Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vacation Recovery

Steve and I were very blessed this past week! Thanks to my mother-in-law, the hero who watched the kids, we had a blast out in Arizona. We did a lot of relaxing, some sight-seeing, and had good, uninterrupted conversations over fabulous food! We both feel very blessed and refreshed from the time. I'm only sharing 3 of my favorite pics from our time :) Above, we are on a jeep tour in the Red Rocks of Sedona.

Here is some of the landscape outside our hotel room:

We visited the Montezuma Castle National Park and found the history of this cave-dwelling fascinating!

Back to real life tomorrow!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A fun weekend...and I'm all worn out!

We had a fabulous weekend that started with a traditional ( close as I could get) Norwegian meal. I almost had a complete breakdown before dinner, though, because I could not find the recipe book I had gotten from the library!!! I had my menu, all the ingredients...I wandered around the house for 45 minutes searching for the book. My last memory of it was when Eli was trying to read it and I moved it off the kitchen table to the couch. Sure enough, after the third move of the couch, there it was...sigh...
Anyway, everything was really quite simple to make and the kids were all good sports in trying pretty much everything. I even found some Gjetost at Kroger and Kavli crispbread at Meijer! How fun! We had our dinner and fruit soup dessert (which really ended up just being replaced by ice cream for most) and then watched Night at the Museum #2. I think there were only 3 things I really winced about during this movie...and we skipped the kissing scenes. Here is Eli eating a boiled potato:

Saturday we had a great day at Steve's mom's house, sharing the perfect ice with some friends. We watched the movie again, skated, and the women even got in some Dominoes!

Needless to say, today was way too busy...I'm not sure how much school I'll be doing this week...we have a playdates scheduled, a play to attend, a van that is way overdue for an oil change, drycleaning to pick up, new family pictures to frame, a daddy leaving town, and then mommy joining him for a few days...

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We sponsor a child through Compassion and he lives in Haiti. Please pray for Herby. We have sponsored him for about 10 years. I was just listening to CNN reports about the earthquake in the background.

From the mouths of babes

Here are some sayings I have heard out of the mouths of my babes this week:

"Daddy! Stop swallowing me!" ~Zeke (playing Mario Bros on the Wii)

"Stop jumping on my head!" and then "Come on, bounce on my head!" ~all of them on the Wii

"I'm a-ba-ack" ~Micah (you have to be familiar with Mario Bros on the Wii for this one!)

"But Zeke, I can FLY." ~ Abby

"Mommy, do you know you're sinning when you yell at me?" ~Eli


Settling down

I *think* things are settling down a bit here. I sat down the other morning for a "quiet time" with my God (although its never really quite anymore) and wrote in my journal "I just don't know where to begin!" I maybe got one more sentence down when my wonderful husband walked in the room and said something to the effect of "I have some ideas of things we need to do." God answered my prayer (?was it really even a prayer?) right then and there. I'm so thankful that I have a husband that seeks the Lord on my behalf, thinks about our family and children and what we all need. I'm so thankful that God leads me through my husband. His words just brought such a calming feeling to me. We discussed a few disciplinary things he thought might help some of the crazies here :) and some things we could do to strengthen family times and work on the children's character areas (oh yeah, and mine). I am excited, for the first time in awhile, to implement some of these things into our school days. I need to rethink some of our schooling operations and scheduling. This has been a hard home-schooling 4 months; I hope the next 5 months can go a little smoother.

Here is a verse that I read last week and have been hanging onto for dear life since:

Psalm 91:14-16
"Because she loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue her;
I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name.

She will call upon me, and I will answer her;
I will be with her in trouble,
I will deliver her and honor her.

With long life will I satisfy her
and show her my salvation."

It is wonderful when the word of God is sweet to your weary soul!

Last Christmas celebration

We headed over to our last Christmas vacation stop for more good food and fun! And we made a few important discoveries while we were there :)

Here's the crazy bunch during gift opening:

Scary man
Our cute baby cousin
Leah shares her candy with her candy-loving cousins!

Doug uses Micah's binoculars to find the clue for his real present:

Eli's desire for a real dog is satisfied for the time being by receiving this great big stuffed dog, which he named Dakota and absolutely LOVES!
Thanks to our hosts for putting up with us!

And here were some of our important discoveries:

Uncles make good jungle gyms!
Must use authentic Diet Coke with Mentos to make a crowd-pleasing explosion!

Micah is a pool shark!
We may need to explain that there is no "billiard God"!

Aunt Roberta still spoils us with awesome desserts and meals!!!!

We miss everyone already!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Christmas at the Lake #2

After Christmas, we traveled a whole hour (!) to spend Christmas with Steve's family. The days were filled with fun, fun, and more fun! We enjoyed not having to drive 8 hours to Wisconsin this year, but appreciate all the travel Steve's brothers and fams had to endure...sorry! And I think I may have to fire my photographer...there are not enough photos this year (serious, not sarcastic!). Dave, I think he thought you were taking them all!

Let's see...there was ice skating, eating, playing with baby Otis, eating, gift opening, eating, new house projects, eating, photo ops, eating, Kung Fu, eating, pool playing, snacking, wrestling with uncles....and dishes... :)

Uncle Dan approved the skating at this new lake:

Uncle Jeff teaches Abby how to skate...Abby adores her uncle!

"Girlie nails" from Aunt Chris and uncle Jeff...perfect fun for our BG

Micah continues to be a character

Photo book remembering Wisconsin

Zeke gets his own pool stick that is required to stay at grandma's
I guess we were practicing our Kung Fu kicks in honor of receiving Kung Fu Panda from Uncle Dave and Aunt Kim?

I have just one more Christmas festivity page to post, I promise!

Holiday Nights

The day after Christmas, we had *nothing* planned, which is a rarity! I'm so glad we decided to go to Greenfield Village for their Holiday Nights. It was so nice and extended Christmas for just one more day! We may need to make this a yearly tradition!

Ice skating:

Delicious, warm stew:

Carousel rides:


Christmas highlights

We had a wonderful Christmas season, as I was feels like it was so long ago already...ah well, till next year!

Here a few photos of our fun!

Christmas cookies
My new table; thanks, mom!!!

We did have success at our second gingerbread house attempt! (I assembled it the night before...brilliant!)

Christmas Eve at the lake: grandpa, auntie Ann and uncle Bow are in this pic with us
We enjoyed time with Auntie Ann!

A taste of Christmas morning:
Stocking stuffers

The props we used to tell the Christmas story:

Sibling gifts are always the best!

Are "Wii" excited about this present, or what?!?!

This is for you, mom: my new table in all it's best for Christmas dinner!

Uncle Ted and my silly cousins :) It was great to have everyone for Christmas dinner!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christmas around the world

Here are some pics of our time at the Fredrick Meijer Garden Christmas Tree display (this is back in December, before Christmas!!!). We had fun staying the night in a hotel, swimming twice, and wandering around the gardens. Zeke was not thrilled that I turned this field trip into an assignment time (I made them fill out a info page on 3 countries), but he did it with flying colors after a few tears and some encouragement from grandma.

Eli wanted to participate in the assignment:

The boys with Grandma:
Abby is as sparkly as the tree:
We had to give something to Micah to entertain him:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Peas on my Behind

I am so BEHIND on EVERYTHING!!!!! It has taken me way too long to get organized again after our Christmas break. We had a wonderful break with so many fun activities! I can't believe how much we fit into just a month's amount of time! We are finally back to school this week. I am a bit overwhelmed by many things right now; I'll spare everyone the gory details! I will not possibly be able to post all our great happenings from the holidays, but I'll try to choose just a few photos to share in the next week or so...but you know me and pictures!

And now about the PEAS...Abby finally went to her allergist after a couple years of not visiting, and we discovered she not only has a peanut allergy, but she is allergic to peas as well! Peas? Really? Well, everyone in the house is ecstatic that we never have to eat peas again! I just find this kind of funny. Peas...hmmmm...I wonder what else she's allergic too?!

Anyway, here are a few pics from this week. We skipped school on Monday so I could have one more day of organization, cleaning, laundry,and sledding, of course!

We started our study on Europe this week and tried our hand at a Norwegian craft, rosemaling.

Peas to you till next time :)