A List Maker's Life: December 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Predictions Reviewed

Anne Hope
~Princess Kate will have a baby girl (or maybe a boy)

~It will rain more in 2013 

Gavin
~Our family will get one more Apple product (Just to replace the one we left at good ole' Helen Devos)

~When I turn 9 I will get my own pocket knife (He got one)

~This winter I will really learn to snowboard even if I have to practice in the sand on the dunes

~Hopefully we will see the Titanic exhibit again when it is in Grand Rapids (The lucky guy was able to see it with his Grampa)

~By the end of the year I won’t be afraid of cats anymore (Still not fond of cats, but after living with Samson for a couple months he has warmed up to big dogs)

Gibson
~I think I will get my own cowboy boots (Yes, giddy up!  He is certain these boots were made to be worn with EVERY outfit in EVERY type of weather.)

Kevin
~We will finally replace our front door (We did and then we decided to buy a front door in another neighborhood too)

~It's gonna be another HOT summer (When it wasn’t hot enough for us in MI we headed to Florida in August)

~Tigers WILL win the World Series (So close…again)

~A former president will die (I am certain Kevin was thinking of American presidents, but it is important to note that former South African president Nelson Mandela died in December 2013)

~It's obvious...everything will fluctuate, the housing market will hardly change, and the economy will stay bad.  Those are all stupid things to make predictions about now. (Hey, grumpy prediction...do you need a happy pill?)

~We will listen to annoying one hit wonders on the radio (Perhaps it will be a one hit wonder, but after hearing Royales during a fall getaway to Mackinac Island neither of us can get the tune out of our heads)

~I will do my best to avoid any news this year (or, maybe not)

~Daniel Day Lewis will win best actor at the Oscars for his role as Lincoln (an unsurprising victory)

~Taylor Swift's dating life will continue to draw lots of attention and inspire song lyrics

Katie
~Bachelor Sean will be so entertaining that Kevin will even be sucked in to the series. (Perhaps the first season ever where I could discuss the show with Kevin and he didn't roll his eyes)

~One of our children will continue with piano.  One will continue with soccer.  (Anne Hope had a fantastic soccer season with 13 personal goals.  Gavin is still practicing piano but his teacher moved away and we are still on the hunt for a great place to continue lessons)

~Our camper will get out more in 2013 than it did last summer (Well, it wasn't too hard to meet this goal since we didn't take it out at all in 2012.  We had a great summer of camping and even found a new family favorite campground in South Haven)

~I will unnecessarily stress over Gibson’s preschool decision and he will love it no matter where he goes. (Gibson's preschool enrollment was a bit stressful as we waited for a lottery spot for 2 school of choice kiddos, but are blessed to be one of those 2 lucky families.  Gibson is loving his time at Little Hawks Discovery Preschool)

More letting go.  Transition.  Revised Focus.
The unexpected will be a whole lot more significant than the planned!  

There is so much more truth to these last four prediction than we could have ever imagined for 2013.  We didn't expect Gabe to have a major surgery in early spring.  We didn't expect to be living in our new home by Christmas.  We didn't expect to find family with dear friends who took us in during a major transition.  We didn't expect to be invited to Universal Studios Orlando for Family Forward.  There are many unexpected moments whose significant dates we we will always recount: March 13, March 22, August 25, October 2, October 23. Lessons in learning to let go, transition, and revise focus.
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Hallelujah Christmas

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

An Unexpected Christmas

Our Christmas service this year was a blessing to our family.  Perhaps you will enjoy it as well.

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Keeping With Tradition

Nothing makes a new house feel like a home quite like family traditions.  The holidays are rich with traditions and it has helped us all feel a bit more settled to know that even though the space is different many special things stay the same.  
 
Every year I debate whether or not to take on the mess of decorating Christmas cookies with the kids.  Yet, the smiles it brings makes the process worth the sprinkles I am still finding across our wood floors.  Gibson could not stop giggling after the plastic shaker top shook right off the bottle and landed in his cookies under a huge pile of chocolate sprinkles.

 To everyone's delight Sinter Klaas found our wooden shoes, despite our new address, and filled them with goodies.
Mipsy found us too and has been having more fun than usual exploring new hiding spots after 7 years of the same options in our old house.
Making our reindeer prints is still an all time favorite December project.  This year we traced our hands and feet instead of printing them with paint.  We also included some new antlers in the team.  With 8 of us crafting we have a crew big enough to pull Santa's sleigh.  Based on the silly names of this year's reindeer can you guess who joined us?  Can you figure out whose names are mixed together for each creature?

{singing} You know... KaNickie, Gatie, Gabbin' the Chatty Reindeer, 
JusGibsin' Around, A.H.K, and Ganne Dope

My favorite way to relax after busy days of holiday preparations is unwrapping one of our Christmas books to read together.  The new book in the pile this year is The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan.  Love it!  The main character, Katie, sets off to explore the many treasures of our state with her cousin over their Christmas vacation.  He sends her home with 12 days worth of gifts from Michigan.

In addition to some of our family Christmas tradition this year we tried a couple new things that seem like they will stick in the years to come.  In our new house we have more room for a Christmas tree.  The artifical one we have been using for years found a new home in the boys' bedroom and we took advantage of a Christmas Celebration/Pick Your Fresh Tree party at a local farm.  It was a great morning with hot cocoa, animals to feed, a hay ride, and of course picking out a tree.  Something about driving home in the snow with the tree strapped to the top of our Suburban made this a tradition worth repeating, according to Kevin.


While we have celebrated advent several different ways in the years' past, this year we are enjoying Ann Voskamp's new book, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas.  Each night we read a small devotional and add an ornament related to the reading to a small lit tree in our dining room.

What traditions, new or tried & true, are you enjoying this December?

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Home for the Holidays


The kids woke up to news of a snowday.  The welcome first for the school year and the kick off to a long winter break.  In addition to Christmas prep, we have spent the last several weeks settling into our new home.  Today is the first time we will figure out what table is best for playing board game and which corners and chairs will make the best blanket forts.  Hopefully I will get a little time to explore the best hiding spots for wrapped gifts and how all of our favorite prepped ahead Christmas dishes fit stacked in our new freezer. There are a million ways we have been blessed this season and we are happy to be home, sweet, home.