Thursday, October 28, 2010

Only 58 days until Christmas!

Did you realize that? I was walking into Walmart with the girls today and they asked me how long it was until Christmas. I told them it was about two months away and felt my heart palpitate! Suddenly, I have the urge to Christmas shop now! I have been gathering ideas in my head for several weeks now but now I feel the need to buckle down and start buying!

We (meaning me) used to set a dollar amount for each child and then buy until I ran out of money. That worked fine when we had only one child. Fast forward to the Christmas of 2007 and I saw the error of my ways. There were so many gifts (for three kids) that we could hardly move around our Christmas tree! It was excessive and turned our children into greedy little brats. They would unwrap a gift, look at it, toss it behind them and move on. I was ashamed by their actions! So, I vowed that wouldn't happen again. We now buy only three gifts for each child and spend no more than $100 for each child. Of course, if one of them is into Polly Pockets, it doesn't mean they only get three little Polly Pockets. I would group a bunch of them together and that would count as one gift. If one wants earrings, she wouldn't get just one pair, she would receive a few pairs boxed together. It has been working for the last two years and I hope it continues to work. We certainly had a lot less toys tossed aside after a few moments of playtime. The kids have seemed a bit more appreciative of what they receive and they are starting to learn the value of a dollar and whether a particular toy is worthy of making their final list.

Here is what I am thinking:


She really wants her own video camera. Sounds simple enough until I realized that just that one gift was likely to blow the $100 limit I set for each kid! I figured that a little pocket camcorder was going to run me around $50 and that I would have enough left over to buy her a couple other items. Wrong! Right now, the cheapest contender is $65. I will be letting Carlos make the final decision since he is the electronics guru in our house. We are trying to decide between a Flip, the Kodak Zx1 and the RCA Small Wonder.

I am out of any other ideas for her. She mentioned wanting a guitar but I don't know how much actual use it would get. Carlos has offered to teach her how to play (he plays a little) to get her started. She is also into clothes, so maybe a gift card to Justice or Target so she could have a little shopping trip? Books are always a winner with her so that is on the table as well.


She is virtually impossible to buy for! She likes EVERYTHING! Meg has no specific interests. If it's pink and sparkles she will probably like it. Last year she was all about American Girl dolls and clothes, however, this year that hasn't even been mentioned. I know she is big into Barbie, but how many naked blonde Barbies do we really need? Maybe some Barbie clothing sets would work. I know in the past she has mentioned a Barbie pool, so that's one way to go.


Lily is my easiest child to shop for. She has a very few specific things that she is into and would be happy with anything that has to do with any of them. She is into My Little Pony, Polly Pocket, Puppy in my Pocket and Disney Princesses. I have already gotten her a Tiana doll and a Naveen doll from The Disney Store. I will throw in a DVD of The Princess and the Frog to round it out. She is also getting the My Little Pony Mermaid Castle Playset along with several little sets to go with it.


I am so excited to shop for my little man this year! I will have to make sure I don't go overboard. I have already gotten him one Sing-A-Ma-Jig and I plan to get him at least one more. Have you seen these things? They are so cute! They sing alone or you can have several of them harmonize!

He will also be getting a couple of big Tonka trucks! What little boy doesn't want a big metal dump truck he can ride around in and fill with dirt?

So, that's what I am thinkg for my gang. Any neat ideas you have that you care to share? Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What has been keeping me busy....

We did a little camping. It was our first camping trip with the entire family! Overall, we did pretty well. It was fun and we have a lot of fun stories we will treasure.

Our church, Southeast Christian, hosted a week long event that featured various musical acts and speakers. I was fortunate enough to have the chance to go and listen to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar speak. They are really an amazing couple. I felt so inspired after hearing them.

We did some hiking while we were camping. Noah enjoyed his ride.

We are making a chicken into a mummy for our Egyptian studies. It's been an interesting and long process. I am guessing you won't find kids doing this in public schools. Of course, it's also pretty gross so that is probably a good thing!

Annie and Megan both learned to fish! I was excited about this because I used to enjoy fishing when I was their age. They are already looking forward to spring when we can get out there again!

I took the girls to see pureNRG during our church's Momentum week. If you haven't heard of them, they are a group of three teens (one boy and two girls) who are out there singing music that is positive and enforces Christian values. All I can really say about the concert is that it was LOUD! Lots of tween girls screaming....

We visited a local farm for some "Fall" fun. Of course, it was close to 100 degrees so there wasn't much "Fall" fun to be had. We basically stood around and roasted.
Megan has finally begun reading! We have tried several reading programs but none of them have seemed to work. We ended up trying Hooked on Phonics and she is reading! This is a photo of her holding her first book that she read on her very's called "Cat".

Lily had her first day of preschool! I can't believe my three year old is old enough to be in preschool! The great news is that she is loving it!

Annie has been busy building her own robots! She is even programming them! She seems to be taking after her Daddy, the mechanical engineer.

We have visited the zoo several times. Annie and Megan both tried the Sky Walk and loved it! I was amazed at how fearless they both were.

We studied Ancient Egypt and the first forms of writing. Annie and Meg rolled out their own stone tablets and wrote their names using hiroglyphics.