Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas come early

As I shared in my previous post, our family wants to keep Christmas in perspective. The most important part about Christmas is the birth of Christ. This is my most favorite holiday, by far. Since we're leaving Monday morning, we decided to do Christmas stuff this morning. Neither of the adults dressed properly for public viewing, so brace yourself. I wasn't sure whether Troy'd appreciate being shown topless, so I left him out of these pictures.

This is the first year the four of us are all getting goodies in our stockings to enjoy; thus begineth one of our traditions.


Interesting to see the girls didn't just tear into the stocking, emptying each of its contents immediately. They were slow to pull things out.

Eventually we moved along to opening presents.

Remember the day after Thanksgiving, when I went to Target to buy a roaster and walked away with some Black Friday deals? This is one of them. A Graco box came with the following goodies: a baby doll, a high chair, a play pen, and a stroller - HALF OFF. That's right, 50% off. That deal was good only on Black Friday. I saw it at Target today for nearly the full price - $40-something.

Sadly, this doll really hasn't been given a chance. Immediately, Henry was given VIP treatment. Oh, and one of my best friends, Christine, sent a few gifts. She gave the girls some Disney princesses videos and she sent along a gift from her mother, Isabel, for Isabella. Isabel gave Isabella a bunch of Disney princesses Barbie dolls.

Both of the girls, Isabella and Victoria, have taken a liking to many of the Disney characters, especially Ariel and perhaps Jasmine. Ariel, I'm afraid, is due to my influence. I sang "Part of Your World," along with hymns and a plethora of other songs, a lot when Isabella was in the NICU for the first eight days of her life (If you're interested in finding out more about my difficulties with Isabella's birth, go here, here, here, and here). And, well, my husband has done plenty to perpetuate their desire for Ariel by playing "Part of Your World" over and over and over again at bedtime.

Henry has had multiple meals in this high chair and multiple naps in the Pack 'n Play since we opened presents this morning.

Sharing any of the toys has been difficult and challenging, especially for Isabella. What seems to be working, with Isabella anyways (Victoria's a bit young to understand the concept) is taking turns by setting the timer to five minutes.

Merry Christmas blessings to you all!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The stockings hung by the chimney with care


Christmas traditions for the Changley family:
  • Talking and sharing about the true meaning of Christmas, about the birth of Christ and what he came to do for us.
  • Giving and receiving Christmas stockings. No one gets left out, meaning everyone's stocking gets fill by someone or other.
  • Opening presents. Since the tradition listed first is the most important and significant, we want to prevent Christmas from being a time where we run our pocket books ragged or allow any family members to think that Christmas is all about keeping up with the Jones's for materialistic goods. That being said, though, we also want it to be meaningful, especially for the little ones.
Merry Christmas. May this time be one in which we reflect beyond that which is deemed important in this life to that which is eternally significant. Jesus came into this world as the final substitute and sacrifice for our sins, so that we can be with him after we depart (and die) from our lives here on earth. We must admit that we are all sinners, repent of our sins, truly believe and recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Christmas tradition, stuffing stockings


Um, can I say I am totally overwhelmed with what's going on that I forgot/failed to realize that not only is Christmas in 8 days, but I am leaving this coming Monday? Oh crap. Seriously, I hadn't realized, until within the hour, that we are departing for Tennessee (followed by Ohio) THIS COMING MONDAY. Oh. My. Goodness.

Anyhoo, I asked for the car this morning, which meant Troy walked to school, so the girls and I could find stuff to put in Troy's stocking. Made a deal with Troy, I was up for doing stockings, but I didn't want to be left out; if everyone else gets one, I want one, too. That means somebody has to shop for my stocking. I had already picked out a number of things for the girls. We didn't have a stocking tradition in my family growing up, so I don't know what traditionally goes into them. I don't want to fill Troy's stocking with junk he'll never appreciate or use; had to rack my brain for ideas. First stop, Starbucks for the girls' snacks. I actually didn't purchase any food or drink for them to eat for their snacks. That's what I love about that place. The baristas are kind enough to let us loiter, and they even provide us with complimentary ice water. The second reason I had for going there was I picked up some goodies to put in Troy's stocking. Not specifying in case he visits this blog before we exchange stuff. We strolled up and down Aspen Grove Shopping Center. I had brought a single (not double) stroller. Nobody wanted to sit in the stroller (besides me), leaving me to figure out some creative way to handle the stroller and two children while crossing the street. Solution? I made Isabella hold Victoria's hand and I held one of the girl's hands as we crossed the street together. Clever? I think so.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Making my day

Maybe I'm going through a mid-life crisis, even though I'm not middle age. For most of my life, um until the last few years, I was always the youngest in every circumstance. Now? Not even.

A few weeks ago, I was standing in line for the one-person bathroom at Starbucks, and an older lady in front of my day made me smile from ear to ear when she asked whether I was in high school or college. Even though I cannot imagine looking high school age now, that totally made my day, my week, my month.

Tonight my international friendship partner and I, along with one of her friends, went to a Christmas part. Interestingly, when I told her friend that I'm 24, she totally believed me . . . even though she is aware I'm a mother of two young children and I have a PhD. How the heck could I have possibly finished my PhD so fast and have 2 children, she wondered. Seriously folks. I was all smiles. She said that the way I speak and carry myself is so light that she can see how I'm that age; I appreciated that compliment.

While at the party, I tried to converse with people with whom I wasn't acquainted. One Latino guy with whom I was making small talk, after the shin dig was just about over, even after knowing I have two small children, asked whether I was married. He wasn't just making small talk; he was trying to figure out why he's never seen me at one of these functions before. Yes, I am married. Tickles me that random guys ask me that from time to time. I dearly love the man to whom I made a commitment before God. Thank you anyways, though, guys.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

They don't make hats like this anymore

I just love to watch Isabella fully engaging in make believe. She uses stuff like gift wrapping string or links as a stethoscope. She's wearing her pants on her head as a hat, and I think it looks rather becoming.


Here, Isabella's dining with Henry. She even went to the detail of boosting him a bit higher by sitting him on a pillow. She used one of her favorite blankets as a table cloth, which I never showed her how to do; she came up with that on her own. You wouldn't even know her potty is being used as a table!

Victoria's also going along on her own curve. She was trying different lids to see which ones would fit that kefir bottle. She can say "lid" in Chinese and a butt load of other words in both Chinese and English.

From dead tree to firewood

One the first times we looked at the house where we now live, it was looking like winter, as you can see below, though it was already spring time. That's Colorado weather for you.


Anyhoo, hard to tell what trees are dead and which ones are alive in conditions as such. Well, you can't tell from the picture above or the picture below, but the tree, when facing the front of the house, on the right hand side that's dead. Not producing anything, leaves or anything. You can see a bit of the trunk of the tree in the picture below. It's a very tall tree, that could easily swipe not only our own house but neighboring houses, including the one across the street probably.


Well, Troy called me at school this past Monday to tell me some people, a family business, was willing to cut the tree down on the spot for a reasonable cost. We happened to be between snow episodes. Seemed like the whole family had come ready to work, so we thought it was a good idea to help the family. For an extra amount, they were willing to put the wood around the side of the house. Since we don't have that kind of cash laying around, Troy was hard at work as soon as the girls went down for a nap.


So, we no longer have a dead tree in front of the house that might damage anyone's property, including our own. Instead, we now have ample firewood. The green trash bin you seen on the right is also full of wood. Will any wood smell good in a fireplace?