Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas blues

You know that little funk you find yourself in after the emotional high of the holidays? Suddenly, the anticipation is gone, the lights are off, the Christmas music has retired for the next 11 months, and there's nothing left to look forward to. It may seem like that, but I know that's not true. Mainly because my family has a lot of birthdays to celebrate in January, starting with Witten's. Witten is going to be a year old! Next Tuesday, five days from now, at 8:41-ish in the morning, my baby's going to be 1! Wow, I've got some serious party planning to slam together...
 Jesus' birthday came and went with a joyful bang, and we had so much fun! Here are them pictures I promised.
The Sunday before Christmas, the boys wore matching outfits that I have been harboring for over a month.
 Per usual, Pastor Dancy delivered a doozy of a sermon about how vital it was that God actually became fully man while maintaining his complete deity. It was one of those sermons that truly made me praise God that He did what He did. It also made my head hurt as I tried in vain to comprehend how big and awesome God is and how all that became a baby, the opposite of big and awesome. How? I don't know. I'm just glad God lets us know the "why".

 On Christmas eve we celebrated with Stephan's family. I love his family. They're a bunch of really cool peeps who make amazingly cute kids. Above is exhibit "a": cousins Ashton and Julia. They were being goofy/very serious. Below is exhibit "b": the babies. Please notice how precious the two blonde babies in Stephan's arms are.
Bear is sooooooo cuuuuuteeee!
Christmas morning, Noah helped me make cinnamon rolls, our traditional Christmas morning breakfast.
 This was Witten's first Christmas. I liked the fact that he was almost 1. That enabled him to be more aware of what was going on.
He and all his teeth were super excited from the get-go

Witten was one of those slow, meticulous gift-openers. Daddy usually finished the unwrapping when it started to take too long.
Not too impressed with our offering. The paper was more fun.
 I was very excited about the present we got for Noah. You see, Noah recently found Stephan's roller blades and commenced trying to ride them around like a scooter. Therefore, when we saw a pair of kiddie roller skates to strap on over Noah's shoes, I was certain that those were the perfect present for Noah.  
 I was right. He loved them and wouldn't even let us take the time to put on his shoes before he put on his new skates. It'll take a little more practice, but I think he's a natural.
  After completing our little family celebration, we trekked to Bebe and Papa's for more present unwrapping.
They do such mean things to this poor child.
 After presents and stockings, we watched The Muppet Christmas Carol, a Florey family tradition. We Du Toits returned home for nap time and afterwards Witten and I went to Overton to celebrate Christmas with some more Floreys while Noah stayed home with Stephan 'cause Stephan wasn't feeling well.
  And then, the most magical thing happened. On December 25th, 2012, it snowed in East Texas!
I have dreamed of a White Christmas before, but not in a while. Sometimes you give up wishing for and praying for and hoping for something when it seems like it's too impossible to ever happen. I think God was answering several earnest, innocent prayers from expectant children with ample faith this Christmas. And we were all blessed by it. Therefore, I have pledged to never give up hope. If I want faith that can move mountains, I need to live in faith and act on faith. Because, seriously, if it can snow on Christmas day in Texas, then anything's possible. 

  Have a happy and blessed New Year, readers!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oh Holy Night

It's Christmas and it has been a sweet Christmas, full of love and kindness and family, but I'm too tired to write my Christmas blog right now, so instead I'll just toss this first world Christmas problem out there for you to agree with or snort in derision at me for:
  When you get so much new stuff for Christmas, mostly toys, that you have a really hard time finding a place for all of it amongst the stuff you already had.

Well, 'tis Christmas nap time at the Du Toit household. We'll tackle the unpacking and place-finding of all our new gifts later. Merry Christmas, world, and happy birthday, Jesus!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So, Bronchitis

remember when I blamed a cold for making me feel miserable. Well, that "cold" may or may not have been all-out bronchitis. Don't worry, I'm alive, but it was a close call.


We did manage to go on a mini vacation. We were ready for a break from normal living. We made plans to have an awesome adventure in the Dallas area with sight-seeing and fun-having, yet God looked upon our plans and laughed, for we had not consulted Him about all this. Therefore, our plans were altered, changed, and otherwise arranged for the entirety of the trip. And, Stephan and I were deathy ill with cough-itis. By God's sweet grace and mercy, we still had fun, but I think we'll be praying over vacation planning in the future
 Here's a glimpse of our fun:
We went to the zoo with Aunt Melissa!

We saw beautiful decorations at the Gaylord Texan.

I love this picture. It really showcases Witten's adorableness.

My two precious boys!

This one's from at the zoo. It was Stephan's first time to go to the zoo with his family.
We saw white Jesus at madame Tussaud's wax museum!

This picture make me go "awe!" every time I see it.
Now, I have Bible studyin' to do. Be blessed, dear readers!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Way to ruin a good thing, Cold

Today was supposed to be one of the most awesome, enjoyable, fun days of the year. Today was my mom's side of the family's Christmas celebration. The whole gang was there, except for Melissa. (*poignant glare*) And there was good food and delicious desserts and gifts and the promise of a family walk, which has become a tradition after a large family meal, it seems. And the kicker of this whole shebang: I missed it. I was there physically for the first hour or two, but by the time everybody showed up and things were ready to get awesome, I felt miserable. I tried to avoid people and explain that I had a cold and then push through, because I really wanted to be there, but by the time Stephan got off work and called to see if we were still there, I was ready to go. My loving family wished me well and gave us our presents to take home with us. (Noah loves his Mr. Potato Head). I got home in time to toss the boys (who are feeling much better, for that I thank God) into bed for a nap and then drop my weary, feverish body into my own bed for a brief nap (Witten was soon awake again and ready to party).
   Because of this illness, Stephan and I may not be able to enjoy the mini vacation we've been tossing together for the past week. We had big(ish) plans to drive to Dallas and tear it up at the Gaylord Texan and Great Wolf Lodge and any other awesome place we could get into for free or cheap and then stay with Paul and Erin for a few nights and just enjoy being away from normal responsibilities. Instead, we're sick. While I wish we were all healthy and ready to undertake an epic adventure, I'd be more than happy right now to curl up under a fluffy blanket, eat a bowl of mild soup, and then sleep for a few days.
   Sometimes I wonder why God does things like this. Probably to build character. He's testing me to see how I would respond to an inconvenient cold and foiled plans. Right now, I fear that He's up there shaking his head and clucking his tongue. I'm such a whiner, I know. There are so many much worse things that can be happening to me and my family today, and God is protecting us from them.
Attitude adjustment: Lord, thank you that I am alive and all is well. Thank you for sick days as well as healthy days. Forgive me for my grumbling and help me treasure every day I am given to live. (Though I would be uber appreciative if you did take this ickiness away.) Amen. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Too cool for School.

And too young, quite frankly. That's why we went to the zoo!
 I know, right? Pretty impressive. Ashley, if you had come, we would have had four big old double strollers. Then doors would have been impossible to squeeze through. But this pictures inspires me to sing.
 Seven cuddly kiddos! Four happy mommies, three double strollers, two pregnant ladies and a cool day perfect for a zoo trip. (Think The 12 Days of Christmas)
 It was a good thing that the zoo was all but deserted when we got there at lunch time, 'cause our line up of strollers took up all viewing space at every exhibit. 
 Witten and Ella missed each other and Wyatt and Noah missed each other, so we let them swap stroller partners. Notice Ella little biker jacket. And yes, Witten's a dinosaur.
 The toddlers did wonderfully well this go-round. Usually one or more starts whining to get down or eat a snack or just whines to whine by about five minutes in. I'm sad to report that Witten was the only child that got super grumpy and cried. He's been having gassy issues this morning, though, so I couldn't blame him.
 Probably their favorite part of this zoo trip, however, was the pit stop in the sand pit. They tore it up and had a marvelous old time of it.
Witten cheered up after his second diaper change and enjoyed watching his older bro and friends run around.

  That's all I care to type today. Be blessed, dear readers!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Somebody should write a catchy, memorable show tune about brothers.

Brothers, brothers!
Always finding ways to help each other.
Though we often do compete,
we know our friendship can't be beat!

(I dunno, something like that. Think "Sister, sister" from White Christmas.)

I love how my sons interact. They haven't know each other for a whole year yet, but I can see the affection and camaraderie between them when they play together. Already Noah is quick to share his toys with Witten (after I have told him to and only if it's a toy he's not currently playing with). Yes, of course, both are rarely outright willing to pass along their toys in the midst of play, but Noah's honestly getting much better at not whining at Witten when he goes for the steal. It could be, perhaps, because he finds clever ways to protect what's his. Like flipping over the base of a rocking chair to construct a fortified, impenetrable wall around his toys (as he did this morning). And his plan might have worked, except for the fact that Witten can crawl.
Victorious Witten laughs, stolen prize in hand, at Noah's puny attempts to block his path.
Noah's hoard of hot wheels have been compromised. 
Even so, Noah was amicable in defeat and offered the olive branch race car of peace to his brother at play.
I love these two boys so stinking much
Friends, so far this Christmas season, I have made chocolate no-bake cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and sugar cookies. I only ate most of the no-bake cookies, 'cause you can't say "no" to no-bake cookies. I ate, like, two chocolate chip cookies and one or two sugar cookies. No, that's not super-impressive self discipline, that's wisdom in giving. It's hard to eat cookies if you get them out of your house asap.
  Anyways, today, friends, I make oatmeal cookies. Honestly, unless there are chocolate chips in my oatmeal cookies (which there won't be. I used 'em all up in the chocolate chip cookies), I don't really fancy oatmeal cookies. But, strangely, oatmeal cookie dough may be my all-time favorite dough to munch. Don't judge, those of you who fear sour-melon, I have yet to get sick or die from the consumption of raw eggs. My trick to avoiding salmonella is to eat in tiny portions, like only one spoon-full at a time. Hasn't failed me yet.
   And the good news is that I devoted 20 minutes to working my core this morning, so indulging in a pinch of holiday cheer via cookie dough will be almost, relatively guilt free, kinda.

   In other fun holiday news, yesterday was my home church's Christmas special. It was especially special for my family because Stephan and I participated! We both sang in the choir and then I sang a solo (which was super brave of me in light of last year's performance. See my blog post from Dec. 12 of 2011 for more on that ). We were both bummed that our sons and my parents couldn't be there, as Noah's fever from the night before returned and my parents offered to stay home at watch them, but the show must go on! The whole evening was full of fun, festivity, and a few faux pas, but the familial atmosphere was so warm and happy that the event was a prefect success in my eyes. And the cookies served afterwards... woo!
   Now, friends, the weather outside is finally reflecting the season and my spirits are high, so I'ma wait for my mixer beaters to finish their bath in the dish washer and make festive with some oatmeal cookies. God bless you all, readers!   

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dear friends

I pray often for Noah and Witten's friends. Their current and future friends are just coated in my prayers. I want them to be sweet friends who are good influences and who will walk alongside my boys in God's will for their lives. I know all too well that Noah and Witten will meet kids who will be those friends who I will not be too fond of, but I'm praying wholeheartedly that God will use even them to build my sons' characters and draw them closer to Himself. For now, I thank God for the sweet widdle friends my boys already have. The thought of losing any of them makes my heart ache painfully.
I like you, Caleb. You're alright.

We're so happy to be friends! Wait, where's Lucy?

Witty-A and the Chunky bunch

Oupa showed us poop. Pooooop!!
Precious friends!

Thank you, friends, for having good children. You are now forbidden to ever leave me.

Be blessed, dear readers!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Even Witten's Hiney is Getting into the Christmas spirit.

I'm sure I often repeat myself on this blog. I may have typed something a year or two ago that I forget about and pretty much repeat in another blog entry at a later date. For the most part, they are accidental, so if you read a blog post of mine and think, "Psh! Old news, woman! Kinda young to be gettin' senile, aren't you?", then I'm sorry.
 On that note, I know for a fact that I've written of my opinion of Santa Clause and the myths pertaining to him and how Stephan and I have decided to handle all that jazz, but as my opening statement was a picture of Santa's face on my baby's booty, I feel the need to address it once again.
  I present to you, dear readers, the story of why my family, both intimate and extended, celebrate on December 25th:
The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

     Many may argue that Christmas is a farce of a holiday as Jesus was not born on the 25th of December, and that Christians stole that date from the pagan holiday of saturnalia, which more than likely is the truth. But the way I see it, I want to celebrate the birth of my savior. Since nobody knows the exact date of the birth of Christ (It's figured to be sometime in September), the catholic church picked a date for all of Christendom to together celebrate Jesus' birth. Now, of course, there have been numerous traditions and misconceptions tacked onto Christmas throughout the years (for a rather accurate and Biblical explanation of the legends surrounding the nativity, check out this link *here* ), but the spirit of the celebration remains true: rejoicing over the appearance of God as man, among men, and the beginning of the earth-bound phase of God's plan of redemption for His people. I think that gives us great reason to celebrate!
Woo, Christmas! Yay, Jesus!
   That does not, however, mean that we will jumble every type of Christmas celebration together into one epic, crazy, overwhelming, tiring, stressful, self-centered holiday. The decorations and carols help make this a very special season of celebration. The gifts helps us recognize the joy in giving to others. Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, etc... they have no real place in this shindig. Therefor, as I have stated before, my children will know of Santa and all he entails as the commercialized and fictional story that he is: good fun to hear as a bed time story, but certainly not watching them whether they're sleeping or awake 24/7, 365. God's already got that covered.
      Thus, as my case has been stated, I bid you all a Merry Christmas! Be blessed, readers! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

It may be starting to look a lot like Chrsitmas (As far as Christmas in Texas goes), but it feels a lot like September all stinking over again

Sometimes, I sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and I laugh.

Anyways, after my last post, we did indeed get our few, meager Christmas decorations out and on display, including our tree. See?
And just as I was getting super excited and festive and really feelin' the Christmas season vibe, the weather gives us a few days of high 70's temperatures. I'm sorry, but it's really hard to think Christmassy thoughts when you're wearing shorts and a t-shirt outside. It helps to have Christmas music playing consistently throughout the day.
   Back to the decorating; the boys had mixed reactions to the new, shiny objects in our house. Noah was exuberant and wanted to help put every ornament on the tree. Witten was standoffish about the whole deal and didn't care to get any closer than three feet to the tree, even when it was lit up.
Noah helping, Witten offering moral support from a reasonable distance
Of course, now that he has grown accustomed to the tree, Witten likes to crawl right up to it and yank off the red ball ornaments from the lowest branches. I'm highly contemplating getting a child fence to set up around that dern tree. But I won't. That would completely ruin the look.

 In non-Christmas news, Witten has started taking shaky, stiff-legged steps with his walkers. With no pushing or pressuring from mommy (Good job, me), Witten just up and grabbed hold of his loud, obnoxious choo-choo walker and faltered across the living room rug.  Please excuse me while I weep for a second.

   I can see Witten's longing to keep up with his big brother. He tries his hardest to army crawl as fast as he can after his much more able-bodied brother as Noah dashes from one room to the next. It's almost sad to watch and Witten gets frustrated quickly. I know he'll be darting down the hallway in no time at all, so I'm not too worried. Neither am I encouraging him to hurry up with the walking any faster than he already is. As my current baby, he's gotta keep that "babyness" quality about him as long as possible, else I'll start craving another one!
   In other super-impressive, no-I'm-not-trying-to-brag-but-I-kind-of-am news, yesterday morning I brought Witten into bed with Stephan and I, as he decided to start his morning kinda early and I didn't want to get going just yet. After feeding him a bit, I set him between his daddy and me and let him pat his daddy, as he does when he's happy to see someone. I said to him, "Witten, this is Daddy. Can you say 'daddy'?" Witten looked at me, then at Stephan, and then he started slapping Stephan on the forehead and saying "dadee. dadee. dadee." with each slap. Forgive me, the memory restarted the weeping...

Now, readers, I wrap things up with another grateful doxology of my own invention in honor of the God who has and continues to give blessings abundantly.

  Praise God for this sweet life I live.
Praise God for all the grace He gives.
 Praise His great love, forever true.
Praise Him for it is right to do!

My precious family. Thank You, Lord.