Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  What a wonderful time that we get to celebrate our Savior's birth.
Here are a few pics over the last few days.

Julia loves her Pooter.
Adam and Rebecka flew in a week ago.
Natalie loves playing in the leaves.
Nolan is such a handsome guy.
Movie day at Thomas and Julia's house.  
Hanging out after dinner.
Caleb flew in a couple days ago to spend Christmas with us.
More visiting.
Sister love.
Watching The Office.
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
P.S.  Especially Marilyn from Canada.  Can I get your email?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

O' Christmas Tree

Like last year, we went to our local Christmas tree farm to pick out our tree.
As you could see nearly all of the trees were picked in this lot, except for one.  There was one tree that stood alone.
It was massive in size and oddly shaped.  It was passed over time and time again even with its price marked down by half.
Yet we saw the huge potential in this tree so we declared it ours!
While they prepped our tree by shaking out the pine needles and bugs and then wrapping it in netting so we could get in the house, we enjoyed shelling peanuts while standing around a fire.

Once home the guys went to work setting up our tree.  Once it was free to sprawl out, it took up a quarter of the living room.  The guys removed a couch so it would fit comfortably.
After that, the kids went to work decorating our tree.

Dennis was a huge help to me by putting the hooks on all the ornaments.

I even talked Anastasia into hanging a few ornaments on the tree.  Funny how my grown kids think they are too old to do this timeless tradition.
Here is the finished product and we all love it!  It is my favorite tree we have ever had!  Many of the kids agree too!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Happy 18th Birthday William!

Earlier this month we celebrated our son William's 18th birthday.  
He requested homemade burgers.
They were so yummy!
Instead of the traditional birthday cake, William asked for chocolate chip cookies.

We all enjoyed him reading his birthday cards out loud.
 The evening was low-key, but that's how William wanted it.  He was content opening his gifts and then just hanging out with family.  
Happy birthday to a most amazing son.  Our William is handsome, funny, hardworking, and driven.  We are so proud of him!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for.  I can't believe this is our second Thanksgiving in Texas.  We love it here.  We are blessed to be surrounded by family.  
John and the boys put out these letters for Thanksgiving.
Thomas got an awesome smoked turkey from work.
My Mom (and sister Elena) joined us.

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Post for Adam

Parmesan Cheese with Spaghetti-- it's what's for lunch!
Hamburger Soup-- it's what's for dinner.
We have many puzzle fanatics in our family.  Even Natalie will hang out with us while we puzzle.
Like I've said before, Nolan and Oliver are best buddies.  They do everything together-- play darts, chase the cats, watch movies, take baths, draw on the walls...
Natalie is a sweetheart.  These past few months she has changed so much.  She seems so much more content.  She is more affectionate.  She understands our routine.  Though she is non-verbal, she is learning to communicate.  
She is able to let us know if she wants to eat, go outside, or just sit in our lap.
Though I have not figured out how to potty train her, she mostly goes in the toilet because we consistently take her to the bathroom throughout the day.  Trying to get her to associate using sign language when we take her to the potty has not clicked with her yet, but maybe in another year or so.
We helped Julia and Thomas move into their new home a few weeks ago.
I think all three of them were texting each other. Too funny.
Thomas and John taking a break after moving the rest of the furniture.
Oliver says this is how we should wear flip flops.
A few of us girls went shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving.  We got a few things off the clearance racks at Kohls.
It's playtime outside.

When Annalyn and JJ (John) went out of town, they asked us to bunnysit.  Ha ha-- bunny-sit.
Natalie loves to be outside.
This picture is so sweet.  Love my boys!
It was time for Natalie's heart echocardiogram.  Back in California I could not get anyone to do a sedated echo on Natalie though she screamed, squirmed, arched her back, and pulled everything away that touched her.  Back in California we never did get a "good" echo of her heart and frankly, I was tired of putting her and me through the stress.  So, I decided to "push" for a sedated echo here- - and guess what?  It wasn't a problem.  The staff at ETMC in Tyler was amazing-- they treated Miss Nattles like a princess.  They listened to what I had to say as her Mom, and we agreed to try Versed and Ketamine which would avoid her needing to have an IV and intubation unless necessary.  The two meds worked perfectly, I was able to stay next to her holding her hand the whole time,  and the technician was able to get all the info he needed through the ultrasound.  
Now we just wait for the results.

We bought Lexi a new bed.  She still doesn't sleep on it, but she makes sure and chases the cats away when they try to lay on her bed.