"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


 We had a very nice, low key Christmas - just the way I like them.  We have no chimney so we hung our stockings on the stair railing, and I love that there are so many of them!  We were only missing our 23 year old son who is stationed in Turkey at the moment, but we hung his stocking anyway.

Ready for the kids...

 I haven't left things unwrapped in the past bu it was fun to set a few things out ready to be played with.  Actually all the Cars toys and the inch work were purchased second hand, so it seemed less formal to just set them out.

I love watching the kids on Christmas morning.

We were blessed to have my dad with us for Christmas this year.

This little stuffed animal is a pug dog.  We don't have pets (other than two fish) but at preschool, one of the classmates has a dog that looks just like this one named Suzy Q. So that's the name of the stuffed animal now.

I had to be creative about what went into the two year old's stocking since he is allergic to most candy.  We did get some of his peppermint puff candies and I found soft peppermint sticks (soft is a misnomer - they're like candy canes by more chalky if you know what I mean.  Anyway they're made with sugar rather than the corn syrup he is allergic to.)  He got a bunch of toys, plus a couple cuties and a banana.  Bananas are his favorite food in the world and of course he ate it right away.

The minion goggles were a big hit.  The five year old shared them with everyone.  

I think they're a little creepy on adults though.

He got two minion shirts too, which I had actually bought for his birthday in November but forgot to give to him then.

 Now this is a funny story.  A few days before Christmas, I was in the master bathroom upstairs and heard the five year old messing around in my room. I had been wrapping gifts earlier and he found a scrap of wrapping paper and the tape (oh my what a mess that was) and decided to wrap a gift for his sister.  It was such a sweet idea.  But he just wrapped what he found on my desk ... which happened to be the book I was reading.  It was so thoughtful of him that I left it wrapped under the tree and secretly explained to her that she would have to return it.

 He was so pleased with himself ;)  He sure loves his sister.  (He's been really upset since she went back to college, and can't figure out where she is.)

 Cash is always an exciting gift ;)  Thanks Grandpa!

 One of the things I liked best this year was that the boys didn't really care whose gifts were whose.  The younger boys don't distinguish between who the toys belong to.  They just play together with all of it.  I love that.

Our daughter received a lot of jewelry this year.  I found some great deals.

 And of course there were sock monkeys involved.

 Bugga got the boys some very cute sleepers :)

 And she got the nine year old a Wyoming hoodie which he hardly ever takes off.

 And of course the kids got jerky from her, which is always a huge hit and has to be eaten immediately.

 See how excited my kids get over Bugga's jerky?

 The one big investment I made this year was for the a Lego Castle for the nine year old.  Does anyone else think Legos are ridiculously overpriced?  We have a huge tub full of Lego pieces that we have purchased at yard sales and the thrift store, but no real, complete kits.  So that was the top request on his list.  Thankfully I got this for 40% off at a black Friday sale.  Otherwise he wouldn't have gotten it.  I refuse to pay over $100 for little plastic pieces.

I will say that it was a good investment though.  He spent the entire day quietly by himself putting it together.  Wish I could afford these kits more often - ha.

 This sign was one of the things my husband got me.  My daughter pointed out that it would have been rude had he not known I wanted it - ha.  True.  My daughter, Dad and I (and the boys) had been shopping at a few of our little local stores and I saw this there and commented on it being cute.  I didn't even think about her taking notes.

 The five year old and nine year old each received a radio controlled vehicle, and the five year old also got the Dusty Crophopper plane that is controlled by the wing pieces you hold in your hands.  He's getting really good at driving them.

 My husband's favorite gift was a knife sharpener his mom bought from Cabelas.  I love it too.  All my kitchen knives are sharp enough to shave with now.  Dangerously sharp.  Good thing I also bought some minion bandaids. I've already cut myself with one of them just by bumping into the edge (not the sharp end) of one.  He has sharpened some of my scissors too and I don't think I'll ever have to buy sewing scissors again.

 Of course once everything was opened, they all got into playing with everything.

It was exhausting.

 This cracked me up. The two year old found the barrel of monkeys and attached all the monkeys to Mater's tow cable.

And this was too funny not to include.  The nine year old offered to change a diaper for the two year old, but when he got into the project it was a big mess and smelled bad.  His solution was to use a bandana.  HA.  These kids keep me in stitches.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Little Girl is 21

 Hard to believe it's been 21 years.  She isn't my oldest (her older brother turned 23 earlier this month) and she has three younger brothers, but she's my only girl.

She had a fun day I think.  Her littlest brother helped her open her gifts.

 She's really into owls and Grammy provided a good supply of owl goodies - a mug and new journal.

She made a pretty good haul, along with some cash and a gift card.

Her brother especially liked the socks Grammy sent.

 She's been doing lots of goodie making since she's been home.  She doesn't have access to a kitchen at college so she's trying to use mine up.

 These are simple goodies - store-bought gingersnap cookies with whipped cream.  Leave them overnight and they're soft and amazing.  If you get ambitious they can be three or four cookies tall.  But then you have less servings.

 Her birthday dinner is always an appetizer buffet.  We had olives, pickles, cheeses, crackers and meat, a cheeseball and one of her favorites which we call Australian bread.  Years ago I needed to bring a dish to a church dinner that was representative of something people eat in Australia.  I contacted our missionary there and she sent me the recipe. It's just french onion soup mix combined with sour cream and baked in a hollowed out loaf of french bread.

 This is our version of finger food for the allergic-to-everything two year old.  Olives, special potato chips, bacon, craisins, pickles and dried bananas and strawberries.

None of us are real cake eaters so we made her favorite dessert - rice krispie treats.  I shaped it into an owl (her current obsession).  We would have decorated it, but she doesn't like any toppings on her rice krispie treats, so we left it plain.

She is into sock monkeys too, and when she saw these slippers at the Family Dollar she had to have them.
 We also played a lot of pinochle.  I kept getting hands like this - argh.  What to go in?

If you're familiar with pinochle you'll see an amazing meld hand here - double queens around.  Only problem is that she never melded double queens around.  She only saw that she had it when we were looking back through the pictures - ha.

Anyway, we had a pretty fun day and she was really happy with everything and we all had a lot of fun... and decided we ought to have the appetizer buffet more often ;)