Sunday, December 30, 2007

Goals for '08

I've never really been one for New Year's Resolutions. It just seems a bit cheesey to me. But... now that I am not working, I don't have a yearly review and goals for the coming year. I am a total type A personality. I thrive on lists, rules, goals, etc. So, I have decided to make my own "goals" for the coming year. They are as follows:

1. To drink more water. (I am ashamed to say that I live on Coke Zeros, Ginger Ale, the occasional "real" Dr. Pepper, and a Propel a day.)

2. To learn to really cook. I am spoiled rotten by a husband that loves to cook and is very good at it. I do still cook on a fairly regular basis - just not very well. I would like to expand my culinary repertoire beyond boneless, skinless chicken breasts and ground beef. :)

3. To find and purchase the perfect house. I never realized how much I would miss decorating my house until we became renters again. I haven't hung a single picture up, and I am sick of living with stark white walls.

4. To join a women's bible study. I have been wanting to get back into a study for awhile now, but my erratic work schedule didn't allow me to do so. When I quit my job in September, all the fall studies in our area had already started.

5. To get caught up with my scrapbooking. I am 6 months behind in Clayton's album and have been promising Wade a scrapbook of our travels together for 2 years now. (Although, I must admit that I don't know a single scrapbooker that stays caught up. Doesn't being behind just come with the territory of that hobby?)

6. To worry less. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a chronic worrier. Wade quotes the scripture, "Why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field..." to me on a daily basis. I stew on things and bite my nails rather than turning it over to the Lord. I really should work on that!

7. To be a better wife. I am starting to fall into that pattern of being a full time mom and forgetting about my poor hubby. Wade is such an amazing husband, and he deserves an equally amazing wife. I am going to try to concentrate more on Date Night and less on Play Dates.

8. To keep in better contact with my girlfriends. I have the most amazing girlfriends in the entire world! I just tend to rely too heavily on email, and will try to make more of an effort to pick up the phone for a true chat session. (It just means more when you hear your friend's voice than when you read what they typed - even if your 2 year-old is constantly interrupting.)

I'm sure that there are more areas of my life that I need to work on, but that will do for now. If I accomplish all of the above in the coming year, I will be one happy lady! What are your goals for 2008? Maybe we can keep each other accountable.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Playhouse Disney Live on Tour

As one of Clayton's Christmas presents, we got tickets to go see Playhouse Disney Live on Tour at Nokia Theater. Clayton loves the Little Einsteins and Handy Manny, so he was in hog heaven. Clayton's cousins, Morgan & Makinley, had gotten tickets from their grandmother for Christmas also. So... Mimi, Aunt Leigh Ann, Makinley, and Morgan were at the show, too.

After Christmas, Clayton said, "Uh-oh, I forgot to ask Santa for a trumpet like Quincy's (one of the kids on Little Einsteins)." As we explained to him that Christmas was over and he wouldn't be getting a trumpet, he made the saddest little face. Well... as soon as we got to the show, Mimi (who had heard this story) met us in the lobby with a Quincy trumpet that she had bought at one of the souvenier stands. Clayton was thrilled! He has been playing that trumpet none stop ever since. It was a really fun day for the Carpenter household (especially the littlest member). :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Morning Pics

We finally got what we needed to load my pictures onto this laptop. So... here are a few pics from Christmas morning. Clayton was so fun to watch this year! When he woke up, we went into his room and told him that Santa had come. He said, "Did he eat my cookies?" quickly followed by, "Did he leave me any presents?" He was thrilled with all his toys. He touched each thing one by one and made a comment. He would say, "Cool!" or just squeal with joy. He was really excited about his Diego bike (which he pronounces Ga-day-go). I say this every year, but it was the best Christmas ever. :)

This boy loves him some Little Einsteins.

Posing with all his loot.

He couldn't wait to ride his Ga-day-go bike.

Sweet cousin Kaylee helps Clayton learn to ride.

Can you tell by the glazed over eyes that we didn't get a nap on Christmas? :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Ghost of Christmas Past

This year Wade & I got a laptop for Christmas. I am super excited about it, and I'm having a lot of fun figuring out all the fun stuff that it can do. The only problem is that I can't seem to figure out how to get my camera to interface with the computer to download my pictures. Something about Vista and the Nikon CD - Wade spent a good portion of his day yesterday talking to technical support people in India (he wasn't a happy camper). So... no Christmas pictures to post, for now. :( I decided to post some pictures from the last two Christmases, just to reminisce about how tiny (and precious) that my sweet boy was.

We did have a wonderful Christmas. Clayton got WAY too much! We are going to have to get serious about this house hunting, because this little rent house is busting at the seams! Last night I asked Clayton what his favorite Christmas present was. He said, without any hesitation, "My cool new toothbrush!" Wade looked at me, with a disgusted look on his face, and said, "Hundreds of dollars worth of toys and he is most excited about his toothbrush?!?! You're killin' me man!" That just goes to show you how easy it is to please a 2 year-old (especially one that values his dental health!). he he he

Isn't that the sweetest Santa that you've ever seen?

Clayton really studied Santa that first year.

Look at that big gummy grin! Melts my heart...

The gap in his two front teeth has since closed. :)

Clayton still rides his train from last year on a daily basis. It is one of his all-time favorites!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Cookies

Tonight we baked Christmas cookies and read "The Night Before Christmas." We had so much fun - just the three of us. My Mom gave me a ton of cookie cutters when we were at her house this weekend. So... we busted them out tonight. We did the traditional Christmas trees, snowmen, angels, and gingerbread men. However, Clayton chose to do a tow truck and an autumn leaf. I'm sure that Santa will be confused by his choices. We also made Ranger cookies, because Daddy said that those were Santa's favorite. ;)

A "Froggy" Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve - YEA!!! With a big family, it is sometimes a little difficult to schedule all of the Christmas festivities. We move things around to accommodate the most people and plan and juggle all the activities. This year, when all was said and done, we realized that we didn't have any family celebrations on Christmas Eve. At first we were kinda sad, but then we realized that it may be fun to have a lazy day with just the three of us. And, that it has been. :)

We woke up and told Clayton that it was Christmas Eve. He grinned really big and said, " It's a froggy Christmas Eve!!!" We laughed and tried to figure out how frogs played into the equation of Christmas. Then Wade, the super sleuth, figured out our child's logic. He started to hum Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, "Then one 'froggy' Christmas Eve Santa came to say..." Sometimes the things that Clayton says are even funnier when you dig deep enough to figure out where in his little head they come from. He is the funniest kid ever!!!

We hope that you are all having a wonderful Christmas Eve - Ribbit!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas - Hanukkah Style :)

Wade says that our family celebrates Christmas "Hanukkah" style. It is true... we are very blessed with LOTS of family, which means several different Christmas celebrations. This weekend we had Christmas with my family in Houston. We came back to Dallas yesterday to have Christmas at Wade's Grandmom & Granddad's house. It was a whirlwind, but fun-filled, weekend. Clayton has had a blast playing with all his great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins (first, second, and first cousins- once removed). :)

He has also gotten even more really cool toys. His favs are: Leo from Little Einsteins doll, a Diego rescue pack, a wooden train track with several trains, and a Spiderman action figure with a motorcycle. My favs: tons of really cool clothes. (Love them!) We are so blessed that we have so many wonderful family members that love us. Here are some pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!

"I get a present?!?!?"
Posing with his Christmas pj's
With Aunt Becca
The token family Christmas pj pic

"Fixing" Baby Jaguar
Giving Gran thank you kisses
Playing with his new train set with Daddy & Papa D
This boy loves trains!
Carpenter Family Pic
Cutie Pie Morgan
Spiderman - Yeah!
Leigh Ann, Grandmother, & Wade
Leigh Ann, Granddad, and Wade

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Today was Clayton's last day of Mother's Day Out until after the new year. They had their Happy Birthday, Jesus party. They had a pizza party and all the little ones brought gifts to their teachers. It was so cute! We got home and I laid Clayton down for his nap. He said, "Mommy, Mary and Joseph traveled on a donkey to Bethlehem." I said, "Very good! Where did you learn that?" He said, "Ms. Loretta told me that." It's good to know that his teachers are stressing the real reason for the season.

P.S. Clayton slept in his own bed again last night - for the whole night. I'm glad that we are back in the swing of our normal routine. Ahhh... life is good.

P.P.S. Please notice Clayton's Christmas tee shirt. He made it with his cousins at Thanksgiving. The reindeer heads are his thumbprints. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sleep Struggles

I am definitely not one of those mothers that thinks that their child is perfect. Of course I think that he is brilliant, histerical, and handsome; but, I realize that he has his flaws. :) One thing that he has always been exceptional at, however, is sleeping. Really... he has totally spoiled me by taking long naps and sleeping 11-12 hours at night since he was 4 months old. I have never had to rock him or pat his back to get him to sleep. We just say our prayers and he blissfully falls into a sound sleep.

All of his perfect sleep patterns came to a drastic hault after returning from New York, however. I have never been a fan of the "family bed" method, and have done everything in my power to prevent him from sleeping in our bed. Well... whenever we are out of town, it is just easier for him to sleep with us. It has never really caused any problems before. This time, for some reason, after sleeping with us for 5 nights, he decided that he should sleep with us every night at home. Every night (since we got back home) he has fought us about bedtime and woken up to get into our bed in the middle of the night. For the first few nights I caved in. I was sick and Wade was out of town. I just wasn't up to fighting. I decided on Sunday night that enough was enough. He would sleep in his bed all night no matter what (even if it killed me).

He pitched a fit on Sunday night and it took 30 minutes to get him to sleep. He woke up at 4 am and came into our room. We went round and round for 2 hours. I put him back into his room and put a baby gate outside of his door. 5 minutes later he had Harry Houdini'ed his way out of the gate and was standing in my bedroom. I took away his stuffed animal, I begged him to stay in his bed, and threatened him with spankings. Finally, at 6:15, Wade & I were completely exhausted and consented to allowing him to sleep on his napmat on the floor next to our bed.

Last night he finally slept all night in his bed. Thank you, Jesus! Now if only he will continue on his streak, all will be right with the world again. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Traditions... What's yours?

It seems like every family has their own unique Christmas traditions. As a person who enjoys stability and hates change, I love traditions. Here are a few of our family traditions:

My Family (The Hendricksons): Every year we get to open one present on Christmas Eve (Mom picks the present). It is always our Christmas pajamas. We all sleep in them on Christmas Eve and take a picture in our jamies on Christmas morning. We also always got an orange in our stocking.

Wade's Family (The Carpenters): Wade's Mom recently started a new tradition called Christmas Pie. We all bring $1 wrapped items and hide them under this big felt circle (so they are hidden). We then take turns pulling strings to get our presents. It is fun to open a bunch of presents and to see what everyone got for a dollar. We then turn over the "pie crust" and write a comment on the back.

Wade's Mamaw's Side: Every year we read the Christmas story in Luke before we open presents. It is a nice way of reminding us all what Christmas is all about.

Wade's Grandmom's Side: We have bake day every year. This year we did bake day at our house. (Pictures from today's bake day are posted below.) All the girls get together and make different cookies and treats. Then we split them all up so that everyone gets to take some of each thing home. (Being that I am a remedial cook/baker, my recipes usually flop.) Today the boys all went golfing while we baked and played Yahtzee. It is just fun to hang out together (as a bonus you get to eat all day and go home with yummy goodies.)

So... what are your family traditions? Post a comment to share them with me. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas with Grammie and Papaw

With so much family to share Christmas with, it is difficult to schedule a time for everyone. This year, Wade's Mom & Dad decided to have their Christmas early (today). It was a fun way to get the celebrations started! Wade's parents go all out for Christmas. They buy WAY too much for all of us and plan fun games and activities. We used to have a competition each year (cookie decorating, miniature Christmas tree decorating, gingerbread house decorating). Wade & his sister are both extremely competitive, so the competitions got pretty heated. They would last for hours and hours. Now that we all have kids, we have shorter competitions. So... we shot snowmen with marshmallow guns and shot cans with dart guns. It was really fun.

This year Corey & Leigh Ann got Clayton a rocket. He was so excited! His favorite show (at the moment) is Little Einsteins. Corey mentioned to him several months ago that he could build Clayton a rocket. Clayton has hounded Corey about that rocket every time that he talks to him. He would say, "Corey, have you finished my rocket yet?" Well... Uncle Corey pulled through with a GREAT rocket! Clayton has been "going to the moon" in it all night. He also got a workbench (with power tools), several games, clothes, and a big wheel. What a lucky boy! The girls got matching microphones that were on stands and really amplified their voices. All the kids had fun "jamming out" to Christmas carols. Even Grammie got in on the action! Fun times were had by all. Let the Christmas celebrations begin! Yippee!