Thursday, December 29, 2011

Making Memories...

This past week has been very full. We've enjoyed "almost" every single minute of it:). I posted an album on facebook, due to the fact that uploading there was a LOT faster than on here. This is the link that allows you to look at them, if you're not on facebook:

There were a lot of pictures that I wanted to share, but I really didn't want to waste an hour trying to put them all on here. We have about 10 gift jars left over, due to some people being absent for both services. I think it's a gift that we'll repeat every couple years, but switch recipes, in order to have more variety. The ornaments were also a lot of fun, so we'll keep trying to improve our skills in that area. Each year I'm impressed with the creative, thoughtful gifts that we're given. It's inspiring and we hope to teach our kids to think outside the box when it comes to creative gifts. Reaching out to those around us who have less. Sometimes it's simply the time that is shared to encourage others. Sometimes it's the talent that is invested in teaching others. Sometimes the best thing we can do is pray and allow the Lord to do the rest.

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out which parts to share about the past week. There were Scrabble matches, new foods, a visit with Great Grandma Neilson and much, much more. The kids enjoyed all the extra excitement that goes along with visits to Nana's house. The Uncles were very entertaining and the kids had a blast playing with them for hours. We, adults, thoroughly enjoyed the time after lunch when we all took advantage of the kids naps and got some shut eye too:)!

I think some of my lack of brain power is due to the fact that I stayed up til close to 11 or later each evening. Making the most of the time we had to visit. Adelaide was a bit fussy, but once she was asleep in the evening we had about 6 hours of her sleeping before the first feeding.

We hadn't done any 1,000 piece puzzles lately and that was another very enjoyable activity. I bought it for Caleb and Grandad, but knew that we would probably all get to help with it. Caleb kept coming over to check our progress:). We did smaller puzzles with him, til he told me and Kirk that we weren't good puzzle makers:). Not sure why he thought that, but he is a funny little guy. Other games that we played were Alphabet Scoop(a kid's Scrabble game) and Hangman.

Well, I think that kind of catches me up to the present. Scott wasn't feeling well this morning, so I got things packed up and thankfully had a very helpful Brother in Law to help pack things into the van. It was raining/snowing on top of ice. We weren't sure if we'd make it all the way. It was a bit rough, but we made it home by 5. We stopped in town to check the mail, get some milk and pick up the new camera(on sale for boxing week). We got some money for Christmas and decided that this was one of the things that we wanted to invest in. Our current one is about 7 years old and doesn't have video capability. It's starting to blur some and the lighting isn't so good. Sooo, I'm looking forward to using this new one. It'll probably take me awhile to figure things out, but it'll be good.

The baby is crying, so it's time to end for now. I hope all our family and friends had a wonderful week. Can you believe it's getting so close to being 2012!?

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Twelve Days Of Christmas...

I'm so far behind in blog posts that I decided to do a "Twelve Days Of Christmas" theme and briefly mention 12 things that we've been doing lately. Most of it has been hands on, so there aren't pictures to go with it. Baking and crafts usually mean lots of supervision when Scott is working, so there's not really an extra hand to take pictures. Sad, but true. I think the kids appreciate me just spending time with them though, so it's worth it all in the end.

Day 1: Lots of Christmas baking(delivering to the neighbors, firemen, policemen, nurses and other people Scott's been working for lately.

Day 2: Taking care of a missionary family. Lots of fun, book reading, Scrabble playing and food preparation, not to mention eating:).

Day 3: Singing Christmas Songs at Caleb Village/Ladies Christmas Party. The children were extremely well behaved=Very happy parents:).

Day 4: Enjoying the super cute Baby Adelaide(Lots of extra reading while she's nursing.

Day 5: Making 26 jars of Cookies to Go gifts and 20 jars of jam. I made a variety of these, but won't mention what they are yet. Some of the blog readers may be recipients and I don't want to spoil the surprise completely:).

Day 6: Handing out Christmas Cards at church(We've had a lot of fun receiving them with pictures from Friends too. One of my favorite parts about Christmas!

Day 7: Playing outside in the "tiny bit of snow". The parents are thankful for the lack of snow this year. The kids are hoping for a bit more.

Day 8: Christmas shopping alone and with Elyssia.

Day 9: Making and painting clay ornaments. Very fun, but very messy with the younger ones. I won't post pictures of these either. It was my first time to do them and I think we'll add it to our list of things to do as a family each year.

Day 10: Make and decorate a gingerbread house. The homemade one was a failure, but the storebought one was very enjoyable until the two youngest ones ate most of the candy. I was also the volunteer from our church to sit at the Salvation army table at Walmart. We ended up with a 4 hours shift, due to shortage of volunteers. I took Elyssia and Adelaide with me. I think they'll probably ask us to come again once they see how much the girls brought in:). All the older people would come by, hear Elyssia say, "Merry Christmas" and the cute baby and stop to put in a donation. They were putting in $5's , $10's and $20's , not just their spare change. All the donations went to buy Turkeys for poor families for Christmas. We enjoyed it for the most part. The girls were very good. The last hour we were a bit tired and definitely ready to go at 8. It's another tradition to add to the list. Helping to kids to see that Christmas is about giving, not just receiving. Elyssia is definitely more into it this year. It's neat to see her get into the "giving" spirit. Sometimes she's "re-gifting" her own toys, but that's okay with us:).

Day 11: Meeting a family that Scott is working for. I REALLY enjoyed getting to know them. Wish the older daughter and her family lived closer. The 15 year old one played with the kids and said that she's willing to babysit for us. They live 10 minutes from us and the older daughter was really good friends with the original owners of our house. We found out a lot of interesting things about it. Looking forward to visiting with them. The lady Scott works for LOVED having our kids over and said to bring them over anytime. She has a playhouse, swingset, etc that the kids played on. I think we'll try to visit several times while Scott is working for them. There are a lot of renovations going on and it will take him several weeks. It's an amazing old house. I'm excited to see the finished product:).

Day 12= Today for us. We finished wrapping presents and tomorrow is our day to celebrate. We've got a chicken ready to cook, Christmas music to listen to, presents to open and the day to relax and play with the kids. Tomorrow night we'll have our Christmas eve service at the church. We're really looking forward to visiting with everyone that can make it. Baked goodies are ready and several of the ladies are bringing a plate, which is always a nice treat.

So, that's a little glimpse into our house for the past couple weeks. We've also had a lot of LEGO construction going on. Garrison continues to impress us with his creations. I can only imagine what he will be building by the time he's 10:). The other kids are doing well. Elyssia finished her second Math book, half of her English book, half of her other school curriculum and continues to get "A"s in all of the above. Looking forward to the second half of the school year and possibly going to the homeschool conference in Saskatoon. We'll see...

I also need to call my Grandpa tonight, so I'd better go for now.

Wishing all of my readers a Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Too bad...

I didn't bring the camera last night. It would have been a great night to take pictures. We had our second Ladies Bible Study that included a supper, cookie exchange, cookies and some presents from Secret Prayer Sisters. This year we included 5 little girls. I think it made them quite happy:). After Elyssia's friends left we had the devotion and games. This morning Elyssia said she understood now why it was just for the grown ups. Guess she wasn't impressed with the devotion:). That's okay. Adelaide was held by most of the "grandma's" in the group and one that wouldn't mind being a grandma in a couple years:).

It was a busy day from the start, but that was mostly my doing. We had homeschool, as usual, but then I added in house cleaning and kitchen decluttering and reorganization. REALLY HAPPY with how it turned out, but I probably didn't pick the best day for it. I really do think that I have an OCD about housecleaning and organization. It's like my brain doesn't want to stop thinking about it until I've gotten it done. Caleb really seems to enjoy helping me. Maybe I've passed some of it on to him...

We ended up the day at Extra Foods. We were completely out of milk at home and there was a really good sale on diapers. Adelaide slept through the grocery run, but then she was wide awake until 11. We both slept like Rip Van Winkle until morning:). I think there were a few interruptions in the night, but I didn't havr trouble getting back to sleep. I guess we're getting prepared to stay up late during Christmas week. Playing games with the family:).

This morning we started baking one of our last batches of cookies. These are the ones to give away. As I was typing that I remembered that we'll be making a couple more for the Christmas Eve fellowship at church. Elyssia asked who they were for and one of the groups was the Firemen. She then asked what they did during the winter, assuming there weren't fires when it's so cold. I told her that there are still house fires, etc.... Next thing I knew I heard her helping her brothers to pack "Emergency Packs". "Just in case our house burns down," she said. I hope this doesn't start a trend of living in fear that our house will burn down. It's really not something we worry about.

Well, that leaves a couple days of taking care of a missionary, a hair appt, cookie deliveries and the Christmas Eve service. After that I'm looking forward to the slower pace of Christmas week:). Not that life is ever very slow with children in the house, but I think y'all know what I mean:).

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! I'm off to put some little ones down for naps...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

3 weeks old...

and 2 days. Little Miss Adelaide is already well on her way to being 1 month old. We're trying to make these baby days last as long as possible. Lots of snuggles, kisses and picture taking:). She was a much better shopping partner yesterday. We stopped to let some friends of Scott's meet her and ended up visiting for two hours! She was mesmerized by the lights on their tree and Joan had the Grandma touch that put her to sleep. One busy week came to a close and another one awaits us.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Fun...

and a baby photo shoot.

Miniature Tree

Ready to go Grocery Shopping. It was -17 out!

Enjoying the taste test.

Store bought gingerbread house.

Some days I feel like I work at a bakery! This was the first of several batches.

Another view of the house.

3 Awesome decorators.

Addie fits in Elyssia's doll cradle!

Our living "baby doll".

Going for a ride in the doll stroller:).

Relaxing on Great Grandma Neilson's quilt.(The fabric was first used for Great Grandpa's suits and some of the girls dresses:).

The younger two trying to steal her.

Getting tired...

Last one...

Trying to make sure that I take lots of pictures while Addie is small. The past two and a half weeks have gone by quickly, but we're making sure that we snuggle her as much as possible. Enjoying the newborn stage, that seems to pass so quickly.

Hope everyone is enjoying this special month with their family!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend Fun...

Fresh from bath

Sock hats made by Nana!


Grandad and the girls(Elyssia was in one, but ran off to play).

Lego Friend

The House That Caleb Built

Baking with Kiersten:).

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

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Baby's 1st Sunday

Here are some pictures of Adelaide's 1st Sunday at church. It was -35 and she was bundled up really good. Makes her look even more like a little butterball:).

LOve this blanket thing. A $2 find at the Sal. Army. Looks brand new:).

All bundled up!

Elyssia wanted them to match.

It looks like she's crying, but I actually took the pic just as she did a huge yawn.

Caleb holding "the new baby".

~Things I'm thankful for today~

My salvation, my husband and kids, family, friends, a warm house, plenty of food to eat, Scott having work this winter, the first snow being almost completely melted:) and living in the place that God has called us to.

Wishing all my family and friends in the States a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blizzard Baby

I think Adelaide's birth story is going to be the most memorable. A friend commented that you'd think there wouldn't be any false alarms labor-wise by the 5th one, but from what I've heard they start around the 4th and there are more with each following pregnancy.

So, to begin with... I started having contractions around 9pm on the 16th. 10 minutes apart. I finally told Scott that we should go get checked and headed to the hospital at 3 am. So thankful for a friend that lives 6 minutes away that was willing to come out in the cold. We arrived at the hospital, got checked and found out that I was still at 4 and the contractions weren't registering that strong. So, back home we went. I prayed that if it was another false alarm the contractions would stop, but they came down as regular as the snow that began to fall that morning. As the blizzard got worse, so did the intensity of some of the contractions. It was not a nice day to go out again, but we were not prepared for a home birth and Scott and I both commented after delivery that we were SOOOO thankful to have had the Dr. and nursing staff to help us. Scott dropped me off and took the kids to hang out in the basement of the church until we found out if there was any progress. I was actually close to 6, dilation-wise, but things didn't progress as quickly as before. This was the first time I tried the jacuzzi and also the birthing ball. I highly recommend the birthing ball. For some reason it really helps to take one's mind off the pain of the contraction. Not completely, but quite a bit. Around 6:30 Dr. Oberleitner said that he would break my water and see what happened. I asked if he could wait until Scott arrived and it was less than 5 minutes later that things were looking up. They gave me a local pain med that was only supposed to last for 30 minutes. After having one contraction with it in my system I thought things would be quite a bit better. So naive;). The dr. and nurses headed out of the room and Scott went to the washroom. I'm not joking when I say that the very next contraction I felt like I needed to push. I called for help and they checked immediately to discover that I had dilated to 10 in less than 5 minutes. The dr. walked in on my second push and the 3rd one had her completely out! What a relief:). I was thanking the Lord over and over that it was over with and then thanking the dr. and nurses. They probably thought I was a little crazy, but I was honestly SO thankful and relieved to be through it that it came out without thought. Now, after already delivering 4 kids you'd think I'd be used to it being painful, but you honestly forget, til you're in the middle of it again. Kiersten came so fast that I really didn't think it was that painful. Awww, the good hormones that flow after having the baby. All the love the pours out has a way of removing the other memories. We're so in love with Adelaide, it makes it worth it all. As I was going through it the Lord led my mind to think of all those going through cancer, diseases, etc and how they suffer daily with no end in sight. Also thinking of how much Jesus suffered when He bled and died for my sins. This birth experience was nothing in comparison. I can't thank the Lord enough for our children and our newest little girl. We are blessed and overflowing.

Each of the kids have gotten attached quite quickly, although Caleb told me that he wants me to get a little boy baby for him to hold. Ummm, not that easy little man:). Kiersten has decided that "Baby Adda" is hers. She gets very upset when I put her down for naps or won't let her hold her, but tonight I think it was a bit better. Maybe knowing that the baby is here to stay will help her to settle faster. The older ones call her Addy Rose or Adelaide. It's definitely a name for her to grow in to, but so far it seems to fit her.

Thanking the Lord for all the nurses that were there over the past couple days. I was reminded of how much they sacrifice to help others. The long hours and sometimes ill treatment from some patients. You can tell which ones love their jobs and which ones just do what they need to do in order to keep their job. All in all I had a lot of great ones and wish that somehow there was a way to have friendships with some of them even after leaving the hospital. Their hours are really crazy though and it's not surprising that I've never seen most of them around town before. They're kept running day and night around there and are probably too tired to be out much otherwise. SO, although none of them will see this post, I say "a GREAT BIG THANK YOU" to the nursing staff. I definitely plan on sending them a card and maybe some cookies or something:).

We were released around 10 am this morning and got back to the house around 11. Just in time for lunch and naps:). It was -23, but seriously didn't feel that cold. I must be getting acclimated to the weather here:). We had some drifts that were over two feet and although the sun was out all day, I don't believe much snow melted. There was a bit to catch up on, but other than preparing supper I tried not to overdo it. We were able to do Skype with some of the family, giving them a "glimpse" of Addy. Skype is another thing we're thankful for. Giving us the feeling that we're kind of together when we're often days or a looooong plane trip away from each other.

Before I forget... Adelaide Rose Holloway was 8lbs 12 oz when she was born. She was 20 inches long. Her fingers are incredibly long. Future pianist? She has a bit of dark hair, but you'll have to wait for a warmer day for me to take pictures with her hat off. When we were released from the hospital she weighed 8lbs 1oz and had started to look a bit more like the other 4:). She's quite content, but likes to eat. Thankfully she has slept for 4 hours straight a couple times. That has helped me to be more rested and ready for whatever came next.

I'll leave you with a couple pictures of our "Blizzard Baby".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Big 5!

I know I'm late on posting this. I've thought about doing it, but was not as motivated, due to being tired, sore, etc...

5 years and 3 days ago, God blessed us with a second child. When we found out we were expecting we were hoping for a boy, but knew we'd be happy no matter what. I prayed that I wouldn't have the all day nausea, but the Lord had other plans. In May my parents came out for the preacher's conference. As many of you reading this know, my dad passed away the day after he turned 59. I had a blood test at the hospital and mom came with me to keep Elyssia busy. Dad had volunteered to keep her, but we told him that he should relax and maybe go fishing. Scott and I had purchased a B.C. fishing license for his birthday and he headed out to see the lake. It was God's plan that we didn't leave Elyssia. Dad had a major heart attack on the way home and if he'd been with Elyssia it would have been very scary for her. I had started to get better as far as the nausea was concerned, but this sent me back into throwing up. I tried to stay strong for mom and in order to not hurt the baby. I'd heard that crying too much could cause a miscarriage. This was really not easy, but the Lord was with us and I could definitely feel him helping me through. With the death of my dad, Scott and I decided that if the Lord blessed us with a boy we would name him after dad. On November 7th, 2006, Garrison Stuart Prisk Holloway was born. He was 21 days early, but perfectly healthy in every way. We've had a lot of fun with this little man, mischievous side and all. He very much resembles dad, although I can also see some of Scott in him. His memory is incredible and we praise the Lord that he understood at a very young age that he was a sinner in need of the Lord. He accepted Christ into his heart a couple months before his 4th birthday and, although he can be a very rambunctious, short attention span kind of boy, he has also shown a tenderness that only the Lord can bring. He enjoys getting up early to read the Bible with Scott. He prays for his little brother and sister to get saved and tries to convince Caleb to pray. Reminds me of Nathan and I when we were little. He has become Scott's right hand man and really enjoys showing me how hard he can work. Yes, there are days where we hear a lot of whining and "I can't", but overall he's become a very big helper. He's quick to let us know if one of the younger 2 is getting into something and is really looking forward to holding his new sibling.

This year I tried to make the birthdays a bit more special, due to bringing another little one into the home. We wanted each of the kids to know how special they are to us and did our best to make the day all about them. Garrison chose a Bugs Bunny cake that caught his eye in the cake decorating book. It was a bit more of a challenge, but his excitement was payment enough for all the extra work. Here are some pictures from his special day. Sorry it took so long to post them.

He was actually quite unselfish when it came to choosing his meals. He let Caleb choose breakfast. It was butterscotch buns:). I thought it would be fun to do mini pizzas for lunch and it turned out really well. I put the ingredients in the bread machine before we went to vote and we let everyone put on their own toppings when we got home. He let Elyssia choose dinner and she chose Top Ramen. We thought it was kind of a strange choice, but three of them ate it while the rest of us ate leftovers. In the afternoon Scott took Garrison to run errands. While there they checked the mail and a box was waiting for Garrison. Uncle Kirk sent it and the timing was perfect. I didn't take pictures, but there were G.I. Joe figures, A rare Lego figure, A shirt, down vest and a book. All of which Garrison was very excited about.

It was a long night before the birthday, due to 5 hours of contractions, but I prayed that they would stop. I thought about how sad it would be for Garrison to wake up and find that his parents were gone and not there to celebrate his special day. So, the rest of the week we've waited, kind of expecting that I'd go into full labor, but so far the contractions have been irregular. God knows best though and his timing is perfect. Overall it's been a pretty good week. The weather warmed up enough to melt quite a bit of the snow. Elyssia came down with the sniffles on Monday night and it sounds like 1 or 2 of the others have it now. Scott has been busy preparing for all the Remembrance Day stuff. Tomorrow he's giving a speech at the elementary school and Friday is the big day! Hope I don't interrupt it:).

That about catches things up. I probably won't post too much in the days ahead. We're focusing on Elyssia's schoolwork and trying to give Garrison a bit as well. Things seem to be coming together for him and he's doing quite well on writing letters now. It's neat the way his tongue peeks out as he concentrates so hard. So thankful for each of the blessings God has sent our way, even when they get into trouble.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Birthday Surprise!

This week Scott brought home a:

Birthday Box from Grandma Prisk!

Inside were all kinds of goodies.



Warm Fleece Hoodies...

Cute rag doll and toothbrushes!

Church clothes for 2 handsome young gentlemen...

School books for the eager beaver:).

And lots of Love:).

Thank you mom! We love you and appreciate your birthday box.