Saturday, December 31, 2016

Family Happenings

For Christmas we got the kids a new trampoline.   They were more than happy to put it together.
This picture of my boys working together really warms my Mama heart.
William is an awesome big brother to Natalie.  Considering how he felt when she first came home, this is a present day miracle... one of many that we have seen over the years.  
Adam is a master at putting this play place together.  Third time is a charm.  After searching for plans on the internet, and replacing missing wood and bolts, the guys finally finished this huge task.

Hanging out 
Oliver is so happy to have the playplace finished.

Natalie loves to swing, so JJ happily pushed.
Adam and Julia 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Secret Santa Siblings

On Christmas Eve we all went our church service. The choir sang beautifully! When we got home we had carnitas tacos with pico de gallo. One of the kids pointed out that the red and green salsa had a very festive look. I wish I could say that was planned. ;) After dinner the older kids exchanged their secret santa gifts. We all enjoyed this very much.
Some of the gifts were very practical, while others were unique and would be considered just a nice thing to have.  It was an awesome balance and I think the kids had a fun time doing the gift exchange. This whole secret santa thing started between the older kids so that they would not feel overwhelmed with the thought of having to buy for all of their siblings.  It has turned into a much anticipated event that we all enjoy sitting around the living room and watching unfold.  By the end of the gift revealing some still had no clue who their secret santa was.

Some got really creative with their wrapping!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
Jesus Christ is born!
In the morning we all gathered in the living room to open stockings.  Then we had french toast for breakfast.  After we all ate, we opened presents.  It was a blessing to see the generosity of my kids to each other.
Annalyn and JJ are so sweet to each other.
Natalie was very alert watching her family open presents.  Other than trying to sneak a couple of pieces of wrapping paper in her mouth, she was content sitting on Daddy's lap.
Anastasia, Paul, and Adam watching others open their gifts first.  It makes my mama heart happy to see how relaxed Paul and Anastasia were this year.  Prior years they seemed anxious and even a little stressed when it was time to open presents, but this is definitely not the case anymore.
A few days ago right after Julia had wrapped her present to Thomas, Oliver stepped on it.  All the glass in the montage picture frame broke.   Julia was sad to see the broken glass when Thomas opened it.  I think she may have even shed a few tears.   Here he is trying to tell her it's ok.
Caleb passed out the last of the presents from Grandpa and Grandma.

This is what our living room looked like after the last present was opened.
Speaking of presents, John really surprised me this year.  Just when I thought all the presents had been opened, someone mentioned the two huge presents behind the couch.  With a lot of the kids in the know, they all had me convinced the two boxes were a big screen tv and mounting frame.
But I was wrong!
The two boxes were a chicken coop!
And right after I opened the chicken coop, John brought in food, bedding, and four pullets!

He made my dream come true!  For the last 15 years, I have talked about having chickens!
Thank you Sweetheart!
Purdy, Petunia, Frances, and Sally!
It was fun naming my chickens.
After the chicken commotion moved outside, Adam helped Baboonya make chocolate pies.
The guys made a nice little enclosed area for the chickens.
The weather has been kind of strange lately-- warm and humid and then freezing cold.  Back and forth.  Today was extremely warm so the cats were out and being lazy.
Adam found an awesome deal on a double pack Guitar Hero that he got the family for Christmas.   The kids have enjoyed playing it!
Nolan still loves Elsa from Frozen.  He loves puzzles too so this gift was perfect!
The kids were able to relax once the living room mess was cleaned up.
Once the chicken coop was put together, the guys moved it into place.

Then we introduced the chickens to their new home.

Nice and cozy!
We got Alex this set of Imagination  Magnets.  It is the neatest toy!  The shapes have strong magnets on the back and the case is magnetic so the pieces do not fall out when the case is opened.   He really enjoys playing with his new set!
Mittens and Lucky are such good kitties.  They are getting so big!
Caleb got John a new t-shirt.
The kids love their new wagon!  It is great to take on our walks.
John is such a fun Dad.  Here he is showing the kids his newest trick.  Some of the kids have now mastered the trick without the poles.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Family Outings

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  We all went to the park.
 The kids enjoyed running around, especially Natalie.
 The boys played Spikeball, something Caleb is very into.   

 Later in the day we went to see "Sing."  It was entertaining and pretty clean.
 After the movie we went out for pizza.  Both the movie and the pizza were a gift from Aunt Tanya.  So during dinner we called Aunt Tanya and put her on speaker as we passed the phone around.  

 Today Baboonya (my Mom) came for Christmas.  Since we don't have a Costco near us, she went shopping beforehand and brought me some things I only get at Costco.
 It didn't take long before she began her Christmas baking.

This evening we all went to visit Santa and look at Christmas lights.

Early Merry Christmas!