily - Days 5-7

Our home has become a war zone. I am not kidding. ;)

We swore to stay home and make this potty training happen. Of course the rain stopped, the sun came out, and it mocked us in our now cave of a home.

Sunday I was in and out of the house hosting a group that was staying this weekend at the camp. It was a blessing to help other people. In between, Dave cooked pancakes and eggs (the eggs were for Dave and I), tuna melts, and slow cooked ribs. It was just one of those slow, is-this-day-ever-going-to-end kind of days. It was relaxing, as relaxing as it gets with a half naked little man running around the house stir crazy. ;) Then, Dave went into our shed on the porch and got stung by a bee. He is deathly allergic to bees. So, I run and get the bee sting kit and Dave isn't reacting. From my training, I knew I shouldn't give the medication to him without symptoms, so we called the doctor. We gave him Benadryl and watched his symptoms according to the doctor's advice. Dave is shocked. He says he is super human now that he has contacts. (sigh... that makes me laugh).

Yesterday, I worked again and Ethan and Daddy played hard. They wrestled, played swords (foam ones not the sharp bladed kind), and played video games together. All the while Ethan still half clothed.

Today, the rain started again and I think it may be a full moon. The stamping project Ethan was doing to make homemade wrapping paper turned into creating the ink on his body. To then licking it.

I was locked in the bathroom when Ethan didn't like my answer to if he could watch TV. "You just stay in there!" he said as he locked the door from the outside. (Yes, we switched the handle after he kept on locking the door shut so we couldn't get inside... not sure which is worse.) It only was for about ten minutes. Guess he didn't like being alone. ;)

Then, while we were making snowflakes, Ethan took his scissors and cut my sweater. Wow, those preschool scissors are pretty sharp.

An ornament lost its life today.

The Tale of Samuel Whiskers lost pages 79-82 and now is at the book doctor.

A war zone? Yes, I think so. Do I feel the Christmas spirit. Not much. But I did find the quietest Christmas CD of Tim Janis that my mom gave me years ago. It was relaxing among the chaos.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December Daily - Day 4

Today there were more tears, more whining, and more bare bottom than I have ever wanted to experience in all my life.  But, Ethan didn't have one accident. Today seemed quiet and lonely with the curtains drawn (for privacy). Dave finally came home and it was nice to see a friendly face. I am working the first weekend here at camp and it is different not having weekends to yourself. I was on call this afternoon. I enjoy helping others, meeting people, and serving guests.

It doesn't seem much like Christmas around here, besides creating gifts like crazy, just for fun. Dave came home to a counter filled with resin rings that I created, just because. I am thinking of giving them away during a special activity coming up soon. Or, just having them in my purse for that person I come across in passing.

It was funny, Becca and I were at Craft Warehouse the day after Thanksgiving and we saw a gal working there and out comes fudge from Becca's purse. I was back in there Wednesday, and she said that she passed it out to some of the employees there and it was the best fudge they had ever tasted. I can't make Auntie Kay's fudge (for one thing the recipe is locked away in some vault) but I can make... rings. (Not quite the same but it's the thought that counts).