Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Christmas Day

Once again Christmas has come and gone. Over the past few years I have gotten increasingly sick of the materialistic nature of Christmas. Really to the point of dreading the holiday with the kids--it really filtered down to their attitudes. But this year we decided to make life simpler, and Christmas less about the stuff we get and more about spending time together. It went very well.
We made lots of homemade gifts and kept the budget lower. We also gave less to the kids--one gift from us, one from whichever sibling drew their name, and one from Santa, with a stocking of snacks and one simple "gift". The kids were happy, and didn't miss a thing. And we enjoyed it more. They really enjoyed spending time with their families and seeing snow. It has been low stress. I almost think their favorite thing was building a part of the lego advent calendar each day! And now it is over, things are put away, and I am ready to deconstruct the holiday theme and get back to a simple daily life.
Hope you had a great holiday with those you love, sharing with people around you! But remeber, every day is a gift from the Lord, and His Son is just as special every day as He is on Christmas--but most especially on Sundays when we remember His death for our sins. May we live every season of our lives for Him alone. God bless!

It's Hunting Season!!!!

Well, Clay has been off since December 11th and he and the boys have gone hunting several days. I had fun making the boys' safety vests and hats. They went rifle hunting but mostly bow hunting. No deer yet, but they are having a blast with their dad! Here are some pictures as they get ready to leave.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nutcracker Revisited and other stuff

This year, Jacob and Emily decided to take Musical Theater class at Timbrel school of dance. It culminated in their class doing the family Christmas scene to open the Nutcracker ballet at the Municipal Auditorium. It was fabulous! Beautiful! We were so proud of them both! Jacob is above in a blue shirt and dark pants swordfighting. They can't wait until classes start in January and Elizabeth plans to join next fall!
In this scene, Emily is front and center in the dress that is black velvet with red taffeta skirt. Her hair was all curled and gorgeous. Can't wait until we get the dvd! Amy Smith is doing them and that means they will be super!

Here is Jacob before the suspenders and bow tie, waiting for dress rehearsal to begin.

Here is Emily in the girls' dressing room waiting for dress rehearsal.

Another shot of Jacob and the other boys doing the sword play--he has red suspenders.

And here is Chloe, Katy and Emily "acting" after they received their gift.
In other news, Emily is loving her sewing machine. I am getting pretty good so I am thinking of trying to sell some handmade items on etsy. We will see how that goes! Time is precious to me and I don't plan to give much of it away, but still, this seems like a fun venture.
This week we have been cooking for Christmas Eve. We made lemon bars, pound cake with berries, ulitmate oatmeal cookies with frosting, and veggie trays. Tomorrow we have brunch with Clay's family at his parents' house, and then go to my brother's house for evening. I am a bit relieved not to have to come home and clean for company! Not that I haven't loved doing that in years past, but a rotation would be nice (and it is nice!).
These kids are growing up on me and I hate it!!!! I protest! Why can't they stay young??? But I have to say that even though I no longer have little bitty ones (and I miss that terribly!) I have loved each stage of their growth, though some days are much harder than others. They are becoming people I am proud to say we raised. And raising wholesome, godly children with a pure heart and mind is NOT easy in this world. It takes so much planning and deliberate choice in our lifestyle. But well worth it. I just hope the mistakes we make with them don't forever leave them messed up in any way. God gets the glory for the way they are turning out!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I think we should give all year, and not just at "Christmastime". For a Christian, every day should be Christ-mastime. But if the season brings out the giver in people, I can't complain! So even though we give all year, we are keeping it up during the holidays. How? Well, we give what we can-we sing at nursing homes/retirement centers, serve and clean at the meal we (deacon families) host for the Primetimers at church, take our carts to the cart return, share a smile or encouraging word, give to the Women in Need shelter, give to the neighbors who help us out all year, visit people, help people pay for things they don't have the money to cover, share our kids' talents in the Nutcracker this year, share recipes, share fabric, share ideas for gift giving, make homemade gifts, and tons of other stuff. But really we do these things all year.
Anyway, we have had fun sharing in the making of family memories and making gifts by hand. We pray for many and work to build the faith of Christianity in our kids. Hope you have a nice Christmas and focus on the giving and not the getting.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December is here

decorating the tree--a weekend after Thanksgiving tradition!
Kids getting all the decorations out...

Our new advent calendar! Build some lego every day to make a winter lego city! How cool is that!
Homemade Christmas this year--here is the first round of project supplies! FUN!

The first (and maybe only) light snow for the year! The kids thought it was like magic.

Being silly!

The lego set!

The tree--all finished!

New Stuff...

Our new couch! The other one was literally coming apart and sinking! So we decided that for our gift to each other this year we would do things for our home. Unfortunately we went a bit too far! We not only bought a couch, but a recliner, a sewing machine, a new shelf, pillows, bathroom paint, two new storage baskets for the living room, and some cologne and shirts for Clay. Time to start saving again!

Just me.


We went camping at Cooper Lake the weekend before Thanksgiving and stayed in a limited use cabin. It was fabulous! We had a blast! (I so love this more than tent camping!!)