Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Now that our Christmas projects are finished, it's time to move on to the kitchen (again).

The back of our counter space shown in this picture has been uncovered for the better part of a year or maybe 2 years? Too long.

Now it's covered with plywood! Yippee! No more giant crumb piles and lost pencils/legos/netflix envelopes underneath!

We didn't stop there. The upper cabinets in our kitchen were re-hung and painted white some time ago. Now most of the doors are on the upper cabinets. It's time to start on the bottom cabinets.

Here is an in- process shot: Post sanding, pre painting.

And now another mid process shot: I think this is just before the final coat of paint went on last night.

I couldn't resist adding a picture of one of our other projects.

How to take care of a sick little brother

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2009

Here's a recap of our Christmas.

It won't be a quick recap because of the zillions of pictures and stories I wanted to include.

That's okay because I like pictures and stories.

As you may remember, we joined the Parents To Five Club in September. And with the added number of people in our household, we decided to tone things down a little on Christmas Eve. This meant that:

a) after a big gingerbread pancake breakfast with my sister who was visiting for the morning, we spent a quiet day at home

b) rather than choosing a meal that we enjoy but aren't very good at cooking (Roast Beast and Yorkshire Pudding) we opted for something we all like to eat that we all like to make: Pizza.

c) instead of an evening drive to see Christmas lights during which a sick toddler might fall asleep, we stayed home and enjoyed an impromptu Nutcracker Suite Dance Off Turned Wrestling Match.

My favorite quote of the evening: "I'm the Plump Sugar Fairy!" - Mercy

(I'm pretty sure she meant Sugar Plum...)

We read the Christmas story together from the Bible in the evening as well as O. Henry's Gift of the Magi and The Animals' Christmas Eve.

And Bob and I watched a movie, The Bishop's Wife. This is something we haven't done before on Christmas either. And as far as movies go, it was fun in a goofy way. We liked it.

Now for the pictures.

Our house, early Christmas morning. (That chair has got to go. Don't know why it's being showcased in this picture.)

Breakfast Christmas morning: Cranberry Orange Muffins That Needed More Sugar
Daniel said, "They go well with maple syrup, Mom!"

Josiah has spent the last three days sick with a fever. He alternated between weepy and cheery and sleepy. Poor guy. I think he still had a good day on Christmas.

Daniel and Michael open their stockings together...

and Mercy enjoys her new book.

Bob and I made wooden shields for the boys. Check out their fierce warrior faces!
Josiah has a weensy one, too. Daddy rocks the wood shop yet again!

After Christmas Morning at our house, we spent the rest of the day with my side of the family at my parents' house.
Lovely picture faces from Daniel and Mercy, here.

Josiah perked up while reading books with Auntie Heather.

Snuggly James got lots of love from Grandad and everyone else during his first Christmas ever!

This picture of the kids and my parents is brought to you by Jelly Belly.

My favorite Christmas moment occurred on Christmas Eve this year.

I had the rare opportunity to take a bike ride with Daniel in the bright cold afternoon sunshine. I wasn't pushing a stroller, carrying a baby in a front pack, encouraging a slower toddler. I was going to ride with just him.

When I told him I was going to really ride bikes with him, he ran up and hugged me. He chattered to me all through our ride, soaking up my attention and reminding me of the importance of seeking out time to play with each of my "older" kids. It warmed my heart to see how very much he enjoyed this special time with his mommy.

I hope Christmas was sweet and joyful for all of you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The lights are up on the house...

Michael was determined to be "brave enough" to help this year.

The gingerbread houses are decorated...

The Angel Gabriel said his lines in our church Christmas Pageant.

(The Innkeeper says that he said his lines...I'm not sure. I did see him inspecting the buttons on the on-stage speakers during his performance and I definitely heard him singing into a microphone that was still on, post performance...)

No good shots of either the Innkeeper (Michael) or the Star of Bethlehem (Mercy). Oops.

We tried to get a Christmas picture of all of the kids...

We tried again...

And again.

We're ready to celebrate Your Coming.

And with each passing year, the gift of a keener understanding of the depth of our need for this Arrival is given.

This knowledge that you have come to us as "the dawn of redeeming grace" sweetens and brightens the season somehow more than shining lights, more than cold bright snow.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Josiah (20 mos), Mercy (almost 4), Daniel (7), James (3 mos), Michael (5)

Merry Christmas from our house!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


...a collection of Christmas Doings at our house.

Yesterday, we bundled up to go find our Christmas tree.

It's been cold! I love it!!

I love this smile, too.

The tree is quickly chosen and conquered...

(because however it looks at the tree farm... it's going to fit right in at home when the lights are on and all the ornaments are placed front and center at the height of a five year old)

And we head for the hot chocolate.

Next up: Cookie Bake Day!

This event is a well anticipated afternoon of cookie/candy making that we partake in each year.

Bob's family hosts this frenzy of activity that yields an amazing amount of sugary goodness for the child to adult ratio we have in our group.

We enjoyed some down time today at home decorating the tree and taking silly pictures.

This one is for Grammy: Mercy in her red dress...

I've had some very humbling moments during the last few full days and weeks as I continue to learn what it means to please God as a wife to my husband and a mother to this crew. In light of those moments, during which I'm being made increasingly aware of my shortcomings, I'm so thankful for the smiles and laughter captured here.

A peaceful, joyful and merry Christmas to you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My talented husband...

... helps make Beerocks.

Maybe this one should have been called a Dragonrock?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Daniel turns 7

See this little guy? He's almost three.

A few weeks ago, we celebrated him growing into this big guy! I was excited to find these two pictures of Daniel, wearing the same hat.

We had a fun family party at home following our standard birthday party pattern: grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins (when available), kid food and a cake, and a few presents.

At Daniel's request, we added a game: Destroy Paper Star Wars Bad Guys.

Mercy smiles. Daniel is sharing his gifts.

We all had a great time celebrating Daniel's seventh birthday! Happy Birthday Buddy!!

And I had to share these pics that I found on my hunt for old photos of Daniel.

When I was pregnant with Mercy, I spent a couple weeks on bedrest. These good friends of ours traveled quite a way to spend the day with the kids and I AND brought a ton of yummy food to stock our freezer if I remember correctly.

I just thought these pictures of that day were cute. It sure seems like a long time ago!

Friday, October 30, 2009

James at 1 Month

Here's our little 1 month old guy... These pictures are from a week or so ago when his baby acne was still hanging around...

We love you, James!!