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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

25 Days of Fun

This year we got a pretty little reusable advent calendar. Not to be green, just because I wanted control over what goes in. :-) For this year, I will still indulge the kids with their daily piece of chocolate. The German in me just can't deny them this advent tradition. But I also want to fill the little doors with a neat thing to do every day to prepare for Christmas. So here is my list, in no particular order:

  1. Put up manger
  2. Sing Christmas songs by the fire place
  3. Have hot chocolate with marshmallows or peppermint candy canes
  4. Drive around to look at Christmas Lights
  5. Get a Christmas tree
  6. Decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music
  7. Read Christmas books
  8. Read the Christmas story
  9. Do a good deed for Grandma
  10. Do a good deed for Grampy
  11. Do a Christmas craft
  12. Bake cookies
  13. Write/color Christmas cards
  14. Watch a Christmas movie
  15. Bring someone breakfast
  16. Read another Christmas book
  17. Craft a Christmas present
  18. Go get a seasonal treat
  19. Give a seasonal treat
  20. Make paper snowflakes
  21. Day of good deeds
  22. Get a Salvation Army bell ringer a hot drink of their choice
  23. Get a poinsettia for someone who doesn’t have pets
  24. Decorate sugar cookies with Grandma
  25. Celebrate Christmas Day!
To make it easy on myself, the doors will be filled the night before so that they can accommodate our schedules better. :-) The purpose here is to get the kids excited about Christmas, cherish quiet family moments and to also serve others.

In addition to this new advent tradition, we will also make our first Jesse tree this year. We got a really neat set last year that we've been busily coloring, cutting and assembling. Ann Voskamp has a free printable Jesse Tree on her website as well. Can't give you the link right now because for some reason my internet is acting up. I printed it for next year as it is a little more involved. The first one mentioned is perfect for the kids this year.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


There are too many things I need to say thanks for. If I said thanks all day long, it would not be enough. All the things God has done in my life and is doing, they would take up all day to thank for.
I pick the one thing I'm most grateful for; my husband.
Lord, I thank you for this wonderful man you have given to me to take care of. And though I fail miserably in loving him the way he deserves to be loved, he is my earthly rock. He is patient and kind with me. He teaches me about God's love. It is so hard for me to understand, that unconditional love. To be showered with overwhelming, undeserved love. Grace. Agape. It surprises me so often. Why would any one human being love another before themselves? I still don't understand. But I don't have to. All I have to do is take the gift. Even that is hard for me. It's more than someone showing up for Christmas with a beautiful gift and you don't have a gift to give in return. You don't deserve the gift in the first place.
Today I give thanks for this wonderful man in my life. There are no words to express my gratitude. It is a joy inside of me that does not easily flow out as words. It's the warmth I feel when I am around him. The safety and security. The fellowship. The guidance he provides to this easily distracted woman. How he keeps me focused and makes me a better person. How he makes me actually live this life. Breath deep. Drink from the well. His words, so wise. I love every part of him. Without him, I would be lost. He has brought me closer to God than any other person. Because of him, I have found God. For all that, I am eternally thankful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Strange Encounters

When you live with children, you will have many strange encounters in your own home. Some will make you wonder, some will make you giggle, some will make you laugh out loud, and others will make you want to call a therapist. One thing is for sure though, with kids there is never a dull moment...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Smiles

Hoping that baby smiles make your day just as much as mine. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Soccer Mom!

Yes, I'm proud of it! :-) I even have the van!
Nathan is playing his first ever team sport and it is so cute. Bunch of little boys and girls, all chasing the ball and occasionally even taking the ball from their own team mates. At least they don't stop to play in the mud. Although they all got pretty side-tracked for the two weeks large quantities of caterpillars appeared around the soccer fields...

The little man in soccer attire. My family is very proud. They are soccer-loving Germans, you know. I'm sure there is a tear in the eyes of the German uncles. He is part of the "Green Team."

Nathan is one of the youngest ones on his team. He is doing really well. Seems he's found a real love for playing soccer. He even plays it during recess at school, every day. Funny thing is that he never knows who is on his team except for one child from his Green Team. So I asked him what do you do if you have the ball? He said he just passes to Austin (his "Green Team" team mate). I guess that works.

Over the past few weeks Nathan has worked hard and improved quite a bit. When he is at home, he takes his soccer ball and practices by himself for long periods of time. Anytime dada or an uncle want to take him out for practice (this is usually once a day), he is very excited.

There are still a lot of situations where Nathan doesn't know quite what to do and only experience will help. I'm sure he'll be happy to get more experience in soccer. He does have a lot of fun, made some friends and has a great attitude. David has been vital with the attitude, always focusing Nathan on the right way to think.

One thing about Nathan, he has the hardest time remembering people's names. Kids from his class will come up to him and talk to him and he has no idea what their names are. He does however know everyone on his soccer team!

Abigail is here physically. :-) She'd much rather be at the playground with her new friend(s). Two boys have blond-haired sisters and at first she was convinced that both of them were the same girl. Now she understands they are not. She's been very excited to go to Nathan's practices where she can play with her little friends.

Nathan as goal-keeper. They trade off who is the goal-keeper. I couldn't handle the stress of being a goalie.

Be a wall!

Even cousin Olive came to support her Nathan. Mom Megan knitted both the hat and the jacket. Super cute. I'm sure that is all the soccer-minded people can think about...

See, told you they all run in a solid group. It's cute.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Abigail, spotting orange Oreo cookies at Grampy's house: "So Grampy is decorating for Halloween!"

Nathan being cold: "I'm frosty."

As we were trying to figure out how to get a hold of the kids' grandma (Oma) in Germany, who has no answering machine:
Nathan: "But what if Oma isn't home?"
Mama: "We'll just call her again later."
Abigail: "But what if she goes outside on the road and gets run over by a car?"

Nathan, while explaining how he is the fastest runner: "I don't really use that super speed."

Abigail: "Mama is handsome!" (Did I just get a compliment or was I insulted???)

Mama: "Abby?"
Abigail: "Sh! I'm concentrating!"

Nathan telling a story: "A long, long, long time ago... One day before Grampy was born, they used to think the moon was flat as cheese." (Apparently Grampy is much older than he lets on.)

Nathan: "Mama, I just had a bunch of heart attacks!" (A bit dramatic, are we?)

Nathan, pointing at a fitness club: "Look, the muscle studio."

At our friend Kevin's house (a police officer), Nathan is eyeing his police car: "Are there any bad guy in there?"

Abigail: "Sham-poo? Is there any poo in the sham?"

Mama: "Don't poke Isabelle in the eye. That hurts."
Abigail: "But I gave her kisses first."

Abigail, suddenly crying in the store, holding her bear.
Mama: "Abigail, what is wrong?"
Abigail: "The bear and I just grew apart. I grew up and he stayed little." (Oh, the drama. Can't wait for the teenage years....)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Has This Happened To You?

Nathan has started to play soccer and practices often with his dad. The last time they practiced, it had rained, so Nathan was really muddy. Apparently when he plays soccer, he scoots across the lawn on his knees.... I think he took off his clothes and put them underneath his knees while he was scooting... (Just kidding but that's how dirty he was).
Anyways, I gave him a bath and after a lot of soap and some scrubbing, his knees were very clean. His shins however were still dirty. I kept scrubbing and scrubbing until the poor boy begged me to stop. Just couldn't understand why that dirt wouldn't come off. We had to inspect this more closely. Oops! There I was scrubbing away his newly appearing leg hair!
Goodness, my baby has leg hair. Is that even legal at 5 years old? Next thing you know he'll sport a mustache...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dabby Days

Just like David took Nathan on a Dathan day (see previous post), he took Abigail to a Dabby (Daddy and Abby day). Since he took Nathan fishing, that is what Abigail wanted to do. However, she did not quite have the endurance for fishing. :-) They also strolled through the mall and a learning store. David took Abigail to a Chuckie Cheese as well and they ended their outing with a nice meal at a restaurant, just talking. (That is after all what Abby's do best.) Here are some pictures of their adventures:

Abigail quite enjoyed throwing their bait in the water - without being attached to any hooks.

Looking pretty fishing.

Pouting is what Abby's do really well. She loves to pose for pictures with different faces.

Hugs and squeezes for Daddy.

Beautiful scenery.

Salmon eggs make a mess when you squish them...

Oh, but it's so much fun!

This remind me of Trace Adkins' song "She thinks we are just fishing" about a dad and a girl going fishing. There is just something so sweet about a dad and his girl spending quality time together.