We host a family Christmas breakfast for Dave's side of the family every year. This year I broke out my fine china and made it special! I love my Christmas table! I have used my china a few times this year, and it makes me feel like such a grown up! It's too beautiful to sit in my cupboard collecting dust. Everything was super yummy! We had pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit and egg bake... Yes, I took a photo of my egg bake! It was so pretty! And it was SO good! My thanks to my good friend Sara for the recipe!
I keep adding more and more this year... Mom and I bought some old skates a few years ago. I finally put my out this year! Some Christmas cheer in our entry way... Graham helped me put his train around the Basement tree...
I've been hearing a lot about leading others to Christ this Christmas. It always makes me feel a little "less-than" for some reason. After all, I think to myself, I sure don't have the large "sphere of influence" that pastors are always talking about. I see the same three people every day, and there aren't a whole lot of exceptions to that rule. The life of a stay at home mom can be monotonous. And monotonous this day has been. There have been endless requests. "Mom, could you..." "Mom, do this!" "Liz, could you...?" "Mom, can you help me..." until every last ounce of my energy has dwindled. Tonight, as part of our advent activities, Isaac and Graham each got their own "special" bubble bath. There were candles and Christmas music and a tub that was filled to the brim with warm water and bubbles. When I led Graham into the bathroom, his eyes were huge...he soaked up every moment of the experience and loved it. Isaac was the same. They both loved the special treatment from their mama. We had a brief chance to talk about Jesus and the meaning of Christmas during this time. And it got me to thinking about servanthood, about pointing others to Jesus. And my sphere of influence may be small, but its important nonetheless. A few moments later, as I was walking to Graham's bedroom to put him to bed, Dave called for me from our room. He's had the flu all day and he wanted me to rub his neck a bit. I complained at first, but then a still small voice whispered that word, "servanthood" distinguishable only to my heart. I turned around and went back in and did my part to help him feel a bit better. Servanthood. "Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35
Decorating for Christmas has been an arduous affair for me this year. Between Graham and the dog, I don't know who has been the bigger "helper." I am not done yet, but here's a look at a few things I have done on the first floor. I am not in love with this tree this year, but it's OK. I like my basement tree better. Graham's little white tree kept it's bright colors this year, but I added some candy accents and bright colored ornaments.
It's finally DONE!!!!! This stairway that has been a THORN in my SIDE for the past year! It has been in various stages of "not done" all year. I am proud to say that I lovingly stained and top coated each one of the steps...it was lots of work, but totally worth it! And yes, I have as many or more photos of my house on my hard drive as photos of my children. We are replacing the front door soon, but I gave it a fresh coat of paint in the meantime so it would look nice. We are currently missing door trim, which is being stained as we speak. chalkboard behind the door--I took an old picture, sprayed it with magnetic chalkboard paint and painted the frame. I painted a shelf/peg board that I got at a garage sale and put up new photos of the boys I took this summer... We also put in new tile (love!). I have yet to find a rug that I like for this area. Here's a view of the steps going into the basement--our new carpet...love it all. We also updated our downstairs bathroom. I kept the black and white, but added in a green-apple color. It looks a little off in these photos. The wall color also looks off. It is called "Barnwood" from Waverly, and it is much more taupe than the olive green color that shows in these photos. Note the cute painted boxes on the toilet (you will need to double click this photo to see them)--got those at a thrift store--they were really ugly. I painted them black and distressed them--I want to paint a number "1" on one and "2" on the other. The beautiful candlesticks were something I had wanted for a long time--bought them with a gift card I got from my best friend! Our new light and my cute new lamp! I painted the vanity black and have yet to find hardware that I like.
Here's some photos of our kitchen from when we first bought our house. You get the idea: horrible flooring, dated cabinets, ugly countertops, bad appliances and a terrible set-up. The story of the last two homes we have lived in...
Double click the photos if you want to view them larger. Dad was here for the past few days and he helped me finish off a couple of kitchen projects. It is now (almost) officially done...just a couple of minor details. New counters, new appliances, painted cabinets, new hardware, new flooring, new lighting, pressed tin backsplash, reconfiguration of the entire workspace. A collection of pottery from my mama that I have been dying to get up in my house somewhere...
dining area living room Our basement family room with new carpet! My wonderful brother in law scored some great used carpet that we had cleaned and installed. It is such great quality! And yes, I know that photo on the right side of the fireplace needs to be up higher. My mom keeps telling me this, but now that I see it in a photo, I get it. If you make this photo larger, you will see the artwork Graham graciously did on my ottoman in pen last week. Another photo of my new bathroom. I am working on our second bathroom as we speak...photos to come sometime soon! Dad put in a new bathroom light this week.
Here's where we started from with that bathroom:
Just had to post a quick pic of Graham's room--I got the larger sailboat at a thrift store a few days ago for $5...they are usually pretty pricey! Isaac's room got fresh paint and "new" carpet this summer as well...
"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." -Sophocles
Isaac is 10 and is a fourth grader this year. He is the laughter of my days. He is dramatic, hilarious, smart, creative and has a great sense of humor. He loves LEGOS, Minecraft, Making stuff out of polymer clay, Taekwondo and music.
Graham is six years old. He is a kindergartner this year. He is the excitement and color of my days. He is obliviously hilarious, independent, snuggly, sweet and totally boy. He loves LEGOS, minecraft, eating, playing basketball and doing projects with mom and dad.
Grayson is 18 months old. He is the pure love of my days. He likes to do whatever his brothers are doing, he loves to snuggle with mama and get into stuff around the house. He loves his papa.