Friday, February 28, 2014

Snow -2014

 Is this what happens when you're lowest on the totem pole?  Yes...perhaps.  (Don't worry, he was enjoying himself.)
 The older boys were happy about the abundance of snow that *stayed* this year so that they could actually build a fort.  They got it pretty tall this time.
 However, the opening was pretty small.  Peter took these pictures and I never went into the fort.
 The inside!  Way to go Sam and Will!
 Here's a picture of one of the deepest snowfalls we had.
 So much fun for the kids after a couple of winters without much snow.

We got more use out of our snow gear this year than the last 2 years combined.  Awesome!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A New 13 Year Old In The House

 He's pretty excited to be a teenager.
 He got two new books in the series that he's reading (Wormling Series) from my parents.
He loved the card from Grandma Bethel (they are loving the polar bears!).
 He wanted everyone to see the funny polar bear on it.
 Sam got him some hooks.  You can never prepare for the fishing season too early, if you're Sam.
 The other kids got him some Nerf bullets for his Nerf gun.  He thought the "zombie green" color was interesting.
 They also got him some jolly ranchers.
 His gift from us was an airsoft gun.
 We took the summer berries that the boys (especially Will) had picked, out of the freezer and I made this deep-dish pie for his birthday dessert.
Pretty good for February.  I liked his choice.  :)
I can't believe he's this big!  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Elijah's 3rd Birthday

My little man.
I bought a package of small play doh containers, and gave one to each of the children to create something for a fun birthday activity.  Elijah played with his and enjoyed it.  Below is a face that Sam (age 14) made.  His inspiration came from a picture that I showed him of a self-portrait made of play doh that someone had posted on facebook recently.
Cecily (age 5) started to make her name and ran out of play doh.
Millie (age 6) made a funny face.
Calvin (age 8) made a tower with battlements and a flag on top.
Ben (age 10) made a bird and a sun. 
Dad made a very smiley cat.  :)
Will (age 13) made a school bus.
We decided to go ahead and celebrate Elijah's birthday at the last minute.  He had been sick and his gift hadn't come in the mail due to the inclement weather conditions.  It looked like we were going to have to postpone.  When his gift came and he seemed to be feeling fine, we decided to make some frosted banana bars and go ahead with the celebration.  We had ordered him some new playmobil figurines, so we put those on the bars and put some candles in and he didn't know that it wasn't exactly a birthday cake.
He is opening a gift from Papa and Grammy.
A set of playmobil pirates!  He plays with these EVERY day. 
And "Gamma Befel's card" is a very treasured picture of a polar bear.  He has been guarding it and carrying it around every since he got it.
And his gift was this scooter, though it won't be used much until Spring.  :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wall Doxey, By The Way

 Just in case you're curious, we stayed at Wall Doxey State Park in Mississippi while visiting Peter's parents.  It gave us a place to stay that was cheaper and better than a hotel and was even closer to their house than the nearest hotel.  One of the mornings, when we had a little bit of extra time before we needed to leave for the day, Peter told me to go for a walk by the lake while he and the kids packed the van.  We hadn't seen the lake, and it was so beautiful that I had to run back and get my camera. 
To the left of the dock, the water was full of trees.   I think they call it a Cypress Slough.
The open lake was to the right.  Now, for a northerner, this is a downright amazing enjoyment for a January morning.  I did not take it for granted.  It was not just beautiful, it was serene.  There was not a sound to be heard or a person to be seen. 
I used my zoom on two of the trees in the above picture.  There's a black speck between these two trees that you can see below what it is.

The boys told me that this bird I saw is called a Muscovy Duck.
And here's a picture of the cabin.
The kids got some practice cleaning it out and loading the van by themselves.  Sam decided how to arrange things in the van and Peter said he did a good job and gave him a few pointers for next time.
Cecily found a tiny nest on the ground, which was her very own delight.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Anna and Leslie

I wanted to post a few photos of the time we got to spend with Peter's sisters. Following are some pictures of our visit to see Peter's youngest sibling, Anna, husband Walt and four children.
The boys played a little football in their front yard.
We enjoyed a pizza lunch with them.

Near the end of our trip we got to attend church with Peter's other sister, Leslie.  Her husband, John, plays the organ for the worship service and it was wonderful to get to hear him and see what their church was like.  Afterwards, we followed them home to see their new house, eat lunch and spend the afternoon with them.

John especially loves to cook.  He is a very good cook.  We always get a good meal when we're there.  This time he made a mediterranean Moussaka that was fabulous.  It might be the first time I've had cooked eggplant and genuinely loved it.  He gave me the recipe so I can try it too.
Their new place is on four acres... 
...which I think their dogs love.
We're so thankful for the chance to fellowship with these dear family members, be it ever so brief.
Before we left, Leslie wanted Elijah to open his birthday present that she'd got for him.
I think John had given her the idea that Star Wars was a good idea.  He was certainly correct.