The Land of Boys

Learning to live in a house full of testosterone

Archive for the tag “Nathaniel”

Why I Do Not Want To See Toy Story 3

I have kids. They have toys. It seems logical that I should want to see TS3. I mean, Buzz and Woody have been around the whole time I have kids. We have so many fun memories of Nathaniel (who made up his own language) playing with Buzz a Bee (Buzz and Woody) and saying, “Booka booka, Booka a beeeee!!!” (To infinity, and beyond!) When the second movie came out, McDonald’s had at least 9,457,269,852 Happy Meal toys that went along with it. We wanted Nathaniel to have all of them. So every day for what seemed like forever, I would have a Happy Meal on my lunch break. The employees would ask what toy I wanted when I ordered. We had movies 1 and 2 on video. Here’s Nathaniel on his 3rd birthday watching one of them.

That was 10 years ago. He will be 13 next month. A teenager. 14 months until he begins high school. Five years until college. He is no longer the little weird kid who takes everything apart. He’s the big  weird kid that can fix things for me and hook up my DVD player. 😀 He is going to not like being called a kid soon.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I wouldn’t want want to keep my kids little, even if I could. Sure, babies and little kids are sweet and cute. They have that sweet little Johnson and Johnson smell about them. But there is a dark side to little kids. Sometimes they make up their own language. That might even cause their dads to argue with them for 45 minutes on the way home from church about how to say “Piglet” (It’s “PIGLET, son” NO, it KANYE, Daddy“) They look at you with innocent eyes, tell you how much they love you and then you turn the corner to realize that they decorated your off-white love seat with burgundy lipstick. While big boys might occasionally miss the toilet with their aim, it’s better  than having little kids who ‘forget’ to go to the bathroom until it’s too late. I love my big kids. It is just hard to accept sometimes that they don’t need me. I’m Pooh Bear. They are Christopher Robin.

So, I read a review about the movie. Because, even though it is Toy Story, sometimes people who make movies targeted at kids do not have a clue as to what is appropriate for kids. Do you know what this movie is about? Andy is grown up and going off to college.  (In the world of children’s entertainment college is some black hole that you go into but are never seen again-Pink Ranger, Steve, you get my drift.) So there is a lot of letting go in this movie. Andy is letting go of his childhood, moving into manhood. His toys are getting donated.  His mom is letting go of her little boy. And that is the part I am least looking forward to.

This weekend Nathaniel and I have a rare opportunity. Mark and the two little boys are going to camp. We are just going to be on our own. He is going to have my  full, undivided attention. I had originally planned to send him, too, whether he wanted to go or not. I was going to get lesson plans drawn up and the house completely scoured, cleaned and shined. But that stuff can wait. I have a boy turning into a man right in front of eyes. If I blink, I might miss it.


♪♫ Christmas Time is Near….♫♪

I love Christmas! It is the one time where people are a little more likely to be caring about others. It is the time when we can talk about Jesus, for the most part, without people getting mad.  (yes I know the ACLU would like for us not to mention Jesus, but normal people don’t usually mind)

As a family we try to focus on  worship, being together, doing things for those less fortunate, and celebrating Jesus coming to pay for our sins. We have some traditions, both old and new that have become part of helping make this a special time of year. On the day after Thanksgiving, we skip all the big sales and stay home. That is when we put out our Christmas decorations and put the tree up.  I used to have this idea in my head of what a *perfect* tree should look like. Clear lights, all well coordinated ornaments, evenly spaced out. Something along the lines of this:Most of our nicer ornaments have gotten broken over the years. We have a tree full of glitter, popsicle sticks, craft foam, etc. And colored lights. The angel on top blinks. I do not like blinky lights. Either on or off, stay put!The funny thing is, the more we have this type of tree, the more I begin to think this is the most beautiful type of tree. I mean, on my * perfect* tree would there be any room for these?*

Another old tradition is our Christmas dishes. I got a set of Twelve Days of Christmas china when I was still a teenager. (not going to say how many Christmases ago THAT was!) The salad plates each depict a different “day” of Christmas. The boys eat off the plate with the number of their age on it. This year we have Samuel with “Six Geese a Laying”, Benjamin with “Nine Ladies Dancing” and Nathaniel with “Twelve Drummers Drumming”On a bit of a nostalgic note, this is Nathaniel’s last year to have a special plate.

We also do a LOT of cooking during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So far my kitchen helpers have helped me make:

Christmas Tree Cake

Snowman Cake

Peppermint Patties

Potato Candy

We usually make chocolate (and white chocolate) covered pretzel rods, divinity, and Rudolph cookies.

Some of the newer traditions we have are more meaningful. Last year we did our very first Jesse Tree.  We made some elaborate ornaments. Some of which are on our huge tree in the living room. The time-consuming ornaments are great when Mark is not working. They are not so bad when he is working day shift. But on the days where he works night shift, it is not much fun. Some days it felt more like a chore than a blessing. So this year we have toned it down and are coloring paper ornaments we got from here. So this year is much more laid back.

Something that is very exciting is our newest tradition. We are doing an Advent Calendar. I saw this last year on Annemarie’s blog. The cups are big enough to hold three pieces of candy. So each boy gets a piece every day. We have Reese’s Cups in some of them and they are holding up just fine. There is a little lesson to go along with each day’s cup. You take the candy out and put something else back in its place. On the first day we put back a quarter to remind us we have 25 days to celebrate His birth. Today we put back a grape Laffy Taffy. (grapes can be used to make wine, but Jesus did not need grapes to perform His first miracle.) Tomorrow we will put in a smiley face. Or a heart, I can’t remember. Anyway, the boys look forward to candy each day and to see what they get to put back and what it has to do with the Christmas story.  Traditions are wonderful way to make memories with the ones you love. Hope you and yours share lots of love during this season.

* top to bottom: A Christmas tree Mark made in Kindergarten, Benjamin in first grade, Nathaniel in second grade, Samuel’s lion and scepter, Samuel dressed as a Care Bear wrapped in a box, 2006, a Santa I made in second grade

The Letter That Will Never, Ever be Mailed

Last year, Nathaniel wrote a letter to former President George W. Bush.  We never expected anything to come of it, seeing how he was getting ready to leave the White House and all. However, he got a letter back and a signed picture of W. in his cowboy hat!! How exciting!

Samuel decided he wanted to send a letter to President Obama. It was not quite as kind as the one Nathaniel sent to Bush. scan0001In case you are having trouble reading, it says”Hey!! Be a beter President, Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The big yellow blob at the bottom is a Post-it covering up our phone number!!! That’s all we need; to get put on the anti-President list with Fox News. And the White House to have not only our address, but our phone number, too.

For what it’s worth, this is better than the first one he wrote. The first one:

Dear Barak Obama,

My brothers hate you.

From, Samuel Gilliland.

I am not sure why my kids are so in to politics. I hope it wears off someday, before they decide to become politicians 😉

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