Monday, December 8, 2008

The Power of PINK!

Okay--This little PINK vacuum HAS to be the highlight of my Black Friday shopping! I snagged this little gadget thinking it would be handy for quick trips around the wood floors on our main floor--and all for the amazing price of only seven dollars! It came in obnoxious colors like cobalt blue, lime green, and of course, bubblegum PINK. I chose PINK, thinking it would be fun; yet, little did I know about the POWER of PINK!

Basically, my girl has taken over the new pink vacuum. She LOVES it. She BEGS to vacuum. She DREAMS of vacuuming. She asks to vacuum for me every day as soon as she comes in from preschool. When I asked for a vacuum volunteer after dinner tonight, she jumped up and had her PINK pride and joy out of the laundry room in a matter of seconds!


I'm loving it!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

2008 Family Christmas Ornaments

~ Isaiah 40:11 ~
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

* * *
We have a family tradition of making a different Christmas ornament each year. They have varied greatly from beaded snowflakes to cinnamon clay hearts to seashell angels . . . they are always unique and special to our family. I struggled a bit with what to make this year, however, we finally decided to make 'wooly lamb' ornaments. They turned out to be a little more time intensive than I expected (and a bigger mess!), but BOY are they cute! I forgot to take pictures at the beginning of the craft, when the kids were making the pom poms for the sheep bodies. It was hilarious--we definitely have some skinny sheep and some that have obviously been fed a little too well! Here is a slide show of the action Sunday afternoon:

Every good and perfect gift is from above . . .
~ James 1:17 ~
With Christmas approaching, we are reminded of God's perfect gift to us---His son Jesus! We are also in awe of the three incredible gifts he has placed in our family--Ethan, Graham & Anna Beth. Thank you, God, for your perfect blessings in such an imperfect world!

Preparing for our FIRST Christmas in the new house!

We have started decorating for our first Christmas here in the new house, but it is taking a LOT of work so we aren't there yet. However, here is the new nine foot fir tree we got for the keeping room:

And here it is a few days later, decorated! Please ignore the fabric standing in the corner (that is begging to be sewn into breakfast room curtains) and the wrapping paper under the tree (waiting to cover some presents). We are making progress but it is going to take some time!

Our Little Metal Mouth

Oddly enough, Graham was SO EXCITED about getting his braces put on this week! He was most excited about choosing the color of his rubber bands . . . he debated the color scheme for at least a week, lol. That bit of information won't surprise those of you who know our son well! When the orthodontist asked him, he was ready: "I want navy and gold, you know, Georgia Tech colors!".

I was worried that he wouldn't eat anything for three days like he did when the expander went in last April, however, he has handled the braces much better. And isn't he just the CUTEST little thing!

'Smiling Eyes' has a Feast

Anna Beth enjoyed her Thanksgiving Feast at Child's World again this year. The event was complete with the children's handmade indian costumes, drums and a Thanksgiving dinner. In the days prior to the feast, Mrs. Boswell named each child with his/her indian name . . . Anna Beth was appropriately named 'Smiling Eyes'!
I came and enjoyed the Thanksgiving Feast with my girl; of course we brought our signature Pilgrim Hat Cookies for dessert! Thanks to my Family Fun magazine, these treats have been a Thanksgiving staple in our home for five or six years now; I think I made a total of 150 hat cookies this year alone (including those for Ethan & Graham's classes)!

Thank you, God, for this precious little one who continuously puts a smile on all of our faces . . .
She is such a blessing to our family!
* * *

Raised to Walk in Newness of Life!

We had a VERY exciting evening on Sunday, November 9th. Our sons Ethan and Graham were baptized at Hebron Baptist Church by Pastor Rob Brooks (the Children's Minister). Both of the boys made their own individual decisions for Christ earlier this year and unfortunately we have had a tough time fitting our schedule with Pastor Rob's schedule. Finally the night came and it was a wonderful evening for all of us. Graham was very excited and Ethan was anxious as always. However, the excitement on their faces afterwards says it all! I love that the boys were together in the baptismal pool, watching and waiting for each other; my prayer is that they continue to strengthen and support one another in their Christian walk in the years to come. Here are a few pictures:

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death,
that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life.
~ Romans 6:4

Halloween at 'The Cleft'

Well, I am VERY behind as usual, but here are some snapshots from our first Halloween here at 'The Cleft'. Our kids were an eclectic group--Graham was Prince Caspian, Anna Beth was Ariel, and Ethan was the Well-Fed Referee (AGAIN). The Jenkins were out-of-town so it was just the Warbington and Stokes kids left to trick-or-treat:

The kids enjoyed visiting our neighbors Ms. Maggie & Mr. Ricky, who of course loaded them down with bags of candy. Next they proceeded to the Warbingtons' to make a 'Treat' of candied apples. Then the kids participated in a 'Trick' at our house--a scavenger hunt that led them to word finds, jumping jacks, scrambled puzzles, counting pumpkins, etc.
The final clue in the hunt led them to a leaf pile--FULL OF CANDY--in the back yard! Everyone seemed to have a great time--we can't wait to have more homes/families here to provide more 'tricks' and 'treats' for the kids!