Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thanksgiving Week: Nature & Family

Since David was able to have the entire week of Thanksgiving off, we decided to take a long vacation. We began  Monday by heading to Santa Monica, CA. We stayed in a fun Hotel Suite there that was a short walk from the beach. We brought our double and single jogging strollers and our baby carrier so three kids could ride and James could be worn. It worked beautifully for our several walks to the beach and pier. The kids had so much fun! We thoroughly enjoyed every moment. It had been five years since we had been to the beach! Too long! We stayed through Tuesday and then headed north on Wednesday to be with my side of the family for Thanksgiving.

We enjoyed the pier as well as the beach. The kids went on some rides and we had some good food. It was a successful, relaxing, and memorable trip. But it had to end... we had family to visit and Thanksgiving festivities to attend!

We stopped over in Bakersfield with Seth and Nicole before heading all the way up Thursday morning for the Thanksgiving baking and festivities. Nicole and I got to help mom make all the goodies. My favorite thing to make has always been my mom's blue ribbon apple pie!

That evening we got to see a lot of my family. We hadn't been to a family gathering with my side in three years! It was beautiful to see and hug my aunts, uncles, cousins and of course, granny. The kids played well with my little cousins and my cousins kids. I know there is a technical term for their relationship but we kept it simple by referring to all as cousins.

Now we are back to real life... home-school, housekeeping, work, service, and fun. Always fun to be had with four sweet kiddos. We are enjoying the Christmas season and all the joy and happy feelings that attend this beautiful season.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Halloween 2016

We were invited to spend Halloween at my sister Nicole's home in Bakersfield, CA. We had a delightful time! The kids LOVE going to Aunt Nicole and Uncle Seth's house. They love all the Star Wars Legos Uncle Seth has and shares with them. They love their dog and we had a surprise this time we visited they had just bought a tiny puppy! This little puppy is from the same mom and dad as their current dog. So they are brothers and they are adorable! Our kids would love to have little pups like Aunt Nicole and Uncle Seth.

Nicole and Seth's house is just fun! They have a pool table, dart board, and a ping-pong table. They have a little botanical garden and room to run around in their back yard. They have an authentic, fun home an they are exciting people. We are sure grateful for their hospitality and that we had the opportunity to spend Halloween with them.

The fountain outside Aunt Nicole's work where he trick-or-treated around her office floor.

Hannah had actual Cinderella "glass" slippers but she chose boots for this round of dressing up. She is a funny girl!
And Hannah is such a ham for the camera most of the time!
Prior to visiting for the actual holiday, we enjoyed the Fall Festival put on by the Elementary School in our area and our church Trunk-or-treat. It was fun to dress up three times!

The kids all picked their own costumes. I just showed them what we had and they picked from our supply. Except for Peter, he had his own plans and once they were in his head there was no stopping him! I do love this about him and he is working on flexibility, but I thought this was a great opportunity for him to be creative and make a plan and carry it out. Peter wanted to be Link. Link is the character from The Legend of Zelda video games. David has told the kids Link stories as bedtime stories fore some time now, along with all the stories of Star Wars. They love their bedtime stories with dad. Though these stories are not always reserved for bedtime. David will spin stories for them at request when he can.

These kids are fun! They make every holiday more exciting.

Also, My mom and brother, Pierce, came for Sunday dinner at Nicole's while we were there and she surprised me by bringing her mom, my Granny! I love my Granny and have many fond memories with her. I love listening and learning from her life stories. She is an awesome woman and has endured much and lived much. She is the mother to 11 and grandmother and great-grandmother to a lot more!

JAME'S 1st Birthday

Our baby is growing up too quick! He turned one on Monday, October 17th. James is such a smiley kid! We sure love the joy he adds to our family.

James was not quite walking on his 1st birthday. He could take steps but definitely preferred crawling. He is now exclusively walking! He made the switch about a week ago. For some reason, once the babies start to walk they don't quite seem like babies anymore. It's just a reminder that they can't stay little, innocent, and super snugly forever. He is still all of these thing currently but time passes quick! We need to enjoy James and each of our kids in each of their fun ages and stages.

Life with four kids is sure exciting! I LOVE each of them so much. I remember worrying about not having enough love for a child when I loved David so much. Then our first child, Peter, came and I learned that love is endless and was amazed at the instantaneous deep love I had for this little infant. I also remember when I was close to my due date with our second, Evelyn, that I was seriously worried about not having enough love for her and also worrying about how Peter would feel about it all. Then she came and it was the same learning experience. Love is endless! I know now that we human beings are capable of an infinite amount of love for others. But as the world can show, it is one thing to be capable and another to actually practice. We will always be striving to reach our eternal potential. I am grateful for the opportunity children give me to stretch and learn and strive to reach my eternal potential. I am grateful for the joy and fulfillment serving my children brings into my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ready for Fall

We are ready for Fall! The weather has cooled slightly and we have been able to enjoy picnics and parks. It is still not fall weather though. We are looking forward to fall and winter and the holidays that come with!

Here is a little fun craft we did for school this week to help us get excited:

We used an apple cut in half to stamp pumpkins. We mixed primary colors to get the right orange and then green. The kids LOVE to paint! When they finished their fall/ Halloween craft they went on painting!

James photo bombed this one! I had to post it!

Silly/scary faces???