Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bronwyn and Her Siblings

 "I have a lot of faces and voices to memorize and keep straight."
 "But it doesn't matter who it is, I always feel most safe when someone is touching me."
 "I feel pretty safe when Millie holds me, but sometimes she bounces me too much."
 "Cecily is calmer, but occasionally I might droop to one side if Mom isn't watching carefully."
 "Sam's the best.  He knows all of the things I like."
 "One of my favorite spots is right here on his knee."

 "Calvin is gentle and stays with me a long time."
"Sometimes he picks me up, but usually he likes to lay next to me and look at me."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Deck the Halls

 I ordered a book of Christmas paper decorations for children to cut out and got it out about 2 weeks ago.  The kids and I entered upon a fun afternoon of decoration-making.  I was so impressed with the book.  The activities were of varying degrees of difficulty making it attainable for everyone, all the way down to Cecily, who is 4.  And there were a couple of more challenging projects that intrigued the eldest two boys.  Above are some of the angels.  Cecily and Amelia were able to cut these out all on their own and thought they were very pretty.
 The paper chains were a big hit with the little ones too.
 Calvin was so excited, he had a hard time staying seated. 

I'll have to try to get some more pictures of the decorations.  They made snowflakes, hanging stars and other things.  Here you can see some cheerful angels adorning the piano.  Our house is pretty festive right now....

Friday, December 21, 2012


This year was different.  We've always sort of "gone home" for Thanksgiving.  At least for most years, we went down to Mississippi to be with Peter's family.  When we weren't able to, we've spent the holiday with friends.  As everyone is getting older, it made me realize this year that it was time to create some of our own family traditions for our own children as we move towards a time when they will begin to "come home" to our house.  I know that that is still a ways off, but it is just enough time to make some traditions of our own for them to look forward to and to carry on in their families until they reach a point where they will move on as well.
Our family didn't have the opportunity to travel this past year due to the pregnancy and birth of Bronwyn.  As Thanksgiving drew near we decided to do our best at enjoying a family time from home and work on making some memories/traditions as a sort of vacation.  We started with a family movie night on the evening before Thanksgiving.  We put together a bunch of appetizers and snack food to eat in the basement for dinner while we watched.
I can't remember the last time that we all sat and watched the same movie all together, me included.  It was fun.  We watched Hugo.
Amelia did the cheese and pepperoni on crackers for a snack on Thanksgiving day all on her own.  :)
While I was enjoying a nice, long, catch-up-on-our-lives conversation with my sister, JoAnn, Cecily was helping me cut out the rolls.
I think she's going to be a baker.  She's natural.
The weather was ideal.  It was crisp, but sunny.  Peter and the boys enjoyed a nice, long segment of football.
Peter is discussing the play he's going to run with Samuel.
Here you can see Sam running it.  I love the sun slanting through the trees.
Bronwyn refused to cooperate to get a Thanksgiving day picture.
I, for once, was happy to pose.  I was thoroughly enjoying my day.
Having fun, Peter took this self-portrait of us.   
I haven't made my own turkey in too long.  I didn't get it very browned!  But it felt so good to cook that bird and all the traditional sides to go with it.

Amelia and the others were enjoying a group of Thanksgiving books throughout the day. 
Almost ready.
The kids all worked on decorations for the dining room.  Sam made this sign.
The turkey was Ben and the cornucopia was Calvin.
Millie colored the lower "Thanksgiving" picture and Cecily did the Indian girl.
Sam laid out gourds, squash, pomegranates and leaves to decorate the hutch.
"To the King of Kings and Lord of Lords...."
Will's contribution was the place names.
Happy mom.  We had a leisurely time at the table and reviewed the different things that happened over the past year.  Then we went around and said which of those things was our favorite and we were most thankful for.  We talked about the coming year and what it might hold.  We discussed coming together again next Thanksgiving to see what had actually unfolded.  A sweet time. 
Time to get ready for bed before pie.  Enjoying a quiet moment with the baby.

Pumpkin pie and whipped cream and then bedtime.  A very good day. 

(I will add that Peter likes to say that every day around here is like an epic, filled with every kind of drama.  This day was no exception.  When you see a post like this, you miss the part about Peter having an allergic attack and sneezing and blowing his nose constantly most of the day and Elijah getting sick to his stomach right before we served dinner and having to go to bed and missing the whole thing, among other things as well.  Real life is a work of art with the bad creating contrast so that we can tell what the good is.  :))

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Two Pictures for Today

 If your arm has chubby rolls like this, then you easily get double kisses in our house.
Three ladies all ready to go to Ladie's Night for church. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ben Makes Dinner

 Recently Ben was looking through a children's cookbook and picked out something he wanted to make.  He proclaimed to me that he wanted to make dinner.  Alright.  Ben is 9.  This idea, of course, is going to take a lot of oversight and work for me.  But I didn't want to squash his enthusiasm.  My mother-in-law also encouraged me not long ago with the idea of letting the children plan, shop for and cook a meal.  So I told Ben that what he had chosen was good, but it wasn't enough.  He needed to pick something else to go with it and it had to be approved by me.  Then he picked something else that was very suitable as well, since he was determined that he would do it all himself, and we set a night to do it.  He did great.  He really did do everything himself with just some consulting by me.  He made something called Crispy Chicken Bites.  You can see him dipping chicken breast pieces in flour, then egg, then panko bread crumbs and laying them on the baking sheet, above. 
 Here he is mincing the garlic for the the sauce of his other choice, Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce.
 All done!
He even mixed up the dipping sauce for the chicken bites.  His dinner was truly delicious and he was so pleased.  Way to go, Ben!