Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Belated Christmas Gift

Eric surprised me with a slightly belated Christmas gift this year...he bought me a mini-van! I'm so excited about it! It is very nice, and it is my favorite color: forest green! We have been talking about doing this for a while, but we didn't think it was a necessary purchase until just recently. We found out that Eric is going to be working a lot of crazy hours because he will be covering for his co-workers who are having to take three weeks off this upcoming quarter. Crazy hours are hard for planning activities such as piano practice, church, Master Club, Kids' Club, swim lessons, etc. Now, we don't have to wait for Eric to get home from work to be able to go to all of those activities! I'm looking forward to Library trips, Zoo trips, Museum trips, and other field trips to enrich our education! Also, the kids are relieved to not be squished like sardines anymore in the backseat of our Taurus! ;-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Love the gifts!

The kids had fun opening their gifts, as you can tell from the pics! Thanks to all of the grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and other family members that made it such a special and fun time!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Reason

We just celebrated Christmas, and we tried to keep the true meaning of the Holiday (holy day) at the forefront of our minds. We read about the first Christmas in the Bible and also in our favorite "Family Time Bible Stories" book. With all the hustle and bustle, it is still important to us that we pass down to our children the fact that God has given us the greatest gift of all: Salvation through Jesus Christ!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Family Birthday Party

Today we had the family birthday party for Becca and Sam! We invited Eric's Dad, Karma, Ryan, Julie, Lance, and Liam. We all enjoyed watching Becca and Sam open their gifts, and then we really enjoyed watching Sam eat his very first frosted birthday cupcake!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Dresses

Here are the girls wearing the Christmas dresses that their grandparents from Texas bought for them! Aren't they cute? They both had Christmas parties in their Sunday School classes today. They brought home a lot of neat little Christmas crafts and goodies! Christy told me that she wants to make thank-you cards for her Sunday School teachers because they gave her so many neat little gifts. I'm glad that my children are thankful and thoughtful.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last Day

Today is our last "official" day of school until January! This morning, I was thinking about all of the free time I'll have with no school to plan, prepare, or present. Then I started thinking of Christmas crafts we could do, cookies we could bake, decorating that could be done, gifts that need to be wrapped, a big family birthday party to plan for Monday, a big family Christmas party to plan for Wednesday, all of the church activities that that need to be attended, etc., etc., etc. Then, a very needy (and smelly) 1-year-old started tugging on my leg to remind me that free time is really just a figment of my imagination. But, to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way! ;-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Birthday Sam

Today is Sam's first birthday, and even though we aren't really going to have a party for him until the 22nd, we let him open some of his gifts. He really enjoyed the building blocks from his Grandma and Grandpa in Texas, the cute cars from Grandma and Grandpa in Oregon, and the shape sorting snail from his Aunt Allie and Uncle David in Texas! He is still playing with all of his new toys, and I'm glad that he has something else fun to do rather than push the "power" button on my computer! ;-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Birthday Shout!

I meant to include this picture yesterday, but I ran out of blogging time. We did let Becca open a few of her presents, and she was pretty excited about them, as you can tell from the picture:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Birthday Pout

Today, Becca officially turned six years old! But we have told her that she can't open ALL of her presents yet. She still has a friend party and a family party to go to where she will open most of her gifts. Here is what she looked like when we told her the discouraging news:

She did cheer up, however, after she found out what a few of her presents were! Also, today we made the day special and let her wear her pajamas all day, let her eat some special treats that she doesn't usually get, and we kept school "light" instead of our usual schedule. She got to watch the new movie that her Aunt Allie bought for her, and she had plenty of time to play with the few gifts that we did let her open. It's hard to save the really good gifts, but we still have Christmas coming up!

A Long Reach

While I was preparing dinner this evening, I gave Sam some warmed-up veggies to munch on to keep him happy. I placed the container on the table, thinking it was out of Sam's reach, and gave him a spoonful of the veggies. I went to finish cooking, and when I turned around, I discovered that he had managed to reach the whole container of veggies! He thought it was great fun! So much for that side dish for the rest of the family...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

PB & G

We had some fun this morning re-creating an 1800's type farmstead with Pretzels for the logs, Peanut Butter for the "chinking", and Graham crackers for the roofs! Originally, we had planned on only making a one-room cabin replica of Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, but the creation grew to include an out-building and pens for the animals. It was messy, but the kids loved it! Eric really makes it fun, and I'm glad he is home on Saturdays and Sundays to help with hands-on projects that enrich our unit studies of History and Science.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sam is walking!

Here is a short video clip of Sam working on his new skill!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I was looking through my blog archives earlier, and realized that my posts have dwindled down to almost nothing since my all-time high of 19 in August! Since our full-schedule "real" school started back up in September, I've been so busy that I just haven't been able to post like I would like to. I plan on doing better in the future...so bear with me!

Today is Thanksgiving, and I love to use special days to teach my children about character, history and (of course) arts and crafts! So, this morning, we talked about being thankful (an important character trait!), read about the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, and did some fun arts and crafts to decorate our day!

Here is Becca showing off her "Tom Turkey"

Here is Christy showing the other side of the turkey

Here are two of the books that we use to learn about
the first Thanksgiving. These books are wonderful because
they help us to see how great it is to be able to have
someone to give thanks to...our Creator God!

Thankfully, we are going to Ryan and Julie's house today for the Dinner. So, I don't have to worry about cooking or having a clean house! ;-) However, I did promise to make and bring some "Spiced Pumpkin Soup", so I had better get off the computer and start working on that soup!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cruising along

This was just too cute to pass up. Sam is a little timid about walking on his own, but if he has just a small confidence builder (like a laundry basket) there is no holding him back!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Old-fashioned Duds

A friend of mine gave me a bag of cute "church" clothes, so Sam had something special to wear last Sunday! He was ready to open that door and go show off his new outfit to all of his nursery buddies!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Falling into Fun

Our Fall "clean-up" went well this year, as you can tell! Not much was accomplished in the productivity department, but memories were made, and that is the more important part, right? Too bad Sam had to be snoozing...I'm sure he would have loved to join in on the fun. There's always next year, though. I'm sure he will enjoy running through the leaves more than crawling through them, anyway! ;-)

What could possibly be more comfortable than a bed of itchy, scratchy, crunchy leaves?

Christy thought that this was better than being buried in the sand at the beach!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Anniversary Trip

Our trip to Bayfield was fantastic! A few days together enjoying the great outdoors in such a glorious location is so refreshing to the soul! Not only did we get to see some really neat scenery, we were able to pick up a whole bunch (35 lbs.) of fresh apples and apple products! The best part was just soaking it all up at our own pace...with no deadlines, appointments, schedules or demands. Just natural fun the way God intended it to be!

Here is a map of all the fruit and flower orchards in the area. We didn't visit all of them this year, since we are now getting a better idea of which ones are better than others. Hauser's is always a must-see!

This is where we stayed at night to save on lodging fees. (just kidding)!

There were apples growing everywhere!

The harbor was especially enchanting on this partly sunny afternoon!

Perfect color on the Old Iron Bridge!

More beautiful trees!

Hiking through the woods was the highlight of Christy's day!

Sam kept trying to get those yummy looking leaves, but his mittens just wouldn't let him get a good grip.

Rebecca, Becca, Becky...whatever you call her, she is still as sweet as apple pie!

The Old Iron Bridge nestled in Autumn fluff.

A cotton-candy sky! ;-)

Sam was so cute when I was trying to unwrap him from his "baby bunting"!

For those of you who just can't get enough about us and our adventures, here is a slide show set to the tune of "Biscuits and Gravy" by Acoustical Potluck:

Friday, October 3, 2008

10 Years of Wedded Bliss

Eric and I will be celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary this month! I am excited about that, and I am also excited that he has planned a trip for us! We will be traveling to one of my very favorite places...Bayfield, Wisconsin! We have been there a couple of times, but only during the off-season. This time, we are actually going to go when the trees are still in full color, and the shops should still be open! According the the website, the week we arrive will be the "peak" of the color for the Fall foliage. We will arrive on October 14th and stay until the 17th. I really enjoy the beautiful scenery and the peaceful, relaxing atmosphere of Lake Superior and Madeline Island. I know that you all are going to think we are crazy, but we are going to take our kids with us. There are so many fun things for them to do, and we would be missing them terribly if we left them behind. Besides, if we take them with, we get to stay much longer! ;-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sweet Sleep

With each of my babies, I have learned the value of a good night's sleep. I would rather have a peaceful night of deep sleep than any other luxury this world has to offer. This week has been especially hard on all of us, sleep-wise. Sam is cutting teeth, and he is letting us know about it...mostly between the hours of 2-4 a.m. Eric and I have started working in shifts at night to soothe Sam back to sleep. The other night we had just managed to get him back to sleep, and had fallen asleep ourselves, when Christy came in and said that she had had a bad dream about a baby crying! We are all looking forward to Sam returning to his usual 8-9 hours of sweet sleep every night.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Favorite Season

Eric bought these beautiful Fall flowers for me!

Autumn officially begins on Monday! This is my favorite time of year. I can have confidence that the hot, humid Summer days are behind me. I can look forward to the cool, crisp breezes and chilly nights. It is natural to feel the urge to snuggle up with my children, reading many books and having long conversations about the changes in life. The Glory of God is displayed in such splendor all around us as the leaves change to rich colors of red, gold, orange and yellow. Signs of harvest show how God is so good to supply us with many simple pleasures.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Renaissance Festival

This weekend we traveled to a land far, far away (Shakopee, MN), to visit Kings, Queens, Princesses, Princes, Knights, Jesters, and a vast array of other characters. We listened to minstrels play, and tasted some of the local fare. We heard many "thees" and "thous", and even had tea with a royal entourage! Despite dark clouds, torrential downpours and a plague of gnats, we had a great time at the Renaissance Festival!

This would have been a great family picture, if only Sam would have looked at the camera!

Doesn't Sam make an adorable little "arrow" in Eric's "quiver"?

This is The Castle entrance. Our girls are the little kids in brown.

Eric taking a break with the kids in the "Secret Garden"

Becca was captivated by "Jamison the Juggler"!

The girls enjoyed making a craft in the kid's craft area.

Christy is a pretty little peasant, isn't she?

Here is Becca looking sooo cute at the entrance of the kid's craft area.

This was what the girls looked like before we put their coats on.

If you have a fast Internet connection, this is a slide show of our experience at the Renaissance Festival: