Monday, December 31, 2012

December Performances

The end of December held two fun performances by the kids. 

The first was Alexa's First ever Dance Recital. 

It was originally scheduled for the 20th, but due to a winter blizzard that decided to grace us with her presence, the recital got moved to Friday the 21st instead. 

I posted video of her on my Facebook page - she did so so amazing! IMG 5774She seems to be completely comfortable on stage and it was a privilege to watch her perform.  

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We were so proud of her.

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Then that Sunday (the 23rd) the kids in the church sang a few Christmas songs after the service to the congregation. Treyton played the piano for one of the songs (the Jingle Bells tune).

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He was very excited to do it, and unlike his first piano recital, he never said anything about being nervous. He did great! I was so proud of her.

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(Side Note: Alexa and Audrey also sang, but because of where Tim was standing he couldn't get a picture of them, though I did get video…. I'll try to post it on Facebook sometime) 

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Christmas

We enjoyed a relaxing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home this year.

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Christmas Eve 

For the first time, we had the kids find the pickle ornament on the tree, despite placing it at the girls eye level Treyton still found it fairly easily. 

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There were no worries though because we had a gift for each of the older three kids to open. In years past we gave all the kids jambes on Christmas Eve, but this year for some reason, we have an abundance of pjs and I just couldn't see buying any more, merely for traditions sake, so this year we did a game for each of them instead. 

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Most of the time TItus was a content on looker for the gift opening, having daddy do most of the grunt work for him :) 

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For our Christmas Eve meal we ate a late lunch rather than a dinner because Church's Christmas Eve service was at 4:30. We enjoyed a roasted leg of lamb, cheesy mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and apple snicker salad. And of course Christmas Cookies for desert. 

After the Christmas Eve service the kids got to open their Christmas Stockings which were full of little toys and trinkets, a DVD or CD and toothbrushes. 

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Christmas Day

Christmas morning, mom and dad opened their presents first - Tim got a french coffee press thinner majigger, and mom got a new fryer. 

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The kids each got three gifts:

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Audrey got:

1. Zoobs to build with 

2. Building Blocks from Learning Resources 

3. Kindle Fire loaded with apps and books for her to read and play on

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Titus got: 

1. The Movie Brave

2. a Wind up TV toy 

3. Jesus Calling Story Bible 

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Treyton got: 

1. Lego Hulk 

2. Wii Wipeout Game 

3. Kindle Fire

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Alexa got:

1. Lego Olivia's Tree House

2. DS Magic Tree House Ocean Floor Game 

3. Kindle Fire 

 

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We got a good deal on the Kindle Fires on cyber monday. The kids have LOVED them. I love the Free Time app which allows the kids to only have access to the books and apps that I say they can read and look at as well as a time management option. I have it set so they can only play apps for so many minutes a day, but they have unlimited access to books and reading. AMAZING!  

We had a very nice relaxing Christmas this year. We kept it pretty simple and I was still overwhelmed and caught up with the busyness of the season at times. 

We were very grateful for our Jesse Tree this year (even more than last year) as it kept us grounded in the reason for the season. THe kids not only saw the true focus for the season, but half of it was amazing review of the school history we've done thus far, and the other half a preview of what's to come. :) 

Grateful for such blessings and gifts the Lord has once again shown us not only on Christmas Day but throughout the year. 

Book Review: Breath of Dawn

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Breath of Dawn written by Kristen Heitzmann 

This is the third book of one of my favorite (didn't know it was a) series (but so glad it was). This third book holds it's own among the three books, and I could not tell you, if I had to, which one is my favorite. They are all amazing.

While it could be read as a stand-alone, the entire series is so good, I would recommend starting in the beginning of the series with "Rush of Wings" and then "The Still of Night"  

Book Description (From the Back of the Book): 

"Corporate turnaround specialist Morgan Spencer, dubbed the "success guru," has a Midas touch in business. But losing his wife sent him to the brink, and his two-year-old daughter, Livie, is all he's living for--until they encounter a woman whose trouble just might draw him out of his own.

Four years ago Quinn Reilly did the right thing. Now the man her testimony put in jail is getting out. Though she has put up barriers to protect herself and those around her, she has come to care for the Spencer family, especially the winsome Livie and her mercurial father. Unwilling to put them at risk when the threats begin, she requests something she hopes the super-successful Morgan might be able to deliver.

Fixing problems is what Morgan does best, but his counterproposal takes them in a direction neither is equipped to handle. Determined to confront the past, will they survive to build a future?" 

Truthfully after minutes into starting the book, I thought, uh-huh, I am not going to like this book AT ALL! However, within the first two chapters, I was just as in to this book as I was the first two. 

I fell in love with the original characters Noelle and the Spencer Brothers from the first two books, but my favorite was always, Morgan. This book primarily follows his story-line along with "new girl" Quinn Reilly.  

Quinn, is a little quirky (in my opinion) but super lovable. With her past interwoven throughout the book, it's fun to get to know her over time, and to fall in love with her character the same way Heitzmann has drawn us to the other's in this series. 

At the risk of saying too much, I have to say I love the purity of the book, even though romantic relationships have been a part of each book, I appreciate the fact that Heitzmann is so careful not to cross a line of purity. Keeping God and the spiritual struggles of each characters throughout the stories makes the characters seem even more real and adds a depth to them that I enjoy reading. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December Links

A MUST READ: Albert Mohler on what is yet to come. Scary stuff… let's guard ourselves. The Injustice of Helpful Parents 

How to Raise Kids the World will Hate by Adam Griffin 

How to make a Christmas List by Shaun Groves 

The sad facts regarding human trafficking 

Unbelievably tragic - a new translation called the "Queen James Bible" promoting homosexuality. 

Why we Believe the Bible: Part 1 by John Piper - something I have been interested in for a while, and moved to research as the mother of a deep-thinker, a great beginning article for where the Bible came from and why we know it is true. 

Hope for the Hurting: John Piper's reading of his poem The Innkeeper 

A Life Size Ark opens to the public in the Nehterlands 



 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Treytonism

Treyton: mom do you want to know one of the most depressing things in the entire world?
Mom: what's that?
Treyton: the Detroit lions have won a super bowl.
Mom: that's depressing?
Treyton: yeah
Mom: do you know what depressing means?
Treyton: yeah I think so
Mom: it means really sad
Treyton: oh that's not what I mean
Mom: do you mean impressive?
Treyton: yeah that's what I mean
Mom: why is it impressive?
Treyton: because they are so bad.
Mom: hmmm, I see.
Treyton: yeah

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Clams and Coconut

This past week I had taken the kids grocery shopping with me. While we were there we found two new items we wanted to try. 

First, as we were going through the produce section we stumbled upon a coconut. Of course, we've all had the shredded, sugar coated coconut, as well as coconut water and coconut milk. But the kids had never tried an actual coconut (that I know of). 
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So we for somewhere around $3, we decided to give it a whirl. 


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Dad graciously helped us to first drill a hole in our coconut to drink of it's tasty water, IMG 5684

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and then cracked it open, and painstakingly peeled out all of the delicious "meat" for us to feast on.

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It was AMAZING!! I'm tempted to pick one up every week (or, I could be honest and just say "have Tim pick one up" seeings as how he normally does the grocery shopping), but will probably hold off for the sake of my man.

THe second item we picked up this week were clams. Treyton had read about clams in the second boxcar children book this week in school and was completely psyched to see them on the other side of the glass in the seafood department at the store. For $0.88 a piece I picked up four of them. Coincidentally, Alexa has started reading words with consonant blends this week and was wondering what a "clam" was after reading it. Of course I explained to her what it was, but what better way than to SHOW her… am I right? 

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When we got home we steamed them up right away. 

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Alexa would not even attempt to try one, with which I agree, I am certain there was NO way she would have gotten it down. Treyton, who actually eats almost anything, got it into his mouth…..

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but it was only there for a few seconds before he spit it back out. 

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Needless to say, I don't think we will be buying clams again (in any other form than clam chowder soup) any time soon. 

 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Alexaism December 2012

This morning starting our devotional, Alexa had grabbed her Bible to follow along in. She had headed toward Tim to have him help her, but his hands were some what full so I had told her that I would help her. 

She started towards me, then turned around and headed towards Tim saying "I would just really like a big strong man to do it." 

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Decorating

This weekend we decorated the house for Christmas. 

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We found a great little tree cutting farm right outside of Green Bay (on the East side) called Aissen Tree Farm. We've never used them before, but I have a feeling we'll go back to them. 

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Thankfully the weather was relatively warm, so the kids actually enjoyed it this year! 

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Treyton was insistent on helping dad cut down the tree this year. It wasn't even Thanksgiving before he was asking me about doing it. 

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And he was able to help a little. 

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Inside the shop was a little gingerbread house, hot chocolate and cider, tons of ornaments and wreaths. 

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After we got home the decorating began.

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The kids love decorating the tree, and it's always a great practice of patience as it takes mom much longer than they would like to unwrap each individual ornament while the three (older kids) of them wait. 

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We went all out with the lights this year - putting them in the kids room, on the tree, above the mantel around the dining room door. I LOVE it! If you ask me you can't have too many lights!! 

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Treyton and Audrey worked on putting out the kids nativity set this year, while Alexa put some nativity wall decals up. 

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Alexa got to put the star on the top of the tree this year, as Treyton has done it for the last couple of years. She loved it!! 

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I love this time of year… the lights and stockings the transformation of the house as we prepare for Jesus' Birthday. I treasure these memories with my kids and family.