Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Goals!

Well, I fell asleep putting Reagan to bed last night, haha. I've been doing that a lot lately. Almost as if my body is saying, "I'm going to make you go to bed if you like it or not!"

So now I'm going to try to whip something up while I feed the kids breakfast this morning. I thought, since it's New Year's Eve and all, that maybe I should share some of our family goals for 2014. It's going to be a gooood year! ;) Lord willing! Most of these aren't "resolutions." Not things we are going to try to accomplish…but things we are really planning to happen. Things we've been working on for a while that are finally going to come together.



1.) We are going to be debt free by spring!!!!!! Woot! :) No more student loans for us.
2.) We're road tripping to Nashville to meet Mr. Dave Ramsey and scream "Weeeee'reee debt freeee!" on the radio. Can't wait.
3.) We are going to ship Eric off to Haiti to continue work with The Pitch.
4.) We're going to Disney World - hallelujah.
5.) We're looking forward to GIVING more.

Now here are some things that are up in the air for us. What will 2014 bring….?

*Will we move? And if so, are we finally making the move to another town? That's been the plan all along. Sigh…don't want to say goodbye to this place, but there are other things on the horizon…..

*Will we have another baby?? Haha. That is NOT in our plans, but not a single one of our babies has been planned.

*Will we make plans to travel to the holy lands? We sure want to! (See the last question...)

And, okay, here are a few resolutions that I am personally going to try to work on in the New Year. Oh how I want to do these things!

1) I want to have more patience with my kiddos. I mean, I wish I could make some resolutions on their behalf as well, haha, like "We will pick up our toys, and we'll stop being so wild, and we won't color on the walls!" But still. How I react is up to ME. Patience. I need it.

2) I want to continue working on strengthening my relationship with God. I want to read his word more, pray more, listen more.

3) I want to outdo Eric in love. Gah, he's my best friend. I want to keep it that way, forever.

4) I want to talk less and listen more to my peers. Debating isn't always worth it. (Even if you know you're right. HA!) Love. Just love them.

5) I want to get more rest, which will probably help a lot with my first resolution. ;)

So that's it - some goals, some resolutions…lots of things are up in the air. But I think all in all, we have a whole lot to look forward to in 2014! I can't wait. It'll be a banner year! Haha. I guess we'll see you in the New Year, friends! Hope you'll join us for more life. :)




Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Morning 2013

I'm just going to be honest, I am completely overwhelmed in trying to start today's blog post. We have hardly been home at all since Christmas Eve. The amount of pictures and video I have over the past few days is…ridiculous.

This is the longest I have sat down in front of the computer in over a week. In five days we had five family Christmases (six, if you count our nursing home stop…seven if you count our own Christmas morning)…we had a birthday party…the sale where we buy the kids' entire wardrobe for half of the year was bumped up to the day after Christmas this year (holy moly) which means we were scouting every Gymboree in the area for two days. We have literally been shopping and partying nonstop. Haha. It has been FUN, that's for sure! Luckily Eric has been on vacation this whole time, and I've barely cooked a meal. So, not complaining. But now, here I am, in the dark of night, totally swamped with memories and two cameras full of photos I haven't even uploaded yet.

AND…a very special baby was born this weekend - cannot possibly forget that! Heather's baby Kinley came into the world, and she is caaaa-ute!! I don't think I've spoken about it much here, but Heather contacted me shortly after becoming pregnant with Ms. Kinley so that I could help pray, pray, pray for that little miracle. And pray I did. Even the girls joined in on extra important doctor visit days. What a huge blessing to see photos of a beautiful, healthy baby girl this weekend. Praise the Lord! Congratulations, Heather!

Now, if you'll excuse me…I'm going to insert a memory card into this computer and see what pops up!

***

Well, looks like we get Christmas morning today, haha. Luck of the draw, and that's what it was.


Santa had the same strict orders this year of no more than $100 per child for Christmas. We're a family on our way to being debt free, after all…no big splurges allowed. Not even for the big guy on our behalf. ;) The dollhouse that the girls received took more than one child's whole budget, so the elves had to get creative.

We always queue all of the kids up in one bedroom and make sure that they're properly dressed, haha. Then they run out together, squeaking and squealing.

Of course all three kids ran to the dollhouse first thing, but soon we did stockings. 



Last year Reagan was just a spectator for the most part, but this year he was totally into it. :D



Haha. 


We popped breakfast in the oven, and then it was time to open gifts. I think these pictures are pretty self-explanatory. 







I couldn't wait for the girls to open these…the smallest gift they got, but I knew they were so wanted!


Sofia the First glowing amulets. :)


Evelyn wanted to know if hers granted her special powers to talk to animals. Erm…no…but they do light up! Haha.

We spent a long time this morning just letting the kids play and enjoy their new things. It was wonderful! Usually we are rushing out the door to get on to the next thing.



Eventually we did have to get showered and dressed and head to family Christmas #3…but…those pictures are on another camera and will have to be another day. :D

Whew, I did it. Getting started is the hardest part. Hopefully this week we can share some more memories and videos from the last week. THANK YOU for checking in and not forgetting about us while we were gone. :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Confession Friday 12-20!

Well, Evelyn missed her class Christmas program, and the church program, too, but at least she gets to go to her classroom Christmas party today - that's something right? Good thing she's feeling okay, because we're supposed to bring some of the treats! Like these lovely Santa lips. :)




Oh. These things. They're not only obnoxious looking, they are also WHISTLES. And that pretty much puts me on the parent hate list for the rest of the year. Luckily for me, the year ends soon. :) The kids love them, and that's all that counts, haha.

It's time to do some confessing.

I confess that I felt like such crap when I was sick that the THOUGHT of being on a computer made me want to hurl. That's saying something from the gal who blogs during labor.

I confess that my biggest fear going into 2014 is….getting pregnant. And why? Because it will screw up our Disney vacation plans. :) Priorities!

I confess that my biggest hope for 2014 is….that absolutely nothing life-altering, over the top, or too interesting happens to us. For one year. Please. I just need a little boring time with my family. And a mouse. That's all I need.

I confess that the mountain of laundry I have to catch up on post-sickness would need to be scaled with an oxygen mask in tow. It's ridiculous. And I never know what lovely surprises I may find when I reach into the pile. Eeeee….

I confess that I think it's completely bogus that I get heartburn when I eat spicy food now. What am I, 45??

I confess that Eric is a better parent than I'll ever be. He has more patience, he's more organized, he's more reasonable and responsible. He's a good egg.

I confess that I hit a totally low point in my life this week…I let the stress of nothing going right lately get to me, and I snapped. Like psychotic, who is this person - snapped. My poor family. Now when Gracie throws a fit, Eric says, "You sound like mommy when she doesn't get to see the Christmas lights!" :D Okay, so we laugh about it now.

I confess that no activity is a bigger pain in the butt for me to get out and clean up than play-doh. That's why my kids are getting two new sets for Christmas! Wait, what?

I confess that Reagan is FINALLY getting some bottom teeth in - but gosh dang, we're still breastfeeding! :D All Reagan wants for Christmas is his two front teeth, his two front teeth….

I confess that if you see my mom around and she looks like she's levitating right off the ground, it's because my sister is coming home tomorrow night for the holidays. I'm pretty sure they are counting down the hours.  :)

Finally, because I love to drop subtle hints here, I confess that I need a date night in a bad way. I need kid-free time. I need to leave this house. And I miss conversations with my husband. So…just in case someone in particular is reading this today…I thought I'd throw that out there.

We hope you have a great last weekend before the holidays! So much to do, so little time. :) Have fun, don't sweat the small stuff, and count your blessings!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When Holidays Attack

I was a little surprised in logging in today that my blog hadn't been hacked. I did just abandon it, after all….

I really don't want to go into the very specific details of what happened while we were away. It was a horrible, horrible time in our lives. Evelyn did end up passing on her virus to each and every one of us. We literally dropped like flies. We were running from it…dodging, ricocheting, ducking…and one by one, we watched each of our comrades snatched by the ankles and dragged backward by the enemy. First it was Gracie…and then Reagan…and then Eric….I was hoofing it alone for about 20 minutes before it got me, too. :)

Not exaggerating, last Saturday night was probably the worst night of my LIFE. And if not the worst, then it was definitely top 3 - for sure top 3.

One of the worst parts of all was the timing. We missed a lot while we were stuck at home. Evie's Christmas program at school, going to see Christmas lights, the Christmas program at church, which the girls were supposed to be a part of, friends' holiday open houses…all in the same weekend. We missed it all. Wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't the type who sits and dreams about this stuff starting in August. And if I didn't have a four year old still asking, "When do I get to do the program at school for our friends and parents?" with a quivering lip.

But the good news is, we're doing better now! Evie got to go to school yesterday for the first time since last Wednesday. And when she got home, the kids went outside to build a snowman with their grandma. :)


We missed most of the snowy fun when everyone else was having it, but the kids managed to get a little play time in before it all melted.


I wish I had gotten this on camera, because Evelyn was literally squealing with delight…I think everyone was happy to outside and free. And ever since seeing "Frozen" my girls love snowmen!

Reagan got to touch snow (finally!) for the first time….



…and he ate it, of course. What kid doesn't eat snow?



We are really trying to make up for some lost time now in our Christmas season. I am still addressing cards, there are last minute things to purchase, lots of gifts to wrap, places to go, activities to do….whew…terrible weekend for us to be sick! But we can do it. One week. We have one week until Christmas Day. Six days until the first of our FIVE family Christmases. I think we can, I think we can….

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Peace, Joy, and Living Wills

So yesterday Eric and I had the pleasure of sitting down with an attorney (and a very wiggly one year old) to discuss something we all want to talk about this time of the year: our will. That's right, friends. We are spending our free time this holiday season conversing about what will happen if we prematurely kick the bucket. Merry Christmas!


I suppose it isn't an entirely irrelevant topic for Christmas. I mean, we have the sweet little manger scenes, and angels, and lowing cattle, and shepherds, and all of that -which is awesome. I love a good manger scene. I love the sweet little baby Jesus, with his sweet little baby cheeks, and his fat little thighs. I'm sure he was a precious bundle.

But. Jesus was born to die. That was the whole point of his coming in the first place.

Yeah! See? So we're not so random after all. Keeping the spirit of the season alive and well...er....

:)

As if talking about trusts and assets wasn't thrilling enough, we've added another pleasurable event to our holidays: a sick, puking child.

Poor Evelyn. She will be totally fine one minute, and then it starts going downhill...she gets quiet, starts complaining that her belly hurts, and then...bleeeech. Obviously she has some sort of random stomach bug. I hope and pray that she spends the entirety of this Thursday puke-free. We do NOT want to miss school on Friday. I've waited all year for her Christmas program at school, and Eric is taking a half-day off of work.  :)

Evelyn just woke up and stumbled into the living room.

"You feel okay, Evie? Are you going to be sick?"

"I'M NOT SICK!"

Prayers would be appreciated that she really is miraculously better, haha.

So we are spending the day in the Robert family infirmary...hoping that we're not incubating an illness to be passed on to every other member of the family. We don't have time for being sick - too many fun things going on.

We took the girls to the movies to see Frozen the other day, and Olaf the snowman perfectly ties it all together for us today. A snowman who wishes it were summer (me too!) and who obviously has a death wish...it's a must see. If you haven't seen it, here's a spoiler for you. Two running minutes of the actual movie...and they're a funny two minutes. :)


Haha, happy random Thursday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

White Christmas - Vlog 5!

Surprise visits, snow days, and Santa Claus! We've been snowed in quite a bit this week, but we still managed to get out and have a little bit of fun. :)




Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow Days!

What a swirling whirling weekend -  full of ice and snow! Actually our weekend isn't really over yet since we are enjoying yet another snow day from school today. That means another day where getting out of our pajamas is totally optional, and I gotta tell ya…we've been having a lot of those days lately. LAY-ZEE, I'll tell you what.

We haven't even gone out to play in the snow, because to be honest, it's just too dang cold for me.  There were several times I opened up the front door thinking we might give it a go, only to say nnnnnope, staying in my PJ's. I may love everything to do with Christmas, but I don't love the weather at all. I appreciate it giving us snow days, though. :) And maybe, just maybe…I'll try for a day of snowy fun today. We'll see.

Of course I documented the whole winter storm on our handy dandy video camera. From our nearly 70 degree day on Wednesday to the snowpocolypse on Thursday and Friday. Now we're just living in an ice-packed wonderland, which I'm sure is the reason why we get more free days!


We've been keeping warm with candles glowing, Christmas movies playing, and enough holiday treats to feed a few elephants. We have more cookies and christmas candies than I even know what to do with! Haha. It's Christmastime!

We capped off our weekend with the annual Knights of Columbus christmas party.


Any excuse to hang out with cousins is a good day!


We ate a quick dinner, and soon it was time for the kiddos to put on a show. Of course, our girls had no problems at all doing a little performance. In fact, they loved it so much they went up for a second time and sang again! The first time, Evelyn killed it with an awesome round of Jingle Bells….


But Gracie dominated Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. :) Haha. All of the kids were too cute, as usual. 


It wasn't long before there was a knock at the door, and who was it but the one and only jolly old St. Nicholas. Each of the kids took their turn sitting on his knee and getting a gift.

We thought Reagan was going to be a lost cause...


But all he wanted was a gift bag. Give the kid a gift bag! 


After that he gave us the typical Robert baby Santa pose...


…indifference. Haha.





All of the kids ended the evening singing songs with Santa Clause. :)


Fun!

So…Eric literally just walked through the door and surprised us by taking the day off!! Woohoo. :D I think we might take the girls to see a certain movie we've been waiting for this afternoon. What a fun and unexpected snow day treat! 

Hope you guys have a great weekend. We have much to share in our video tomorrow! :)


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Turkey, Trees, and North Pole Breakfast - Vlog 4

Hi, friends!

We were without our vlogging camera this past week. The video feature on our new camera had been working great for us, but the camera randomly stopped taking pictures, haha. So we had to take it back to Best Buy to have it replaced. Since they didn't have any of our cameras in stock, we had to wait for another new camera to be shipped to us…and in the meantime…we found the same camera for an EVEN BETTER deal online over Black Friday. Say what?? A blessing in disguise!

I now have my (new) new camera in my possession…yessss!! But as for this vlog, I had to learn to use the video feature on our giant DSLR. It's not exactly easy to film with a big heavy camera that looks ridiculous when you try to zoom with the lens. But we managed! There was no way I wasn't going to film Thanksgiving, putting up our tree, and our North Pole breakfast. So this one is slightly shorter than all the rest, but still a glimpse into our lives in the past week. Here ya go!

Okay, for some reason blogger is being dumb (what else is new?) and won't let me embed my video. So here is the link!


Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

For the Holidays You Can't Beat Home Sweet Home

One of the most important ideas about "home" that I have ever heard is that home should be a place of sanctuary. I've always thought that it was my job to create a place of rest and peace and comfort for my family so that when it's time to walk outside our front door and face the world, we are recharged and ready. I am not always successful at this. :) Sometimes home is loud and messy and chaotic. But we try. When we fail, we try again. When the world seems to be spinning in mad circles, this place needs to be grounded.

So we have our traditions and we have our fun at our house. We have all of the things that make the Robert family the Robert family, just as I know each of you have traditions and ways of doing things, too. As I looked around our living room this weekend I saw crayon marks on the walls and carpet that needs replacing. I saw curtains hanging askew and furniture covered in tattering slip covers. And my first thought was, "This so isn't our dream home…."







And then I stepped back for a minute, watching the kids decorate the christmas tree together. And I soon realized…"Yeah, it is. This is it."

I grew up being taught that a church isn't the building in which people gather to worship…it's the people who are worshipping together that are the church. Likewise, a home isn't just walls and bricks and a roof overhead. A home is the family living inside of it - no matter how big or small.

Dream home, indeed.

After we put up the tree this weekend we continued kicking off Christmas around here with the arrival of our resident elf, Moe. We love that little guy. We especially love that he comes bearing breakfast. :)




The girls were tickled that there were peppermint sticks in their hot chocolate. (So was I - made it really yummy!)


Surprise! North Pole breakfast was a hit for the second year in a row. 




I love when home comes with bed heads. :) Gracie and I definitely take the bed head prize in this family, haha.

With December also comes the fun of donning our gay apparel. Unfortunately, one of us didn't feel very gay about their apparel.


 That boy just doesn't want his mama to put him down. :)




Hehe, Gracie.

Last night we had a special visitor swing by the house to drop off some very important packages. 







Grace couldn't wait to put her new PJ's on.


It was another year of the kids having no idea what was in those boxes. Someday they are going to catch on. :)

An online friend recently asked a group of moms if there was one holiday tradition that they honestly couldn't stand. Some said that they despised putting up the christmas tree, while some thought sending cards was a waste. Other moms said that they secretly dreaded their children's christmas programs or that they were scroogey about baking tons of cookies. 

What did I say? Nothing. Haha. I couldn't think of  a single thing about the holiday season that I don't LOVE and embrace with giant, open arms. :D It's an opportunity to have fun with my family, in our home, because they are my home on this earth. It's an excuse to do things that are out of the ordinary. And to end each day focusing on the real reason for the season…I love it. Love everything about it.

We hope that all of our friends will have a very merry Christmas season this year, and we pray for those who aren't able to go home - may you find homes away from home to celebrate with! Sending Christmas blessings from our family to yours!



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