Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tricks and treats

A very belated Halloween post. :) But still fun, right?

There was a ton of snow on the ground from a recent storm, but Halloween night was actually not too chilly. (The kids insisted they weren't cold.)
Mary and Kaitlyn both dressed up as ladybugs--a sweet friend got me the swaddling blanket and hat for Mary and it was great.

The kids got lots of candy, which we are still working our way through. By the time we decided to head home, the three biggest kids were wanting to be done. But not Kaitlyn. "MORE CANDY!" she shouted.
Mary's first Halloween was a good one I think. She slept for most of the festivities!
This year the kids and I made popcorn balls, and for breakfast on Halloween morning they had black oatmeal (food coloring) with a ghost (big marshmallow) in it. Special days and events are so much more fun with kids. They get so excited--it's one of my favorite things about being a mom!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Conversation from yesterday afternoon:

Anna: We're going to buy a turkey!

Kaitlyn: And then we're going to kill it!

Oh, the brutality of a holiday centering around the eating of meat. :)

(And just to clarify, we buy our turkey from the grocery store, so we don't have to do the dirty work ourselves. )

Today we're hanging out here at home, watching the various parades and football games, and I will be making my very first Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings. I tried to convince Kevin that we should take a trip somewhere fun with his time off, but he seemed less than enthused with that plan. :) THEN I thought we'd thumb our noses at tradition and get Chinese takeout or something, but when my son Yosef eagerly asked two nights ago, "Mom, are we getting a turkey?" on earth could I say no?!

So yesterday I took the kids to the grocery store where we (and everyone else in Denver) bought our groceries. The kids were SO EXCITED, and announced to every other store customer that we were buying a turkey. It was hilarious. Now, I don't know how the turkey will turn out, but I figure my 5 year olds and 2 year old won't be too picky. :) And Kevin will have his candied yams, so he should be happy too.

I'm most thankful this year for our little family and especially for sweet Mary Lucille. I also find myself thankful for the place where we live and the dear friends God has brought into our lives here, as well as for long-time friends that we miss. I'm thankful for community, and that thanks to the internet I'm able to share in the lives of friends scattered all over the world. Thank you for reading and wanting to share in mine.

And now I'm off to play a game with Kevin (and try not to think about having to stick my hand inside a dead bird and pull its guts out later). HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Homeschool update

Well we continue to plug along on our homeschooling journey. So far I'm pretty amazed by the whole thing. Anna's handwriting has improved SO much, and she actually ENJOYS it now! Yay! She'll be finished with the Kindergarten-level book soon. We're also getting decently close to being done with the Saxon Kindergarten math program. She's had a lot of fun with the various activities. Her Monday program she attends is going really well too! She loves to go, and it's so fun getting to see the work she's brought home. Yesterday I arrived a little early to pick her up and got to watch her class doing PE, playing that game "Steal the Bacon." Heehee!

In related news, I decided to start schooling the boys and picked up a couple of fun workbooks for them to do--which they proudly carried all the way through the store to the checkout, wanted to hold on the ride home, etc. They LOVE it--Yosef begs to do homeschool all day long. It's hilarious.

So yeah, homeschooling rocks. :) I love the flexibility, the relaxed atmosphere in our home, and the fact that I get to witness my kids developing new skills. I love that we can on a whim go meet Kevin for lunch, meet up with friends, or spend a day in PJs. I love that my big kids get to play a really active role in Mary Lu's little life, because they're home most of the time. I love getting to decide what the kids learn, that Anna loves to read, and that there's tons of time during the day to play and color and just be together. I love that Anna's friends at church are also homeschooled, and most of them attend school with her on Mondays.

All in all, it's a really great thing. So I thought I'd share! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Apparently, when a bunch of people come together to say that water will be the first gift we give this Christmas season, amazing things happen.

Because in just 24 hours, over $10,000 was raised to build wells in Africa. Over 1,000 lives will be touched. Truly amazing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Goodbye tooth!

Yosef had a loose tooth (basically hanging by a thread) one morning at church. After church it was gone--and he had no clue where! He's a bit young to be losing teeth, and so most likely that tooth was traumatized at some point in the past. (I don't know about you, but teeth totally gross me out. I don't want to have to see/touch/know about any loose teeth. Ewwww! :) )

Today has been a good day. Our colds are finally getting better, I homeschooled, and I've gotten some housework done. Currently I'm sitting here on the couch holding an adorable baby, and tonight we have Community Group. I'm off now to finish up some things on my to-do list, including taking a shower. :) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Old before my time

Yes, this is how I can be found as of about 9:30 pm most nights. (And apparently my husband can be found with a camera in his hands.) I am basically an 80 year old in a 28 year old's body. Crashed on the couch by 9:30.

I'M TIRED, people! This newborn stuff is not for the faint of heart--not to mention we all had colds last week.

Thankfully though Mary seems to be settling into eating at 10:30 pm, 2:30 am, and 6:30 am. I really can't complain when my one-month-old is sleeping for 4-hour stretches at night.

But I CAN fall asleep on the couch...with the sweetest, most precious little girl in my arms. So in the end, life is good.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snow fun (for friends who live in milder climates)

A couple of weeks ago, we had a HUGE snowstorm. The most snow we've had at our house since we moved here I think. The kids--and Kevin--had a blast, while Mary and I stayed nice and warm inside. :) Of course last week was warm and beautiful, and then this weekend we got a bunch of snow again. I have come to love Colorado and its' rapidly changing weather!

Heading out into the backyard.
Kevin thought it'd make for a fun picture to have the kids sit down and then pack the snow in around them. Everyone but Anna thought it was fun I guess!
Playing. Note Kaitlyn sitting in the snow with only her head exposed. She LOVED it!
Snug as a bug in a rug in the house with Mommy (who, until she gets some snow boots and snow pants, does not play in the snow. And even then it might be a stretch.)
Still smiling, amidst the snow banks in the front yard.
About time to head in...

...for some hot chocolate + marshmallows!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sneaky photographers

One recent afternoon I found Biniam in the backyard with our camera. He got in trouble--he knows that's a big no-no. And then we found these pictures. They tell a story. Namely, that Kaitlyn snagged the camera and took it outside. She photographed some trees.

But then Biniam proceeded to take the camera from her...and therefore got some shots of Kaitlyn getting mad and crying at having the camera taken away. All before I found him. I find this all delightfully funny. When we first saw the pictures, it took awhile to put it all together and figure out what exactly had happened. Never a dull moment!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A captive audience

Friday, November 13, 2009

Give water for Christmas

Today you can do something really, really important.

You don't have to leave your house or even step away from your computer.

4500 children die every day for lack of clean water. That's 4500 mothers--women just like you and me--burying their children

But for $10, YOU can provide clean water for someone in Africa for 10 YEARS. You can change a life. Save a life.

Today, November 13, some of us are giving water. For only $10. Will you join us? Click here to make your donation.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meeting Mary

I wanted to share some pictures of our big kids meeting Mary Lu.

You hear a lot about siblings having a hard time adjusting to a new baby in the house and to new demands on a mother's time. I feel really fortunate to be able to say that there were ZERO issues bringing Mary into our family. Really. I don't think Kaitlyn noticed that she was displaced as the "baby" of the family--she has been too enthralled with Mary.

The kids weren't able to meet Mary at the hospital (thanks to the swine flu paranoia) so they first saw her at our homecoming. They were THRILLED. Enchanted, really. Anna didn't leave Mary's side for days. It was beautiful.

Yes it's a bit overwhelming bringing home baby #5. There are four other little ones to care for, afterall. But it is positively precious to see your children rejoicing and instantly falling in love with their baby sister. New life brings something truly magical into our home and family. I'm amazed by it every time.

And we're doing well, positively blessed by the outpouring of support and meals and prayer from dear friends. (I need to go buy some thank you notes, because I have a ton to write.) I still feel like I'm trying to find my footing with this "new normal", but I'm treasuring these days. They are sweet.

More posts to come soon!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

This and that

I need to upload pictures again. :)

It feels like we're settling into our routine and adjusting to life with 5 little ones. Mary Lucille is sweet as can be and even though some days I feel terribly exhausted, life is good. This week we've gotten back into homeschooling, which is nice.

Since Mary was born, I've been on the computer less, which has actually been quite freeing for a compulsive email/Facebook/news checker like me. :) Instead I've been reading an excellent book, Flannery O'Connor: Spiritual Writings. Oh how I love to read. This particular book has some excerpts from her novels and short stories, but is mostly comprised of correspondence where she shares spiritual insights.

Obviously I don't have much to say. :) We had a good Halloween--the kids and I made popcorn balls, we did the whole trick-or-treating thing, and now we have a ton of candy in the house. I'll share pictures soon. (We had Snow White, two ladybugs, a policeman and a pirate.) Somehow we failed to watch It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, which makes me super sad since I love that movie and I think it's a great tradition. Maybe it's not too late.

I will end this post with a question: what is with the Snuggie? EVERYone is talking about this thing. On the one hand it seems utterly lame, but methinks I might like to wear one around the house. Because let's face it, it looks comfy and warm, even if it's really dumb. (As it is I am rather enjoying pants with drawstrings these days--whoever invented them is my hero.) So that's all. I'm still here, wearing comfy pants, reading your blogs and very occasionally posting on mine. Have a great week!!!

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