Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We listened to A LOT of Christmas songs leading up to the actual holiday. I mean, A LOT. I kept meaning to get another Christmas CD or another few downloads from iTunes, but it never happened. As a result, we heard the same twenty Christmas songs over and over and over and over and ...

So as you can imagine, my kids now know twenty Christmas songs by heart. The CD we have has a mix of traditional and newer (read: Mariah Carey in all her glory) songs. One of their favorites (and I'm sure it has absolutely no correlation with the fact that this is the very first song on the CD) is this gem from 1994 by the one and only Mariah herself.

After hearing a lot of this song over the last few weeks, Sam and I had the following conversation the other day:

Sam: "Hey Mommy, did you know that girls want babies for Christmas? Isn't that funny?"

Me (startled because of all their interest in babies in people's tummies lately ... please don't tell me we even have to think of having a conversation related to THAT yet): "You mean like baby dolls?"

Sam: "No, Mommy. BABIES! Like in the song."

Me: "What song?"

Sam: "You know, All I Want For Christmas Is Yoooooooooou, Baby!"

Whew, crisis averted. No birds and the bees talk yet. Though we apparently need to chat about musical tastes when it comes to Christmas music ... or maybe just download some new Christmas songs.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Picture of the Week - December 25

Merry Christmas!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

John 3:16

Friday, December 23, 2011

Elf on the Shelf Friday

Johnny had fun during his last week here at the Clifford house. The kids have asked if he can stay, but I don't think Matt he wants the responsibility of having to move around to a new hiding place every day ... though it would be nice to enjoy some more of the "Johnny is watching you" behavior in the months to come. Maybe we can strike up a compromise ...

We experienced a bit of a cold snap earlier in the week (that, or maybe we forgot to turn the heat high enough) and Johnny decided to provide a little warmth of his own. The marshmallows were just his way of making the time pass a little faster I suppose (and don't worry, Johnny was safe and used a battery powered tea light instead of real fire).

Sunday was birthday party day at our house and I think Johnny got a little too excited with anticipation. The day of the party we found him sleeping the day away after a few too many candy canes and root beers.

And wouldn't you know it, the day after he partied his tail off he came down with the cold that the kids have been suffering from. I guess misery loves company.

This is the day I decided that Johnny has been hanging around our house just a little too long for my taste. It's one thing to comment on the cleanliness of the house, but you're going just a bit too far when you start doing something about it yourself.

Wednesday, the 21st, was Peyton, Sam, and Adah's 4th Birthday! And you know what they say about an elf's memory, right? Well, let's just say that Johnny made sure he didn't forget.

I guess even an elf is naughty every once and a while. And way to go Johnny for self-reprimanding yourself and putting your own elf self in timeout! Though I do think an entire day long timeout was a little on the excessive side. He must have done something really bad.

And finally, today we found Johnny hiding inside our Advent calendar. It seems he can't wait for December 25th to get here either. And he was kindly guarding the kids' Advent candy until they could eat it themselves. Such a nice elf!

 We're really going to miss Johnny when he heads back with Santa on his sleigh on Christmas Eve. But we're already excited to see him again next year and find out what kinds of fun things he'll have in store for us!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Four years ago today I was sitting in a hospital room in Florida with four fetal monitors strapped to my belly. It was impossible to sleep with all of the beeping, tension, and itching caused by all the velcro from those uncomfortable monitors.

I had been admitted to the hospital two days prior for a sudden increase in blood pressure and all signs were pointing to an urgent delivery sooner rather than later. Little did I know that I would be having an emergency c-section within the next few hours when it became clear that I was suffering from severe pre-eclampsia.

Those four short years ago I had no idea what my life would be like today. With healthy, thriving triplets and the addition of their little brother, it would be an understatement to call me blessed beyond measure.

I am amazed daily by a God who remains faithful to me and my family. He has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and I cannot imagine my life any other way than it is right now.

Peyton, Sam and Adah were our miracle babies. Children that we never thought we would have and definitely still do not deserve.

I look at them and see everything that is good about childhood, innocence, and wonder. They have taught me to be more loving, more grateful, more patient, and more resilient than I even thought that I could be.

Essentially, they have taught me to be MORE. More than I am or ever imagined I was capable of becoming. They are my inspiration and my daily reminder that, with God, all things are most definitely possible.

Happy Birthday my little miracles. I see His light shining through you each and every day and my constant prayer is that it will continue to grow bigger and brighter with each passing moment.

Hug, Kiss, Nose Kiss and a Tickle,


Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthday Madness

We spent this weekend fully immersed in birthday madness. We threw our first formal (well, the first one where we actually sent out invitations) birthday party for the triplets and we had a blast. I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking because 1) there are quite a few of them and 2) I'm still recovering from the whole event. Seriously, that half marathon a few weeks ago was a cakewalk (pun intended) compared to this thing.

We had to go with a gender neutral theme (obviously), so we opted for the Polar Express. The kids love the movie and it has the added bonus of being Christmas themed (and also because both Michael's and Party City put all of their Christmas party decor on sale 2 weeks before Christmas ... score!). We were able to use an awesome space at the university for the party, which was great. It had tons of room and lots of places for little kids to run - two things you are looking for when you have a bunch of 4 year olds and it's too cold to play outside.

We had all the tables set up with different activities.

If you can't tell from the pictures, we had a table to build mini marshmallow sculptures, a table to decorate foam cutouts with stickers, a decorate your own icing tree table, and a peppermint play doh table. The kids all seemed to have a great time and everyone had their favorite table that it was hard to pull them away from.

We also had food (of course ... I threw this party, remember?).

And of course a hot chocolate bar!

We also asked all of the kids to wear their pajamas (so no, I did not forget to dress them this morning ... though it did feel a little weird to take off one pair of pajamas just to put on another pair). The kids enjoyed just hanging out with their friends, moving from table to table, and munching on snacks and hot chocolate during the course of the afternoon.

The highlight of the party was singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles on the cupcakes!

All in all, it was an awesome day. The kids had loads of fun and even though I thought we were going to have a mid-party emergency stomach evacuation (from Luke, who had managed to eat his weight in mini marshmallows during his time at the marshmallow building station), we managed to avoid disaster. Let's keep those bodily fluids confined to home, right folks?!?

We also decided to have the triplets' guests bring toys for the Ronald McDonald House instead of gifts for them. They are going to receive plenty for Christmas, so it seems silly to ask for anything other than a donation to a great organization. Plus, we're really hoping to use it as a learning opportunity for the kids. You're never too young to learn to give to those less fortunate than yourself, both at Christmastime and at all times of the year. We'll be making a run to the Ronald McDonald House later this week and the kids are excited to go meet the other children and families there and to give them the gifts that were donated.

I can't believe on Wednesday that these kiddos will be 4!!! Where has the time gone?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Elf on the Shelf Friday

Having been a regular in the Clifford household for the past two weeks, Johnny has become quite accustomed to life with the PALS.

We've been experiencing an uncharacteristically mild December here in NC, and Johnny's blood is just too thick for our climate, so the kids found him exploring a clime more his style...

Johnny used some of his elf magic to turn the kids' milk green, which was a little bigger hit than mommy and daddy had bargained for. They now refuse to drink standard-issue white milk.

Johnny also managed to hack into daddy's laptop to sneak an email off to Santa.

The kids were very curious about the email - Johnny has really honed his correspondence skills.

We've noticed Johnny casting sideways glances toward the playroom, but we weren't sure what he was up to. Apparently Johnny's a sucker for tall, blonde, anatomically-skewed plastic dolls.

He also apparently like slices of pizza the size of his abdomen. Can't blame him.

The kids have been really wishing for snow this season, so Johnny figured he'd indulge them somewhat.

Johnny and Barbie are going on a second date, but he noticed he needed to work on his color before the big day.
He also decided to do his best impersonation of the Grinch.

The "My Little Ponies" might have been miscast, but Max the Dog is a dead ringer.

Finally, it seems that even elves have to do their business.

We can't wait to see what Johnny's up to this last week before he heads back up to the North Pole until next year. Stay tuned for his latest escapades in Winston Salem!