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).

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Daily - Days 2 & 3

I realized that I sometimes have my expectations too high. Wednesday was a great day decorating and enjoying our day together, but yesterday was a little rough around the edges. During our time homeschooling I was the only one singing, reading The Christmas Story, and talking about the true meaning of Christmas. There was just fits and crying... I might have been crying a few times myself too. It wasn't what I expected and maybe I need to not expect it to be perfect. I mean, our lives are far from it.

Maybe I should have taken a picture of Ethan in the middle of his fit, recorded it for the album, and maybe Ethan would have been so surprised that I did he would have stopped crying. ;) Dave was home sick from the side effects of his antibiotics for an infection. What's worse, the infection or the side effects?

We went to bed early, purely exhausted.

Now, today was even better! We knew it was time to get Ethan potty trained. We have tried almost everything. But, Ethan has been so stubborn! So, Dave and I knew we had to stay home this weekend because of my hosting a group here while my boss in on vacation. So, since we weren't going anywhere, might as well try for the next three days. Today, the advent calendar said we were going to have a "potty party!" I had talked to Ethan about it earlier in the week so that he was prepared. But, when he pulled out that slip of paper, I could tell that he read the first two words in his head. Then he got mad. He threw the paper at me. I asked him to read it and he said, "No. You read it." He was so upset.

Pretty much the day was filled with sayings like "Not again!", when he was asked to go to the bathroom again. (We went every five minutes and yes, I set the timer and we really went every five minutes.) "No!" and "Get my pants on!" But, he did amazingly well after almost two hours of fighting me. No accidents until I let him wear underwear at 1:30pm. He had an accident five minutes later. So, Ethan went without and did brilliant.

The marathon continues tomorrow and Sunday. Thankfully we have other activities planned to keep us sane while we are at home.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Daily - Day 1

Yes, I stayed up until 12:30am getting the tree up and ready for today. That includes wrapping all the gifts that were finished and ready to be packaged in the best red and white wrapping found for $4 a roll at Target. ;) Am I tired? Of course! But, I have to say it was worth it. The bottom half of the tree was without my favorite "breakables" ready and waiting for Ethan to decorate it. I wasn't going to replay last year again.

 A few days ago I cut up strips of paper with each day's activities on them. So, Ethan woke up remembering that he got to open door number 1 on the new advent calendar. He read the paper by himself, just needing help with the word "decorations." He didn't even see the tree standing there with its lights on (because when he woke up, I ran into the living room to turn them on as a surprise). He was so excited about starting the advent that he didn't notice it until afterward. He ran to it saying, "Ohhh!"

So, as an addition to being able to put his "unbreakables" on the tree, we went to Target for him to pick out his own ornament for the tree. I know how risky this can be. Telling your child that they can pick out any ornament they want and having to see them choose the most ugly ornament in the store and you having to keep your word. Or even worse, them picking a Star Wars ornament and Darth Vader haunting every Christmas to come. But, how can we keep them from experiencing Christmas without giving them the freedom to do so? So, Ethan picked the alien guy from Toy Story (almost as bad as Star Wars) and said, "Ohhhhh" just like they do. Not sure why, but he picked the same ornament character when Josh let him pick out an ornament weeks ago. I thought Josh's plan went well, so I would try it. Let him pick any other ornament as a trade. But, nope, Ethan wanted that one. A minute later (and a crack on the side of the cart) and we were now picking any ornament that was NOT glass.

Poor Mr. Snowman looked like an heirloom ornament before we even paid for it. His nose was hanging off and his scarf was frayed and then went missing. Experiencing Christmas hurts.