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!