December 15, 2016

Second Week of Advent.

Light two candles for Faith.  On this particular night, we cured the wiggles with some milk and cookies.
St. Nicholas Day! Candy, an ornament, a couple books and a puzzle!
So here's a funny story from our St. Nick's Day.  The night before, the kids were all talking excitedly about the things they always got in their stockings: chocolate coins, candy cane, matchbox cars... uh.  Matchbox cars?  Oh shoot!  We forgot matchbox cars!  (Such a silly thing that we've always put in stockings but the kids do have fun with them.)  So, Ken had the idea that we would find the nicest, newest looking cars from the car bin and wrap them up.  Along comes St. Nick morning and the kids are enjoying their treasures.  First, Liz unwraps her car.  "Hey!" She says, "I think we have this one already!"  Then another kid and another kid until they all realized that these were "recycled" cars.  One of the older kids said, "actually, I probably wouldn't have noticed if everyone else hadn't said something but now that I think about it...this was Liz' car!!"  It was quite the hoot and we all had a good laugh over that one!  No one was disappointed, it was just plain funny.

On Thursday, there was Mass, of course, for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  The boys also went to a gingerbread house building contest at the library.  They really enjoyed themselves and having friends to go with.
 Patrick came home with the second place with for his train and interestingly...more chocolate!! :)

 Friday was our last day of co-op for the year.  We always go caroling at a local nursing home before the party.  I always enjoy this time and the residents do as well.  They always love seeing the kids and having a minute to chat with them.
 Not many pics of the Christmas party but I thought it was creative that someone had the idea to set up gaga ball with tables in one of the rooms.  Great way to burn off some energy indoors!  Peter is there on the left with the green shirt.
Also lots of crafting fun for the kids while the moms chat!

It was a very good AND very busy 2nd week of Advent.


December 9, 2016

First week of Advent.

It's amazing to me that we've made it through almost two weeks of Advent!  This time always goes so fast.
We managed to get some lights up and the boys love nothing more than climbing on the roof.

This is the point when pool tools come in handy.  So far, we've been lucky and Rey hasn't chewed through all the strands yet.

We managed to go out and find the perfect Christmas tree.  We were pretty quick about it this year, too!
Lots of helpers and one sad little girl who apparently, didn't get to help enough.

That's okay, the promise of hot chocolate and popcorn cured her sadness and she even enjoyed the ride back on the truck.

 Then, in what seems to be our now typical whirlwind, we darted home and then to church so this guy could make his First Reconciliation!  The nerves were high with this one but he did it!  (I think he was still nervous when I took this picture!)   We celebrated with a blizzard at DQ.

Then, it was off to enjoy the annual Christmas Parade.  A good time and lots of candy canes was had by all.  Even Caroline who managed to snag one lollipop and her day was made.

The decorating of the Christmas tree was actually on Sunday but seemed to go better here.  :)  The kids hung all the ornaments and I haven't moved any yet.  (Though I might need to later for their own good!)

It was a good first week.  We enjoyed our Jesse Tree devotions.  It's amazing how peaceful that can be now that everyone is older.  I love the time we have together at this time of year!


December 8, 2016

Baby Baby.

 We are very excited to announce that we are expecting a new precious baby in June 2017!
These photos are from a week ago, I am now 11w3d and amazingly enough--feeling great.  Oh, I'm tired, very very tired.  But I don't understand how I'm not sick as a dog.  It makes me nervous!  But, I'm trying to not stress too much and I look forward to the days of feeling baby kick.

Of course, all of the kids are over-the-moon excited.  Especially Carrie.  She keeps asking if it's Christmas yet and when can the new baby be here.  :)  It's hard for all of us to wait!

November 18, 2016

Sixteen.

I tried to think of a clever title for this post, to no avail.  I can't believe I'm so deliquent in posting this (I'm going to back-date it.  Oh yes I am.)

I considered calling this: "I can't believe he's so old.  (Insert crying emoji x3)."

But I didn't.

Yes, Nathan is 16 and as you can see, has an adoring fan.

Not his car.  Not ours either!  Staged with the help of his Uncle Jim.

No, we did not buy him a car for his birthday.  (Yes, we've been asked that.  And, yes, he is saving his cash towards one.)  He quite enjoyed his birthday celebration with extended family in spite of no car.


We love you, Nathan.  We love your spunk and your zeal and dependability.  We look forward to what the future holds for you!  God bless you this year and keep you safe on those roads!!

November 15, 2016

October.


I think this October was one of the best we've had as far as weather goes.  So many beautiful, warm days.  So much time to enjoy the outside!


 The last of the garden.  Liz was collecting these small ones to use in her play kitchen.

 Okay, okay, this photo was actually taken in September.  But, October was full of soccer so it fits.  Everyone was playing this year except for Carrie!

 October means a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Always so much fun and good to support a local farmer.


Corn maze by full moon is oh-so-spooky and exciting!  (Thank goodness for flashlights on phones!) 


Pumpkin carving!  We had princess Leia, Kylo Ren, a panda, and 4 funny faces.

A cute sickly little one.  I can't resist when they're asleep.

 The sickies meant that only the boys trick-or-treated this year.  They generously shared the candy though (and there was plenty to go around!)

It was a full and busy month.  We're so thankful for our many blessings!




November 14, 2016

Just beachy.



 We embarked on a family vacay at the end of September.   A little last minute, later than we've ever been to NC beaches before, but worth it in so many ways.  The weather was perfect.  We were lucky that this fall has been so mild and warm and managed to be at the beach between a monsoon and a hurricane.  Essentially, we had the place to ourselves.  It was warm enough to be enjoyable but not hot enough to be sweaty.  Sunscreen wasn't really needed. Perfection!

 The first day we were there.  Impossible to not head to the beach as soon as most of the stuff was out of the car.

We did all of our usual things...

Beachtime:








Riding the waves:







Crabbing at the Whalehead Club:



Crabbing on the beach at night:



Sand Dunes and Kite Flying:







Bike Riding:



Game playing:

 Peter hanging off of the shuffleboard to play was cracking me up!


 Lighthouse climbing:

This was the first year in a long time that we were all able to go together!  And everyone walked on their own two feet!

Nathan had fun using his drone to get some interesting photos and videos this year.  I like this one he got of us on the deck.

We managed to get a few photos with all of us in them to boot.  My favorite kind of souvenir!