Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Our yearly family Christmas tradition might be a lot like yours. They are a compilation of my family traditions growing up, Paul's and then some new ones that we decided on. Regardless, I think Christmas traditions, like all family traditions are the pillars of your family. They will be what our kids look back and remember fondly when they leave the nest. They will be what they want to relive and experience again after returning home for the holidays as a young adult. They may even emulate them with their own families one day. The memories...not the gifts will be what grows sweeter and more precious through time. Albeit simple, we start our Christmas traditions with a night right after THanksgiving sometime where we decorate our family tree together. Before we jump in to the actual tree trimming, we eat our once-a-year special dish of fondue. We USED to do cheese fondue, but the kids weren't digging it. So, we switched to deep dish pizza followed by chocolate fondue for dessert.

Need I say more?

Strawberries, pineapple...


Graham crackers and bananas...

chocolate on the face...

MORE chocolate, and more chocolate

Delicious AND nutritious!!!

The kids also get a new ornament from us every year. We try to make it something that reflects their likes or activities. This year we got them each an ornament from the Nutcracker. We have been studying Tchaikovsky this year, specifically the Nutcracker right before Christmas. They loved them!!

Sugar Plum Fairy

Nutcracker Prince

A new ornament Paul and I bought for us this year.

Good job guys! Actually, this is not our finished tree...not sure I even got a picture! How sad is that? We'll do it all over again next year. I'll get one then, I guess! HA!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I KNOW!!! It's January and I'm posting about Thanksgiving!! How could I just let it go by without documenting though, huh? Bear with me!!

So....very much to be thankful for this year!! WOW! See all these sweet friends? Well, they're all new friends since April. THAT'S something to really be thankful for! As home schoolers we have to plan our own parties and get togethers and group science experiments, etc! So, we got together for a Fall/Thankful Party and what fun it was!! We started things out with a pumpkin experiment. See the pumpkin guts and neat chart? That's science y'all!!!

In the background you can see our pilgrim hats that were kind of a runny flop. Kids didn't care!!!

We had a cute craft planned...making little Pottery Barn knock-off boats for Thanksgiving table. SO didn't happen! Baseball with buddies is WAY more fun that felt and glue!

Lastly we convinced them to come inside for a little Peanuts Thanksgiving movie. Sweet!

The real Thanksgiving Day was a few days later and we had family at our house this year which was super fun! This was our kid-friendly appetizer!! Gobble, gobble!

The kid table had butcher paper for drawing and they had a menu check-off list to keep track of what they had left to eat. We also had Thanksgiving trivia. Fun times!

So thankful for so many things! God is good. None of the family and or things we have would mean a thing though if it weren't in light of the gospel that gives us life and peace. Thank you for Jesus! Thank you for the cross! Thank you for victory over sin and for loving and saving a wretch like me!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Poppa Camp

Boys want to be men. It's that simple. They aspire to be men and we aspire for them to be (one day, but not tooo soon) as well. My Benjamin is so blessed to have great men in his life, men of many different talents and skill sets.

Paul is an amazing fixer, problem solver. He will try to fix anything himself first before resorting to hiring it out. He also is a whiz on the computer, seriously a natural problem solver. LOVE that about him. My dad on the other hand has a different skill set. He's a cowboy, a musician, a radio technician, works with his hands. He's got a wide array of useful and very manly skills. We got the idea of how fun it would be to teach our boys these skills and not let them just rest on the men. Paul tries to teach B here and there and in organic, everyday settings. But Poppa lives hours away and the organic way just isn't happening. So, we set aside a weekend. Maybe an annual weekend (we hope???), to let Poppa teach the boys some important manly things. Funny, because Paul and Ryan wanted to be there to learn too!!!

I was very impressed when I saw the wide array of things on the agenda for the boys!!

  • bow shooting, as in arrows and a target
  • How to drive a manly riding lawnmower (even the men couldn't wait for this one. Dad's own like a Royals Royce in lawn mowers, HA!!)

funny to me how almost everything the boys did required ear plugs!!

  • horse saddling, shoeing, and of course, riding

  • cutting down a tree basics (with a chain saw!!! Ack!) and then hauling it all off in a wheel barrel

LOVE this picture!!

  • ready for this one? Guns. Shooting. Safety. Seriously manly stuff here (and a mother's nightmare!)

okay, is everything about this picture not wrong????? That sweet little innocence 5 year old face holding a RIFLE???? WRONG I tell you!!!!

  • Scavenging, as all boys do naturally, I think
  • How to eat Mexican food like a man
  • They watched a old "boy" movie called "Savage Sam"
  • While movie watching they enjoyed root beer floats.
  • Poppa had some cool boy books to read to the boys at bedtime, but I think only Benjamin made it to that point.
Fun, fun, seriously manly, fun times for these boys. I'm so proud of my B who wants to be a wise, strong, adventuresome, and brave man one day! He has so many aspirations, that we can't keep up with them. He wants to solve all the world's problems when he become an adult. Some on the list include: inventing useful things like flying cars, magic and amazing kitchen gadgets, finding a cure for cancer. He wants to study sharks and be a marine biologist. The list goes on and on and is literally added to every single day. It makes me smile to hear him dream with no adult-like-reality in the mix. We let him dream.

I truly can't wait to see what God will do his life. I know He has a great purpose for Benjamin, as it was so amazing how he made it here in the first place, defeating all odds.

Thanks to the MEN in his life who invest in B and pray for him and want him to be a mighty warrior in the army of God!! B can't wait until next year's camp, Poppa!!! He wanted me to tell you to make sure guns were included though...his favorite part!