Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Fun

After all the anticipation Christmas morning has finally arrived. And guess what? We got to open our presents (very early, I might add) to heavy snowflakes falling outside!!

Christmas morning (since I wasn't manning the camera I couldn't keep myself in my bathrobe out of it - sorry about that! :0)

Special Christmas breakfast - we sing Happy Birthday at breakfast and blow out a candle - fun for the little ones.

Then we dressed up and went out for a snowy walk - look at that heavy snow!!

A view from up our street - all this snow is so very amazing!!

They will always remember this White Christmas - when the snow was up to their knees - the last time there was this much snow for Christmas here was in 1861!!!

Daddy and baby:

After our walk Daddy put his snow clothes back on and went to help the neighbor shovel his roof - see how thick the snowflakes are?!! We did manage to get out and spend the afternoon and evening at my sweet sister's home after spending about 40 minutes digging the van out of our driveway.

The snow was supposed to end and turn to rain today and guess what? It didn't - we got another inch of snow!!! The snowflakes were incredibly big today.

Ruthie and I just HAD to go out and catch some on out tongues :0)

What a blessed day we had. I hope your time was just as filled with joy!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

The Advent Calandar is complete:
The cookies and breads have been baked:
The snow is falling once again:
More icicles are forming:
The stage is set - every detail has been thought of (I think). The time is now. Let the celebration begin. I think this may be - in small measure - how God felt when the plan was set and the time drew near for His great gift to us - Jesus - arrived. The angels sang, the heavens rejoiced, the stars shone brightly.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours. May you be richly blessed as you celebrate the coming of our Savior - the ONE and ONLY who can and does give us the hope of heaven through His sacrifice. Rejoice with heart and soul and voice!!!!!

Mom of lots

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Finally!! Our computer is home from the computer hospital - it appears it had a terrible virus - poor thing!! So I can show pictures of our snowy adventure!! For the first time in 18 years it appears we will be having a WHITE Christmas!!! On Sunday it started snowing again and snowed all day and night. We woke up to 13 inches of snow on the ground!!! Amazing!!! In fact there is so much snow we had 4 very large branches come crashing down into an area of the yard the kids frequently play in - Praise God - no one was there at the moment so no one got hurt!!! We have not been out much as driving is quite difficult - but we're having so much fun it's okay!!!

I have just given up - the front door area is just covered with snow gear - any visitors just have to step over it. And believe it or not - we've had lots of guests. There is something about this weather that makes neighbors come out of their homes - we've all been checking up on each other - caring for each other. It's really great!!!

Jacob and his very first snowman - he made it all by himself!!
The snowman Daddy and kids made
Some views from my windows:

This one was take before their was quite so much white stuff - I like how it's collecting on the branches on the tree.

God-made decorations - the icicles are even bigger since this was taken!!
There is even more snow on the way!! This has been an amazing winter for us Pacific North westerners so far!! It has been so much fun!! I love staying at home so being snowbound is a blessing to me. I've been baking, baking and more baking!! Finishing making Christmas gifts and just enjoying to delight of my children as they play, play, play!!!
Mom of lots

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quiet Moments

Once again I cannot post pictures as our computer is still broken - it's in the computer hospital again :0(! It's been a very busy week - typical Christmas preparations (madly finishing creations to put under the tree, baking goodies to share with neighbors and friends as well as enough to feed these hungry teenage cookie monsters that live here, and preparing space in our home for family from out of town to stay). We also have my niece (7 years old) and my nephew (2 years old) staying with us for the week - my sister and her hubby needed to make an emergency trip to Colorado. So I'm seeing what it is like to be the mom of ten for the week. Snow has been falling for two days, off and on, much to the kids delight - so in the midst of all the other stuff I have zipped and unzipped snowsuits, pulled on and yanked off boots, hunted for lost mittens, dried snow pants and wiped up snowy puddles about a hundred times today. All so much fun!!!

Knowing this was going to be a busy time I have cherished any quiet moments I can find and God graced me with just such a moment today. I took down my curtains and washed them and cleaned my windows - one of the things I really wanted to get done before family comes to stay - I know - most probably won't notice - but I really wanted to get that done. After lunch the babies went down for naps and I began to iron my calico valances. I stood at the window listening to the iron sigh and the sweet sounds of Esther sleeping. I watched the snowflakes drift from the sky and the heavily laden trees nodding in the north breeze. The snowflakes sometimes whirled down in a frenzied dance and sometimes slowly slipped down to join their icy friends. I smelled the warm, sweet smell of the starch being heated by the iron and sipped some creamy, rich eggnog. Every one of my senses were being soothed by this wonderful quiet moment. The poet that lives in my heart was supremely satisfied. Then the kids all came tumbling in with red noses and chapped cheeks wanting hot cocoa - the quiet was gone - wonderful and refreshing while it lasted.

I enjoy my noisy, crazy, sometimes chaotic household - but truly cherish the sweet moments God gives me. They are often fleeting - easy to miss if I'm not paying attention. I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy a blessed moment during this busy season!!

Well, my blogging moment is now also over - Esther is calling and the kids are coming in starving - snow play makes for hearty appetites!! I hope I can put up some pictures soon - the snow should be around for a while - a rare thing where we live. I will have lots of snowy, cold pictures (we even have a long row of icicles on our roof - very rare, here - for sure!!!)

Mom of lots

Monday, December 15, 2008

Technical Difficulties

We have a broken computer at our home :0(. So right now I can't post pictures. I'm using my hubby's work laptop to check in and say Hi. Well, after a slow start all thing weather lined up correctly and we have snow on the ground. It hasn't got above 25 degrees here today!! For us in this northern but very mild climate - this is very unusual. And the weathermen are saying lots more snow and cold going on for sometime. Looks like it could be a white Christmas!! That hasn't happened since my oldest was a baby 18 years ago!!! Everyone is hoping. The only thing that is a bit worrisome to me is that my oldest boy drives for his job. I know people around the country laugh at those of us in the Pacific Northwest for our bad snow driving but there is a reason. First - snow doesn't happen all that often here and second our roads are very similar to San Fransisco - in other words - very steep hills and lots of curvy roads. We also don't have nearly as much snow removal equipment in our towns and cities. So, all that to say, I'm excited about this crazy weather but hoping my boy doesn't experience a mishap while driving in this snow and ice!! God is hearing plenty of prayers for his safety!!

Another prayer from me is that we all have colds - again!! I'm on the mend - I always am determined if I do get a bug to never have it for very long :0) I'm just hoping Esther doesn't come down with it. Her ears looked great at the doctor' office last week but I just don't want her to have another ear infection!! If she shows any sign of sniffles I will be trying the garlic oil hoping that will do the trick!! My pediatrictian said that it certainly is worth a try - I really like him because he is reluctant to overdo the antibiotics so if there is another way that might work and won't hurt the child he is willing to give it a shot. He also knows I'm very experienced at ear infections (having had 5 kids with chronic ear trouble) so I know just the right moment to get the big guns going!

I wish I could put up some pictures - I hope just words isn't boring!! Hopefully we can figure out whats wrong with that silly machine!! I must go put dinner in the oven - some days writing is just more fun than my regular routine. I just want to keep sitting by the window all day looking at that pretty snow!!!


Monday, December 8, 2008

4 Months

Esther is 4 months now. Such a big girl - she's trying to roll over - can find her hands and get them to her mouth (all the time) and reach for things. The rest of the kids are fascinated by all the changes that seem to happen daily in a baby's life. Esther also now weighs 13 lbs 5 oz. - a soft snugly little package. Such a blessing from God!!!

Sweet dreams
Abbie and Essie - what a pair!!!
My happy face
On another note: it seems winter is finally making it's way to the Pacific Northwest. They say an Arctic Blast from Alaska is headed our way.
For snow to arrive here the conditions have to line up perfectly without any interference from the warm Pacific Ocean or any blockage from both mountain ranges in our area - all that also makes it extremely hard on the poor weathermen!! So by Friday we are going to be below freezing and they say a bit of snow. Then again on into next week.
For as many children who pray for snow in here there are probably twice as many adults who try to pray it away (I'm not one of them). There are many steep hills in our area and a lot of inexperienced snow drivers. I just stay home and play, play, play.
So we are praying for snow and more snow. We are getting out the mittens and scarves and hoping all the conditions line up right and we wake up Friday or Saturday with our yard looking like this:
So that we can all go outside and do this:
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Fun

Today we went out and cut our Christmas tree. What a fun outing it was. The tree farm we visited was a ways out in the country so we had a beautiful drive. The owners had made a darling little nativity scene with real sheep - so before we headed out into the muddy mini forest we had to stop and feed the sheep:

There are no pictures of Jacob as he was a bit afraid of those woolly creatures.

Esther was far more interested in her thumb than the perfect tree - she was just so relieved to be out of her baby jail (the car seat :0)
Once we found our tree everyone (except Mommy and baby - of course) took turns cutting it down
Go, Jacob, go!!
Success!! The reward for trailing around the muddy tree farm and cutting down the tree was a big cup of hot cocoa and a roasted marshmallow the nice tree farm people gave the kids. Such fun!!
But the blessing of a gorgeous sunset that we all enjoyed as we cut our tree was from God!!!!
What a fun - memory making day!! (our teens opted out of this part of the merry making this year as it was pouring down rain when we left - maybe they thought their hair might get messed up or something?) God cleared the skys for us and gave us beautiful scenery and we all had a great time!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I love this time of year. I love getting out our decorations and setting them up and listening to the children remember the past times these pretties were up in our home.

I have often wrestled with how much to celebrate and worried that the focus might be off. Long ago my husband and I made the commitment to keep Christmas Christ centered and as a result we do not do Santa.

And as strange as it sounds reading scripture has given me peace and permission to celebrate. In the Old Testament feast after feast (often many days long) was ordered by God - even one where His people were told to create huts and camp for a week. I cannot help but think that God knew how much camping out in leafy huts for a week would delight the children! :0)!! So I am reveling in the delight of my children learning through wonderful, joyous celebration the occasion of our blessed Savior's birth!! I believe God delights in Joy and He knows our tendency to not be joyous that is why he commanded feasts in the Old Testament. He also knows of our tendency to forget and that is why he created times of tradition - so we would remember those moments so crucial to our faith - and what better way to remember than by an extended feast!! I love it!!!! (P.S. I'm not saying God has commanded Christmas - just saying I think God probably enjoys His people's joy and celebration surrounding His Son's birthday - after all He invented feasts!!)

Our Advent Calender - the kids get so excited their shaky hand can hardly hang the figures on the little hooks. Every day we tell another part of the events surrounding Jesus' birth
This was my first Christmas decoration as a married woman - it's my very favorite (it sings Silent Night - one child a night gets to wind it up and we all listen.)
My snowman collection (sorry, not the best picture). I love snowmen - and since snow only happens a few times each winter I create my own snowy scene in the winter. :0)

My front doorman ;0)
I have not put out all my decorations yet - there are a few more very precious decorations I will share. My children are waiting breathlessly for the next ones to come out of their tissue wrapping and be set up.
-Christmas Blessings

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I'm a day late doing this - but since I really like how this focuses my brain I didn't want to skip it. Blessings to everyone today!!

FOR TODAY...Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Outside my window..Shiny, silvery rain drops hanging on the bare branches of my maple tree

I am thinking...about how to best be a helpmeet for my husband

I am thankful for... my wonderful family, I am richly blessed

From the learning rooms...continuing our units on mountains and England, math and writing

From the it's chicken and dumplings - going to start stewing the chicken when I'm done with this

I am wearing...Denim skirt, pink and grey shirt, slippers

I am creating...still working on the embroidery part of my Christmas gifts

I am the craft store this evening (I hope) to pick up supplies for the gift I thought of to make my husband. Also to pick up the things I need to finish making some of the kids gifts. They also have great stocking stuffers there!!!

I am reading...John Adams.

I am hoping...That handmade gifts this year will be meaningful and also be a positive impact on the budget. I am also hoping to get a few decorations up this week.

I am hearing...quiet voices of the kids - they are busy creating something in their room.

Around the house...Just basic tidying. I would really like to get the windows and curtains washed before the Christmas tree is put up. That job was supposed to be done before baby arrived but since she surprised us with her early appearance we are trying to get it done now :0)!!

One of my favorite things...quiet mornings when everyone is cheerfully doing their tasks - like today:0)!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Write down all the kids clothes sizes - Grandpa is taking me shopping for them on Saturday - He likes me to pick out clothes for them. Get lots more work done on my gifts. Make a few lists so I can relax and be organized - I'm a list girl - I function so much better if I put my brain down on paper:0)

Here is picture thought I am sharing... what the kids are praying for every night when they go to bed!!!

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a wonderful, blessed and down-right fun weekend! Esther did quite well in the car seat - only fussing for about 20 minutes each way. We travelled in the dark of night both ways so that helped I'm sure.

A little while after we arrived the sun rose and this beautiful sky greeted us:
As the day was gloriously sunny we took a walk to feed the neighbor's cows. What great fun. Did you know cows have really long tongues?:0) I got to feel what a cow's mouth feels like since my friendly cow got overly enthusiastic and thought my hand was part of the apple. It was just a little slimy - the kids thought it was kinda gross but it was funny!!!

A family walk

The centerpiece of our weekend was the wonderful Thanksgiving feast that Mom and I enjoyed cooking and putting together for the family. We spent time saying aloud what we were thankful for. It was a yummy meal and we all ate far more than we should have :0)!!

The weather got very rainy for the rest of the weekend so we played lots of games and enjoyed time visiting and relaxing. (The littles did go outside when the wiggles got too much and got soaking wet climbing stumps and walking logs - so much fun!!!)

During a break in the rain Mom and I took a walk by ourselves with no kids :0)!!! The creek was beautiful and the peace and quiet was a wonderful time to talk and just be together. I am very blessed to have a great friendship with my mama!!
One of the things the little ones love to do with Grandma is have a tea party. The big boys have fun memories of this special treat as well. It's so funny to watch the kids try to drink trying to hold up their pinkie finger (a fun part of the tea party tradition)

We had so much fun!! We enjoyed the time to be together and make memories. Thank you Mom and Dad. Our time with you is precious - we are so very blessed to have such Godly parents and grandparents.