January 13, 2018

Back and Forth

Yes, yes.  I go back and forth on this blogging thing.  But the kids have come to the age where they love looking back on the blog and want that for our school life as well.  Therefore, I renamed my other blog and hope to use it as our "year book" for school.  I already think it's fun to look back at them learning letters and I hope they will some day enjoy reminiscing about 2nd and 5th grade.  They have changed so much in just the last few months, I'm holding onto my hat for the next several years. 


I got the whole family involved in naming this chronicle, but eventually decided on the name myself...apparently I say, "Soak it up" a little too much and when Alison saw it, she said, "Oh, that's perfect!  You say that all the time!"  It's true.  I want to soak up the cooler weather right now and rain when it comes.  I want the kids to soak up what they are learning and I try as hard as I can to soak up whatever season we are in.  I also have a grand plan to have the kids learn some coding and they can use the blog to experiment and they can also use it for some writing.  How fun would it be to have posts written by them?!

January 10, 2018

This week

Just doing the splits on the power tower...no big deal.

We did some sewing.  
Eli picked out fabric all by himself and made some "decorative" pillows for his bed.


Alison and I made tea sachets, for a baby shower we hosted.

 Alison was such a great helper at the shower and I loved seeing our house full of ladies, all here to celebrate the upcoming arrival of the newest addition to our little church.


 It was a tea themed party.  We had a tray of different teas, as well as coffee and raspberry lemonade.  We made chocolate chip and raspberry scones, tea sandwiches, a veggie tray and strawberries with dip.  Laurel made the diaper cake, which looked so real that people asked her what bakery she got it from.


 My own little girl, crashed her bike :(

We started school after a long break.  It was a fantastic break and the kids have done a great job jumping back into work.  Colin likes to keep learning fun:

Our orange tree is ripe and we are enjoying basket fulls of fresh fruit!

And the most exciting news of the week; it rained!!!  The first rain since October!  It's much warmer and dryer than last winter, so we are enjoying every once of wetness we can right now.

January 7, 2018

New Year's Eve

This year, we tried to pick back up on some traditions.  Long ago, we said New Year's eve we would make a kielke or verinky and it hasn't happened since 2011!  I made kielke this year and it was extra special because my mom shipped us sausage.  I meant to make pickles, but forgot, so store bought had to suffice for this year.

Colin loves helping, almost as much as he loves bike riding.  He can't get enough bike riding these days.  He came inside to get a drink and when he saw me cooking, he had to jump in on the mixing action.

Alison requested Great Aunt Irene's peanut butter pie, so I taught her how to make it.


Dinner was so good, it made me feel like I was back at grandma's table, with pigtails in my hair, sitting on the white stool that all the grandkids fought over.  The kids loved it too, which made me really happy.
My favorite picture of the night; Ben finishing off the food...that's how good it was :). Maya was even waiting for a bite.

Then we made s'mores on the firepit and did some sparklers.

Fireworks on New Year's here is almost comparable to the war zone feel Michigan had on Fourth of July.  It was so loud until around 2 am that none of slept very well that night.  It wasn't exactly how we wanted to ring in the new year, but we are looking forward to many great adventures in 2018!

January 1, 2018

Christmas Day

The kids came running in our room with their stockings at 6:30.  They may remember this as the Christmas Mommy woke up with no voice.  I tried to say "Merry Christmas!" when they came in, but just some scratchy noises came out (it didn't fully return for 4 days!).

 Alison had a little surprise waiting for her by the tree...

And then Santa started handing out the presents.

Maya could not handle all of the excitement and wanted to be a part of everything, even daddy trying to take a picture of Colin.

This Christmas was also historic because I actually surprised Ben!  Our friend, Brian, is the shooting instructor for the border patrol and has lots of connections...he helped me buy Ben a gun, without him knowing a thing.  They have taken all the boys out shooting targets and Ben wanted one for our family.

Opening my present from Alison; a cotton decoration that I have been wanting for a long time.  She was so sweet to get it for me.

Ben surprised me with a new phone!  He put a new case in my stocking and pulled off a good lie that it was to "upgrade" my current, falling apart phone.  I was so excited to open this, I sprang from the couch to give him a hug...this is the action shot:

We had tea pastries when we were all done opening presents.

Alison's lot:

Eli's lot:

Some of Colin's (he likes to quickly hide valuables under his bed) and our family gifts:

My sister also sent us a real wreath and fake snow.  I loved her idea of helping it feel a little more like winter.

My lot:

Ben's lot:

The kids all loved their new drawing pads!

Eli learning how to use his new bow and arrow:

Hours of the afternoon were spent here:

We Skyped with some family throughout the day.  My sister called and somehow Alison and Katherine got the phone and talked about all the shopkins they got.

Ben took the kids out for a bike ride, so Alison could test out her new wheels.  I LOVE seeing them ride together!

For dinner, we had prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, roasted carrots and mashed potatoes.

As I tucked Colin in bed that night, he whispered to me, "You and me sure did get spoiled this Christmas, Momma."  I think spoiled would be an understatement for this Christmas.  So many thoughtful gifts and surprises and just being all together made this the best Christmas ever.