Happy Birthday Liam!

Okay, I’m still sifting through the three hundred plus pictures from our ski trip…they should be up next week.

So, to keep from getting even farther behind…here’s Liam’s birthday.

I got in on one of the Daily Deal websites and was able to get a party package for six to the bowling alley for half price.  We got two because with our family, well, you just need two to accommodate us and our friends!

This was the first time bowling for all of our kids (unless you count Wii practice before we went).

Pre birthday celebration at Ge & Granddaddy’s!

 Trios make Liam happy!
 So do Transformers!
 Celebrating on birthday day with Papa and Grandmere!

 And on to bowling…

 Getting help!
 If you hold your tongue just right, you’ll get a strike.
Super Wy!

 Humor me…it’s supposed to be a bowling ball out of chocolate sprinkles.  At least it tasted good.
 Posing for the camera.
Present time!

Overheard in our Home

After watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Ace commented, “During the scary parts,  I burped.  It was a nervous burp.  No one could hear it.”

I think he was describing the “knot in your stomach” feeling.

***

While discussing various Christmas traditions, we started discussing how Martin Luther may have contributed to some.  To which Ace replied, “Martin Luther?  Is he the guy that signed the 900 species.”

***
At our non-denominational church, during Awana, Liam’s cubbie class was discussing the verse from Matthew, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.”  His teacher asked the class how they could prepare the way of the Lord.  His hand shot up and he said, “Become Baptists!”  I believe he meant become baptized.  Although that’s not the most exact answer either.  We’re so proud!

 ***
While playing MarioKart on the Wii at Ge and Granddaddy’s, Liam started yelling, “I’m invincible!  I’m invincible!  I’m invincible! I’m…not invincible!”  which means he just crashed off of something.

I’m Dreaming of a White DayAfter Christmas

We woke up, the day after Christmas to snow falling.  It rained the whole night before, so we didn’t have any thing sticking.  It tapered off to sleet in the afternoon then picked back up and after that, it started to stick!  This was our second snow this year!  And, if you know where we live, you know that is highly unusual!  Yet again, I had a cold.  But the kids enjoyed it.

Watching it fall!

Finding snow stashed in a corner and attacking with snowballs…again.

All told, we probably had about one inch, if that much, stick.  It was fun while it lasted because it was gone mid morning the next day.

Since we’re going skiing soon, we opted not to take Bryant out in it.  He got to see it from the window and was as impressed as a five month old can be with snow.

Merry Christmas!

Yeah, I know, I’m almost two weeks behind.  But, at least, I’m posting.

Starting with Ceili Rain, we have been passing around a cold bug.  It includes a fever for twenty four hours and ends with a cold…stopped up nose, sneezing, and coughing as well.  Christmas day we were all still dealing with the congestion, but no fever.  Mid morning, Josiah came up to meet and told me he was tired.  Checking his temp, I realized he was feverish.  So, he spent the afternoon on the couch.  Thankfully, it was a pj day!

The day before, we made a gingerbread house.  Okay, we decorated one.  I bought the kit at Wal-Mart and it included a pre-made house with the icing and sugary treats.  Can you spot the chewed up gumdrop???

We set out their St. Nick gifts this year.  They included Trios Castle and paraphenalia for the boys and a doll house for the girls.

That bruise on Ceili Rain’s cheek was a gift to her from Josiah as he tried to give her a hug which turned into a tackle which the doorframe stopped.

 Ceili Rain got hairclips from her sister.  This year, the kids drew names and chose gifts from our Sib Shop (things I’ve gathered at extreme discounts throughout the year and stored away for them to shop through).

 Sometimes paper tastes better than gifts.

Josiah tickled us this year. He drew Zoe’s name, but as I helped him wrap his gift, he kept looking at all the things and saying how one would be good for Ace or that one would be good for Liam, etc.  He never once grabbed one and said he wanted it.  When Zoe opened her gift he was right beside her and when she smiled and told him thank you, he got so excited and gave her a hug!

Merry Christmas from our wrapping paper home!

Bryant’s First Foods

Bryant ate his first bites of “real” food December 21st (I’m writing dates down here so I don’t forget to put them in his book later).  I was a rebel this time.  We didn’t start with cereal (gasp)!  I know!

I started him on avocado.  I made sure it was nice and pureed.    I chose avocado because it’s a super food.  It’s rich in nutrients and high in fat.  Perfect for my babies whose wait tends to drop off after  4 months. 

He seemed to take to it.  It helps that he’s teething and loves to put things in house.

My green baby!

Happy Birthday Zoe (Hershey’s Party)

Zoe turned eight in December!  And to celebrate, we basically had an all you can eat sugar fest.  It was great fun!  Actually, the background story is this:

I applied on Hershey’s website to host a Cookie Exchange Party.  I never really thought I’d be accepted, but I was!  We found out at the end of November.  That meant, that at some point in December, we needed to host a party.  As I thought about it, I just couldn’t think about planning yet another party when we were already planning two birthday parties, not to mention celebrating Jesus’ birthday.  When my box came from Hershey’s with all the goodies, I asked Zoe if she wanted to have a cookie party for her birthday.  She was super excited and readily agreed.  We decided to make it a mom and daughters party to include some adult types (which would please Hershey’s I’m sure).

So, my party box included:  three bags of Hershey’s kisses, an apron, recipe cards, boxes for guests to take treats home, Hershey’s cocoa (which I think is the best, and no, they didn’t tell me to say it, I’ve just tried others and theirs is way better), and a pack of sugar cookies.

Zoe told me later that this was her best day ever.  So, I think it was a success.

Pre party posing with our creations.  I made it a point to make sure Zoe stayed with me and helped me with each of the recipes.  We did three from the Hershey’s box and two non-chocolate ones (since I thought that much chocolate may be overkill…as much as I like chocolate).

And some preparty snuggles!  Zoe’s not much of a snuggler so we take them when we can get them…even if we have to hold her down.
Party favors:  Included were cookie cutters, Hershey’s recipes, Hershey’s kisses.
Cookies all boxed up.

 The girls were able to cut out cookies and after they cooked and cooled, decorate them.

They also dipped some of the toffee bit cookies in chocolate.
 All the girls enjoyed eating as much sugar as possible including apple cider and hot chocolate.

Bryant partied so hard he passed out on Aunt Tracy.

Decorating sugar cookies.
In the spirit of cookies, I made a fudge covered chocolate oreo cake with Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate chocolate cake recipe (which is quite yummy).
And the day before, we celebrated with cake and gifts at Ge and Granddaddy’s house:

Not sure if we can top this birthday next year!

*Disclaimer:  Hershey’s provided various foods/aprons/treats for the Cookie Exchange Party (but I provided the cooking).

When I said we liked to travel, I didn’t realize we’d be traveling two weekends in a row.  The second weekend in December was a trip to Alabama to a wedding.  Now, about halfway there we realized that we had forgotten the extra batteries in our camera and the current batteries in it were dead.  So, we got zero pictures while there.  We also celebrated Zoe’s birthday with Papa and Grandmere.  Let’s just say, the wedding was beautiful and my kids were too!

The next weekend was a trip to Granddaddy and Ge’s to celebrate Christmas and Zoe and Liam’s birthdays.  We had a blast.  I think my favorite parts were my nephew Ethan being stoked with his gift (two airsoft guns with lasers for his dad and him to use) and staying up after the younger kids went to bed to play games with the older ones. 

My nephew, E-bear, with Bryant.  He loved toting him around (so did his sister J-bug).

One of Ge’s friends, Mrs. L, gave all the kids flutes, and then promptly left…we tried to send the kids out the door with her but she just wouldn’t take them 🙂

Bryant started reaching for anyone and everyone while we were there.  He loved his Granddaddy and his Aunt Yaya the most.

While we were there, Mark got a call (that lasted at least an hour if not more).  We had just handed out presents and were waiting on him.  Ceili Rain took the time to stack and restack all the packages.

Mark couldn’t get off the phone and the kids couldn’t wait so we let them all take turns opening gifts…

Zoe and J-bug planned it out to open gifts that looked the same at the same time.  This meant their gifts were the same if not similar.  They thought it was funny.

Aunt Yaya is too funny!

Bryant was just a little sleepy.  Turn your head, or not.  I look better sideways!

Gymanstics

We joined a homeschool care group this year.  It’s been a lot of fun because the kids are able to go on various field trips and activities with other kids…thus ruining the argument that homeschool kids are not socialized!  Anyway, our group also has arranged homeschool gymnastics time twice a month at a local gym.  Zoe, Ace, and, especially, Liam love it!  They had a special “show-off” time in December where we were invited into the gym (not watching through glass upstairs) to watch them. 

When they first started, Zoe was nervous about a lot of the different things and now she’s really enjoying it.  She takes after her mama though and can’t do a cartwheel or handstand but I don’t think that will hold her back in life.

Constantly moving for a full hour is just what Liam needs!  That’s him on the trampoline.

Josiah, being the shy one, is on again off again on when he wants to participate and since he’s only three I don’t push it.  This day, he wanted to participate and he seemed to really have a good time (and made sure I watched his every move).

Ace loves being with other boys and being active (although not on the same hyper scale as Liam).

Are you watching Mama???

On the Hunt…for a Tree

New Year’s Eve seems to be the appropriate time to post pictures from our annual Tree Hunt.  It was extremely cold this time!  We didn’t go right after Thanksgiving because we knew our friends were coming in town and a large tree in the living room would be hard to navigate around when we’re also stepping over 10 children.  So, we waited until the first weekend in December to head out.  We quickly found our tree at a decent price and while Mark worked on getting it, I took the kids over for their annual hot chocolate and popcorn.

Then we loaded on the trailer for our annual hayride (the kids voted to do it even though we were all soooo cold), and headed home.