No WFMW Tomorrow

Hi y’all!
Just wanted to remind you that there won’t be a WFMW tomorrow, the day before the day before Christmas.
But THERE WILL BE a WFMW on the day before the day before New Years (Dec. 30) because I said so. (Actually, we don’t do much around here to ring in the New Year and I’ll be ready to get back into the swing of things!)
Mark your calendars for the next THEMED edition on the first Wednesday in January (6th). We’re going to do a BACKWARDS version (where instead of posting a tip, you post a question and ask for tips/answers)!
Happy day before the day before Christmas Eve to you!



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Jesus Needs a Pink Blanket

I love this Season. 
The festive colors and glittering decor; the annual traditions (like looking at Christmas lights in the expensive neighborhoods) stir childhood memories. 
[I also love the break from school (we slept until 8:20 Sunday morning and even later on Monday), lazy mornings, watching Christmas movies in our pajamas and my kids shaking their presents under the tree. (Um, if they guess correctly, it's okay to lie, right??)]
The world celebrates a day.
We celebrate a birth.

I love Nativity scenes. The silent animals worshiping. The flowing gowns of humble servants on bended knee. The perfection of the scene: clean, crisp, every piece perfectly groomed.  
(the Nativity I got for my birthday -it took us much longer than I want to admit, putting it (puzzle) together!)

I used to merely decorate with my collection of Nativity sets. I would arrange the Wise Men, adjust the Angel, ask little hands to stay away from the fragile Holy family.
Last year, Baby Jesus lost a thumb and half a finger. I’m pretty sure I yelled at the careless hands. What an oxymoron: I want them to know Him. I want them to honor Him with their attention during this season that forgets His birth, but I make Him untouchable.
When I am old, I want to pick up this piece from my Nativity and remember why Jesus only has four fingers and a broken thumb.

Santa delivered a child’s version the year of my baby’s first Christmas. I don’t tuck it away in boxes destined for storage eleven months of the year. Small fingers carry pieces to the bath, tuck an angel away in a purse and at The Advent, we hunt down and gather them all together again.
I want my children to exchange the word Christmas, not with gifts, but with Jesus. His Name. I want them to know that Christmas is a birthday party for Jesus. And that’s why we celebrate.
Just this week, my toddler decided, “Jesus, needs her a blanket.”
[I didn't argue gender. I have a three year old. I lose those arguments]. 
She carefully crafted one from pink Play Do.

And I’m pretty sure Jesus loved it.

What is your favorite thing about this week as we countdown to Christmas?
(I’m linking this to a Nativity Blog Carnival and to 5M4M on my Christmas Inspiration!)



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My Wife’s Gift: A Guest Post

I don’t even know where to begin. I adore my wife. She’s real and has such passion for writing and telling good stories. Sometimes I just grimace, wince, and laugh all at once when I read the things she writes. I often wonder how our family can seem so normal and like such a calamity all at once.

Well, I was reminded that this is OUR normal. I took all three kids shopping Sunday evening to Marshall’s, so they could get their mom something for Christmas. Yes, I took the three year old. After all, I said to myself, “Kristen does it all the time.”
As we started down the road, we went over our list of possible presents: pajamas or clothes. Before we ever make it to the store, there is a full blown fight over name calling. Mediation and apologies.
At the store there is much disappointment. The p.j.’s are picked over. We cover the pajama aisle at least seven times, because I am a man, and I am thorough. Nothing. Plan A is ruined and I don’t really have a plan B because I was sure we could find a cute set of long sleeve p.j.’s with pants.
Okay, let’s look at clothing. Same story second chapter. Nothing. During this time the three year old has gone from the front of the cart, to the main part of the cart, to underneath the cart on her tummy. Now I’m pushing her around the store as she lays in the bottom of the cart with her feet dragging out the front.
We head over to the Petites and after another thirty minutes, finally pick something out. Did I mention that we were on a $25 budget? Doable for sure, but takes some work. 
Oh, hold on, the three year old is crying because her feet are stuck in the bottom grid of the cart. As I’m getting everything fixed, “Honey do you need to go to the bathroom? It really stinks down here?” “No daddy.” Two minutes later in a very loud laughing voice for the whole store to hear, “Daddy, I tooted again.”
How does Kristen do this? We have to get out of this store. 
My exasperated son is elated that we are finally going home. My oldest daughter is happy with our choice. No surprise the line has at least eighteen people in it, but it is moving very fast. I concentrated on keeping six hands from picking up everything for sale in the register line.
My oldest pipes up and let’s me know that the three year old’s pocket are filled with the little tags that go on the hangers to tell you what size you are grabbing. I inform said three year old that this is stealing and she has to put them down. “No daddy.” I take them from her and she begins to scream. I give in. Because I know how to pick my battles. And, I chose thievery.
The line moves forward. We are in front of the coke refrigerator and everyone is thirsty. I grab a coke zero to share; open it up and hand it to the three year old. As she is drinking (okay shoot me. I gave a three year old a carbonated beverage. I was desperate, ladies) I stealthily take the hanger tags out of her jacket pockets and place them on a shelf.
“Register five is open.” We make our way to the register as the soda gets passed between the four of us. I forget I have children with me (yeah – total dad mistake) and start paying for the purchase. I vaguely remember telling the three year old she can hold the closed coke bottle, as spray begins pouring over me, the counter, the other two kids and the floor. She was still shaking it when I took it away from her. 
I’m embarrassed and laughing at the irony of being THAT family once again. After cleaning up the floor with paper towels and washing it down with a spray bottle, we finally make it out the door.
My nine year old looked at me, “Dad, I just wanted to drift away because that was so embarrassing.” Me too. I shuffle everyone to the car, ready to get home. 
We were supposed to make one more stop, but I wasn’t ready for round two.
Now, I know why my wife encouraged me to take all the kids shopping for her gift. 
An hour alone was really the gift she wanted all along! 
Lucky her, she got two [hours]!

90 Days

Ninety days. Three Months. 
The entire Bible.
Can it be done?
Amy from Mom’s ToolBox, will be leading other bloggers and their readers through The Bible in 90 Days with some fabulous resources.
 Products General Bible - The Bible in 90 Days
She sent my family the materials and they are amazing. While I won’t be blogging about our journey, do to some other commitments, I wanted to tell you about this wonderful idea!
If this interests you, learn more here.

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Integrity Kids (worship music for kids) sent me an awesome selection of kid’s CD’s. We’ve listened to a few and they are so good! I love the instrumentals to help my toddler sleep and the songs with Bible versus for my older kids. Go check them out! (Make sure you visit my community in the next few weeks, I’m going to be randomly choosing participants to send some Integrity Kids music to!)
Happy Sunday, y’all.

I Dare You to Tell me

Tomorrow is my birthday.
I’m  turning 37 years old.
And I didn’t feel old, until I typed those numbers.
Wow. Please pass the heating pad and ointment.
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I need to announce some winners:
Before my memory fails me.
Gourmet Homemade winners: (please email me if you see your name below)
Two Sisters Shop Birthday banner/tablecloth winner:


So. I dare you to tell me…..
How old are you?



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