Friday, December 23, 2011

Its Almost Christmas...

This Christmas, as you rush around trying to get that perfect family photo...

Stop to enjoy the cards you've received this year... remember the ornaments (and memories) of year's past...

laugh at disaster instead of cry...

take a break if you need it...

pay attention to those small details that make this time of year so special...

But most of all, don't forget the reason for this season...

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What To Expect {GIVEAWAY!}

Mommy was offered the opportunity to work with a company she says she "lived by" while she was pregnant with us. Its called What to Expect and they are notorious for the book "What to Expect When Expecting".
Here's mommy to tell you more...

Before I even became pregnant, I had heard from a bunch of moms about the book they referred to as their "reference guide" to being pregnant. So of course when I found out we were expecting-- this book, "What to Expect When Expecting" was one of the first things I ran out and got. The book gives you details about you pregnancy from the very start and goes week by week so you know exactly what to expect! You can choose to read each section as you go or browse through it as a reference each week or even to look ahead.

Since my days of being pregnant--What to Expect published two additional books "What to Expect: the First Year" and "What to Expect: the Second Year". After browsing/reading through the copies I was sent, I found these books to be perfect guides for anyone with newborn to toddlers. I love that you can track milestones and be able to have an idea what goals you should be focusing on for your child at each age. Since we all have questions, its the perfect book to have on hand for those moments you just "aren't sure".
Beyond the books, What to Expect now also launched a website: This is gives you the opportunity to join groups and find information out about preconception through toddlers. Its a great way to join a community full of individuals (and families) that are similar to you and your stage in life. Joining is free and its very simple to do. Once you are a member, you can find local groups and/or stay with online groups-- its a huge wealth of knowledge at your finger tips!

You can also make your own profile pages that can be personalized and shared with friends and family (My WTE) or even follow your favorite (or find new) bloggers! Its all part of What to Expect's community.

What to Expect is giving away one of their books (winner's choice from below) to one lucky reader!

-What to Expect While Expecting
-What to Expect: the First Year
-What to Expect: the Second Year

To Enter-- sign up to become a member of What to Expect's site and leave a comment below telling me you did along with your email linked to the account. I'll email the winner when they are chosen!

extra entries (not mandatory):
-Follow The Riplet's Blog and comment below
-Like What to Expect on Facebook and comment below
-Follow What to Expect on Twitter and comment below
-Tweet about this giveaway (daily) and comment below

Giveaway is open for entries through December 30th at 11:59pm (EST).


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I wasn't paid to write this post, these are my honest opinions and may vary from your own. I did however, receive the items mentioned above at no cost to me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Potty Parties

We've spent the past few days (seems like months mommy says!) working on potty training. Let me tell you, I'd give anything to go back to diapers (and I've tried to talk mommy into it, believe me) but for some reason she and daddy have it in their heads that we need to learn this. I feel like its just such a pain to have to stop playing to actually "go".

Addie actually got to have a "potty party" and training first, just over a week ago. Jordan and I were really excited to attend the event since we didn't have to do anything yet benefited from it all. A potty party (for all of you wondering) is a big "potty day" where you get cupcakes for breakfast (okay, so mommy actually made us eat our real breakfast first) and then you get gifts to open which happen to be undies. Mommy tells you that you're big now and a speech (blah, blah, blah) and then you have to spend your day near the potty chair. Each time you go on the potty you get a treat or a present.

After Addie had a successful potty day, it was time for us boys to have one, too. We were both excited when we heard about the cupcakes and presents, but once we opened them and realized that they expected us to actually stop what we were doing and go potty it wasn't quite as much fun. Jordan got the swing of things fairly quickly, although he really tried to hold it in. I think he was hoping they'd give up and put a diaper back on him. I caught on right away, too but we both still had a few accidents on the floor.

My biggest issue (and it still is) is that I hate admitting I have to go potty. I'd much rather continue to play while doing the "potty dance" then actually going. That is until today, when I realized I can just bribe my mommy into giving me treats still for going. This is how is usually goes:

Mommy: "Jack do you have to go potty?"

Me: "NO!"

Mommy: "Are you sure? You are wiggling a lot."

Me: "NO! No potty!"

(a few minutes later)

Me: "I want a sucker."

Mommy: "Sure, if you go potty first"

As soon as she says that--all of a sudden I have to go. (tee hee)

Anyways- here's a few pictures from the loooong weekend of potty training. Mommy thought she was pretty lucky that she thought of getting pictures of us by the tree...because we couldn't move on her.


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Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Hunt for the Perfect Christmas Tree

Yesterday, mommy and daddy told us we were going to buy our Christmas tree for our living room. I have to say, I was pretty excited (so were my brothers) but I was a little surprised that we'd actually get to put one inside! I kinda thought that was just on the movies. Speaking of...we've been watching A LOT of Christmas movies this past week, so we know all about Christmas and baby Jesus being born on Christmas Day (mommy says thanks, Veggie Tales!). Right now, our absolute favorite one is The Toy That Saved Christmas. We ask for it every, single day and if we're lucky, we get to watch it more then once.

Anyways- back to our tree hunt. We got to pack up and go to a tree farm near our house to pick out exactly which tree we wanted. I was excited, because it seemed like it was a nice day outside. When we first arrived, we even got to see big horses pulling people around in a wagon!

After looking at the horses from a distance (the guy asked if we wanted to pet them and only mommy was crazy enough to do it!), we decided it was time to get down to business and pick out a Christmas tree. Here we are with daddy trying to decide. Jack obviously had a few ideas...

After just a few minutes of listening to Jack tell us his favorites, I wanted to go inside and warm up (it was colder then I thought it would be!). SO- I left my brothers in charge of making the decision.
Jordan got all flustered and couldn't decide so ultimately it was Jack's decision (along with daddy's persuading).

Once I knew the decision was made and daddy paid for it, I came back outside only to be fooled into a "group photo" by mommy. As soon as she pulled the camera out this is what happened- hehe...

After we paid for it, we all jumped into our SUV and waited for them to tie it to the top of it! Jordan laughed and laughed to think a tree was going to ride with us home.

Last night, we just put the tree in the stand and gave it some water. I love helping mommy give it water! This morning, we woke up and put lights and a star on it and then hung up our stockings for Santa to fill for us on Christmas Day! Here's our perfect Christmas tree.


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