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!

Monday, November 23, 2009

On the mend

Well, the worst is over. Little Hannah had her surgery very early this morning to fix the cut on her hand. They did a skin graft, taking skin from her inner wrist and suturing it to her finger. She had some wonderful nurses caring for her and really seemed comfortable with them. She only cried twice-when the anesthesiologist and the doctor came in. When it was time to take her back, she kept saying she wanted to go home, but she didn't cry. She was up and awake soon after and acted like nothing ever happened. Best of all, she got a yummy popsicle to eat! Her wrist and finger are wrapped up pretty well and we'll go back to see the doctor in 2 days. For now, we just need to keep it dry and clean. If all goes according to plan, she should be healed up again in 2 or 3 weeks. Isn't it amazing how God made our bodies to heal themselves? I am so thankful Hannah is home and doing well. His a picture of her after she arrived home-along with her goofy big brother on the left there!

What a trooper she is!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A very unexpected day!

It's funny how plans can change so quickly! Today started off like any other, and I was looking forward to spending the afternoon at home-a nice break from all the running around we had been doing lately. The kids and I had been studying Germany in school and decided to try our hand at making some German food! Our first recipe was potato pancakes. In an effort to cut the prep time, I decided to take down my food processor to help with the shredding. I removed the sharp blade and replaced it with the shredding attachment. I set the blade on the counter and saw my 3 yo moving toward it to look at it. As she began to pick it up, I told her to put it down, as it was very sharp. At that point, she took a step off the stool she was standing on, landing on the ground, with her hand on top of the blade. Of course she was crying and blood was gushing out. I quickly grabbed a towel and held it down to stop the bleeding, still not even looking at the severity of the cut. After about 10 minutes, the bleeding was still going and looking at it, it looked quite deep. I decided to pack her up and take her and older sister to the urgent care near our house. After the doctor inspected it, he determined it had cut through the top 2 layers of skin and what was exposed was the underlaying fatty tissue. It would not heal on it's own and she needed surgery to repair it. He referred us to a plastic surgeon about 30 minutes away and asked us to go directly there. In agreement with the other doctor, he stated she would need a skin graft, with the skin being taken from the inside of her arm and sutured on to her finger. With it already being 4:30 in the evening, there was no way to do it that day, so she is scheduled for surgery bright and early at 7:00 Monday morning. She was scared during the whole thing-crying to go back home. I know she will be scared before the surgery, but it will be quick, and at least she will not feel any of it. For now, her finger is wrapped up, and we have her on a course of antibiotics and change the dressing often. Poor thing-my heart goes out to her-it is hard to see your kids hurt. Along with the pain meds and antibiotics, I made sure to pick up something at the drugstore that is sure to help relieve some of the pain-lollipops! You might laugh, but I saw it at work today-both doctor's offices had them and it gave her an instant smile! Pray that my little sweetie's surgery goes smoothly next week and that her finger heals well. That's it for my unexpected day!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A celebrity in our house!

Hubby did a short spot on the news Tuesday evening! He is a chef, so he was going over food safety at Thanksgiving. He did a great job! It's so neat to see him on TV. Personally, I think he'd be great on there all the time-like maybe the next Food Network star?! Our kiddos loved seeing Dad on TV, too. My 5 yo was jumping up and down, pointing and saying, "Daddy! Daddy! Hi Daddy!" Too cute. Anyway, go see for yourself-here's the link. Be prewarned-they edited it a lot, so it's not that long. He has so much more talent than they show!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cutie patooties!

Hungry as a bear!!
Little Mommy-in-training

The football twins!

You know you have big sisters when....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Busy times!

Wow-long time, no postings, right? Life has been so full lately-it seems like there isn't enough of me to go around. Hubby went back to work Wednesday after being off after surgery for over 2 weeks. It was a good thing for him to go back, as he was gettting so very bored being around the house all the time. Beyond that, the regular homeschooling, taking care of kiddos, laundry, chores, activities, etc. has kept me busy for sure! Today, we were able to have some fun girl time. Today was our Future Christian Homemaker's club meeting at our home. We had to skip last month due to unforseen circumstances, so we were really looking forward to this meeting. How fun it was! Today, we worked on learning quick breads. Our project? Banana chocolate chip bread. Yum! Of course, that required mashing a lot of bananas.....

Then mixing everything up carefully. The girls were all so careful in measuring everything and did such a great job....

Then it was time to pour it all into the loaf pans and bake it. Waiting for it to bake was the hardest part! :-)

After baking, everyone helped clean up. Everything was spic and span in no time!
Here it is-our finished product. It sure tasted yummy! Daddy was quite impressed when he came home!

Surprisingly, my 5 year old-a notorious NON-eater couldn't get enough of this stuff. He must have scarfed down five pieces! Maybe he's our future chef-in-training!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Building fun!

Today I took some of the kiddos to the Home Depot kids building workshop. The kids made tile trivets (though they didn't actually include the tile-we had to buy that) and then got to paint them after. They had a great time and I was so impressed with how well my 3 yo did with a hammer. You'd think she'd done it a dozen times! Here is a picture of their creations-don't they look nice?

So colorful! I will enjoy having many places to put my hot pots, too! We can't wait until the next workshop!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

16 years and still going strong!

Hubby and I celebrated 16 years of marriage on October 23rd (yes-that was the same date as his back surgery)! Wow! Hard to believe that 16 years ago, we were walking down the aisle, preparing to commit our lives to each other, as young and naive as we were (sorry, but it's true!). Truly, my idea of what "love" is has changed so much over the years. At the beginning, being in love was more about how he made me feel or what he would do for me. 16 years later, it's not about that at all. My love for him has grown so much deeper than that and I can truly say that I care for him more each day! He is my best friend in the world and is a wonderful person (very handsome, too, I might add!) One thing I love about him is that he makes me laugh....all the time! My personality tends toward the more serious, so God knew I needed someone like him for a husband. How boring it would be if he was not there to make me smile. The last 16 years have brought many changes and adventures (and kids, too!), and plenty of fun times. I am looking forward to many more in the next 16! I love you sweetie!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our non-traditional Halloween night

We stopped celebrating Halloween quite a while ago-probably over 10 or 12 years ago, meaning we don't participate in trick or treating or in other festivals that celebrate Halloween. So what did we do this Halloween? Well, we started out with an evening of toenail painting for the!

Here's my sweet Mary with a smile on her face after seeing her pretty pink nails.

This is Sarah painting her own (wouldn't let me touch 'em!)

Then after a yummy dinner, we began our handing out of treats to all who came to our door. We hand out candy along with children's tracts that tell about Jesus. It is a great opportunity to outreach to others and the kids love the comic book style tracts, too! Here's my lively bunch getting ready to answer the door.

During the door answering, my kids certainly get their fill of candy (I buy extra for them). They have a great time and don't miss the trick or treating at all-they just enjoy eating the candy!