"Love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, obey His commands, hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and soul." Joshua 22:5

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Will in the cabinet

I heard Will calling "Mom", so I went in search of the little voice...  and found him here inside the cabinet in the play room!  He even had the doors shut.  Little rascal!  Now I know how he broke the drawer underneath it.  Apparently this is his new favorite hiding spot!

Christmas Day

Christmas morning...  everyone is excited!  We finished our advent reading by candlelight and in the warmth of a cozy fire that John had built before opening presents.  I had made this new recipe called Overnight French Toast that I thought would be such a treat on Christmas morning...  nobody liked it.  Maybe we'll just try donuts next year!  (Great idea, mom! :))

Here's everybody getting the goodies out of their stockings...

Now let's open those presents!

Grandma and Grandpa came (over the river and through the snow) to have Christmas dinner with us.

Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful and very blessed Christmas Eve. Here are some pictures from the day. Before we headed over to Ken and Shelley's we took these pictures of the boys in their matching sweaters.

First we celebrated Christmas with Shelley's Aunt Aurea - here are the grandkids with her. We sang several Christmas songs with her... that was fun.

Shepard got a helmet and shield from AA and we thought it was so funny the way he was wearing it on his nose. :)

After dinner we all settled in to exchange gifts, and before tearing into the packages, we enjoyed hearing Ken share with us about the best gift available to us... the Holy Spirit through salvation! That was a real treat and I'm always grateful for his spiritual leadership.


Shepard is trying to catch the snow on his tongue.

Josiah is snow-covered!

Here is Shepard wearing one of his Christmas gifts. He sure loves to dress up!

We're posing with our matching Christmas gifts from Ken and Shelley. :)

On the way back home Christmas Eve, Shepard said, "Isn't it wonderful that God gave us snow for Christmas?!" Yes! We enjoyed it so much. It had been 19 years since we had snow for Christmas! Here is what our house looked like when we got home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Creekmore Train

We took the boys to ride the little train at Creekmore Park last night and they loved it! We waited in line for an hour to ride the little train for about three minutes! :) Our neighbors brought the boys "train hats" last week - we have such awesome neighbors! - and so the boys all wanted to wear their matching hats to go ride the train. I thought they were so cute!
Love this pic of Will with his hat over his eyes... sweet little dumpling!

I left my camera in the car, so I snapped this one of John and Will waiting in line with my phone.

GG's Birthday

I forgot to bring my camera, so I had to snap a couple of shots with my phone. GG (John's grandma) turned 92 last week and we combined her birthday with a Christmas party at her house. Here she is with the great-grandkids after feeding us all dinner. Isn't she amazing?!

Will David really wants to help her blow out the candles! :)

Here's Will lovin' on his newest cousin, Adelaide. Aren't they precious? Will and Shepard just can't get enough of baby Adelaide.

Monday, December 14, 2009

LAN party

John and Josiah went to a LAN party last weekend... I think Josiah looks forward to this even more than Christmas! Here he is...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Making a catapult

What fun! Since we are studying the middle ages and kings and queens in school, we decided to make our own catapult - like the ones they might have used in battle. Popsicle sticks and tape... and it actually works!

Rescuing the Tree

This is probably my favorite Christmas holiday family tradition! Many years ago John came up with this idea - which is to RESCUE a Christmas tree. We go to the store or tree lot - anywhere with cut trees - and while everyone else there is searching for the "perfect" tree, we are looking for the WORST one we can find... the one we are SURE that nobody else will want to buy. It's fun and the funny looks we get from strangers is hilarious when they see us hold out a very unsightly tree for family inspection and then our whole family starts shouting in glee that this might be the best one! :) Every year this tradition presents such a wonderful opportunity to share that just like the tree, we are unsightly in our sin, and that Jesus paid the price to rescue us, too. There are so many analogies to salvation in this sweet tradition and the boys seem to understand it so well. After we buy the tree, we take it home and display it in the front yard with lights and decorations (and painted boxes underneath that say "THE REAL GIFT IS THAT JESUS CAME TO RESCUE YOU") and we turn that poor little tree into a treasure. Here are a few pics of the boys decorating the tree.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Studying castles, kings and queens

In school, we've been studying about castles and kings and queens. The boys agreed that this has been their favorite topic this year so far. And we've learned a lot. So, today, after studying about castles, I gave the boys the "assignment" of building a castle and dramatizing something that might have happened there. We hung blankets on their beds and created a throne underneath with the top bunks being the top of the castle walls where the archers would be. Talk about excitement! I don't think they even realized they were doing school... they were having so much fun! They created costumes that I thought were adorable. As they worked on their play I heard them using vocabulary words from our studies and realized what a wonderful way it is to make them comfortable with new words.
Here is Josiah, the king...

Shepard, the knight...

They even turned their swords into crossbows... I loved their creativity! And I feel so grateful for homeschooling where brothers can build school memories together.

Shepard as Alabaster

This week we got out all our Christmas stuff - the squeals of delight were so fun! Shepard was in video heaven with all the Christmas dvd's available to watch now. I've never seen him jump around in excitment that much! His favorite is about an angel named Alabaster and he always wants to dress up and act out everything that he is interested in, so he made an angel costume. So cute...

At the Farm

While we were in Missouri, we stopped by to see my other grandparents' farm (the Willoughby's) - lots of memories here. I wish I had taken more pictures of the barn and the land, but I was too busy just looking at it. :) But, Josiah got this neat picture from the top of the cellar mound.

Here the boys are sitting on top of the cellar mound - I played around with some photo editing on this picture.

My sweet brother-in-law, Grant, took a couple of pictures of me and John while we were at the farm... I love how these turned out! And it makes me dream of a day when John and I will have our own "place" like this. Isn't it good to dream and plan?! I think we're going to look at some more land for sale tomorrow... so, who knows, maybe one of these days we'll enjoy having our own "farmstead".

I love my hubby! And isn't he handsome and so distinguished looking?! The graying beard looks great on him. :) He doesn't mind... really I think he likes it. :) I love this picture of us together... we have such a wonderful and blessed life and we are truly enjoying the years the Lord gives us together.