Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

Since we were actually home over the Thanksgiving break, we decided to head out on Friday to get our Christmas tree.  It was the perfect excuse to avoid all the Black Friday shopping.....that many people, and that long of lines just wears me out!

The weather was beautiful and hardly anyone was at the tree farm around 11:00, it was perfect!

The tree farm where we go is great because you get to ride in a wagon pulled by a tractor, cut down your tree, then come back inside a warm building for cider/hot chocolate, cookies, and watch their Christmas train go round the tracks.  Benjamin loves it!

 enjoying a cookie before we head out!
 okay, so he enjoyed two cookies before we went out!
 time to board the wagon.........Benjamin is obsessed with tractors
 he was so mesmerized
 loving all the cows!
 it took Benjamin 0.5 seconds to take off, find a stick and a rock, and explore.  He ran everywhere.
 this boy loves to be outside
 Hey Dad!  Let's get this one!
 sitting in front of our Christmas tree!
 he would not part with the sticks for the picture :-)

For a little comparison, here is Benjamin sitting in front of our tree last year.......

 not sure who loves the Christmas tree hunt more?!
 Mommy and her (2) boys!
 no, that's not an illusion....my mouth really is that big, ha!
 the obligatory bum shot while cutting down the tree!
 we got our tree, let's go load up the wagon!
 walking down to see the cows while waiting for the tractor to come back
 our little family 2011
 our little family 2010
he was soooo little!!!

Afterward, we had lunch at Panera's, and headed home.  We were supposed to decorate for Christmas together while Benjamin napped, but I ended up doing it all because Peter had a power outage server emergency which caused him to have to work from 2pm to 12:30midnight.  OH JOY.  So I decorated the house for Christmas, then Benjamin and I spent the evening together and watched Finding Nemo.

The next day, we had a few things to do for company coming that night, then we spent the afternoon decorating the tree!

 hanging his ornament from when he was still in Mommy's tummy!
 hanging his ornament from last year!
 Benjamin & Peter
Mommy & Benjamin

again, here's a pic from our tree decorating last year.....

when did he grow up?!?!?!?!

Can't believe another year has nearly come and gone.  And that next year we will have TWO boys. 
We love having a house full of snowmen and lights and reminders of Jesus' birth and a glowing Christmas tree.  We're ready for Christmas!!


A post about our Thanksgiving....better late than never right?

We've always gone "home" to Idaho for Thanksgiving but this year we ended up staying home for a variety of reasons.  We missed our families a bunch, but it was nice not making the 8 hour drive home :-)

Of course, staying home meant I was going to be cooking my first Thanksgiving meal.  Normally, my roll when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner prep is more of "the girl who stirs."  So, I saw the cooking as a fun challenge.

Here's what was on the menu:

*  Roasted turkey & gravy
*  Mashed Potatoes
*  Stuffing
*  Rolls
*  Broccoli Cheez-it Casserole
*  Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole
*  Corn
*  Cranberry Sauce
*  Cranberry Chutney (for the turkey)
*  Strawberry Sour Cream Jello Salad
*  Sparkling Cider
*  Cherry Pie w/vanilla ice cream
*  Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake w/real whipped cream

I did a lot of the items in the 2 days prior to Thursday, so Thanksgiving wasn't really stressful the day of.  I think all the food turned out pretty well, and as a bonus....I didn't give anyone food poisoning :-)  We had our good friends Jeremy, Kristen and their kiddos over to celebrate with us.  Their 4th little boy Nehemiah was so precious and tiny!  We love our friends like our own family and it was a perfect day spent enjoying time with one another. 

Of course, I am a complete dork and put the camera "out of reach" of the kids and forgot to take a picture of all of us together.  So just imagine 4 kiddos, 1 baby, and 4 adults stuffing their faces around our table :-)

I took a few pictures of Benjamin in the morning and that evening after they left when he got a bath so grandparents should be satisfied!

 soooo excited for his friends to come over soon!

 aaahhh, can he be any cuter???

 he now goes and gets our laptop, puts it on his lap, opens it up and types away (thank goodness for password protection!)

 reading a story with Daddy after a full day of food and friends

 vegging like we all do after a big lunch!

 Daddy had a little too much fun with the bubbles that night!

we are SO THANKFUL for this little guy!

It has definitely been a year full of blessings for our family.  In particular, I am so thankful for:

*  My patient, hard working and funny husband.

*  My adorable, stubborn, smart, and hilarious little boy

*  My second little boy who I love to feel move around inside me, he is very active!

*  Our extended families....we are so blessed!

*  Our church family & friends

*  All of our physical needs being provided for

*  Growth in our marriage relationship and in our role as parents

*  God's Word

It has been a full year and God has been so good.  We are truly thankful!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Family of 6 1/2 (for 4 days!)

Peter and I felt like our family was "flash-forwarded" 5 or 6 years this past week.  We had the great privilege of watching our friends kiddos while they were having their 4th little boy, so we became a family of 6 1/2 overnight!  It was kind of weird to think that in 5 or 6 years we could really have that many kids of our own....yikes!  No promises though, grandparents, ha :-)

They were with us from Wednesday night to Saturday night and their adorable little brother Nehemiah Joseph was born on Thursday night.  He is just precious!

Our days were full of getting kids to school (2nd grade and 1/2 day kindergarten), puzzles, coloring, lots of snacks, naps, music, toys, baking, running errands, visiting their brother in the hospital, attending our church's Thanksgiving dinner, movie nights, dinner at Pizza Hut, baths, bike riding and video games. 

 doing a little coloring
 popcorn/candy and cartoons night!

 quick snack after school before going to visit their brother at the hospital!
 getting out their endless energy before bedtime!
Elijah loves sword fights!
 ferocious princess Haddie
 mighty Micah!
 Benjamin held his own pretty good with the big kids!
sweet brothers sleeping peacefully

We had a blast!  Benjamin adored having his friends with him and we did too.  They are such great kids and though it definitely made for some busy activity-filled days, we missed them when they left on Saturday night.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


All I got today is a bunch of random pictures and random thoughts!

*  Can you believe Thanksgiving is in 1 week?  Really?  We're staying home this year for a variety of reasons so I'm going to be making my very first Thanksgiving meal.  Um.....yeah.  Where do I start with that one?  Although in reality the only part that scares me is the turkey.  I'm just afraid it's going to be frozen in the middle.  In which case we will all have KFC buffet :-)

*  Benjamin is definitely inching closer to age 2.  He just amazes me with the things he says and does, but what's not so amazing is his attitude!  Homeboy definitely has an o.p.i.n.i.o.n.  He wants to do most things by himself and will also kick his legs when you try to pick him up after he refused to go on his own.  We just adore him, but he is going to give us a run for our money.  Yes Mom and Dad, I know I deserve every bit of it :-)

 displaying his 2 year old attitude if he doesn't get his way
but mostly he's just our sweet loveable Benjamin!

*  Tonight our small group is having dinner potluck style.  So to be easy, I decided to make a new recipe using the crockpot that essentially required ingredient dumping.  It smells good, so hopefully it turns out okay

Recipe can be found here.

I also made chocolate chip reeses peanut butter cup cookies.  Oh. my. word.  I had forgot how good these were....it's a good thing we're taking them to share tonight or you would probably find me in a chocolate peanut butter coma lying on the kitchen floor.

*  Tonight our friends kids are coming to stay with us for a few nights because their mama, Kristen, is being induced in the morning!  YEA!  It seems strange to cheer that my friend is going to be going through labor but I'm just excited for her and excited to meet their new little boy.

*  I'm still enjoying teaching piano lessons and Benjamin is usually awake from his nap for most of them.  Most days he plays really well while I teach.  So today we were sitting at the piano waiting for Daddy to come home from lunch and he looked up at the music we were "playing" together and pointed to a note and said "that's a half note."  Now granted, it was a quarter note....but it made me laugh because I realized how much he listens during my lessons!  That boy doesn't miss a thing.  He's really started to enjoy playing the piano and singing on his own, it's really fun.  Last weekend I played piano for about 1 1/2 hours and it was amazing.  I hadn't done that in awhile and it was so refreshing, such a pure way for me to worship my Lord.  Aside from something happening to someone I love, losing my ability to play would be just terrible.

*  We finally have a fireplace mantel to complete our little remodel we did.  But I'll save those pictures for another day when I can dig up some "before" shots.  I did however, print off a beautiful free printable I saw on someone else's blog.  I just used our own printer, found an old frame I wasn't currently using, and thought it would be appropriate for Thanksgiving.

You can print one for yourself here.

*  Okay now, I have some guest beds to make and a floor to mop.

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