Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December...

At the beginning of this month a friend blogged that she was going to take a blog vacation... subconsciously, I joined her.  I haven't had many profound thoughts this month, but we have kept busy... I'll let the pictures speak for themselves... 
 We crafted like normal.... we made cinnamon ornaments and play dough snowman just to name a few.
 A former student, Jordan, stayed with us a few days.  She was so much fun to have around... the kids got her to play all sorts of games with them... she was a sport.  Here they are playing "guess whose footprint" in play dough.
 We did our annual Christmas cookie making/decorating/eating. 
 This year we delivered plates of goodies to our neighbors... the kids loved that!
 We went sledding... so much fun!  We've gotten a lot of snow... and are loving it!
 Ethan planned and prepared a tea party... he cut out animal shaped cheeses and heart shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  He was so careful and cute.  Eden on the other hand was the bull in the china cabinet... so my beautiful tea pot is now in a million pieces.... *sigh*
 My birthday was magical this year.  Micah spoiled me rotten with a night away, dinner/movie (The Hobbit), and a day at the SPA... what an experience!!!  The beautiful flowers were sent to me by my dear friend, Gena... thanks, Gena!
This Christmas was a simple family event.  It started out with a surprise... FROZEN PIPES!  So we spent the day warm, but without water.  Thankfully the space heater we put under the trailer finally did it's magic and the water came back on sometime in the morning... Micah got up at 4 to turn off all the facets... Praise the LORD there were no burst pipes!  After 4 hours this afternoon the pipes are all re-insulated with new heating tape... and we found the culprit... a blown fuse--- so the heating tape didn't work!  The kids loved their presents and so we spend the rest of the day playing games and snacking on Christmasy things!  Such a beautiful season!  

I'll wish you a late Merry Christmas and leave with you a surprise... that might be the main reason for my lack of blogging... we received news that a little one will be joining us around August 9th... trying to wrap my mind around this and prepare for this incredible miracle and surprise... too bad I gave all my baby stuff away this past year!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Gift of Play...

Last year for Christmas my sister in law gave the kids a gift certificate to the Children's Museum in Bozeman. We love playing there on free Friday nights... it is a magical place! SO this week I took the gift certificate and applied it towards a year membership so we can go any time, any day!
 They have science lessons on Tuesday mornings... it is now on our calendar!  I'm so thrilled about this opportunity because our trailer gets soooooo small during the cold winter months.  Now in minutes we can drive to the museum... the kids can play with amazing things... AND leave the mess there!
 It sounds like a dream come true to me... I totally have plans of bringing a book and relaxing while they explore, discover... and PLAY!  
 I have never seen the museum look the same... the exhibits are constantly changing... and they have the most creative things... EVER!  It would be a FUN place to work!
This week the science lesson was on the sense of touch.  The kids finger painted with paint that had salt in it and paint that had glitter in it.  I thought that was a clever idea.  The museum also has a craft station -- I'm thinking we will make that a regular activity in our schedule... SO FUN!

So Lauren, thanks so much for the gift certificate... know it will be put to GREAT use!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Christmas Tree

It feels really festive in our house, now that the tree is up and decorated.  I love this time of year!  The excitement, the joy, all the talk about Jesus... I love it!

We set aside a special evening to get out all our nativity scenes and to decorate our tree. 
It was special...
We started by stringing popcorn.  Ethan did awesome with the needle and thread... I was impressed.  Eden did a fabulous job EATING the popcorn... good thing I made a double batch!
 Ethan and Micah strung the lights on the tree... when I turned around to get the ornaments out I saw that Eden had brought all her friends to watch... made me smile... how cute is that?
 Digging out the ornament tin is so much fun... each ornament -- one's I remember and one's I've forgotten... each one gently wrapped in tissue paper.  The kids were just as thrilled as I was rediscovering the beautiful things to hang on the tree!
 We have way more ornaments than tree surface area, but most of them are salt dough creations and I figure by the time the kids are teens most will be broken and I will be glad we had a billion of them at one time!  And of course... we will make more this year!
 Micah and I got a kick out of how Eden loaded the branches... when she was finished with a branch it would be bending towards the floor... too funny!
Here is our tree... the first pic of many... a lovely, calming sight!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Kickoff!

We had an "ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS" weekend! We had planned this weekend out awhile ago.. then a CTM meeting was scheduled right in the middle of the plans so we had to switch everything up -- and come to think about it -- a lot of unexpected things came up and we had to switch up all sorts of thing... I should know by now that "my" plans never work out as beautifully as they do on paper!  So, Micah was able to get a few hours off work on Friday (he actually works 40 hours + Monday-Thursday... and then goes in all day Friday to do his seminary homework)... and we were able to head into the mountains to cut down a tree!
 We don't have too much snow on the ground ... and we haven't gotten our normal below-freezing temps this time of year... so it was a pleasant time tromping around the woods.  The kids made snow angels, threw lots of snowballs, and Eden collected a million pinecones... (yes, they are NOW all over our house!) I decided before hand that I wasn't going to be super picky this year... so when Micah said, "What about this one?" After we had been hiking for about 30 minutes ... I said "SURE!" We celebrated with lunch and hot chocolate... I love traditions!
 On Saturday we headed to our favorite Home Depot Kid's workshop!  The kiddos built picture frames this time.  I just love Home Depot and that they do this... it is truly a highlight in our month... every single month!  Lately, we've discovered that Lowe's also has kid workshops... so we've been signing up for those projects too.  After Home Depot we headed across the street to Lowe's and the kid's built an airplane (a few weeks ago they build sleighs).  Over the past year, we've collected a whole drawer of cool - handmade wooden toys that the kiddos have put together!
 Saturday afternoon we went to a gingerbread making party at a local art center!  (Don't we live in the most amazing, magical town!?)  There are always a million things going on for kids-- almost always for FREE! Perfect for our low-income budget.  I feel so blessed by all the fun things we get to experience!
Saturday night, Micah was working... so the three of us ACTUALLY went downtown with the rest of Bozeman for the Christmas Stroll!  It was WILD, NUTS, and CRAZY!  I actually can't believe we went!  We met up with some friends, but lost them in the crowd when we kept moving when they stopped to visit with friends... There was lots of hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, popcorn, and even a place to make smores.  We enjoyed the live nativity scene... Eden really wanted to pet a lamb.  And we also saw some people juggling flaming things. Ethan thought that was pretty awesome!

Sunday evening we decorating the tree... but I'll share that later... I'm feeling a Christmas over-load... it was definitely a beautiful, family-filled weekend!