December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating the birth of our Lord! What an unimaginable gift He gave us, just because He loves us. And how undeserving we are.

Praise God!!

Happy Christmas Eve!

Here are the VERY excited kiddos in their Christmas Eve jammies!
We started out our Christmas Evening opening jammies. I think the matching ones out there are soooooo cute and I'm tempted every year to get them, but then I break down and go for the ones I know the kids will love instead.

Then we sat down to read the Christmas story together.

This is a book I found on my Mom's coffee table today. I looked inside because I recognized it and noticed it had my Gramma's handwriting. She died when I was 8 but made many wonderful memories before then. She loved the Lord dearly and left that unmistakable legacy. Anyway, she wrote in the book that it was a gift for my brother and sister, given the year before I was born, and we read it many times growing up.

I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas Eve with your family tonight!

December 22, 2008

Jacob's First Lost Tooth and Sweetness

Here's the happy guy Saturday night before it fell out. He was working on getting it out as it would come completely forward, but still needed to loosen up a bit going back. We tried to pull it out but he was nervous, so we quit. Then he was so sad about it! We asked him why he was crying and he said because he wouldn't have any money to buy his cousins Christmas presents!

Then this morning at 5 AM he comes in and whispers, "Daddy! My tooth fell out!!" He insists he didn't do it, but it was neatly placed on his headboard bookshelf, so he must have just taken care of it all in his sleep! So tonight I guess we'll be trading a tooth for some cash... and he says tomorrow we have to go to the store so he can buy presents for two of the youngest cousins we'll see this week for Christmas!

He also got this huge chocolate bar form his Sunday School teachers and wants to share a chunk of it with each of his cousins we'll see this week. He has a very giving heart when it comes to things like that that I know is pleasing to God!

And this has not a thing to do with Jacob, but Mattie and I spent the day on the couch together yesterday. We were supposed to do her dedication, but she threw up right after she got all ready for church. I've never watched Little Einsteins so much in my life! She wanted to be sure to have her baby to take care of.

December 19, 2008

Fear Not!

This is one of our favorite Christmas books. It's written by Joyce Dunbar and illustrated by Gary Blythe. The story is a "This is the house that Jack Built" kind of story. But what makes it my favorite is the illustrating. The pictures are very realistic, unlike a lot of other Christmas literature we have. I don't know if this one below is realistic because it's left to our imaginations in scripture, but I imagine it's close.

This is my favorite picture in the entire book. Jacob saw this and immediately said, "Wow. That's why they were scared!" Now that you've noticed the beautiful glory of the angel, look in the bottom left corner and notice the shepherds... in the dead of night creating shadows as if it was noon... running. Wow!

And then I consider if this is something like the angel's appearance, how Moses felt when God appeared in His full glory.


December 15, 2008

Biggest Full Moon in 15 Years

Robert took this the morning before and I didn't download it at the same time, but I think this one shows the size of the moon better than the other one even though it's a gray day. This was at about 7:30 in the morning the morning before the 100% full moon. Interestingly enough, look at it's placement in relation to the mountains... it demonstrates the rotation differences in just one day. The mountain that has two peaks close together is at the far left of the above picture. In the photo below it's almost directly beneath the moon.

God is amazing in how He planned it all, isn't He??

December 12, 2008

December 08, 2008

We Disco Too!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Family Dancing Lessons

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

December 05, 2008

My favorite Christmas things

I know most of you won't be coming over during this season, so I thought I'd have you over virtually! I love the Christmas season, and really love to decorate for it! I have a lot of great family memories that surround Christmas, so I think it's a way to help me feel like I'm with them.

I will say, my decorations aren't those you'd see in any Southern Living magazine (except the first one). I think those are beautiful, but that's not my house. I'm attached to what I have, random as it is!

Come on in!

This is actually my Southern Living at Home door vase. I try to keep it full with season things. This is the only thing I actually keep up with at my house. The red berries were a dollar last year and the holly leaves are off our bush in the front yard. So this year it was free! It's not totally symmetrical, but I got really tired of poking my hands with those holly leaves, so I gave up.

Here's my nativity scene the kids play with. My mom got it for the kids last year from Plow and Hearth, but I've seen it here too. Both kids play with it, and Mattie was singing "Rock a Bye, Baby" to Jesus today!

I have always loved nativity scenes. If I remember right, my mom said I used to play with ours for hours when I was little. When my grandmother died, all I requested was her nativity scene. When we went through her house, they realized it was stolen when she was robbed 3 weeks before she died! I'm still sad I don't have it.

Here are some Christmas dishes I have with some more holly from a different bush in our yard. My mom has Christmas dishes as well, and I guess that's one reason I love them. My aunt got these for me a few years ago for Christmas! The kids and I use them for hot chocolate, and we've been using them for dinner during this season too. One of my favorite things is to eat at a beautifully set table. Actually, it hasn't happened much in, ohhh, about 6 1/2 years! I'll have to get back to it now that the kids are a bit more civilized.

This is our table centerpiece... more free holly and a random red candle. It's usually surrounded by school or other childlike clutter, but I like one square foot of grown up prettiness on the table!

My mom has done this for a few years in her dining room, and I decided to try it in the kitchen this year. I love looking out my windows (I have three like this all next to each other) to look out front and seeing these happy ornaments hanging!

These are some happy blocks I got on a great clearance last year at Mast General Store because the letters were falling off. I got four sets, one for me, my two sisters and my sister in law. I like this country/ farm house style of decorating, but it's not really my house style so I can't do more of it.

This isn't as much Christmas as winter, but I painted it a few years ago... well now 8 or 10 I guess! I love, love, LOVE to paint ceramics, but just don't have the time in my life due to a certain little girl who lives here. I absolutely cannot fathom having the time to do one square inch of this right now. But I miss it!

And this is one of my total favorites. I love snowmen, and my brother-in-law, Peter, hand made this for me after Robert and I got married. The hat can be lifted up to reveal a hole for a candle. I keep him out until spring. :)

Here are our stockings on our bare mantle. I need to put something on it! (Some more holly, I guess!) My mom bought the kids' stockings from Pottery Barn. Jacob's we bought after we knew he loved trains. And Mattie's we bought her first year, not having any idea she'd end up being a little ballerina. I love them, but they are huge... definitely something to think about before you purchase! I fill them up with socks and undies if need be. Robert's is from Duluth Trading Company (a really cool catalog that sells unique things for tradesmen). His name is written on the metal tag that's shining so brightly! And my stocking was handmade by my grandmother when I was little. You can see it has definitely seen better days! One year it had Jolly Ranchers that melted and then stained it... then washing it made the colors all bleed! But it's still here. I need to watch for a new one on sale after Christmas I guess.

And our tree... it's a very family friendly tree! It has hand made ornaments and colored lights this year at the kids' request. Jacob wants "a colorful tree, not a dull white one!" Jacob set up his Thomas track around it too and created a snow scene. Of course, the train ends up off the track 15 times a day behind the presents, but he's determined, I guess, because it's still there!

After we got married a made a tree skirt that I got tired of very quickly. And last year I wanted a new one but didn't like to commercial ones for all sorts of reasons. Then I was in WalMart and noticed this beautiful brocade round tablecloth... for nine bucks nonetheless! :) I was a happy camper!

So there are my favorite things this season. Thanks for coming!

Christmas Through the Years

We didn't send Christmas pictures or letters at the beginning of our marriage because there wasn't much to report! Then when it was Jacob's first Christmas, we were broke if I remember right, so postage and photos weren't on the list. But I thought it would be fun to share the cards we've done since then!






And for 2008... you'll just have to wait!! I'll post it after people have had a chance to receive them in the mail first. But I will say, it's cute!

Things you wish your children never told you...

We ate ice off the trampoline while we were out there! I had a small piece, but Mattie had a big chunk with a frozen "helicopter" in it! It was yummy!!

Yeah, I bet. And non-bacteria laden I'm sure.

(A helicopter is a maple tree seed around here.)

December 01, 2008

Our Fall Snow Day!

I've spent all day trying to keep these heads away from the window and focused on school!

The third head is Tyler, a little guy who will staying with us three days a week. Today was his first day. He was delightful and the kids all seemed to have a great time! Tyler loves to read and loves Thomas, so you can't really go wrong with that in this house!

All of a sudden we had enough to go play!

Happy girl! (At least this time she has snow clothes on... She escaped barefoot more than once today - and had no inclination to come back in!)

Mattie and Tyler wrestling.

Tyler loved the snow!

Jacob's proud of his first snowball!

Mattie too!

"What a treat to have snow in the fall!" Jacob said!

November 26, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Week

We've had a nice calm week this week! We took a break from a full fledged unit just to read a lot of Thanksgiving themed books and relax! Here's some of what we've done this week:

This is a Family Fun craft that I saw last year and didn't want to forget. The kids really enjoyed it! It was good for Mattie too because we've started learning her letters. Plus she's all about doing "hands on" things! We used helicopters (from maple trees), pine needles, sticks, pinto beans, and lima beans. (I was hoping to use some leaves, but all of ours were too crunchy.) Jacob keeps wanting to eat in the dining room so he can enjoy his "beautiful banner!"

We had some little Indians over for a Thanksgiving party too!

A good round of pin the hat on the turkey...

And this morning we made pumpkin pie play-doh with which Jacob made this for me.
This was another favorite for Mattie. Play-doh is one of her activities I pull out while Jacob is doing school and she'll do it for hours!

And Jacob did some creative writing too! I had some stickers from the dollar bin at Target and asked him to write a couple of sentences using the word stickers. He actually surprised me by connecting them all. He loved it and didn't complain once about the fact that he was having to write!! :)
Here's his story:
The Piligrims picked APPLES. And they did FALL HARVEST. The Pilgrims saw some GOLDEN LEAVES. They made apple CIDER. The kids had many FRIENDS. Some of them had a FAMILY. They started the first Thanksgiving. It was fun. They made PUMPKIN PIE. Hope you had fun PILGRIMs.

I love to see what he comes up with when he does something creative. :)

November 24, 2008

Our Winter PE

I wondered last year if I could make it through the winter without a trampoline, and we managed to survive. But after the past two weeks of colder weather, I have been going crazy! Jacob has been bouncing off the walls, can't keep his hands off Mattie, and can hardly sit still to save his life. Mattie has started getting into stuff all over again and is being sooooooo mean to Jacob! We have a lot of wind up where we are, so I can't just send them out and make them play in the sandbox or ride bikes when it's cold.

Robert had some free reward points so he decided to cash them in and treat the kids to an early Christmas present! So Friday afternoon we decided to go to Sam's without telling the kids what we were doing. We walked in the store and Jacob said, "Wow! Look at that huge trampoline! We could never have one that big!!" :) At least we knew he liked it! They were both pretty excited when we told them that's what we were there for!

Here is their good daddy putting it together in 20 degrees after dark.

We've had cold wind and rain for the most part, but they've still bundled up to get some use out of it. Robert and I have been out there too!

November 21, 2008


I got tagged in this one, so you guys can find out all sorts of useless information about me today!

Four places that I go to over and over:
  1. Church
  2. WalMart
  3. Church
  4. Church

Four people who e-mail me (regularly):

  1. Candace
  2. Kjirstin
  3. Peggy
  4. Jeni

Four of my favorite places to eat

  1. Olive Garden
  2. O'Charley's
  3. Crabby Bill's
  4. Pizza Hut

Four places you would rather be:

  1. Anywhere with my growing up family (including you, Marcy!) and all of our honeys and kids all together :)
  2. Shopping and having coffee with my mom, aunt and sisters.
  3. Sitting in a chair on the beach at 70 degrees.
  4. Hiking or camping with Robert and the kids.

Four TV shows I watch:

  1. Without a Trace
  2. Survivor
  3. 24
  4. Lost

Personal Experiences Meme

I read this on Jen's blog and thought I'd post it here. I've had a fun life! Some of these were things I'd forgotten about. Let me know if you put it on your blog so I can read what you've done!

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (not a very big one)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (is quilting an art?)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (No, but I have ridden in a truck with a trucker who picked me up. :) )
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping (Would not tell you!)
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (aren't my parents my ancestors?)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (didn't have time that day)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (not a movie but a Joni and friends episode!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (in Alaska)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square (once on New Year's Eve!)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (love riding with my uncle!!)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (totaled it 2 months later)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (definitely did not comprehend it all though)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (will get to meet Travis Cottrell in less than 2 weeks!!)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (We took a parent to court while I was teaching.)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

November 17, 2008


These guys are off the beaten path in our smlal town, so I think they go nnoticed often. But their prices are almost always 5 cents or more off the others'. They also offer premium at the midgrade price on Fridays, so we go fill up here each week! (We have to have midgrade in both of our cars, so for us, this is a deal.)

I just want to know when our groceries are going to reflect the gas prices. They sure didn't hesitate to increase the prices for the cost of gas!