Monday, January 5, 2015

In the air there's a feeling of Christmas!

I realize that Christmas is over... but the fact that it is the first week in January and I have some December posts hitting the blog is quite impressive I think.  I realize that soon I need to tackle all the Christmastime photos, but for now, here are a variety of December pics capturing moments of our Advent season.  We really try not to do too much, so these photos are a glimpse at all of the events we do during the month.

The Christmas season starts with decorating our own house and then decorating at church.  We have a great team of helpers and we were basically done in a little over an hour this year.  Many hands make light work.  Having people my kids love there makes everything delightful!  

T: I love it when Bobbi holds me!
Church decorating day is always the first Saturday in December which is also the day of the local Christmas festival, parade, and fireworks.  The kids loved the parade, but were more focused on eating candy and being cold than much of the fireworks.

WOW!!!!!!  (A man with a hot air balloon fire thing was driving by.  It was impressive, but their faces of awe are priceless!)

Another December highlight for us is our Friday Night Group Christmas party.  We had a great time this year with lots of friends, food, gift exchanges and even a group game.  It was a special night!

You can tell it is a fun party when your entry way looks like this!

Kids gift exchange.

An intense game of Christmas Pictionary.

T's face in the gift she scored at the gift exchange! Slightly creepy.  Slightly like an ultra-sound image.

Church caroling and potluck night is one of our family's favorite nights.  The kids love riding on a big bus.  We all love the sounds of the voices mixing and the joy in the eyes of those we carol to.  Johnny is always a highlight for us.  He sings to us and with us each year.  While we do bless many residents, we get much more than we give!  Food with friends at church is a great way to end the night.

Johnny and our dear friend Doris!

Yummy potluck!

OK confession... the following photos are actually from November... early November I think.  It is the only time that it has snowed here so it must be from then.  As I type this (on January 2nd) we are still waiting for snow.  There is some in the forecast for tomorrow so we will see if it actually happens.  My Christmas trees are still up waiting for a white Christmas. :) 

Back to the photos... One Sunday morning in November M woke up at 4:40 to see this lovely site.  I managed to keep him in bed until 5:30, but he was outside shoveling the 1/4 inch of snow well before 6:00am.  By the time we went to church he had been outside a couple of times and T had also spent time outside.  The kids were in full winter gear and ready for snow balls and snowmen and angels etc.  We are hoping for enough snow to sled soon!

Please note all of the photos were taken from our back door.  Yahoo, my kids have gotten to the age where I can let them play outside in the snow while I watch from the warm house.  Don't worry, I will do plenty of sledding, but on a busy Sunday morning, not having to put on snow gear was pretty delightful!

The first photos were with a flash... it was just that dark!
Look at that hard work! Can you say Sensory OT?  It was an awesome morning!

M: I have this shoveling thing down!
Later that morning...

M: Come on T, let's wave to other classes.  T: I love watching people at church!

T: Snow is for eating, right?

T: Tastes good!

M: This is a little tricky with snow!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Early Winter Photo Catch Up!

This post is full of my kids being their crazy beautiful and fun selves.  There is no pattern to it, except cuteness!  Enjoy!

T: We match!  (Her dog's right ear came off!)

Jumping for joy at Playland!

M: I am really good at balancing!  M is using a homemade balance bike hoping to be on two wheels in the spring!

T: I love read to my baby! (She is such a sweet little mama)

M: Mommy look what I am doing!  (I was making breakfast)

One proud boy and one proud mama!

Kids: What is happening here?  (It looks like the aftermath of a storm, but really they just spread straw over new grass seed.)

M: I made an "eye" and an "i" and a "hi"

T: I going to jump over this!

The game of Life is really just about filling cars and spinning dials!
M: I really have to focus!

M: I did it!!!  (After no interest in puzzles this is a huge step for him!)

M: I love heavy work! (Sensory OT the home edition)

T: Heavy work is heavy!

T:  I just reading (This is how a sensory seeker reads a book, those are the inserts from M's boots)

M: This is the life!  (The Christmas issue of Oriental Trading was adored for several days!)

Is a second pic overkill?  Maybe, but you don't know how much he adored this thing!

M: YeeHaw I am an Ethiopian Cowboy!  (theme at iGnite)

T: I am an ever moving cow girl!

T: Who is ready to work out?

T:  I brushed my hair all by myself!

M: New GF play-doh is the best!

M: I like to keep Daddy's office board looking happy!

A sleeping T and some of her babies!

M: I am sharing my chair with T!  T: M shared with me!  I happy!

T: I got dressed all by myself!  (PJ pants, upside down socks, skirt, and T-shirt in cold temps, but all by herself)

T: I love paint when M at school!
There is only one way that I can get dinner started before Brandon gets home.  That is recruiting my kids to help in some way.  If I can get M stirring, he will continue for quite a while.  He doesn't take any chances on steam hitting him as you can see in the photo below.
M: Helping mommy cook is an intense job!

T: Yay!  M holding me!  M: I am a great brother.  (A moment that needed to be recorded!)

The below photos are from the kids time playing/working with Daddy in the work room.  I was upstairs blissfully washing dishes so I didn't experience all of this first hand, but I am so thankful they have an amazing dad to teach them about tools and safely and fun.

M: Is this the way it goes Dad? 

M: OK T, let's build a house!  T: OK!

T: This is really powerful!

T: Now I need to make it smooth.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

Brandon's parents came to town for a long Thanksgiving weekend.  We enjoyed 3.5 days together.  Tom and Judy came armed with many wonderful things to do!  Judy brought some of her science things which led to 100's of vinegar and baking soda volcanoes which led to a trip to the store for more baking soda and vinegar :) They also brought some craft project things for the kids to make as Christmas presents for us.  Tom and Judy kept the kids busy for an hour working on their creations.  They were so proud to present them to us and help us open them.  They are not totally understanding of the "gift" part of them as they are now in each of their rooms.  Tom and Judy also took the kids swimming to the Y and to an indoor play area called Just for Fun.  It was such a blessing to have all this added help and a lightened load.  I was able to go to my discipleship group one morning and make a shopping trip another morning.  They even took the kids to play at church while I prepped the Thanksgiving feast so there was lots of good "mommy time" that happened over the 3.5 days.

M did an awesome job coloring this gift bag!
The kids were very eager for us to open the packages!
T: I wonder what could be inside?

TaaDaa!!!!  The kids made snowmen out of socks and rice and rubber bands.  They were so proud!

T: I just put in a TINY bit of chapstick mommy!

T with the Chapstick that just became hers!

M:  This is incredible!!!  Grandma Judy enjoying Science with M!

T: What is happening?
M:  I am going to beat you Grandpa Tom (races in the church nursery)

Reading books in the nursery!

Round two!

T: I can pour it too!

The kids LOVED experiments!

T: I can read it to you.  That me, that my brother, that my bed, I sleep on my bed, that my pillow, that my blanket.