Monday, December 26, 2011

The Sacred Attempt

Ahhh...and so we come upon this time of year when one makes the sacred attempt to capture a perfect family photo...
(this year we started out with just the three kids as we waited for Grandpa - our Christmas Eve photographer- to become available for this daunting task :)
Berlyn is becoming little miss personality these days...

Not too bad...
and now for the real challenge,
adding in the parents!
See documented quest in post below.
Merry Christmas!

Schrieber Christmas Photo: And so it goes...

The annual attempt to get a photo of the family at Grandpa and Grandma's house on Christmas Eve. When you add a third child to the mix, your chances decrease considerably. :)
And bless Grandpa's heart, I'm not sure one photo is in focus either.
And so it goes...
1st attempt (Berlyn refusing to look at camera)
2nd attempt (now in tears)
3rd attempt (we lost some shoes and are eating our hair)
4th attempt (smiles accomplished. their desired destination to land upon camera lens, unaccomplished.)
5th attempt (Almost got it! All smiles,
although 2 year old is eating finger and still won't look at camera...and kids still are lacking shoes)
6th attempt (getting squirrelly)
7th attempt (very squirelly!)
8th attempt (let's re-gather and re-focus team)
9th attempt (oh brayden!)
And there you have it...
the sequential quest to take that perfect family photo.
My expectations are low...for all who know me, you understand why I much prefer a candid "let's not try to pose" action shot.
But, still we attempt this Christmas Eve tradition.
Now to choose which one I'll actually print out and keep...
which one do you think best captures the Schrieber spirit?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Born King

I love this time of year, the anticipation leading up to Christmas, the preparing of gifts and heart. Lately, as I have been reflecting on Christmas and Christ's humble entrance into this world for us, I couldn't help but recall an old Bible lesson from Beth Moore. I can't remember what particular study it is from, but it has stuck with me. In the book of Matthew, Chapter 2, the Magi seek Jesus. As the Wisemen from the East make their way to Jerusalem, they ask:

"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

I remember Beth Moore pointing out a fact that nobody is "born" king...they may be born "prince" or "princess," but not KING. The Wisemen realized who he was. They came to Him, they gave to Him, they worshipped Him.

We, too, need to realize who we follow. This is no ordinary king. This is Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, King of men and King of angels...King of KINGS.

As Mary did with ear, eye, and heart...I'm pondering. Today I ask, what will you do with the One who was born King?

Friday, December 16, 2011

the things i never thought...

Life is interesting with a 2 year old around.
The things I never thought I'd be walking around the house with "stickers" on my legs.
(and last night she snuck away and painted her nails by herself in my bathroom!)

all "dressed" up...

with no place to go
(on a chilly mid december morn)

redefining "fancy free"
(and learning quickly that it's ALL about accessorizing!)
being 2.
going on 10.
these are a few of her favorite things:
*her Nemo spoon
*Mickey and Minnie
*books, books and more books.
* "nice, warm milk"
*cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner
*her kitty
*singing "Jesus loves me" and saying "God bless daddy" prayers before each nap and bedtime
*Super Why and Caillou
*Justin Beiber's "Baby, Baby"
*eating at "At Donalds"
*cheddar bunny pretzels and fruit snacks
*confiscating my phone at any given time
*mac n cheese
*Polar Bear, Polar Bear
* "Around the House..."
* penny pony rides at Meijer
*her binky
*Thumper ("Bumper")
* "Chocolate!!!"
*dental floss
*her "owl pj's"

from a 2 year old's bird's eye view, life is good.
and from a few feet up,
i have to agree.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fishing for gold...(and other jolly stuff)

And what to my wondering eyes should appear?
But a miniature elf fishing for gold(fish) this morning right from our very own bathroom!

We could hardly contain the hilarity this morning,
with hushed giggles we found Buddy fishing with a candycane from our toilet! This is one "fresh catch" I have no interest in tasting!

Brayden was the first one up and was determined to document this scene via DSI camera.

Brooke, grumpy and bedhead, took part in this action too.
So thankful for wonderfully fun creative ELF ideas found on Pinterest.
I'm pretty sure parents out there (including us)
are having more fun with this than our kids are :)

And since we are in the spirit, let's move on to some other random jolly things...
Monday I picked the kids up from school and drove them over to Somerset to see Santa. I like going there because they let you take your own picture (for $5.00) After visiting Santa, the kids are each given a silk pouch and can pick out 3 coins from a treasure trunk to later redeem at various stores in the mall for trinkets or candy (that's where the $5.00 fee comes in). It's worth it. Plus, parents can put in a word or jot a quick note to Santa before the kids see him. In our case, I asked if Santa would mention our elf Buddy. The kids were surprised that Santa knew his name and asked about him.
[On a side note, I must say I was quite surprised at all of the primping and perfecting that many parents put into seeing Santa. Keeping hair in place and clothes free of wrinkle and crumb looked exhausting and not very jolly for the kids or the parents! My kids came tattered after a long day of school. No worries, no fixing, just plain 8, 6 and 2 as they are.
(please excuse the holey knee in brayden's pants. daddy dressed him and apparently, one of the 12 pairs of jeans with holes in the right knee that we keep as play pants in brayden's bottom drawer, found their way to his "acceptable pants wearing" drawer and then onto his body this early morning before school. And I like a little tatter and tear in some of my clothes, but this was epic crater sized hole. We did not fit in at Somerset..and frankly, I didn't care. I kept my sweaty gym clothes on from the morning and poneytailed hair, and we had so much fun! :)]

Berlyn on the otherhand, did not want to actually "sit" on Santa's lap. She was fine as soon as I took the photo and scooped her up. Then she told Santa that she wanted "Mickey and Minnie!" (but didn't understand why they weren't gifted right then and there) Brookie told Santa she wanted an iPod touch (surprise, surprise! she's only been talking about it for 6 months now). And Brayden told Santa he wanted the "Wii Monopoly game" (the first time he has even mentioned this as a gift idea? hmmm. Love it when they do that!) I'm not even sure if we took the kids to see Santa last year. I don't think we did, and it's not usually high on my priority list, but this year I have 3 little ones who all believe! I'm not sure how much longer I can say that. I wanted to take advantage...the innocence and excitement. I've been pondering of heart many moments this season.

So, why not take a trip down memory lane. This oughtta make Berlyn feel a little better.Brayden was definitely not a happy camper here.

(Yes, I am the mean mom that makes her kids sit on Santa's lap)

And the following year, when Brooke joined our family, he still wasn't very happy.
Brooke could've cared less. She's always had that "easy-going-go-with-the-flow" disposition.
Enough though about Santa.
While it is fun and exciting to give and receive gifts and to have fun with "Santa" and elves and all things jolly, the beauty and joy of the season begins in the heart.
In preparing Him room.
A place of residence
to stay and abide.
Joyful. Jolly. and
Loving me some Jesus today.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

smiling's my favorite!

We had a wonderful weekend.
A houseful of extra kids both Saturday and Sunday= a lot of noise, fun and happy times. Kids were well-behaved, schedule was laidback,
mood was high.
This was also the first time in a few weeks where I've actually felt more like myself.
Even keel.
Emotionally, spiritually, physically.
There's much joy in this.
And with much joy, there is much smiling.
So how could I not capture my happy girl in her happy attire.
Oh sweet Berlyn...

Today I am reminded of your life verse,

"Be JOYful always, PRAY continually,
give THANKS in all circumstances.
For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
~I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I am thankful for many things...
Health. Family. Faith.
For a God who showed up.
And gave.
And gives...
Who's FOR us.
Loves us.
And smiles upon us.

Yes, today,
"smiling's definitely my favorite!"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Elf Mischief: Scene 1

Earlier this week the kids woke up to great disappointment when they realized that Buddy, our Elf, had not moved overnight. (This is very much like the Tooth Fairy forgetting to come. Anticipation at night. Excitement in the morn. Disappointment when not delivered as expected.) Ouch and oops! The kids get so excited to "find" Buddy in a new location each day. He's been a family tradition since 2008, but this year, thanks to brilliant creative minds on Pinterest, Buddy has been getting into great mischief and the kids are loving it (i think mom and dad are too ;) Trying to think quickly on my feet to counter the disappointment brought on by an idle elf, Mommy suggested that perhaps Buddy was just feeling a little bit under the weather...? The kids bought it and Brayden even suggested that we leave out some cough medicine for Buddy that night. So we did...a little medicine cup and a straw must've done the trick, because the next morning, the kids woke up to Monopoly Mayhem!
Buddy was thick into a game of Monopoly with Barbie, Pikachu and Brontosaurus.
And, he even left us a note. We were right, he had been a little under the weather. The medicine was all he needed to feel better and get himself into mischief.
Brayden got a kick out of the fact that Buddy had Boardwalk...
Looks as if Barbie here thinks it's all about the "Benjamins" baby!
I dare to tell her she needs to work on modesty and proper "game-sitting" etiquette.
Yikes Barbie! As Brooke would say, "she's not very ladylike."
Pikachu sat content with a smirk and a "get out of jail free" card...
Hmmm...wonder what he has up his sleeve?
and Brontosaurus the Real Estate Mogul, with head held high,
looked as if he was staking out his next property move...
(I see two hotels down by his feet waiting for strategic placement).
This could get dangerous! times. I must admit this is the best I've felt in a few weeks. I woke up this morning with more energy than I have had in a long time. Coming down with a case of shingles was not my idea of December fun. Don't know much about their incubation period, but I am willing to bet that even while brewing inside of me, they had a lot to do with me feeling so all together lousy. I feel like I've missed out and I am determined to let that Christmas clock tick slowly. Christmas shopping complete. Decorations shall be finished this weekend. And with each passing moment I'm letting my heart prepare Him room.
Afterall, The Christ has come; let's celebrate!