Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This Morning at our House~

This is where you can find Charlie most any time of the day.

From the time he comes downstairs in the morning, 'til it's bedtime, he's pretty much in the red chair.  Reading.  This guy LOVES books! 

And this morning, Kate joined him.

They both LOVE this, and can often be found reading together.

And then there's the piano practicing that needs to be done~ Christmas carols to be learned for a program at the nursing home.

Just a typical morning at our house!    

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Boys~

Here they are!

Together again!

This time at Pike's Peak.

I might have laughed at Son #1's hiking attire.  The button down shirt.  Need to ask if he's wearing his hiking boots or his brother's. But I am loving seeing them TOGETHER!

Looking very forward to seeing these 2 guys in a couple of weeks.  We haven't seen Will since last Christmas.  And that is just WAY too long.

Glad you're enjoying your brother time, guys!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Game Night~

Better late than never, I guess.

After all these years of parenting, we've FINALLY decided to implement Family Game Night.

And Emily, this is in honor of you! Our girl who LOVED to play games, has always said that's one thing (among many, I'm sure) she would have changed about her growing up years.  We didn't play enough games.

I LOVE the idea of playing games.

I love all that the children learn while playing games.

I love the family togetherness. 
 I LOVE the idea of family game night.  

But actually doing it????

Well, that's another story.

BUT Bill and I had talked and decided that TONIGHT would be THE night.  And once we told the children, we KNEW there would be no turning back.

So, this morning at breakfast, we told the kids that TONIGHT would be.....


We all got in jammies, turned on Christian radio and then started our evening with a pizza dinner.

Then we moved in to playing our games!

The first game of the evening was "Drop the Bean into the Tin Can."  What, you've never played that game????

Well, I will tell you, I wasn't sure if we'd be playing any other games tonight, because they LOVED this game and kept wanting to play.  (Charlie was working on his Wolf badge for Scouts and needed to play a homemade game.  This one was one of the suggestions and sounded easy enough, so we tried it.) 

Here's Grace taking her turn.  Can you see the concentration on her face? 

Next we played Uno.  We chose this as it's one that we could all play together.  Team Ellie/ Daddy were the winners of that one.  Ellie actually did a lot of the playing since it's just basically matching colors and numbers.

After Uno, we divided into 2 groups.  I had the 3 younger children, and AC and Grace played games with daddy.

Ellie chose her new Elephant's Trunk game.

Then Kate chose Orchard.  We are big fans of Haba games in our house! This is a REALLY cute co-operative game that Ellie could play as well.

 And  here's Charlie with his choice. A race car game~ just perfect for our little man.

Meanwhile, AnnaClaire and Grace were busy playing Grace's choice of the Great States game.  I think they were playing the Jr. Version tonight, though we have both.

Then it was time for our "Special Dessert!"

Although I had visions of baking a special dessert, in the end I made things easy on myself and we served Root Beer Floats.

This was a first for the children and they LOVED them.

Except for Kate, who announced that she doesn't like soda, "like Sissy."  Ok then.  She enjoyed a dish of vanilla ice cream.

After dessert, Baby Sister headed to bed, and we played one more round of games.

AnnaClaire chose Trouble.

And Charlie, Kate and I played the pirate game. The name is in German, so we just call it The Pirate Game!  For some silly reason, I REALLY like this one, so this was my choice!  

We all had SUCH fun.

Want to join us next month?  We'll be having Family Game night the first Saturday night in Dec.  Not sure what our "special" dessert will be, but we'll be having pizza again for dinner.

It's already on the calendar!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

She's Eight!

The Birthday Girl!

AnnaClaire chose On the Border for her birthday lunch. We do love us some Mexican food in this family!  

And here's the usual "pose on the bench" after we had lunch. 

Back at home we snapped a few more photos (because that's what we do when Sissy's home!) before heading in to open presents and eat cake.

Everyone had a turn to pose with Sissy~ 

Love this one of my oldest and youngest daughters having some fun! 

And here's the birthday girl with her balloon!

Love this shot of Ellie that Emily took!

For her cake, AnnaClaire chose a banana cake recipe from the American Girl "Kit" book.

Happy Birthday, Dear AnnaClaire!

May all your wishes come true! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday Fun~

Emily came in to town this weekend to celebrate Kate's gotcha on Friday and a certain someone's upcoming 8th birthday on Sunday.

She had a fun morning planned with AnnaClaire Saturday morning.  They started out with a pancake breakfast.

And then they headed to Claire's!

Can you guess why????

There were no tears.

Just a squinchy face.

And then it was over and done!

Can you see the cute blue sparkly earrings she chose?

In the afternoon, Em spent a little time in the kitchen.  She made us some yummy pumpkin granola.

And we ended the day with a campfire and some s'mores!  Yum!

  What a fun Saturday!

Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Years!

Today we celebrate 5 years with Kate!

She was so fragile and so very scared, that day we first met.

And look at her now!

Kate, we love you to the moon and back.  You are a treasure.  A gift from God.  You are a precious daughter and a wonderful sister.  

You are SO loved!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Birthday Road Trip~

Catching up from Labor Day Weekend~

We had Grandma H. in for the weekend to celebrate her birthday.  Since she reads the blog and always tells us that our road trips look like such fun, we decided to take her on a road trip for her birthday and let her experience all the fun first hand!

Our destination was Lynchburg, VA.

We left on Saturday morning, and our first stop was the Patrick Henry Memorial.

 We arrived at lunch time and had a picnic lunch on the beautiful property.

Then we toured the property.

 Patrick Henry's House

6 mos. before his death, while living on this property,  Patrick Henry wrote:

"I live much retired amidst a multiplicity of blessings from the Gracious Ruler of all things."    
His large family and this beautiful home and land were amongst his greatest blessings.

 The back of the house and some of the out buildings.

This beautiful, old tree has been on the property since Patrick Henry lived there.  It's called an Osage Orange Tree.  It's over 300 years old and is the largest tree of its kind in the America. 

Patrick Henry is buried on the property.

I loved this quote from his will:

"This  is all the Inheritance I can give to my dear family.  
The Religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed."

Grandma and the youngest 5, of her 14 grandchildren.

After our visit we headed in to Lynchburg and enjoyed dinner at the Depot and afterwards, watching the kids swim in the hotel (indoor) pool.

We woke the next morning, Grandma's birthday, and had a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading to Poplar Forest.

If this looks somewhat familiar, that's because it's Thomas Jefferson's "country" home, and it bears some resemblance and similarities to Monticello.

 This property is still in the process of being restored.  Though interesting, there's not nearly as much to see as at Monticello.

The grounds were very beautiful and hilly, though most of his original property has been sold and developed.

A birthday pose with the grandchildren!

After Poplar Forest, we loaded the van and headed to the National D-Day Memorial.

The site was really, really well done.  And every single thing that is a part of this memorial has some sort of meaning or significance. Nothing  was placed there "just because."  You really do need to take the tour to find out about exactly what you're looking at.

 This part was showing the actual landing on the beach at Normandy.

Grandma and AnnaClaire opted out of the tour and sat on the covered porch of the visitor center. I'll let you in on a little secret....Grandma is not a big history fan.  No she's not.  But she LOVED spending the days touring with her family. She was real a trooper!

After seeing the Memorial, we loaded the van in search of some dinner and then headed home. We got in late that night.  It was a LONG day!

Monday, Labor Day, we celebrated Grandma's birthday.

 And we added Drew to the group.  He was in town for a weekend event, and spent Labor Day with us.  Such fun to have a quick visit with him!  When they're grown and living out of town, you take what you can get, right???

Happy 78th Birthday, Grandma!  So glad we could celebrate with you!