Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Country Life (update)

Kurt bought a NEW red Honda four wheeler for us on Thursday. I have to admit its been pretty fun. The weather has been extra cold so we don't take long rides. But it is so easy to see the possibilities!

So besides Blade the Pony as the Christmas addition to the barn we have 4 calves (2 black and 2 white), 2 pigs, 5 hens and a rooster. We are like a regular farm around here. :)

I really like this country life. We are uBer blessed.




Announcing

That we have reached our goal. That this is the last time. That I'm sicker than ever before. That we're going out with a bang! That I'm grumpy and ornery and sick and grumpy some more.

Have I painted the picture of fun and bliss. Or even excitement? Nope. Not there yet. Right now it's pure survival.

I'll get there. At some point I'll get excited.

I have the extra stocking for this newest one and so I wrapped it up with a candy for each kid inside. The kids didn't really get it. The grandparents caught on though!

Spencer: No! You're not having a baby!
EL: You're too skinny to have a baby.

Ruth has been the most excited. And the others are getting there too. Kinda like me :) Feeling very overwhelmed.

But I've known since Lucy was tiny this one wanted to come. Apparently it's time.. It will be good.



I have saved every single positive pregnancy test with all of the kids. Now that I've taken this picture of SIX I'm throwing all of them away!

Christmas 2012

Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, 2012

So we created a stir this year by being in town but NOT going to the Romans' family Christmas Eve party. Oh well. I was hosting and wanted to continue traditions we always do with my family. The important ones forgave us. At 4 pm we went caroling {McManns, Blackburns & DeVos} and then came home to a nice dinner. Thanks again everyone for your contributions!


 {love having a kids table!}

The kids opened their new pjs after the two little girls had their baths. Lucy is always such a ham. She was running around naked {loving the attention} and I was laughing and said I needed to take a picture. So she stopped in front of the Christmas tree and posed. Laughing harder I said, "The backside would be even cuter." And so she turned around! It was hilarious. We all got a good laugh.




When things finally started to settle down we acted out the nativity.










Tuesday, Christmas Day 

We woke up to the kids telling us they had heard Santa and seen the sleigh last night. They were VERY excited!! They had to wait {semi patiently} for all the adults to wake up and take their places. Santa did indeed come. He is always nice to us.

Austin asked for LEGOs {after explaining that Santa will not bring a laptop. Mom and Dad have to give Santa the OK. And that one was never going to happen.}

Emma Lynn asked for an Art Studio. "You know, a hut or shed where I can go to create art." Wow. That one threw me for a while. Santa and I brainstormed long and hard on something that would work. I was anxious to see if she would like it.

It is a nice hutch to house all her supplies and projects to go in the living room. Complete with a studio lamp and easel to display artwork. This is going in the living room. I asked her later if she was happy with it, "Ya. It is not what I was thinking of but I like it better!" Phew, we're so glad. Meanwhile she hasn't left her studio corner in the living room. :)

Spencer asked for a batman lego, batmobile, batcave and horse. {He had the longest most detailed list this year.} Santa brought a batcave and super hero lego set.


Ruth asked for pet shops. While she did get two in her stocking Santa had something else in mind. He brought a large ballerina doll. You can strap her on your feet so she dances with you. It was such a HUGE hit. She loved it and danced All. Day. Long. It was so worth it. She was so adorable. He also brought an apron and baking hat to go with an Easy Bake Oven. Of course we had to bake that afternoon. She really made Christmas fun this year because she was so sweet and so excited about everything. What a sweet girl.



Lucy is that blessed age where she can't ask for anything! ;) Santa brought her a shopping cart and doll to ride along. There was also a phone in her stocking. Perfect for Miss Lucy. She is OBSESSED with phones! Oh brother. 



 Lost in the world of legos
 Sporting the new sweatshirt Ruth gave him.
 Grandma made us all hats! Perfect for feeding 
 Thoughtful gift from Maren
My baker

Kurt really wanted to get the kids a pony for Christmas. He was determined and found one on Craigslist that he bought. After all the excitement was over we ALL headed down to the barn to feed. And was was waiting for us? A PONY!!! Merry Christmas Spencer. Obviously it was for everyone but Spencer wanted and was the most excited about it. He quickly named him Blade. Spencer, Austin and Ruth rode him. He is a very gentle pony and likes kids. What a super great dad.








Unfortunately we had to say good-bye to our family that afternoon. They left around 3 so they could make it out of town before the snow storm it. It is a good thing they left when they did because the snow came and it didn't stop. We LOVED having them come. 
What a sweet Christmas. 

Christmas Hosts

I was lucky enough to host Christmas at my house this year! I'm happy about this because it means for once it was a travel free season. I'm really grateful for that because life is being sucked out of me and I would like to crawl into a deep hole and never come out. Wow. I sound like a perfect host, huh?

To entice the McMullans to come west for Christmas we offered to pay for one plane ticket. It worked!!! They arrived on Wednesday {19th} So fun to have them. Plus it was an extra treat to enjoy their company before the others arrived. Lucy especially loved their attention and quickly learned to say "Roger." They were SUPER helpful around the house and with the kids. I could get SO much done if I had them around all the time. ;)  Greatly appreciate their help and friendship.

Mom, Dad and Sam arrived on Friday {21.} They arrived around 4 and a few of us stayed awake to greet the Farnsworth who arrived close to 11 pm. YAY. The house was full. We kicked all the kids out of their bedrooms and each married couple got a room and Sam whatever couch he felt inclined to pass out on. The more I host the more I enjoy the layout of this home. I love that we can all be together but that there is enough space that you don't feel cramped or crowded. So great!

Earlier this month I emailed the Christmas schedule out. I decided to use the theme "Christmas Around the World." We had Friday, South American Christmas. Thanks to Austin's atlas book he already had a plan for us. He wanted to make Venezuelan Hallacas. And thanks to my most favorite resource {pinterest} I was able to find the recipe.  It wasn't very authentic and I was sure it was going to be an epic fail but it worked out and people actually tried it.


The McMullans had Saturday, European Christmas. They focused on Santa Lucia. They explained the basic traditions around Santa Lucia and then the kids made head wreaths {girls} or a cone hat {boys.} After the hats and wreath crowns were done they made buns to give to their parents. After they had finished baking they presented them to us while we listened to the famous "Santa Lucia" hymn. They treated us to a very hearty and tasty borsch for lunch.









That evening was our ward Christmas party. Spencer had been sick {and quarantined in my bedroom} with a fever all day. So Lucy and I stayed home from the party with him. 

Grandma and Grandpa had Sunday, Madagascar Christmas. I wanted this especially so we could prepare and get even MORE excited for their upcoming mission. They prepared 2 games that helped us learn about Madagascar. Austin read his atlas book like I read novels and so he schooled me in that game. Humble pie does not taste good! ;) They fixed a tasty pink rice and vegetable dish for dinner. 



It was really fun to try new dishes each day. I appreciate the effort everyone put forth to plan and prepare their meals and activities. It made being a host so much more enjoyable. I have such an amazing family! 

xoxo
{Roger that was for you.}

Winter Performance

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It was a busy and slightly crazy day. It was also the day the McMullans were arriving! YAY!! We were so excited to have them come but it also meant I needed to focus on a house for more than half a minute. It really would help if I was home for two days in a row. They missed their connecting flight so they were on stand-by to see if they would make it to Boise. Meanwhile I tried to keep getting ready while Lucy tried to "help" me. Oh that girl is busy. They made the stand by flight and arrived in Boise just minutes after the girls and I got there. Perfect timing for all the stress and rushing. Somehow it always works out.

We rushed back to Vale to get ready for the kids Winter Recital which started at 6 pm in the Cultural center. All the kids performed a piano piece also. Emma Lynn and Spencer just started taking lessons this fall so for them it was their first piano recital ever. I was so proud of them! They all memorized their pieces. Every morning Emma Lynn would wake up, get dressed for school and practice her piano. It is such a blessing for her to practice on her own!

Spencer's piano piece was the very first number of the night. When I walked in to the auditorium he was sitting at the piano patiently waiting for the performance to start. I found a spot right in front of the piano so Ruth went and sat there. I couldn't find Kurt and the others to save my life. Oh well, at least I had a good view of the kids.

Spencer
Piano: Deck the Halls
Dance Class: Himno a Los Ninos



Emma Lynn

Piano: Away in a Manger
Dance Class: Christmas Dont be Late {Alvin and the Chipmunks}





Austin
Piano: I saw Three Ships
Dance Class: Boot Scootin Boogie




So much better performance than last year. I really proud of my school kids and all their hard work. It really paid off. LOVE YOU!

Camps & Cousins

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