Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Celestial Wonder

Not only is there the excitement of New Year's Eve in the McClintock household, but tonight the planets Jupiter, Mercury and Venus align with the moon! Now, if you have a 4yr old boy who is totally into space and the planets, you will know why this is so exciting.

"Venus, brighter than all other planets and stars, will dangle just below the thin crescent moon in the southwestern sky. It'll be visible -- impossible to miss, in fact -- just as the sun goes down, assuming skies are cloud-free.
Soon thereafter, Mercury and Jupiter will show up hugging the south-southwestern horizon (just above where the sun went down) and extremely close to each other. Jupiter is very bright and easy to spot; Mercury is faint and harder to see, but it'll be apparent by its location just to the left of Jupiter." (Robert Britt

Venus, we spotted right away from our front yard. (the pictures above) Ristow was ecstatic! Unfortunately trees block our view of the sunset so Christopher and Ristow headed off in the car in search of Ristow's favorite planet- Jupiter!

Upon their arrival home I heard of great exploring and the perfect hill where they could see the planets in the sky.

What an exciting new year lies ahead, full of learning, enjoying God's amazing creation and being together!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

4yr old + roll of toilet paper + mom in the shower =

It actually went all down the hallway and around through the kitchen too!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Excitement

Christmas Eve was wonderful for us. We went to Christmas Eve service and Ristow was precious, singing songs and wishing everyone Merry Christmas, he even got to hold his own candle during the candle lighting. He was very proud of himself. Then when we got back to the house, he couldn't wait to set out cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. (something he had been wanting to do for the last three days straight)
It took him a long time to fall asleep, too excited I guess. He came out of his room numerous times and about 10pm finally gave in. We had a great time of fondue and conversation with family and headed for bed.
Well, when staying at Christopher's parents house, we sleep downstairs in their basement, Ristow sleeps in the room on the main level by Grandma and Grandpa. (Normally this is a fabulous setup as they tend to watch him in the mornings so we can sleep in.) But I was so afraid that I was going to miss him getting up and seeing his stocking and the empty cookie plate. I woke up at 3:30am and couldn't fall back to sleep. I don't think I have been that excited on Christmas Eve since the 2nd grade. Finally around 5am I got up, Amy's husband Todd was up too, so we chatted and headed upstairs to make some hot cocoa and coffee. Then followed Christopher's mom Beth, then Christopher around 6am. Soon C's dad Paul joined us too. Ofcourse Todd decided to wakeup Amy as it had become a family affair, waiting for Ristow to rise. Ristow usually sleeps til about 6 or 6:30. Christmas morning he decided to sleep til 7:30.

We all had a wonderful morning together and Ristow was so excited to see his note from Santa and open his presents. The space shuttle with boosters and a fuel tank had finally arrived!
We had a great dinner and headed to Nana's for more presents and dessert. Nana had been secretly making mittens for the entire family since August. What a fun surprise! Thanks everyone for a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

4yr Old Wisdom

While visiting Christopher's family here in Ohio, we were driving to Nana's house and talking with Ristow about relationships between the different people in the family. (like Grandpa is Daddy's Dad and Nana is Christopher's grandma) Confusing for an adult let alone a 4yr old.

From the back seat Ristow says " Nana is Daddy's grandma, where's your Grandma?". Caught totally off guard I tell him she is up in heaven with Jesus. The reply of " Is she dead?" brought unforeseen tears to my eyes. I tell him yes and he asks "Why is she dead?", luckily Christopher took that one and explained that God decided it was her time to join him in heaven. Ristow pauses for a moment and then looks at me and smiles. "Mom, I know, Nana can be your Grandma now!" With tears running down, I smile back and say yes Ristow you are right, what a great idea. I thank him and we get out of the car at Nana's house.

Christopher's Grandma was delighted at the story when we told her and made sure to give me an extra hug, full of the same type of Godly love my own Grandma would have given. I am blessed to have and to have had such amazing women love me and call me granddaughter.
Thank you Ristow for reminding me of my blessings.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

School Christmas Program

Well today was our preschool Christmas program and I am glad to say that all went great. Ristow has become so much more comfortable in front of people and loves to sing to anyone that will listen. His class sang, sweet little baby jesus boy and jingle bells. It was really cute. I am so proud of him. He has been singing around the house for weeks in preparation for the program. Now, I am sure he will keep singing just the songs will probably change.

Yesterday his teacher asked me if he sings at home a lot. Yes, I said, why do you ask? She said he was in the bathroom just singing away on the toilet yesterday and lately he just breaks into song anytime he is in the bathroom. (They always say the acoustics are better in there). ;)
I absolutely loves that he enjoys singing, hopefully he develops a better singing voice than me. he he

Sunday, December 14, 2008


One thing I can tell you about Ristow is that when you talk about giving to people who have less than he does, his interest perks and he wants to do something right away.
When he got some birthday money, he talked about giving some to God and sharing some with other people. The other night he wanted to wrap all the presents he got for his Birthday so that he would have presents to give to his friends for Christmas.
Sometimes it is hard to explain things to him and get him to understand how giving and receiving work, but the desire is definitely there. I really want to take advantage of this giving attitude and let him do something that he can see and feel in his heart. We have put money in the salvation army kettle and he comes home beaming, talking about how he is helping kids who don't have anything. I am just trying to think of what else we can do that we really touch him. Any ideas would be appreciated.
I pray that all of you are touched this holiday season by allowing God to use you to share his love to those around you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Go Away

Well, we finally experienced it. The moment I truly and really realized that Ristow is his own person and sometimes I just can't fix what's wrong.
There have been many nights where Ristow is in a foul mood or overly tired and very cranky. Well the other night was one of those nights. He unfortunately ended up in time out a few times for not obeying while we were trying to get him to bed. By the end of the frustrating ordeal. He was mad at us and all he wanted to do was to go to bed by HIMSELF. So we said goodnight in the hallway and he shut his door and went to bed.
Well, I stood outside the door listening and after a little while decided I would go in and check on him and kiss him goodnight. He was asleep when I went it, so I leaned over and kissed him on the head. Boy, was that a mistake. He woke up enough to tell me to "Go Away" and that he didn't want me. Those words, I am learning, can break a mom's heart. I guess sometimes we all just need to be alone and we can't always go to bed happy and peaceful. I was just hoping that didn't start this early in his life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Fudge Maker

For many years, my mom has carried on a long tradition of fudge making in my family. It is absolutely great fudge. Her fudge is widely known by family and friends who request shipments of it for Christmas around the country. It makes appearances at Christmas parties, cookie exchanges and dad's work. Once you've had it, you'll eagerly await the next holiday season just to have it again. Now, she will tell you there is nothing special, it is just the recipe on the back of the marshmallow jar, but don't be fooled.

This week I have been learning the art of mom's fudge and I have come to understand that it is no mere recipe, it is a beautiful expression of love. Now, of course, I made a little fun as she was showing me the exact way to stir and the exact way to spoon in the ingredients, but when I strayed from the formula the fudge balanced on a slippery slope. She truly has a certain way that everything has to go that make the fudge come out just right.

This year there is a new flavor, chocolate peanut butter layered. yum yum. The only trick is that both flavored batches need to be ready to pour at the exact same time. This is how I got into the game. I was in charge of the chocolate and am proud to say that it passed the test.
I know the importance of passing down family traditions and I am thrilled to be learning the art of fudge. I have much practice ahead of me and all I can say is I hope that when it is my turn to take over the tradition, mom passes down the infamous pan and the magic spoon in her will. ;)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Two Nights of Baking Cookies

As I think I have mentioned before, Ristow LOVES baking cookies. We do the store bought dough, because it is faster, roll it out with some flour and cut out shapes with our plethora of cookie cutters. Then, of course, we have to decorate them before they go into the oven and then wait impatiently till they are done. It is a highly valued family project that means the world to the little man.

So, last night Mommy and Ristow made cookies. We delicately cut out our snowmen and bells and had a great time with the sprinkles. Saving Daddy a cookie when he got home from work. Ristow was proud of his accomplishment and was so excited to show them off. It was wonderful sweet time together.

Tonight it went slightly different... tonight Ristow and Daddy made cookies together while Mom made dinner. Now Ristow and Dad making cookies includes things like Homer Simpson references every time they had to roll the dough (DOH!) and lots of grunting and laughing at silly jokes. It was amusing to watch, but just reminded me how different men and women are, and how important that time with Dad is. Even if I tend to roll my eyes when they high five each other at their bodily functions. I am always thankful for family time together.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Season of Giving

Recently my sister-in-law Suzannah posted a blog about the Advent conspiracy, basically the idea of giving to those who really need vs giving needless things to those who don't. She said that really there wasn't anything that she needed for Christmas so the necessity for presents wasn't there. Instead she urged people to give of their time and love to one another. (Check it out for a better explanation)

Anyway, when she and Jim were down here for Thanksgiving, they gave me my Christmas present. Zan had made me a beautiful picture. It was something so simple and so heartwarming. I love it so much and really just feel a mixture of excitement and peace when I look at it. She took the time to do something that would mean a great deal to me and use it as my Christmas gift. I just wanted to thank her and let other people know how simple a touching gift can be, and not have to be bought. (By the way, the picture is a collage of pictures and cards that she has gotten, thoughtfully put together in this great display)

Ristow's 4th Birthday

Wow! What a great birthday! Ristow smiled and cheered nonstop from the moment he woke up and wanted me to sing Happy Birthday to him, to the moment he went to bed with his new space flashlight. It was a very full day.

At school Ristow took in little packs of m&m's for his friends. His teacher said they sang to him once and he looked like he loved it so much that they decided to sing to him a second time.

After school, we packed up the cake and balloons and headed to pump-it-up, the inflatable party place. They provide the party room, ice cream, pizza, paper products and just about everything you need. It was so great and completely stress free for me. The first 30min the 8 4yr olds bounced and slid and jumped like there was no tomorrow! Then the next 30min we headed to the second bounce room for more fun. Then to the party room for pizza and presents. Ristow was in heaven as he stood there getting ready to eat rocketship cake with all his buddies singing Happy Birthday to him.
(Boy, does he love that song)

The staff was great and I was totally relaxed and had a fun time, Christopher and I even got to bounce! Who could ask for more?
At the end of the day, with the living room strewn with rocketship parts and birthday cards, I was so thankful for the 4yr old boy that God has blessed me with. His joy and excitement for everything in life is so infectious, he makes the people around him appreciate those things so much more.
Happy Birthday Little Man!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I truly feel like gratitude was a real and major focus of my weekend. I am so thankful for an amazing time with family and the willingness of my brother and his family to come down to Nashville and share with us. It was a time of blessing, laughter, love and sharing. I loved the time I got to spend just catching up and enjoying everyone. It was great to see my parents smile the entire Thanksgiving holiday too. They really seemed to enjoy having both of their kids together. Thank you to all my family for making it an extra special Thanksgiving.

Ristow just loves his Uncle Jimmy so much and just gets so excited playing with him. He also did very well with his cousin Dylan. Only a few bursts of the green eyed monster peaking through. Jimmy and Suzannah gave Ristow his birthday present while they were here and let me tell you... huge success. I model of the human body torso that Ristow just loved, as you can see from the picture. We also celebrated Dylan's birthday while they were here. It was a very celebratory weekend.

What a great time! I am truly thankful.

My Little Man

My little boy is looking big to me. I can't believe he will be four yrs old tomorrow.