This year we had a very special Thanksgiving because my mom, Tessa and Emma all came for the week. After two lonely Thanksgivings in CO it was terribly special to have lots company! One of the things I miss the most since moving away is cooking with my mom and sisters on Thanksgiving. And we got to do that this year!
For the children the best part of Thanksgiving was hanging out with their aunts!
Our pretty table!
Little pumpkins that Grandma grew in her garden and brought all the way here for us!
Hanging out with Aunt Tessa watching fun videos on her computer.
We have had wonderful weather the last few weeks. We have been hitting 60’s and even 70’s! The weather man was using words like, “Soaring highs this week”!
I just love it! I love that we can get a bit of a break from winter and get outside. We have gone to a lot of parks and played in the back yard. It was James’ idea to go feed the ducks. I needed some exercise so I rode my bike (with all three kids). This is a serious work out…..not for the faint of heart!
Gideon feeding the ducks popcorn:
In the winter they come right up to us because they are so hungry. In the summer they stay mostly in the water.
Faith didn’t understand that she was supposed to feed the popcorn to the ducks. 🙂 Popcorn is one of her favorite foods!
Faith 13 1/2 months
James and Gideon climbing on the rocks:
Faith loved the bike ride! And I am horribly out of shape!
We really had a wonderful Christmas this year! The kids opened their jammies on Christmas Eve again. That is a fun tradition we have done for several years now.
This year even Titus and I got new jammies!
The cutest super hero ever!
Titus’s new shirt! It says, “I love my wife”
Faith was kinda hard to shop for. She got this cute pink lady bug that spits balls out the back. She likes it a lot although it hasn’t held up very well.
Looking at the presents:
Faith got a snack cup from Daddy. She absolutely loves it!
Playing with toys:
James and Gideon got How to train your dragon 2 movie and stuffed animals for Christmas. Here they are watching the movie with their very own dragons.
Loot pictures: Titus got some shirts and the all the seasons of Hogan’s Heros.
Titus did so well getting me things off my list! That makes me so happy!
I really can’t believe I am writing about Faith’s first birthday. Where did this year go? She weighs about 23 pounds (we just figured out that our scale is broken, so we really don’t know what she weighs), loves pizza, pasta, and popcorn. She only has 6 teeth (!!!!!!) but is getting her molars right now. She does not sleep through the night. Happy Birthday Faith!!
She is such a big girl now. We keep calling her a baby, but considering she can walk and climbs on everything she really is a toddler now.
Faith has had a really happy year, vastly different from her brother’s first years. I didn’t know having a baby could be so enjoyable. Faith has been and continues to be so much fun. However for some reason she was really really grumpy for her party. I still am not sure what was so wrong. (at least James was in a good mood. He is always in a good mood when presents are involved)
She gave us all a smile when she rode on her rocking-snail.
And she momentarily stopped crying when she looked at her new books from Grandma Reynolds.
James and Gideon really liked their Christmas trees. Thanks Grandma!
She got the cutest little boots from Aunt Holly! I can’t wait for them to fit her!
Since it was only us I went really easy on Faith’s cake:
Daddy helped her blow out the candle. In the end though, I think James was the one that really did it. She was so grumpy she didn’t even eat any cake, but did try some ice cream. 🙂
Happy Birthday Faith!
I am always trying to find ways to bring more Christ into Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lights, presents, and food. But when all that is said and done, I want my children to know it really is about Jesus. In a culture of Santa and the focus being on trying to get stuff it can be hard to find a way to teach this to children. Especially little children, since you can’t volunteer at soup kitchens and other things like that. Which is why I love Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes! It’s easy and you can involve younger children! We budget all year for Christmas which includes money for shoe boxes, but we had a difficult summer (both vehicles breaking down in the same week among other things) and ended up using Christmas money for other things. I was terribly disappointed that we weren’t going to do shoe boxes this year. How ever a miracle happened! Just before Thanksgiving we were given an envelop with $200 from someone in our church. We don’t know why or who it was. I know that they probably won’t read this message, but thank you from the bottom of our hearts! I instantly hopped on Operation Christmas child’s website to see if we were too late. We weren’t, we had a few days before pick up day! A few days later during donut time at church a lady walked up to me and said, “I love watching you and your children. I am sure there are things you need. I hope you will let me give this to you.” At home when I opened the card, there was $100! That night I sat my boys down (4 years and 2 1/2 years) and told them we were going to go to the store and buy things for other children. I had them watch a little video on Operation Christmas Child’s website that explains where the shoe boxes go. I think James understood. He told me, “I’m a little bit sad.” 😉 I told him that giving isn’t sad, but happy. We will be making a little boy’s Christmas so happy. And off to Kmart we went.
We got three plastic boxes and told James and Gideon to pick out things to put inside. James picking out some stickers for his box:
and toothbrushes/tooth paste
They got a little bit distracted by the Christmas tree décor. I can’t imagine why.
James adding something to his box.
Believe me I was tempted not to take a 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old and a 11 month old Christmas shopping for someone else. I could have done it faster. Much faster. But that isn’t the point. The point was to teach my boys about giving. Giving a really fun box away to a little boy that wouldn’t have a Christmas otherwise. I pray all the time that my children will grow up to have a giving heart. Hopefully through things like this they will learn to give, and to do it happily. 🙂
I have to say I am very proud of my boys! They happily filled most of the box for their child then Titus and I finished it for them while they played in the toy aisle. Because of the generosity of our church people we were able to make 3 boxes this year. The most we have ever done!
I told Titus when we got married that I would like to do one for each child we have that year at Christmas. So as we have more children we would do more boxes. Sadly this has not happened every year. But this year we were able to give 3 boxes, 2 for boys and one for a girl representing our three children.
Shoe boxes are about $50 to fill. I told Titus if we end up with 10 children we will have to budget $500 just for shoe boxes every year! ha ha ha WOW!!!
Ah Thanksgiving! A time of food and family. I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t have anyone over other than my little family. Thanksgiving seems more special if you have lots of friend or family to share it with. When I asked my hubby what he wanted me to make he said he wanted turkey and chocolate milk. Well……that wasn’t going to happen. I set out making food a few days early, because I knew it wouldn’t all get down on one day. 🙂 I made cranberry muffins just like the ones I grew up eating on Thanksgiving. My boys helped cut the cranberries:
Can I just say that cooking a thanksgiving meal by yourself is A LOT OF WORK! I took a break for a bit on the couch. I missed my mom and sisters a lot. We would cook all day for Thanksgiving in my mom’s one-butt kitchen, but we sure had fun doing it!
But it did all get done! Turkey, potatoes, gravy, snicker salad, deviled eggs, muffins, buns, corn, carrots, and two kinds of pie. 😀
I made everything from scratch too. I was going to make the stuffing from a box until my almost 1 year old got into a bag of new bread. I couldn’t throw it away so I turned it into stuffing.
Check out my turkey! That my friends is what real butter will do to it! Considering it was still frozen the morning of Thanksgiving it sure turned out great! And we didn’t get sick either!! 😀
I cooked the turkey with a bunch of fresh herbs, but I couldn’t taste them at all. The weather was so nice that Titus moved the table outside so we could eat!
Our center piece! It is a pinterest craft that isn’t finished yet, so I put the pumpkins on top. It looks cute.
After cooking for at least two days, and planning the menu for almost a week no one was hungry by the time we all sat down. 😦 I don’t think James ate at all and Gideon only ate a few bits.I guess that is what happens with little kids.
I am so thankful for my little family. I am also so thankful for this house we live in. It has been such a wonderful blessing for us! I am also so thankful I was taught how to cook!!
Are you tired of reading about the Denver Aquarium yet? I haven’t written about it for over year, but this is at least my third post about it. 🙂 While my brothers were here they desperately wanted to go to the aquarium.
Watching the otters play.(the girl in pink is not one of mine!)
Levi and James
After the sharks I made them all go watch the mermaid show. 🙂 This is them waiting for the show to start. I was told later that it was kinda cool to watch, but they would rather see the mermaids swim with the sharks (a.k.a swimming away from hungry sharks).
On our way out Lincoln noticed this shark was the same one that was on his mug that he bought at the gift shop. So we had to take a picture!
I believe all of my siblings have made it to the aquarium except for Luke. I guess Uncle Luke and Aunt Blessing will have to come visit soon. 😀
It’s the calm before the storm. We reached almost 70 degrees today. But the cold and snow are coming this week. So today was the last day of fall and I thought a trip to the park would be fun. It was beautiful!
Levi and Faith.
James and Gideon
Pretending to be a train. James, Lincoln, and Gideon
James crossing the stream
Everyone crossing the stream
Mommy and Faith
Running races (James has quite a bad attitude towards losing. We need to work on that)
As the sun set the cold started coming and the kids feet were wet so we had to go home sooner than I wanted. But not before snapping this picture. Check out that sunset behind them!
When we got home I told the kids that we needed to clean up the back yard because it was probably going to snow tomorrow. James said, “Snow? I love snow!” At least someone is happy about it. 😉
I have been wanting to go to a pumpkin patch since last fall. My news feed on facebook is full of my friends taking their little ones to pumpkin patches. It is the thing to do in the fall if you have little kids. At the end of Oct we finally went to one. I. was. so. excited! James was excited too. I quickly figured out that there is much more than just pumpkin picking going on at a pumpkin patch.
First we went down the 80 foot slide. James showed no fear at all and promptly went down by himself.
There was a maze:
We spent quite a bit of time playing laser tag:
James was a bit short:
Faith standing all by herself!
They had a big hay bale pyramid. The hay smelled so good, and I’m not even a farm girl!
Daddy and the boys:
Mommy and Faith. (check out that blue sky!)
Launching little pumpkins. James really enjoyed this. Gideon enjoyed collecting them after shooting them.
James the scarecrow!
Waiting for the hay rack ride:
Family picture. I highly recommend taking all pictures before you have been at the patch for 2+ hours in 80 degree weather. Your children will be hot and tired and will NOT want a lot of pictures taken. If we go again I would take all the pumpkin patch and family pictures first!