"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This is Christmas

We don't do Christmas cards.  I hate last-minute shopping.  My fridge has never chilled a carton of eggnog.

I love driving around, looking at lights.  I want to watch church ladies in formal gowns sing carols and ring bells.  The pulpit looks best surrounded by red poinsettias, in my opinion.  There's no doubt in my mind that pretzels were meant to be dipped in almond bark.  I point out every single Nativity we pass.  I want to get my shopping done early, and spend the week before Christmas baking with candles burning in my kitchen and snow flying outside.

And, I want to watch my sweet little chickens sing two songs with their Sunday school classes on a Sunday afternoon.  Oh, be still, my beating heart!

Miss Suzanne had to bribe Rowen out of my lap, and carry him onto the stage.  I love her.  So does he. 

Reise has been wearing that dress daily for weeks (months?) now.  I'm so glad she finally got to wear it in public and now she can gracefully hand it down to her cousin.

There's Rugger and his facial expressions again.  He cracks me up! 

Tonight after dinner at home (our first Christmas Eve at home!) I asked the kids to tell me what they knew about the Christmas Story.  Reise didn't know much, and Rugger was busy messing with his new camera.  I think he had gotten it stuck on his belt loop :)

This is what Ryleigh came up with (I wonder if she has a photographic memory sometimes, some of the phrases she uses sound like something she's read in a children's bible!).  I wouldn't blame you if you didn't watch the whole thing :)

 She amazes me!   This is what it's all about.  This is Christmas! 

Choosing to love,

Friday, December 24, 2010

New Traditions

We tried something new this year with my side of the family.  We've done Christmas Eve with my siblings at my parents' house, forever.  Our spouses have graciously allowed us to keep our tradition, and our kids have started to look forward to it.  As our families are getting bigger, and our kids are getting older, we all started to wonder how long we'd keep it up.  

It's hard to change.  

Instead of four hours in my parents' living room, we spent 24 hours in one giant cabin.  It was a  b.l.a.s.t. 

Cousins.  10 of them, 7 years old and younger.  8 boys.  I hope they grow up being BFFs.  

Trenton and Rowen look so much alike that at Trenton's first birthday party, neither of his grandmas could figure out which one he was.  And one of the grandmas does his daycare, and sees him every week.  They both, on different occasions picked up one and thought for sure he was the other.  I laughed over that for days.  Years, evidently.  I'm still laughing about it!  They do favor each other, even I can see it.  

There was a tight huddle around every gift.  Pretty cute.  

My three big kids love their new robes.  Grandma can sew. 

My two little kids love their new quilts.  Grandma can sew.

Back in the day of the original Rowe Family Christmas (the ones my grandparents hosted when I was growing up) my mom's homemade quilts were the coveted gift.  Some things never change. 

This was a super cute moment that we kept going long enough to get pictures of.  I'm glad we did it, it's still making me smile! 

The men got some new winter head gear.  They mocked my mom for those hats, but everyone knows when the first big snow hits and the wind is blowing 35mph, they'll be pulling those suckers out to go snow blow. 

Reise is drawn to babies like a moth to a flame.  She can't (and I mean really can't) keep her hands off the babies.  This was the best moment of her weekend, I'm sure of it.  She loved holding that baby.  She kept her eye on him for 24 hours straight.  I'm so glad this is baby #4 for my sister.  She's as laid-back as they come, and this baby is totally accustomed to a little jostling.  Perfect conditions for Reise :)

Ryleigh really looked forward to playing games in her robe with Gma Gramma.  We were running out of room in the suitcase, and I knew she was getting a new one so I told Mitch to "accidentally" forget to pack her robe.  He didn't get it.  "What?  Are you crazy?  I'm not getting blamed for that!!"  Hello, she's getting a new one.  Oooohhhhhh....riiiiight.  Got it.  :)

I told the kids they could stay up as late as the adults, as long as there was absolutely no crying, fighting, whining, fighting, crying, arguing, crying, or crying.  The three big kids were up until well after 11.  Why not?  It's Christmas!

Gwamma Rowe makes gooooood hot chocolate. 

Just listening to some tunes, waiting for my breakfast! 

Oh my gosh, Dekker, are you serious with those jammies and that thumb?  

There she goes again...poor little Chase.  :)  Thankfully he's got big brothers and can fend for himself.  He'll let her know if he's had enough love for a while.  Sweetheart!

My dad.  He convinced the big kids he was going to take them on an adventure.  I know they found a tower and climbed 107 steps.  I'm not sure they found any bears. 

My mom can hold a newborn and play video games at the same time.  With a pink remote, of course.

Some stellar parenting moments here.  (I promise the cap never came off that soda bottle, Lao!)

My sister and I both asked my brother if he'd grown.  The results aren't crystal clear, but we're pretty observant ladies and we both think he's at least an inch taller.  I guess once you're up there in the 6' 5" range you don't really care about an inch.  

Congrats to Tiffany Crounse, winner of the 2010 Rowe Family Christmas Wii Bowling Tournament.  She came out from the losers bracket and won it all.  Thank you to Ryleigh, for constructing the award poster with my nail polish and a Sharpie :)

Thank you to Grandpa for downloading some tunes for Rugger's new MP3 player.  He was ready to get that baby up and running the minute he opened it (thank you, Lao for the birthday present!).  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-my mom and Ry are two peas in a pod.  A book light?  Come on, let's call it what it is: the best idea in the world.  Of course my mom would think of it :)  

I'm not sure how I'll feel about doing Christmas Eve at home this year...but I know we really enjoyed our "cabin time" together over the weekend.  It was a nice good chunk of time to enjoy each other, with plenty of room for everyone to spread out.  Good memory making times were had by all. And, I won't hate not being on the Interstate at 10pm the night before Christmas.

Choosing to love,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2 Days

This girl loves holidays SO much.  Our tree hadn't had a star on top until today.  Two days to go, and all is finally right with the world, whew!

We did a birthday re-do tonight and took Rugger out to eat for his birthday.  His BEEFday, as he's been calling it.  Why?  I have no idea.  


 I love him so much I can't stand it.

Happy Beefday, dear Ruuugggggeeeerrrrrrr...

Really glad Reise was able to join us.  Right as we were about to leave the house her ear started dripping blood.  Like, draining from inside the ear.  Enough to drip.  Super weird, and a little alarming!  We called the dr's office at 6pm and she had gotten in, been looked at by our regular doctor, and was home in 45 minutes.  Hello, that's God liking me a lot, I think.  Turns out both ears are scratched raw on the insides.  So, I'm really glad your brain isn't leaking blood or something (which honestly did cross my mind)...but seriously?  Why are there abrasions inside your ears?  

Our kids are lively.  Boisterous.  Spirited.  Just walk into my house any day of the week and you'll experience it.  I don't mind lively.  In fact, I probably prefer it.  Most of the time. 

Tonight they all sat quietly for our 90 minute meal, and used their very best manners to order their food.  They received three separate compliments on their etiquette.  Praise. The.  Lord.  It's a good feeling.

It's a lot more fun than getting dirty looks because your toddler spilled his milk into his lap and started shreeking so loud you thought the glassware was going to shatter.  Yep, been there too.  

Hopefully that good feeling will stick with me long enough to get me through the next BD (that's for you, all my teacher friends) moment over here.  :)  Rest assured, I won't have to wait long for it!  Just come on over, the instant our front door opens someone will get ridiculous. 

Choosing to love,