Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

The kiddos talked us into opening gifts on Christmas Eve.  We had a great time opening gifts and enjoying all of the toys, games, books, and goodies.
The next morning brought us a white Christmas and a stomach bug.  The bug wasn't too bad, but we all stayed home.  We played, plowed and just enjoyed the day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Treats and the zoo!

After our gingerbread day we got to work making other treats for Christmas.  Some of the little girls wanted to make Christmas Mice.  They didn't end up turning out so great, but they sure had a great time putting them together.

Mr. R made "muddy buddies" one of his favorites and daddy's too.

Miss E made up some sugar cookies and we had fun decorating them in the evening.

We took advantage of the zoo pass that great-grandma gave the kids this year and went up to see the zoo lights.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Gingerbread day

Today was our gingerbread day.  Miss E spent the day mixing up, rolling out, cutting out, and baking gingerbread men.  I did most of the icing, but I had plenty of little helpers too.

Mr. R and Mr. S spent the morning building gingerbread houses for everyone as well as themselves.  Miss E took a bit of a break from her gingerbread men to build her own "house."

Mr. M had a blacksmithing class to go to in the morning.

In the late afternoon everyone got to decorate their houses.

We even kept the gingerbread theme with gingersnap chicken for dinner.  YUM!

*We know that God is sovereign and that He directs our paths each day, but today He showed us that very clearly in the course he set for us.  We had dinner plans to go to friends' home for this evening.  In the morning they let me know that something came up and needed to reschedule.  We easily adjusted our plans and went about our day.  Around the time we would have been getting ready to go I got a call.  It was my neighbor.  Her husband had fell from a ladder and was injured, he needed help and she wasn't home.  Rob was out the door in a minute followed quickly by Miss E.  I quickly gave instructions, here at home to the older boys, and then ran over there too.  His wife was home shortly and took him to the ER while we took their boys to our house to play for the evening.  The boys had made extra gingerbread houses, so we had plenty to go around.  These little boys that had just seen their daddy get hurt got to spend a happy evening playing with their friends and decorating gingerbread houses reassured that their daddy was in good hands and being well cared for.

I'm super proud of my kids.  Everyone did just what they needed to in this emergency.  Miss E didn't bat an eye at being sent over to help daddy with the situation.  She helped with the little kids over there and also helped me get things cleaned up.  At home Mr. R did great taking over watching little ones (who also did great by staying calm and playing nicely), Mr. M and Mr. S took over my dinner prep and got it all in the oven.  We were thankful that God gave us this opportunity to serve our sweet friends and neighbors.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Snow day!

We thought we were just getting a dusting with our super cold weather (-8), but we got a bit more than that.  Mr. M was excited that there was enough that he could help daddy plow.

We cuddled inside and enjoyed Christmas Movies.

Later in the day a Nerf war happened downstairs.  Meanwhile, upstairs.... chocolate, White Christmas, and homemade doughnuts happened.  I was more than happy to be upstairs. ;)

Miss E even made me a Paleo Apple Fritter adapted from a recipe in this book.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas School Days!

This past week we've slowly eased into our Christmas break.  We're not quite off yet, but we're also not doing school as usual.  There's been a field trip (Just Miss E and Mr. a castle).  We've been reading Christmas books and watching Christmas movies.  We've even started pulling out yummy treats.
Miss F decided that this was yummy and finished off my mug.

We've been doing a fair bit of de cluttering and organizing.  We can get quite a bit done if each of us puts in 15 minutes a day.  Closets and drawers are cleaned out and organized!
The nursery closet was quite a mess.  We pulled all of their "treasures" from the floor of their closet and got it all cleaned out and put away where it belongs.

We've enjoyed playing some games too.

And there's also just plain old silly happening.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

December 1st and 2nd we got the house all decorated for Christmas so we'd be all ready for our guest.  Uncle C was coming for a Saint Nickolas feast!

The kids had a great time playing with Uncle C.

Rob and the bigger kids took him up to check out The Academy.

After a quick, fun week-end together we enjoyed a German feast before Uncle C needed to take off.  It was a nice visit and we're thankful he took the time to get out here.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

9 months!

Miss F is 9 months old!  Yikes!  Time is just flying by with her and she's doing her best to keep moving.  She's got crawling down, and she's FAST.  Now she's working on pulling up/standing.  I've seen her pull up on furniture on her own a couple of times.  She randomly lets go when we're helping her stand.  She seems sure she's got this too....I have no doubt she'll be a pro soon, in the mean time we're keeping a close eye/hand on her.

Her smile and laugh are infectious.  The sight of one of her people is all it takes to bring a big smile to her face, which then also ends up on everyone around her as well.  Mr. R is her favorite big brother, he gets the biggest grins.  He MUST greet her every morning; if he passes by without a hug and a cuddle she will cry (this routine is repeated throughout the day).

She loves bright colors best.  She discovered Mr. K's Captain America bear and was sure it must be hers (her bear is brown, that is boring).  As evidence that she's got us all wrapped around her little finger...Mr. K didn't mind sharing one bit.

She recently went on her first road trip, she wasn't a fan.  This confirmed what we already knew; she's a homebody.  She loves being at home among her people.  She loves her bed.  She's a content little girl, but she's most content when she gets to play and explore in her own space.
While she usually does well in the car, such a long drive was asking a bit much.  She was so happy to get out and crawl around in the hotel room.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving (and a road trip)

It had been several years since the whole family had been put it in context, I think we've had 3 kids since the last extended family get together.  Thanksgiving happened to work out for us and we trusted/hoped that weather would not interfere with an eastward bound trip.  The trip was broken up into two days (each way).  Several kids were VERY excited at the thought of getting to stay in a hotel.  Miss F was just happy to be free of the carseat and able to crawl around.

Loads of fun was had by all.

All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth!  Due to an unfortunate run in with a bannister she lost one of those front teeth just a bit earlier than expected. 

Saying "goodbye" to aunt, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  Is Mr. R taller than grandad?  Maybe not quite. :) 

Miss E has been studying cathedrals and stained glass in her art class.  Her tudor suggested that a cathedral that was along our way may be a fun stop.  We all enjoyed the stop and getting to enjoy not only the art, but the stories of Christ's life that the pieces told.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Operation Christmas Child!

It's that time of year again!  Time to go shopping and fill up those boxes for children elsewhere that may not otherwise receive anything for Christmas this year.  Collection week is November 14-21 (I believe, it is here).  Look up your local drop points and give them a call to verify dates and times.

In years past we've matched funds with the kids to do 2-3 shoeboxes per child in our family.  This year it became evident that they've got this.  They'd been quietly stuffing their jar all year long.  They earned this money.  They paid for all of it; plus had some cash left over to donate to other needs.  I'm so thankful that the Holy Spirit has been working in their hearts to cultivate and attitude of cheerful giving.

I do not share to brag, but to spur others on to love and good deeds.  "....and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."  Hebrews 10:24-25   

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Support the Pizza Party!

My kids saw these shirts (if you can't read them, they say "Proud Supporter of the Pizza Party") a couple of months ago and asked for them, and then wanted to have a Pizza Party on election day.  That seemed like a good party to get behind this year. :0

Miss E put together the invitations.  We're in a co-op that meets every Tuesday.  We made it easy and just let each kid invite one family.  We've got a lot of kids. Some of our friends have lots of kids.  It looks like there will be a good turn out.

The kids did all of the clean-up, set-up, and prep work/decorating.  We're buying the pizza and soda.  Now, don't go thinking we took this election lightly or skipped out on the real voting.  Nope, we just thought we'd also try to make some lemonade out of the lemons we were given. ;)

No matter how things turn out, The King of Kings is on His throne.  Our trust is in HIM as His children.

For kingship belongs to the LORD, and He rules over the nations. Psalm 22;28