Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013


After a full week of sickness at our house we were happy that we were all not fevered and not throwing up on Christmas.  For the entire week I had been praying for that and was thankful that God was merciful and gave us that gift for Christmas.  :-)  We had a very nice Christmas morning at our house in spite of the fact that a very excited Andrew woke us all up at 5:30 to open presents.  :-)  Little Lady was none too thrilled and we didn't even both waking up Chunky Monkey . . . we let him sleep through the gifts.  :-)







 
Then it was off to Grandma and Grandpa Carr's house for our breakfast feast and gift exchange.  My parents make a BIG DEAL of Christmas and its so fun to have traditions, amazing food, stockings, gifts galore, and cousins to share it all with.  Thanks to my parents for once again working themselves to the bone to make sure it's perfect for everyone.

 
 Every year I think I get this same photo of Tim and Marisa.  LOL


 
My brother in law brought a huge box from his work for the kids to turn into a house .  . . I think they enjoyed this as much as the gifts!

 
Grandpa giving the annual whipped cream mouthful to all the kids.

 
LOL, no words . . .

 
We decided to start something new this year and invited Daniel and Tyler to a sleepover with Andrew the night after Christmas.  The boys had a GREAT time and so did we . . . we might just make this a yearly tradition!  Here they are in the pitch black (except for their flashlights) looking for hidden tickets . . . (you can see one on top of the photo on the wall) the tickets had names on them for the "Minivan express".

 
Once they all found their tickets we headed to the city park to look at Christmas lights.  Since our kids had all been sick this was the first time we had been out to see them so Little Lady and Chunky Monkey especially enjoyed them . . . although the boys were really into it too.  Our city park does a real nice job of making the lights a big deal.


 
Then home to decorate our own Chrismas Gingerbread train and movie time.





 
It took them a little while to get the giggles out but after that they were out like a light.  Fun, fun night!  The next evening my parents surprised us all with a dinner at the local Japanese steakhouse.  some of the kids had never seen the entertainment factor of them cooking in front of you before, so it was a real treat!  Excellent food didn't hurt either . . . :-)  This was only HALF of our group . . . took two grills and two chefs to hold us all.

 
Some hot tub action . . . :-)
 
 
Then Grandma had the kids each make their own pizzas for lunch . .. they had a great time picking out their toppings and making it just right.  This has really been a great break.  Because of a special event with Tim's family after the new year, we postponed our annual trip there and it has allowed for extra time with my extended family.  Just what we needed after being cooped inside for an entire week.  Thanks to my parents for making this so extra special for everyone. 
 

 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Programs and Basketball

Before our family was plagued with germs from all directions, we did manage to get all the kids Christmas programs in!  :-)  We were proud of both Andrew and Little Lady in their programs and even Chunky Monkey behaved during them which is its own small miracle.  :-) 

The church program was very low key this year.  We have a huge youth group and an overflowing nursery, but a big gap in elementary age children this year.  Praying for a big group again next year.

 
Little Lady School

 
Andrew School



 
Andrew has also just finished his first season of basketball.  We were unimpressed with the league itself, but did see some defensive talent out of Andrew.  Maybe an athlete we will make out of him yet.  :-)
 



 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thanksgiving, Snow Fun, and Saturdays

What were we thinking putting Chunky Monkey's bed in with our computer?  This leaves us no time to get computer work and photo stuff done and has made my posts be way behind.  Sorry to my family who has been patiently waiting to see these pictures . . . :-)  Thanksgiving we spent in Cleveland and as always we can count on two things good food and snow!  We had a great time with Tim's family enjoying the feast and enjoyed some snow fun as well.  Andrew and Tim did some shoveling and then Tim took the older two kids on a hike in the woods behind the house.  Chunky Monkey didn't do any playing, but the other two certainly enjoyed the time with family and in the snow!
 


 
Our Saturday mornings are often spent at Lowes or  Home Depot doing one of their children's builds.  The kids really enjoy them and we have enjoyed seeing Andrew grow from doing very little on his own to following the directions and doing much of it himself.  Home Depot outdid themselves this month in their builds.  The entire room was decorated, gifts for everyone, tons of food, easy but fun projects it was really quite a fun way to spend a couple Saturday mornings this month.  (my two are at the far end of the table on the corner)  We have also enjoyed a couple parades this season.  Here the older two are with me at a daytime parade and then all three with Tim and I at the night time parade. I am really trying take all of these little events in these next couple years realizing that our parade and building years will all too soon be over.  Already we notice that Andrew is one of the older builders.  Snif.



 
Andrew on his own decided to dress up as Santa . . . here is what he came up with!  Skinniest Santa I've ever seen!

Much to our surprise we have had some decent sizable snows here this year so far.  We usually don't see much in December.  Here is Andrew and Daddy's snowman and then Andrew building his own beside it.  Little Lady was outside with them but wasn't interested in anything but making snow angels all over the yard.  No snowman making for her.  :-)




 
At school Andrew was supposed to make a gingerbread house that would be on display for all the parents during the program.  Here is what I saw at the program when I found his . . . "I'm sorry mom, I ate most of my gumdrops and candy and then a tornado tore the entire house down . . . " LOL

 
Andrew's class had a career day where they were to dress up as what they wanted to be when they grow up.  Love all the little mommys and the boy in the center as a very charismatic pastor evidently!!  :-)  Andrew is in the back as a fireman!
 
 
Little Lady has been enjoying school but I also take her and Chunky Monkey to story hour at the local library.  She has come so far from our first week and is now participating and doing what she is asked to do without as much help from me.  So encouraging to see her progressing!  Chunky Monkey is just happy for the suckers each week!
 
 
Last but not least .  .  . scooters in the house nights . . . for when we get cabin fever . . . our floors may never be the same and the noise is well beyond inside voices, but . . . lots of fun and laughs!  Also gets the toys cleaned up in a hurry (we can bring the scooters in as soon as the floor is spotless of toys!)

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Birthdays and Leaves

The leaves are officially off our tree but when they were at their height they were beautiful and the kids (the older two at least) LOVED playing in them!  Sad to see them gone already!
 
Last weekend we had Little Lady and Chunky Monkey's birthdays and invited all the church nursery workers.  Here was their letter inside the invitation. . .
 
No Gifts Please
We want this party to be a celebration of Little Lady and Chunky Monkey's birthdays, but we also want to use it as a thank you to you for your faithful service in the church nursery.
Thank you for opening your hearts and arms to these foster children. You have willingly come along beside us in this ministry and we thank you so much for loving these kids and becoming “attached” the way we do. You start loving on them the day we bring them to church and you graciously let them go when the time comes and open your arms to whatever is next. We are truly grateful for your love and want to honor you in this special day as well.
 
From that letter we had 25 people at a party to honor them and the kiddos.  It was so nice to be able to have them all here and thank them for their service, but also to have some of the people closest to these kids there for their special day.  Little Lady had a butterfly party in her party room . . . complete with cake made by my extremely talented aunt.  She was beyond excited to have her own party and kept saying, "my birthday! my birthday cake! MY party . . . "  I am so very glad we did this!!!


 
 
Then in the sunroom we had Chunky Monkey's party room with first birthday turtles!  Again, so thankful to my aunt for the adorable cake!!  It truly warmed my heart to see the kids at the heads of each table and the tables filled with people that love them and care for them for now fully knowing that we don't know what tomorrow will bring for them.  When we signed up for this ministry I don't think we fully understood how many people we would "drag" into it with us . . . what an amazing blessing these workers are to us as a family. 


 
Although we asked for no gifts, we did get the kids gifts from us (and some of the guests disobeyed the rules . . . LOL)

 
Thank you so much to my mom and Tim who helped tremendously getting everything ready for this party and helping cook for 25 people.  Thanks to my aunt for making the cakes and thanks to everyone that came to celebrate these two gifts we have right now.  Truly a blessing to us that you came.
 
 
random picture having nothing to do with birthday  . . . this was our night the other night.  First fire in the fireplace for the year and some mega blocks building as a family!