Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 Picture with Santa

Christmas wouldn't be complete without our annual trip to see Santa. This year's picture is especially precious to me, as Cruz was so completely inconsolable! He has been recovering from the flu earlier this week and was already not in a good mood. Having me leave him on this strange Santa's lap sent him over the top. He screamed from the moment I backed away until I came back and picked him up. Santa was very calm & good with him, reassuring me that he would hold him while they took the picture.

After the picture was snapped, Santa spent a few minutes with each big boy. He asked them their age, what they wanted for Christmas, and even asked them to work hard at getting along with each other.  It's as if he really knew them! They were delighted!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Crafts - Glitter Ornaments

Today the boys & I decided to make glitter ornaments. They were originally going to be Christmas ornaments and, indeed, we will hang them on the tree next year. But for now, we decided to write 2012 on them and hang them on the mantel where our stockings once hung to help ring in the New Year next week.

They were super-easy & fun to make.  Using clear glass ornaments, we popped the tops off and poured some Pledge Floor Cleaner inside. Next, we sprinkled in a bunch of glitter and rolled it around until the inside was coated well.  After pouring out the excess glitter, we used glitter glue to write 2012 on the outside. We popped the tops back on and used red yarn to hang them.

A fun activity for a cold, melted-snow, muddy day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Final Gift from Gumdrop - Reindeer Food

Today we received one final gift from Gumdrop - Sparkly Oats reindeer food! There were special instructions attached. The boys had great fun with this final Christmas activity! They took great care spreading it around the sidewalk & driveway and were very curious the next morning to see how much had been eaten. Good thing the storms rolled in a blew it away, making a very believable morsel scattered here & there.

One more bit of fun before Christmas Day,
Deep down, you boys are sweet & I’ve enjoyed my stay.
Tomorrow I’ll go back, to the North Pole,
More than not you’ve been good and have avoided coal.
Today’s activity involves Santa’s reindeer,
They get hungry too, as their trip draws near.
Sprinkle this magic food all around your driveway,
It will be such a treat instead of their normal hay. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Zip-lining - 2 Days 'till Christmas

Today we found Gumdrop zip-lining through the living room, towards the stockings! He had a sign dangling from him that said, "2 More Days!" It wasn't a challenge to find him, but it sure was funny!  And, he's right in the middle of the living room where he can see everyone and hear everything. Here's hoping for a well behaved couple of days. After Christmas, Gumdrop will fly back to the North Pole for the year and we won't have him as incentive anymore!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Warning - 3 Days 'till Christmas!

I think this says it all about our afternoon yesterday...

Dear Luke & Noah,
I’ve seen you fighting, I’ve heard you whining,
At the North pole, we’re worried & pining,
You’ve been on the nice list, up ‘til today,
Where Santa puts you now, I cannot say.
It makes me so sad to see your mother ask,
To be nice, kind, and put yourself last,
For these are things you should know,
Naughty or Nice – where will your name go?
Please be kind with brotherly love,
Santa & The Lord are watching from above.
Love ,

Christmas Cookies & Gingerbread Men

Today was an early release day from school, so the boys & I decorated some Christmas cookies & Gingerbread men while Cruzie napped. What a fun, messy & yummy project! We used red, green & white frosting and a big container with about a dozen different types of sprinkles! I think I spent as long cleaning up  as we did decorating, but it was worth it.  Hope the boys remember these fun times & memories when they are older!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Countdown with Gumdrop

Well, it's official - 10 days till Christmas and counting! Gumdrop had a very funny way of counting down with us.  He definitely likes toilet paper. This is the second time he's gotten in to it. Last time was when he "wrapped" our tree. This time it was rolling down the cabinets with, "10 Days till Christmas" on it! The boys had a good laugh about this one! Wonder what Gumdrop will do the next few days...literally, I wonder. ;)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Stockings for Undies?

Today I would say Gumdrop's behavior was classified as a little naughty & mischievous. The boys awoke to find their stocking missing! In their place were pairs of undies hanging above the chimney with Gumdrop nestled inside! I think this might have been one of the funniest pranks Gumdrop has pulled. All the boys giggled with delight!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pick a Pet from Granny & Gramps

Today the boys came home to find 3 new pets from Granny  & Gramps! There was a doggie, a bear and a horse. Noah was home from school first and, of course, he chose the doggie! Luke came home next and he chose the bear. Cruzie got the horse.

Noah was so funny, hugging & kissing his new doggie. He wants a real dog so badly and loves dogs of all kinds! When Luke got home, they put their new pets on their shoulders & gave them "rides" around the house like Leo does with the boys.

So sweet to get an early Christmas present! Makes the holidays last a little longer.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mickey Mouse Birthday

What a fun day! I woke at 3:30am and couldn't stop thinking about all the decorations, cupcakes & Mickey Mouse fun that was ahead.

I spent yesterday making red, black & yellow paper chains for decorations. We added red & black balloons and cut-outs of Mickey Mouse's head from construction paper.

The cupcakes were in red polka-dot liners with white frosting & Oreo's making the shape of Mickey's face.

I crocheted Cruz a Mickey Mouse hat & after lunch he changed in to his Mickey Mouse shirt.

He got 2 Mickey stuffed dolls, Little People race car track and a big yellow bulldozer!

By the time the party was over at 2pm, he was completely exhausted and so was I! Everyone left and I put him down for a nap. I cleaned up and now I sit looking through all the pictures.  Sweet chunky pumpkin! I love you more than you will ever know!!

Happy 2nd Birthday Cruz!

Up early thinking about my baby boy's 2nd birthday. It's so cliche, but I honestly can't believe the time has gone by so fast. He has been an unexpected blessing from the start - and he only continues to amaze me with the love & joy he brings to my life. I cannot imagine our family with out his infectious belly laugh or his sweet mommy snuggles. It brings tears to think of how deeply I love this him & how much God must love me to have blessed & trusted me to raise him. Every event & milestone is so bittersweet because I know he is my last. So, today is all about Christian Cruz, Mickey Mouse, and praising God for creating such a loving addition to our crazy cool circus! Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gumdrop & Advent

This morning we found Gumdrop being a good little elf, reading our Advent book. Even though he can be mischievous, he also understands the true celebration of Christmas and how special every day in December is leading up to the birth of our Lord & Savior Jesus.

Believe it or not, it's 75 degrees today, which explains Noah with no-shirt again. I'm sure I'll look back and wonder why he wasn't dressed in December. Not to worry, in 3 days the temperatures are to plunge some 40 degrees and we may just get our first 20 degree weather! I love the cold weather! Something so cozy & snuggly about a roaring fire & cold weather around the holidays!

Fresh Fir Wreath Surprise

Last night we were surprise to hear our door bell ring and a big brown box waiting on our door step. Having no idea what it was or who would have sent us something, we quickly brought it inside.  We smelled the fresh scent of pine as we opened the box.  Inside was the most beautifully festive real fir wreath from Granny & Gramps! How lovely & perfect for our kitchen door this Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gumdrop Snow Angels

After a day of too much fighting, arguing & tantrums, Gumdrop did not move from his spot yesterday or return to the North Pole.  (A.K.A. - Mommy slept late and forgot to move him.)

The boys improved their behavior and they found Gumdrop making snow angels this morning.  We decided he must have been missing all the snow at the North Pole and found the next best thing in our pantry - flour!

Delighted by Gumdrop's newest trick, Luke & Noah are both speculating about what he might do tomorrow if they are good.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hershey Kiss Advent Calendar

We were a day late, but on December 2, the boys & I got our Hershey Kisses Advent Calendar done!

Each boy lined up 24 kisses on plastic wrap. We carefully folded the plastic wrap over the kisses and tied a ribbon between each one.

Every day the boys exchange a kiss to Mommy for a candy kiss off the calendar. When the kisses are gone, it will be Christmas day!

Such an easy & sweet way to count down to our Happy Birthday Jesus celebration!

Candy Cane Garden

Yesterday the boys woke up to find Gumdrop with a 2-day activity for them. He was sitting in a Christmas dish along with a bag of North Pole Dirt (oatmeal), candy cane seeds (peppermint disks),  and magic Christmas fertilizer (red, green, white sprinkles).

The boys instructions were to plant the seeds deep the dirt, fertilize, then be kind, generous & loving. If they did all these things, in the morning they would awake to a special surprise.

All day long we reminded the boys about the instructions & checked the "garden" to see if anything had sprouted.  Although we didn't see anything during the day, when we woke up this morning, three big M&M filled candy canes had grown!

The boys were in amazement and completely delighted!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Building Blocks with Gumdrop

Today we discovered that Gumdrop likes playing with blocks as much as the boys. I was relieved to find him playing a bit after his trip to the North Pole, rather than playing a practical joke or doing something ornery!

Noah decided to add a few mega blocks "castles" to the pyramid of wooden blocks that Gumdrop built. He was very upset with me when I started to pick them up. He insisted that Gumdrop needed a big building with lots of rooms to play in today.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gumdrop & Baby Jesus

Today the boys found Gumdrop rocking baby Jesus from their nativity set. All the wise men & animals were gathered round to watch Gumdrop share his love for Christ. After all, even Santa's elves know the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Elfed! Toilet Papered Christmas Tree

Gumdrop was at it again over night. Today's practical joke - a toilet papered Christmas tree!

The boys both spotted him right away, as they came out of their rooms from sleeping. They laughed so hard when they saw Gumdrop in the tree holding a long piece of toilet paper.

Ornery Elf!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adventures with Gumdrop - Maple Syrup

The adventures with Gumdrop continue. Today he left this note, while sipping on our maple syrup...

Dear Luke & Noah, 

I've given good reports so far, but you're walking a thin line;
I don't like the yelling, you're supposed to be kind.
The fighting & arguing simply must stop,
Or on to the naughty list your names will drop.
So remember to be kind with brotherly love,
Santa & the Lord are watching from above.

Happy Holidays,

PS - Thank you for the maple syrup. It's one of my favorite things to drink!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elf on the Shelf 11/26 - Hanging from the Rafters

Today the boys were perplexed on where Gumdrop was hiding, after returning from the North Pole. Last night was his first report to Santa on the boys and they were excited to see where he would appear.

After several minutes of searching, I encouraged the boys to come sit at the table for breakfast. I asked them to look down, to the right, to the left and finally straight up. What do you know!  Gumdrop was swinging upside down from the chandelier in the dining room!

He must have had some extra time on his hands last night because he made paper chains & snow flakes which he hung from the light. The boys were delighted to have found him and thought his silly antics were quite funny!

Can't wait to see what our sneaky little elf has up his sleeves tonight!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gumdrop! Our Elf on the Shelf!

Today we started a new tradition in the Padron house - Elf on the Shelf!  It's a cute concept where the Elf on the Shelf appears in a new spot each morning; then reports back to Santa each night.

The Elf appeared on our kitchen table this morning. He brought out all our Christmas place mats & left us a funny Elf Yourself video on the computer.

The boys & I read the Elf on the Shelf book and promptly named our Elf, Gumdrop!

It's amazing how well this is controlling the behavior around our house this morning! Everything nice the boys do, we compliment them and point out that Gumdrop will surely report the good behavior to Santa that night. Everything naughty the boys do, we remind them that Gumdrop is watching. Without exception, this has stopped the undesirable behavior in its tracks!  Awesomeness!

Can't wait to see where Gumdrop will turn up tomorrow or what antics he'll be getting in to when we wake up!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Dear Little Boys

I'm not sure you'll ever really know how much I love you. Will you ever understand the tears that fall each time you grow a size and I have to change out your wardrobe. The stabbing feeling in my heart I get each time you have a first...or a last.  The first day of a new grade. The last day of an old. Your first bite of table food and your last suckle of my milk. The first ride on a big boy bicycle and the last ride on your tricycle.

Will you ever know how my heart was so filled with emotions that I thought it would burst on the day you accepted Christ or the day you announced it to the world at your baptisms. As boys, will you ever really understand your mother's heart, how extreme I love you and covet every accomplishment and milestone you surpass.

Before you, I could never have imagined how much a stinky, loud, messy, gross little boy could capture my heart, become my world and pull my heartstrings with such a love that it actually hurts.

Before you, I thought a parent was supposed to teach their children how to live. Since having you I realize it's the other way around. You are the reason I strive to be better, to learn more, to hang on, to be more like earn your love & respect is my crown, my most precious jewel & the thing I treasure most.

I feel too often that I fail at this parenting thing. I'll never fully understand why God chose me to be the mother of 3 such amazing little boys. Why I was blessed so greatly with this honor & privilege. In His great wisdom, he obviously knows more about me than I know about myself. I promise to always try to be the best for you.

Love you to the moon and back again,


Noah's 1st Day of Pre-K

Holy Cow, my Sweet Angel is in Pre-K!! When did he grow up? Watching him with his backpack and lunch  box just about breaks my heart, but fills it with pride all at the same time.

Just as with his big brother, we filled out his "All about Me" questionnaire and traced his hand on construction paper. Fitting with his sweet personality, his favorite person was, "Everyone."  Noah is so loving and kind, I'm not surprised at all by his answer.  He is definitely all boy and it didn't surprise me that his favorite thing about school is the play ground and he wants to be a police officer when he grows up.

I snapped a few extra pictures on the bench where his big brother Luke sat his first day of pre-K. By this time Noah was over taking pics and we were officially running late for his first day of school.

I  just can't help but be sappy & sentimental. These boys have my heart on a string. One little tug and big puddle of melted love. This little boy has a special place in my heart, for sure.

Luke's 1st Day of 2nd Grade

It's 2012 and my first baby boy is 7 years old and in 2nd grade. It simply does not seem possible.

Luke is excited about 2nd grade because he has the same teacher that he had in kindergarten, Ms. Wilcox. She is a wonderful Christian lady who is anointed with the gift of teaching. We found out she was moving to 2nd grade and requested her immediately...and we were so happy to find out Luke was in her class again.

On his first day, as is our tradition, I took a few pics of Luke outside on the front patio with his "All about Me" sign. It's just a little questionnaire that I ask the boys each year to help us remember what their favorite things were. I'm so blessed that Luke still says his favorite thing to do is, "Love on you mom," and that his favorite person is still, "Mommy."  I also traced his hand on construction paper so one day when he is a grown man, I can look back and remember how small his hands were when he was a little boy.

I'm so proud of my honey bunny. Watching him grow and learn is such a privilege and being his mom is an honor.

Luke's Baptism

What an amazing day. I have so many emotions, it's hard to get them all straight to write this post. Watching my first baby boy be baptized today was the culmination of years of hope, dream & prayer come true.

Pride, gratefulness, excitement, relief so many feelings inside just bursting to get out. Listening to the pastor ask Luke who he was trusting his life to...and hearing Luke answer, "God, Jesus," was enough to make this mama's heart burst with love & thanksgiving!

The Pastor went on tell Luke that he was now the salt of the Earth & light of the world...and that, as God's ambassador, it was his responsibility to let his light shine to all those he meets. He then reclined Luke under the water, symbolizing our burial with Christ and being raised in newness of life. Luke took the candle and walked out of the baptism tank and new creation in Christ.

Luke later looked at me and said, "Mommy, I am now your brother...and Daddy is my brother too! We are are all brothers and sisters in the church." amazing how God can reach such a young, tender heart and call it to Him.

This is a day I will surely never forget!