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Just another stay at home mom trying to do it all, save the world, and not run out of coffee.
My published articles: exm.nr/gkA1yp
Twitter: @CarolBruckmann

Friday, December 28, 2012

Belk Bowl 2012

When Cinci and Duke were announced as the Belk Bowl teams it was a no brainer that I would cheer for my favorite team-in-law, even if they can't be defined as having modern, Southern style. Plus as a UNC fan I am programmed to cheer against the Blue Devils. Jamie immediately decided we would be skipping our annual holiday trip to Ohio to stay home and attend the game. A good friend at church scored us great tickets, and his parents drove down a two-night one-day visit. (This prompted Caitlyn to ponder, "Why do they only care about football?" But of course Granny and Grandpa showered her with attention.)

Cinci was without their coach (who had committed to UT), and Duke went off on a 16 to 0 romp. When Cinci started to come back, I tweeted this pic of us in an effort to get on the big screen. No luck - apparently you needed a cute kid. Despite the fact that the people in front of us never sat down and one of the overbeveraged people behind us us fell on Jamie, it was a great game that saw Cinci emerge victorious 48-34.

We managed not to catch Grandpa's stomach virus and Granny's cold, but of course the next day  when I needed to wash sheets and sanitize for my family to come the water was off for 8 hours with no notice or explanation. Thanks City of Harrisburg! Now if next year I can somehow forget how much easier it was NOT to drive to Ohio for Christmas...

Here's Elijah opening his least noisy gift from the in-laws. (Just kidding Granny, we love the noisy race track as well!)

More pics from the game can be seen at the end of my December pics by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas recap part 2

(Click here for part one.)

We dressed and headed back to my other granddad's for Christmas brunch and more gifts. Elijah got the perfect gift - a loud guitar!
To honor my Dad, we decided to go sing Christmas carols at his grave. While we waited for the others, Caitlyn sang to him by herself.
While we all sang together, a strange male was sneaking around the tombstones...
Elijah was still rocking that guitar late into the night!

I am so thankful for my family. They are not only my relatives in blood, but my sisters and brothers in Christ. What comfort, joy, and peace we have together!

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were
called in one body. And be thankful. - Colossians 3:15

Christmas recap

(You can see the December pics by clicking here.)

This Christmas would be different than any before. Of course we would greatly miss the presence of my father. And instead of us heading to Ohio after Christmas Day, Jamie's parents headed to Charlotte for the Belk Bowl. But different doesn't mean bad, and we had a lot of fun with family.

If you love videos, then this is the post for you. If you REALLY love videos, come over and I'll show you the other 53 from December. I'll pop the popcorn. My apologies - most of these were taken before I learned how to focus my iPod.

On Christmas Eve, we hung out with my Dad's family. The extended family also lost some key members this year, so a decision was made to not have the yearly Christmas Eve gathering. My aunts, uncle, Granddad, a great aunt, and my family piled into my granddaddy's house for a great meal and some fun. Let's just say the white elephant gifts were a bit shocking. (PM me for the details.) My Uncle Dennis provided entertainment by sugaring Elijah up with 4 desserts and teaching Caitlyn some dance moves.

After returning to my other grandparents' house, we opened more presents, donned our Christmas pjs, and herded the children to bed. We almost forgot to leave cookies for Santa, but thankfully Elijah and Kylie remembered just in time.

Despite Santa's best efforts to "cut back", the wraparound couch was consumed with gifts for the four grandchildren. Needless to say, a thank you was in order.

One of Elijah's favorite gifts was his rocket launcher. Perhaps it should be an outside toy, but are there ever truly outside toys?

Another great gift was this Kmart special from my mom. See how Elijah quietly stalks his prey.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oh Christmas Trees

Needless to say, I will never be featured in Southern Living until they put out a "How Not to Decorate" issue. I visit my friends and gasp in awe at their themed trees gracing each room. But I love my little ragged Christmas trees. The big one with the bright lights and mismatched sentimental ornaments reminds me of my childhood and people in my life. As I learned from my mom, all the angel ornaments hover at the top recalling the angel army who announced the birth of the Christ child.

The trees in the children's rooms provide the best nightlights of the year. Caitlyn's is filled with handmade crafts and ornaments given to her. Elijah only had one ornament of his own, so I gave him some stars and a bucket to clump all on the top.

My favorite of all is our Advent tree. We hung Caitlyn's crafts from last year and added to the tree each day. I knew Elijah was paying attention when we began the Baby Jesus craft. He ran to the tree and cried, "Oh! We make dis one?" We used this sweet tree to tell and retell the story of the Christ child.

My fake trees may be free hand-me-downs with unevenly spaced ornaments hung by tiny hands, but as the Peanuts gang learned, once you turn on the lights the beauty can be seen by anyone who seeks it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Daddy's birthday and Christmas music

We surprised Daddy by cooking mini garlic cheeseburgers reminiscent of his college greasy spoon - Marvins. The kids gave him a flashback Atari system. Nothing could make my man happier than unhealthy food and video games. Well, I suppose his children being adorable could top it. Thankfully we had that, too! Before the children's musical, the Mission Friends choir performed a couple of Christmas classics. Caitlyn and her buddies were adorable as always!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent crafts

Last year Caitlyn and I did the advent crafts from Truth in the Tinsel. It's a great way to cover the story of Jesus' birth and focus on Him. For a not-so-crafty Mama, this was hard work! We even included Elijah this year to up the ante. The crafts were cute, but the best part was that they really learned the real Christmas story. Caitlyn came up with the idea to act out the story with the crafts they made. Why didn't I think of that! I recommend this to any Christians with young children.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas caroling 2012

I love that our church carols in the neighborhood as an outreach each year. It's great to see people react. We get everything from people hiding and pretending they're not home to opening the door excitedly to confusion. People have yelled after we passed, "Hey, are you caroling? Come back!" They have mused, "Wow, I thought people only did that on tv." One kid even nearly jumped out of his skin when he opened the door, thinking we were there to "jump him". It's a fun night, but this year we forgot Elijah's coat! Since it was really cold and he had been sick, he and I stayed behind and had an interpretive dance session with his buddy. Caitlyn and Jamie had a great time ministering to the community, and Elijah had a great time trying to eat all the cookies before the carolers returned.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Mean old Roman soldier

Somehow a few years ago I found myself "in charge of" of the Happy Birthday Jesus party at church. Basically I make sure the Sunday school teachers do a section then walk around watching them work. I was very excited that the kindergarten class decided to join us so I could see Caitlyn in the dress up room for one more year. Quit growing up, kid! Oh yes, and Happy not your real birthday, Jesus!

Christmas music is better with your eyes closed.

Shalom Seekers