Friday, December 7, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---
I think I mentioned that Gabe moved up in his basketball league, and he's now one of the youngest and smallest kids on the team.  They are now using the regulation size basketball and the goals are set at 10-feet.  So, things have really changed for him.  Last Saturday Gabriel's basketball team had their first game.  Wow, was it difficult for me to watch.  For one complete 1/2 of the game, our boys could not sink a shot - not one. I think the score was 15-0 at half time.  The boys were so frustrated.  However, in the third quarter something changed.  They threw the ball to Gabe, and I start hollering "pass it, pass it!"  (I'll be the first to admit, my baby is really struggling with his shooting right now, but he's great on defense.)  Instead of passing it, he put the ball up and scored the first two points for our team. Apparently, that's all they needed.  Gabe was the little spark plug that got things rolling.  If they had played the entire game the way they played the last 1/2, they would have totally blown that team out of the water.  We did end up losing, but the final score was 17-16, and Gabe was one of the high scorers on the team. 

I'm very proud of those boys.  They didn't give up.
--- 2 ---
Sunday was my father in law's 70th birthday.  After church we surprised him with a big party.  I have to say that he is an amazing man, and truly a blessing to us and so many others.  I hope you had a happy birthday, Grandpa!  We love you!
This is my father in law and his three sons (three of his eight children).  In case, you can't tell, my husband is a twin.  Ben is the one in the blue.
--- 3 ---
Monday, I decided to try to recreate a wreath that I saw made on a local morning show, using placemats, decorative mesh and Christmas ornaments.  Let me just say that my crafts never turn out like they should.  I think my burned fingers and this monstrosity is proof that crafting is really not my thing.  I think I'll stick to baking.  I burn myself then too but at least I can console myself with some yummy treat. 

I bought more snowflake placemats in blue to make another wreath.  However, after making this first wreath, I think I'll take those blue mats back, but I can't find my receipt.  By the way, did you know that you can only do a certain number of returns at Wally World without a receipt before they "flag you."  Yeah, me neither.  I guess if I can't find that receipt, I'll be the proud owner of some blue snowflake placemats.  Maybe I'll hang them from a tree in the front yard or stick them on the glass storm door.  Who knows.....
--- 4 ---
Elf on a Shelf - do any of you have an elf that visits your home this time of year?   Does he behave or does he get into trouble?  Do your kids think twice about acting up because they think their elf may report it back to Santa?  Our elf is named Elfis (like Elvis) Jackson Escovedo or EJ for short.  My two boys couldn't agree on a name, hence the Elfis Jackson.  He's been relatively well behaved so far this year, and I hope he continues to be.  My cousin has me a little concerned though; she says that one night our elf will kill us while we're sleeping.  Thanks, Jenni, I don't sleep very well as it is.  Maybe that's why our dogs were barking for some unknown reason this morning - maybe they heard EJ moving around.... Oh well, just another reason to allow Bitsy to sleep with us for a just a little while longer - maybe until EJ returns to the North Pole. 
--- 5 ---
I love to bake, but this time of year is difficult to find the time.  With basketball practice, hitting lessons, get togethers, etc.  It's tough.  I have a special recipe for chocolate chips cookies that folks request, my hubby want cinnamon rolls, etc.  Ahhh!  When am I going to find the time.  Oh, and I am woefully behind in my Christmas shopping.  Yes, I said woefully - that should tell you it's baaaad!  I'm running out of time.  On the bright side, I'll get it done, even if I have to stay up until the wee hours baking.  Hopefully in my sleep deprived state I'll remember to take photos so I can post those recipes for you. 

The boys always want to set out freshly-baked cookies for Santa too.  I typically bake those Christmas Eve.  I thought about just setting out something we will already have on hand until I saw this:

--- 6 ---
My youngest has been chosen to play Santa in a play, and has been phoning his other cast members and running his lines as often as he can.  I'm really impressed with this.  Originally he missed part of the auditions and was cast in the part of a Narrator.  Once rehearsals began, roles were quickly reassigned, and Gabe was given the part of Santa.  So, we are now trying to piece together a make-shift Santa costume.  I knew I held onto those old red sweat pants for a reason.  LOL!

Oh, since rehearsals started, I've noticed Gabe has started using words like splendid and magical.  I really hope that's a phase....
--- 7 ---
Garrett has a band concert next week.  I hope to get some pictures, but the little snot always ducks behind something when he sees me with the camera.  Pre-Teens!  They're precious, aren't they?  It's amazing watching Garrett now.  At 12-1/2, he's no longer a little boy, he's at that man-child stage.  There are moments when I can see the mature, responsible, amazing young man I know he's becoming, yet there are still times when I see the young boy.  There are moments of self-confidence and moments of self-doubt.  When the young boy side is showing itself and I'm confused and frustrated by his behavior, I try to remind myself that this must be a confusing time for him as well.

This picture was taken last summer when we were on a trip with Gabe's ball team.  It was just my boys and me that weekend because Ben had to work.  Garrett was a big help to me that weekend.
This picture was taken this summer.  It was just the two of us goofing around.

I often wonder how Garrett sees things now.  Does he still see things with the wide-eyed wonder of  small boy?  We had a conversation the other day in which my boys were saying that they really wished it would snow.  I just groaned and said, "No, snow is a giant pain in the backside."  I went on to remind them that  I don't get to stay home and have fun playing in the snow, etc.  Why did I have to spoil it for them?  Why couldn't I just let it be?  I've decided I'm going to make a conscious effort to see the joy and wonder in everything rather than looking through the jaded filter I've acquired over the years.

This reminds me of one of my favorite Christmas songs, and since I have no idea how to wrap this up, I'm going to leave you with it:  Christmas Through Your Eyes, by Gloria Estefan.

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