Sunday, February 20, 2011

Christmas 2010!

Christmas Day 2010 was wonderful and relaxing. Grandma and Grandpa got to our house early in the morning. We started off celebrating Christ's birth by singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and blowing out the candles on the 4 layer pumpkin carmel cake I was determined to finally make. It was so delicious!

Then we read Luke chapter 2 - the story of Christ's birth. We ichat with Poppie and Nonnie all Christmas day - it's our view into their living room that's on the computer in the background.

We opened stockings next. Opal was so funny, she kept taking out a present and without unwrapping it she'd say, "Oh, look at this one!" and then take another one out of her stocking.

After breakfast of traditional Swiss eggs on toast, we opened presents. The kids all bought each other presents with Dada from the Dollar Tree. Kivi made Berg a special little quilt.

Mama made Kivi a quilt for her bed. I've only been working on it for 2 years!

Dada got some steel toed rubber boots. This is him showing them off. Don't worry he's not having a baby.

The "big present" to the kids at the end of Dada's scavenger hunt this year was an indoor play room. The rings, hammock, ladder and swing are all attached from the ceiling. One of their first clues was in their room before Dada hooked everything up, so when they went back in there at the end they were surprised. Plus we told them that the hooks Peter put in the ceiling days before we for the structure of our home.

Uncle Chris, Auntie Tonya and the girls came over and we all had Peter's turkey for lunch and opened more presents.

Opal got a little baby she named Flower, who came with a bottle. She decided to breastfeed Flower and feed the bottle to Berg at the same time. She's gonna be such a talented mama.

Bergie's first Christmas picture in the big stocking.

All my babies lined up by the tree. Happy birthday, Jesus!

Here's a video of the kids finding the end of the scavenger hunt on Christmas day:

Chrismas Eve 2010

Our new little Christmas Eve tradition is to attend the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service together as a family. Not that we need more tradtions - I usually tend to go overboard on traditions, but being all together in "big church", holding a candle and passing the light to those around you is such a rich and meaningful one. Plus, as the older the kids understand the meaning of Christ's birth, I pray the importance of sharing His love will become precious to them and they will be able to understand the symbolism of passing the candlelight.
The girls and I wore matching skirts and a dress that my mamacita made out of all of my Papa's old ties.

Jasper, Dada, and Pastor Jim are especially excited about getting to hold the candles. I also look forward to the time when our kids will be able to sit quietly and still during the service, although I still struggle with that as well. Sitting still is not what God designed me for. I can actually hear the sermon better when I'm fiddling with something. My hands must move! Actually Kivi and Berg did great. But the boys were busy and every time Opal heard a familiar name like "Mary" or "Joseph" or "Jesus" she would get excited and exclaim, "Mama, he just said Mary!"

When we got home we went straight to the tree to find the white presents with the gold bows! Now almost all of them know there will be Christmas jammies inside. But what they look like is still a surprise.
Mama and Dada posing like Mary and Joseph with our new Chrismas jammies.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Christmas Pageant!

This year Eben and Kivi both decided they wanted to be in the Christmas pageant that Lake City puts on. They were so nervous, but they went to the try outs and all the rehearsals that the big kids went to and Miss Nikki was so sweet to give them both parts they wanted. Eben wanted a solo and Kivi wanted a little speaking part and to be a dancer. I didn't realize until I saw them up there on stage how tiny they looked. Kivi was the only kindergartener with a part (She handed a scroll to the angel Michael and said, very loudly and with great enthusiasm, "Michael, I have an announcement for you!" - it was so cute everyone clapped and cheered for her all three performances.) - so she felt super special and Eben gained so much confidence from singing his solo in front of everyone. It was such a great opportunity for them both. And Peter and I didn't know how much joy we would recieve from seeing our kids singing and dancing and telling everyone about the Good News of Christ's birth from the stage.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


The kids constructed their own sleigh and dressed up as Santa (Eben), Mrs. Santa (Kivi), and an Elf (Jasper) day after day. A new concept, seeing as how we don't even talk about Santa that much. I think they were enthralled with the idea of a flying contraption.

As soon as we sold the sectional and ottoman, Mama and Dada's bed got moved out into the living room and Peter and Poppie got started on the boy's triple bunks on Dec. 9th!

The kids and Mama constructed 5 little houses out of gingerbread. I loved this cute little pattern I found online this year. They were simple so I added chimneys and dormers but they were just the right size.

The kids had so much fun at the Schocks house loading their houses up with muticolored confections. (And eating the sweets too.)

The kids, making silly faces.

The finished product! The boys pose with Dada on their new bunks all built, sanded, stained and ready to sleep on! Well, not Berg yet, he sleeps in his bassinet under the shelves to the left. Eben is on the very top and Jasper is in the middle. And they do have a side board so they don't roll out.

Little Journeys

The Flooding Sewer Journey 11-30-10
One day at the end of November Eben came upstairs and announced, "Mama, the girl's carpet is all wet" This started a long and painful process of figuring out why water could be heard rushing down the insides of the walls in the girl's room and flooding their whole carpet with sewer water. Finally, after 2 vacuum rentals, cutting a 4x5 foot hole in the girl's drywall, digging up the main sewer line outside, 2 snake rentals and having the 200 pound snake break in two, Peter unclogged the sewer pipe and put in a clean out right outside the house in case of future problems.
Poor, perplexed Dada trying to figure out what the person who rented the snake before us could have done to it to have it break in two before we even got a chance to use it. He fixed it and Home Depot gave us a discount - so more work, but less money.

Yeah Babe! Way to go! Rain or pouring rain you always come through for us! We know plumbing (especially the outgoing part) is your least favorite, but you do it anyway and take such good care of us. And you look so cute in your yellow plastic overalls and headlight.

Journey to Bethlehem 12-2-10
This was our 3rd year traveling to J2B. We love it! We drove the bus to Auburn and brought our friends the Norquists and Grandma and Grandpa this year. It never gets old, seeing so many people dressed up in biblical clothes, knowing your journey is going to take you to see all the things we talk about over and over the whole season: shepherds, King Herod, camels, magi, sheep, donkeys, glowing angels, Roman soldiers, the city of Bethlehem, and finally...
Baby Jesus!

Lighting Lakewood's Tree 12-3-10
Okay, so this wasn't so much of a journey. We just had to drive to the Lakewood Town Center. But it was an awesome experience for us. The city of Lakewood decided to have a Lakewood police officer's childen light the city's Christmas tree this year. So we were chosen because Peter is a police officer, we live in Lakewood and we definatley qualify for having children.

Dada and his big kids going to light the tree.

The kids were so impressed because as the mayor talked right before the tree lighting he introduced all the kids by name. Then he gave the countdown and Eben, Jasper and Opal all flipped "the light switch" (Kivi opted to hold Berg so everone could see him, or maybe so everyone could see her holding him - it looked very precarious) and the tree lit up! Our family with the mayor and some city counsel members around "the light switch" before the Tree Lighting.

Practicing their big moment.

They did it! The Lakewood tree all covered in blue lights.
Since the kids were all dressed up in cute Christmassy clothes, I figure why not try to get a cute shot of them by the tree. I forgot why I don't have many pictures of all of them all smiling at the same time: it's impossible.
I did manage to get one all semi-smiling picture even though Opal decided to stand in her own spot, not next to eveyone else - of course.
This one made me laugh out loud. Same exact spots, totally different facial expressions. Eben the daydreamer, Kivi the evil clown, Jasper's a shy elf, Opal's pinching her own cheeks and Berg looks like a tasty chunky muffin. Kids are so funny!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our First Egg!

So after almost 9 months of waiting, and practically giving up hope that we were ever going to see an egg (because most chickens lay at 5 months old) we finally get a wonderful surprise! Puff, who turns out not to be a Barred Rock, like we thought, laid us a beautiful light brown egg, and has every day ever since Nov. 28th. Since this video however, we now only have 2 chickens because Nugget bit the dust. We knew he wasn't going to last long when he started pooping florescent green poop.

Tree Hunting Day!

On Nov. 27 a big group of our friends got together at Hunter's Tree Farm for our annual Tree Hunt! After feeding the goats and looking at the turkey, reindeer and pig we loaded onto the big wagon and slowly headed toward the Christmas trees.

We filled the tractor-pulled wagon.

Boys ridin' in the back!

Our big, cute group of friends! We took our group picture and then we were all off - to find the perfect tree!

It didn't take us long to find a really good one! We get a short tree, cause it's cheaper, and then put it up on big box at home so all the presents have room underneath. All the kids got to take turns helping Dada cut it down with the big saw.

When we got back from our wagon ride we sipped hot cocoa and warmed up by the wood stove and Santa came in. So we were able to get a rather good shot of all the kids with him - no criers! (Well at least not because of the picture with Santa. No more hot cocoa because of disobeying did result in crying for one.)

The traditional strong Dada picture. It actually looks funnier before they get tied, but those boy scouts are too darn fast and had them all tied up right away.

The manger scene at the front of Hunter's may be where Opal's love of Baby Jesus was sparked again.

Afterward we all headed to Farelli's for pizza. It was tasty, but probably because we were sooo hungry from our long wait, and they changed the seating and put walls between them so we couldn't all sit together. Next year we may have to find a new lunch option. But it was still a great Tree Hunting Day after all.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Embassy Suites Thanksgiving

Our kids are thankful for 2 main things on Thanksgiving: swimming and elevators! This year we got even smarter and only drove to Tukwila to stay at Embassy Suites, our favorite hotel, for our crazy Thanksgiving tradition. We love it. Free food for breakfast, lunch (which we make out of the free breakfast) and dinner (the manager's special). All the kids want to do is walk (well, they'd really want to run and yell, but we don't let them) around and around the top level or swim. The pool at this one was soooo warm, even I wanted to swim the whole time. The kids clung onto Peter and I the entire time. Grandma and Grandpa were so sweet and watched Berg. Eben was swimming back and forth across the pool in his own style of doggie paddle, while Kivi tried with all her might to swim the "right way". If we weren't watching close enough I'm sure she would've drown about 5 times. But man, she wouldn't give up! She can now freestyle swim while taking 2 breaths.
In the pool, where we spent the whole Thanksgiving weekend.

We mainly had the pool all to ourselves!

Thanksgiving dinner! A complete spread all warmed up in the microwave.

I'm thankful for our family!

End of the night movie watching on the pull-out couch.

Chlorine-eyed Eben lost his front tooth in the pool! He hid it under his pillow, but in the morning his tooth was still there! Now we know that the tooth fairy can't get into your room if you're staying in a hotel. Thank you Embassy Suites for keeping us and our teeth so safe! Don't worry the tooth fairy found Eben's tooth the next night at our own house.

Little Bergie Firsts and the First Little Snow

November was Berg's month of milestones!
Nov. 10th - Berg sits up!
Nov. 19th - Berg eats rice cereal!

Nov. 23 - Berg's first time out in the snow in front of our house!

Eben and Kivi built a cute little snowman in the bird bath.

We took advantage of the one inch of snow and went sledding with the Schocks (except for Jasper who wouldn't get out of the van) at Pierce College. Then we headed over to their warm house and had Shari's homemade chili and hot cocoa for dinner. Which we really needed. Jasper was right, it was cold out there!