Friday, January 7, 2011

Sweet Friends

We had a play date this morning with Kate's friend Ella while the brothers were all in school (and I enjoyed catch-up time with Joni)! Ella is one of Kate's absolutely favorite friends... she said "lella" after "daddy" and "mama" but even before "gam" and they squeal, running around with excitement whenever they see each other! It's so fun to watch them together... They even decided to swap hair accessories for this picture :o)
I pray that our kiddos will always have friends that they enjoy and who will eventually challenge and encourage them toward Christ!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone (if anyone is even still reading this after all of my lack of blogging!) had a wonderful Christmas and start to the new year! We have been busy but also very blessed. So am I back to posting? Perhaps this time I can say "yes!" Nat was given a church laptop to bring back and forth to work and church which means that I get to keep ours with me -- where all of our pictures are! Now no more excuses, right? So without further delay... some of what we've been up to! Prepare for a massive post ;o)

At the beginning of December some sweet friends from church invited us to come to a Christmas Tree farm for a home school day with them! Our kids love them and we spent the whole day there enjoying our time with them! The farm had a hay ride, a handful of animals, huge hay bales to jump all over, a small one for kiddos like Kate, scarecrow stuffing, tree decorating, campfires, hot chocolate and cider. They even had a huge pile of dirt with diggers on top of it as well as sleds so that the kids can go sledding! I got the biggest kick of of that and I think that's where Graham spent most of his time. We just had to pretend that it was cold!
Thank you, friends!
We enjoyed it so much that I convinced Nat to come back that weekend to cut a tree down :o)
This didn't actually end up being "the" tree, but I forgot to snag a picture in front of the one we chose... oops!
G was super excited... this was the first time we've allowed him to go into the attic. He felt like such a big boy helping Daddy get the decorations out!
Complete! Even if it was a little floppy :o)
We had a few cold days to get everyone bundled up!
Graham's Christmas program for preschool... he's in the very front - the one who is more interested in the camera than singing!
We had several festivities, but what can beat a youth group party?! We love this group!
And it took many... many... tries to get a family picture for a Christmas card! These are some that made us laugh!!
Got it!
The leaves also started falling off in December so our neighbor's tree gave us the perfect amount of leaves for a pile!
Just for fun... We have dance parties on our "stage" step - I love it!
Nat caught me relaxing (and eating something yummy) at the end of a day!
We also did some dog sitting for our friends who are from the Netherlands... they went back for two weeks (some of them even longer!) to meet a new grandbaby and spend time with family and friends, so we had fun with their dog, Themba! He is such a good dog :o) Fig the cat hid for the whole two weeks but Aslan made a it a point to stand his ground as "man" of the house. Kate liked the crate!
My parents sent a kitchen for the kids for Christmas... they love it!
Merry Christmas Day! Throughout December we did an Advent Jesse Tree with the kids every night that we kept in the foyer. It really has been such a great way to celebrate and anticipate Christmas day.
"Christmas presents? I think I'll find the salad spinner."
We are so thankful for Skype! We were able to share some of our day with Gramma, Granddaddy and Aunt Riah!
Nat's parents (Gram Gram and Pop Pop) flew in the day after Christmas for a few days - it's always wonderful to have them visit!
Thank you Aunt Chelsie, Uncle Todd, Joel and Ella for the fun gifts too!
Oysters. Raw. Yuck. But for some reason they enjoy it! Nat and Pop Pop relaxing after installing our new bath tub!!! I know this might sound silly, but we have not had a not-gross bathtub since we left Charlotte a few years ago. I could scrub and scrub but it would still be yellow-orange. I would cringe every single night when I had to bathe our kids and make sure that any babysitter or overnight visitor understood that our bathtub really is "clean" even if it looked disgusting. Needless to say I wouldn't step more than my feet in there. So a huge thank you for the bath tub and for all of the hard work! I guess I shouldn't bother them about their raw oysters ;o)
Mmmm... making a giant cupcake with Gram Gram
We had so much fun with them!!
Aslan bracing for Kate's kiss :o)
Another group we love hanging out with is the young adults! The college students were back home from school for their break so we got together a few times... The other night we decided to have a calzone night at our house and had a blast rolling out dough, filling them up, baking them and eating them - yum!
Winner of the most enormous calzone goes to Martin!
Marivy and Katie Beth whipped up a 10-minute cake for us to finish up with - thanks ladies!
Did you make it all the way through? I hope you're doing well... Naptime is over and it's time to go outside to enjoy this sunny day! :o)