Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Xander Has Double Ear Infections

Xander has had ear infections and been sick on and off the last few months. I'm so glad he can use an inhaler now and doesn't have to have breathing treatments anymore. He always hated those and screamed and fought us the whole time. It was so sad. His inhaler is so quick, easy, and he doesn't hate it near as much! It makes it so much easer on us!
Yesterday, Xander's ear started leaking again and he was very cranky, had a runny nose, and was complaining of his left ear hurting again. He had just gotten off his antibiotic from his last double ear infection. I took him in today, with only one stitch left in his head that he hasn't pulled out yet, not for his lack of trying. Lol I can't believe how crazy that little guy is!  And I can't believe that when he got on the scale it read 36 pounds. I think he has lost weight... I don't know wether or not to be excited about that. It's awesome that he hasn't been gaining weight, but he has been so picky lately that he doesn't eat much and most of what he does eat are foods that he has snuck and aren't the best for him or he should have limited amounts of it. And I've been so worried that he isn't growing at all. He still wearers 24 month pants and he is almost 4.
 Anyway, back to his ear infections, he still has one in each ear and his tubes are just hanging in there. He was given a shot and has to go back for the next two days to get more, and we have to try different ear drops. Hopefully, this will clear him up! I feel bad that he has been missing so much school. But, he was so brave today and he was so excited about getting to pick out his little green dinosaur for being so good at the doctors.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Symbols of Christmas

The other day, my mother-in-law was telling me about a book she was reading.  It talked about how we talk to our children the of All the fun things of Christmas, such as Santa, reindeer, Christmas lights, snowman, and Cute Christmas songs. But, are we teaching them the true meaning and symbols of Christmas? Are our children getting excited about service, loving others, and learning about Christ's birth? I feel I have been guilty about mostly pointing out the "fun" Holiday things and not so much the things I should be. I have even used the, "if you don't pick up your toys, or if you sneak that cheese out of the fridge Xander, Santa won't bring you any toys." I'm not proud of it but it worked at the time.  My kids have been so excited about all of the special holiday traditions this time of year. In the book my mother-in-law read, a girl said to her mother, "I believe in Santa and you believe in Jesus."  How sad is that! I want my children to know that Jesus is so much more important than "all things Santa and gifts."

I have been trying to make it a point to teach my children the true reason for Christmas and the symbols of it. The wreaths, the lights, the red bows, the decorated trees, the presents all remind me of the true meaning of Christmas, even Santa Claus is a symbol of the spirit of Christmas, giving and receiving love, caring, sharing, kindness, cheerfulness, happiness, peace, goodwill to all, and Christlike living.

  Last year, I was looking for a way to teach this to my kids so they would understand and a friend of mine suggested a book to me. It's called, I Believe in Santa Claus. I highly recommend it to anyone with small children or special needs children. We just love this book. It breaks things down and teaches us of the symbols of the true meaning of Christmas and how Santa is like Jesus Christ.

In our family night tonight, we read this story called, Teach The Children. In the story, Santa is sad because we have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas and he says, "Teach the children. teach the children the true meaning of Christmas." Then he pulls out of his bag symbols of Christmas and talks about what each one means. It is a really neat story and after we had the children find each of the symbols on our Christmas tree and we talked about them again.

I believe in teaching our children to believe in a kind and generous Santa in their tender young years because it gives them traits of goodness, helpfulness, and the desire to bring joy and happiness to others, and to honor service, which are attributes of the Savior and teaches them to become more Christlike. when I see my children's faces light up at Christmas time, read the story of Christ's birth, and see my children, family and friends doing acts of kindness I am very thankful that I believe in the true meaning of Christmas.

Teach The Children
The True Meaning of Christmas

This is how it happened...I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree.

He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. "What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat, and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know.

He then answered me with a simple statement.

I was puzzled; what did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said,
"Teach the children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantel.
"Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR.
"Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE.
"Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree.
"Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ornament of himself.
"Teach the children that I, St. Nick, Santa Claus ) symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF.
"Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly represents the blood shed by Him."

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said,
"Teach the children that God so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten SON..." "Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

"Teach the children that the wise men bowed before the Holy BABE and presented HIM with gold, frankincense and myrrh. We should always give gifts in the same spirit of the wise men."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree.
"Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL.
"Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL.
"Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return."

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said,
"Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship HIM, our LORD, our GOD."

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Books Countdown

 Having a Christmas Book Countdown is a tradition that I try to do each year with the kids. I wrap up all of our Christmas books and each night we unwrap one and read it. I don't have 25 Christmas books yet but each year I buy one more.

Christmas Lights!

Tonight the kids and I decided to get out some Christmas lights and be silly! I saw a cute Christmas picture on pintrest and thought it would be fun to try it! And it was really fun! The kids were being so silly and yelling and laughing! We had a blast!
Savannah was is so funny!
Christmas Card Potential!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Letters To Santa & A Snowman Craft

My Brother Caleb Leaving For His LDS Mission

 My youngest brother stayed with us for a couple of days. He left to go on a mission for our church to Bulgaria for two years. He will be an amazing missionary and he will be missed very much by his niece and nephew. Savannah cried for a half an hour when she came home from school and her Uncle Caleb was gone. They had so much fun making him play legos with them while he was here and he made really cool ships! He will do a great job and bless so many lives while he is on his mission and we are so proud of him.
My brothers Grant Caleb

Grandpa Brown and Caleb

Xander's First Stitches

Xander got his first stitches on Saturday. He has had liquid stitches before on his foot but ones like these. He ended up with 5 but within an hour he had already pulled out one and then two days later he was down to only two stitches. He just can't handle there being something on his face.The sad thing is that he was just at the doctors a few days before. He has double ear infections.

What happened was, Saturday was my nieces baptism. after, I was holding Xander's hand walking to the door to leave. I guess he tripped on a rug and fell into the heavy glass door. He was crying and when I helped him up there was blood everywhere. He had hit his head on the medal on the bottom of the door. We carried him out and laid him on the grass. There was so much blood. Everyone was getting towels and wipes to try to stop the bleeding and luckily, there was a boy scout there who was ready with some big band-aids! My sister-in-law took Savannah for us and We took him to the nearest insta care and waited an hour, then, a half an hour in the room. Xander was so good for us! When we got back to my sister-in-laws house the kids had letters and pictures for Xander wishing for hime to feel better. They were so sweet!
Tonight, Xander took Savannah's doll and they were in a tug-a-war for it Xander lost it and fell and hit his head and broke his cut open again. I cleaned it up and we put a band-aid on it. I'm not sure if there is anything else we can do. It stopped bleeding but it doesn't look too good. There are two stitches left in it. it's going to be a not so pretty scar for my brave little knight.


This year I am so thankful for my family. We are so blessed with Savannah and Xander. They bring us so much joy and teach us so much! Savannah is just so happy and she loves to help me with everything, even setting the table! Xander is just so crazy and funny. He defiantly keeps us on our toes! I also very thankful for my amazing husband who works so hard for us and is always there for me. He is such a good father and he loves Savannah and Xander so much and I know that they just adore him! 
This is the 2nd year that Court has smoked the Thanksgiving turkey. It always turns out awesome!

Xander, I and court were all sick this Thanksgiving. We had my brother Grant come over for dinner. The kids just love him.

Paleo Stuffing

Paleo Cranberry Chicken & Balsamic-Glazed Brussel Sprouts

Paleo Cranberry Chicken
Balsamic-Glazed Brussel Sprouts
I've never had Brussel Sprouts before but after having this recipe Court, Savannah, and I have decide that we really like them!

Putting up The Christmas Tree

Love Family Grateful Tree

This is our Love Family Thanksgiving Tree. One of our family traditions in November is to write down all the things that we are grateful for and write them down on paper leaves and put them on a Thanksgiving Tree. It was so fun to hear all of the things that Savannah and Xander are grateful for.  Our family has so much to be grateful for and we've been trying to teach that to our children. This is one of the ways that they can express the things that they are grateful for and also see what we are also.

And the silly faces come out! :)

Hunting, Jesus, Grandma Love, Teachers, School, Savannah, Blue dog, Family...

Rainbows, doctors, games, dinosaur museum, fishing, Woody, Buzz, Nicole, Daddy's I Pad, Xander, Blueberries... These are just some of the things that we are grateful for that I can read off of the leaves.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

This is such a fresh and healthy family meal!  Go to this link to get the recipe! Enjoy!
  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato dressing, divided
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves

Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/04/grilled-bruschetta-chicken.html#rKLvMTfAUjqKBbfi.99

  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato dressing, divided
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves

Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/04/grilled-bruschetta-chicken.html#rKLvMTfAUjqKBbfi.99
  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato dressing, divided
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves

Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/04/grilled-bruschetta-chicken.html#rKLvMTfAUjqKBbfi.99

Happy Halloween 2013!

Our sweet neighbors put us signs if they had none candy things for our kids. We were able to take Savannah and Xander trick-or-treating to the homes with these signs knowing there were safe for them. They also did this last year and it was just so kind of them. We are so blessed to be in a neighborhood/ ward who cares so much. Because of their syndrome our kids can't have candy. We have to watch their calories and stay away from sugar. Our friends had fruit, coloring books, or little toys for our kids instead of candy. We could never thank them enough. Our kids would have been  happy going door to door and showing everyone their costumes and then just have their candy disappear the next day, well maybe with a few tears and meltdowns but they would have been fine. Our friends went above and beyond and we are so grateful to them for making Halloween special for our kids so they can go out and Trick-or-treat just like other children. Thank you!