Christmas with Ge & Granddaddy

The Sunday after Christmas, Ge and Granddaddy came up for the afternoon.  Of course, more gifts and Ge and Granddaddy to play with was pretty exciting for the kids.
Liam trying to wait patiently to open gifts.
Zoe was excited to have a digital clock for her room…and one that changes colors no less.  Every time I go in to the girls’ room her clock is a different color.
Ace got more “boy” books.  Which is good, he’s finally gotten up enough courage to attempt to read a chapter book.  He picked Robin Hood.  So far, I think he’s enjoying it.  We just need to get him a book light so he can read at night.
I just had to post this, because of Granddaddy’s face.  I think it’s inherited…sticking out your tongue while trying to work on something….the kids and I all do it too.
This is one of those squishy toys.  Ace has named it “Meme” and is his sidekick in battle.
Ceili Rain wanted to play with the wrapping paper more than the presents! 

Celebrating Christmas with Papa & Grandmere

The kids were super pumped that Grandmere and Papa made a Christmas day appearance…not just the gifts but seeing the grandparents pretty much rocks for them!

Mark and I are thrilled that Ceili Rain is now going to someone else besides us.  She is enjoying visiting with her Papa & Grandmere more and more.

It stopped raining Christmas afternoon and Liam got to test out his new wheels…with a look of concentration.

Josiah got chaffeur service from Papa.

Zoe got a lot of one on one with Daddy as she learns to ride her big bike!

And Ceili Rain snuck in some snuggle time with Papa…before declaring herself ready to be back in Mama’s arms.

Getting ready to open gifts…closing eyes was a prereq…this year.
A big cool gift this year was a new video camera.  It’s like the Flip cameras in that it’s small and hd.  I LOVE it!  It’s small, easy to carry around, and holds a bunch of video thanks to the larger memory card Mark got me.  Oh, and it’s for both of us…not just me (so they say 🙂
Ceili Rain had to test out her new crinkly dolly toy.

Josiah got a book with a train in it. Surprised??  Nah!

Liam getting excited over his turn to open presents.

Ace checking out his new book.

Papa & Grandmere with their calendar.

Visitng for Christmas

Before Christmas eve (that would be the eve before Christmas eve) we had our friends, Tracy and Kevin come over with Super Wy.  At four months old, he’s bigger than our petite Ceili Rain!  No joke.  I took pictures to prove it.  He’s also pretty adorable and loves to laugh and giggle.

Especially at his Uncle Mark!
And most definitely at Zoe, Ace, Liam and Josiah.
See, he’s passing our little miss CeiRai rather quickly!!  He goes to the doctor this week for his 4 month check up (I think) so I’ll compare stats since Ceili Rain is going next week…prepare to be amazed at this super growing boy…and nope, he’s not on formula!

Christmas 2009 Recap #1

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration and this year it was just a blast watching the kids open gifts.  More importantly, it was a blast watching them grasp and understand the reason behind getting/giving gifts.

We had to wake Josiah up and it took him a long while to figure out what was going on.  He perked up when he saw his new train stuff though.

All the kids were excited over their gifts…even Ceili Rain who decided to sleep for three hours after breakfast!!  Pants made by me.  Zoe’s shirt, I appliqued.  I wanted to get a picture of them all together but just never got around to it.

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to everyone!  I pray today is a day to celebrate the birth of Christ.  God’s own sacrifice to give His Son to walk on earth.

We have been preparing for Christmas this year by celebrating Advent, reading Jotham’s Journey by Arnold Ytreeide, and opening boxes to find out what God wants for Christmas.  It’s been a blessing to hear the kids (especially those who are very into presents) inform us that it’s not about Santa or flying reindeer or gifts that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of Jesus.  They are listening!!

Yes, I made the girls outfits and they are quite adorable if I do say so myself.  Lest you think we snap perfect pictures everytime…here’s proof that we don’t!

We lucked out on that first picture!
I apologize to my .2 loyal readers who were expecting posts every day.  I’ve got what I want to post but do not have the energy nor the stomach power!  Yes, first trimester has hit with a vengence and is due to stick around for at least two more weeks.  Once I know that food will stay down and I will stay awake, more posts will come!!

Presenting the Cassanova of the Bunch…and Zoe and Ace!

So, last week, Zoe, Ace, and Liam had their first choir performance of the year.  This was Liam’s first shot at being on stage and he took full advantage of it.

I’ll preface these videos by saying that while Liam’s 3 year old class was waiting to perform he was rough housing with the teacher’s younger daughter.  She was used to it as she has two older brothers.  He suddenly stopped, looked at her and said, “You’re a girl.  I hug girls.”  And then proceeded to give her a sweet hug.  He’s a lover and loves to hug on other people, hence the video.  I did not see any smooching and he said he didn’t kiss but he did give hugs and some quiet roars (at lease we couldn’t hear them).

Liam singing-the beginning from justabunchofcharacters on Vimeo.

Liam singing 1 from justabunchofcharacters on Vimeo.

Zoe’s Choir 09 from justabunchofcharacters on Vimeo.

Ace’s Choir Performance from justabunchofcharacters on Vimeo.

Listen closely and you’ll hear Josiah calling out, “Wee um!”  He proceeded to call to Zoe and Ace too.  We were sitting so far back that they couldn’t hear his frantic cries for waves.  He loves his brothers and sister so much.


So, Aunt B, several years ago, had sent me a blog post from someone’s blog about a Quiet Family.  These were cute homemade dolls that someone made for her family.  They were simple, had eyes, but no mouth.  The intention is that a child, when the dolls are brought out, will realize they need to be quiet just like the Quiet Family.  I’ve always wanted to make these but never have. But, now, I’ve gotten braver with the sewing machine so I thought it would be a good time to make these dolls. 

Zoe and I worked together to make patterns for a mom, dad, boy,  girl and baby.  She picked out the fabric (scraps we had laying around) and requested I make a boy and girl baby.  After the material, was picked and cut, I sewed and sewed.  I came up with this carrier for them too.  I made the pockets slightly too large, as I was just improvising as  I sewed, but for now it works.  If I make these for gifts, someday, I’ll make the carriers a little smaller in the pocket.  The width worked out, however, because the carrier folds over the pockets keeping the dolls from falling out.

The dolls are in there somewhere!!
Ceili Rain is our test baby on this and will be receiving them as a Christmas gift.

Searching for the Perfect Tree

Every year, Mark and I throw around the idea of buying an artificial tree.  And every year, we find an excuse not to.  This year, I think the excuse will stick.  It’s become a family tradition to go to the Christmas tree farm and purchase a tree.  And family traditions are important…besides, our kids loving having  free range throughout the farm to…
lay down…
and on cold trips, cuddle!

It didn’t take much deliberation and it seems every year it takes less and less time.  So, we picked out our tree, got popcorn and hot chocolate and sat around the fire.  Now, our biggest blessing came as Mark worked with the Christmas tree people to get the tree on the van (an engineering genius if you ask me) and we sat around the fire waiting, munching, and spilling (there’s always a hot chocolate spill).

The tree cutting being supervised by Mark, Zoe, and Ace.  It’s a fat little tree and perfect for us this year.   Not too expensive…however, we had quite a time getting it to actually sit in a tree stand…phew that was a lot of work for Mark.
Back to the story…

Zoe had a tough time when we first told them we were pregnant.  She just wasn’t prepared for that.  It broke my heart to see her so upset and I prayed for peace and excitement to grow.  Now, she’s not upset and can’t wait until she can see pictures of the baby actually looking like a baby.  However, I’ve also been praying for ways to show her what a blessing they all are to us, including this little one growing.  God gave us two families that spoke to us while the tree was going on the van.  Each one talked about how blessed we were and how much fun it had to be.  Never once did either family mention how hard it must be or that I “had my hands full.”  They seemed to be thoroughly excited to see a larger-than-normal family.  And as we walked away, I quietly thanked God for giving her an opportunity to see that not all people think we’re weirdos!

A Homeschool Christmas Party

We were able to celebrate Christmas this year with a bunch of our homeschool friends.  I think the kids had a great time and I had less stress since Mark was there to help out!

They made gingerbread houses (okay, graham cracker houses)…
Christmas tree ornaments…
Christmas trees with tons of icing…I believe Ace was contemplating licking the spoon.
And glass ball ornaments (in which I was the only one who broke one).
They also listened to stories while the moms (and dad) cleaned up.
And this is where you keep the baby while you clean up.
The kids also got to watch a Christmas play and sing carols…but those are in video form so look for the next post.