Airing Out Some Issues

February 1, 2017 at 7:01 pm (Uncategorized)

I really get sick of political posts and don’t like writing them often.  But right now, there is so much in the news that hits a personal note for me.  So I’ll just put this out there.  I am truly saddened by the display that so many women put on during the women’s march.  To me, it was an exercise in selfishness and self-indulgence.  There was nothing about it that helped or celebrated what it means to be a woman.  I got heavily involved in the women’s ministry at my church a few years ago because I found that I have a deep-seated passion for helping other women.  I’ve experienced a lot as a woman – much of it was of my own doing, but some was simply being led astray and abused by society.  In many ways, I am living the feminist dream.  I am working full time and serving as the sole breadwinner for my family while my husband plays stay-at-home dad; I served four years in the military; I will earn my second master’s degree in May; and I am raising and homeschooling four beautiful children.  Working is no longer by choice, but by necessity.  What my experiences have taught me is that selfishness and self-indulgence are the ultimate signs of weakness.  True strength is in serving others, putting the needs and interests of others before your own.  Women have phenomenal opportunities in this country today.  But don’t expect it all to be handed to you.  You have to work for it.  You have to sacrifice for it.  You have to make wise choices or deal with and try to overcome the consequences of unwise choices.  Successful people embrace challenge and adversity.  Unsuccessful people whine about it.  There is no place for women like me in the women’s march.   No place for women who believe raising children and/or nurturing is the highest calling on a woman’s life.  No place for women who value morals and class.  No place for women who think femininity is a virtue and a sign of extreme strength.  No place for women who think challenge and adversity make us better people.  I think the women’s march was a horrible thing for women.  These are a few specific things that stood out to me.

  • Vulgarity – I found it horribly ironic that a march protesting the vulgarity of our new president countered his vulgarity with more vulgarity.  It’s like cursing at someone while you’re telling them they need to stop cursing.  I absolutely felt no solidarity with those shameful displays, and I don’t support that kind of behavior.  I’m not a Trump fan – didn’t vote for him and find him rather crude.  But if you’re upset that he did and said things that showed disrespect for women, maybe you should stop acting unrespectable.  Women are allowing our culture to sexualize them and then complaining because dirty old men say dirty old things.  For all the “progress” women have made, men and society are objectifying us more than ever before.  Just because you can do something like dress provocatively or curse like a sailor, doesn’t really mean you should.  There are always consequences – lost dignity being a major one. Not to mention, the violence and vandalism undermined the whole premise of the march.
  • Unity – For all their calls for unity and trumpeting the value of community, this march and most of the women who participated only seemed to lash out and tear down anyone who doesn’t see the world the way they do.  It was divisive and crude.
  • Hypocrisy – I find it pretty much insane that women lash out against Christian virtues but exalt the Muslim faith.  You can’t really understand even an iota of how Islam views women if you support that faith as a woman.
  • Abortion – This one bothers me a lot.  Abortion has been nothing short of terrible for women.  Sure, this is something that will be practiced whether it’s legal or not.  And the federal government has absolutely no authority to force states to legislate this practice.  But let’s not pretend that women fighting for the right to kill unborn babies are helping other women.  My closest friend in the nursing mothers room at my work is very liberal minded.  One of the other women got pregnant shortly after having her second child, just like I did between my third and fourth children.  She was devastated and really didn’t want to be pregnant again.  The liberal friend encouraged her to abort the baby.  I know she was just trying to be “progressive” and empowering.  She didn’t mean it in a bad way.  But she has no idea what abortion does to the woman who undergoes it.  There is a high probability that she was encouraging that other woman to do something that would eventually destroy her emotionally and mentally.  That’s not the act of a friend.  You have no idea how someone will react to having an abortion or how it will affect them in the future.  Many women who think they can handle it come to realize exactly what they did later in life and struggle immensely with it.  So please don’t think that you’re helping someone by minimizing the act of terminating a life inside them.  As it turns out, the pregnant woman went on to have her baby, the boy she and her husband had been hoping for.  Her husband was over the moon excited, and she turned out to be really happy to have a third child.  I would never encourage someone to do something that has such a high potential for causing psychological trauma.  And abortion does have a high potential for that.  It’s not empowering, it’s painful and horrifying.  A true friend would walk beside someone who’s in that position, letting them know that no matter what happens, they will have someone by their side.  A true friend doesn’t tear you down because you made a mistake either.  They stand by you and support you through the tough times.  The truth is, places like Planned Parenthood prey on scared, hormonal women.  They lie, and they make a lot of money doing it.  They are not there to help and empower women.  They are there to turn a profit at the expense of other women.  I don’t consider it a choice if information is deliberately withheld or skewed.  Women should want to make an informed choice about themselves and the babies they carry.  That’s not what Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics are there to do.  Because informing women would kill their baby-termination business.  Abortion is also widely known to be a racist, sexist and discriminatory practice throughout history.  I saw a comment online that Hitler started by banning abortion – yeah, for the Aryans.  He used it rampantly, along with forced sterilization, for the minorities, undesirables, and disabled populations.  Another thing I’ve heard from liberals is that conservatives who support the pro-life platform are unwilling to take in the unwanted babies.  I can tell you from my own personal experience that that is absolutely not true.  I alone know dozens of wonderful families who would love to adopt unwanted children.  Many of them have spent a great deal of time and money trying to adopt, only to be caught up in red tape or unable to afford the immense expenses that go along with the adoption process.  But don’t for a moment think that there aren’t plenty of good, pro-life families out there who would be more than happy to take in unwanted children. However, I do think they make a fairly important point: you can’t really claim that you’re passionate about a cause unless you’re willing to put time and/or resources into helping.  If all you do is talk and protest, your passion is fabricated and your opinion is irrelevant.  That goes for all sides of any issue.  If you’re truly passionate about something, you’ll go boots on the ground and work to actually change it.  I feel the same way about pro-life people.  If you are passionate enough to march in the “Right for Life” march, you should be donating time or resources to a pregnancy care center or helping in some other way so women have a better chance of choosing life.  I’ve known too many “pro-life” people who criticize families with more than two children.  Too many who belittle women for making mistakes and getting pregnant.  If you criticize and belittle, you are part of the abortion problem.  Women who are in a circumstance where they would consider abortion don’t need judgment, they often need compassion, mercy, help, and hope.  They need to know they are not going through the tough times alone.  So be the person who lets them know that, and you will be making a difference for life.
  • Immigration – Ok, I first have to say that people really need to understand that the president and his cabinet of advisers have way more information on every political topic than we could begin to understand.  I get tired of hearing people grandstand about issues by regurgitating what they hear from media that has become an absolute goat rodeo.  Yes, I remember how the Democrats cheered when Bill Clinton had Elian Gonzalez ripped from a closet and deported back to Cuba. So let’s not start this discussion pretending our highly opinionated society isn’t drowning in hypocrisy.  I wish it were as simple as letting sweet little child refugees and their mothers into our country, whisking them away from persecution and handing them the American dream.  I wish that’s how reality worked.  But, alas, it’s not.  My heart goes out to every single person in this world who is being persecuted for any reason. There are terrible, and even evil, people in this world who perpetrate unthinkable acts on others.  But, the first thing to remember is that our federal government has one, yes ONE, primary duty, and that’s to protect the CITIZENS of America.  The feds dabble in a ton of things they should never touch, but ultimately, they are responsible for our safety.  They have a responsibility to vet any potential immigrants who come from countries known for terrorist activity.  Is it a perfect science?  Of course not.  We also have to consider that refugees likely don’t want to be followed by the very terror from which they’re fleeing.  I would gladly take the inconvenience of extra searches and vetting if it meant the horrible people from whom I’m running won’t be allowed to follow me.  When I first joined the Navy, I was stopped at an airport in dress whites and on orders from boot camp to my training school.  I endured a random search in full dress military uniform.  Of course it was an inconvenience.  Of course I was irritated at the time.  But I will take that irritation any day if it means a terrorist doesn’t get on a flight with me. Let’s pretend to be rational here, people.  Also, why on earth are people comparing this to the Jews we refused in World War II?  Has anyone ever heard of a terrorist Jew?  Seriously?  The Jewish people are pretty much the least threatening people in the world on the whole.  But I will throw this one out there just for kicks.  Since so many liberals think all pro-life people should be willing to take in unwanted babies, how about we put that shoe on your foot?  Are you willing to take in any refugee – to feed and clothe them and give them safety even if they’re plotting evil against you and your family?  Are you really?  Don’t lie to yourself. There aren’t easy solutions to the problems of society; life is rarely cut and dry; and, no, you would not fix everything if you only had the chance to be president. There’s a reason we’ve only had 45 presidents. It’s an insanely difficult position.

I really think America has become the whiniest country in all of history.  Every time I see a news story or a Facebook post about current affairs, all I can think of is that pitch of whine that enters my six-year-old daughter’s voice that makes me want to put her in timeout for the rest of the day.  All I see are people riled up about whatever the media tells them to be riled up about.  I see whiny, entitled brats crying for more and more and more.  I see uninformed, irrational arguments flooding society.  I see hate and division spreading.  It’s shameful.  We, as a country, should be truly ashamed of what we’ve become. Instead of helping communities, people are rioting and vandalizing them.  As one meme noted, a temper tantrum is a temper tantrum at any age.  Grow up, America, and stop throwing temper tantrums.  I know for the most part that people mean well and think they are trumpeting important causes.  But I really wish people would think through all sides of issues before screaming their opinion.  And above all, I wish people would show a little love and compassion for others.

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These are the Moments

January 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm (Family, Personal, Photography, Uncategorized)

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It’s getting colder again, but this week has been another gorgeous one!  Neighborhood walks are a favorite thing for all of the kids- and for me.  It’s really nice because we got new next door neighbors that have a three-year-old and the wife and kid have started going on walks with us.  But when they can’t come, the older kids have to take turns pushing a stroller.

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So now we tend to take two trips so each of them get to scooter!

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Cuties…

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The neighbor horses have been enjoying the nice weather, too!

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The chickens are so big now!

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A boy and his toy armchair 🙂. Friends gave us this little toy chair for baby K, and it’s become a favorite seat for him.

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Winter sunsets are just amazing!

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This was the awesome sky we saw on the way to homeschool review last week!

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Phone pics now. I really love having a good photo phone!

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Our oldest son’s “kitchen” room!

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Hubby’s finishing the last drawers today, but this is a pic of the dresser he painted to look like stainless steel with a countertop sponge paint top!

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A collage of sweet Isaiah…

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 Bath time! He wasn’t sure about baths at first, but now he loves them and hates getting out.ps_mg_7713-1-of-1

Little C is such a great big brother! It’s so awesome to watch him with his baby brothers. He’s so sweet and patient. Today, this is what I heard, “No, no Kyle. Kyle, you aren’t listening to no, no well.” Just as calm as could be 🙂.

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I’m so thankful my work is letting me telecommute for a while so I can capture these sweet moments. These are the moments I miss most when I have to go in to work.  It’s crazy to me that the “women’s march” people seem to miss the most amazing parts of being a woman. I wish women would celebrate femininity: bringing life into this world; nurturing; compassion; selflessness instead of selfish aspirations. Being a woman is such a gift and a responsibility. The women’s march missed that entirely.

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And this one got the toy box hubby made years ago handed down to him. And he promptly climbed into it! Just like his big brother did more years ago than I care to think about

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And he is such a talker, too! He can identify just about any animal and just has a true love of learning!

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Playing with  baby toys…

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It’s a crazy, hectic, exhausting season of life and I love every minute of it! Have a blessed weekend!

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Ringing in the New Year

January 24, 2017 at 11:57 am (Cooking, Family, Personal, Photography, Uncategorized)

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Well, I’m now catching up on the very end of December and the first part of January. I finally got a new phone at the end of the year and am finding it surprisingly convenient. I can now take pictures and actually have enough memory to save them! I also just realized I can update my blog from my phone! So now I may be a little better at posting :).

The end of December brought a fun trip with friends to a local trampoline park! The kids had a blast, and yes, I totally included that as homeschool PE.

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Our litte ninja warrior!

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Out not-so-ninja warrior- but I was so proud of him for trying everything!

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We discovered that Netflix has New Years countdowns recorded for various shows. So we let the kids ring in the New Year Netflix style at 10 o’clock!

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Pulling big sissy’s hair- a favorite pastime…

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Sweet baby…

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Snoopy snuggles!

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The pretty flowers hubby got me for our 9th anniversary!

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Our chickens are laying eggs!

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They discovered Sesame Street. I avoided it all these years, but even antennae TV has this show.

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Hard at work…  He has some focus issues many days, but when this boy gets in the zone, he’s really good at school.

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Cuties…

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This year for homeschool, we’re exploring different cultures each week. A lot of it is culinary exploration, which my oldest son loves! Here is a collage of foods we made the first semester. Greek baklava, Kalaalit Kaagiat from Greenland, Indonesian satay, German brats and kartoffelpuffer, Russian kompot juuce, Romanian savarin and apple cake, French crepes, Spanish churro, and I think that’s all.  It was really fun and I’m looking forward to more cultural cooking this semester!

Then, of course, hubby taught the kids (and me) origami!

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Have a blessed week!

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Inauguration Musings

January 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm (Personal, Uncategorized)

Ok, so this is the one post I will write about the inauguration because, quite frankly, I’m sick of the whole thing.  Every time we get a new president, the people who didn’t vote for that person freak out.  Eight years ago, I remember half the country freaking out because Obama was going to destroy America.  Eight years before that, it was Bush who was going to push us over the edge.  There are always conspiracy theories that the president won’t allow himself to be removed after 8 years, that we’ll be in a dictatorship. The “losing” side plots their escape to Canada (news flash – not better and no, they don’t want any of us).  One president isn’t going to sink our country.  He doesn’t have that kind of power.  Our government is designed so he doesn’t have that kind of power.  What really irritates me though, is the incessant talk about how Trump didn’t get the popular vote – like this is a new thing.  It shows such an incredible lack of understanding regarding the founding of America.  I questioned this as a kid, and as I matured, I researched our government and figured it all out.  It amazes me that so many people are ignorant when it comes to how our country is supposed to run.  Though it shouldn’t amaze me – there are a ridiculous amount of people on the roads who can’t seem to figure out how to work a turn signal, so understanding the government may be well beyond the mental capacity of many.

Fact: our government is not and was never intended to be a mob-rules democracy.  It is a union of states.  The states contract into the union, and it is the states that are represented at the federal level.  Your state should be taking care of representing your interests in the federal government.  That’s how it’s intended to work.  The president is selected by the states.  The Senate representative was also intended to be selected by the state legislature and not by popular vote for very significant reasons, but that’s another rabbit trail.  Our founders designed this government to protect the people – to protect us from the very thing that causes the most oppression in this world and throughout history, government.  The federal government legitimately has very limited power over the people.  We’ve allowed them to run completely amok and far outside their boundaries, but ultimately, the states are sovereign and only submit to the federal government in the areas specifically detailed in the Constitution.  I really wish people would educate themselves instead of believing every piece of skewed propaganda the media pushes out there (on both sides).

I don’t know the entirety of the good and bad Obama did as president.  It’s hard to tell through all the propaganda out there.  What I do know is that our country is more hateful, divided, distrustful and bitter than I’ve ever seen it in my lifetime.  I’m glad to see Obama leave because I do feel that he has cultivated an attitude of hatred and division in this country.  Do I think Trump is a breath of fresh air?  Of course not!  I’m not a Trump fan, and there are many things that I find divisive and crude about him.  But do I think he’s going to be the one to single-handedly destroy America?  No.  We the people are destroying America with our complacency and ignorance.  We’re focusing on social issues in which the federal government should never be involved and completely ignoring how broken the system is and how much abuse of power is going on.  We’re sheep being led by a very corrupt media.  We refuse to hold our representatives and our states accountable.  We refuse to make them stop this insane debt that compounds exponentially with each passing administration.  We refuse to do the duty with which our founders entrusted us.  So when America falls, it will not be because of the president in the White House at that time – or because of the presidents that came before him.  It will be because of the people.  The founders told us exactly how to kill the greatest country to ever exist, and we’re doing exactly what they told us not to do.

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Christmas 2016 – Finally

January 20, 2017 at 3:31 pm (Family, Personal, Uncategorized)

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Finally getting around to posting pics from Christmas!  Work, homeschool, kids, and housework are keeping me busy!  So this is mostly just a memory photo dump.  My oldest son got a toy kitchen he’s really enjoying!

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Opening gifts at home.

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Baby K’s first real Christmas since he was just an infant last year…

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Rainbow Brite doll – I ❤ Ebay!

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Hammering away…

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Cutie pie’s first Christmas!

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Sweeties…

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Christmas tree…

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The scene on Christmas Eve…

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The stockings…

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Baby K and sweet Isaiah in matching outfits my aunt gave them!

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Opening stocking gifts at my parents’ house…

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The big presents at my parents’ house…

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“Reading” instructions for his new tractor…

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Baby reindeer feet!

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Gee Gee holding sweet Isaiah!

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Amma snuggles!

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Popple made the kids bunk beds for their dolls!  So the kids had a fun time painting them the day after Christmas.

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Hubby got baby K to nap amidst all the Christmas festivities…and got a few zzzzs in himself!

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Painting party…

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So at least I got the Christmas pics up in time for inauguration day!  All I can say is I hope the exchange between the Obamas and the Trumps in front of Marine One was as classy as it looked. We’re all just people, people. Let’s never forget that. And one day, the only perfect ruler will return to take His throne. Every other ruler is a flawed sinner like the rest of us.  God bless our nation!

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Second Half of December

January 1, 2017 at 7:40 pm (Family, Personal, Uncategorized)

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December 16th: Santa hat and pajama day for homeschool.

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December 17th: The day baby K had so much fun at bathtime that he played for 15 minutes after we drained the water…

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December 18th, the oldest kids sang Christmas carols at a local veterans home.  I stayed at the church with sweet Isaiah and helped set up for the AWANA Christmas party that followed, so no pictures of the caroling this year :(.

December 19th: vacuum cowboy and inspecting the presents under the tree…

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December 20th: my dad’s birthday.  It started out with morning quiet time with sweet Isaiah!

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We met my dad for lunch that day.  It was supposed to be Bob Evans, but after the 15 minute wait went past 45 minutes, we opted for the McDonald’s next door.

December21st: Hanging with the babies in the van during little C’s piano lesson and sweet Isaiah enjoying his mobile…

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December 22: Surprising my niece for her birthday!

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And that brings us about to Christmas!  Next post – LOL!

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Christmas Crafts and Goodies

January 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm (Family, Personal, Uncategorized)

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And now for some  of the crafts and goodies from this Christmas! I did the chalkboard art pictured above on our kitchen board. It was based on a Pinterest post I found.  I also mad some wood slice ornaments…

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My oldest two kids enjoyed a day of baking…actually several days of baking as it turned out.  My eldest son loves to bake!  And he nailed all-butter Snickerdoodles.  We ended up having to make three batches of those!  They were perfect consistency…and no shortening!

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Hot chocolate cookies…great concept, but not a huge hit in my house…

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The always requested Rudolph pancakes…

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Snowman pancakes…last year’s were better, but these were still yummy…

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We also made sugar cookies, gingerbreads and peanut butter blossoms.  And two batches of buckeyes, but it looks like I forgot to get a picture.  The first batch, I used the toothpick and melted chocolate chips method.  Frustrating, leaves holes in the buckeyes.  Then I stumbled on a post that enlightened me to the use of candy melts and a dipping fork.  So much better!

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The kids decorating!

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For handmade gifts, I crocheted sleeping bags for my niece and two oldest kids so their toys have a place to sleep during sleepovers.

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I also made a Snoopy lovey for baby K that I have yet to get a picture of…I am really slacking this year.  Forgot to take a picture of the flower hot pads, too.  But I did get a picture of the quilt I made my parents…at least a picture of the quilt top.

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The kids’ handprints…

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So aside from the missing pictures, that what our crafty time for Christmas looked like this year.

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First Half of December 2016

January 1, 2017 at 6:07 pm (Family, Personal, Photography, Uncategorized)

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In many ways, December is a blur.  We lost my paternal grandmother on November 28th.  The suddenness of her passing really reminded us how important it is to cherish the people in our lives and to remember to do even the smallest gestures, like sending a card or making a short phone call on a holiday.  We never know when it will be our last chance.  I hadn’t really spoken to my grandmother in several years, but I have some fond memories of doing crafts with her as a child.  And she was always thoughtful, remembering every birthday and holiday.  She was organized, independent and very hard working.  What’s really nice is having that peace in my confidence that she knew the Lord and truly is in His arms now.

As 2016 ended, I finally joined this century and got a smart phone.  I was holding out because I really love having a QWERTY keyboard instead of a touch screen.  But, alas, I had to move on when my phone stopped sending and receiving texts.  The positives: I can now hear and understand people when I talk to them on the phone; I can take pictures when and wherever I want with ease; and the phone records the date the pictures were taken.  That’s a huge positive when you are trying to piece together memories for a month that flew by.

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On December 3rd, we got our Christmas tree.  Having two babies, it’s hard to take the big camera to a lot of things.  So all the Christmas tree shopping pics are from my phone.

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Poor baby K wasn’t feeling well and ended up having Roseola that weekend…

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We decorated the tree on December 4th. Phone pics…

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Big camera pics…

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On December 5th, we met my mom for a late birthday dinner at Chick-Fil-A.  And baby K played in the bouncer he’s a little to big for now…

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Then December 6th brought St. Nicholas Day, one of my favorites!

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December 9th, the kids and I worked on Christmas decorating, a gingerbread house, and snacks for the annual Ladies Christmas tea at church.  The tea was December 10th, but first we sopped by the plantation Christmas – quite a production with four kids, especially with two in strollers!  I only got two pictures, both on my phone, and was really just happy we survived the whole picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus thing…

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That night, we visited another farm with a wonderful lights display!  Once again, I was happy to have a phone for pictures!

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December 11th brought church and AWANA.  December 12th was Christmas movie night!

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December 13th and 15th pics…

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So that’s the first half of December.  The second half will have to be a different post!  God bless!

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Elf on the Shelf Antics 2016

January 1, 2017 at 4:09 pm (Family, Personal, Uncategorized)

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So Charlie Elf had a fun December!  I tried to remember to take a picture before he had to move, but I missed about half.  The first day, he was putting wood in the woodstove.  The second day, we forgot to move him, so he left a note telling to kids to find candy canes hidden throughout the living room.  On the third day, we got our Christmas tree and put lights on it, so Charlie was putting an ornament on the tree.

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The fourth day, he went “fishing” for Goldfish…

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I don’t remember what he did on the fifth day, but on St. Nicholas Day, he was in hubby’s boot…

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Minion bananas, idea courtesy of Pinterest!

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Spider-Elf!  Also a Pinterest idea…

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The next several days, I forgot to take pictures.  Charlie hid on the bookcase in the living room, swung from a toilet paper roll swing, played mechanic to a toy truck, picked out a piano song he liked, wrapped a present by the tree and took a ride on the living room ceiling fan. Oh, and he hid in the toy barn.

He brought a game for the kids to play…

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Walked Pluto…

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Made a toilet paper snowman…

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Slept in my daughter’s princess castle…

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Camouflaged himself in the plush barn…

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And my favorite of the year…rode a bull in front of a toy audience!  This was hubby’s idea!

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The final day, he left a note and ate one of the sugar cookies.  I’m missing a few, but unfortunately I can’t remember what else Charlie did this year.  I’ll have to do a better job of recording it next year!

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Saying Goodbye to Fall

January 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm (Personal, Uncategorized)

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Oh my, it’s been a crazy end to 2016!  I am about to photo dump even more than usual.  I just haven’t had time to blog…and still really don’t, so I’m typing really fast while the babies are napping.  I’m going to break it up into a few posts.  Here are the photos from the end of fall…

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Beautiful weather to play outside…

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Morris the cat…

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Those eyes ❤

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Last blooms of 2016…

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Neighborhood walks and scootering…

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This silly boy trying on mama’s tennis shoes!

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Doing the “dab”!  I have no idea what that is, but my niece does it, and apparently so does sweet Isaiah…

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Mama’s birthday balloon from two years ago, still flying (somewhat) and bringing joy to baby K!

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And that’s the end of fall for us…now on to winter!

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