Sunday, December 31, 2006

From our home to yours

Happy New Year!


The Kids ringing in the new year (at 8 pm our time  )



We had silly string, confetti poppers and noise makers!  The kids had a blast running around and screaming "Happy New Year!"


Another tradition we started this year was to make concrete handprints of the kids w/ the date.  I'm looking forward to doing this every New Years eve.  The kids have fun making them and I enjoy the memories that they will evoke years from now..

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saturday Photo Hunt - New

Every year I buy another piece for my Willow Tree nativity scene.  This year (today actually) I purchased the Wise Men.

I missed last week, so I'm following my friend Jen's lead and posting last weeks picture tonight as well.

Last week's theme was "Lines".  Here's my entry:

My shot of a "line" of lightening.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Eve

Christmas of 1999, when my oldest was just 2 and my second born was only 5 months old, we have had a tradition of reading this version of The Night Before Christmas.  We have hot chocolate, read the story and head off to bed.  A few years later we added new pajamas to our Christmas Eve traditions.  Here the kids are in their new PJ's for this year.




The day has arrived.  Advent countdown is over.  We finished our journey with Jotham as he discovers not only his family but the Mesiah as well.  We also finished The Glorious Coming where we reflected on Jesus coming to earth as a tiny baby for each of us.  Our day was filled with presents, good food and spending time w/ family but through it all we remembered You Lord.  Thank you God,  for sending your son for us.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

And the answer is....


A Nativity Scene!

You all are so clever.  I'm impressed. :D  I'll be putting all your names in a hat and have my kids draw the name for the winner. 

Here's the close up of the major part of the scene.   This is Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and I guess it's the wisemen as they don't look like shepherds to me and I don't see any sheep. LOL  The clump of nuts over the whole thing is the star of Bethlehem.  The other part of the scene (scroll down to original picture to see) are the shepherds on a hill.  The pecans in the sky are the angels w/ the one solitare whole pecan being the one who gave the announcement. 

Pretty cute, huh?  It will be interesting to see what this dd ends up doing w/ her life.  I remember her drawing when she was around 4 or 5.  She was drawing this very tiny precise drawing of something and a stranger was watching her.  I don't remember where we were that a stranger was watching her draw.  But it wasn't something too bizarre.  It was probably something very pedestrian like a waiting room.  Anyway, this man commented on her drawing and said that it looked like she was, oh what was the word he used, something along the lines of an engineering mind kindof description.  Her very tiny precise drawings were so orderly and neat that this man felt she was probably inclined toward an engineering degree.  That comment has always stuck w/ me as I've watched A. grow and develop.  Her ability to work in miniature continues to improve and she is always creating something.

It is interesting to watch the difference between my two oldest dd's in their art.  Both are gifted, if I do say so myself ;-) , but they are both complete opposite as they go about their work.  E. draws and paints w/ abandon.  She draws bigger than life.  Bold and dramatic.  She creates new art works on a continual basis.  Where A. is much more refined, neat and delicate in her drawings.  She loves to study something and copy it.  She loves to go outside and paint or draw exactly what she sees.   Most of A's work is on a miniature scale where E.'s work takes up the whole page. 

This actually paints an accurate portrait of their personalities as well.  E. is off the cuff, what she's feeling is what she goes with.  She has no moderate, she's either on bouncing all over the place, guffawing loudly, think bull in a china store.  Or, she's off.  She's holed up in her room reading and you can't get a word out of her.   While  A., on the otherhand,  is very cautious.  Never wanting to do the wrong thing.  Always making sure everyone is happy and she is doing what she can to help.  She is usually on an even keel.  Happy but not too happy, if you know what I mean.  She is very emotional and sensitive and cries easily (like her mama ;-) )  E. , who does not cry, cannot understand me or A when we cry and thinks we're crazy! LOL

I'm still watching R and S (and of course J) to see how their personalities and preferences develop.  It's just interesting to see as at  7 &  9 you can see some very definite traits that were just a hint or whisper when they were younger, developing into maturity.

God is amazing in his creations, isn't he?  I love my kids and love even more being able to have them home to watch as they develop into the talents that God has given them.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Catching up

Since the update I've had trouble posting pictures and entries have been taking forever to load.  So, I've been waiting until I had some time to sit and wait for the entries to go through.  Tonight's the night.  As long as HSB cooperates I'll be getting all our activities of the last week posted.  Aren't you all excited?

Here are some of the books we read last week.

The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs, Michael Hague's version of The Nutcracker, The Christmas Star by Marcus Pfister, The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Rick Osborne, All You Ever Need by Max Lucado, Corduroy's Christmas by Don Freeman (this was a book given to E on her first Christmas by Aunt Susan, she was only 2 months old :-) ),  How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss of course, Alvin Tresselt's version of The Mitten, Counting to Christmas by Nancy Tafuri, The Tree that Came to Stay by Anna Quindlen, Henry Van Dyke's The Other Wise Man retold by Pamela Kennedy, A Special Place for Santa by Jeanne Pieper, The Night of the Child text by Robert Benson, The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden.  We also read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever , which we all really enjoyed.

The girls made these ornaments for their piano teacher.  They had fun making these simple but unique ornaments.

We had a Christmas Party with our Homeschool Mother Daughter bookclub.  It was at one of the members homes in the evening where the whole family was invited to come.  We all brought cookies to share, the kids did some crafts and all the girls read their  favorite Christmas book to the group.

R making her baby Jesus

The girls working on a craft.  E. is the farthest on the left in light purple and A. is 3rd from the left in dark purple.

This is a picture of me w/ J at the party.  The background is the girls reading their stories.  I don't think I've ever posted a picture of me from this decade, so here it is.  I'll post another one in another 10 years. LOL I take after my mother, I don't like pictures of me.

We went to a local park w/ some fellow homeschooling friends that is decorated for Christmas with lots of lights, characters and a scale model (I don't remember the technical name) train that you can ride on that takes you through the park and all the light displays.  Dh had the camera, so I don't have any pictures of the train ride!   We enjoyed going out for the evening and having fun with our friends.  The lights were beautiful and the train ride, as always, didn't disappoint.  My 3 yo was especially excited.

We've attempted a few more ornaments that were flops.  None of the glue I own will stick foam together.  I don't know why but it just won't work!  It's been frustrating to me because I'm really not a crafty person and I was only doing this to have "fun" with my girls.  LOL  I scraped the ornaments and we just read instead.

We've also been baking Christmas goodies this week.  I've made Peppermint chocolate bark, which is really, really good and a potato chip/pecan cookie that I got from a fellow FIAR mom.  Tomorrow we're going to bake some other type of cookie, I'm not sure which one yet.   Or maybe I'll make some rock candy.  The girls have been wanting me to make some since they recently tasted some.

A. my 7 year old loves to create things out of tiny little things.  She's the one out in the mud creating sculptors or the one who takes the styrofoam from a package and  whittles it away to create some type of masterpiece.  Lately, she's been seeing things in her food.  Here's her latest creation. 

Any guesses as to what it is she "saw" in her pecans and created this landscape masterpiece on our kitchen table?

Tomorrow I'll post another picture that centers in on one particular part of her landscape and maybe a hint.  That's of course if no one gets it by then.  Oh, and if you're my husband, you can't play.

Leave your guesses in the comments.  Maybe I'll even send the winner a prize.  Oh wow, did I just make my own contest?  Of course, I don't have too many vistors (or at least visitors that leave comments that is!) to my little blog, so your chances of winning are pretty good!   I'll think of a prize and let you all know tomorrow.  Maybe some of our homemade treats.  Yum.

Don't forget to leave a comment and who you are!



Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Photo Hunt - Annoying

Commuting from Redmond into downtown Seattle on the 520 bridge ~ that's annoying.

I actually took this picture (yes, I was driving.  Not recommended by the way :-) ) on the weekend, so the traffic is not too bad.   During commute times though it would get really backed up.  The 520 is one of the two floating bridges that cross Lake Washington. I-90 is the other.  During stormy weather driving on the 520 was an adventure.  Waves would come splashing over the sides of the concrete wall blinding you as it hit the windshield.  You could also feel the bridges moving, especially when traffic was stopped, which it often was. 

In this picture, for those who like descriptions to what they are looking at *bwg*, you can see the Olympic mountains way off in the distance.  At the end of the bridge on the right, is University of Washingtons Husky Stadium

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Memories, yesterday & today



Our Christmas books last night were Jan Brett's The Night Before Christmas, Pooh's Christmas Days, On Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown and The 12 Days of Christmas a pop-up book by Richard Sabuda.

The swingset was also completed earlier in the day.  The kids are having a blast!


  We made a Gingerbread tree (yes, it was from a kit).                                                                                    



We also finally made it to Michaels tonight for the few items I was missing.  At least I hope that was all I was missing!

These are the books we read tonight, The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne, Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby and The Night Before Christmas a pop-up book by Robert Sabuda.

(Robert Sabuda's books are beautiful works of art.  If you haven't seen his books before they are worth looking at.)

We only read three books tonight because it was late when we got home and S. fell asleep during our Advent readings so he didn't get a chance to pick a book out of the bin.

Tomorrow we're going to make these ornaments.  We're going to make one for the girls piano teacher and put sheet music inside.  We'll see how well it goes to determine if I actually give it to him on Thursday!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Christmas Memories


These are the 4 books we read tonight before bed.  Since I haven't wrapped our Christmas books I just have the kids close their eyes and reach into our big tote to pull out a book.  We have so many Christmas books that the kids can each pick out at least one book every night.  Tonights books were Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado, The Christmas Promise Susan Campbell Bartoletti, I Spy Christmas Book by Jean Marzollo and Jan Brett's adaptation of The Mitten .


The swingset is almost complete.  We added the supports, climbing walls, ladders, roofs and fences today.  Tomorrow we'll put on the accessories and let the kids play.  They are really looking forward to having swings in our backyard again.  Tomorrow I'll post pictures of our completed project.

Saturday photo hunt

Today's theme is "Red".  I went ahead and posted my favorite red photos.  I discovered something interesting about all these photos as I was scanning them.  They all are taken from my time living in Seattle.  There must be something about red on a gray background.   Pick your favorite and leave me a comment to let me know which picture you like the best.





Poinsettia tree at a nursery in Woodinville, WA .



Umbrella's at Westlake Center in downtown Seattle.



A SBC coffee shop outside one of my bus stops.



This one my dh liked because it's Redhook Beer in a Red brick building.  This is the original Redbook Brewery, one of the original microbrews, in Freemont, WA  (which is the center of the universe you know.  They have a sign to prove it

This is the old Trolleyman Tavern, really neat building.


The next set of pictures are for those of you w/ winter weather beating down your door.  Just a reminder that spring is not too far off!


Skagitt Valley Tulip Festival







My flicker account is just about full this month for downloads.  So next weeks entry, annoying, may just be a blank page ~ how annoying!

Christmas Memories, yesterday

I tried posting this yesterday, but it wouldn't go through, so I'm trying again today.


I had to take J to his 9 month check-up in the morning.  He's getting so big.  He's 20lbs of pure joy!


We spent time yesterday reading our snow books.  We read them outside, on a blanket, barefoot, with green grass surrounding us.  Kindof a funny setting but very enjoyable.



We had an unexpected surprise yesterday.  Grandma stopped over with ornaments for the kids and a Christmas book for each of them.  She even stayed a little while and read them each their new books.



Grandma doesn't like her picture taken, so I had to snap this real fast, before she noticed.


The kids finally got to paint the ornaments I meant to have them paint days ago. 




All of the above was fun and special but the best thing that happened yesterday, last night actually, was that my 5 year old asked Jesus into her heart.  That is the best Christmas memory by far.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Christmas Memories

Well the memory making today was me breaking my toe.     Ow!  It hurts.  It's a nice shade of purple mixed w/ some black.  Currently it's tingling like crazy.  The tingling only changes when I move my foot, then it changes to extreme pain.   I broke it about 10 min. before I needed to leave to have my eyes rechecked.  I won't even go into the whole eyeglass thing.  Needless to say, I never needed glasses before and now that I'm over 40, my eye sight has gone bonkers!


We still followed Jotham  and did our Jesse Tree, but other than that, I just read some winter books.


Tomorrow, we will do the ornaments after J's doctors appointment.  He's 9 months already.  Time has just flown.  He is so cute.  He's imitating or trying to imitate everything he hears.  He just grins and grins when he successfully imitates.  He can stand for a few seconds at a time now unassisted and is trying this new skill more and more.  Again, what a huge proud grin he gives us as he stands.  Usually, he'll gradually sit down on his bottom, which also brings joy to his face, but sometimes he falls over face first.  He's pretty good about catching himself first and manages to break his fall.  Despite that we've had a few bangs to his adorable little face.  He usually looks a little stunned after one of these tumbles and then starts grinning really big again. 


Look for some more real Christmas memories tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Christmas Memories

Today I tried to do two different crafts w/ the girls while the boys were down for naps.  Tried is the operative word in that sentence.  For one craft, I couldn't find the ornaments we were going to paint and for the other one I realized I hadn't bought something I needed to accomplish the craft.  So, we didn't do much in the way of activities.  I did spend time reading to my 5 year old.  We read Tasha Tudor's Corgiville Fair.  Being smack dab in the middle she's told way too often to wait a minute I need to do something w/ E or A the olders.  Or, I need to do this w/ your younger brothers.  I don't mean to overlook her, but it does happen.  Since I am aware of it, I am trying my hardest to give her a little extra time every day.  Just her and me alone sitting on the couch reading a book was a rare treat.


We followed Jotham as he anxiously, maybe too anxiously, left the comfort and security of a godly man and warm family to jump into the care of someone who isn't so nice afterall.  We discussed appearances and how sometimes things aren't quite as they appear on the surface.  This discussion led us not only into spiritual things but into daily safety issues as well.  My kids are all way to open and trusting of strangers.  It's a wonderful quality but, sadly, not a safe one in the world we live in.  They will run up to anyone and start talking to them about every detail of our life.  They invite them in to show them everything in our house.  We used Jotham's experience in todays reading as a reminder to be watchful. 


Tonight, for our Christmas books I read the two that I could find The Tale of the Three Trees (I love this book for Easter as well) and a little touch and feel board book about the Nativity that we got when E was just a baby.  I was very excited that I finally persuaded (or just happened to ask at the right time) dh to help me w/ the bookcases out in our garage so I could get our Christmas books out.  They are now sitting on the hearth in a very festive looking gray rubbermaid tub!   I doubt I will end up wrapping them this year.  I'll just have the kids close their eyes and reach in to grab one each night. 


Tomorrow we will paint the ornaments that I couldn't find earlier today (I've since found them) and read some wintry books and pretend that we're cold.  Maybe I'll turn the airconditioning on to make it seem more like winter.  Then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Christmas Memories

We made ornaments today!  I found these ornaments here .






These are so simple yet so neat.  They recommended recycling your old Christmas cards w/ the nativity scenes.  Since I didn't have any, I went searching on the web.  I found pictures of the Willow Tree nativity set (which happens to be the one we have) and had the kids each pick a scene from the nativity.  After I took these pictures, they added some gold and silver glitter glue to the manger.  We need to add some ribbon to hang them.  The kids really enjoyed making them.


We also managed to drop off our Christmas cards today!  I am so happy to have those out.  I just have a few stragglers I need to get addresses on, but for the most part, they are out.


Tonight we went back to the mall to drop off our presents for our Angel Tree children.



After dropping off the presents we ate at a restaurant in the mall, a rare treat, and then rode the carousel!




When we came home we read both our Jesse tree and Jotham's Journey books.  In The Glorious Coming it talked about Abraham's sacrificing his son Isaac to God and how God provided a ram in place of Isaac.  A. remembered reading about that in her Children's bible and asked if she could read that story.  We talked a little about what that must have been like for both Isaac and Abraham.  One of the girls asked if we would do that w/ one of them if God asked.  We told them that God wouldn't ask that of us.  He sent Jesus in our place, so we don't need to give sacrifices of burnt offerings anymore.  But, we do need to give offerings to the Lord in other ways.  The girls came up w/ some incidents of when God has asked us to give.  Obedience came from my 5 year old, being nice to each other came from another dd.  Daddy also told them we need to take care of those who can't take care of themselves.  We need to give money or time or resources to missionaries, the church and others who are in need. We ended our time singing some carols.


Off to wash the dishes.