Friday, November 30, 2007

This and That

This is exactly why, when Curt tried to give me an engagement ring that could nearly buy three houses in my neighborhood, I made him take it back.

I've gotten a couple of questions in my comments this week. Here you go...

What do you and Curtis do about Santa?
I'm not sure yet because Jackson's really not old enough to get it this year. We're not going to boycott Santa, but we're not going to make a huge deal about him either. Ask me again next year and maybe I'll have a better answer.

What was in Sunni's magical airplane bag?
It was a little backpack filled with two books about planes and travel, a mini-magnadoodle, two small maracas (that make a soft sound), and a little train. We also took Curt's laptop along with a Nickelodeon video that had several of Jackson's favorite shows on it. We got him kids earphones and they worked great. (Earphones and video were from Target.) If you make a bag like this and your kid has enough teeth, throw in a pack of M&M's.

Here are the books:
"Lift-the-flap" Things That Go by Baby Genius

Planes by Anne Rockwell

And for everyone in D/FW, here's a very thorough list of everything fun to do during the holidays.

My MOPS group is having date night tonight. We paid $5 (or was it $10?) to drop Jackson off at childcare for 3 hours and we can go do whatever we want. I'm putting on a dress and hubby is taking me to dinner! It pays to be a MOP.

23 comments:

Sara Whitlock said...

This very thing happened to my good friend in Houston a few years ago. The guy followed her home from a store and robbed her at gunpoint. Scary stuff.

Taylor said...

Hi Amanda,

Have fun on date night!
I read this devotional today by Elisabeth Elliot (www.elisabethelliot.org) and thought of you because of your post on Sunday Morning Madness! I have four younger brothers, so I can certainly relate as well (although my Dad is not the Pastor)...I hope you enjoy it...and your recent pictures of Jackson are precious.

-Taylor

Title: Sunday Morning
Author: Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday mornings can be a real test of a mother's sanctification, especially if her husband happens to be a pastor who leaves the house much earlier than the rest of the family. Here's how it went recently in one house (you're free to speculate on whose):

"The fifteen-year-old couldn't tuck his shirt in because of `something to do with the pockets,' and his belt was too small.

"The thirteen-year-old was having trouble curling her hair.

"The ten-year-old couldn't find her Sunday School lesson.

"The eight-year-old hadn't done his Bible readings because he didn't know which they were.

"The six-year-old's room and closet were unacceptably messy, and the socks she had on were muddy.

"The three-year-old couldn't find her Bible. Although not yet a reader, she couldn't think of going to church without the Bible.

"The baby's carrying blanket had disappeared."

Somehow the mother was to be nicely groomed, calm, and able to get this whole package into a van, seated and belted as law requires, and drive them to church on time.

But everything in this scene is the King's Business, which He looks on in loving sympathy and understanding, for, as Baron Von Hugel said, "The chain of cause and effect which makes up human life, is bisected at every point by a vertical line relating us and all we do to God." This is what He has given us to do, this task here on this earth, not the task we aspired to do, but this one. The absurdities involved cut us down to size. The great discrepancy between what we envisioned and what we've got force us to be real. And God is our great Reality, more real than the realest of earthly conditions, an unchanging Reality. It is His providence that has put us where we are. It's where we belong. It is for us to receive it--all of it--humbly, quietly, thankfully.

Sunday morning, the Lord's Day, can be the very time when everything seems so utterly unrelated to the world of the spirit that it is simply ridiculous. Yet to the Lord's lovers it is only a seeming. Everything is an affair of the spirit. Everything, to one who loves God and longs with a sometimes desperate longing for a draught of Living Water, a single touch of His hand, a quiet word--everything, I say, can be seen in His perspective.

Does He watch? Yes, "Thou God seest me" (Genesis 16:3, KJV). Is His love surrounding us? "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3, KJV). "I will never leave thee or forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5, KJV). May I offer to Him my feeling of the dislocation between reality and my ideals, that great chasm which separates the person I long to be, the work I long to do for Him, the family I struggle to perfect for His glory--from the actuality? I may indeed, for it is God Himself who stirs my heart to desire, and He can easily see across the chasm. He enfolds all of it, He is at work in me and in those I pray for, "to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13, KJV). I may take heart, send up an instant look of gratitude, and--well, get that beloved flock into the van and head down the freeway singing!

Sir Thomas Browne wrote, "Man is incurably amphibious; he belongs to two worlds--to two sets of duties, needs, and satisfactions--to the Visible or This World, and to the Invisible or Other World" (Essays and Addresses, 2nd series).

Copyright 2006, Elisabeth Elliot
All rights reserved

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering the Santa question so quickly...that's the way we were thinking about handling for the first couple of years. You two have fun on your date tonight...yeah for date nights!

MamaCass said...

What a fun post. I too was wondering what was actually in Sunn's bag. We are flying to Seattle in March. I may have to borrow it or compile one of my own. I love the link to the the events around town. We will have to check some of it out. And I am right there with ya'll on the Santa Claus thing. I don't want to be so strict about it but I want the emphasis to be on Jesus. I found a great children's book called God gave us Christmas that adresses this issue beautifully I think. The author's name is Lisa Tawn Bergren.

MamaCass said...

Oh yeah and enjoy your date night. I am slighlty jealous:-)

CrownLaidDown said...

Have so much fun!!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Word, on the bag of M&Ms. And I MUST get some kid headphones from Target. Good invention.

Love the holiday fun things list!

Twice Baked Mom said...

I have a 2 1/2 year old who is sharp as a tack. I have been telling her what Christmas is really about, Jesus. But on the Santa Claus deal, I just told her it was pretend and it is okay to pretend and have fun with it. This way she knows the truth but gets to join the kids in the fun of reindeer, elves and Santa.

Well thats my take on it this time around. I did the whole believe in Santa with my 2 grown sons when they were little. I sure had a hard time explaining why I didn't tell them the truth when they found the loot in the closet.

Love your words of wit and wisdom, Amanda. You are a gift to me. Thanks!

Boy & Girl said...

Hope y'all had fun on your date night.

And if I had a $350,000 ring I would not be doing my least favorite activity...grocery shopping :-)

Joanne said...

I wish there had been a MOPS group around when I was a young mother. What a blessing!!

Nicki said...

Thanks so much Amanda! Gave me so great ideas about the plane bag!!

Hope you had fun on your date night!! =)

Sue @ Praise and Coffee said...

Have a wonderful date night!!

Tina said...

Amanda,
We handled Santa in this way with our three boys;

Once they were old enough to understand, we actually taught them about the real Santa and how he inspired people to give, etc. We told them that people got so inspired that they dress up like Santa each year to remember him. We then discussed how if you love Jesus we need to live and be like him. The greatest thing about Jesus is he is still alive today.
Then, we created "Daddy Santa". Each year, for the last 14 years, my husband puts on a Santa hat and he gives each boy a gift that he himself purchases (I never know what it will be... ever. And that is fun too! Men shop differently than women for sure!) Even our 18 year old digs this still! We had Daddy Santa at the very end of all the unwrapping of gifts so it was special. We have used the same Santa hat all these years!
Also, after all the lights were strung on the tree (not yet lit up), we would turn all the lights off in the house. Darkness. We would sit at the foot of the tree and talk about how dark the world was without Jesus. Then we would plug in the tree, illuminating the darkesss... what Christmas is all about!

Just wanted to share!
Bless you and yours!

Jailynn said...

Amanda ... I saw that story and was like .. what? Why in THE world would you, would you wear that thing outside of the house. It is beautiful, BUT .. there is NO WAY in the world I would put myself or my children in that position. Perhaps she thought she was SAFE in the confines of Preston Hollow, but really ... Besides the police are warning ladies of anything and everything OUT THERE for theives to easily take and say they are really watching all of us, especially those with shoulder bags and young kids. I have recently stopped taking my purse with me. Prayer, prayer .. This is why you keep God in all aspects of your life.

Angela said...

My husband and I talked about SAnta last night while watching Polar Express on TV. Our son is 13 mos and we know he isn't in tune with all that yet. We both had good expreicences with Santa when we were young so we will follow our parents example. We set out cookies and milk (which my Dad ate), my parents put out unwrapped gifts (from Santa), and when we figured out Santa wasn't real my parents continued to give us Santa gifts. We always knew Jesus was the Reason for the Season and we talked about Jesus' birth (helped by the busy church Christmas play we always were apart of). Santa is fun just like the Easter Bunny, as long as you let your kids know who and what Christmas is all about then Santa will just be another fun thing about Christmas, like the tree and lights.

Anonymous said...

Our church is doing date night tonight too! I'm so excited, and off to find the perfect thing to wear!

shelley said...

Don't you just LOVE MOPS! Seriously, my group has seen me through tough times and great times, and I've made forever friends in the 5 years I've been in it. Have a great date night!

Oh, and that news story is scary. I think what startled me the most is that she had children (child?) with her. I always feel a bit more secure when I'm with my kids, because I've heard that the "bad guys" don't want to go to that much trouble, that they'll look for an easier target...I guess that's not always true. It's a good lesson, thanks for sharing.

Angie said...

Yeah, being a MOP has some perks. :)

Santa is pretty low-key here. He comes, but is only talked about if the girls bring it up. We don't overdo it or play it up, but we don't exclude him from Christmas either. He's just kind of a "perk"... as if you need a "perk" in addition to Jesus' birthday! Our solution is NOT putting him in there in the manger with Jesus as part of our nativity scene on the mantle. What is that all about?!?

Alana said...

It really does pay to be a MOP. Hope you enjoyed your date night!

Lindsee said...

Amanda!

I just wanted to tell you thank you for getting the word out. Somehow, well, it was a process, I got EVERYTHING back. I have never felt more relieved. Since I figured people wouldn't believe me I took pictures with an "I'm Back!" sign. I know, it's silly, but after something like that, I wouldn't trust anyone either!

Anyway, thanks for getting it out there. It had happened to some people already! Scary!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Lindsee

Lauren said...

My husband's family did not incorporate Santa into their Christmas traditions at all. When he first told me that, I was horrified and thought he must have led a terribly deprived Christmas childhood (I loved Santa). But the more I got to know his family, the more I got used to the idea, and I think we will leave Santa Claus out of our own kids' Christmases.

They created their own Christmas traditions instead, which more than make up for the absence of Santa Claus. For example, they stuff each other's stockings. All the siblings and parents buy funny stuff for everyone else, and there is a great stocking-stuffing ceremony on Christmas Eve. It is way more fun to go through your stocking on Christmas morning when it's from your siblings than when it's from Santa.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I loved Tina's solution to the Santa questions. I, too, have relied on the story of the original Saint Nicholas. And the Daddy Santa is a GREAT idea - men DO shop differently that women. Thank you for sharing that idea!

Janelle & Ella said...

I hope you guys had fun on your date night. I meant to ask you about it at church and totally forgot!!! I'm a little jealous of your MOPS group. It is awesome!!