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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Adventures in Believing in Santa

Because of our circumstances this year, we chose not to get gifts for our children or each other. We chose not to go into debt over a few gifts that the girls probably wouldn't remember even in a few years from anyway. I guess the first part is a bit of a lie; in a previous month we budgeted in some money to buy books from the Scholastic book club through Adelynne's school, and then I spent $13 at the dollar store buying them a couple of useful items that I know they'll not only love, but will actually get a lot of use out of them (pencil crayons, markers, etc.).

For me this decision was both easy and difficult. Easy because Ben and I have chosen and believe that by becoming financially free, we will be able to bless our children (and others for that matter) with far better things than a few toys that will be forgotten about in a few years to come. Difficult because Adelynne has been showing this absolute love for Christmas. I want to give her a full, joyous Christmas, where she experiences all aspects of Christmas, and as a mom, part of that is giving a gift to her. I wanted to bless her with something that I knew would make her heart happy. I was trying to fit in the time to make the kids something, but with looking after the 3 munchkins, trying to keep up with house-wife role, as well as trying to complete my 2nd module for school, it just wasn't working out so well. However I was doing the best I could with giving her a full Christmas experience: we have a decorated tree (that she helped decorate), I've been showing her all of the lovely Christmas cards we received, we've been doing our Advent activities, and we've been talking about how Christmas is actually Jesus' birthday and how we're going to have a party for Him. And the girls we're blessed with a couple of gifts from not only their Grammy & Grandpa, but also a good friend of mine and her parents; so really, they weren't going to be empty handed come Christmas morning!!

As most know, Christmas Eve can be a really busy day, and our home was no exception: a good cleaning up needed to be done (mostly that darn kitchen - I am patiently waiting for the day where I once again can enjoy the beauty of a dishwasher!), a pie and a birthday cake was to be baked, errands had to be taken care of, showers had to happen, some school work was on the agenda and a Christmas Eve service was not to be missed! Oh our plans! And oh how it is rare that our plans ever stay what we plan.

Adelynne ended up falling off the couch some how (I'm not sure of the details here as I didn't see it, I just heard the crying) and hurt herself so bad we decided that Ben should take her to the emergency room. This is exactly what we were secretly hoping for on Christmas Eve: to spend hours in the emergency room (mind you this isn't the first time since Ben & I have been married that we've done that...) UGH. Off Ben and Adelynne went to sit and enjoy some quality time together, and to leave me with the mass amount of dishes, dessert duty, running the errands, showering, homework, and making sure we're out the door on time for the 4pm service. Well, most of the dishes got done, one pie was made, the errands got run, I squeezed in a shower, and we made it to the 6pm service! But that wasn't without some excitement...

Once Ben and Adelynne got home from the hospital (broken collar bone, I'll write more about her story tomorrow), we began to hurry to get ready to go. Showering, eating, getting dressed. In the middle of getting Adelynne dressed, the doorbell rang, and I assumed that it was my friend who was going to be dropping some stuff off coming by early, but to our great surprise it was not.

There was a man at our door, dressed in a red suit, a red hat with bells on it, with a big giant white beard, carrying a very full red sack. We're pretty sure he told Ben his name was Pete, but the girls recognized this man as, yep, Santa Clause. The interesting thing about this, well, I guess there's more than one interesting thing about it, but, we've chosen not to "do" Santa in our house. I've been working on teaching Adelynne about not only the reason why we celebrate Christmas, but who Saint Nicholas really was, so when Santa showed up at my door, I was a little taken aback.

So down sits Santa, the girls not afraid of him because he had presents in his bag, and he starts pulling out presents, and he continues to pull out presents. He gave five gifts to each girl, four to Uriah, and one each to Ben and I. Crazy. He also gave me a card, with no signed name. Everything was from Santa. Ben was trying to figure out if he knew this man, and since he didn't he assumed I would but I too hadn't any idea who this man was.

While Ben and I have tried to guess who it was that came - as we know that there were really only a small amount that kind of knew about our Christmas choices this year, and not that many actually know where we live, as I usually put down our mailing address for everything - Adelynne believes that a real Santa came to her house. She doesn't think about how it's just a man dressed up in a suit, she believes that there are many real Santa's, like the one in the movie we watched, and the one she sings about, and the one who actually showed up at her house.

As I watch my little, beautiful, three year old daughter, I ponder the things that she believes because she is a child. The magic and beauty of Christmas. The awe and wonder. The excitement and thrill. A few Christmas's ago I was struck with incredible story of Christ, our Saviour, born as baby, wrapped in the same cloths that they wrapped the dead in. This babe, our gift, from our Heavenly Father. And now, this Christmas, I am amazed and struck with the blessing of Christmas. Christmas truly is a time of year for awe and wonder. God doesn't always choose to bless us in ways that we think He should, but rather, He chooses to bless us in ways that He knows are not only best for us, but in ways that draw us closer to Him. I draw closer to Him as He has called to me, as He as chose to honour our financial decision, and as He chose to fulfill the desires of my heart through a child-like manner. So thank You Jesus, for sending Santa Clause.

Our first "Santa Picture" 
My hope & prayer for each of you this Christmas is to experience the true meaning of Christmas through the eyes of a child. May you be blessed, and once again believe in the magic of Santa.


 Hugs for Santa!

Our very full Christmas Tree


Merry Christmas to you all!
Love, The Little Schartner Family xo

Friday, December 5, 2014

Adventures in a Third Birth


Three weeks ago today our newest family member joined us. Making his grand entrance on November 14, 2014 at 4:14 a.m. on a chilly Friday morning, Uriah Johann Gabriel weighed 7lbs 10oz. He came quickly, like the other two, letting me know that he was ready to come out at 12:33 a.m. and then once he was really ready, he joined us within a matter of 2-3 minutes. I for one am
extremely grateful for how quickly, and I guess one could say, efficiently, my little babies decide to join us on the outside.

We had assumed that Uriah would decide to join us early like his big sisters did; it wasn't until closer to his due date that we had learnt of the "wild-card rule" of the third baby. I would have loved to have heard of this "rule" much earlier as we were really hoping that he would arrive early!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Adventures In Three's

Birthday girl!
Last month we celebrated our oldest daughter turning THREE. I am most certainly a typical parent when I say "I can't believe I have a three year old! She's just growing so fast!" But it's true. There are many days when I am in disbelief over this fact. She's ridiculously talkative and really smart. Loves music, singing and make up her own songs. She adores dolls, princesses, and the colour pink. She has fun blowing bubbles and playing in water. She now has a new love for swimming with her daddy. She's fascinated with books and will become your best friend if only you'll sit and read to her. She loves the Berenstain Bears, Franklin, and Fancy Nancy. She loves being fancy and playing outside in her dresses. She squeezes her sister too hard out of love. She also will throw away her toy if she doesn't want her sister to take it from her (somewhere were her sister can't get it). She desires to do more crafts and currently loves her giant book of stickers. She's learning to actually colour within lines. She thinks watching movies is one of the best things to do. She loves camping and digging in the sand. She has the best laugh and comes up with some of the funniest things to say. She makes us smile with all of her made up songs and how shy she gets when asked to tell a joke. She loves going to church and playing in her classroom. She's eager to have more friends. She has a thirst for learning. She thinks being cozy is pretty awesome. She brings joy to all she meets. She is full of energy and wiggles and wiggles and wiggles. She'll tell you her hair is golden-red if you ask. She loves quinoa, pancakes, and her magnesium drink. She loves new things and is particular. She adores her daddy and loves being chased and tickled by him. She craves quality time the most.
We have a three year old. A three year old who is fascinating and delightful and a bundle of joy.  

Camping joys
We were finally able to go camping for THREE days this summer. Beautiful, stress-free, technology-free, relaxing camping. The girls really enjoyed being out in nature, just getting to play and hang out with mommy & daddy all day. It was so lovely to just spend some quality time together, actually playing as a family. I think it's pretty safe to say that those three days were/are some our favourite days during this three months of summer. Watching the girls take pleasure in playing outdoors seems to bring a peace to the soul. Kids can be a lot of work at times, and therefore I love those beautiful moments; they're grounding and they seem to just melt the rest of the world away. 

We are, Lord willing, going to be visiting family and friends in THREE short months! We chose not to visit this summer, but are very much looking forward to a visit and a fantastic wedding celebration in the early winter. We actually love parties (well, Ben & the girls do, I actually love the celebrating part...) so Ady is very excited to wear a fancy dress and be a flower girl for the first time for lovely God-parent and I am excited to watch this joyous occasion happen!! 

6 Months!
Another exciting event is going to be happening in THREE very short months: we're adding our THIRD child to the Little Schartner Family bundle! Yep! We are all quite excited about our little one who is going to be joining us very shortly. I have had the most perfect pregnancy that any woman could ever ask for and am very, very grateful for that. It's a wonderful feeling, knowing that after this one comes into the world, we will be entering into the last of this baby stage, and then entering into a whole new one. 

We hope that you've been enjoying your summer as much as we have ours! Below are just a few more pictures of our short, but delightful summer :) 


Enjoying some time at the lake :)
Ady loves her stickers!!
Lexi got a new-to-her toddler bed!
I leave for not even 5min...
Enjoying our $5 purchase
Enjoying some time in our homemade pool
Such delight
Getting "Thank-You" Bags ready for her party


Kiddie rides all by herself at WEM!



Loving river time!




Reading books together

Park Joy



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Adventures in Gardening

While living in the trailer last year had its trying times, there was actually several wonderful things that came from it, one of which was coming across the house we are currently living in. This house is quite the step up from our previous places we had rented. For starters, its an actual full house, that we get all to ourselves. We have ample room now, as well as a large and gorgeous backyard. It's so incredibly wonderful having a large fenced backyard; the girls go outside and play often; we have a fire pit area; we have a shed, we have little flower gardens, and best of all we have a decent sized garden that we planted lots of yummy veggies in!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Adventures in a Year Gone By - Babes Growing Like Weeds

If you have any children, you really know the meaning of "time flies." There are some days where I am completely shocked by the fact that I have a nearly 3 year old daughter, and a 13 month old daughter. This past year in particular seems to have just disappeared on me. I mean, Little Lex is already a year old?!? I feel like I can hardly remember the things that have happened during the past year!

But, I know that a lot has happened during the past year. My girls are growing and changing daily. Little Lex is now walking and talking and throws tantrums that I'm not sure whether to laugh at or...send her to her bedroom...??