Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Saltsgavers!

Dear Family and friends,

As I sit here and type, the Christmas tree lights are on, Elf is playing in the background, and I'm enjoying a delicious cup of coffee topped off with some peppermint mocha creamer. I hope this Christmas season is treating all of you well, and amidst  the busyness you've been able to spend some time meditating on the real meaning of Christmas. As I reflect on this last year I hardly know where to begin! The Lord has been so faithful to our family in every possible way. We've been blessed with the birth of Lily, seen our bills get paid each month despite a limited income, found out we were expecting another baby  due next June, and been able to enjoy this season of life with 3 small children.

Speaking of the children, they sure do keep us on our toes! Jack is still the sweetheart he's always been. Usually he's very polite and content playing by himself. He's recently figured out this potty training concept(which makes his mother very happy!), and still takes his stuffed frog everywhere he goes. In fact this past year we had to replace the original froggie with a new one, since the we're pretty sure the old one was becoming disease infested! He loves music, and his favorite toys are his violin and guitar. Recently his cousin let him play her saxophone and flute, and I don't think there has ever been a happier little boy! Jack loves picking out his clothes, and oftentimes will wear two or three shirts at the same time. He loves firetrucks right now, so I've been having a tough time convincing him he doesn't need to wear every shirt he owns that have fire trucks on them! Jack also loves riding in his daddy's truck, and Erik is happy to take him in it so long as Jack doesn't try and shift while they're driving(which may or may not have happened once!)

Then there's Anna. I'm not sure a paragraph will fully explain that child! Let's just say she has quite the little personality. She's either really happy and giggling down to her toes, or she's upset. Anna is quite the girly girl. She loves dolls and dresses, and asks daily to wear her tutu and boots. At the same time, though, she's feisty. She keeps up with Jack, and gets a big kick out of knocking things over(including manger scenes!) I notice her watching my every move, and she wants to do whatever I'm doing. If Lily is crying, she'll want to hold her, if I'm in the kitchen making dinner, that's where she wants to be, and she asks often if she can help with sweeping and dusting. She loves to sit and read, and right now she calls every book the Bible, and when asked what color something is she always tells us green(even if it's not. lol.)
Finally, there's Lily. It's weird to think she wasn't here last Christmas(though she was in my belly!) She reminds me so much of what Jack was like when he was a baby, except I think she might even be more laid back. She's almost always smiling, and I think she's determined to walk before February gets here. She loves watching everything her brother and sister do, though I do think the noise gets to her sometimes:-). Lily is also proving herself to be a typical almost one year old. If we're not watching her for a minute she'll start getting into something she shouldn't. Her favorite spot in the house is underneath the table, probably because she's hoping to find more food. She is a bottomless pit of hunger!

As for Erik and I, this year has been difficult at times, but we are so thankful that the tough times have seemed to bring us closer together. We look forward to next year when Lord Willing,  our family goes from five to six!
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pictures worth 1000 Words

 This picture pretty well sums up how everyone felt about getting their pictures taken.

Not even Rudolph could calm our Anna down..

I think it goes without saying why Anna is not in this picture...

And just when Anna calmed down, Jack became upset..

The only one with all three looking at the camera and no one crying. By this point we couldn't imagine getting anyone to smile.

Oh well at least everyone matched and we have something to remember Christmas 2010!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top 5

Tomorrow Erik and I will be celebrating our five year wedding anniversary. In many ways it seems like we just got married, but in other ways it feels like we've been married much longer than 5 years. I suppose everyone say that though! Anyway, in celebration of our (almost) five year wedding anniversary I thought I would write down the top five things I have learned since becoming a wife. This shouldn't by any means be considered advice, but rather just lessons learned from someone who's still trying to figure things out.

1. If you move his stuff, remember where you put it(Surely I'm not the only one that has this problem?)

2. Limit times apart as much as possible, and try to go to bed at the same time.

3. Learn how to talk to him when he's had a bad day. Chances are the last thing you should do is tell him you think he's acting immature. ;-) Let him vent, and soon he'll probably be over it. On that same page, don't turn things into a competition either. You know what I mean, he comes home and tells you how tired he is from a rough day, and then you say,"You're tired?! I was up half the night with a baby, then had to get up before you! The preschooler decided to sing during nap time instead of sleep, so I barely even got a break today!" Not that I've ever done this or anything. Ahem. Just try to remember you guys are on the same team.

4. Don't compare your husband with other husbands.

5. This is hands down the most important thing I've learned. Instead of nagging, pray. If you'd like to see him grow as the Spiritual leader, talk it over with him of course, but after that pray. Pray that God would convict him. Pray that you would be convicted if you're just being too critical, and need to extend grace. That's just one example, but it could be said for all areas of marriage.

This is certainly not everything I've learned in the last five years, and I am most definitely still learning these lessons. I am so thankful for the last five years and the things God has allowed us to learn together.

One of Those Days

We've been having some nasty, cold weather here in Illinois, and while I enjoy snow I don't always enjoy staying inside day in and day out with three wild children. Today especially I've been feeling a bit stir crazy. What's a mommy to do when she just doesn't have the energy to continue breaking up fights and reading the same books over and over? Well it's quite simple really.

Step 1. Stand children on chairs next to counter top.

Step 2. Dig out your food coloring, sprinkles, and spoon. Spoon some frosting into bowls and give it to children.

Step 3. Tell them to have fun.

Step 4. Be prepared to have a big mess, but remind yourself they're having fun and making memories.

Monday, December 13, 2010

In which I wonder if my children have pent up Aggression

My kids are not exactly what you'd call aggressive kids. Crazy? Yes. Loud? Absolutely. But I don't think many would describe them as aggressive. I think I've seen Jack push someone(his sister) once and that was a long time ago.

Don't get me wrong, they have their squabbles over toys, but the farthest that goes is Jack holding the toy Anna wants above his head while she jumps up and down trying to take it from him.(In case you were wondering I totally cracked up writing that sentence..isn't it interesting how brothers and sisters just know how to get under each others skin?)

So today I'm folding laundry and all 3 kids are playing in Jacks bedroom. After a few minutes I hear them laughing. Not just laughing, but hysterically cracking up. Curious, I go check on them and what do I find? Jack and Anna are stacking their nativity set(all the characters except baby Jesus, interestingly enough) on top of Annas doll house and then proceeding to push them off. Not only are they pushing them off, but they are growling while they do it! Lily thought it was just as hilarious as her brother and sister, and almost toppled over a few times she got so excited.

As I'm standing in their door way watching all of this unfold, I decide not to say anything and just walk back to the next room. At least they were all playing together.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

10 months

Little Miss Lily turned 10 months on Thursday. I feel bad that I haven't posted an update since she was 7 months, but things have been busy and morning sickness has made me want to stay far away from the computer! Here is what my sweet girl has been up to.

-She crawls everywhere, and pulls up on everything.

- Everything must go in her mouth. Erik and I both think she's worse than Jack or Anna was about this, but then again we aren't able to give her constant undivided attention, so that could be why we feel that way!

-She is such a daddy's girl! I bet the only time I hear her get half as excited is when she sees food coming her way.

-Lily has an incredibly sweet disposition. She's almost always happy and smiling, and is generally easy going.

-Her eyes still haven't changed color. Some days they look blue and other days they look brown.

-She claps to music, waves, and lifts her arms to say she's "So Big!" Right now we are trying to get her to do the sign for please.

That's what Lily has been up to lately! She's very petite. At her last well baby appointment she was in the 5th percentile for her height and weight, but she eats well so she's probably taking after me and her older sister.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Faith like a Child

It occurs to me when my 3 year old tells me Jesus is the Savior of the world.

When my friends four year old daughter says she shows love to others because Jesus loves her.

When my two year old declares Jesus died for her sins.

They don't question. They don't hesitate. They accept the Gospel as truth, and don't try to argue details.

So often I find myself wanting what they have. Faith without questions. Taking the word of God for what it really is, and not trying to give it foot notes.

Most days I think my kids have so much to learn. Every day I know I have so much to learn!

Father, give me child like faith. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of what that means.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things that make me Smile

This is kind of a continuation of my Out of the Mouths of Babes post, except this time I am writing out some memories and sweet moments that have happened in the last few weeks.

1.Every morning when Jack wakes up he says,"Mommy is baby Jesus Christmas tree still here?"

2.The other day I took Lily and Anna out to run errands and when we got home Jack and Anna hugged each other tight, and Jack goes,"I love you so much, Anna!" and then he turned to Lily and gave her a big hug and kiss.

3. Anna has recently taken an interest in a certain baby doll. She carries it around all day and even sleeps with it. Lately she'll sit in her rocking chair and tell us to, "shhh" while she rocks her baby(or as she says, "beebee").

4. The kiddos reactions when Erik get home from school. The girls in particular are hilarious. The second he walks in the door Anna starts screaming, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" until he picks her up, and Lily squeals excitedly for his attention.

5. Reading Luke 2:1-21 with the kids, and seeing them realize their nativity set and the Bible story are related.

What sweet moments have been happening in you life lately?

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