Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Day

 

The excitement is over. The tree and decorations are packed away until next year.

And today…  I took a nap.

On Christmas morning, I got up at about 6am to put the turkey in the oven. I had seasoned it the night before so there was no need to turn lights on or make a big ordeal. I went downstairs half asleep, popped the pan in the oven, and with my eyes still half closed I stepped around the corner and bumped into a little body. In the pitch black.

“Whatcha doin, Mom?”

I screamed. The dog barked. Scott didn’t even bother to shout and see if it was a burglar or something. When I got back up to bed and my heart was still racing, he asked what the screaming was about. At least the dog had my back…

On to the fun part now!

These kids were spoiled. Under and around our tree was refilled 5 times. We spent literally hours watching them open presents over the last few days. Some of us enjoyed it. Some fell asleep during it. Scott… :P

christmas day 1

We had family and friends over for dinner once again. Have I mentioned how much I love hosting big dinners? The girls were a huge help! Keona made bread, Charity and Eve cleaned and vacuumed, Prayer helped me peel and chop two bags of carrots and 10lbs of potatoes, and Scott cleaned the bathrooms! Which totally makes up for sleeping through presents.

My mom and mom-in-law were both a huge help in the kitchen as well! Between us all we managed to feed 25 people and still have lots of leftovers. God has been so good to us, how could we not share what he’s given us with others?

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Enjoying the family time is always my favourite part. We had tea, the guys played some video games, and the kids enjoyed all their new gifts. Lily was getting slightly fussy. I think Danica may have been wondering what her problem was here…

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I hope everyone had an equally wonderful Christmas with people they love.

Looking forward to the New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

We have been counting down to Christmas but the kids have also been keeping track of “sleeps” until Christmas Eve. The tradition at our house is to open gifts today!

The boys had asked if they could wake us up whenever they get up in the morning… surprisingly, I was up before them!

You know the girls are getting older when they want to eat breakfast before opening presents!

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We were all excited to watch Lily open her presents, but all she wanted to do was eat Cheerios. After her second filling of them she was more cooperative.

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Elijah had been trying to guess what his present was for over a month now! His sneaky big sister had wrapped a DS game and a Lego platform inside our giant atlas…

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He may have tackled her out of excitement…

 

The presents we buy are changing. There are less toys and more clothes. The girls asked for accessories, clothes, and books. Keona wanted an apron and her own bake ware. She had here eye on some quilting material a few months ago and was so upset when it sold out before she had saved enough money. Little did she know, that I had already ordered it for her… That was one of my favourite surprises of the day.

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Charity wanted a baseball cap. Sometimes I shake my head watching her because she is such a tomboy! Scott reminded me the other day, that when we met I lived in boys basketball shorts, baseball tees, and jerseys… I love how different they all are.

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Eve got hair accessories and crocheting stuff. Ella got new markers. (Big surprise there!) She also got her first Bible. Prayer got art supplies. Jeddy got his remote control car. Lily got a singing tea set. Scott is pleased that it teaches her to say ‘please and thank you’ and that it plays slow music. Now she sways calmly to the music instead of wiggling her little bum to her “Wheels on the Bus”… :)7

Everyone couldn’t wait to get into their new things…

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One of our advent calendar events had been a walk around the neighbourhood to look at all the Christmas lights. I had told the kids to choose a favourite while we were out. Today’s event was to vote on our favourite and then go say “Merry Christmas” and drop off a Tim Horton’s gift card! Scott and I stayed in the van with Lily. I think the lady may have been slightly surprised when she opened her door and saw 7 kids standing on the porch!

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Lastly, a little comparison…

one year

We are so blessed. I was especially reminded of that today as I watched my kids open all their presents, and then again while I relaxed with a tea and enjoyed a quiet day at home surrounded by my favourite people.

 

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans--and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused--and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”

― Sigrid Undset

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Countdown

Last year we failed miserably at the whole advent calendar thing. I mean sure… so we had a baby, moved, did 3 separate overnight stays in the hospital…

I was so excited about trying again this year! I decided that instead of making all of the events/activities in advance- I would make them up each day as we go along. This has definitely helped us stick to it! Last year I had planned outdoor activities on days when it ended up raining so we just cancelled the whole thing!

Everyday the kids have a little card or envelope with number of days left to Christmas on it that they have find somewhere on the main floor.

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Whoever finds it gets to read it out loud.

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We started with just a simple announcement of the fun activity for the day. Number twenty-five was a “mini Christmas dinner”. Sadly, the turkey had a funky smell to it and we had to throw it out. SO we ended up having chicken legs with stuffing and cake for dessert!

We played hide and seek in the dark. I carefully wrapped and hid 8 mini boxes of cereal. We went on a late night walk to look at all the Christmas lights. We painted Christmas-coloured nails and had Mario Kart tournaments.

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We had movie nights with popcorn, homemade doughnuts, and gingerbread houses.

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We went hunting for dog wood and carolling at a senior’s home.

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I may have spent the entire carolling time standing out in the hallway with my cranky baby. My little fusspot who then turned into an attention-loving angel after the singing was done…

We had homemade pizza and surprise visitors. I have made up lame riddles leading to the rest of the surprise…

 

Though you found #12

you haven’t found me!

I’m all wrapped up

but not under the tree!

You’ll find me where the drying cloths are,

hurry up now- I’m not a car!

 

Yeah…

My sister was always the poetic one.

The kids got a good laugh out of it and requested more riddles!

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When the gingerbread house that we made was finished in one sitting- I thought maybe we should make another one! I made the mistake of bringing all the kids to the store with me and we may have left with the stuff to make an entire gingerbread village…

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Not quite sure what Prayer found so hilarious? She finds everything funny…

They decided to make a Christmas scene and use Lego men as people, lightsabers as ski poles, and icing sugar as snow!

gingerbread town

I had way too much fun doing this with them!

I don’t have pictures of everything we’ve done, and I’m ok with that. I have been doing these thing with the kids. Thoroughly enjoying each and every event. Cuddles on the couch with hot chocolate late at night may be my favourite.

We haven’t done anything extravagant or expensive. I have spent under $20 in total. Meanwhile, the kids are already asking if we can do this again next year! They wake up every morning excited to see what the days’ event will be. We still have a few surprises up our sleeves… ;)

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“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money on them.”  

~Abigail Van Buren

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Phonograms, Birthdays, and a Runaway Dog

I have missed blogging! There are so many little stories that I will forget because I haven’t written them down. So many things the kids have said…

Like Prayer declaring that she was “sweating like a hotdog in the desert!”

Or Ella practicing her phonograms…

Sa, like ‘sat’.

Se, like ‘set’.

So, like ‘sock’.

Su, like ‘wasup’.

I blame her father for that one.

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Ella’s turn to add the star.

Lily now says, “Dum” (some) when she wants us to share food. “Lub ooo!” (Love you) “Mum! Mum!” As soon as I walk in the room.

12 months

12 months

Her sisters have taught her to go up and down the stairs. It’s quite hilarious to watch her crawl backwards while trying to find the top of the steps with her toes!

Keona taught her to feed herself. It keeps her busy and happy, but it’s incredibly messy…

 

Did I mention that Lily turned 1? Cause she did!

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It was also my little brother’s 13th birthday! My little brother who just passed me in height…

The cake may have been a tad bit sweet for her fruit, veggie, and grain taste buds…

eating cake

The kids decorated the tree! I did nothing this year. And other than the 6 candy canes in a row across the bottom branch (courtesy of Ella) they did a really good job! As they said the next morning, “Mom, you didn’t even redecorate it!” :)

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The dog has grown.

great dane growth

A lot.

 

He ran out the front door the other day and jumped on a neighbour’s kid. I shouted at him and called him back. He ran the opposite way. I apologized to the father, who seemed to find it funny, and then proceeded to try and catch my 75lb puppy. He eventually came over to me and walked back home. We’ve been doing some serious training since that little incident.

 

I cut my bangs! Not so exciting, I know. I wanted to do something new with my hair, but I settled with dying it black to hide all the white and cutting my bangs because I’m too chicken to cut my hair. This is the longest it has been since I was… 10?

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Gotta love iPhone self-portraits!

I’m incredibly excited about a new type of photoshoot I’ll be offering in the new year! I have my first official “Birth Photo Session” scheduled as soon as momma-to-be goes into labour! I’ll be portfolio building for a bit, so if you or someone you know wants their baby’s birth documented- contact me!

 

The kids are done school until next year! I would post the picture of Keona’s “happy dance”, but I can’t force myself to do it. I made her promise me that she’d never try to dance in public again… haha! DSC_0470

Begging his sisters for icing, or cake batter, or something like that!

I am enjoying my kids. Sure they drive me to the brink of insanity some days… but I love them to death. I wouldn’t trade these days at home with them for anything. Did I ever blog about the time that I had told the kids to be quiet while I was making a few phone calls? I was trying to leave a message for our dentist when a full-out brawl broke out right beside me. I finished my message, set down my phone, and proceeded to tell the kids off for being so inconsiderate. (Forget the fact that they were on the floor wrestling- I was trying to make a phone call!) Anyhow, after telling them off correcting them loudly, I picked my phone back up, only to realize that I had never hung up. Must have made for an interesting message.

 

Anyhow, December has been a great month with the kids so far. God is so good to us! I’ll share about our “advent calendar” in the next post! :)

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Oh, did I mention that Scott was writing something the other day with a pen (!) when he admitted to looking back at a word, expecting to see a red squiggly line underneath it, and thought, “Oh, I spelled it right!” You know you’re using your iPad too much when… :P

Wouldn’t be a complete post without poking fun at Scott!

Love ya, hun!

Phonograms, Birthdays, and a Runaway Dog

I have missed blogging! There are so many little stories that I will forget because I haven’t written them down. So many things the kids have said…

Like Prayer declaring that she was “sweating like a hotdog in the desert!”

Or Ella practicing her phonograms…

Sa, like ‘sat’.

Se, like ‘set’.

So, like ‘sock’.

Su, like ‘wasup’.”

I blame her father for that one.

DSC_0292

Ella’s turn to add the star.

Lily now says, “Dum” (some) when she wants us to share food. “Lub ooo!” (Love you) “Mum! Mum!” As soon as I walk in the room.

12 months

12 months

Her sisters have taught her to go up and down the stairs. It’s quite hilarious to watch her crawl backwards while trying to find the top of the steps with her toes!

Keona taught her to feed herself. It keeps her busy and happy, but it’s incredibly messy…

 

Did I mention that Lily turned 1? Cause she did!

cake

It was also my little brother’s 13th birthday! My little brother who just passed me in height…

The cake may have been a tad bit sweet for her fruit, veggie, and grain taste buds…

eating cake

The kids decorated the tree! I did nothing this year. And other than the 6 candy canes in a row across the bottom branch (courtesy of Ella) they did a really good job! As they said the next morning, “Mom, you didn’t even redecorate it!” :)

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The dog has grown.

great dane growth

A lot.

 

He ran out the front door the other day and jumped on a neighbour’s kid. I shouted at him and called him back. He ran the opposite way. I apologized to the father, who seemed to find it funny, and then proceeded to try and catch my 75lb puppy. He eventually came over to me and walked back home. We’ve been doing some serious training since that little incident.

 

I cut my bangs! Not so exciting, I know. I wanted to do something new with my hair, but I settled with dying it black to hide all the white and cutting my bangs because I’m too chicken to cut my hair. This is the longest it has been since I was… 10?

IMG_3099

Gotta love iPhone self-portraits!

I’m incredibly excited about a new type of photoshoot I’ll be offering in the new year! I have my first official “Birth Photo Session” scheduled as soon as momma-to-be goes into labour! I’ll be portfolio building for a bit, so if you or someone you know wants their baby’s birth documented- contact me!

 

The kids are done school until next year! I would post the picture of Keona’s “happy dance”, but I can’t force myself to do it. I made her promise me that she’d never try to dance in public again… haha! DSC_0470

Begging his sisters for icing, or cake batter, or something like that!

I am enjoying my kids. Sure they drive me to the brink of insanity some days… but I love them to death. I wouldn’t trade these days at home with them for anything. Did I ever blog about the time that I had told the kids to be quiet while I was making a few phone calls? I was trying to leave a message for our dentist when a full-out brawl broke out right beside me. I finished my message, set down my phone, and proceeded to tell the kids off for being so inconsiderate. (Forget the fact that they were on the floor wrestling- I was trying to make a phone call!) Anyhow, after telling them off correcting them loudly, I picked my phone back up, only to realize that I had never hung up. Must have made for an interesting message.

 

Anyhow, December has been a great month with the kids so far. God is so good to us! I’ll share about our “advent calendar” in the next post! :)

DSC_0462

Oh, did I mention that Scott was writing something the other day with a pen (!) when he admitted to looking back at a word, expecting to see a red squiggly line underneath it, and thought, “Oh, I spelled it right!” You know you’re using your iPad too much when… :P

Wouldn’t be a complete post without poking fun at Scott!

Love ya, hun!

Most Nights…

Most nights I come up to bed and work on the laptop for a bit. I may edit photo sessions, prepare things for the church, send emails… that sort of stuff. Around midnight I usually scan Pinterest, take a Scrabble turn or two, spend some time in prayer, and then drift off to sleep.

Last night, I had approximately 125 Christmas cards left to fill out, envelopes to address, photos to edit, emails to send, CDs to burn, laundry to fold, a room to clean, gifts to wrap, and I’m sure that I’m forgetting something else… and when I came up to bed and went to put something in the little girls’ room, my baby was sitting in her crib staring at me. We made eye contact and she gave me the biggest, goofiest, toothy grin. I couldn’t resist picking her up for a quick hug. You may have heard that Lily isn’t a cuddler. She says, “Huuuuuu!” and leans her head on your face for about 2 seconds flat. But last night, she snagged her blankie out of the crib as I picked her up and snuggled up under my chin. I carried her into my room and sat in the rocking chair. I whispered to her while she nursed for a few minutes and then she snuggled right back onto my chest again. My mind momentarily started reminding me of my daunting to-do list - but I ignored it.

I pulled her blankie over us and rocked my baby. Every few seconds she would look up at me and smile. I must have kissed her head a hundred times. She’d push her feet off my lap every so often to keep me rocking her, and then snuggle in even closer when I did. Eventually she started to drift and I laid her down in her crib, handed her the pink puppy she likes to hug while she sleeps, and watched her drift off. It was exactly the reminder I needed, that it’s ok to slow down sometimes. It’s ok to enjoy the quiet one-on-one moments with my baby, at midnight, while 20 other things wait.

My baby is getting big…

lily with her bottle

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Beautiful Light & Baby Tantrums

When I have too many things going on in my head, I tend not to blog. It’s almost like it would be work to sort out my thoughts and decide what I should blog. Not to mention, I have been slacking with my picture-taking.

 

My photography website got a facelift and is up and running!

But I haven’t made our Christmas card yet…

I have practiced the piano for over an hour today!

But there is school work waiting for me to grade…

I have a (mostly) clean house.

But I don’t know what I’m doing for dinner tomorrow night…

I have planned the girls’ music schedule for the next two months.

But we still haven’t gone apple picking this year…

 

Isn’t that just the way it goes? It seems like I’m continually having to sacrifice something for what I believe to be more important at the moment. So here I am trying to keep my priorities in order. I’m currently sacrificing an hour of sleep… :)

God has been so good; not that it’s a huge surprise! Jeddy got baptized 3 weeks ago. He was Scott’s first baptism.

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It was so hot in the pool room! My lens fogged up immediately and I didn’t have enough time to clear it before Scott started baptizing.

We have been so encouraged by everyone praying for us and by our new church family. It’s amazing how we can fee like family with people we’ve only just recently met! God has answered several specific prayers that I had leading up to the church starting; and for that I am thankful.

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Proud of their school projects!

I took the kids out to a new location recently to take some pictures. It was some of the most gorgeous light I have ever seen.

prayer flute

I wanted to get a picture of the girls playing their instruments but couldn’t quite figure out how to fit it all in the frame.

Charity started moving her sisters around, “You stand here, and you here, and you here… and I’ll stand… here!”

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As she jumped in front of them all.

I love my girls.

Ella went with me to do some shots at another spot behind our house…

ella fall3

I have yet to do the boys’ pictures. I had planned to do it the same day as the girls’… but Elijah was holding Justus’ leash, and Justus decided to go for a run… Elijah fell forward and our “puppy” dragged him several meters across the ground before I could stop him. It was hilarious and I kinda wish I had taken a picture before I went to help him. But I was a good Mom instead! If you can call laughing hysterically, while I try to yell at the dog- a good mom.

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Lily’s pictures are also waiting. She is currently cutting 4 teeth, two of which have broken through, and she refuses to co-operate with anything.

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11 months old

Her new favourite word is “Up!” Which in the middle of the night, turns into, “Uuuuuuuuuuuuup! Up!!!” She crawls over to us, reaches her arms out and demands, “up”. She also hits me in the morning and tells me “up”- which I think translates, “Get out of bed and make me breakfast. Now.”

She can stand on her own, but refuses to take a step.

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She has learned to throw and hates sitting still. Her new favourite thing is books. She loves to look at the pictures. Just don’t try to turn the page for her- this results in screaming and her no longer being interested in the book. She kisses the phone when she hears Daddy’s voice and says, “Huuuuuuu” as she hugs her baby dolls. She has officially moved out of our room, and into a room with Ella. We will see how this goes.

This is how it went after the above photo. (The only photo I got of her even semi-looking.)

Noticing and pointing at the other cookie while yelling “Taaaaa!”

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After I said, “No”…

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“Is Mom still watching?”

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Yep, better get even more dramatic!

 

This, was the reality of our attempted 11 month shoot… Hopefully her 1yr pictures go better.

Needless to say, she survived without the second cookie!

 

Our fall decorations are down.

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We are celebrating Remembrance Day this weekend, and then the Christmas decorations will go up. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year in this house- we are so blessed.

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A year ago- in our old living room.

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