Saturday, March 5, 2011

On Faith and Santa Claus

My kids believe in Santa. I spent 5 Christmases getting Tiger to understand the concept of Santa. Luckily, Blanket seems to have caught on this last Christmas too.

Back in December there were a few posts on other blogs I follow (and blogs they follow, etc.) about teaching kids to believe in Santa. I thought a long time (its March) about why I teach [indoctrinate, deceive] my children to think that toys magically come from a fat man in a red suit. The answer is simple: Faith.

Children have the greatest faith. They believe in things that are good. They want to believe in the good. They still have faith that the world and the people in it are good. For children faith in Santa is simple: Santa is a good man who will bring gifts to me if I am good. Basic cause and effect.

The faith that we really want our kids to have is a lot more complicated than that. (Not that kids aren't capable of that kind of faith, it is just not as simple.) I see the faith in Santa as the simplest form of faith in Christ. Kids understand and want the reward that Santa is offering. That is not to diminish in any way the reward that Christ is offering, but eternal life with your family isn't as appealing (or as immediate) to a 5 year-old as the latest Thomas the Tank Engine.

Our faith in Christ isn't instantly rewarded the way our faith in Santa is. (Though my kids may argue waiting for Christmas takes an eternity.) Faith in Christ is rewarded more fully, more frequently, and for longer than faith in Santa.

Faith in Santa (for me) helps me get my kids to exercise their faith muscles.
  • They believe in something they do not see.
  • They make choices that affect the reward they receive.
  • They exercise patience in gaining this reward.
  • They are granted grace (kids aren't perfect)
  • After much waiting, but at a pre-arrainged time, they are rewarded with something they really want.
And once they grasp the whole Santa concept, then having faith in something bigger and more complex becomes easier. Practicing our faith on Santa helps my kids truly have better faith in Christ.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The 5 of the Tiger

Five years ago
you came to us
strong and mighty son.
We waited long
we wanted much
for you to join the fun.
A joy you are
and brother true
to those beneath your wings.
Fun, funny
leader, friend, example
and a thousand other things.
May you always be the best you know how to be.
Happy Birthday

Naughty in the potty

This is Mac's favorite place to play.
We have instituted a close the potty and close the door rule.
Tiger and Blanket are very good about following the rules.
B.A.R. is good about following the rules
Stitches needs improvement with following the rules, but she is the one who suffers the consequences of leaving the potty available to Mac.
splish, splash
if you're not going to stop me, then I'll go back to playing.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My latest creation

I have been making a concerted effort to finish this quilt I started before Mac was born. I would work on it, and then it would get moved off the sewing table in favor of projects with a deadline. I decided to make it happen at the beginning of the year. I have worked on it, but I have also read 9.5 books since Mac's birthday too. I am so glad it is finished.

I used a pattern called All Aboard from The Teacher's Pet. This quilt is for Blanket, and so much of the personalization is geared to him. I left the elephants out of the gondola 'cause elephants would never ride in a gondola.

Close-ups of the quilting
The big reveal
It's hanging up right now if you want to come inspect it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This post needs a picture, and maybe it will get one later.

I noticed something today. Mac is lighter when he sleeps.

When he is awake he loves to be held. But it is almost impossible for me to hang on to him. He wiggles and squirms. He is looking at the floor, at the ceiling, at almost everything that is around him. He moves and bends and twists and dips and arches and curls and pushes and pulls and grabs and scratches and pokes and reaches. He is my baby who needs to be held, carried, and cuddled the most. He is also the one who is the most likely to make you want to put him down. 20 pounds of long, skinny, wiggly boy is quite a workout to hold onto.

Twice today (well 3 times if you count the middle of the night) he has fallen into a deep sleep and I have carried him. Both times I thought "he seems so light." It must be that 20 pounds isn't all that much if it isn't constantly being added onto by all sorts of directional movement.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mac's 1!!!

He doesn't have any teeth. He doesn't feed himself anything besides graham crackers. He did a great job destroying the cake, but didn't really like it when I put some in his mouth.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blanket's birthday

Blanket's birthday falls the same week as Thanksgiving. I was cooking for Thanksgiving and didn't want to have to make a cake too, so this year we kept it simple and bought a cake. He insisted on blowing out the candles more than once.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Elven Magic

These escapees from the north pole appeared on our Christmas card.
For those who didn't get a card here's the cheery photos.

Friday, January 7, 2011

S'mores and Hot Chocolate

We started some Christmas Eve traditions at our house. Our kids had never eaten hot chocolate nor s'mores. They were both a big hit.

And afterwards we put out our stockings and then looked for Santa.

No, really. That's what they told me they were doing standing by the door.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fabric Creations

Here's the promised post about what I have managed to sew over the last few months.

Two quilts that were donated to Firehouse Quilts. (scroll down to Littleton, CO)
Reversible apron for me.
Apron for Grandma Stitches

Apron for Leprechaun (nephew)

Apron for Froggie (my SIL).

Apron for Grandma B.A.R.
Apron for Grandma Stitches.

Not pictured ('cause I was in to much of a hurry to get them mailed for Christmas):
Apron for Birdie (niece)
2 pairs each pjs for Leprechaun and Birdie
Work on a quilt for Blanket (photos when that is finished).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sleep (Part 2)

Some days even chocolate ice cream isn't enough to keep him awake.

Track around the world.

Maybe not around the world, but around the house for sure. Way back in the summer Santa scored all this great Thomas stuff for a smallish price. Ever since we had wondered if there was enough to go "all the way around". All the way around our downstairs, that is. And since B.A.R. is out of town for the next few days (and I don't have to pick up toys for any good reason) I added on to the Brendham Docks and Tidmouth Sheds the boys had started with. Note: these are not all the buildings/track we have. 3 buildings, 1 bridge and about 10 little adapter tracks were not needed to build this.

Now for our tour
We start at Brendham Docks and Tidmouth Sheds in the Front/playroom

Out to the junction and onto the hallway tile.

Down the hallway, past the stairs, laundry and a broken-down train.

Past the basement steps and around the corner.

Along the other hallway waving to the office and the bathroom as you pass.

Down the step to the TV room (new white sectional shown) and turning the corner into the kitchen.

Up the step and past the trash can.

Kitchen hardwood covered and into the dining room.

Final corner and dining table avoidance.

Back to the playroom.
Stop at the carnival.

Back to the junction.

Note the use of lots of curved track at the end because I was all out of straight track. Now back to my adult chores.