Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 Christmas Advent

The kids always look forward to our different Advent traditions which we start on December 1st. Every morning the kids get to either

Turn on the Christmas tree lights:

 Light the Advent candles (this is the first year we've done this one):

Pick a sock and eat the candy inside (this is our new favorite):

Put a nativity character on the calendar:

Or wait with Pella:

I knew waiting a day would be hard to do, but I think it's important to learn to wait patiently and be happy for others and we can't learn it unless we practice, so I purposefully only made up four activities.

After everyone does their morning activity, we all gather on the couch for our Advent devotions and the child that lit the candles gets to blow them out before we pray for our day.

A little later there's always the chocolate calendars from Grandma and Grandpa that everyone gets to enjoy.
I love how these different things make December special and add extra excitement to counting down the days to celebrate Jesus' birthday!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kivi's Nativity Movie

Here's Kivi's version of the nativity:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nativity Movies In The Making

One of Eben and Kivi's assignments for "learning"during the last week of November was to write a movie script for Christmas. They both wrote different versions of the Nativity story. The next week they filmed them which took about 3 different days, between bouts of rain and naps. The week after that they edited them on the Mac. They watched all the help videos and figured out how to split footage, cut, add audio, fade and add credits. Eben pretty much figured it out on his own and even made a trailer to his. Kivi needed some help, but she did great! They turned out so adorable. I'm so happy we did this. Now we have footage we can watch over and over every Christmas of our babies acting out the Christmas story.

Hugging Wisemen actors for Eben's film.

Mary, the Inn Keeper and Joseph after filming their part in Kivi's movie.

Eben trying on an angel costume for Jasper. This one got rejected, but the one he ended up choosing was pretty much just as "girly". Bubba's a really good sport. He actually wanted to be the angel more than Joseph!

In between filming, Mary and Joseph take a snack break.

Berg played the part of the sheep in both movies.

Here's the trailer Eben came up with. He actually loves it even more than his movie. I think because of  the cool action music he chose to go with it.

A Day at the Zoo and Decorations Too!

 The day after Pella's party Shmee loaned us her Woodland park zoo pass and we took Mimi with us to see all the animals. It was our first time visiting this zoo and it was very beautiful. Too bad we had a limited time frame with our nappers. We didn't even get to see the whole thing.

Our favorite animals were the gorillas and the elephants. We also really liked the Amazon exibit, especially since we've "been there" in our homeschooling adventures. This elephant danced for us the whole time. Afterward, we met up with Poppie and Nonnie and Shmee and Mr. Steve for some Mexican.

The day after that we decorated the tree! It was a cozy, warm, fun evening of putting up Christmas decorations after repositioning all of the furniture and cleaning all day.

It was Opal's year to put up the star. She was so nervous to go up so high on Dada's shoulders.

Jasper and Mimi take a break from decorating to cuddle.

Pella decided to stand all by herself for the first time! Kivi has been working very hard with her on this and she was very proud of her. She still can't really do it yet, but she's getting closer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pella Pie's First Birthday Party

On the evening of November 23rd, Pella's actual birthday, we celebrated our baby girl's first birthday with all our family and the Schocks (who are basically family).  After the tree cutting adventure, everyone helped clean up the house and then took naps leaving me to decorate the place and cook the chicken pot pies and shepherd's pies we would be having for dinner that evening. The fall decor came in handy since it was a Pie/Fall inspired party and I strung photos of Pella across the mantle and large window above the table of pies for a game and for cuteness.

I also made these cute little paper pie slices and put them all around the upstairs with activities for everyone to do throughout the night like, "Give Pella a kiss." or "Write Pella a poem." although I'm not sure if everyone did them.

Nonnie and Grandma did!

Eben, Mr. Steve and Dodie trying to figure out how old Pella is in all the pictures on the mantle. Dodie won!

Pella's "kissing picture" with Mama and Dada. She better get used to it, she has many more to look forward to.

The Pie Table! Well, the dessert pies, the dinner pies were served in the dining room. The key lime and chocolate silk were the big favorites.

After dinner, Pella opened her presents and gave kisses to her guests to thank them. Her brothers made her a big pie poster and Kivi sewed her a pillow.

I drew her name on the pumpkin pie in chocolate syrup real fast realizing her name wasn't on it. Since there was no cake, I forgot about the decorative part.

She timidly poked at the pie till we put cool whip on it. Then she started to dig in.

Pella and all her guests!

After we all ate pie, everyone talked Dada into letting them watch his Price Is Right video from 1997 where he won the showdown and spun a dollar on the wheel. It's on video so we all had to watch the tiny little TV that only plays VCRs from the boys' room. Then Eben and Kivi entertained us all with the "Man Show" where Kivi gets on Eben's shoulders and they wear Dada's clothes and look like a tall man. It was hilarious and we all almost died laughing.

It was a fun party and a busy day. It turned out great!

Pella Pie, we love you so much! You are so much fun and a joy to watch grow right before our eyes. You love, love your brothers and sisters. They all take such good care of you. You are their priority and you know it. You can always make us smile. You are learning so much. You talk nonsense little sounds, but I think you completely know what you're saying. You like to play with your brothers and sister's toys (not your own) and to crawl all around the upstairs. You love to be held by Kivi and Mama. You love meat. You don't like hats. You try to stand up all the time, but you can't walk or stand up by yourself yet, although I'm sure it's coming very soon. You have such a sweet little personality, I was sure you were going to be ultra strong willed, but now I'm not so sure. You go with the flow and you're becoming pretty flexible and patient even. I'm excited to see how you're going to grow and change and be used by God in your lifetime. I'm sure you'll surprise us all with the amazing things He will do in you. You are an amazing "Little Baby Goo" already!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hunter's Tree Farm

The day after Thanksgiving we took Mimi, Nonnie, Poppie, Dodie and Mr. Steve with us to go chop down our tree at the same place we've gone for years, Hunter's in Lacey. After saying, "Hi" to the goats, we hopped on the wagon pulled by the tractor and slowly drove through the trees till we got to the Noble section. Then the kids went racing into the forest to find "the perfect tree". 

My sweet little Pella Pie on her first birthday, we celebrated her birthday later that evening. It was a full day of fun!

Shmee took some great shots of the kids. I love this one of Berg hiding in the tree.

It's so special to share these memories with Poppie and Nonnie when the come up to our cold state. Actually, Poppie looks like he's getting use to it!

The kids raced here and there and the adults just tried to follow and catch up. After many treks back and forth and pointing out many different trees, none of which Mama approved, we finally found the best one and the kids helped Dada chop it down. It was quite muddy. The bottom half of Kivi's dress is now brown.

Just as we got back on the wagon with our tree it started to rain, so we took our group shot inside the barn.

Santa was waiting for us when we got back and he gave all the kids a candy cane to go with their free hot cocoa! Afterward we all drove bus to get some pizza for lunch and then home for naps while Mama got the house ready for the party!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

While Poppie and Dada went back over to work some more on the rental, Nonnie and the kids finished up their cute acorn candies.

Kivi made us all little name tags for the evening, but she didn't put our names on them, silly girl. She made up nicknames for everyone, like Lightening Flash and Diamond Sparkle, and Poppie VonPoopenstinkle

My crazy family on Auntie Tonya's cute porch.

Pella's been doing this cute thing where she plays with her ear or her hair when she's feeling shy. She did it the whole night on Thanksgiving. 

The big Thanksgiving crowd at cousin's house. The Johnson brothers, their wives families and some wonderful neighbors.

The kid table in the entry.

I needed to get a picture of all my girls in the fall dresses I've made over the years. I didn't have to make them this year because they all fit in a different style.

Berg also wanted his picture taken with Pella. Evil Dr. Bergenstien and his Evil Dr. Munchin Bunchin.Yep, those are the nicknames Kivi made up for them.

Later that night, after the kids went to bed, Peter went to work at Walmart for the Black Friday madness. Shmee, Mimi, Mamacita and I decided to go say "Hi" and check out the crowds for ourselves so we put Buggy's old fancy dresses on over our clothes (it was cold) and headed to Walmart for our own Black Friday Formal event.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I am so thankful for my family. They are so sweet to watch. They are crazy sometimes too, but their kindness is amazing. 
We work really hard with our kids on showing God's love to others. Others includes their siblings. Sometimes that's hard, but they usually do a really good job, especially the bigs ones with the little ones. Every morning we have reading time where the big kids read to the little kids. I am so thankful that they love stories, the time with their big brother or sister, and the time it gives me to clean up breakfast and other odds and ends.

After story time, Kivi does typing while Eben does his morning job and then they switch. They are getting really fast! Eben can type 22 words per minute at level A and Kivi can type 28 words per minute at level B. Since computers are part of everyday life now-a-days, we figure these are good skills to learn and I'm thankful they are picking them up so well.

I am so thankful for homeschooling. We can learn things we wouldn't otherwise spend time on like the Sewing Week we had Nov. 12-16th! Eben and Kivi both learned to crochet (Kivi made the headband she's wearing.), sew a pillow and embroider.

 Kivi made a hedgehog (we also learned all about them, and found a very addicting song about the Boogie Woogie Hedgehog) and Eben made an acorn. Very Fall. I love Fall!

I'm thankful my Mamacita taught me how to sew. It really is a lost art. Not many people know how or have a sewing machine. I am definitely passing on this skill to my children.

I'm thankful for my littles and that they love to take a bath together now. This is the first time we put them both in the bath together and Berg went from crying the whole time, to happy as a clam that he got to take care of Pella in the bath. Opal did a great job supervising and washing them both.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving Poppie and Nonnie came up and on Monday Mimi came to stay with us! We are so thankful for our family and the time we get to spend with them when they come. Our friends loaned us their trailer, so we were able to have Poppie and Nonnie sleep in there while Mimi got the girls' room. Thankfully the trailer also came in handy for all four big kids to sleep in too because the boys' room got moldy from all the rain. I think they would've slept out their with them anyway though. It's a cool, roomy trailer. 

I included Mimi in our homeschool plans for the week and she taught the kids how to make pie crust in preparation for Pella's Pie Party. Nonnie also did a whole day of learning with the kids while she let Mimi and I go to the thrift store and grocery store!

Nonnie found this cute recipe for little peanut butter acorn candies which she helped the kids make. Poppie spent some time with Peter working on the McKinley rental which eased Peter's mind tremendously, we are so thankful that we have such talented and helpful parents!