In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decking the halls & spreading the chaos

I have been seriously wondering lately, what drove my ancestors to settle here in Minnesota. Did they just get so far and decide they couldn’t go any further and this was it? After surviving that first winter, what caused them to stay here in this frozen tundra? The main reason I have chosen to continue to live here is because of family. I don’t want to be across the country from them. I’m just wondering why my ancestors picked here. Right about now I am questioning their sanity and mine.

We have been having bitter sub zero temperatures here, and I know many of you have been experiencing colder than normal temperatures as well. Being stuck inside with little one’s day after day, can drive everyone a little stir crazy. Or a lot. It is suppose to warm up  but then we are suppose to get more snow. At least, then they can go outside and shovel away some of that energy.

The one good thing about having these bitter cold days is that after a couple weeks of this, whenever it gets to be above 0, it feels like a heat wave. Must be how we survive this without having lost all of our marbles come May. Now some people might think we’ve lost our marbles already just by living here. I might be one of those people.

This past weekend we got hit with more snow, high winds and very cold temperatures so it was a perfect time to stay home, turn on the oven and get busy in the kitchen. We made some goodies to give as gifts and decorated the Christmas tree.

IMG_5071 snow blizzard and tree decorating 014  IMG_5072

I wish that I had a hidden video camera so that I could show you what really goes on in this house. Or at least captured what really goes on with my camera.

I did get to capture a few of these “unChristmas card like moments”.

Things like putting the Christmas stockings on their feet…

snow blizzard and tree decorating 008

What you don’t see is the running around like they have ants in their pants while wearing these. Nor the crying because of slipping and falling in them.


I did capture a little of the rolling around and wrestling on the floor…

snow blizzard and tree decorating 023

What you don’t see are the ornaments that got knocked off or the Christmas tree almost tipped over. Nor the child crying because they got hurt.

Could it be any more merry than this? I think not.


snow blizzard and tree decorating 026 snow blizzard and tree decorating 016

 snow blizzard and tree decorating 029 IMG_5094

What you don’t see is my husband coming into the room with a very irritated look on his face, to check on all the chaos. He was sick on top of already being in a lot of pain, so he was in the bedroom,watching TV and trying to rest. Yeah right, no one rests in noise like this. At least he came to check on the noise so that he could make me a cocktail. 

I show you cute pictures like this…


But they are far and few between…and what we go through to get just one.

It’s called bribery because really, very rarely do they just sit still and smile. 

It’s not that we don’t have fun or enjoy some sweet moments, it’s just that these are mixed in with a whole lot of 3, 4 and 5 year olds acting like 3, 4 and 5 year olds.

 If you were to see my Christmas tree up close you would see the clumps of ornaments in the bottom half of the tree.

christmas decorations 004

Of course they didn’t want any help and they fought over who put on the most ornaments. If you think there was no pushing or shoving going on in the process you are sadly mistaken.


My daughter & son thought it was necessary to put a train around the Christmas tree. My daughter and grandson had gotten it after Christmas last year so were excited to use it this year. It has been the source of many tears, fights, trips to the better choice chair and headaches ever since. Never again. Never.

My daughter thought it was necessary to do all of this decorating with Christmas music on. Little man thought it was necessary to turn the volume up higher and higher to drown out everyone talking and the whining and crying from the other little’s. 

My son, who arrived safely last Thursday, thought it was necessary to laugh at everything the little’s did, as he was quite amused by their antics…and so was Riley. Now mind you, Riley has been living in a house with just 2 quiet adults for the past year. Not anymore. Welcome to your new home Riley.


On a side note, Riley is the best dog ever. I haven’t heard him bark once. He is so gentle, loving, sweet and listens very well. The little’s are completely head over heels in love with him and by the way he kisses us each morning, I think he kind of likes us too. Coming from Florida, I wondered how he would do with the cold and snow. He played out in the snow with the little’s on his very first day here and loves it.

We have been managing to keep the holiday’s simple by avoiding Christmas stress, commercialism, and the picture perfect ideal. Hibernating inside the house helps with this but mostly it’s being mindful about what matters most to us and what we believe and doing those things that fit inside that. Regardless of what we do in celebration of this season, whether it’s reading the Christmas story, making homemade cards or decking the halls, there will be noise and chaos because noise and chaos are just a normal part of life here at the zoo.

Seeing Christmas through the eye’s of a 3, 4 and 5 year old is magical. They are completely in awe of every single aspect, whether it’s shaking sprinkles on the cookies(and eating them) or sitting in front of our Christmas tree with it’s ornaments & lights, with adoration.

I wrote recently that things are tough here at the zoo and while I can write of love and gratitude for the multitude of blessings that are ours, I would be lying if I said I didn’t worry. I do worry but in this season of love and joy, my focus is on believing. Believing that my husband will be okay and that all the other things will fall into line as well.

I believe that the wonder and joy that is ours this season, comes because of the gifts that a 3, 4 and 5 year old bring to the table. They remind me that the simple things have meaning. Sometime in the next week we will go visit Santa and take a drive, eat popcorn and look at Christmas lights. You would think we were taking them to Disney world with how excited they are.

I won’t sugar coat it, life is hard right now, but we will get through it.

 It also helps that some Christmas angels have spread their blessings upon our family, so come Christmas morning, there will be gifts from Santa Claus under our tree. Learning the lesson of humbling accepting the kindnesses of other’s is likely the great gift we will be given this season. Thank you dear angels for shining your love down upon us.  

Last Thursday, little man had his Christmas program at school. What joy. I end this post with him singing the songs he sang with his class. I hope you are able to watch this short video because it really shows little mans personality.





How could we not be full of joy when we have him around?

I hope peace, joy, and love are surrounding you and your loved one’s, in the midst of celebrating all things Christmas or not.


Until next time, love & hugs, Lori


Anonymous said...

This was GREAT - I just loved all the pictures. And that grin on Little Lady's face just cracks me up! Thanks for the smiles this morning, Lori, and I hope your husband feels much better very soon.


Brian Miller said...

smiles.what you dont see is...but they just add to the fun...cutevid of the singing as well..and we have those clumps that end just out of arms length...

Colleen said...

Precious Lori. I really can hear your honest struggle but your love and appreciation as well. Everything you write really moves me, I just love the way you express yourself so thoroughly and so very very well.

My family is from Manitoba and just to let you know, I have so often wondered the same thing...did my ancestors not find it insanely cold there??!!:)

Thinking of you Lori. YOU are an angel.

Joyce A Gray said...

Lori, thanks so much for sharing, what a joyous little guy, made my day.

Life with Kaishon said...

Exactly. How can you not be excited about Christmas when you look at it through the Little's eyes. They are so dear : ) I love your adventures you captured perfectly with the camera!

The Incredible Woody said...

I have been thinking about you as I've watched The Weather Channel. Brrr - makes me cold just thinking about it!

Anonymous said...

My husband's Swedish ancestors settled in Minnesota as well before heading on west to Idaho. Perhaps Minnesota reminded them of their home country?
Being cooped up with young children at any time of year is trying (I remember now, but mostly I try to forget those days), and their excitement in December makes it doubly so... but also doubly fun. They exhibit pure joy in those simple things like decorating Christmas cookies (they have no idea how much work it is to clean up) and driving to see Christmas lights is so new and exciting. There is huge blessing in their love of such inexpensive treats in a year like this one, when funds are limited.
Your little man has such a shining personality and a great singing voice! Thank you for sharing him with us.
May your home be filled with love and the peace that passes understanding.

SciFi Dad said...

It's too cold to play outside if you're sick (which both kids are) here, so we've been struggling with cabin fever as well. Save for a brief foray to the grocery store on Saturday, it's been over a week since my son left the house. I hope they feel better (and it gets a little warmer) soon so we can enjoy the snow a little.

And, I hope you all enjoy your weather (and that your Metrodome gets fixed soon).

Busy Bee Suz said...

I think I heard that chaos all the way down here.
I remember this part as well girls used to stress me out iwht the decorating part. I would lose my temper and not have fun. I wish now that I had taken some deep breaths and let it be what it would be. Those days flew are a smart woman. Those kids are having a blast (even with the tears)
That Riley is wondering what the heck he did to deserve this. :) LOL!!!

LauraX said...

looks like a whole lot of perfectly chaotic love to me much energy and can they possibly contain themselves and sit still...these babies are full of life and it just has to be expressed...and that is a blessing (even if it gets messy and noisy and overwhelming sometimes) fortunate your littles are to have you to love them and one another to love too!

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, he is adorable! :)

Buckeroomama said...

Oops, sorry...

Meant to add that Christmas is extra magical when seen through the eyes of children. I love that you have the Little's and that they bring such joy. :)

slommler said...

Wonderful video!! So adorable!! And so much personality!! Sweet!
Sadly, our little's have all grown up! So the house is quiet this time of year as any other time. We will meet up with them on Christmas eve and share some eggnog and sing some carols. That is about a noisy as it gets nowadays! Ha!

Jacquelyn Stager said...

The happiness in your home far outweighs anything you might be lacking in material things this Christmas Lori. I hope your hubby is doing better...will he have the surgery? I loved the video too...I have a lot of chaos over here as grands are only here 3 days/week, but then I'm a lot older than you! LOL :) :) But an hour after they go home I want them back! As we were experiencing winter here in NE Ohio the past week I told my hubby I would NEVER live in Minnesota! His ancestors settled in north eastern North Dakota and thankfully his mom moved to OH when she married...I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and I can't wait to hear more of your stories and see your pictures. xoxoxoxo

Debbie said...

Oh Lori you are the bravest and most loving woman I think I know! I don't know what's going on with you but...through it all you are making a wonderful holiday to remember for these beautiful children. Oh My God I forgot you lived in Minnesota!! Whew! You got hit hard with snow my dear! I was just saying to someone at the grocery store the other day..."where is the snow that Maine usually gets...and poor Minnesota!". I watched the video at the end and he is adorable! BUT!...I feel that massive energy and my lord that has to be hard some days....three of them! I don't know how you do it but God Bless you for doing it...with your husband sick too? Whoa! Years ago...I was going through a divorce and I had a 4 and a 6 year old. I was broke. My daughter's brownie leader and the school counselor got together and put my name in for a Christmas basket. A wonderful old gentleman came to my door with a big box of food and gifts for my kids!! I cried and cried and hugged him...until he finally said "Mam....could I please put this box down?" I'll never forget that and it was hard to except the help at the time. People are wonderful when you are in need...that's when you really see who they are. Love and kisses to you and the little's and the rest of your family Lori...Merry Christmas. It'll be what you make it to be....just wonderful!

The Incredible Woody said...

Little Lady would have loved seeing the butterflies. They were everywhere! You could stand real still and they would land on you:)

WhatKarenSees said...

Whenever I grumble about the snow and cold weather where I live in Utah, I often think, "Well it could be worse, I could live in Minnesota!" HaHa I guess we do what we have to do to live near our families. I grew up in California and would much rather be there right now! Anyway, your photos show you have a beautiful family who love to be together and have fun together and that's what it's all about. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you'll come again. I'm now 'following' you and I'll be back to visit soon!

My Aimless Infatuation said...

I think the "unchristmas like" moments are the best. I'm sure they try your nerves alot but when you post it's just amazing how I can feel the love in every word. It makes me wish I lived close so I could visit you all. I can't believe how fast they are all growing. Christmas is not Christmas without children,the best Christmas in the world is to see it through a childs eye's. Wishing you the best of everything this holiday season and always.

Linda said...

Lori, I enjoyed this post so much. It reminded me a little of a post that a friend of mine wrote three years ago, about trying to use her new camera to get a picture of her three high-energy daughters to put on the family Christmas card. If you'd like a chuckle, here's the link to that post:

Together We Save said...

Wonderful pictures!! I hope everyone is staying warm!!

Suldog said...

You appear to always be in the moment for the good stuff, which is a great attitude. Fun post, what with the glimpses "behind the curtain". And, as for the angels who are helping? They're always around, just waiting to do what they do. Count on it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, those three minxes are so full of mischief as they should be - and also joy and wonder. Who can help but be touched by their laughter?!

Wonderful pictures and video! Just precious... I'm loving the dog too.

TechnoBabe said...

Of course there is crying and arguing and competition with children in the house. Like you make clear in your post, there are fun times and loving times and there are noisy times too.
The fact that you appreciate having you all together and that you are going through tough times seems to be pulling you all together even closer.
I grew up in southern California and lived in other states after I had kids but always ended back in CA. When hubby and I left CA and moved to Nebraska people thought we had lost our minds. But just the opposite, we are living around a slower pace and caring people and no traffic and pushing. It is so cold but we have learned to bundle up in three layers. I remember what it is like with little ones going in and out and changing clothes each time. They are a lot of work. But oh my, so worth it. You have a good attitude and maybe some people will get the kind of Christmas spirit you share in you blog just by reading your post.

Joanna Jenkins said...

All that great singing a a blown kiss at the end! How sweet is your little guy. This video made me smile and I'll be smiling all day long and humming his two glorious songs too.

Yep, despite all the chaos, life is good Lori. YOu are blesses.

Merry Christmas one and all. xo jj

deb said...

you are the real deal Lori.

I am blessed every time I read your heart.

Shrinky said...

Oh Lori, who couldn't smile all the way throughout this wonderful post? What utter darlings, and that video just melts the heart! I'm sending warm positive vibes your way, hoping your husband's health improves, and that love and warmth surrounds your heart always. You are such a special lady, my dear friend. (x)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Love the photos, love the singing, love the way this makes me smile warmly!

Garnetrose said...

the pictures are great. Ones to cherish for many years. Lots of smiles here. *s*

LPC said...

Merry Christmas little man. And to all a good night::).

deva said...

Thanks for sharing...

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