Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sixteen years old?????

I can't believe that little baby boy who fit in my hands is now 16 and taller than me! Happy birthday, Matt!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

A quick update

It has been a fairly quiet new year so far. The most significant thing so far is that Kyle turned 8 on Tuesday. Happy Birthday, Happy Boy!

Josh and Mystery were over on Saturday to celebrate his birthday. He got some pretty cool toys. This just shows his Spiderman walkie talkies and his cap gun set, but they got him a remote control robot that actually flies. We had tornado-type weather today, so he hasn't had a chance to play with it now that it is charged. Maybe tomorrow we can get it outside and take some pictures.
I have been working more with Photoshop everyday. This was a picture I took of myself the other day and then played with some filters to see what would happen. I thought this one was kind of fun .

Seriously, the kids must think this is what I really look like sometimes... lol

The other fun news from this week is that Faith has started singing in the praise band at church. She is really good at it too. I am really looking forward to seeing what some training does for her voice! Matt has started learning to play guitar too, and is going to praise band practice as well as his lesson each week. One of the girls in the band who plays guitar is going to college this summer, and he might be taking her place if he can get lessons in during all of his sports.

The break from sports is over. Baseball practice has begun, so Matt has been there each afternoon. Kyle will be playing baseball again this year too, but we are going to skip softball and t-ball. LOL... Faith hated softball, and while T-ball was funny to watch the kids get bored so quickly, and trying to get 5 kids to 3 different games in different towns was a bit too much last year!

Matt is turning 16 tomorrow. Can you believe it? I can't. I am just not ready for it. Sigh. He is having his party this weekend. Sniff. Sniff sniff.

I mentioned the tornado-ish weather, and it is still going on. In fact, there have been a couple in Missouri already tonight. We are under a tornado watch right now, but we really don't have the weather and worries that other areas do. The temperature has been really nice the last couple of days, though. In fact, Beth wanted me to let her fill her pool with water (from the hose that is iced over... lol) and let her swim yesterday.... lol.. I told her no.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Well, I had great intentions, and even had my cards ready to get mailed, but then I got sick. I didn't get any of my Christmas list taken care of, and I barely got through the regular traditions we have with the kids last night. I started some antibiotics today, and they seem to be helping, so hopefully I will be getting better in leaps and bounds over the next couple of days. We did have a nice Christmas, though. It was small and quiet, and that really made it very nice. Merry Christmas to all our loved ones out there! We miss you and hope you had a great day!

I did get some photos taken of some of the things we did get done this week. Todd, Chet, and Kyle all sang in Christmas concerts at school. I love school Christmas concerts! Todd was so excited and thrilled to be a reindeer, and he had so much fun at his concert! I loved the floppy antlers!

Chet was an angel, and I really have no idea why they all looked so unhappy, but it didn't surprise me one bit to see him up there surrounded by girls. He gets letters every single day asking him to be somebody's boyfriend. He is even being asked out on dates. No!!!! I am going to start spraying him down with girl-B-gone each morning before school starts... lol. His counts came up another 10,000 to 63,000 this month, and we are all hoping and praying he just keeps on bringing them up 10,000 at a time!

The little kids were part of the Children's program on Sunday, and I forgot to upload the photo, but Matt was also part of lighting the Advent candles. It was a really fun program. We went to the candlelight service Sunday night, and that was simply beautiful. Between the candlelit chapel, the calm silence, and then the soothing sound of "Oh Holy Night", Todd fell fast asleep in his pew.

I also didn't get any of our normal baking done for Christmas this year, but that isn't all bad. Since I didn't have any appetite to eat all the fattening goodies that are so abundantly available at Christmastime, I managed to get through the season without regaining any weight I have been working so hard to take off. However, Santa just can't come visit and not have some treats offered, so the kids and Jack and I made some rice krispie treats and Russian teacake cookies yesterday.
Tipsy found the entire process incredibly fascinating and kept popping her head up over the edge of the table to see what we were up to.

Yesterday was Jack's 40th birthday. I had plans to throw him a surprise party, but between his work schedule and whatever bug has been attacking me it just didn't happen. But happy birthday, Jack... I love you!

My mom sent the traditional Christmas Eve jammies for everyone, so we let the kids open those up last night and then had them get changed into them.

Here are all the fellas... what a cute group of guys!

And she sent the girls and I penguin jammies....I love penguins!! This was not my finest photo moment... lol. My head was hurting, I was coughing up a lung, and my face has been terribly swollen... but here we are in our penguin glory!

It was then time to set out the goodies for Santa and the reindeer. We left a penguin by his plate to make his night merry too, and put out the carrot for Rudolph. Faith was sad that we didn't have eggnog to leave for Santa and we had to leave him milk... I felt like such a bad mommy for forgetting the eggnog! LOL... Santa (and some greedy kitty cats) did enjoy the icy milk though!

Then the kids threw the magical reindeer oats out in the yard to feed the rest of the reindeer team, and then they were off to bed.

Of course, that is when Santa's job begins, and this year we were up until 3 am trying to figure out this silly doll house. It has a working elevator which I thought was really cool, but Jack wasn't so impressed when it came time to put it together.. lol.

I was in charge of assembling the furniture that came with the dollhouse, and I had to laugh at the proportions of the silverware vs the size of the turkey.

At last we had presents wrapped (well, actually, I had everything done in under an hour, but that house kept us very busy... lol) At one point I turned around to find Skittles tucked in snugly among the boxes and bags we leave out for Santa to wrap presents in. The stockings were hung on the bookcase with care.

And at last the presents were done and around the tree. We kept Christmas small this year, but it always amazes me how much it all still ends up looking like when we have the boxes around the tree! So we went to bed at 3, and those monsters were wide awake by 5:30 and clamoring to open those presents and see what Santa had brought them. Aaagghhh! We dragged ourselves out of bed and got ready to open the presents. I love Christmas. I love seeing their expressions when they see their presents. And even though we were sleep-deprived this year, I just loved being up early in the morning to share this with the kids. I love Christmas!

I have made a very dear friend, Roberta, through work who has essentially adopted the kids as her honorary grandkids. A couple of months ago I told her about a bowl I was keeping an eye out for at yardsales and estate sales. I had found a couple at antique stores, but didn't want to pay their asking price. However, these yellow bowls look like the one my gramma had and taught my mom to bake in, and I wanted one. (Bowls are really the only thing I sort of collect... I like pretty ones and keep an eye out for them at yardsales.) My dear sweet friend found me the yellow bowl, and bought it for me for Christmas. Jack has to hurry and build my bowl shelves now, and this one gets its very own special spot on those shelves!

Here are some shots of the kids with some of the presents. Cash is always Chet's favorite thing... lol.

This isn't a Christmas picture, but I had to take it yesterday when I saw what B was doing. She found Todd's Spidey costume and put it on. Then she went around the house being "Spidergirl". When Todd saw how she was posing in his costume being the girly girl she is, he was highly offended. "That is NOT how Spiderman is supposed to stand!" he said... lol.. I thought it was cute, though!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Santa mailed the younger kids letters to remind them he would be here soon, and to be good. Todd is starting to worry a little bit. I heard him telling the others "I try to be good! I'm only naughty sometimes!" hehehe... he cracks me up!!

It has been a busy holiday week! Today I took the kids to a ballet recital that several of Faith's friends were in, and then we went to a concert at the church tonight. Sometimes I don't feel like we are ever home anymore! Here are some shots from this week.

Beth and Todd curled up in the chair together to watch TV while I was cooking dinner last night. They both looked so tired!

It snowed yesterday, and although we didn't get as much as was predicted, the kids still found enough on the cars to make snowballs. Can you tell that Kyle just hit a brother who wasn't paying attention with a well-formed snowball?

Even the dogs enjoyed playing in the falling snow with the kids. Sammy got right up on the car and sat in the snow that Faith was trying to gather up!

There was one who wasn't that interested in playing in the snow. Chet realized I was making fudge for a cookie sale at church today, and while his siblings bundled up to brave the cold, he got caught scraping the extra fudge out of the pan!

Here are pics from the parade last weekend. The kids' float won first place in the church sponsored category!

The weather keeps fluctuating from warm to cold, and it is wreaking havoc on my lungs. I am sick again, and this time it has settled in my chest. There is still a lot to do this month, though, so hopefully I get over it soon. I haven't even really begun my shopping yet because I haven't had a chance to get into a town that has more than one store!! Ah well... that is what the last minute is for right?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Locks of Love, a race with a cow, and some misc shots

Faith cut ten inches off her hair yesterday to give to the Locks of Love foundation. She was so thrilled with how long the ponytail ended up being. She has a cute cut, and she can still pull it up in a headband or clips if she really wants it out of her face.
What she really loves is how it flips up in the back now!
These are the kinds of moments where I am glad I usually have my camera with me. Beth and I were driving down our dirt road when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw one of our dogs chasing a cow out of our yard. She ran behind the truck and I caught the first shot in the side mirror. Along with the dog chasing her, the neighbor's horses joined in the race as we passed their fence, and I am sure she thought I was chasing her in the truck as well. Poor cow. She probably won't be back soon to eat the grass.

I was playing with some flash modes today, and shot this one of Beth with her bedhead when she woke up from her nap. She opened the door and decided it was too cold to come out and join me.
This is one of the few shots of Jack where he doesn't look bright red... I will have to use this mode more often with him!
And here are some shots of some of the animals. I had to laugh at the black cat's photo... it is blurry but her expression is priceless... "Are you taking my picture??"

And this is another picture I took of one of our almost naked trees. I took this one with the bench under it for scale. It is very wintery outside today, and you can see that in this shot. It should be snowing this weekend, and I can feel it in the air.