Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas is Coming!

It is official!  Christmas is coming and the proof is all over the Milles house!
The decorations and tree are in place.

Little girls and lil boys have sat on Santa's lap and placed their final gift requests.  They even got their pictures taken with Santa. But you won't find those picture on this blog post as I am too lazy to get up and scan them in the computer.

 Another sign of Christmas---Homers donned in holiday garb are being played...

make that...overplayed...

Christmas is surely on its way.  What a refreshing feeling to know that we are on the eve of December. Now, if we can figure out how to clearly communicate to Bethany when Christmas is...then we are all set. Everyday she is asking if today is Christmas...poor thing doesn't quite get the concept of three weeks. But I have something up my sleeve to rectify that problem!

I hope you are having a relaxing start to the holiday season.  If you can...make sure you keep the reason for the season in the fore-front of you minds.  After all, without Jesus ... there wouldn't be much of this Christmas stuff, now would there?!?!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Parenting Games

{Happy 500th Blog Post}

I am at the point now where I am coming to terms with the fact that parenting is balancing act.  Sometimes we are playing the game of taking two steps forward while the lil' ones push you two steps back.

For instance, sometimes I clean up one room at the same exact time they are destroying another room.  The kiddos aren't too bad when it comes to helping out. But really...it feels like we are always cleaning up a 1,000 toys, a ka-billion puzzle pieces or a plethora of cookie crumbs.

Or you are walking a fine line to keep the little temper-tantrums at bay...whether it is by letting them wear what they wanna, monitoring their toy-snatching and minimize the antagonizing.  This isn't too hard of a line to walk.  By giving the kids choices between two parent-approved options, it really helps reduce many tantrums.  Either they can wear this jacket or this.  They can have this toy or that.  They can do this or go to time out.  It is all about choices & giving the bity babies some power.

The game I find the hardest to play is the balancing game.  Being that it is still in the middle of the school year...we are struggling to balance time between school work, housework and the babies. I feel the worst that Cory always gets cheated when it comes to spending time together.  I do believe our last date was sometime this summer {as I don't count conference nights as dates}.  We really aught to work on that.   We've talked about actually using a real babysitter sometime, to help us escape.  You know...the kind you have to pay for.   

But as some of our friends posted in their blog recently, it is all about being a parenting trade-off.  These kiddos are such blessing and a true gift from God.  It is amazing we have been chosen to take care and raise these two.   While we have less sleep, less time together and a just a few less dollars...these kids are worth every bit of it. It is, by far, the best trade I could ever think of making.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Camera

Christmas (and my birthday for the next 5 years) has come early to the Milles house.  This past week, my parents gave us an awesome Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS camera.  I'll tell you what....I need to add this camera to the forever growing list of things that are smarter than me.

I am planning on taking a class to learn how to operate this thing and to get the biggest bang for my buck.  The good news about this camera is that I also have a super nice Canon EOS film camera.  I have lots of lenses and whatnots for that camera & from my understanding those two cameras can share parts! That is fun!!!

Well, here are a few shot I took while fiddling with the different settings.

I used two of most favorite subjects to practice using this camera. 
I've learned a lot while shooting away at these lil' guys.

 I learned that sometimes your subject might be a tad bit blurry & in the dark.

And when your subject is screaming and your shutter time is too long...he'll be a fuzzy mess. 

Sometimes your subject is just gorgeous!

While at other times he rolls out of the shot!

Or manages to make a mess while you get distracted w/ the shiny buttons on the camera.

Typically your subject may have a sibling that is also a good person to shoot. 
Even if she insists on eatting odd things... 

Or sleeps on the job.

But occassionally...if you try hard enough, you may get some good shots...
even some w/out pants on!

Hopefully, in the next few months you'll notice some pretty awesome pictures of these kiddos and our crazy family happenings! :o)

Monday, November 15, 2010

C. David Milles

Man...another 11 days have slid by and I didn't post anything.  I apologize to all of my adoring, non-commenting readers and stalkers out there.  My goal is to blog at least twice a week, if not more often; but as life gets busy, blogging is one of the first things to be sacrificed (along w/ quality time w/hubby--don't even ask me the last time we actually had a date...).    I tell ya, balancing life as a working mama is tough. Working, spending quality time w/ the 2 kiddos, planning decent lessons, grading papers, keeping up w/ a clean house...that is all tough stuff. 

Plus, it is November.  You know what means, right? It is NaNoWrMo (National Novel Writing Month). 

Here is Cory's progress on this novel as of today:

This is Cory's second time partaking in NaNoWrMo.  Last year he wrote the book, "Redemption."  It is a cult classic at the building where we teach.  Cory only printed 4 or 5 copies of the book. These kids are having a blast reading it and passing it on to their friends, moms, cousins, etc.   Then, they get so excited to share that feedback with Cory.   I've had a couple people tell me that "Redemption" is their favorite book they've ever read.

As Cory is writing his 4th novel (yes, 4th), he is being the most elusive yet.  I didn't know Cory when he wrote his first nonfiction book on Christianity.  But with "Chupacabra" and "Redemption" Cory shared with me the basic premise of the story.  This time, I had to keep on badgering him for the names of the main characters. He is being VERY Lemony-Snicket-like!

I am proud of his progress on this book. He is nearly half-way done with this novel and while he is trying to maintain his progress on this goal, Cory is also a kick-butt dad, teacher and husband.  Cory still does 99% of the dishes, 85% of the laundry and 100% of dinner-Owen-induced-disaster-clean-ups.

Now...like I said he is a kick-butt dad. Look at them in their matching t-shirts.  
When the lil' stinkers are fussy, tired or just plain ol' crabby...he can get them chipper in no time at all. I tend to cuddle and love on them, but he is able to turn their mood around completely.  You really need to see them playing "Tigers" where two of them chase the third one around. They get crazy loud.  But is awesome not only to see how much the kids adore him...but he is an active dad.  He knows what makes these kids happy, mad, sad, etc.  He knows their favorite foods, shows, toys.  I see so many other dads out there that really don't know who their children are and what makes them run. 

Owen, Bethany and I are so blessed to have Cory in our lives. He is such a spectacular dad and husband.  I've always told my own father, "Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy."  I am so glad that my children have this man to call "Daddy!"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

God is Bigger than Big!

That is right!  God is bigger than big.
He's stronger than strong.
He's mightier than mighty;

Man, reading that is something.
But want to know what is better than just reading those words on a blog?
Well, you need to listen to a good 2 dozen kids singing/yelling those words during worship service. 

Bethany joined the Sunbeams choir at church this fall. She is loving it!
It is so exciting to see her learning about God and loving God!

While I don't know how much she understand about God, Jesus, Adam/Eve, Jonah, etc.  She does know that God is Large and in charge.  Throughout our conversations she knows that God is the reason for everything. If I try to scientifically explain something to her, like, why people get bigger as they get older...she often corrects me and says, "We get bigger because God wants us to." 

Now...sometimes God comes up in a conversation in non-conventional ways.  
See the example:

Me: Bethany! Stop drinking the bath water! That is disgusting! Why are you doing that?
Bethany: Because God told me.

It is super cute, though, when she does something "naughty".  For example sometimes she says silly things like, "I'm going to hit you."  She then says "sorry" to me and God.  Now that...that is pretty cute. I don't know where she got that idea from. But isn't it sweet?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lil' Pumpkins

This had to be one of the best Halloweens to date. 
If you don't have kids, I gotta tell ya...they make any holiday ten times better.

Owen really got into painting his first pumpkin ever!

Bethany is an old pro at painting pumpkins, as this is her second year at it.  This year, she had a couple *ahem* issues. The problem was she'll paint the pumpkin, then she decided to wipe it clean after a while and start fresh.  After about, oh I don't know, a million times cleaning off her pumpkin, she finally settled on an abstract color display.

On Halloween, we met Jenny, Danie and Bryan up at the mall to trick-or-treat.  The Newtons totally showed up our family as they were ALL dressed up for the holiday.  Aren't they a smashing group?

Bethany and Owen had a great time at the mall.  Well, Bethany had a great time. Owen wimped out half-way through.  We are thinking that he got himself all worked up because of the kabillion people there and all the scary costumes.  He was just not feeling it & cried & cried.  But when Bethany fell asleep in car on the way home...Owen couldn't stop pointing and laughing at her. That definitely cheered the lil' guy (well, that and the pretzel snack we got at the mall before we left).

Before we trick-or-treated around the neighborhod, we tried to get a classic shot of the lil' ones.   Getting the lil' boogers to sit pretty and pose for me was a little challenge.  When posing the kids outside, I learned you need to move all distracting objects out of the way.    The pumpkin....ya...that will be a prime example of a distracting object...

But eventually, we got a great shot of our lil' Tinkerbell and

one of our lil' SpongeBob.