Monday, December 30, 2013

Extra Pieces

"Hey, Mom! Look what I built all by myself!
Here's the guy, and the airplane...oh...and the pile of extra pieces."
Why do all of these kits seem to have those "extra pieces?"
Nevertheless, I'm so proud of Char.  
He followed those crazy directions all by himself rather than asking his big brother to build it for him.

Cooking Lesson

When do I know it's time for more in depth cooking lessons?
When I read the directions to Jenna to put the precooked spring rolls on the baking sheet,
and this is what she does.  
And here she thought I was taking this photo just because she was cute!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Our Christmas Morning

This morning we had our Christmas at home.
This is what a teenager looks like on Christmas morning while mom, four siblings, and a dog stare at him, waiting for him to WAKE UP!!

Of course, we started with the obligatory Santa hat photos for mom...
on the stairs... 
(neither Laura nor Gus is thrilled with the hats)
 and in front of the Christmas tree.
 Favorite gifts this Christmas?
Hmmm...let me think.
 Still thinking...
 The tissue paper.  Definitely the tissue paper.
Opening gifts with Daddy comes in a close second.
Gus' favorite was his squeaky Kong ring.
 Amarin's was his electronic drum set.
 Charlie's favorite was his Playmobil horse ranch...reminded him of his trip to the Dude Ranch with Daddy.
 Jenna loved her Friends Lego sets.
 And Jacob's favorite was his Samurai sword set.
The rest of our day is for lounging in our jammies, enjoying our new gifts, and waiting on the potentially hazardous ice storm.  Thankful we can just be home!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

 This past Sunday evening, our kids were part of our church Christmas play...A Charlie Brown Christmas.
They had a lot of fun.
Amarin played Linus, and his good buddy played Charlie Brown.
The Peanuts Crew
Jenna played Mary in the Nativity portion of the play.
 And the ham of the show?  Well, that would be Charlie...aka Snoopy.
Here, he's playing his air guitar. 
 The air guitar again...with some sass to Charlie Brown.
Laura played two parts...the innkeeper and an angel.
We already knew she was an angel!
Jamie and Jacob worked, too.  Jamie was in charge of sound, and Jacob did lighting.  
I forgot to get a photo of them!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cookies with Daddy

 Every year, Daddy bakes sugar cookies with the kids.
I appreciate this.  I don't like to bake.  My attempts do not turn out well.  
I didn't inherit the baking gene from my mom, I guess.

 Photo bomb!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Songs, Snow, and Silliness

 This past week has been full of Christmas and wintery activities.
Last night was the Christmas band concert.  The kids played beautifully, and their red uniforms were just perfect for the Christmas season.

Jacob performed a tuba solo with piano accompaniment.  So thankful he loves to play his tuba.
While we were listening to the Christmas concert, the snow was falling fast and furious.
We ended up with about 7 inches when all was said and done.  The little kids were so excited, as was Gus.  Gus looks like one big snowball when he comes in the house, and he needs to be contained until he melts!

This little firecracker is the cutest snow buddy ever!
 Jacob landed a snow shoveling job for a neighbor.  At 6:30 this morning, he was ready to work!

Bonding continues to go well with Laura and Gus.  Full bonding can take more than a year, so we are very happy to see how well they get along so far.  There are afternoons when they don't play much, and other days when Gus follows her everywhere.
 One evening, I was changing Laura into her jammies, and started tickling her. She was giggling and squealing so loudly that Gus came running over and plopped on top of her.  Not sure if he thought she was crying or hurt or having a meltdown.
 Then when I walked away, he stood guard.  This demonstrates that he is becoming protective of her.
 This is how we found them another day.  I love how his leg is wrapped through her arm.  
 Then there's the Christmas tree.  We were warned that sometimes dogs think that Christmas tree balls are for playing.  The dogs will bite onto them, and cut their mouth.  Well, guess who's chewing on the ornaments?  One's not Gus!  Don't they both look so innocent?
 So, Laura decided if she can't chew on the ornaments, she will eat his dog food.  A great, big, mouthful of crunchy, dry dog kibbles!  Must not taste too bad because she went back for seconds.
 Last Saturday was the guys' Christmas lunch/shopping day.  Off to the 50's Diner for burgers and fries.
 In the meantime, we ladies attended a Christmas tea at our church...complete with tea, punch, and door prizes.  A bit more sophisticated, I do think!
I treasure these Christmas festivities and the time with our kids.  They grow up so fast.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Donuts with Daddy

 Today, Thursday, was "Donuts With Dad" day for the third graders.
Jamie met Laura at school before 8AM, ate some donuts...actually Laura ate hers and most of Daddy's...and did a craft.
My little, 35 pound third grader.  Cracks me up!
Jamie informed me that the frosting was obviously her favorite part!
I love that he takes this time with his little girl!

Friday, December 6, 2013

School Attire

I just never know how I will find my students, or how they will come dressed for school!

St. Nicholas Day

 We first learned of St. Nicholas Day when we lived in Europe.  I didn't know then that it actually was more than just a fictitious character, leading to today's Santa Claus.  There really was a St. Nicholas, and this has become one of our family traditions on the eve of December 5th.
First, we read this book.
Then, as they do in Europe, the kids leave a shoe by their bedroom door.
In the morning, they find little treats inside!

Here are Jenna and Laura's...
 Amarin and Charlie's...
and Jacob's.  Yes.  He's quite the comedian.
Much to his dismay, not ALL his shoes contained treats in the morning!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful Sunday

 So much to be thankful for this past Sunday.
First...Jenna's baptism.
She decided that this was the day she wanted the church to know she loved Jesus.
 First, Preacher shared a little about meeting Jenna almost 2 years ago.
One of his first memories of her is her cute smile, and how her little eyes would just disappear because she smiled so big!
 Plugging her nose...
 and wiping her face dry.  Such a sweet moment to see little ones baptized!
 Thankful that Charlie was brave enough to play during the offering.  Prior to yesterday, he was too scared.  Mrs. B, his teacher, sat right beside him for extra support.  He did great!
Finally, thankful for new friends that joined us at church for the first time.  They were able to stay through Sunday School, the worship service, and Thanksgiving dinner.
So much for which to be thankful!