Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas, Two Birthdays, and a Happy New Year!

Christmas is a busy time at our house. This year was no exception. I only hope that amid all the busy happenings, we are able to pass on the true meaning of Christmas to our children. I do feel especially blessed to have a child born on Christmas Eve. It always reminds of what Mary went through to have Jesus. Sweet memories of that Christmas as well as the one when we were expecting Emma and had her on December 27th are special gifts.

This year was a big deal to Ethan. He is now a teenager, having turned 13. I was trying to relive his first Christmas when he was just a day old by playing some Neil Diamond cds I played then. He wasn't interested in dancing around with me but Eliza did take me up on it. It's an exciting time in his life.

Emma turned 11 a few days later. She is such a laid back girl. So much growing up is going on at our house. It is bittersweet for us as parents as we are excited to see what God will do in their lives yet want to hold on tight to the years that we have them home.

This Christmas was a lot of fun. It was Eliza's second Christmas home and she had a great time handing out presents and opening them. We took her to see Santa this year and during the wait in line she kept telling us she was going to sit on his lap and ask for a dollhouse. When she finally got up there she clung tight to her brother and had Faith tell Santa what she wanted. Not a bad set up for her when you think about it.

Here are some pictures of the festivities at our house. Enjoy! May your new year be one full the God's blessings!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is Coming.....

The season of Christmas is upon us and our home is bustling with activity. Here are a few pictures from the last few days. We were able to visit our family last weekend. We first stopped off at Toby's parent's house and then headed over to my brother's place. All 13 of my parent's grandchildren were present for a few minutes. Fun!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Decking the halls....& paws?

December is going great at our house. We had a lot of fun taking the kids up to our usual tree farm to get our tree. Eliza wore her new mud boots and walked all over looking for the perfect tree. Christmas is so much fun when you get to see it through a child's eyes. After all, a child is what it is all about.

The kids already opened one of their presents. Of course, they had to--this one needs food, water, and potty breaks. We are now the owners a very sweet little cocker spaniel named Sadie. Everyone is enjoying her--even Sisko.

Well, enjoy the pictures of our December so far. We wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We are so very thankful.......

We were very blessed to have our second Thanksgiving with Eliza. She was very helpful at counting the eggs and apples that went into the pies. She is definitely going to be a busy little cook someday. We truly enjoyed a restful week with the kids. We took the week off from school and spent some quality time building a Lego Yoda, putting together a puzzle, and playing board games. Tomorrow we start into our last three weeks of school before Christmas.

I always get on here with the intent to write so much more and then find it hard to put it all in writing once I get going. Here are a couple of pictures from the last couple of days. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Harvest Time Again

Harvest time has come and gone already. This was Eliza's second year of joining in on the fun. She was a lot of fun--as always!! She got right in on scooping out the goo from the pumpkins and, after one demo by the kids, got trick-or-treating down. She was the cutest little lady bug! It was a bittersweet year as Ethan decided that he was too old to dress up :( I understand his point but where did the time go? Emma went as Sarah Crewe from the book "The Little Princess" and Faith went as Lucy Pevensey from the Narnia series. Is it a sign of supreme nerdiness when your kids start dressing as characters from books? I thought it was great and the dresses we found at Goodwill were perfect.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall Fun

It's that time again. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling off, and the pumpkin patch is calling. This is Eliza's second time at our favorite pumpkin patch. She had lots of fun picking her pumpkin, riding on the hay ride, and visiting the goats. She later informed us that her favorite part was the tractors and the goats. Such a sweet girl!

We were also able to visit our friends from China recently. It is truly a blessing to see Emily and Eliza play together. Those Yangxi sisters really know how to have fun!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Starting the School Year off Right

We have been back at school for three weeks now and are having a great time so far. The Science experiments in Ethan's curriculum are fun for all of us, Eliza has some cool Preschool toys, Faith got glasses, and we have been on a couple of very fun field trips.

We found ourselves at Champoeg again this year for Farmstead Day. It was not disappointing at all. Emma got really involved in it all and made a nail (with the help of a blacksmith).

On another note, Eliza is potty training! She is doing very well. So well in fact that we took her to the zoo to celebrate. They have a new "big cat" exhibit there which was so cool! The cheetahs came up to the window right by the kids a few times. Eliza would laugh and say, "more, back, I happy!" It is such a blessing to see her get so into the zoo these days. So much joy in our little girl! It is bittersweet to have her growing so fast--sometimes you just want to keep them little forever.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer Memories

In a few days we will start our second year of home school. This summer sure has flown by. I have so many pictures of our adventures since Great Wolf but I will just post some highlights. We enjoyed our annual trip to the fair, Faith turned 9, and we were able so spend a few days at the coast. One of the big events of the summer was seeing Emma & Faith get baptized. They had both accepted Christ as their Savior a few years ago and recently decided to follow God's command to get baptized. It was a joyous day! We tried to video the event but the camera didn't cooperate--thankfully some friends loaned us their camera to take photos. Enjoy the photos.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adventures at Great Wolf Lodge

We recently returned home from a 2-day getaway to Great Wolf Lodge in Centralia, Washington. It was fun for all. We were blessed to run into some friends of ours the first day there which turned out to be great for all of us. I found myself "borrowing" their daughter to go on the bigger water slides since my own kids are not very into "dare-devil" rides. The indoor wave pool was a hit with Emma and Eliza. Emma could usually be found in the middle of the action there while Eliza enjoyed playing in the waves on the "cement beach" (as Toby called it). Faith liked the pool with the basketball hoops and was talked into going on the "Howling Tornado" a few times by both Mom and Dad. Ethan had fun on everything except the slides. I did get him on the "Howling Tornado" once which resulted in a "good lecture" directed at me for talking him into it--I had to laugh since he is such a compliant child until I put him in "danger"--as he put it.

Ethan & Emma in the wave pool

Faith at the bottom a small slide in the shallow play area

Eliza in the waves with Daddy--she never misses a chance to do her "cheese face" in pictures--silly girl!

The trip was full of sweet memories. The night of our first day there I took Eliza to our room to bathe and get her jammies on. Afterward we went to the store to find a souvenir. She looked all over the store and examined many stuffed toys. I would ask her, "Do you want this one?". Every time she would say, "No". After about 10 minutes of this I handed her a stuffed wolf. This one was a keeper! I then said to her, "Okay, lets go pay for your new friend." She then replied, "Tank To, Mama." I melted. Such a sweet girl we have been blessed with!

This all got me thinking about the Lord. How many times does he lovingly give us something and we are faced with the option of saying thank you. Does my Heavenly Father "melt" at a heart felt thank you the way I did with Eliza? I think he does. I bet He draws us close and says, "You're welcome, dear one," in much the same way we do with our children--only better.

Eliza and her new friend "Wolfie"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

This Fourth of July was full of seconds--Eliza's second 4th of July parade, our second year of taking her out to my parent's house for our annual family BBQ, and our second time seeing our newest nephew, Hunter. What a fun day!!!! Eliza is now old enough to get up and "dive" for candy at the parade. Once she figured out that they were throwing goodies she started waving and signing "please" whenever a new group would go by. The older kids soon figured out that you get more goodies when you have a very cute baby sister near by--a win win situation I think.

Waiting for the Parade to begin.

Eliza modeling some of her goodies--a flag and a new necklace.

After the parade we drove down to my parent's house for the annual family BBQ. It was a fun day for all! Eliza and her cousin, Seth, played a new game together where she would go down the slide and he would sit at the bottom and pretend she knocked him down. The girls had a great time with all their cousins and the great toys Grandma & Grandpa had for them to play with. Ethan is coming up on a new stage. He know is more interested in sitting with the adults than playing with the little ones. He did have a great time teasing his uncles with his "quick wit". Even Sisko was having a great time eating up all the "dropped" food and even a hot dog from Grandma.

Faith and Hunter.

Matt and his youngest, Olivia, taking advantage of a comfortable swing.

Getting ready for Grandma & Grandpa's fireworks display.