Sunday, December 23, 2007

5 Days of Advent 19th,20th,21st, 22nd and 23rd

Wed 19th Day of Advent: Grandma and Grandpa Take All The Grandkids To See Santa

This was actually SO MUCH FUN! The Santa at the mall had a real beard, was full of his own fat, and sang lots of Christmas carols with the kids! His seat was a sleigh, and Violet was searching all over looking for his reindeer. She finally resolved herself to asking him, because she just could not understand why there was a sleigh and no reindeer. He told her they could not be inside the mall, and they were outside. It was just a really cute, fun, cheerful little outing with Grandma and Grandpa. Go Rudolph! :)

Thurs 20th Day of Advent: Eat Special Chocolate

Yum, Yum...It is so much fun to eat Chocolate before bed~!

Friday 21st Day of Advent: Attend The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

This was presented by our church choir and was delightful and beautiful! My parents loved mom is actually still talking about it! The service was a series of lessons from scripture followed by a carol sung by the was lovely!

Sat 22nd Day of Advent: Open Gifts From Grandma/Grandpa and Byingtons

Sun 23rd Day of Advent: View Living Nativity and Look at Christmas Lights In Leavenworth

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas From the Madson Family!

For those of you who do not already know, we moved to Wenatchee, Wa in February. Brant is now employed by Central Washington Hospital, and is still working in the technology field. He loves his new job and is enjoying the shift from higher education to the medical field. A little side note...he has not totally left higher ed, he started teaching computer programming part-time at Wenatchee Valley Community College this fall. He loves it and is happy to still have his foot in the door at the college level.

The move was...hmmm...exhausting, but without great drama. The biggest inconvenience was our 1 bedroom apartment for 2 adults, 4 kids, a cat and a dog. It was actually a blessing to be able to have a short term situation while we waited for all the home buying stuff to work it's self out, it was just shall we say "CLOSE QUARTERS" for a couple months. We were so blessed by a quick sale of our home in Mosocw, and found a beautiful home here in Wenatchee VERY close to both the kid’s school and Brant’s work. Wenatchee offers a wide range of outdoor activities throughout the entire year, which is great for our high-energy family. We have spent a lot of time bike riding, swimming, running, and plan to ski most of the winter. Actually, I plan to be the support for the skiers…making hot cocoa and chili! I may take up snow shoeing, we’ll see.

Besides keeping patient during the move, my biggest accomplishment for the year was running a half-marathon this past fall. I completed the 13.2 mile race in a little over 2 and half hours, and swore that I would never do it again. Alas…I decided to sign up for another half-marathon in April. It is the most amazing since of accomplishment and keeps me committed to staying healthy.

Tage is 6 and is in kindergarten at The River Academy. He has changed a lot this year. He has not only grown a TON physically, he has matured a TON as well. He loves helping out with Benjamin, and takes his responsibility as a big brother very seriously. Tage started choir this year at our church and really loves learning about music. We are planning on signing him up for baseball in the spring. He is really starting to turn into a neat big kid, with loads of personality!

Simon is 4 and is in preschool at The River Academy. He is still a sweet little guy with a great smile! He says smiling is his favorite! Simon is very smart and takes going to school VERY seriously. He comes home and reports to us with LOTS of authority what they did in the classroom that day. He is a total crack up! He still loves baseball and got to go on a special trip to Seattle with mom, dad and grandma to see a Mariners game this past summer. We all loved spending that special one on one time with him!

Violet is 3 and makes her presence known. She talks, and sings non-stop all day long. She does not need anyone to talk back to her (that’s what her ponies are for)…although she will gladly enter into the most amazing non-senseacle conversation with anyone if they are up for it. She often tells people she is 3 and 4 years old at the same time…she also morphs into a puppy or horse in the blink of an eye. Most of the time I do not know who or what I am dealing with…it can change in a split second.

Benjamin is 18months old and is not really a baby anymore. He is a jolly tank of a fellow who loves music of all kinds and can really get down. He likes to play with balls, trucks, sorting toys and is starting to spend a lot of time looking at his books. This makes him sound like a mellow fellow, but he is more like the Tasmanian Devil when it comes to energy and how he moves about the house. It is remarkable how fast he can move from one room to the next taking down people and things faster than a blink of an eye. Just watching him is exhausting! He has such enthusiasm and excitement for life. We are constantly loving on him and enjoying his bubbling personality.

As we prepare for the New Year we look back with amazement at how much God has provided for us in 2007. We have been so blessed with a successful new job, a great new community, good health, happy children, and lots of family and friends to share life and all of its moments with.

"Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" Matthew 1:23

Many blessings to you all in 2008!
Love, Brant, Rachel, Tage, Simon, Violet and Benjamin

18th Day of Advent: Jammie Ride To Look At Christmas Lights...Part 1

This is the first in what we hope to be a two part series...Last night we conquered Wenatchee, and in the next couple of days we hope to conquer East Wenatchee...It seems a little ambitious this close to Christmas, we'll see how the next few days unfold. The kids really enjoyed this little outing. We had special cookies for the car which made this event that much sweeter! I hope you all have had a chance to look at lights. It is one of my most favorite things to do at Christmas!

17th Day Of Advent: Watch Charlie Brown's Christmas!

Not a lot to add here except...WE LOVE THIS MOVIE!


Sunday 16th Day of Advent: Attend Church Christmas Dinner

This was a wonderful evening of fellowship with our church friends and family. It was decorated beautifully, and the food was perfect, especially for a family with small children! How can you go wrong with pasta! I think Violet alone had at least 6 meat balls!!!! The master mind behind the dinner was I think quite brilliant, they had thought to put a coloring table in the back for all the children....wonderful idea! Our kids were very busy making cards for everyone they could think of. Once the dinner was over the choirs sang, it was lovely. Tage is in the children's prep choir and they sang Silent was very sweet to hear the voices of babes singing such a beautiful song! The highlight of the evening for Violet was......NEW SPARKLY SHOES!!!! She received this delightful gift from Grandma and Grandpa just before the dinner and I might add she was most defiantly pleased with her new little clothing addition. She walked around the room and would stick her foot out with lots of drama and say...."Look at my shoes...Aren't they beautiful" Since my parents attended the dinner with us Simon, our little lover, was glued to Grandmas side the entire evening. The evening ended perfectly with big beautiful snowflakes falling as we left. So fun!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Back Logged Advent!! got a little away from me over the past week. We had an unbelievably busy and festive week that ended with a BANG of a Christmas party here at our house Friday night. To catch you all up on our Advent I'll list them starting with last Sunday...

Sunday 9th Day of Advent: We took the kids to their friend Jordan's Christmas Play
This was absolutely the best evening of the week! There was a potluck before the play and Tage, Simon and Violet were in rare form! They ate all their food, which is quite impressive for a potluck...most of the time I feed them before these kind of functions because they are not so found of mystery dishes. This event however was a rarity. Some of our friends looked over at one point and saw Tage walking around the room with a Christmas cookie in one hand, and the the most ginormous piece of ham in the other. It was dangling from his hand as he walked, and he would occasionally bring it to his mouth and rip into it with a vigorous bite. Then he would chew for quite awhile before taking the next bite. He actually ate the entire thing. Nothing but class coming from the Madsons! While our entire table of adults were wiping the tears from our eyes due to an abundance of laughter, Violet came over to introduce us to here new little friend. Ahhhhaaa, she was holding hands with an 8 year old boy, directing him around the room, introducing him to various people, mostly ones she had never met! The laughter erupted again. Can you believe this all happened before the play even began?! Once the play started we had to hold onto Violet with all our strength...SHE WAS DETERMINED TO SING ON STAGE WITH ALL THE OTHER LITTLE GIRLS!!!!! Jordan did a wonderful job and the evening was a success.

Monday 10th Day of Advent: Sing Christmas Carols Before Bed
The kids LOVE singing Christmas Carols, and would be ok doing it everyday of Advent. Since Tage and Simon have 2 Christmas programs they are singing in we decided to tie up practicing for the programs and celebrating Advent all in one-fell-swoop. They are doing a great job memorizing the versus and can sing good and loud for all to hear!

Tuesday 11th Day of Advent: Go Shopping To Buy Christmas Presents For The Kids Teachers
This was a quick trip to Target that resulted in 4 beautiful Poinsettias and 4 boxes of Christmas lights. For some reason the boys insisted on getting their teachers lights....random I know, but practical also. The teachers were delighted!

Wensday 12th Day of Advent: Eat Special Christmas Cake and Watch The Original Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

Thursday 13th Day of Advent: Attend The River Academy Christmas Program
This was the 1st Annual Christmas Program at The River Academy (our kids school). It was a huge success! The place was absolutely PACKED full of loving family and friends, and the kids did the most amazing jobs on their pieces! The kinder prep and kindergarten recited a poem about the birth of baby Jesus. It was darling...about 30 little 4,5, and 6 year olds all shouting their poem to the crowd with little added hand motions to make it even that much cuter! In that group alone there were three sets of cousins, and a set of siblings all standing together shouting to the glory of God about the amazing birth of our Savior! It was unforgettable!
Friday 14th Day of Advent: Spend The Evening Playing With Cousins and Madison Cook
We had our Christmas party so the boys got to play with their cousins and a baby sitter while we enjoyed an evening with adults. Madison Cook is their favorite babysitter...any excuse to hang out with her makes the kids CRAZY with excitement! They had a blast and got to stay the night with Lexi and Kendra...a little added bonus!

Saturday 15th Day of Advent: Take a Jammie Ride To See Grandma, Grandpa and Loki
My parents arrived here in Wenatchee a little late in the evening. The kids were are settled in their jammies when we announced to them we were getting in the Race Car Mini-Van to go greet Grandma, Grandpa and Loki at Aunt Michelle's! They were REALLY excited! When we arrived there was lots of running, jumping, screaming, laughing, hugging etc. We got home about 10:30 and the kids crashed hard for about 10 hrs! By the way...Loki is my parents dog.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Violet Eating Snow

8th Day Of Advent: Hang Outdoor Lights With Dad

BIG BUMMER....I got so busy helping with this task, I forgot to take pictures. We did however, get the house all lit up...and yes we did check all the bulbs before we started.

Here are some fun pics of our Sabbath dinner last night. We decorated MORE cookies...there was icing and sprinkles everywhere! The kitchen was quite festive from literally floor to celling!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

7th Day Of Advent: Make Caramel Corn And Watch A Christmas Movie

We had my sister and her girls over last night for a Christmas movie party. I made caramel corn and we watched "Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause". The kids loved it. It was a lot of fun! My sister Michelle had also made sugar cookies, and brought them for the kids to decorate! They had a blast and consumed more frosting than they ended up putting on the cookies! Tonight we will enjoy those yummy treats after our Sabbath meal.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

4th Day Of Advent: Trim The Tree!

The kids are starting to have quite an ornament collection of their own, so they hang their ornaments and then once they go to bed Brant and I finish up with the rest. Here are a couple pics of the kids hanging theirs...I have to admit Brant and I have not finished our part yet!!!!! I'll post the finished product....if we finish.

3rd Day Of Advent: Eat Candy Canes and Sing Carols

Sunday, December 2, 2007

2nd Day of Advent: Go To The Mountains and Cut Down Our Christmas Tree

Plan/Dream: Taking the fam in the ol’ Woody to the mountains to cut down that most perfect Christmas tree. We have hot cocoa in the thermos all hot and ready for marshmallows. Then we take a few trips down the hill on the sled before we head back to our warm toasty home…Ahhhhhhh..

Reality: Purchased the tree at Lowes after spending most of the afternoon driving around in the blizzard like snow trying to decide which discount store had the best tree for the money.

We awoke to about 5 inches of new snow, and it continued to come down and create white-out conditions all over the greater Wenatchee Valley. After church Brant was sure it was not wise to bus the entire fam (my sisters family included) into the mountains to cut down our tree. So we reluctantly but cheerfully submitted to the weather and store hopped looking for that most perfect tree. Alas…Lowes was the winner. The kids were happy all the same with the end product, and the daddies redeemed the missed outing to the mountains with a killer trip to the sledding hill…followed by a hot steamy cup of hot cocoa, made by mom. They are all warm and tucked into their beds, and we are ready to settle in to a quiet evening at home. More tomorrow! Happy Advent!

Snowed All Night...

...Still Snowing!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

1st Day of Advent: Go To The Welches' For Dinner And Games

Today was the first day of Advent and let me tell you...we had a VERY celebratory day! We started out reading our scripture for the day which was Gen 1:1-2:3. Then we had a birthday party this afternoon for the cousins Alexis and Kendra. The kids all met at the sledding hill for a very high energy sledding party, before heading back to my sisters for hot cocoa, games, cake and presents! We went home and re-grouped before putting on our Advent/Sabbath hats for a very fun but relaxing evening with the Welch family! We had an awesome apricot stuffed pork tenderloin with salad, scalloped potatoes, and then a nice fruit salad for desert! Thanks so much Jen for providing such a lovely meal! The kids had sparkling cider and practiced giving toasts around the table. They did a wonderful job picking out things they were thankful for during our busy fun filled day. We sang the Gloria Patri and then the Welch kids gave us a memorized and well done blessing. By the time we finished dinner it was nearing 8:00pm so we skipped the games and all the kids headed downstairs for a movie...we are all pretty wiped out from such an exciting day. also SNOWED all day! The kids are so thrilled to be able to play outside. Here are a few pics from the day. I especially like the ones of the kids looking out the window at the snow!