Monday, December 8, 2014

Freddie Gets a Lift

This post has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas celebrations.

It has to do with the fact that, Sunday morning before church, I looked up and saw Jones pushing Freddie on the "hog" that got Jones around for the six months that he positively refused to walk. Of course, when I tried to get him on video doing it, he stopped, but this forced recreation gives you the idea.

I think it's kind of adorable.  How about you?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Living Nativity

We took the boys to a Live Nativity at the 3rd Generation Barn in Canton tonite. I heard that there'd be farm animals there and immediately knew that such an event had Jones Pressley's name written all over it. Haylee Floyd, our friend from church, went with us, serving as the official "Freddie Wrangler," which was amazingly helpful.
The nativity was a really incredible experience. Though the barn it was in had to be 10,000 times nicer than the stable where Jesus was born, it did give us a sense of the humility of the situation. The Creator of the universe appears on Earth like THAT?!  Wow. 

For his part, Jones was very excited by the goat ... which he thought was a sheep, and I didn't have the heart to correct him, mostly because I'm not entirely sure of the differences between the two myself. Horns and a bleat. Is that all?
He was also impressed with the farm cat he encountered before we even followed the wisemen into the barn, but his BEST buddy was the very pregnant donkey. Interestingly, it's the donkey that he always pulls out of Freddie's Advent calendar to play with. Maybe he'll grow up to lead burro tours to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. 

As much as Jones loved playing with the donkey, Freddie Bear may have loved it more.  He practically fell out of Haylee's arms for reaching to pet the very friendly lady. Something you should know about Freddie - he does NOT share his brother's rather timid approach to new situations.  Wide-open is that one.

We ended our evening with our Advent study. I mention that, because, after the lessons, I was singing "Angels We Have Heard on High," and Jones started singing along. He's made noise before, as I've sung, but he's never sung along for an extended period of time. It.was.awesome ... especially after the whiny, clingy, needy week he's had.                                                                              

So the celebrations continue, and our anticipation of Jesus's birth grows with every passing day!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Comes to Canton

After an incredible Thanksgiving week, Jones and Freddie's Christmas celebrations are in full effect. Now that Jones is old enough to really enjoy things (as opposed to last year when December was just any other month to him), I'm trying to be intentional about starting traditions within our immediate family. I'm writing them all here, so I don't forget to do them again next year.


I put up our Christmas tree (3 easy steps!) the weekend before Thanksgiving, but we didn't put any ornaments on it until the Sunday after. After church, we read this big board book about the man who created the candy cane (and why - it's an awesome story!), watched a DVD of the Christmas story from the same Read-and-Share Bible that we read with the boys every nite, and, finally, put the ornaments on the tree. Freddie couldn't have been less interested, but Jones enjoyed it, though he didn't want to hang the Coke bottle ornament that Jeremy and I got on our honeymoon. He preferred to drink it instead. I can't really say that I blame him.

That nite, we started our Advent devotions. This basically involves reading some an advent meditation from this little book that I bought, reading some Scripture, putting that day's character on the Little People Advent Calendar that Mom bought Freddie to match the Little People Nativity she gave Jones for HIS first Christmas (as featured in last year's Christmas card!), singing the Hymn of the Month (first verse of "Joy Has Dawned," by Keith and Kristyn Getty), and praying.  After this, Freddie goes to bed and Jones generally talks me into an episode of "Tec" before he goes down himself. He's got me right where he wants me.

In addition to our nitely routine, there have been a couple of special outings already, too.

1) December 3: The boys and I took Sissy's kids to check out the self-proclaimed Greenville Griswolds. This is a place that must be seen to be believed, so here you go:

How do they DO that?!  And why??!?!? And WHO PAYS FOR IT?!?!?!

2) December 4: We went to the Canton Christmas Parade! Before the Parade, we met the Pressleys at Sid's for dinner. Afterwards, we walked back to their car for a front-row seat to the action. I'd actually assumed we'd sit in the car, staying warm until the parade started, and then transfer the party to the place I'd staked out on the sidewalk.  The thing about Jones, though, is that, once he's given access to a steering wheel, he's not all that willing to give it up. That translated into Jeremy and I standing on the sidewalk for the first part of the parade, while Jones sat on his Pop's lap in the driver's seat, and Freddie sat shotgun with Nan. Periodically, Jeremy or I would walk over to the driver's side to see if Jones wanted to come get closer-up to the action. Every time, he'd say, "No" and then wave, "Bye."

Message received.

Eventually, Jeremy and I got in the car, too, and it was so much fun to watch Jones interact with the (many, many) floats that passed by (the parade lasted well over an hour). The float for a church passed by, and Mrs. Pressley read the sign on it: "Christmas is all about Jesus." Jones immediately said, "BA-BY!" which I'm hoping is because he's heard us refer to "Baby Jesus" about 19,000 times in the past week and a half. Or maybe not, but I'm hoping so.

Then, we headed home, fat and happy with visions of sugarplums dancing in each of our pretty little heads.

So that's our holiday so far. We're planning to go to a live nativity (in a barn!) tomorrow nite. Assuming I'm not too lazy to do it (a big assumption), I'll post pics from that little excursion, as well.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hymn(s) of the Month(s)

It's not that we DON'T have Hymns of the Month; it's just that I don't ever think to post them.

That's why I'm posting every HotM, since July.

One day, I'll be a better blogger.

August: "More than Wonderful"
September: "Jesus, I am Resting, Resting"
October: "Always the Same"
November: "My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness"

Just writing these titles makes me think, "Mmmm.  I LOVE that song." For my own gratification, I'm going to write out my favorite pieces of the songs.

"He's more wonderful than my mind can conceive.
He's more wonderful than heart can believe.
He goes beyond my wildest hopes and fondest dreams.
He's everything that my soul ever longed for -
everything He's promised and so much more.
More than amazing.
More than marvelous.
More than miraculous could ever be.
He's more than wonderful.
That's what Jesus is to me."

"Jesus, I am resting, resting,
in the joys of what Thou art.
I am finding out the greatness
of Thy loving heart."

"Always the same,
oh, praise His name.
Jesus never changes.
He's always the same.
Always together,
His love is forever.
Jesus never changes.
He's always the same."

"My heart is filled with thankfulness
to Him Who walks beside,
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
and causes fears to fly,
Whose ev'ry promise is enough
for ev'ry step I take,
sustaining me with arms of love
and crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
to Him Who reigns above,
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose ev'ry thought is love,
for ev'ry day I have on Earth
is given by the King,
so I will give my life, my all,
to love and follow Him."

Snow Day

Apparently, posting pictures of your children in the snow is as obligatory as posting pictures of them at an apple orchard.

So here is Jonesie in the snow.

I have now fulfilled my role as mother.

Freddie was asleep during our Alpine escapade - and, though Jones started off the excursion really seeming to love the snow, he ended it in a trail of tears, which is more in line with how I'd expected he'd react to the foreign substance covering our lawn. In his defense, maybe it's because his hands were on the verge of frostbite. His mother, so proud that she'd already bought both of her boys a snowsuit on November 1, totally forgot to get them some gloves. 

Live and learn.

Since the snow didn't cover the concrete, I can say that it was really pretty. My favorite part of the yard is where we have a tree that's still full of orange leaves and, under it, a blanket of snow. Oh, and Jones thought it was hilarious when his daddy pelted me with a snowball. He laughed and clapped.

I, on the other hand, felt like clapping when I realized that a snow day gives us all a perfect excuse to stay in our pajamas all day  ... as if I needed an excuse to do that.

Happy Halloween!

Jeremy's family has an awesome Halloween tradition.

Every year, they get together at someone's house for dinner; then the kids all go trick or treating and round back up again for dessert afterwards. I love that they do this and am so glad that we were in town this year to join in the fun.

We met up at Aunt Nancy's for pizza. Freddie hadn't taken a good afternoon nap, so I was worried that we may be making an early exit, but he did great, mostly because we fed him. All nite long. You name it; he ate it, epitomizing the phrase "fat and happy."

For his part, Jones was happy, as well. He was restless sitting between me and Jeremy during dinner, which was weird, because he LOVES pizza, and that's what was in front of him. After just a few forced bites, though, we got him up, and he walked into the room where the big kids were; he proceeded to eat every bite, while sitting at the kiddie table in there.  I guess he just didn't want to miss out on the action. He really seems to LOVE being around them (just like his Nunnery cousins in SC).

After "peeeeeetzzzz," we left Freddie on his Nan's lap and took our "Little Jones" out to trick or treat, even though I kinda hesitated to go, because it was raining, and I'd straightened my hair earlier in the day (while we're being honest ...). We did go, though, and I'm really glad that we did. Jones was a little skittish at houses that looked particularly haunted. But for the most part, he did great. He wanted no part of carrying his own bucket, and he spent most of the time asking for more "peeeeeetzzzz," so after about six houses, we headed home to feed the child some more pizza. 

Freddie, full as a tick, was sound asleep by the time we got home.

Oh, and here's a favorite little anecdote from our nite: apparently, little Lila Thomason (as opposed to "big" Lila Nunnery) has two baby dolls that she refers to as "Jones" and "Freddie." I kinda feel like that's the cutest thing I've ever heard. 

These pictures are pretty cute, too, though.  

first stop of the afternoon was
a quick visit to Nan & Pop's

finally got Hoss in that gosh-awful hat

My diet died when Dolly walked in with this. 
probably my favorite picture of the nite;
I hit the in-law jackpot!
3 of the 5 generations of Robert Pressleys

"I am Brian Fellowes."

Freddie's Hoss costume also doubled as that of "candy sampler."

Freddie is the spitting image of his Pop Pressley.

fat, happy, and plum tuckered out