It's a Wonderful Life…

with the Mace family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

While it’s been a few days since Christmas, I thought the title was appropriate since I am posting videos from that day.  I took a bunch of videos, pasted them together, and I am now providing them for you to watch, or not.  The boys had no knowledge of being recorded, but only thought I was taking pictures.  Though I suspect B had his suspicions.  I wanted you all to see what we usually do on Christmas day, every bit of it.  Now there were times I wasn’t taping and that was when the boys were busy playing with their toys or looking at something.  Since we’ve no place to go, we go at a slower pace, letting them enjoy what they got and from whom.

Now December was a blur, but a something remarkable did happen.  Gav got his first loose tooth, and lost it two days before Christmas!  It was so tiny and he’s just adorable with a small hole where that tooth used to be.  He was so excited to lose it because he “really hates having a loose tooth.  It hurts.”  And for a kid with a high pain tolerance, it must have been pretty bad.  He couldn’t eat much, and I was cutting things like his sandwich just to make it easier on him.  It won’t be long before it happens again, but for now all teeth are staying  put.

Also, as it tends to happen when we take our cars in for an oil change, we got new vehicles, or at least new to us.  Obviously this doesn’t happen every time we take a car in for an oil change, it’s just that when it does, it coincides with one.  N and I had been leasing and we had a year left.  Honestly, we didn’t plan on anything changing, but wanted to inquire about some things so we could think on them over the next year.  We wanted to own our cars, and we wanted to have a minivan or a vehicle with third row seating.  But we also needed to know if we could afford that and what we were looking at for monthly payments.  We looked at some things, test drove a few, and honestly we weren’t sure about the minivan.  I wasn’t thrilled with what we were shown, especially considering we would have to lease for 3 years and then pay on it for 6 years to buy it in order to lower our monthly payments (which really was our goal).  But lo and behold, a used one, only three years old with less than 30,000 miles on it was being shipped in.  So we filled out the paperwork in order to hold it, with the opportunity to say no to it if we did not like it.  While I wasn’t super crazy about going from my Prius to a minivan, I did really like it.  It was in great condition, and much nicer than the new one.  Also, we could buy it and still lower our monthly car payments.  So I got that, and N traded his Rav4 for a little Audi to drive back and forth to work.  And while I’m still not crazy about the minivan (I loved my Prius, perhaps a little too much!)  I love the space it gives us and with wanting to grow our family, we will need.  Trips are going to be so much nicer in such a roomier vehicle!

On another note, we start school back up again this week.  We took the week before and the week of Christmas off.  Gav will start learning cursive writing, at his request.  It was something he was begging me to teach him.  I gave him a goal of completely his spiderman writing book by Christmas break in order to start learning cursive, and he did it.  His desire to learn cursive stems from him wanting to be able to read it.  I’m not sure he will take to it, or even really learn it this year, but I am willing to give it a shot.  I’ll try to keep you informed on how it’s going.  Heading off into the second half of the year in a few weeks will bring some changes.  In science, we will start Botany, Math will be getting a little more difficult for B as he delves deeper into Pre-Algebra, and Gav might be starting the next math book if he keeps going like he is.  Gav has really taken off in reading, so I am hoping to be trying some easy chapter books with him by spring.  Music theory is going well for B.  He isn’t really thrilled but knows this will help him later learn an instrument.

At this time of night, that’s all I can really think of.   We love you and wish you all a great week!  xoxo



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Gift Ideas

The title says it all.  I felt a little forward even thinking about making a list, but my momma said it would be helpful to know what the boys are into.  This list is meant to be helpful and insightful, not a burden.  I will update this list occasionally as the boys change.  I started this list this summer while walking around a store while Gav was in art class.  I signed both of them up for art classes that they enjoyed.  Anyway, while one was in class, the other would walk around and play with things or show interest in them.  My list actually started as something for N and I when Christmas comes around, but then I thought it would be helpful for grandparents.  As I said before, it is meant to be helpful.

1.  You Choose books (these are books where you choose the endings, B enjoyed reading them)

2. Stethoscope (Gav was interested in this)

3.  4D Vision Great White Shark anatomy model (B, this is really cool)

4.  Art Lab for Kids (the art classes the boys loved came from this book)

5.  Marbles, marble book (both boys)

6.  Microscope for Kids by GeoSafari Jr (this was the one Gav was enthralled with)

7.  Spot It (game, both boys)

8.  Magnetic games (these are great for when we are in the car, both boys love playing them)

9.  Find It Tubes (Gav thought these were great)

10.  Kaleidoscope

11.  Musical Instruments such as a wood block, triangle, rain stick, maracas, egg shakers, etc. (Gav really enjoyed them, B got into them a little too)

12.  Butterfly net (both)

13.  Bug Catcher (We had one once, but it broke.  They would both enjoy this)

14. Crayola Marker Maker (Gav)

15.  Atilla, the switch n go dino (Gav)

16.  Art supplies (B)

Of course, they both love gift cards.  We have amazon prime now, so that or Target are the best. Here is a website that gives non-toy ideas, lots of which would be just as fun for the boys as well.

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We just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  We hope you all have a wonderful day today.  Here is a little something from the boys.

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We hope everyone had a great Christmas!  The boys surely did, seeing as they were spoiled by grandparents:)  We lounged around playing with toys all day and watched a movie as we ate dinner.  (What a treat!)  It has come to my attention that you don’t really know our family traditions.  I am going to walk you through what we have established as a family to be our traditions.

Here are a few of the things we do in preparation for Christmas.  We don’t really have a day when we put up the tree specifically.  When we do put it up, the boys get to help decorate by hanging all the ornaments.  Then they get to hang some sign,s or decorations that we have, around the house.  It stays where they put it, and while I will never have a house decorated well enough to be in a magazine, I have two boys who love to help make the house pretty.  Oh, and we listen to Christmas music all the while.  In years past we have made Christmas cookies, but this year it really got away from us.  But not to worry, with cookies from grandma and cookies as a church gathering, the boys ate their fill.  We also watch as many Christmas cartoons as possible over the next few weeks.  The past two years we have been limited to Netflix, but it has not let us down.

Christmas Eve begins our traditions.  That evening, after dinner, we open a few gifts from Momo (my mom) that contain pajamas.  This was something my mom did with us as my sister and I were growing up and it still continues.  Then we get in the car, in our pj’s (yes, even Nate and I) and go out looking at Christmas lights.  This is something my dad did with my sister and I when he moved up in ’95.  I honestly am not sure if we did this as kids.  However, I loved it.  With Christmas music playing in the car, we would drive around and enjoy all the beautiful lights people put up.  Our boys enjoy it too, though not for too long of a time.  This year we lasted an hour and saw some beautifully done houses.  Once we come home, it’s off to bed for the boys.  Later that night, Nate and I carry all the gifts down and put them under the tree.  The look on their faces in the morning is priceless!

Christmas morning begins when the kids wake up.  We gather around the tree and read the Christmas story, the birth of Jesus.  After this, Nate plays ‘santa’ passing out the gifts while I ask the boys to show me what they got, pose, and take their picture.  Without family around, the rest of the day is playing with new things, enjoying each other, and eating a nice meal.

I know, it doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but you have to be here.  We all enjoy it and I really think that’s what matters.

After Christmas, we celebrate Three Kings Day on Jan 6th.  This is a tradition from Nate’s family.  When asked about the why, Nate replied,”It’s something my dad did.  It’s a Spanish tradition.”  Good enough for me!  We give the boys one gift each in celebration of Three Kings Day.  That’s it, nothing super special but the delight on our children’s faces!

The year is about to end, so this is my last post of the year.  But do not fret, there will be more next year!  So Happy New Year to all.  May God bless you and keep you.

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25 days of Christmas.

With the Christmas season upon us, we have already started decorating and preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ.  This year we are doing things a little differently.  As a family, we are striving to bless others for 25 days.  Every day we will seek to bless someone until Christmas day. Some will be intentional, and others will be random.  The boys have already made a list of some people they are wanting to bless.  We are trying to teach the boys that Christmas is about giving, not getting.  It’s ultimately about the gift Christ gave us, and how we can give  to show His love.  The boys are excited about this and have started early making things for those they have chosen.  We also plan to let them in on some of the random blessings, with a little guidance so they learn how to find others to bless.  While I know you all can’t do 25 days of blessing people, I urge you to find one person this Christmas season to bless.

Update:  We did 22 of 25 days!  I am impressed as this was something we had to work at since it is not part of our normal routine.  We really had to remind ourselves daily.  As we start a new year, I am hoping to work on this as a family.  If we can be more aware of those around us, we will see the needs of people and perhaps be able to meet some of them.

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