December 11, 2007

This little light of mine

Sophia is learning to sing!!! Just in the past couple of months, she's got some songs figured out and if you listen closely, you can just make out what she's singing. She sings most often when she thinks no one is listening, but also loves to sing in the car and at the table and when washing her hands. (I always sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star when she's washing up so that she knows how long she should be washing those hands.) She also sings the Clean up song and her new favorite is "This Little Light of Mine", especially the "Hide it Under a Bushel" verse. You'll have to listen closely to catch her in the video, and don't miss Noah rolling around on the floor in the background. No, we did not get a pet; those pet-like noises are actually Noah's contributions to the song!

'Tis the Season

Christmas season is here!!! And after being in the 70's for the first part of last week, it has now finally snowed and actually feels like winter time! We are all so excited and ready! We've been out to look at Christmas lights a number of times, and Sophia's favorite phrase to repeat EVERY time we get in the car these days is, "Lotsa Christmas lights!" She couldn't be more thrilled. There's one house near us that has made national news for the amount of decorating they do; it's the kind where you actually have to stop the car and get out and wander around to see everything they have on display. They have a number of trains running through one section of the yard and Sophia asks repeated to see the trains. (Coincidentally, one of our most frequent babysitters lives virtually right next to this house, so Sophia insists on going along every time we go pick up Jessicup, aka Jessica.)

We have a number of Christmas trees scattered throughout our house of varying shapes and sizes, and Sophia even has a small pencil tree in her room with Curious George ornaments. If you ever ask her what goes on the tree, she'll tell you "George." My mom has also made her an advent tree, and she daily looks forward to getting the box and finding the right ornament to put up for that day. The first day I had a hard time explaining to her why we could only put one ornament on that day, but she's got the routine down by now.

We went to pick out our real tree last weekend, and it was quite the affair. Each year, there is a man who owns a nursery who is an elder at our church (it was for his dad that Tim used to work landscaping) who kindly donates a free tree to the pastoral staff of our church, which is what allows us to be able to afford a tree from his lot. They are very costly, but also very beautiful. Every year, we say that we don't think there is a hint of a bad tree in his lot. We enjoy our outting every year, as it's complete with hay rides, cider and hot chocolate, roasted peanuts and chestnuts (which incidentally, for my family, are WAY better than our London experience of roasted chestnuts- they're actually good), Santa, and several reindeer!! Sophia had a great time riding in the wagon behind the tractor and checking out the reindeer. Noah, who was all bundled up in his carseat as it was cold and snowing, was less thrilled with the experience!

Sophia and I have been out to play in the snow several times, and it never fails to amaze me how she doesn't seem to get cold! I'm always ready to come in long before her. We've made her first snowman this winter (which scared her a ton when it crashed over while I ran into the house to get the decorations for his head), she's been on several sled rides, and today we made her first snow angels. They're so small!!! Usually, we venture out in the morning while Noah is napping, so he usually misses the fun, but we did take both kids for a short sled ride on Sunday after church. Noah was not impressed with the sled, until it started moving. In fact, he definitely wanted out, until Tim started pulling and then it was okay. But the minute we stopped moving, he was ready to be done!

It's been so much fun to experience the wonder of Christmas through the eyes of a child. And it's also been a real eye opener for us. Now that Sophia is old enough to begin to understand presents, and decorating and all these things, we are striving so hard to teach her the real meaning of Christmas. Which we've discovered is even harder when it seems that we frequently fail to remember what Christmas is really about. We've debated for years (long before we had kids) what we were going to do about the great Santa debate. And finally, this year, we are feeling more pressure to actually have an answer as Sophia is beginning to recognize Santa everywhere we go. Just days after Thanksgiving, I was thinking through all of this while I was waiting for Sophia to go potty, and I ended up thinking out loud "Maybe we'll make a birthday cake for Jesus this year." I've always thought that was pretty cheesy, but now that I'm wrestling with this for myself and my kids, I thought it might be a semi-tangible way for a 2 year old to comprehend some of the reason for Christmas. Little did I know, Sophia was fully listening to me thinking out loud and would bug me daily about a birthday cake for Jesus!!! So maybe, just maybe, we are on the right track...

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sophia and Noah riding in the sled (Noah's first ride)

Go, Daddy, Go!!!!

Sitting on Santa's lap. She had NO idea what to say when he asked what she wanted for Christmas. You may wonder where Noah is? Well, I was going to sit him in there after this shot, but then the batteries on the camera died, so this was all we got this year!

Sophia's first snowman! (After repairs from crashing over!)
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