Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sledding Fun!

We had the most beautiful snow day here. By 8am it was 27 degrees, there was a bright sun shining and no wind! Wahoo!! December has been very cold, windy, and stormy. We've even had an official blizzard. At one point I heard on the radio that we were very close to making history with the snowiest December ever! So you can understand the girls excitement at such a beautiful day!! The first thing Rosebud suggested is that we go sledding. So......we loaded up the van and hit our local snow hill. The icing on the cake was that public school was still in session so we had the entire hill to ourselves. Us and our friends that is! Miracle and Rosebud bit the dust.....
After trying this! LOL Hey, they made it half way down before colliding....not bad!
Gotta love these shots! Or maybe it's just me.....
We had so many races down the made "me" tired and all I did was stand and take pictures!
Now this is how a cute two year old does it! Isn't he adorable???
Speedy Gonzales!
I think she has her mothers need for SPEED! LOL
Miracle is my adventurous, daredevil.....always trying out new stunts first!
I just love seeing the smiles on everyone's faces!! They make this mother VERY happy!!

It was a fun morning. And of course we came home to hot chocolate with all the trimmings! Thank you Lord for giving us such a beautiful morning to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Love of Family

I just love this picture. I know it's not the best, but the smiles are precious to me. This is my "little" brother and his beautiful wife. She is pregnant and absolutely radiant! It's hard to tell in this picture but he has a twinkle in his eye that's a bit mischievous. It warms this "older" sister's heart. After more than 17 years of marriage they are such a testimony of God's faithfulness, goodness and grace. They are the best example I could possibly ask for....for my girls. The love and respect that they show each other are watched by many little eyes and hearts. Their dreams of family and children are being formed while watching such good examples. I am so thankful for their influence in our lives. We love them dearly!! The cousins all exchanged presents early this year. It was a really fun way to start the Christmas week! I'm not sure if we had more fun receiving and opening ours or watching the little ones open their presents though. It was just so exciting!
The girls each received a beautiful tea cup and saucer. Authentic, made in England! They're so pretty! What a special gift. They've already made special plans on where to keep them in their hope chests.
Our families haven't always lived close by like we do now. So, I'm very grateful for the time we have together. I love all the memories we are creating together. I will treasure them always.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It was a very Merry Christmas!!

The Lord has been so good to us. He just never ceases to amaze me! Last year for Christmas we were "adopted" by some wonderful families. They were VERY generous to us and the girls all received gifts that I never could have provided in the natural. This year the Lord used garage sales, thrift stores, and Craig's list. He caused us to be at the right place at the right time and provided the DEAL of the CENTURY on some amazing gifts! Both for us and those we love. We had so much fun finding those perfect gifts!! It was hard to wait all the way till Christmas to give them.

(I apologize up front that all my pics loaded backwards. I thought I had it straight in my head....but evidently I didn't. Sorry.)

This is just a cool pic I took with my camera. It has a nighttime setting and I wanted to see what it could do. The girls were all playing outside last night and this is what I got!~
OK....on to Christmas morning! These AG dolls are the older ones with retired outfits I've been told. They are in excellent condition and a great addition to their collections! I found them at a garage sale for $10 each!!!! To say that they were thrilled would be an understatement. No one was expecting anything so extravagant this year. Also, see that keyboard in the background? That was Pillars gift from me this year. I found it on Craig's list. Brand new, only taken out of the box and used once. Not a scratch! It's high quality, it sounds great, and works great! I only spent a small fraction of what they cost new. Thank you Lord!!!
This is the real picture of them opening the boxes......unstaged! Yup, they were surprised!
Christmas Eve was spent playing games! We love games over here. I also let them open one present early. It was the adult version of Apples to Apples. We already had the junior one, but they had asked for the older one. So of course.....we played it first! (How do you like all our braids? LOL )
We also played Rosebud's new game Horse Sense, Hoopla, Spoons, Speed, and I taught them to play Hearts. It was such a fun afternoon!
Christmas Eve, as is tradition, we all get to open our stockings. One of the special things they always find in there is some new kind of gum. I know that may seem strange to you. But I don't allow gum chewing in the house except on rare occasions. Partly because I've always had girls with thick, long, and curly hair. And partly because of having daycare children in the house and not wanting them to have it either! I suppose the fact that I don't like the "smacking" sound is a factor too! LOL They also find things like their favorite chips or candies and any other little trinkets I've found! This year they had more from each other than they did from me. It was so much fun to watch them. They really got into the gift "giving" this year!!
Pillar is very crafty and artistic. She's really gifted that way! She's been making these adorable hair clips. If I ever figure it out, she's going to open an Etsy shop to sell some of her creations. Her sisters were thrilled to receive some of her beautiful clips!
She also made me this beautiful card. I know it's upside down in the picture but can you see it? It's a kitten playing with his shadow done in pencil. It's FANTASTIC!!! I'm so impressed. I love it!!! Thank you Pillar for such a thoughtful gift. You knew exactly what I would treasure!
This year the girls also made these fun jars for gifts. Boy did we make a mess, but it was fun delivering them to people! It's amazing what effect a hand written card and homemade mix can have on a person during the holidays. They were so appreciated. We also made cookies and bars and caramel popcorn for neighbors. It really has been a fun week!!
We have so much to be thankful for this year. I could write a list that never ends. We have our health, our home, our friends and family.....But I think more than anything, I am just so grateful that I know HIM! "I"......know "Him." The creator of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth. He chose to create me here and this time and place. I'm so grateful that I'm not living in another part of the world or in a different time, that doesn't know Him. Thank you Lord for loving me. I love you too! Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A December Blizzard!

It was hard to get a good shot of just how nasty it was outside today. We had an official blizzard the last 24 hours with -10 to -30 wind chills tonight. Brrrrrr! Can you see my neighbors trash can? The snow plow only came by once this morning and it was already to the top of the can. The snow almost covered our mailboxes too! I'm so thankful for a warm cozy home with lots of love and laughter!!

Although I must confess, I did feel awful about something today. My neighbor plows during the winter, and for the price of "cookies"....he plows our driveway too. He's such a blessing! Well, as you can imagine in a terrible storm like this, he's been out since the middle of the night plowing. It's a weekend and no one was coming over to our house today, so I didn't mind a bit that our driveway wasn't plowed right away. In fact, we didn't shovel our sidewalk either. I just figured we'd do it tomorrow, after the storm passed.

You can imagine my shock when the doorbell rang! It was the Fed Ex man!! Oh that poor man! He had to walk all the way up my unplowed driveway AND unshoveled sidewalk carrying a very heavy box of new college books! And by the time I saw him, he was half way back to the truck and I couldn't even apologize. I felt just awful!! Here you can see what's left of his footprints.
On a cheerier note, I was blessed with something that only the Lord knew how badly I wanted. A set of holiday dishes. One day I was telling the girls how much I would like some, and the next day a lady on fb asked if anyone wanted a complete set for free! God is so good!! And the icing on the cake was that the lady lived up north in my neck of the woods. Yeah!! So they were easy to pick up.
The girls and I washed them all up today and I'm quite excited to use them tomorrow! Aren't they cute??
The family that gave them to us even threw in these fun holiday glasses.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. God has proven Himself faithful time and time again. Both in the big and the little things of life. I'm just so grateful to know love Him!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Jinglebell Family

This is Joe (Pa), Jenny (Ma), and Joey (Baby) Jinglebells.
Ahhhhhh......winter in Minnesota!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Annual Gingerbread Houses

Every year about this time we go to our local library and make gingerbread houses with our good friends, The Olson's. The kids have so much fun together. It's a tradition that everyone looks forward to. We were trying to remember tonight just how many years we've been doing it....too many to count!
Lots of frosting and candy......
And laughter......
These two talk non stop!
They're two peas in a pod!
Just look at their faces....they're not staged at all! I'm not sure I "want" to know what topic caused Kirsten's big eyes and Miracle's disgusted face! LOL
Doesn't Rosebud look like she's quoting Shakespeare? Nope, just another story!
At the end we take a silly pic of all the kids and their creations. I couldn't find all the past years. I must not have taken digital pics. But here is this years......
And last years......
What fun traditions does your family have?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chess Solitare - Review

Timberdoodle recently sent us this cool chess game to review. Now, I must tell you that most of us are NOT chess players over here, with Pillar being the exception. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was it challenging enough for her, but I was able to learn the game as well! It was really fun!!
There are 60 different game boards divided into three levels of difficulty. "I" started off with the easiest! LOL Pillar started somewhere in the middle. The object of the game is to use appropriate chess moves to end up with only one piece on the board, effectively teaching chess "strategy". What a marvelous idea! It's a small compact game that can be played anywhere and the fact that it can be played independently or by yourself is a HUGE plus! We are a big game playing family over here, and this one definitely passed!!
The game sells for $17.50 and when you order it from Timberdoodle you are not only supporting a fantastic homeschool family, but you will also get to experience their awesome website and super fast shipping! Here's the link to get your own catalog-FREE!
Disclosure: This game was given to me for the sole purpose of this review. All opinions here belong to me and my family, we were not paid!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sever's Corn Maze

Yesterday, I gave Rosebud a quiz and one of her answers referred to the fact that I am....uh hum....shall I say.....directionally challenged. So today we went to a huge corn maze. It was the size of 7 football fields! There were 26 signs to be found within, each with a letter of the alphabet on it. They gave you a map at the entrance and let's just say the girls decided that it would be safer for all of us if they led the search! LOL And can I just say that I am thrilled all three of them did GREAT! I was truly amazed. It was very difficult and took us well over an hour to wind our way around and around then find our way out! As you can see the girls were very proud to have made it through AND find all the letters! For an additional fee you could sling pumpkins at different bulls eyes.....
(Side note: This dad kept stepping into my view right when I took the pic. The first pic, not a problem, but by the 5th or 6th.....c'mon!"
It was so much fun to watch them aim high, aim low and then SMACK that pumpkin on the bulls eye and watch it explode!
This was the corn launcher. She landed all three of her pieces perfectly through the end zone!

If you look closely you can see the field goal next to the big bulls eye.
Inside the corn maze.....looking for the next letter.
Camel rides!

They also had an exotic animal petting zoo. It was by far the coolest thing I've ever seen! I was fascinated by the kangaroos. They had several mama's with baby's in their pouches! I've read about them before, but seeing them in person was so much better! Their legs, their tails, they were so strong! The pouches were strong yet thin enough that we could watch the baby's wiggle and squirm and stick out their hands and feet! Amazing!!

Not quite sure what she's doing with her head stuck all the way down in her pouch, but look how flexible she is!! Then there was the hay bale maze that the kids could either walk through......
or run across! Can you see Pillar in grey and Miracle in pink as they play tag??
Although the cow was fake, the utters if squeezed correctly would shoot out water. Yup....Pillar got me good! LOL
Having FUN in the maze!
Goofin' around, being silly!
It was truly a wonderful day!! We had so much fun together. I've always wanted to take the girls, but the price was too high. This year I found the deal of the century and was able to go. Wahoo!! I love it when the Lord does sweet things for me like that. Thank you Lord!