Sunday, November 30, 2008

1st Day of Advent

JOHN 1:1-5 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

This evening we kicked off our Advent season with a little hot chocolate, a fire, and our bible reading followed by Simon lighting the 1st candle in our Advent wreath. BTW, if your interested I have a link to the Advent Meditation we are using over to the right of this post.

Tage and Simon
Brant reading, the liturgy off the computer...ahh the technological age!
So happy to be drinking hot chocolate on the carpet in the living room!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Colorful Thanksgiving

Since we had 17 for dinner, and I don't have 17 of any one color plate, we went with a very colorful theme for the table. I loved it and I think everyone felt very comfortable around the table. I am so THANKFUL that God has given me such a fun and loving family to share my life with! Just so to give you an idea of our table here are our attendees from youngest to oldestBen 2, Helen 3, Violet 4, Simon 5, Soren 5, Tage 7, Eden 7, Karsten 8, Bronwyn 10, Brooke 12, Madi 14, Rachel, Scott, Brant, Signe, Rick and Pam!

My brother-in-law carving the turkey

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day...Before The Feast...

Pre-feast activities!

Playing in leaves
E showing her toothless mouth
Ben sitting on the table finishing off snacks
Gram Pam preparing snacks
Uncle Rick running a little "Letter Bingo" game

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast Day at The River Academy

The kids are home on Thanksgiving Break this week...All I can say is ahhhhh...what a relief! Here are some pictures of feast day at school.
Lexi was Tage's guest to the Feast!
Tage looking so dapper in his head dress and vest!

All the little kindergartners with the pilgrim hats...oh and Vi too!

Our little pilgrim.
One of the parents made these little hats for the feast...They were SO cute!

Advent Guide

Hello Friends!

Over to the right of this post you will see a link to the Advent Guide I have been telling you about. This is the guide our family uses to help us walk through the meditation and celebration of the Advent and Christmas season. It is a big pdf may be best to just save it onto your desktop! The guide starts at Advent and takes you right on through the 12 days of Christmas. My advice would be to sit down and plan a week at a time remembering to keep your activities doable so you don't get burned out before Christmas gets here! If you are interested I kept a a little online journal last year that may give you some ideas (look back to December on my older posts). In the guide you will find scripture, a little explanation of scripture, prayer and then a family application...all on one page. My awesome hubby will be helping me create a hyper-link later today so expect the look of the link to change a little over the next day or so. It's not to late to be thinking about and developing some sort of calendar for your kids to help with the count down to the birth of our Savior! More to come as I continue through the planning process...

One other thing...this is a document that came from the pastors of the CREC...I had nothing to do with the creation of this document, I'm just sharing it with you all! Cheers!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hanging Out With Mom In The Kitchen

This is what Brant usually comes home to. I am cooking and the kids have taken up residence all over the kitchen. I know it seems a little chaotic...but I kinda like them close! Sometimes I can get a little crabby when there is no room to walk and Ben decides the dogs need to come in...I usually reestablish boundaries at this point and everyone gets back to work! Also, I just want to add here that we need to remember to encourage our kids to hang out with us! I used to want everything tidy and perfect and eventually realized that kind of standard stressed me and the kids out. I would get onto them for not being cheerful and I was just as guilty for the lack of joy surrounding my attitude! So here is a little having your kids around and tidy up after they go to bed! It actually ends up being less messy if they are doing something around you...I don't know why, it just does. For some reason they can sing, look at books, and play with something little and be totally content as long as they are close to mom.

We are usually multi-tasking between home work, coloring, reading, and practicing our choir music. I have to admit I love it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Favorite Things

1. Our Breakfast Schedule
I am in the process of learning my spiritual gifts so this "favorite thing" makes perfect sense due to the fact that administration is one of my gifts! Last year we were flying by the seats of our pants when it came to breakfast. We never had enough of one thing so everyone ate different things for breakfast and frankly breakfast just seemed kind of dull! We want to start our kids day of with a great big OH YEAH...and their day was really starting off with more of an ugggg...blah...its another day...At the beginning of this year I decided to simplify my meal planning and try and make it something that I could remember and successfully achieve and something the kids would love, remember, get excited about and leave for school/start their day with a loud resounding OH YEAH!

Monday: Pancake Puffs and Eggs
Tuesday: Oats, Toast, Fruit
Wed: Oats, Toast, Fruit
Thurs: Oats, Toast Fruit
Friday: Friday Cereal and Eggs or Fruit

Pancake puffs (aka dutch babies) are these great egg/milk/flour pancakes that you bake and they seriously PUFF into a gargantuan sized baked pancake thing...great for the wow factor when they come out of the oven!!!! We sprinkle powdered sugar on them and eat them with maple syrup or yogurt. For our family this fun pancake is just a happy, yummy, fun way to start off the week. It gives the kiddos serious full bellies and did I mention they are SUPER fun to look at when they come out of the oven!

Oats, what can I say about oats. They are just the best all around good for you, fun to doctor up, never leave the table hungry staple breakfast! We like to add a variety of things to our oats...brown sugar, raisins, coconut, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, milk, butter, apple sauce, canned name it we love it!

Friday cereal is the end of the week, time for a special treat, you earned it kind of breakfast. It does not shout out nutrition thus the eggs, and fruit we serve with it, but the kids love it! We have 4 kids and 4 Fridays so they each have a Friday a month where they get to pick out the cereal . It usually happens that Brant takes the kiddo to the store on Thursday evening to pick out the "Friday Cereal". It is starting to become somewhat of a tradition and a big deal for the kids.

2. Rain Boots...
In my opinion all toddlers need rain boots even if it is not raining! They can put them on themselves which makes it easier to get out the door, they feel oh so proud of themselves, and there is nothing cuter than rain boots on the wrong feet!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Princess and The Leaves

Violets idea of appropriate leave raking attire...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie and a Schlitz

I know your all thinking we're high class right...Well surprise surprise one of my hubbies favorite dishes when we first met was the frozen Banquet chicken pot pie, (you know the one that comes in a small red box and costs about 25 cents) cooked in the oven, (not microwave) and served bubbly hot with a crisp cold Schlitz...that's beer for all you snobby dark beer drinking folks. Well, I have personally from day one made it one of my missions to cook NO frozen pot pies, fish sticks, or frozen burritos despite my husbands complaining and the rest of the extended families ongoing love to mock me about this particular topic. I need to write a blog entry specifically dedicated to my husbands infatuation with gas station food...but I digress...back to the pot pie. Tonight I made quite a lovely home made chicken pot pie that I think was quite tasty. The family enjoyed it and Brant said he thought it was good and he may consider it over the frozen long as he doesn't have to prepare it. The recipe is in the Hot Providence cookbook for those of you who have it. For those of you who don' me and I'll send the recipe right on to ya. It's a great fall/winter, warm you right up kind of recipe.

Our Beautiful Children

Still shot...Not usually still...
Can you see her cute little freckles?

Collecting some monster maple leaves

Taking a little hike at Sequim Bay Park

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is it with my kids and markers???

Amen Sister!

Please pop over to my sister-in-laws blog and read her post on post election moaning (Little Rant About Moaning). I love the post and think she is positively correct! Way to go Sig!!!

Start Thinking Advent

I know it seems a little crazy since we have not yet approached Thanksgiving but this year I don't want to plan out the Advent season on the first day of Advent, which is what we have done in the past :). Brant and I have been pondering some big family changes as we learn more about the church calendar and the mood that needs to be set in our home during Advent and then progressing into the 12 Days of Christmas. We want the kids to love the celebration and we want us the parents to not be totally exhausted after Advent having no juice left for the real party which is Christmas. Here is one of the changes we are considering and not yet decided on....The BIG change would be putting up the tree on or a little before Christmas Eve. We are thinking we want our Advent season to be a slow progression towards Christmas picking up celebratory speed and momentum at the end as we approach the birth of Christ. What a better more grand way to end Advent and begin Christmas then with the rising of the Christmas tree....A Christmas tree of fireworks stuffed full of lights and glittering ornaments tucked inside the dark green firs of the tree just shout rejoice in the birth of our KING!

This does have some scheduling issues however, putting the tree up later means keeping it up later and we usually leave after Christmas to celebrate the New Year with family. Our kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the tree and we want them to be able to enjoy it as long as they can! The biggest issue is finding the time closer to Christmas to do this since school, and church and friends have lots of activities that we love to partake in. We will keep hashing at this and will post our daily Advent activities here on the blog as I did last year. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NEWS FLASH...Free Starbucks!

If you go to Starbucks today and tell them you voted you get a free tall coffee!!!! Go VOTE, then pop on over to your local Starbucks and have a tall cup of joe on them. I just heard this on MSNBC, I plan to stop on by after I drop my ever so dreadful ballot into the box. Cheers and happy voting!

2:30 Ballot Deadline...

Uggg, my civic privilege-responsibility-duty, what ever you want to call it, is really starting to aggravate me. I have filled out the entire ballot down to the sole candidates who have no one running against them leaving the entire column for president blank...STILL. I have until 2:30 today to decide. I am not going to get into all the internal conflicts I have regarding this decision because I don't want to start a political debate on my blog. So all I ask is that you rejoice with me at 2:30 when I drop that silly little ballot in the box and leave the rest in Gods hands!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick or Treat

As if a long day of Reformation celebration wasn't enough we decided to end the day with more costume's and trick or treating. I forgot to mention in the last post that Simon went to school as a knight but the kindergartners had a mini-celebration in their class room since they are only their half day....Once we were home from school Tage ripped out of his monk robe and transformed moments later into a storm trooper. Simon quickly ripped off the armor, grabbed his brimmed hat and whip and appeared as Indiana Jones. Violet, not so quickly became a fairy princess complete with wings a tutu and glitter make-up stuff. With a lot of coaxing, and bribery Ben buzzed into his bee costume while eating a BIG red sucker. We took boat loads of pictures and were off around the neighborhood with all our friends. We had a great time and the neighbors absolutely adored the kids in their costume's, it was a blast!

Reformation Day at The River Academy

Lets see, where do I begin...I guess by telling you Tage dressed up as Martin Luther and won second place for most original costume. We sent him with a scroll that had Martin Luther's 95 Thesis on it, wrapped him in a brown monk type robe, tied a leather belt around his waste and wallla you have Jr. Martin Luther. He looked pretty good at the beginning of the day, however all the pictures I am posting are after games and stuff so his costume is in shambles to say the least. In some pictures I don't think he is even wearing his costume. Anyhow, enjoy some of the moments of the day with was a lot of fun for the kids and families!
The River Academy Reformation Day
Tage jousting with a stick horse and a noodle as his stick! The little guys took this VERY serioiusly despite its goofiness.
Tage ready for victory
Our very own Martin Luther.

1st graders on their line getting ready for the games to begin
Our friend Kimberly dressed in a lovely gown

Elementary and secondary students all dressed in Reformation period costumes. Everyone was gathering to start the field games...There was sword fighting, jousting, archery, egg drops...and something else I can't remember. :)
All these pies were made by students for the pie baking contest. They were our dessert after the feast
Tage and his teacher Mr.s Rose...WE LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HER!