Friday, December 30, 2016

30 December 2016

Rosebud took her first steps on Monday!  She's been standing independently for a few weeks, and she took a couple steps to me in order to get her new favorite toy- a spiderman ball from her stocking.  (she picked it out herself and she did a good job- it is so cute to watch her throw it, and crawl over and get it, and throw it again)  Our crawler is on the verge of becoming a walker!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

29 December 2016

Christmas this year was differently scheduled than usual.  An elderly couple in our ward usually hosts a waffle breakfast on Christmas morning, and since the husband passed away in early December, Mr. Brown offered to come and help with the breakfast.  We had our Jerusalem dinner on Christmas Eve, and then the kids had stockings on Christmas morning plus the gift box from Aunt Holly, followed by church.  Then Christmas afternoon was spent helping at the waffle breakfast, and that evening, after eating ham and mashed potatoes, we began opening presents.  We finished opening gifts the next day.  So it was slower than usual, but the kids were good sports, and we got to offer love and support to our friend Beth.

This was Rosebud's first Christmas, and although she didn't really receive a whole lot of gifts, she enthusiastically assisted in ripping wrapping paper off things.  My parents sent her a riding toy, and she quickly figured out 1) how to push the buttons that played music (which she dances to in the most adorable way); 2) how to climb on to it by herself and 3) how to scoot it around both forwards and backwards.  She has even kind of figured out how to steer it, by rocking back on it so the front wheels come off the ground and moving it so it faces somewhere new when the wheels come down.  I am not 100% certain this is intentional.

My parents also gave Nut Brown a screaming monkey slingshot toy, where you stretch out the monkey's arms and let him fly through the air, and he screams as he goes.  Nut Brown thought this was pretty fantastic, but Rosebud was totally upset by it.  She would insist on holding the monkey in order to keep it from screaming, and if we borrowed it and made it scream, she would cry and ask for it back in order to protect it.  So cute, if a little disappointing for Nut Brown!  She is definitely more attached to stuffed animals than any of our other children have ever been.

The kids know that we fill their stockings, and we do it by going to the dollar store and buying whatever looks interesting.  It's a fun trip for Mr. Brown and I, and Rose Pink told me that these were the best stockings ever!  The kids put a giant Ferrero Rocher in my stocking.  They know what I like!

Bobo identified what he wanted for Christmas when he was purchasing gifts for his brother and sister, so we bought it for him.  It's a Batman/Superman plastic play city, with trapdoors and lights and a flying thing.  It's pretty awesome.  He completely loves it.  He can't get within three feet of it without stopping to play with it.  He took it downstairs so that Rosebud would stop getting in his way. Later after a bath, I sent him downstairs for clean clothes.  After twenty minutes, I went downstairs and discovered him busy playing with it, totally naked, in our chilly basement.  And this is my child who hates to take off his clothes.  He really loves it.  Nut Brown loves it too.  He told me that Bobo got the best Christmas present ever.

So many people were so generous to our kids - we thank you for loving them and loving us.  Christmas this year was a wonderful time for us to remember the Savior's love and seek to follow Him in acts of love and kindness.  Hopefully we can hang on to it into the next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

22 December 2016

Instead of Christmas gifts, Mr. Brown and I lately have been giving our children $50 and a trip to the store the day after.  This is a flexible policy - we have also offered to either give them $50 or give them gifts, and let them choose.  So far we've always chosen gifts for Bobo, too, instead of giving him money.  It's helped us to simplify and de-materialize Christmas in a way that makes it much more enjoyable for us.

This year I was talking to Rose Pink about what she wanted to do.  She initially said that she wanted us to choose gifts for her, but then decided instead on money.  I asked her what sort of things she was hoping to receive or buy, and she sighed and thought and then said, "I don't know! Which is why I want money instead, because I really don't know anything I want!"

I was so pleased that she's so far managing to escape the materialism trap - that her basic needs are met, and she can't think of anything she just has to have in order to be happy.  If she manages to maintain this mindset I think she will be much happier in the long run!

Friday, December 16, 2016

16 December 2016

Yesterday Mr. Brown promised the kids to take them sledding if I could stay home during the baby's nap.  So I did.  We hadn't checked the weather report ahead of time, and the high was ten degrees Fahrenheit, and with wind chill it was below zero.  It was very windy, too!  Mr. Brown took the two older kids and went to the sledding hill in Madison Heights (advantages of homeschooling- sledding during the day!) and they had an unforgettable experience.  The wind was so stiff that it pushed them up the hill, and then they just flew down on the sleds.  Eventually they called it quits because Mr. Brown was concerned about frostbite, but they had a wonderful time.

Monday, December 5, 2016

5 December 2016

We have barriers up.  Rosebud has learned to climb the stairs but not to go down them.  Also we're trying to keep her out of the toilet.