Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving, a 2 year old, and RIP MacBook

My presence in the blogger world has been lacking for the past week. Not due to morning sickness, extreme fatigue or busyness. No. It's because of a sweet munchkin who lives at my house. A munchkin who will remain nameless. But, one who spilled his/her entire cup of water over my Macbook.


R.I.P. Macbook. It was nice knowing you.

My Macbook has been sitting in its original box, full of rice, since Monday evening. We continue to hope against hope that the rice will absorb all of the water, and it will turn on again, by some miracle. There is a back-up plan (i.e. an appointment at the Apple Genius Bar). And I will be ecstatic if those Apple brainiacs can salvage my hard drive. Or at least some pictures. Oh. And maybe my Excel spreadsheet with EVERY address I need to send our sweet little Christmas cards, which are sitting on my desk waiting to be addressed. I had only made it through the D's by the time my computer met its tragic end.

In more important news, our family did indeed celebrate Thanksgiving. I took exactly zero pictures. That's right. Zero. Zero pictures of the wonderful, delicious and hilarious Thanksgiving that we enjoyed at Eric's Uncle Mike and Aunt Janie's house. But it did happen. Complete with pilgrim costumes, the turkey trot, and an ice cream cake that looked like a turkey.

Eric's Aunt Janie, who I adore, DID take an amazing picture, however. Of she and Uncle Mike in their pilgrim costumes. Hoping that these costumes make an appearance every year from now until forever.

And, Jameson did turn two years old last Saturday. He waited all day to be able to blow out his candles. Have I mentioned how much we love this guy?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


My interweb friend, Jami Nato is running a fun link-up competition on her blog this week called #letsgetpraisy. If you don't read her blog, you should. Favorite blog ever. Seriously. Go read it. Now. And, while you are there, vote for my entry. Mmmkay? To vote, you post a comment on her blog. My entry is #55.

Anyway, Jami is constantly finding the Gospel in pop culture. Her Instagram account is full of pictures with the hashtag: #letsgetpraisy. They are photos of her kitchen chalkboard with the lyrics to pop music and the corresponding Bible verse. I bet Usher, Will Smith and Chris Brown never knew they were singing about Jesus. 

So . . . here is my #letsgetpraisy competition entry:

A song about Taylor Swift and yet another anonymous boyfriend. Or, is it really about the Apostle Peter walking on water with Jesus in the storm? I mean, I know that the Apostle Peter didn't wear a dress. But they wore those tunic-things back then right? So, it was sort of a dress??

Anyways . . . Convenient that I'd already written two blogposts back in May and June explaining how, somehow, Taylor Swift's song Fearless had screamed of Jesus to me. Yes, Taylor Swift. It's crazy how pop music can be all about the Gospel. 

Now go vote for my entry. Please?

Monday, November 19, 2012

craft day

Today's blog post comes to us courtesy of Eliza Grace: 

we made pilgrim hats that you can eat. it is very fun. i like it so much. 

when we unwrapped the candys we felt like veruca salt's daddy

then we got starting on the pilgrim hats. to make these, you will need:

fudge stripe cookies
miniature peanut butter cups
1 cup yellow frosting
orange candys (note from my mom: the original recipe we found called for orange Chiclets, but we weren't able to find any. so, we cut up gummy Orange Slices into small squares.)

put some frosting on a cookie. then you put a peanut butter cup on the frosting. then you put a orange candy on.

*We got this idea from Taste of Home

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Family Advent Nights

We have the plague here at the Compton house. Boo. Okay, not really the plague . . . being dramatic. Just one kiddo down so far. Gram and Bampa kept our kids over night on Sunday night so Eric and I could stay the night in Portland. Marshall woke up at their house Monday morning with a fever. Poor Marshall. I can't remember the last time that he was really sick, and this definitely ruined the fun Monday he had planned with his grandparents.

This morning finds he and his sister on the couch watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Yes. The old school one. From the 1970s. Marshall and Eliza love it. Jameson is, well, being Jameson. Playing with trucks and trains. And hysterically loving the orange Oompa Loompas.

While the troops are occupied, instead of folding laundry, I thought I'd share a Christmas idea with you. I have Christmas on the brain. I found the Sirius/XM Christmas music stations and already preset them in my car. My Pinterest Christmas board is filling up. I have more Christmas crafts than I can count planned for the next month.

And . . . Advent is starting soon, December 2nd to be exact. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Advent season, advent means "coming." During Advent, we celebrate the "coming" of Jesus. It is a season of waiting and preparation for celebrating Jesus' birth at Christmas.

For the first few years that we had kids, we wanted to do more during Advent to focus on Jesus. Eric and I just weren't sure what to do, or how to do it. Then Eric started receiving weekly emails from Todd Wilson at Familyman Ministries. Through Familyman, Eric found what we'd been needing. Todd Wilson wrote a blogpost last year describing their family's Family Advent Nights, and we started following their model last year. I say, "we." I should really say "Eric," since this was all planned and initiated by him.

So, I thought I'd write a similar blogpost on our blog this year, in case any of you were needing ideas for Advent. Because sometimes you come across something so good, that you just can't keep it to yourself! And, it's okay as I copy as long as I give credit, right?  (Familyman didn't pay me or give me anything free - I really just think you all need to know about this!)

At our house, we have Family Advent Night every Sunday night during the Advent season. But, you could pick any night of the week that fits in your family's schedule. Family Advent Night consists of the Bible, an Advent wreath, a snack, a craft and a read-aloud storybook.

We use the following Bible passages from the Familyman blog to read each week. Each passage correlates with one of the advent wreath candles. We light one candle the first week. Two candles the second week. Three candles the third week, etc.

  • Week 1 – Prophecy candle (Isaiah 9:1-7)
  • Week 2 – Bethlehem candle (Luke 1:1-56)
  • Week 3 – Angel candle (Micah 5:2 & Luke 2:2-5)
  • Week 4 – Shepherd candle ( Luke 2:8-20)
  • Christmas Eve – Christ candle (John 1:1-18)
The Familyman website has amazing Christmas storybooks to read-aloud each week of Advent. Eric ordered the books, not sure what to expect. The books ended up being one of the best parts of our Christmas season last year. They are creative, beautiful and point to the Gospel.  We can't wait to read them again. This year, they've added books on CD. So, after each Family Advent Night, we are going to give the corresponding book on CD to the kids so they can listen to it for the rest of the season. 

The other, and maybe best thing, about the Familyman website is that they sell craft kits. They are inexpensive - about $2 per kit. So, $8 per child for the season. The only thing that you need to add is glue. They are really simple, which is perfect for including pre-school age kids and for their non-craft-inclined moms (like me!). And they make planning Advent night easy and a lot less overwhelming! 

The only thing I had to do was put together an advent wreath, prepare snacks each week, and buy some glue.  And really, we discovered our kids didn't care about the details of what we did. They just loved that it was Christmas-y and that our family was together talking about Jesus. Eliza says that it was her favorite part of Christmas last year. See how easy it can be? So, let's get planning mamas! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I really am glad that we home school . . .

I love homeschool. I just love it.

I know sometimes I write about how hard it is. And, don't get me wrong. It is hard. There are moments and days where it is overwhelming, and stressful, and I wonder how it is all going to turn out.

And, come on, let's just admit it. Sometimes I am a BIG. FAT. WHINER.

But, in my honesty about the hard moments, I don't want to lose my honesty about the good ones.

Recently, I've had several moms approach me with a curiosity about homeschooling their kiddos. They are thinking about it. Praying about it. Talking it over with their husbands. Mulling the idea over in their heads. Excited. Terrified. Freaked out. Overwhelmed but energized by the thought of it all at the same time.

And, to those moms, I can't tell you what to do. All I know is where the Lord led our family. And I can be honest with you about the hard days. And, I can try to convey to you the joy and blessing that has come from following Him in obedience. The blessing of being with my kids. Of seeing them love each other. Of watching them learn about the world, and being there to help them make sense of it all. Pointing them back to Jesus over and over again, all day long. Watching them learn how to read. Seeing the "lightbulb" go off when they figure something out.

The joy from the relationships that are being built between us as we spend the majority of our days together. I have been overwhelmed in the past couple of weeks at moments we've shared, and moments that I've watched transpire between my kids. More than once I have stopped, in tears, watching Marshall help his two-year-old brother or take him by the hand to go search out a favorite toy. Watching all three of my kids play together on the playroom floor.

Watching Eliza sit and read book after book to her little brother.

Being with them all day leads to conversations that might not happen otherwise. Just the other day, Marshall said "Mom, why do you have to tell people you are going to have a c-section? Don't all moms have c-sections? 'Cause if not, then how the heck would you get a baby out of your belly?" Good question, buddy. Good question. We made it seven years before you asked that question. And, I'm glad that I was there when you asked it and got to explain the answer. Even if his response was "eww, that is so gross. I am so glad that I came out by a c-section." Love him.

I guess my point is that while some days are really messy and hard, I love homeschooling my kids. The laundry often goes undone (unless my mother-in-law comes over to fold it!). I have about a million extra opportunities to ask my kids to give me forgiveness. And, I've had to learn to be okay with a lot of things that are less-than-my-idea-of-perfect.

However. . . there are an abundance of moments where blessing, love, and joy overflow. We may never be on the cover of Homeschool Today magazine, lined up in matching denim outfits with our violins that we play with perfection. (wait.stop.actually, I'm not sure that we want to be!) But, there are camera-worthy moments. Moments that take my breath away. Moments that make me pour out my gratitude to the Lord that He would have led our family down this crazy path of homeschool. It is true beauty in the midst of the craziness.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Soccer Star

For reals. Could this team of boys be any cuter? Or muddier? Soccer, Oregon style, people. Go Leopards!