Thursday, December 31, 2009

Singing fun

One of the more enjoyable items around our home this holiday was one that wasn't even a gift! It was purchased by my 16 yo son with some of his extra work $$$$. He bought Guitar Praise from CBD. If you've never heard of it, think Guitar Hero minus the wordly music, but instead putting Christian praise music in it's place. Essentially, you follow along with the song, playing it on guitar and earning points when you get the chords right. Here's my 14yo playing one nite...

The kids and I had great fun dancing around and singing the songs. Wow, we're goofy! Check out these moves!

And little sister doing her twirls!

But here is the ultimate chunky pants dancer! Really, he loooooves to dance! It's almost as if he can't help moving his body when music comes on.

We had such a fun time..and I love that my kiddos are listening to music that praises the Lord!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I wrote a while back about my 4 yo daughter's injury back in November. She had her skin graft over a month ago and is healing nicely. She has been going to physical therapy for the past month also, to help her finger heal straight, as her tendency is to keep it bent. She has exercises we do together 3 times a day and also wears a splint several times a day. She just finished up her last session yesterday at the physical therapist, a wonderful woman who has helped my shy little girl feel at ease. Interestingly enough, while we were at her last session, Dad was taking 8 yo daughter to the doctor for a significant staph infection in her finger. (Never a dull moment around here, right?) Happily, she is on 2 antibiotics which should take care of it this week-poor thing. Anyway, that's a different story! Here's 4 yo with her splint on her finger.
And doing one of her exercises. This one involves picking up beans with her injured hand and putting them in a bowl.
She has another visit back to the plastic surgeon this next week. Hopefully he will give the thumbs-up to the healing process and we'll only need another visit or two back just to check up on it. It's amazing how an injury that happens in just a split second can require so much work to rehabilitate. She is such a good patient, though, and given time, I'm sure her finger will be back to its old self!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Jesus!

It's Christmas! What a wonderful celebration of our Savior's birth! We began our celebration last nite with our annual "Happy Birthday Jesus" party. The kids sang happy birthday and then enjoyed some yummy cake that they helped make! Always a fun time, and a good reminder of the true meaning of the holiday.

This morning, the kids were all up bright and early for some present opening. They each received several gifts from mom and dad and family members. The girls loved their new dolls...

Here's little 2 yo with her new baby buggy!

Big brother with his Cowboys football jersey and hat. He loves watching all the games!

One of the best gifts? My 8 yo daughter's gift to her 5 yo brother. What a nice looking hat! Despite the expression in the picture, he really did love it.

We are preparing for a lovely meal later this afternoon-it's cooking right now. I am so thankful this Christmas for my family and dear friends, but most of all, for God sending his son, Jesus, to earth so many years ago, to save us. His gift is free and available to every one of us-we just have to be willing to accept it. Without Him, none of us would have the promise of eternal life in Heaven with God, but would be spending an eternity of separation from Him because of our sin. Amazingly, He came to the earth not as a powerful king, but a helpless baby, yet he is the almighty, all powerful God. Thank you Jesus for everything you have done and for loving us so dearly! And most of all, Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Look who's walking now!

My little guy is now 13 months old (sniff!). Just after he turned a year old, he started walking and went from walking a few steps to walking across the room within days. Now we can't stop him! He's a pretty happy guy, now that he can get where he wants to go. Sometimes it is more of a drunken swagger than a walk, but hey, he's still learning! This picture was quite difficult to get, as he never stands still!

Hard to believe that last year, he was born a little peanut....Okay, a big peanut-almost a 9 pound peanut! But here he is, content as can be. Scroll down and you can see how he's grown over the year, with month by month pictures!


One month.....

Two months...

3 months....

4 months...

5 months..

6 months...Don't you love the crazy 'do?

7 months....

8 months...A new haircut, too!

9 months....somebody's mobile!

10 months....same somebody climbing stairs now!

11 months...

And the big 1 year! He loves cake, can you tell?

What a fun year it's been!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gingerbread fun

Even though we still had one or two sick ones, we decided to do something fun today with the well ones. We took out our gingerbread house and got decorating! Last week, while shopping in Target, I came across one of those gingerbread house kits that was pre-built, as in-all put together for you! The only thing you do is decorate it with the candies (the fun part). I remember from years past that it was always very frustrating trying to "glue" the pieces together, and then you had to wait for it to dry before decorating-not easy with little ones! So this was a perfect fit for us. Here they are putting the frosting on...

And more frosting!

Who's this goofball?

Here's the end result. Quite cute-and they did it entirely themselves! I think a few of the candies didn't quite make it to the house, but that's okay. It was a fun time!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sick kiddies

Yep, we have sick kiddies at our house. This is not the same ones from last week, but a new bunch. This time, it's our 8, 10, and 11 year olds. Same symptoms-fever, very sore throat, just a general feeling yucky. They spent the day lying around, sleeping, reading, resting. It hurt to swallow any food, so I did a run to the store and picked up some nice cold ice cream for them. Of course, all the non sick ones had to have it, too! Fortunately, it only lasts 2 or 3 days and then they seem to be on the mend. Tonight after dinner, our 5 and 4 yo fell asleep on Dad's chair. Surprisingly, they're not among the sick ones, just tired! Here they were, snoozing away!

A little while later, a slight change. Notice brother's arm?

I thought it was so sweet-like he was comforting her. Definitely a cute moment. And it definitely overshadows the incident later on in the evening when he pushed her because "she was in my way." Ahhhh...siblings.
At this point, I think we only have 2 that haven't gotten sick yet, so likely this illness will be moving on soon. As long as Mom and Dad don't get it, I think we're okay.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Creative fun

I am not naturally a creative person, though I truly admire those who are-instead, if I want to make something, I just find directions for it and teach myself! No, my creations don't turn out perfect like the pictures, but I do enjoy learning new things and I'm pretty decent at following directions. My little girls like anything crafty and I do wish I spent more time doing those types of things with them. It is hard when you're busy chasing babies and toddlers around!
My 7 yo wanted to do some sewing, so a couple of weeks ago, she decided to make a blanket for her doll. She did very well and was quite patient, too! We only had a few times where we had to use the seam ripper, but that's okay! It's a good tool to have, in my opinion. Here she is showing off her new blanket...
The past few days, we've been trying to get gifts readied for our neighbors. I am truly blessed by the neighbors we have and like to do something nice for them around the holidays. This year, we decided to do gifts in a jar. We made up all the jars, covered them with some cute christmas fabric and tied on the recipe. Very cute and even my 4 yo was able to help with parts of it. My 2 yo kept pointing to the jars and saying "Chocolate chips! Chocolate chips!" The kids are excited to deliver them.

After doing some fun projects like this, I think I need to get back to a set aside time each day to work on some crafty stuff. It seems to have fallen by the wayside, in order to deal with the more urgent. It is so much fun, but busy life just seems to crowd it out! Maybe our Christmas school break will be a good time to do some of these things.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Studying Africa...

We have been studying Kenya in our homeschool for the past couple of weeks now and have found it quite interesting. Kenya is one of those countries I never knew anything about, so I was happy to start this unit. Sometimes I feel so ignorant to what the rest of the world is like-and that is not a good thing! Kenya has over 33 million people-not small by any means, but it's amazing how little most of us know about it. I didn't know that it is just slightly smaller than Texas-and also that the average life expectancy is only 48 years. Wow-that is very short compared to the United States. We have done a few projects during our studies- here are the kiddos showing off the african necklaces they decorated for an art project.

One day they made a mural of an African grassland. Their job was to color it and cut out and paste on pictures of animals that would live there. I got a kick out of this one-if you look closely, you can see a few animals that just DON'T belong! A polar bear on the left, a chicken in the middle----hmmmm...I just don't think they should have been in THIS picture, do you? Apparently, we need to review this part of the unit.

Next week we will be trying our hand at making some Kenyan food. Hopefully we do not have any major accidents as we did with the German cooking. I don't think we will-something tells me their food will be fairly simple.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another round of birthdays!

At our house, birthdays can be a full time job! December for us is exceptionally busy. As if Christmas alone is not enough to be concerned about, we also have 3 birthdays for my girls. The ages? 10, 7, and 4. They decided to do a combination birthday party with a dog theme. We give our kids a certain $$ budget for their parties to do with what they choose, and they realized long ago that it was made good financial sense to pool that money with a sibling who has a nearby birthday! They invited many of their friends to come to our house and take part in some fun and games. Unfortunately, my camera battery was dead :-( which I didn't realize until the games were already underway. I was able to charge it slightly and get a few pictures, though, later on. Here are some of the kiddos having lunch. We stuck with the puppy dog theme and had corn dogs, animal crackers, puppy chow chex mix, bone cookies, etc. They gobbled it up!

Here is their cake I made for them. Don't know why it will only upload the picture sideways, but oh well, you get the idea. Dog themed, remember?

Here's my little sweeties getting ready to blow out the candles!

Of course, there were the presents. What a blessing their friends were to them today-they are so very generous and caring!

Finally, the big surprise at the end. Mom of one of the guests brought over their real, live dog! This is a very big deal for us since we don't own a dog. My kids just loved it-especially my 2 yo! She's an animal lover!

What a great time we had today. Now, onto Christmas...then we get a whole 3 month break until the next birthday bunch!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Let it snow!

Yep! It's snowing here in Houston-can you believe it? I think people move here to get away from all that stuff, don't they? Well, it started out light this morning, turned heavy by lunchtime, and moved out by late afternoon. Since we don't see snow here as often as we used to in Oklahoma, my kids really liked seeing it again! (Not me, I could do without it, really). At noon, they piled on their scarves, gloves, and hats, and headed out to make some snowballs. Or....some snow boulders!

Pretty big, huh? Took 'em a while to roll it all up. Then, of course, there had to be a snowman. My 9 yo worked hard on this one. That snowman (or snow-woman?) color coordinates so well!

Here is a shot of our front yard, taken by my oldest. This was well after it had stopped, so I think some of it was starting to melt.

After everyone was done playing, they came in for a nice cup of hot chocolate-yum! Okay, enough cold, heavy jackets, and soggy shoes-I'm ready for those 70 degree days to come back! :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An encouragement to my heart

The kids and I just finished reading the biography of George Muller in our homeschool. I knew briefly about him and his wonderful work he did with orphans, but I had never read his life story quite like this. I always assumed, given his strong faith in the Lord, that he had always been a strong believer. That couldn't be further from the truth! As a matter of fact, he started out as a rebellious, thieving, lying young man who was only interested in himself. Even while attending college to become a pastor, his mind was only on making a good salary and taking advantage of the gullible people in the congregation. In fact, he didn't even own a Bible and had to go purchase one for himself so people would believe he would be a good candidate for pastor. Doesn't sound like the George Muller I imagined! Once God got a hold of his heart, though, things changed dramatically. From becoming a missionary, to feeding the hungry, to opening several orphanages, George Muller truly had a heart to serve God. Not only did he serve God, he trusted Him with all his heart. Every need, big or small, was met by God. He vowed only to trust in God to supply his needs, nothing else. Because of that, God did some amazing things. At times in reading the story, I'd get goosebumps. I wish I could have just one-tenth of the faith that George had! What encouraged me so much, though, was the realization that God can change anyone's heart, no matter where they are in life. I often get discouraged when I see my child following down the wrong path, choosing not to follow God. In my shallow thinking, it can feel like nothing will ever change! Sadly, I underestimate what God can do. If he can change George Muller's heart-why would I ever believe he couldn't do the same in my child? I feel like He put this book in our school at this particular time for a reason-it gave me hope at a time when I needed it. That being said, if you're not familiar with the life of George Muller, you can visit this website to read more about him. Amazingly, more than 100+ years after his death, his work is still going on. What an inspiring story.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The holiday season

Thanksgiving has already come and gone, which means the Christmas season is upon us. Though many people look forward to this time all year, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I love what the true meaning of Christmas is-Christ being born into this world-but I dislike how the holiday has become so commercialized. From the annual Black Friday sales to the giant Toy catalogs that come in the newspaper, the message is clear-shop 'till you drop! I am amazed at how much money people will spend on that perfect Christmas gift, charging up their credit cards and being a slave to the debt, come the new year. Sure, the gift may be nice, but the newness will fade and next year, there will be something even bigger and better to buy. When we keep our focus on Christ, we will not be disappointed. He loves us unconditionally, doesn't cause us to go into debt, and can satisfy as no other gift can. If we celebrate Christmas as Christ's birth, let's treat it as that. On a birthday, we give gifts to the person whom we are celebrating, right? Why not give Jesus a gift? Since Jesus does not need material things, we can best honor Him by serving others in His name. Whether it be donating money to a worthy cause, buying gifts for a family in need, or just befriending a lonely person, there are so many out there who need to feel the touch of Jesus this season. We can let Him work through us, if we are willing. Please realize I am not saying that all gift giving is bad, or that shopping at Black Friday is evil, just that the focus can easily shift to the wrong thing. When I ask myself- what is the true reason for the season?- I want to be able to answer Christ and Christ only!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A reason to celebrate!

With all the chaos going on after sweet Hannah's injury, I wanted to make sure to mention something wonderful we celebrated this past weekend-my baby is one year old! It is sad to see him growing so fast, but wonderful to see him entering a new phase in life-toddlerhood! The girls helped decorate our house with streamers, a happy birthday banner, and lots of balloons! We started off the celebration with a pizza meal and some of Luke's favorite crackers..

Then it was time to open some gifts! He loved his Elmo doll-it talks and laughs!

And he got a little bit distracted by the balloons while opening the rest of his gifts!

Finally, on to the cake!

I figured a #1 was quite fitting! After all, it's the only birthday you can have this kind of cake, right? Well...unless you were turning 11 and put two of them together. But that's a few years off! Luke enjoyed the cake, as you can see. As a matter of fact, he had 3 servings-plus a tiny bit of ice cream. A little bit of heaven on earth for my little guy.

Happy birthday little bugger! We all love you!