Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snowball's First Sunday (Elf on the Shelf)

Dear Garren and Evan,

I've been watching how nicely you guys play games together so I invited some of my friends over for game night.  We had so much fun!  Thank you for showing me how to get along and play nicely together.

I'm looking forward to my first Sunday with you.  I heard that sometimes you get to go to church early and eat donuts.  I love donuts!  Donuts with sprinkles are my favorite.  I can't wait to hear what kind you have.  Will you tell me when you get home?  I also don't know a lot of Bible stories yet so I would love it if you told me what you learned in church when you get home, too.  Maybe you can even help me learn a Bible verse and I can practice it and write it in your next letter.  That sure would be fun.

I hope you have a great Sunday!

Snowball the Elf

O Christmas Tree (Elf on the Shelf)

Dear Garren and Evan,

What a fun day you had yesterday.  Garren, I heard you playing the piano for the people who live at the VA.  They love to hear you play for them.  Sometimes they don't have many people visit them so they love when you and Evan come to visit them.  That's a really great way to show God's love.  Evan, I saw you do something very kind for your brother.  When there was only one chip left at lunch, you broke it in half and shared it with Garren.  Sharing is another great way to show God's love.  I'm very proud of you both.

When you got home yesterday, I noticed that you played so nicely together.  Evan, you did a wonderful job decorating the Christmas tree with mommy.  It looked so beautiful I wanted to take a closer look and then I fell right in!  Oops!

I see you watched the Elf on the Shelf movie about Chippie last night.  He's a nice elf, too.  I've told him all about you guys.

I can't wait to see all the ways you show God's love today.

Snowball the Elf

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving (Elf on the Shelf)

Today was a very nice Thanksgiving day spent with friends, family, and of course lots of delicious food.  I don't need to eat for a week now.

The boys are spending the night with grandma and grandpa tonight so that mommy can get up early in the morning to do a little Black Friday shopping, which is probably mildly crazy since I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping.  But I do enjoy the experience.

So Snowball the Elf is also spending the night with grandma and grandpa as well.  He has already gotten himself into a bit of trouble.  Hopefully the boys will help to straighten him out when they find him in the morning and show him how to be a good listener.

Dear Garren and Evan,

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm very thankful for two little boys named Garren and Evan.  Evan, I heard you say that you were thankful for your purple ball.  That's a cool ball... so soft and squishy!  Garren, I heard you say that you were thankful for Jesus.  That makes Santa very happy because he loves Jesus, too.  Can you tell me more about Jesus?

I watched you boys all day from the top of the piano and you both got along so nicely.  I really liked that.  Garren, I saw you pick up all the Legos and I saw Evan take out the trash.  I also heard you both say please and thank you when you asked mommy for a snack.  I am really learning a lot about how to show God's love by watching you.  Keep up the good work and be good listeners for grandma and grandpa while you're at their house.  They love you very much.

Snowball the Elf

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving (Elf on the Shelf)

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
except Snowball, our Elf!

We were blessed to have our good friend, Janette stay with us for a couple of nights before Thanksgiving this year.  When it was time to leave this morning, she left a little surprise with Snowball to share with the boys in the morning.

Dear Garren and Evan,

I had a fun day with you today.  I saw you guys playing Sorry so nicely together.  I loved watching Mr. Blue and Mr. Red move around the board.  You are very good at that game!  I also noticed that you both brushed your teeth without getting any toothpaste on the counter or the floor or the ceiling. Nice job!

Before Mrs. Janette left, she left me these nice warm blankets because she knew it was going to be a cold Thanksgiving this year.  She said that maybe you guys would want to keep them after I use them. Don't forget to thank Jesus for our nice friends!

Santa also wanted to know what else you were thankful for this Thanksgiving.  He likes to keep a thankful list right next to the naughty and nice list.  What should I tell Santa you are thankful for this year when I go to the North Pole tonight?

Snowball the Elf

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Elf on the Shelf - First Night Introductions

I have never done the Elf on the Shelf with my boys before.  I first heard about him last year as Christmas was almost over so by that time, it was pretty much an after thought.  I haven't even read the full book yet but supposedly the full premise is that Santa sends his elf down every day to watch the children and then each night when the kids go to sleep, he goes back up to the North Pole and tells Santa whether the kids were naughty or nice.

I thought it was a cute concept, but I didn't want to run with the story exactly the way it was written.  Although we do Santa at our house, I try to make sure that the boys know that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of the birth of Christ.  So I wanted to make sure to incorporate Christ into our new Elf on the Shelf tradition.

Tonight, our elf made his first appearance at our house.  The boys named him "Snowball."

They were very intrigued.  My little one was especially fascinated by him.  I told them that the elf came to see how they show God's love to others.  After they went to bed, Snowball wrote them a letter for them to find in the morning.

Dear Garren and Evan,

I am so excited to come visit you this Christmas.  My friend, Santa told me that he does nice things for people because he has Jesus in his heart and he wants to show God's love.  Santa told me that you boys were very kind and loving so I came down here from the North Pole to learn more about Jesus and to see how to show God's love to others.  Garren, I saw you listen to your mom the first time she told you to get ready for your shower.  That's great!  I hope I can learn to listen like that.  Sometimes I do things that get me into trouble so I hope you can show me how to be a good listener.  Evan, I saw how you helped mommy with the dishes tonight.  Wow, you got them so clean!  I can't wait to learn more from you while I'm here.  Each night when you go to sleep, I go back to the North Pole and tell Santa about all the ways you showed God's love.  I hope when I come back I can watch you some more and you can tell me more about Jesus.  

Snowball the Elf

Earlier in the evening I had mentioned that sometimes the Elf does naughty things and that's why we need to show him God's love.  My six year old piped up, "Mommy, I hope he doesn't eat any of our cupcakes!"

Enter exhibit #1 to be found tomorrow morning.

This is going to be so much fun.  My hope is that it will help instill some good character traits in the boys and I'm also looking forward to getting creative with Snowball's mischievous side!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Date Night

Tonight my boys are spending the night with their dad.

According to Facebook, it seems that half of my friends are having date nights with their husbands.

Normally I feel mostly content being single.  Most times I feel too overwhelmed with everything else going on in my life to even consider it.

Then there are nights like tonight.  I have no responsibilities.  I can just lay around and relax and do whatever I want.  Right now I'm watching Say Yes to the Dress and am thinking of following it up with a Hallmark movie or two.

Nights like tonight I wish I had someone to spend it with.  One day, my kids will be older and independent and maybe that day will come.  For now, I plan to drown my sorrows with a glass (or three) of eggnog.  Oh, who am I kidding?  The container is almost empty.  Let the party begin!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You Say Introvert Like It's a Bad Thing

A few days ago, a friend of mine posted online about being an introvert.  I commented that we were like two peas in a pod because I could relate to everything she said.  One of the other comments after mine was something along the lines that she was more extroverted than she gives herself credit for.  What I read was that being introverted is not necessarily a good thing and that it's better to be an extrovert.

The misconception I've heard a lot is that to be introverted means to be quiet, shy, aloof, and almost stuck up.  On the contrary, being an extrovert is equated with being outgoing, friendly, social, and talkative.  The description makes it sound as if introversion is bad and extroversion is good and what we should all strive for.

I remember years ago when I worked in the banking industry, I was in a training class when the instructor asked the class about the qualities that make up a good customer service representative.  The guy next to me raised his hand and commented that to have good customer service, you definitely needed to be an extrovert.

Well, I'm here to set the record straight.

I am an introvert.  I enjoy spending time with my friends and family.  I have a lot of opinions.  I like to think I give good customer service.  However, because I am an introvert, my energy comes from inside rather than outside.  I need time to myself to recharge.  Often times when I am at work and starting to feel stressed, a nice, solitary walk around the parking lot helps me to relax.  It also helps to get my creative juices flowing.  I prefer to eat my lunch outside under the trees rather than in the crowded, noisy breakroom.  I am a deep thinker and very introspective.  I love to sit down by myself and just read a good book.  I enjoy spending time with people, but I need my time to myself in order to feel rejuvenated and refreshed.  Too much commotion leaves me feeling frazzled.

Introverts are awesome and I am a proud, card carrying member of the club.