Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Crafts

Zeke and I did a couple Christmas crafts. We (as a family) did a gingerbread tree with our neighbors. Zeke and I made a tree from tracing his hands (which he L.O.V.E.D.) and then a Rudolph from his hands and feet. He loves doing crafts and I really need to do better about it. We got the Toddler's Busy Book for Christmas so I am hoping this will help.

He loved "decorating" the tree

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Cute little Rudolph

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I promise we feed this kid

Ben is getting better about talking to communicate with us, but still prefers to just scream, grunt, or drag us to what he wants. This evening I was cooking dinner and he kept going to the fridge. Finally I opened it and this is what happened:

He climbed up, grabbed the bread

Threw it to the floor and demanded a piece

While eating a slice, closed the door

And was MUCH happier

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Little/Shelton Christmas

The day after Christmas we had planned to drive to our parents after church. With all the snow, church was canceled and we were hoping we could get there. We left a little before lunch time when the snow had slowed a bit. We were able to celebrate with both sides of our family and spend great time with everyone. Spence and I even went on a couple dates while there. (If you are in the Greensboro area, you have got to visit Delicious bakery on Lawndale, seriously it's... well delicious)
Anyhoo, the boys were spoiled silly with so much attention and had a great time (except that Ben decided to cut his bottom molars and not sleep AT ALL while we were there)

Shelton Family (we totally just happened to coordinate)

Bampa and Nana with the boys

Sophia with her Super Spy glasses

YaYa and PawPaw with the boys

Pop (Spence's grandpa) and the boys

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


It started snowing Christmas Day, and as we pulled out the day after it was still coming down a little. We ended up with about 7 inches. Here is some of Zeke's fun

Heading out

A little confused about walking in this stuff
This is my favorite series of pictures: Spence is teaching the art of making a snowball. It is so precious to watch these moments of learning happen.

Get some snow

Pack it

And THROW it!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas morning started a bit odd. Zeke fell out of his new bed, so I went in to get him back to sleep. He slept until about 7:30 and then he and I went downstairs to join Spence and Ben. There was a bike, tunnel/tent system, Little People airport and Little People Noah's Ark set up. We had breakfast, read Jesus' birth story from the Big Picture Bible, and prayed our thanksgiving over our Savior. Then Benjamin went down for nap. While he napped, Zeke opened his stocking. Once Ben got up again, he opened his stocking then we opened our wrapped gifts. It was such a fun Christmas with our boys, even though we realized we could have done MUCH less. (we will be remembering this for next year)

Getting Zeke

Super cute puzzle


New bike!

More gifts, really?


Zeke is carrying this flashlight around with him now

Of course there had to be some wrestling

And Ben wanted in on the action

Ben digging in

I guess this is Ben's version of helping...

Ben also got a flashlight (in hopes of less stealing of Zeke's)

Yes, Spence had to get in the tunnel

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Big boy bed

For Christmas, Nana and Bampa got Zeke his big boy bed. After seeing this bed at my cousin's house, I knew it was the perfect bed for our family. The bed can be flipped over to become a loft bed. The loft part is pretty low though. The frame only goes up to my shoulders. This way once Ben is ready to move over, we can flip the bed, throw a mattress on the floor for B and have bunkbeds!
Spence and I went to Ikea the week before Christmas. We were in awe of that place, but were really good about getting exactly what we went for and nothing else. But boy did we look (our eyes are set on this sofa next). We set up the bed and Zeke slept it it for the first night on Christmas Eve. He did fall out of it once, but went right back to sleep when I crawled in with him. We also did a total rearrange of his room and are loving the set up. He is so proud of his "big boy bed that dada built with logs". We know this because we overheard him telling Doc Hudson when he was supposed to be napping ;)

Zeke thought every hole needed a screw or nail in it

In the process

Almost finished!

Finished bed

Trying it out

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We hope everyone is spending the day celebrating our Savior. We have had a wonderufl day together so far. We are taking a blog break until Jan 1. I will begin posting again in 2011, but I'll backdate because I like things in order :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Great Santa Debate Part 2

Warning: no pictures are in this post

I hope that you glanced over at the blogs I posted yesterday. I know that there are as many opinions on this as there are people with belly buttons. I am not here to tell you what to do for your family and I am not telling you that what we have chosen is the "right" answer. Spencer and I just feel that the decision we have made is the right one for our family for right now.

Last year I posted about deciding what we are going to do here. Well, this year we have made that decision. We basically decided to emphasize Jesus and deemphasize(I may have made that word up) Santa. Does this mean that our kids are going to run around and tell all the other children that their parents are lying to them? Does this mean that we hate using our imaginations? Does this mean that our kids are going to not get presents? The answer is no, to all of the above. Our kids won't ruin it for your family, so you can still let them play together. We are constantly fostering their creativity and provide tons of ways for imaginary play through out our day, if you have been around this blog for any amount of time you know this. Our kids will still most certainly get spoiled silly by presents.

Here is an attempt at some questions you may be having:

Spence and Courtney, did you grow up with parents who hated Santa or hated Christmas?
Not at all. We both grew up having Santa, and both have fond memories. We do not feel any anger at our parents for "lying" to us about it or anything like that. We just know that there is a lot in this world that competes with Jesus everyday. We want to be sure that on this day especially that our children are not faced with that competition. We want our children to have a full grasp on why we celebrate this day and it just doesn't have anything to do with a fat man sneaking into your house.
Also, if all the excitement of Christmas is wrapped up in a box, or left out as Santa did at our house growing up, then we are greatly missing the point. I would rather celebrate with out presents than have my kids miss this point. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Savior. The Creator of the world came down in the form of a helpless baby in order to live a perfect life and die for us so that we could one day be fully united with God in heaven. OK, did you get that?
The giving and recieving of gifts at Christmas is a symbol. Like any other symbol it should point us to what it represents. In the same way that communion is a symbol of Christ, so gift giving should symbolize the gift we were given in Christ. The reason people give presents at Christmas is as a celebration of Christ's birth.

So, are you not gonna ever lie to your kids ever?
We aren't planning to intentionally lie to our kids but, we are not hung up on the whole we don't want to lie to our children reasoning because we know that happens quite often with out us even thinking about it. Examples of those each day would be "we don't have any cookies, eat your veggies", "the tv is broken, you can't watch a movie", "everyone naps, so it is naptime", "this is juice"- when it's really water with a splash of juice. We are more worried about this lie because it replaces Jesus with something else. (I am not encouraging any lying, I know it is a sin, but I am also human and know my faults and I am just being real with you)

What about fairy tales, video games, etc.?
We will share fairy tales, video games, and fictional stories with our children. The difference is that we aren't going to ask them to believe that Harry Potter can make a broomstick fly, or that there is a dinosaur named Yoshi who helps Mario battle Bowser. My kids watch Nemo and Cars, but we aren't going to teach them that there are really talking fish or talking cars out there. We do not have a problem with fantasy or make believe. We do have a problem with willfully tricking our kids into thinking something is real when it isn't.

Are you going to avoid all Santa talk?
Absolutely not! We will tell Zeke and Ben that there once was a man who did wonderful generous things. We will tell them that people still like to dress up and pretend to be him. This is like when kids dress up like a fireman or princess though. It does not make them those things, it's just play. We will point him out at the mall. They have jammies that have him on them (Zeke thinks they are snowmen even though we have told him they aren't). Zeke LOVES wearing our Santa hat. We aren't going to try to keep them in a bubble. But really people, if your kids are finding out about sex in kindergarten do you really think they aren't finding out the truth about Santa?

Alright, so have I ruffled enough feathers for one day? How many of you have decided never to return? Who just stumbled here today wanting a cute pic and is a little perturbed there aren't any? Come back tomorrow for some cute pictures and a more feel good topic :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Great Santa Debate

Here are a couple posts by some friends, ok a couple friends and a couple people I don't know personally but respect their thoughts as well, with their thoughts on Santa. Tomorrow, I will let you know what Spence and I have decided to do.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zeke loves small group too!

Generally during small group discussion time, all the kids go upstairs with 2 of our members. The adults rotate who watches kids so that everyone has a turn. This week because it was just my kids and because we were hanging out, we let the boys stay with us. But Ben couldn't hang once it got too close to bedtime, so I put him down. Zeke on the other hand thrived on being the only kid around. While we were taking prayer requests and praying, Zeke was sitting with me. I told him what we were doing in hopes that he would sit quietly. Instead, he jumped up and pointed to the people on the couch yelling "Let's pray guys! It's good for you!" in almost thug-like way. The following video is what Zeke made everyone do after we had our snowball fight. As you can see, he L.O.V.E.S being the center of attention!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Minute to Win It Small Group Style

Can I say how much Spence and I love and believe in small groups? This is how our church does adult disciopleship. We meet weekly in our home with about 14 other adults and a handful of kids. We study the Bible, we pray, we eat, we live life, and we have fun.

This week at group, we decided to have a Christmas party. Ya'll know how much we like Minute to Win It, so Spence and I set up our party to spread the love a little bit. We played boys versus girls, and I hate to say that the boys won. The girls only had 4 teammates though, so we will use that as our excuse ;) We played Deer Nose Dive (trying to stick a pom pom to your vaseline covered nose), Face the Cookie (getting a cookie from your forehead to your mouth only using your face muscles), Christmas Bite (getting five bags to different spots of the house using only your mouth to pick them up, carry them, and put them down), and last was Snowball Fight (using computer paper, create snowballs and throw them onto the opponents side, whoever has the least on their side at the time, wins). Here is a video of one of our snowball fights. Check back tomorrow for what Zeke did during the party.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Genetics Update

What a great Christmas present we got today! Benjamin went to the geneticist and we got some pretty good news. Dr. McDonald didn't seem to observe anything that would lead her to think he has a genetic disorder. We are scheduled to get an MRI on January 7 to further rule out any neural tube defects, a tethered cord, or anything going on with his kidneys. He will have to be put to sleep for it, but that can't be helped. We will be going through Duke for the MRI instead of Wake Med, just because we feel more comfortable having everything going on at the same place. We are so thankful for this good news. Thank you for praying with us.


Our original geneticist appointment was May 31. Since that just wasn't ok with me, I asked to be put on the cancellation list. Late last week, I got a call! We are going today at 11 and meeting with a Dr. McDonald at Duke. Please pray that we will remember that Benjamin was created in God's image. He is exactly how God planned him to be. We know that God has HUGE plans for our Ben. No matter what we find out or don't find out this is part of Ben's story that will bring honor and glory to our God. We pray that this will make God famous for everyone we know.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Random cuteness

Here are just a bunch of pictures that have been floating around in a folder waiting to be blogged. Although, I think this first one may have already been done, oh well who can resist that face!

After a much appreciated dinner

Zeke's pizza face

1st ever cup of hot chocolate (anyone else hear the Polar Express song?)

Our new favorite activity. We wrestle, we make trains, we play king of the pillow, and so much more with our couch cusions and pillows.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chai's Story Through Video

Keva and Trevor were able to be a part of a video, along with another couple, for our church. I wanted to share it with everyone who has followed their story so that some of you who haven't met them can hear them speak their hearts. Just click on the hyperlink to get to their personal blog and then watch through the videos. It will take less than 15 minutes to watch all three that are posted.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MRI postponed

I wanted to give everyone an update on Ben. For those of you that don't know, Ben caught a cold that turned into RSV and an ear infection late last week. Because of it being a respiratory thing, we have decided to postpone the MRI. We will keep you up to date on when it will be as soon as we know. It may have to be pushed pretty far back because Wake Med is changing their anesthia for MRIs to a more in depth putting out than I am comfortable with right now. If anyone has any input, it woudl be greatly appreciated. Please be praying for us as we decide what to go forward with. Thank you guys so much for praying for us. It really has been a huge comfort for us. We love ya'll.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We are fully decorated inside. Spence still has the outside to do and I need to get out my Christmas dishes, but we have been fully Christmased since the Saturday after Thanskgiving. I love having everythign decorated already. it's so fun! The boys got to help choose their first real tree. That's right I convinced Spence to leave that fake sucker in the attic this year! AND I think that I have him convinced to crash some friends who go up to the mountains every year and cut theirs down. YEA, baby!
Anyway, the boys had fun running around a tree lot that was in a gas station parking lot on Glenwood. They have also enjoyed the decorations and being able to play with their very own nativity. They have actually gotten a little creative with that, but you will see that below

Ben checking out the little trees

Zeke loved the "Zeke size trees"

Our family with our tree!

This is where we found baby Jesus one day...

Ben looking for trouble

Doc Hudson joins the nativity
Or if you checked out Spence's blog, this is where idolatry begins

And this is where idolatry takes over

Our sweet little idolator

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


After going to the orthopedic surgeon today, we have an official diagnosis. Benjamin has congenital scoliosis. This means that he has a curve in his spine and vertabrae that are a little messed up. It also means he was born this way. The doctor said it was very minor. There is a 50/50 chance it will stay the same forever. He has to go back in 6 months to have the curve measured for changes.
We are currently praying about whether we need to move forward with the MRI or not. With it being scheduled for a week away, we have to make the decision quickly. Please pray for God to give us wisdom and discernment in this. We really don't want to put Ben through any unnecessary testing, but we also don't want to skip something and miss something that could be potentially harmful for our sweet boy.
Oh and something that's just cute. He stood from the middle of the room for the first time while waiting for the doctor. Way to go little man!

And just in case you are wondering, he has continued to be his wild self:

Climbing into the window seal/back of boys chairs

WOW, look what I can do!

This is FUN!