Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the George Family!

Bethlehem Marketplace

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Though I may love Santa, I realize the real reason for Christmas is to celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ. This is why we couldn't just visit Santa, we have to talk about Jesus and learn about Him. What better way than to go visit Bethlehem as it might have been when he was alive? I must add that Cian was up very late the night before and had a traumatic day with Santa that day but he did get a nap before we left for Bethlehem, or the Bethlehem Marketplace at Southeast Baptist Church. (I didn't take any photos so all the photos here are stolen from the Southeast Baptist's web site, sorry)!

When we got there we had to wait in the sanctuary for a bit before we could go in. The shepherds who were in a tented section had cold feet because they had on sandals and it was snowing so they had to take a break to thaw. Cian thought the sanctuary was a playground and wanted to crawl under the pews and run around. This was not ok and we had to visit the bathroom once. He may or may not have had a little spanking and had to stand in the corner. And I may or may not have been caught spanking my child in the church bathroom by a family.

When we went in we were greeted by shepards with their flock who told us about a baby who had been born that was rumored to be the savior of the nations. As we entered the city we had to sign our names for the census, that is why we had traveled there after all. They asked us where we were from and when we said Murfreesboro they asked if we came by foot or boat. Let's just say that it was a long trip. We entered the city and were greeted by the friendliest camels who wanted to love on us and chew our jackets. There were also many people selling things in the marketplace. These included food, fabric, pottery and metal. There was also someone squishing grapes for wine. (Not going to say this was my favorite section but...). Our money was not recognized but there was a place to exchange gold or silver for their currancy. (They didn't really take your gold or silver). While we made friends with a camel we saw some young guys in jail, they told us they were there for spreading the word that a savior had been born. Apparently the Roman soliders walking around weren't too keen on that idea. (They weren't too keen on much).

We walked through and heard an announcement about what happened in the city that day. We then went and talked to an inkeeper about staying for the night, but there wasn't any room, anywhere. He told us that a family had come the day before and he didn't even have room for them but they stayed in his stable and they were there still. They had a baby while they were there and he was rumored to be the son of God. The inkeepers daughter was precious, maybe three years old, and she was telling us there wan't room for us to stay there. After meeting him we went and had a man write Cian's name in Hebrew. (I have to add that Steve threw this away the next week because as usual I left it sitting on the dining room table. So what if it was going to stay there for a month, I wanted to keep it). We went into the stable next and there was a donkey, a sheep and a family with a brand new baby. We went over to look at the baby and I told Cian, "Look, that is baby Jesus" and my sweet little angel said, "Don't like that baby Jesus". Oh great, yep, we need to be here. I told him that Jesus loved him and he said it again, "Don't like that baby Jesus." Wow.

Well we left the manger and walked back through the town so Cian could see the camel again. Actually he dragged me back through the town to the camels. We stopped to eat some cheese and then stopped at the wine press. Cian wanted to eat grapes, and he was a little greedy about them. You would think his parents hadn't fed him lunch, wait we didn't. After eating more than his share of grapes they started giving him some to throw. He loved this! Cian was able to throw the grapes into where the girl was stomping them with her feet. We stood there for a good five minutes tossing grapes in. As we were tossing the Roman soliders came out to block the street leading into the manger. We asked why we had to wait and they gave us mean looks and short answers, blasted soldiers. While we waited an older lady was talking to us and talking about Cian. Cian took one look at her and said, "Lola". Which in Cian speak means Yoda. I pretended like I didn't know what he was saying and just kept the conversation with her going. In his defense she was pretty wrinkly and had a hooded jacket on. Her skin was not any shade of green though.
We were able to walk through and see baby Jesus again and then we headed out of Bethlehem. There was a wooden cross on the way out and I stopped to thank God for the gift of Jesus. I don't deserve it and can never do enough to warrant it but the gift is there nonetheless. Grace has been granted to me time after time. I have more blessings than I know what to do with and this time of year makes that very apparent. My little family is the best blessing I could ask for. Though Steve may not have gone with us and Cian may have cried and screamed and said he didn't like Jesus they are still a tremendous blessing. We are not perfect but we are the perfect gift to each other year after year. Merry Christmas!
If you want to see some good photos you can look at Mary Leigh's blog here: (She is a mom who remembers her camera always!)

Visit With Santa

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Christmas Eve every child waits with anticipation for the morning to come. The excitement, and trying and trying to fall asleep to no avail because you can't wait to see what Santa brings you. Christmas is so magical for a child and I have such fond memories that I couldn't wait for Cian to meet Santa for the first time. We had practiced what Cian was going to ask Santa for, he kept saying Big Foot which is a toy he is afraid of but loves to look at when we go to any toy store. We watched Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town to get him prepared for what Santa looks like. He has seen photos and can pick Santa out in a crowd.

We have a Santa Brunch at SRCC each year and I haven't taken Cian before but I thought this year he just might be ready. Christina, of Eternal Treasures Photography, was taking the photos and she has taken photos of Cian before so I thought this also might make him more comfortable. I thought wrong.

We walked in and he was just bebopping along. Cian saw Santa and was ok until I asked him to go talk to him and sit on his lap. He was not going anywhere near that man in the red suit. (I might add that Santa was super friendly and had a great beard, black patent leather boots, a belt buckle that said SC and a great wife, Mrs. Claus). Like any good parent would we tried to coax him to Santa with a candy cane. I am so not above bribery. Cian did get close enough to grab the candy cane and then he went the other direction. Ok, guess I was going to have to bring out the big guns, mom was getting in Santa's lap. I showed him that it was ok and he was willing to get close to us. Then he was willing to sit on my lap. The outcome was very good.

I mean isn't that such a sweet Santa photo? You can see the candy cane in his hand, I think was his security blanket. Well that went so well that I thought we would try putting Cian in Santa's lap by himself. My plan was to run over, plop him in Santa's lap and run away before he could realize what was going on. Well, Cian was way faster than I gave him credit for and this is what happened:

Cian booked it! He was taking his candy cane and making a break for it! When Christina sent this photo to me I laughed out loud for a good five minutes. Then I looked at it later and laughed again. I might be cruel mother but this was too funny! I am fairly certain this picture will come out on Cian's dates and you better believe if he has a slideshow at his wedding this puppy is making the cut.

The poor guy did feel better after I consoled him and we went home and took a nap. I hope Santa will still come to visit...

My son thinks I am Wonder Woman

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yesterday Cian and I braved the crowds to so some last minute Christmas shopping. We were out off and on all day long and there were a few tantrums, some hitting, some throwing of the checkbook resulting in receipts all over the floor and some stress. You know, your typical shopping session with a toddler.

We were looking at DVDs at one of our last stops and we picked up a SuperFriends DVD. Cian pointed to Wonder Woman and said, " that mommy". This warmed my heart to know that my son thinks I am wonder woman. Even if he doesn't know who she is yet, I am a super hero to him right now. On the days when I feel like I have given everything and it isn't enough and he isn't listening to me or I feel guilty because we haven't played, read or spent enough time together I can remember that at this stage in his life I am Wonder Woman. Thank you Cian for making a crazy day of shopping better, even if you don't realize it.

I should add that he also pointed to Robin and said, " that daddy", which made me laugh. He pointed at Superman next and said, " that daddy too."

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Monday, December 13, 2010

All around our house!

We love Christmas in our house. As soon as Thanksgiving is over we are listening to Christmas music 24/7 and ready to get our house set up for Christmas.

Steve is always excited to get the outside lights up. He has to have a strategic plan and all the lights have to be straight and no random lights. You know, the ones that hang randomly or droop in the middle of a window. I am glad he is this way and likes to put them up because I get to reap the benefits!

I love decorating and having our house Christmasy. Each decoration means something or has a special memory. The same with our tree. Each year we get a dated ornament we can put a photo of our family in. This started the year we got married because a couple of our friends bought us an ornament that said "first Christmas together"and had a place for a photo. I have to admit that the ones from 2008 and 2009 still have the family that came in them though. I will get us in there someday... My mom also bought my brother and I each an ornament every year with plans to give them to us when we got married and had our own tree. The ones she bought me are mice. I love putting these on our tree because I have memories of putting them up as a little girl too. I would love to do something like this for Cian.

I wanted to make Cian a part of decorating our tree this year so when it was time to put the ornaments on I made sure Cian came in to check out all the goodies we had to put on the tree. We put Charlie Brown Christmas on TV and had music playing in the background. It was the pefect litte scene for ornament hanging. The first ornament I gave him to put on the tree was one of his baby's first Christmas ornaments. He held it up to the tree like he was going to hang it but then said "weally high". He wanted to hang all the ornaments really high! I would give him ornaments with hooks on them to hang and he would just walk around with them and lose the hooks. Not exactly the perfect scenario for ornament hanging but what did I expect with a two year old. It could have been worse, we only lost two ornaments.

Daddy helping Cian hang the ornaments "weally high"
The star, the finishing touch Our little Jedi beside the finished tree. (Cian had a little eye infection, hence the red eyes).

All in all, I am excited with our decorations and budding family traditions. Here are a couple of my favorite decorations:
Nativity set that was a wedding gift from a couple that always inspires me
Angels that belonged to my Mamaw Dot and Popie. I used to play with these all the time as a little girl.

Tree Lighting

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Last week we went to the tree lighting on the Square in Murfreesboro. This is the second year we have gone and it has been a lot of fun both years. On the quaint little square in Murfreesboro they had a stage set up in front of the Courthouse and a giant tree next to it. There were people performing Christmas Carols on the stage and Santa even came to visit. There were people in a reindeer and snowman costume walking around and they had free carriage rides! (The line was super long so we didn't actually take one). Once Santa arrived we did the countdown and the lights on the tree came on.
Cian was excited to see Santa on stage but when we walked over and got close to him he didn't really want to give Santa five. Something about the portly man in the red suit with the white beard definitely makes my kid nervous. I just don't think he has realized the guy is going to bring him toys. I think Cian's favorite part about the night was running around in the grass with his cousins.
The tree lighting is so fun and I hope to make it one of our Christmas traditions each year.

Bill and Karen

Rob, Caleb and Steve

Cian and Mommy

Tracy and her kids: Luke, Taryn, Olivia and Caleb

Our winter ready family


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yes, I know it's December and time to move on to Christmas but I felt I couldn't move on before posting about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is such a great time to be with family and take a moment to remember the blessings that God has given us all year. I mean, the turkey is a good part too. I feel like we have so much to be thankful for. In the midst of all our troubles and the troubles of the world we have blessings. I have never once had to wonder where my next meal would come from or if I would have a roof to sleep under. That roof may not be too spacious or the meal may not be five star, but they are always there.

We do every other Thankgiving with Steve's side or mine and it was the year for my family. (We saw some of Steve's family but I don't have any photos, sorry)! I started the day off with the Chattanooga Turkey Trot 8k race. (That is about 5 miles). This race helped me justify the overeating I knew was inevitable. We ate lunch over at my Aunt Paula's house and boy did we eat! I wish I had gotten a photo of everyone there, but I did make sure to get one of Cian bugging my dad while he is trying to take a turkey induced nap.
After lunch we went to my brother and his wife Bonnie's house for dessert and my mom's side of the family from Atlanta came over. My grandmother was able to come from the nursing home so this was a treat!
My immediate family

We tried to get a photo with the great grand kids that were there, this is the best we could do! Cian, Ruby, Luke, Mamaw and Tyler.
Friday after a two-h0ur power yoga class with my cousin Wendy we took Cian to see Mamaw at the nursing home and he wanted to lay in bed with her.

The nursing home is somewhat depressing but Cian always hams it up. He love to walk up and down the halls and talk to everyone there and they always love to see him!

It was a great weekend packed with seeing family and visiting old friends and it was wonderful. I can't wait to see everyone again for Christmas!

Big Boy Bed

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The week of Thanksgiving we decided to put Cian in a big boy bed. By we I mean Steve decided it was time and I cried and whined because this was a fight I was not ready to fight. Cian had been crying a lot in bed lately and not wanting to go to sleep. I was fairly certain that this was because he was afraid of the dark. Steve thought it was because he didn't like his crib. Bah, that's crazy, I said. It is right?? right?? Well we converted Cian's bed. By we I mean Steve converted Cian's bed and I watched and took photos. While we were doing it Cian loved jumping on the mattress and the bed. I thought this was a good sign.

Steve taking the crib apart
One little monkey jumping on the bed

We got his crib transitioned and it was time for bed, the moment I had been dreading. I was honestly picturing him getting up and running around his room and then running out to find us and refusing to go to bed. I thought we would have total insanity on our hands and we would be up half the night just sitting beside his bed and putting him back in it. I would be lying if I said we put him to bed at his normal bedtime that night, we put the kid to bed tired! We read him a book, said his prayers and kissed him goodnight. The nightlight was on and he had all his friends in bed with him. We quietly snuck out of the room and went to wait. We waited and the screaming didn't come! There were a few, mommy? and daddy? questions from his little self but no complete meltdown. In fact, he didn't try to come out of his room once! I was amazed and realized I was definitely wrong about the dark thing, it was the cage of a crib the whole time!

Tucking in his friends
Testing it out

I have been amazed with Cian since he was born at how he will all but tell us when it is time to do something. He got rid of his pacifier and semi-easily gave up his bottle. He started wanting to do things himself like brush his teeth and now he was trying to tell us that he is a big boy and ready for his big boy bed. I have been the one not ready for the change.

Since last week Cian has done pretty well in his bed. There have only been a couple nights that were difficult and only one where we ended up on the couch together. Success!

Time for night night

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