Friday, January 31, 2014

Family Meal Time

I value family meal times.
Growing up, our family ate meals together daily.
Today, our family does the same.  Homeschool allows us the opportunity to eat almost all of our meals a day or two, here or there.
It allows us time to chat, share stories, and just keep in tune with one another.
Laura is taking this one step further and including Gus...which would be fine if said individual would quit dumping over his water dish, and if the two of them didn't slop it through my house!
Love these two!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Gong Xi Fa Cai
or, easier yet,
Happy Chinese New Year!

We celebrated by wearing our Chinese New Year Shirts,
and eating long noodles for dinner.  Someday, I would love to celebrate the CNY in China!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Finally...a tooth!

Charlie is the last of the kids to lose a first tooth.
I have witnesses...this kid was NOT going to let anyone pull his tooth,
nor was he about to inflict any amount of pain on himself.
No amount of bribing would move him...not even from Grandma and Papa.

The tooth was dangling by something less "than a thread."
Finally, breakfast toast did the trick and the tooth came out on its own.
There is another tooth right behind it, dangling by perhaps "a thread."
No doubt, it will come out all on its own.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jenna Mei!

What a fun birthday weekend we had with Jenna!
This is the fourth birthday we have celebrated with her, and they keep getting more and more fun!
Grandma and Papa came to visit.
We decorated cupcakes to take to Sunday School.
 She helped Amarin make her icecream birthday cake.  She chose pink, bubblegum icecream, very-berry Oreo cookies, and chocolate sauce.  She loved the flavor.  Let's just say the rest of us thought the cake
 She had been excited for days to open her presents!
Finally, a big girl Bible.  Pink, of course.
 Friends came over to join her celebration.
Then she got to spend the night at the hotel with Grandma and Papa.
We laughed at her fashion statement here...jammies and all!
After church, we went out for lunch.  She was very happy to get a birthday treat.  She wondered at first why there were so many extra spoons on her dessert plate.  Then she happily shared.
Happy 7th birthday, sweetie!  You are getting to be such a big girl.  We love you!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Three Years

Happy 3rd Gotcha Day, Jenna Mei!
We love you!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Whose trip was that?

Jamie and the boys have made some wonderful memories on their father-son trips.
They often chat about their trips, and like looking back at their photos...that were still on the computer!
So, they decided to make memory books.
They chose all the photos to be included, the layout, design, and words.
So easy, quick delivery...they couldn't wait for them to arrive so they could read them!

Here is Amarin's book...Legoland in Florida.

Our little buckaroo, Charlie, at the Dude Ranch in Texas.
Seriously, he is the cutest cowboy EVER!

And...wait a minute...who is this?'s Jacob and Daddy on their trip to California to see General Sherman.
Either this is the wrong cover, or they looked mighty strange in those-there parts.
We laughed so hard when we opened this book.  
These are actual people, and their names are on the spine of the book.
Apparently, photos got mixed up, and their faces were put on the front of Jamie and Jacob's book.
Sure looks like they're having a great time, though, doesn't it?
What a hoot!
A new book is in transit...but this certainly made us chuckle!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Arctic Chill

The arctic chill in the midwest has hit...hard!
I can't remember it ever being this cold.
So we, along with every other person in the midwest, emptied the shelves of our local grocery stores beforehand. I was with a superhero, so I knew no one would mess with my loot.
 The snow fell, the wind blew, and the temperature steadily dropped.  We had to draw straws to see who got stuck taking Gus outside.  Jamie had to snow-blow the driveway twice due to all the drifting...and the plows that made a mountain at the end of our driveway.  Funny how the drifting works...our yard had over a foot of snow, but at our neighbor's across the street, we could still see some grass.
Jamie and I woke in the middle of the night to the beeping of a smoke detector in need of a new battery.  Why does this only happen in the middle of the night?  We determined that it was coming from Jacob's bedroom, changed the battery, and went back to bed.  (Jacob remained fast asleep, but remembered hearing a beeping noise in his dream...) 
A few minutes later, it started beeping again.  We oh-so-joyfully jumped out of our warm bed to find another battery lest we never get any sleep.  At that time we noticed our house was pretty chilly...and that our furnace quit working.  Panic!  11 degrees below zero at the time, plus windchill, and the house was already at 54 degrees.  I kept trying to plan where we would go with 5 kids and a dog...and what to do with frozen pipes!  After trying a few things, Jamie determined that the vents outside were frozen, not letting any fresh air into the furnace.  He broke the ice away, and voila!  Heat!
This was our temperature this morning. Our local radio station factored in the windchill at minus 40.
We are doing our best to stay cozy, and I even let the kids have another day off school.  School is canceled here tomorrow, too, but no such luck for them.
 This is Jacob staying warm.  Who knew teens thought Elmo is cool?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Trying, again

A few months ago, we gave up trying to keep glasses on Laura.
She would just pull them off and throw them on the ground.  And then eventually step on them.
But over our Christmas break, I decided to try the glasses again.
After all, her opthamologist would love for her to wear them and keep her eyes as strong as possible.
We want her eyes strong, too.
She, on the other hand, really doesn't prefer them.
No one can say that she doesn't communicate her feelings!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Our Card Shark

Laura's newest endeavor? Card games!
She loves to watch them...closely...and laughs hysterically when someone shuffles the deck.
Then we all laugh at her laughing.
It's the simple things in life that bring joy.