Friday, January 29, 2016

End of the Year Photos

As we come to the end of the year and the photo challenge, I am happy that I did it.  I am secretly planning to continue, but without the pressure of telling everyone. :)  We will see how far I get since I fell into several slumps during this challenge.  I am happy to look back and see our activities and what I was interested in during the year.  I hope to continue to chronicle our family even if I don't complete another 365.
Here are some pictures that really didn't fit in any other post.

I overexposed Sophia while she was playing with the ribbon dancer.  I was really pleased with these two pictures because of her facial expressions.

Keira got new glasses.  Even though they look a little big in this picture, they fit her well.  We let her get a new pair of glasses because the eye doctor said that she could stop wearing her eye patch!  That was a great mile stone!

We let the kids open their stocks first thing on Christmas morning.  Even Patrick got in on the action!

The intelliglobe was a gift from the kids' great Aunts.  They LOVE it!  Kyle has learn a lot of geography since getting it, and Keira and Sophia have learned about different styles of music.

Oh December 29th, we had an appetizer dinner.   Avalyn and I chose the menu and we put together all sorts of things to sample and enjoy.

Patrick makes many cute faces.  He has started scrunching up his nose when he smiles!  I love it!

Another gift from the kids' great Aunts was a telescope.  It has rained a lot since Christmas, so we haven't gotten to use it much.  But on a clear night, Adrian took it out and set it up so the kids could get a chance to use it.  (I was really pleased with this picture because it was so dark outside I could barely see Adrian!  The camera saw him better than I did!)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Captain Cook Comes to Live with Us

The day after Christmas, we went to the Game and Calendar store at the mall because they put everything 50% off.  We found some neat games to try throughout the next year!  I also got our 2016 calendar.  While looking around, Kyle found a large penguin stuffed animal.  Penguins are Kyle's favorite animal, so Kyle quickly decided to adopt him.  Upon arriving at home, we spent some time trying to decide what our penguin's name should be.  Kyle decided that our penguin would be named Captain Cook.
Captain Cook is a very curious creature.  He has loved exploring and seeing new things.  So look I hope that you will look forward to hearing about his adventures with Kyle in the weeks to come.

Captain Cook wants to know if this place will be suitable for him to take up his residence.

He waits patiently at the door hoping to be invited inside.

Kyle sees Captain Cook and tries to talk with him!

Upon opening the door, Kyle asks Captain Cook if he would like to come in.

Captain Cook was a little hesitant to come into a house so full of children, so Kyle picks him up and reassures him that it will be fine.

Kyle snuggles with the Captain to help him feel safe in his new home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


One of the things the kids got in their stockings was a large lollipop each.  So Christmas night, we let them dig into them!  I love the colors in these suckers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Project 365: Week 3

This week was really cold!  We started the week and ended the week with a fire in the fireplace.  The kids love to sit with their feet as close to the fire as they can stand!  We had "snow" on Friday night and Saturday morning, but it wasn't even enough to turn the ground white.  The kids didn't care, they played in it until we made them come in.  I actually took a picture every day!  For January 17 - 23.

Sunday: The kids' feet in front of the fire.  I am thankful for warm fires and toasty toes!

Monday: I have seen this sign for years and never stopped to read it.  I finally did on Monday.  (Click on the picture to enlarge the photo so you can read about the aviation tragedy.) I am thankful to learn about history and taking the time to learn.

Tuesday:  I was having fun playing with the timer on my camera while working on the #mightylucky sewing club challenge.  I decided to see if I could take a self portrait.  This is what I happened.  I am thankful for learning new things in my hobby.  I look forward to learning more!

Wednesday: Patrick found our container of pom poms.  He enjoyed knocking over the container and scattering them all over the floor.  The other kids decided that the pom poms would be fun to play with too, so they have collected them and sorted them in many different containers.  I am thankful for the simple pleasures of my children.  I am constantly amazed at what they can play with for hours at a time.  

Thursday:  While the kids were in their classes at the church, Megan and I have been working on her quilting project.  She had a jelly roll of Architexture  fabric and a jelly roll of corresponding solids.  She divided them into lights and darks, then sewed them into sets of three.  After that, she cut them into squares and sewed light squares to dark squares and cut them again.  That made these light and dark half square triangle blocks.  I laid them out just to see how the pattern would look.  Megan and I LOVE it!  I am glad she is making it.  I am thankful for Megan and her talent.  I am thankful for fun fabric to play with, and the time to play with them.

Friday: I am thankful for siblings.  Avalyn thought this might be a nice way to entertain the baby while doing school work.  Needless to say, it wasn't and didn't last long.

Saturday: I am thankful for my kids.  I love watching them play and come up with fun new things.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Christmas Crafts

We decided that we wanted to change the focus of Christmas in our house.  We wanted to start new traditions and activities that don't involve gifts.  As a part of that, Avalyn and I brainstormed to come up with ideas.  One idea was a Christmas craft.  We decided to make stockings out of foam.  The kids stamped and colored the stockings and then we stapled them together.  Avalyn and Kyle made their own stamps with the foam!  They really enjoy their time.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Projected 365: Week 2

I'm not so upset with missing days so far in this project.  I missed Sunday and Thursday, but made up for it later in the week.  I was thinking about my thankfulness posts and who I am thankful to.  As a Christian, I am not thankful to an ambiguous universe, but to a personal loving God.  I that I have and all that I am comes from his hand.  I am thankful for him and to him.

Sunday: I missed Sunday, but made it up on Monday.  I am thankful for the Ergo, and my baby that enjoys being carried in the backpack.

Monday: Kyle made a nice ramp for his cars.  He and Captain Cook enjoyed rolling the cars down the ramp.  I am thankful for cars and lines and little boys!

Tuesday: I made Muffalata sandwiches after buying That Pickle Guy Olive Muffalata mix at Costco.  It is such wonderful stuff.  We first started eating the mix with crackers as an evening snack.  Then I researched where the mix came from and came across sandwiches.  I made them once and was addicted!  So I made these Muffalatas to take on a field trip.  I am thankful for such good food!  God is good to provide so many wonderful varieties of food. 

Wednesday: We went to the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA.  It was awesome seeing a U2 and an SR-71.  We went with Adrian's parents and got to see two planes that his mother flew in while in the RAF: the Canberra and the Phantom.  I am thankful for the opportunity to go to these kinds of places and to get to see this history with Adrian's mother who was involved with some of it!

Thursday: I missed Thursday after such a busy day on Wednesday and school on Thursday, taking pictures was more than I could do. This pictures is obviously from the museum.  When we pulled into the parking lot, I saw the shadow of this plane and wanted to get a picture of it.  While the others headed to the picnic tables, I ran over to the entrance to take this picture.  I am thankful for my kids interest in museums.  They enjoyed walking around and seeing the different plans and learning about their roles in our military.

Friday: Keira gathered Patrick up to look out the window.  When he saw me, he smiled!  I am thankful for a big sister who loves her brother!

Saturday: It was cold enough to snow, so I made cinnamon rolls!  I got to use my grandmother's rolling pin.  Every time I use it I think about my G'ma and am thankful for her.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Project 365: Week 1.5

I had no intentions of doing another 365 project.  I was tired of taking random pictures in November (and earlier), but I have really enjoyed looking back over the year and seeing all the pictures, and seeing that I stuck with it!  I don't know if I will do a full year, but I am ready to give it a go for now.  This post will cover January 1 - January 9.

Friday:  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Man this smile makes my heart happy!  I am thankful for a new year, new beginnings (in some senses), and wonderful cringly nose smiles!

Saturday: I was taking pictures of Kyle, and Mercy wanted her picture taken with bubby.  I am thankful for stuffed animals and what they mean  to my children and the care and love my children have for them.

Sunday: As is typical, I didn't take any pictures on Sunday.  I am thankful for my Lord who saved me, a terrible sinner.  (This picture was taken at a park we went to later in the week.  I love hot air balloons, and really loved these mosaic decorations.  I am also thankful to have seen hot air balloons in person in the past.  They are so amazing!)

Monday: We were without a washing machine for a little over a week.  We found a good price on one recommended by a friend.  The kids enjoyed watching the men deliver it.  Then they enjoyed watching the first load of laundry as the new washer has a glass lid.  I am thankful for washing machines as they make life easier and help keep us clean!

 Tuesday: I am thankful for fun and useful hobbies and for stretching myself with a difficult (for me) pattern.

Wednesday: I am thankful for good friends!  We met our best friends in Anderson, SC for a play date.  We found a really neat playground that entertained 9 kids for over 2 hours!

Thursday:  Thursdays are long, busy days for me.  I take the kids to our church for school classes and I help with a class, I watch kids, I feed kids, I run errands, I help my sister with sewing, and generally don't stop moving until around 5pm.  I am thankful for my church family that cares enough about all of our kids to organize these classes and provide this opportunity for them.

Friday: We got the opportunity to visit with some friends and go to the Fernbank Planetarium.  We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the star part of the presentation.  I am thankful for the time with friends and this unusual activity.

Saturday: More adventures with Captain Cook (which you will get to read about later).  I am thankful for imagination.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Building a Window Seat

Over the Christmas break, Adrian and a friend built a window seat between two built in bookcases in our family room.  Adrian and John planned the seat, built the frame, and cut all the pieces.  Then Adrian spent a couple of days sanding all the pieces, then conditioning and staining them.  Finally he installed the seat.  It has been a great addition to our family room!  The kids love using it to put together puzzles and for doing their school work. 

Framing out the space:

John and Avalyn supervising,  while Adrian works hard on the frame.

Patrick helping make sure everything is level.

The pocket holes look so neat!

Making sure the top fits and lays flat.

Avalyn helps to stain all the pieces of wood.

The wood conditioner and the stain smelled terrible!  Fortunately, the temperature was warm enough to have the windows open and the fans on to ventilate the room.

Kyle and Adrian staining the wood.

Assembling the window seat, all the kids get in on the action.

Adrian had to get inside the window seat to install part of it!

Attaching the hinge.

The finished window seat!