This is the first Christmas that the boys have really been interested in Santa Claus. It has not taken them long to learn the "rules" of Santa...the reindeer, the chimney, the being nice (not naughty), and of course the presents! Just a little side note: I personally was never a huge fan of Santa as a child and I was quite young, probably four or five years old, when I revealed to my mother that I knew that she and dad "were Santa". With that said, I am finding it difficult to play into the whole 'magic' of Christmas, but I am also trying not to be Mrs. Scrooge and let the boys have their Santa fun and pray that it is sooner than later that they come to know the truth about the big man in the red suit. So rather than dismissing the Santa tradition (and being labeled the weird, over bearing mom that doesn't let her children fantasize) I decided to teach them a bit about the REAL St. Nicholas. With the help of the Internet, a trip to the library and our new Veggie Tales DVD(given to us by MeMaw Bobbie), we began learning about the generosity and compassion of a deeply religious man for whom our current day Santa was based upon. I had heard before that a man named St. Nicholas existed, but never knew the story in its entirety. I will spare you all the details and rather encourage anyone reading this post to check him out for yourself. I know that you will be pleased and possibly enlightened to learn of his remarkable acts and deep love of the Lord. Now, in the spirit of commercialized Christmas, I couldn't NOT take the boys to visit Santa Claus. So yesterday we headed to the mall for a cheesy picture and a chance to let Santa know what was on their wish lists. Just as I suspected might happen, Beau wanted nothing to do with him and at first glance clung to my leg and hid his sweet little face. Tytus in his usual cautious manner, slowly approached him and eased himself up on Santa's lap. I am convinced that Ty's desire for the new guitar that he has been asking for for months was all the motivation he needed to talk to this large bearded man. And Cash just smiled and laughed and was happy and adorable like he most always is. After a few minutes of coercing, I was able to get Beau to get close enough to Santa's chair so that he would be in the picture and I would not (except for my leg). I think the death grip on Big Brothers hand and 'deer in the headlights' look in his eyes says it all. Once the picture was taken and Tytus told Santa that he wanted a guitar and spoke on Beau's behalf that he wants a "treat" (that is all Beau will say he wants for Christmas...no toys, no games, no balls..."just a treat") then we went on our merry way. Memories were made, with a not too shabby photograph to prove it!!
I love Christmas trees. In fact someday I plan to have one in every room of my house! Usually I put up three, but this year with the addition of another baby in the house as well as two very eager-to-help little boys, I settled for only putting up two trees. I am collecting OSU ornaments and over the years my Cowboys inspired tree will grow bigger and bigger. The boys helped with the main tree, so it is a little 'patchy' in places, but perfect for our life right now. I have had to surrender some of my creative control, but we had a lot of fun decorating the tree and they were very proud it.
In my determination to teach the boys about Jesus' birth and the true meaning of Christmas, I have come to realize that I may have left out some crucial information. Tonight at dinner Tytus began retelling the story to us and was doing a fantastic job. When he got to the part about King Herod "tricking the wise men" and plotting to kill all the baby boys, Beau clearly became aggravated. With teeth clenched and passion in his eyes, he began to proclaim, "that mean King Herod is not nice, he will not kill all the babies, and when he comes to our house we will all tell him that he is not gonna kill baby Jesus and he is not gonna kill baby Cash!" Oops...I forgot to mention that the story took place thousands of years ago (not that they have a very accurate reference to time), and that although it is a very real and important story, the characters are no longer living. He proceeded to say that he would kill King Herod with his toy chainsaw (and no, we do not let our children watch horror movies, but he has seen his father cut down trees and knows that a chainsaw can do some serious damage!) I am pleased that they are both so interested in the details of the nativity story as well as Christ's crucifixion and resurrection and I am praying daily that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to teach them and answer their questions. I am also learning that some things can not be left unsaid!
I thought it would be fun to post our Christmas pictures from the past few years. Wow, have we changed! Our little family has grown from just the two of us to a family of five in just seven Christmases. These pictures kind of tell the story of where we have been since getting married in 2003. We've lived in three different homes and added three beautiful boys into the mix (and my hair has been just about every color on the spectrum!) Life has been a bit of a roller coaster, but through all the ups and downs God has provided His grace and guidance to us. Brock and I are so blessed! I am really looking forward to this Christmas, and I am having so much fun starting traditions with the boys and teaching them the true meaning of Christmas. I can't wait to see how our children grow (in size, not in number!) and how our Christmas card changes over the years!
2003- Our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. Brock Eubanks! I was so proud of that little tree and so excited to be sending out Christmas cards!
2004- Our first Christmas in our house at Jenks, OK. We had just finished building it and were still getting all settled in.
2005- this picture was taken just a couple of weeks before Tytus was born.
2006- Tytus' first Christmas. For some reason, I was very on top of things...I sent out a Thanksgiving card!
2007- Beau's first Christmas and our first Christmas in Loma Linda, MO.
2008 Christmas card picture Brothers and best friends...looks like they are about to cause some trouble!
Beau making his big announcement that we would soon become a family of five!!
Cash is four months old now and just as it always does, the time has flown by. He is such a blessing. He is what people would call a "good baby", even though I always thought this was kind of a weird thing to say...like some babies are bad! At his checkup he weighed 20 lbs, and was 27 in. long. His pediatrician said he was the size of an average 9 month old!! He even had to show off a little by rolling over for the first time!! He is healthy and happy and I thank God everyday for blessing our family with Johnny Cash Allen Edward Eubanks (that's what his brothers call him!!)
Today on the way to the gym Tytus and I had the following dialogue... T: (looking out the window) "There's where I live" Me: "Oh yeah, that's a nice house" T: "Yeah, my other house got hit by a big potato and blew away, so I had to get another one!"
I'm pretty sure he meant tornado, but either way that would not be good!!
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we were able to get together with some of my cousins and their children out at Grandmother and Granddad's house. My grandfather's grandfather, Louis Neopolean Crusha, homesteaded just over the hill from where my grandparents still live today. The land has been in our family for well over 100 years and their home is where we all gather for holidays or anytime any of us return 'home' for a visit. It isn't ofter that all of the great grandchildren are all together in the same place and everyone is awake and accounted for. So, we decided to take this opportunity to take a picture of all eleven great grandchildren with my grandparents, Silvia Darlyne Coatney Seal and Dennis Edward Seal (Cash's namesake). It was quite an accomplishment getting them all to stand in the same vicinity long enough to snap a few photos. The first picture is not too terrible...almost everyone is almost looking toward the camera!! The third picture is definitely my favorite...Tytus is staring at all the others, Cash is crying, Paisley has her finger in her nose, Montana and Trinity are posing nicely, Embassy is loving being held by Granddad, Beau is also staring into space, Parker is DONE, and Koleman and Paxton are about to drop Priscilla!!! I love it! Now that is making memories! I am so thankful for the time I get to spend with family. I grew up seeing some of my cousins everyday and we have so many great memories. I wish that we lived closer and my children were getting to grow up with their cousins, but for now I will have to settle for seeing them at holidays and special trips. It means so much to me when we all get together...I would not trade anything for the time that my children get to spend with my grandparents.
I finally found some time to post some pictures from our Bedlam party. I use the term 'party' loosely as it quickly turned into a gathering of family and friends to console one another. Our family, as well as Mark and Kandy and their kids were all in Taloga for Thanksgiving, so we went to the Vanderwork home to watch the big game. Of course, Brock and the boys had to squeeze in a little game of their own before we chowed down on tons of game day food and geared up to watch what we hoped would be a Cowboy victory. Paxton even made signs for us to wave proudly! Well, needless to say our beloved Pokes did not give us the results we wanted, but it was great spending the day with old family friends. Even Cash got in on some of the action! It must be early in the game...the men are holding up their signs and still have smiles on their faces! Mom and her best friend, Cindy. You can always count on Karen to be where the fun is...even if she does have a book in hand. Jessica, Jordan, and Heather...such fun girls!! My sweet Beau started picking Cindy's flowers for me. Cousins- Paxton and Tytus Grandma and her six little pokes (it's not easy getting all of them in a picture!)
Well, today was my birthday...twenty-nine years ago today I entered this world. Even though most of the day was pretty much like every other day, making breakfast, changing diapers, folding laundry, etc., it was such a blessing to see my kids get so excited about my birthday. Now granted it doesn't take much to excite them and when they hear 'birthday' they automatically think CAKE, but even still they were very excited. I quickly learned after becoming a mother that my birthday is really no longer about just me! So today we did things that we all like to do. The day began with Tytus and Beau making the usual request for pancakes. I whispered to Tytus that today was my birthday. With eyes lit, he ran to find Beau, where I overheard him saying, "Do you know who's birthday is today, Beau?...it's Mommy's!!!", with Beau replying, "Yeah, birthday cake, birthday cake!!" After pancakes and playing outside, we celebrated with a birthday lunch at Chick-fil-A. We all love Chick-fil-A, especially me...the people that work there are so nice, they practically feed my kids for me! Then it was back home to bake strawberry cupcakes. Followed by a nice long nap taken by all three children at the same time(this was probably the best gift of all!!) As you can see from the following pictures the older boys got to rest together today which is quite a treat. They ask everyday and I rarely let them, but since today was my birthday we broke several rules!! After naps we had to put frosting and sprinkles on the cupcakes and make a delicious meal...the boys favorite, PB&J (no one should have to cook on their birthday if they don't want to!) Then we waited for Daddy to get home (did I mention that Brock has been gone for three days on a business trip and wouldn't get home until late) to have our little 'party'. So the boys got to stay up later than normal and eat cupcakes at 9:00(like I said we broke lots of rules today). And they got to wear their Christmas pajamas with the footsies that zip up the front. That's another one of those things that they ask to do frequently and I don't let them, mainly because they get really hot when wearing them, but also because I think I have an issue with them wearing pajamas with snowmen and Santa on them when it isn't Christmas time. Anyway, Brock came bearing gifts, the cupcakes were delicious, and everyone went to sleep with no fits or fussing, even Cash opted to forgo his nightly thirty minute meltdown, which I am truly grateful for. I really wouldn't want to spend my birthday any other way than doing the simple things with my kids...I wouldn't turn down a message or a trip to NY...but seeing them happy and filled with joy and getting excited to make me feel special, really is a great gift! Thank you boys for a very nice day!
Like most children, mine are constantly saying something funny (or at least I think so). Often times what they say is even profound and thought provoking (in a child-like way, of course). In order to aid in my effort of storing these precious memories, I am starting a section of the blog to honor their humorous quotes. So, today as Tytus was getting dressed...well, actually he was putting on the dalmation costume I made for Beau last year, but never the less, he was getting dressed...our conversation went a little like this: Me: "Do you need some help, Ty?" (he looks at me with a puzzled look) Me: "Do you like it when I call you Ty?" T: "NO" Me: "Oh, you like it when I call you Tytus, right?" T: "NO...it's T-Diddy! or you can call me T-Man, but I love it when you call me T-Diddy!"
Nearly every evening, at almost the exact same time, Cash has a FULL BLOWN MELT DOWN! For about thirty minutes he screams and fusses and screams and fusses. It is during this time that I am so very thankful for my husband. He's just a great daddy. He has this calming touch that frankly I am lacking by the end of the day when I have had my children all over me all day. One night a couple of weeks ago when the crying subsided I emerged from my bedroom to find the above scene. I love this picture. I think they both look so content, doing something that they enjoy. And who says a man can't multi-task?
Several times a day at our house my little Beau can be found running around yelling "You not gonna catch up, you not gonna catch up!!" It's pretty cute watching him run as quickly as he can to one of his usual hiding places. Of course any of us could catch up with him even though most often we just humor him. The more I've heard him joyfully proclaim that I will not catch up, the more I begin to think that maybe he is right...not gonna catch up. Not gonna catch up with the laundry, the cleaning, the organizing, the filing, the teacing, the learning, the neighbors, the lists (you know, those lists I make after I've already completed chores so that I can check more items off and feel super productive!) I like to believe that I am not just slow, that I am not the only one out there that is "not gonna catch up". So, friends, join me in not catching up! Let's humor ourselves for a bit...Let's shout it out..."Nanny-nanny-boo-boo, You not gonna catch up!!", and let's run to our hiding places and feel like we really WON!!
In the spirit of catching up (or not catching up), I thought I would add a few pictures of the gang from the past few weeks.
I am many things...wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, teacher, student, child of God! I love my life. I love my Lord. I can not get enough of my husband and sons (but I love spending time with my girlfriends too!) I enjoy running, cooking, scrapbooking, reading, sewing...basically doing anything that allows me to be a little artsy-craftsy!