Friday, December 24, 2010

"Tomorrow is CHRISTMAS!!!"

All the excited little people are tucked into bed after what I think was a pretty successful day of  w a i t i n g patiently.

We celebrate most of the big-deal-to-kids Christmas stuff on Christmas Day so, while I really treasure the peace that can settle in on Christmas Eve, our kids tend to get a bit antsy. It's understandable.

To remedy that we took a walk/bike ride before lunch and set each of the kids up with a good helping of Alone Time when we returned. (A walk/bike ride for us includes Daniel and Michael on big kid two-wheelers, Mercy on a red trike and a stroller to accomodate James and possibly Josiah. Jo opted for running along side us most of this walk. I think his run is hilarious. At 2.5 years, he does something funny with his arms while he runs so that he looks like he's trying to take off into the sky. Oh and Bob pushes the stroller while I waddle.)

A restful naptime for the littlest ones and then we headed out to deliver a few plates of cookies to our neighbors. And we discussed many times why it's okay to give such yummy cookies away. Some children were disturbed to see their favorites leaving the house. They'll get it, in time, right?

After a dinner of pizza and our last advent celebration, we surprised the kids with their new jammies from Grammy and loaded them up in the car for a Christmas Light tour.

And like I said above, they are now all in bed*.

Daniel in Army Tanks, Josiah in Dinosaurs, Mercy in Butterflies, Michael in Spiders and James in Space Men

An impromptu dance of Ring o' Round the Rosie

Some of our traditions have changed as our family has grown. We've traded a Roast Beast for homemade pizzas, exchanged a big extended family event for a quieter "just us" day, and we don't attend a church that has a late night Christmas Eve service like the candlelight one I loved as a child.

None of that has changed the beauty and the peace of this day for me. Some of those new traditions have blessed us with a more restful day. We've got to be rested for tomorrow, the BIG ONE!
I love Christmas Eve!

*I let Daniel know that waking everyone up at 2am to tell them that it might be morning was not part of the plan for tonight. (This has happened, and not even on Christmas.) Michael asked for an approximate time that we might be getting up. 7am was my answer.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Warrior! Knights! A One Act Play

 Written by Daniel and Michael
Performed by Daniel, Michael, Daddy, Mercy, Josiah and Mommy

(Intro on piano by Michael)
Narrator 1: "This is the story of how Baron Edward overpowered King Richard the Lionheart."
(Be to the Ba2 bas1): "We must kill Richard, he is a threat to us barons."
(Ba2): "Yes."
(Mercy nods)
Meanwhile: (KrL to Co): "I will challenge him."

The Challenge
(Krl goes to castle of Be): "I challenge you!"
Be: "I accept."
Na: But King Richard thought and wondered if he had made a good choice. (Note: in battle field)

The Battle
(Be and KrL circle)
Be: "Prepare for death!!"
KrL: "I'm not so sure."
Be: "Hi! Barons! (Barons attack)

The Surrender
KrL: "I surrender."
Be: "Then come with me. Come on, lads!"

The End


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Hot chocolate friends
Cozy James  
Cozy Josiah and Mercy
The Christmas Tree Hunt

Michael's bow

I think it was a little bright.

Watching the tree shaking machine... and hot chocolate.
Christmastime with family

James by the Christmas tree, 15 mos.
Mercy and Grammy build together.
Michael and Grandad
Sweet readers at Grandma and Grandpa's house
Cookie Bake Day 2010
Josiah and Grandma decorate
Daniel and Michael make Uncle Tommy cookies

Stories with Grandma

And one more for now...
Mercy, the Christmas Pageant Sheep
More to come soon... Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More Fall Recap

 So... many of you know this already but there's a reason I've been laying low for most of the fall season. I spent the better part (or worse, depending on how you look at it) of September and October on that couch right there, working on our newest edition. Yay! He or she will hopefully join us at the beginning of May 2011.

 While the fall really has been a blur of days for me, the kids have continued on with their exciting post-worthy lives.
  For example, James taught us all why we don't store the open boxes of cereal on the lower shelves of the pantry anymore.

The little guy also enjoyed his first birthday, a day he shares with my mom. Happy Birthday James and Grammy!
It is not unpleasant to be entertained by space traveling children while you rest on the couch.

I love that all of these Halloween costumes came directly from the dress-up bins. No prep or sewing required!
Daniel celebrated his 8th birthday with a family Redwall birthday party and an ice cream cake. He really didn't think he was going to get an ice cream cake.
 And finally, we were blessed to celebrate Thanksgiving with some special people, including but not limited to my Grandma Irene, shown here with Grandad and James.

I'm feeling much more functional these days. 

And for that I'm so very thankful!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Josiah sings a hymn

**We have been singing this hymn together as a family recently during our evening Bible time. Josiah just learned to sing the first verse and, like most small ones with a new skill, he repeats it over and over. I love it.**

More Secure Is No One Ever

Carolina V. Sandell-Berg

More secure is no one ever
Than the loved ones of the Savior,
Not yon star on high abiding
Nor the bird in home nest hiding.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish.
From all evil things He spares them;
In His loving arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Little flock, to joy then yield thee!
Jacob’s God will ever shield thee;
Rest secure with this Defender—
At His will all foes surrender.

Tho’ He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost Winter 2010

It snowed!

The view out the front window

Getting ready for our sno-venture. James is being a good sport. He can't move at all in that thing.

All five. Dressed and outside.

Jo being a 'Tow Man. (Snow Man)

Mercy chats with Snow Lady.

A casualty of our long walk in the snow.

Hot chocolate!

Rosy cheeks and snacks...

Now, if we could just find a hill close enough for sledding...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Hike Numero Dos

We took our second big family hike a few weeks ago. You can read about the first one here.

This time we opted for a more real feeling hike; you know, more gorp and switchbacks and less cellphonetalkerdogwalkers. The last one was great and close by for many of us but we were looking to increase the difficulty and get out in to the mountains a little bit more.

Everybody's ready. (Dad is taking the picture... My sister couldn't make it this time. Boo.)

We drove a little way up toward Snoqualmie Pass to a happy, well-maintained trail to Ollalie and Talapus lakes.

This time we were better equiped for carrying the two little boys. Josiah is very enthusiastic about hiking. He started out on the ground but spent most of his time in the big pack on Daddy's back. Hooray for friends who are willing to lend us their baby carriers! We might still be there if we all went at Jo's pace.

We took lots of breaks for water, Power Pellets and exploring. I love streams like this. I want one in my backyard.

I'm just going to put this whistle in my mouth and hold it there. It's not an emer... an emernussie. - Mercy

Trail mix...

Our crew:

We made it up to the lake to eat our lunch together and play in the water. Bringing little paper trays to serve as plates helped to streamline the lunch prep process. That's a lot of meat stick slicing when you are feeding 10 hungry hikers.

These guys are shaping up to be master hikers.

Grandad and James take in the lake.

We made it back out with everyone intact and happy. And then we had a rootbeer float fest at this crazy place in North Bend. Yum.

(If you go, skip the burgers and enjoy some fun but expensive shakes or floats. Just my 2 cents.)

We hope to squeeze in one more hike before the summer's end. I know Daniel is hoping for a real overnight trip for the big boys but we'll see what happens.

A question for you hikers out there: What's more important to you in choosing a hike; a fulfilling destination like a lake or a pretty view or a pleasant trail? ( I like it when you get both! )