Sunday, December 04, 2011

ChristmasTree Farm 2011

Here we are, off to find the perfect tree for us for 2011!

Sophia's favorite thing to do was to hop on all the tree stumps.

YES! I think we found it. It is absolutely perfect.





Here is our tree, all loaded up in the cart and ready to go. We love watching all the young families picking their trees. Everybody is happy and everyone is wishing everyone else a "Merry Christmas!"

Meredith pauses to enjoy some hot chocolate by the bonfire.

Here is Clara shooting down the slide from the loft in the barn. She went down this slide at least a hundred times.

Kevin and Sophia watch the big girls on the slide.

This place SMELLS so amazing!!

The kids enjoy playing in the loft of the barn while we wait for our tree to be processed. It was a lazy day and we just enjoyed being at the tree farm and being together!



Clara was chosen to put the star on top of the tree this year.

The tree is trimmed! Hooray!

Kevin and I stayed up until midnight stringing cranberries and popcorn to make garland for the tree. Yes, he is wonderful. I told him, "I wonder how many husbands would do this for their wives after 10 years of marriage. Maybe on their first date. But, after ten years? You are wonderful."

We don't have many tree trimming traditions but we have carried over Kevin's family's tradition of making Peanut Blossom Cookies to munch on while we decorate. They are Kevin's favorite.

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A New Advent Tradition & the Kids' Gingerbread House

This year we started a new Advent tradition that everyone is really loving so far. I got the idea from Megan last year. I wrapped a bunch of Christmas books that we own (most of them purchased from Half Price Books for $1.00 or less) and each day the kids take turns and open one new book to read together at breakfast time. The problem is that we currently only own 12 books. But I have a massive pile ready to pick up at the library and will be wrapping those to add to our stash so that it will last until Christmas Eve. They are LOVING this new tradition. We are definitely going to do it again next year.

Here are the girls decorating our annual gingerbread house. This is the first year they did it entirely by themselves! They are getting so BIG. They LOVE this tradition and it's so easy when you buy the pre-made box at Costco for $10. :) They wanted to do it early this year so that we could have it as part of the house decorations.



And, finally, I'm going to include this picture of Sophia so that someday she really believes me when I tell her she was a real pistol. She helped herself to my eye liner!! You are waaaaayyyy too young for makeup, darling, as evidenced by this photo:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Snow

I just love it when the first blanket of snow catches us by surprise. We knew snow was coming but didn't realize it would accumulate. As I write, the kids have played in it twice in the last 12 hours. They can't get enough of it.





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Thanksgiving Snapshots

There are many blessings to count this year. God is good.











Saturday, November 19, 2011


A dear friend recently told me that she put her kids in private school and felt like it was a more "rich" educational environment for her kids than homeschooling. This may be true for some people but I have never felt that our homeschooling has lacked richness. This is partly due to extracurricular activities and library classes and also due to our wonderful homeschool group, Classical Conversations (CC) of Brownsburg, Indiana. I also love the curriculum we are using (more on this later).

Last week I overheard Meredith talking with a friend. She didn't know I was listening but I overheard her tell this friend that she "really liked homeschooling." Some days she will probably like it more than others. And that goes for me too! But one thing is for sure--she loves learning. She is inquisitive and curious and creative. I am very encouraged.

Here are the older kids last Thursday before our end-of-the-year CC meeting / Thanksgiving party:

The pilgrim outfit was made by my mom for my little sister when she was younger. I cut up a t-shirt I got at Michaels and hot-glued beads to make this Indian outfit for Clara. The belt and headdress fasten together with velcro.

Here is Clara's class. She has the best tutor for this age group. Chris is very musical and uses puppets to teach English and Latin memory. The kids love her.

Here Meredith is completing her final project for her human anatomy studies. She has two really great tutors as well, who are both good friends of mine. Meredith has really learned to love both geography and science this semester. She also loves music and playing her little tin whistle.

Here are two girls in Meredith's class:

My friend Rachelle made this awesome turkey.

Serving up the feast:

This is right before I decided it would probably be okay to leave Sophia to help serve the food. The next time I saw her she had abandoned her food and had found a lollipop. She was quite happy about it too.

Here is Clara with her best friend, Eden Rose.

Thanksgiving Decor

Some day I will have elegant Thanksgiving decorations adorning my home. And when that day comes, I will miss having decorations like this laying around the house:

Believe it or not, Sophia "made" this little fellow. I'm sure she had a lot of help from the lady at her nursery class. But she was so proud to give it to me. She pointed at it and smiled so big. She is so funny that way. She loves to scribble on paper and give that to me too. Kevin told me once, "I miss these days already." There are certain moments in time that I wish I could hold onto forever.