Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After Christmas

Wow! What a fun Christmas we had this year! I hope every one of you can say the same! I plan to do a full Christmas recap with photos but have to wait for my camera to get back home. (It is in the car and Max and Daddy are out on a Daddy date). The little kids and I are having a quiet morning at home. Jack is napping, Sophie is playing with her new Disney Princess castle (which is only half put together because I gave up!) and I am rotating between attempting to get my house back in order after Christmas exploded, playing princesses, and reading this book...
The Hunger Games
Check it out here

Oh my goodness! I am not really into fantasty/sci-fi type stuff but I heard good things about this book so I asked Nick Santa to put it in my stocking. And now I can't put it down!

Anyway, I hope you all are having a fabulous Post-Christmas day! I hope to be back later or at least by tomorrow to share all of the Christmas fun!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Our new addition

Meet Scout Ramsey...
He was our little Christmas present to our family! And we couldn't be more in love with the little ball of fur.

Nick and I had started having the dog talk when Max started begging for a dog. Nick who had been extremely anti-dog up until this point was starting to really soften up so I started doing some research. I really wanted to find out what would be the best dog for our family. After lots of research I decided that a shih tzu would be a really great match for us. I thought maybe we would get one in the spring or summer. But, then my sister sent me a link to a really cute shih tzu puppy named "Mickey" at a local animal rescue. 

Nick and I fell in love with his picture and decided we had to have him. Unfortunately, right before we left to go visit him we called and found out he had already been adopted the evening before. Honestly, I was a little devastated. Nick convinced me that we should go to the place anyway and look at their other dogs.

When you go there they have pictures of all the dogs they have up on the wall and then they bring you the one you want to the visiting room. There was a picture of a super cute lhasa-poo named "Kenny" and we asked to see him. They told us that "Kenny" was super shy so they were going to bring his brother "Kyle" in too so that he would be more outgoing. We ended up falling in love with "Kyle" and decided he was the dog for us. We liked "Kenny"'s size, he was most likely the runt of the litter. But, "Kyle" was much more friendly with the kiddos. 

The place we got him from rescues puppies who are going to be killed from puppy mills. I guess the pet stores and people who buy from puppy mills only like a certain type of dog and when they don't sell them they just kill the rest. So sad. I think ours didn't make the cut because typically people prefer white faces on this type of dog and he doesn't have enough color variation. But, we think he is just adorable...even if it is hard to get a good photo of him with his dark eyes and face!

Max had already named our dog Scout so that was already settled! Scout is settling in well here at the R home. He is a very good little dog. He loves to snuggle and is doing pretty well on potty training. Not perfect... but pretty good! I think he is just the perfect fit for our family!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Run Run as Fast as you Can...

Am I the only one who {HAS} to say this everytime I see a gingerbread man?? Ha!

My kiddos are so into Christmas this year. They want to be involved in every last detail.  I am hoping to have them help me make wrapping paper tomorrow. But, for some of our gifts we handed out earlier I had them help me by making these cute little gingerbread men and women from a little kit from Michaels. They are supposed to be ornaments but they also make super cute gift tags. The kids were able to add their own personal touch to the gifts and added to craft paper and a ribbon the gift still looked festive!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just say {no}

I can't believe Christmas is getting so close! This year our family has really been enjoying the time leading up to Christmas. I love our Advent Activity Calendar and think we will have to do it every year. It has provided so many fun evenings for us. Here is a pic from our shaving cream drawing the other night...
Had to give the blog a little shout out! But, in all reality, it has been an amazing last few weeks. Whenever I hop on to Facebook or read blogs or talk to people there is so much complaining about business. And I totally get that. But, I think us moms need to step up and take back the Christmas season for our families. Use what you learned in middle school and "just say no"! Ha! Don't bake cookies, don't go to that Christmas party, don't buy your kids 20 gifts each... unless that is what you truly love to do.

Some people like being really busy this time of year and that is great. Business is a different standard for everyone. I have friends that could go to a Christmas party every night for the 24 days leading up to Christmas, bake two dozen cookies everyday and still feel refreshed and festive. Great! And I have friends that if they get more than a few things going on in one week they feel out of sorts and run down. That is okay too. Figure out your own limits and what works for you.

Just enjoy the time with your family. I know that I will treasure each precious memory made this month for the rest of my life and I pray that these are the memories that will shape my children.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sophie the Ballerina

 Saturday was a very big day in our house. It was Miss Sophie's very first ballet recital! She was so excited... although I think the word had no definition until after her first time on stage.
 Sophie had a full row of supporters for her stage debut. Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma, Grandma June, Uncle Simon and Aunt Emily and Cousin Lauren were all there to cheer on our little dancer. I think someone loved all of the attention even though she was a little nervous at first.
 After the first song she was totally into it and couldn't wait to get back on stage. Her group got to dance twice and I was very surprised at how well she did.
 Even if she did spend the second half of her last song just playing with her hula skirt. But honestly, who can blame her? And she looked super cute.
 Of course like any ballerina should be she was showered with flowers after such a wonderful performance. Which may or may not have been her favorite part of the day!
 Mommy and Daddy couldn't have been more proud of our little girl! She was wonderful for her stage debut!
But, being such a wonderful ballerina can really wear a girl out...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kid Pics and Friday Links

Here are a few pics of the Little R's this week. They keep us busy all the time! But man, they are cute!

We have had a fun week continuing our Advent activity calendar. Last night we got to go to Journey to Bethlehem at Harvester Christian Church. For any of you local peeps I highly recommend it! It is quite an amazing production! We loved it! And we got to meet up there with my sister and brother in-law and my two sweet nephews which was a very special treat.

I wanted to share my favorite links again this week! I am having to re post because as some of you may noticed a certain 1 year old posted my draft which was only half done earlier in the week and added a few of his own words! Thankfully Jenn alerted me of the issue and that post was deleted. So, here are favorite links for the week in their complete and un baby edited form!

My Philosophy of Parenting: Pondering Christ by Sally Clarkson at I Take Joy
I have a feeling a week will not go by without a Sally Clarkson post included in the round-up. She is by far one of the most encouraging women. She is truly a Titus 2 woman teaching the younger women to love their children. The world would be a better place if we had more women like her being bold and mentoring us young moms without a clue! And she does it without talking down to younger women which is a rare gift!

Ode to a Mouse and His Cookie by Jenn at Just Us Scotts
My dear real life friend Jenn wrote this post and it totally cracked me up. I think we can all relate to this kind of day! And I was very impressed at all the pregnant lady was able to accomplish! Ha! :)

Enjoying the Simplicity of Staying Home by Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking
This post was so timely for me. I tend to feel the need to always be out and on the go but I also am very easily overwhelmed when life gets too hectic. So, obviously, I have found myself frustrated a lot lately. I felt like this post gave me the permission and encouragement I needed to stay home! I think I need to become much more intentional about my time away from home.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let it snow!

Pickle was a litte bit mischevious last night...

Maybe he was inspired by the light dusting of snow we got here yesterday? Either way, I love the touch of whimsy that was added above my kitchen sink!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the Road Again

The kids had so much fun last week with this activity that I decided I needed to keep it going. So this time I took out the craft paper, taped it to the floor, drew a road and voila! Hours of entertainment! The big kids mostly enjoyed drawing the scenery but my little man loved zooming his cars all over that thing!

As you might have noticed, Max liked to draw lots of animals on the side of the road. Let me tell you, a roll of craft paper has been a very good investment into hours of fun around the R's House!
Growing Home

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

and I am loving it! Christmas is my second favorite holiday afterall (surpassed only by Valentine's Day which is obviously the best holiday ever because, hello! It is my birthday!). This year has been a fun combination of old and new traditions.
One of our new traditions this year was an advent calendar that included a fun family activity each day. It has been so much fun already! Here is what we have done so far...
  1. Get out the kid nativity sets and play out the story of Jesus' birth
  2. Watch Elf
  3. Decorate a gingerbread house
  4. And on tonights agenda... Draw pictures in the snow (a.k.a. shaving cream on the table)
And Pickle is still bust suprising us every morning (or most mornings.. we might be a little forgetful when it comes to moving Pickle!)
 And I have added a few more decorations to spruce things up around here. I have definitly gone much simpler in my decorating this year!
And I wanted to give a big "thank you" for everyones amazing support of my first post over at Homemakers Challenge. I feel so blessed by such amazing friends!
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I am contributing over at Homemakers Challenge today!

Homemakers Challenge

Happy Monday, friends! Today is the day! Please click over to Homemakers Challenge and check out my first contributor post! It is about simple ways to decorate your home for Christmas. Click here to check it out!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Favorite Links from this week

I thought it would be fun once a week to share my 3 favorite blog articles I found online during the week! Not as much fun as goofing off with my favorite (and only) husband... but still lots of fun. So, in  no particular order, here are my favorites from this week!

"Violence in Video Games- does it really matter?" by Cassandra at The Better Mom
I loved this article and thought it was such a great reminder. Since my husband was addicted to video games growing up this is something we both feel very passionate about and I think her article is well written and really gives a lot to think about.

"Do unto your children as you would have them do unto you" by Sally Clarkson at I Take Joy
A wonderful article on loving and nurturing our children. As an ex-Babywise mom I am so thankful for Sally Clarkson speaking the TRUTH moms need to hear! Snuggle, cuddle, and respond to those babies all day long mommas! You won't regret it!

"Why the Heck do we Hate Tim Tebow?"by Jen Floyd Engel at Fox Sports
I love this article because not only do I love Tim Tebow and the Broncos but I found it to be something all of us Christians need to think about. I was challenged.

If you read these I would love to hear what you think!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pay it Forward

Today I finally got to be a part of a "Pay it Forward" line at Starbucks! If you don't know what that is, it is when the person ahead of you pays for your drink and then you pay for the person behind you. It is really neat to be a part of. Especially in our world where people pretty much keep to themselves it gives you an amazing feeling of community!
As I was driving away I couldn't help but feel very "Christmas-y". And although I couldn't really define that term in real words I will just say that it felt nice.

And it got me thinking about how I can give that feeling to others this year. Especially to those who maybe don't know Jesus. It made me realize that at Christmas time we really have an opportunity to be "light". What if Christmas time became a time of year when people couldn't ignore Jesus because His love was so obviously being displayed?

I know for us mommas with young kids serving can be hard. So, I thought of a few things we can do for others without taking away from our own families this season. And please add your ideas to the comments if you have some!
  • pay it forward (or backwards!) at Starbucks or any other drive-thru
  • leave cookies or a gift card in your mailbox for your mail carrier
  • leave a special treat on the porch for the UPS and Fed-Ex delivery guy
  • take cookies to the fire station or police department to thank those who serve our community
  • leave an extra big tip for your waitress or waiter... or pizza delivery guy
  • take time to WRITE (handwritten notes are so meaningful) Christmas cards to people in your life who might be lonely this time of year
  • Buy fewer gifts for your own children and help them buy gifts for children in need (we were able to do this this year and it gave us an amazing teaching opportunity)
  • Invite someone to your home for a meal or dessert that you know needs a friend right now
  • "Ding dong ditch" your neighbors with a little gift basket of Christmas treats given anonymously
  • And pray for God to show you who He wants you to bless this Christmas season! He will tell you who He wants to say a special "Merry Christmas" to!
Let's share the hope that we have this Christmas season. If you can't do anything else just smile at people and say "Merry Christmas"...

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."- Matthew 5:14-16