Monday, December 31, 2007

New Ones Grandparents

My parents are here for a few days and are having fun with the grandchildren. When they arrived, Jonathan came up to Nana and asked, "Are you the new one Grandma or the old one?" He hasn't seen them for a year and a half, so he wasn't sure which Grandma she was (not old as in years, but old or new as in recently seen)

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When they arrived the kids all opened up more Christmas gifts.



Nana and Aupa took the kids fishing which has become a tradition. They usually catch something, but not this time. I'm kind of glad because it makes a mess when they get cleaned in your sink.



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We also went to St. Augustine. Here the kids are on part of the wall of Castillo de San Marcos.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Morning



Mimi and Papa at their camper


Jonathan's education


Jonathan listens in on Elizabeth's schooling sometimes and he picks up some things. If you ask him what shape a book (or something rectangular) is, he'll say it's a "quadrilateral" (which is correct - anything with four straight sides with the lines connecting). But just now when we were counting, he said, "1.. 2... 10... 11.... W. "

So he picks up some things that make him sound really smart; and then he shows you his pre-counting ability and you just have to laugh!

Christmas

Well, Christmas Day is just about over, and I'd say we had a good one this year. We got to be with Phillip's parents on Christmas Eve: we went to a Christmas Eve service at the church that was well done with lots of singing and Scripture (read by Phillip; Phoebe kept saying, "Da?" and wanted to go up there to him) and some really good stringed instruments which I love. Then we went to Mimi and Papa's camper for the kids to open their gifts from them and to have some snacks (fresh fruit dipped in chocolate, taco bites, miniature pulled pork sandwiches).





On Christmas Day we had Phillip's parents over for lunch ~ fried chicken strips, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, stuffed eggs and rolls. Mimi helped out a lot with preparing the lunch for which I was grateful. Phillip acted like he didn't recognize the mashed potatoes like he does every time I make them (he would like to have them a lot more often than I make them). The kids played with the toys from Mimi and Papa and from us.

After the grandparents left (headed out for Texas ~ "they've hit honeymoon mode again" ~ that's what Phillip's dad says about heading to Texas for the winter), I called to talk to my siblings and parents. I really enjoyed my conversations with them and am looking forward to when my parents will be here in a few days, Lord willing. I'm so thankful for healthy family relationships, and I love the relationship our parents have with our kids. God is a wonderful builder of relationships, so I thank Him.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jonathan and Phoebe ~ a Team




Jonathan is feeding Phoebe her cheerios. Those two chase each other, wrestle around, tease each other. They're fun to watch together.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Palm Branches

The kids took the palm branches that the yard workers cut off of our little palm trees in the front yard ~ they brought them to the back to build a "hut". They did this on a warm day last week. Today we finally have cold weather! I think it was in the 60's. This is how God meant winter to be.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Holiday!

A simple batch of sandwich cookies....

For a dear friend who made this beautiful wreath for our home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Tree

I'm having a hard time getting a good picture of all the kids looking nice and proper in their Christmas outfits!


Phillip and I decorated our downstairs Christmas tree ourselves when the kids where in bed; then we had some hot peppermint tea with honey. Mmmmm!


I love the decorations Phillip picked out ~ half price at Michael's! There's old Father Christmas, sleds with bells, gold snowflakes, holly berries, stockings, and holly wreaths along with some other wooden ornaments. I love it!

Family Christmas Time

We chose a night last week to decorate the kids' Christmas trees. First Phillip showed them how to make bells out of egg cartons, foil and nice thick ribbon. We listened to George Strait's "Merry Christmas Strait to You" CD while the kids made these decorations. Then they decorated their trees which are up in their bedroom. Phillip read them a Christmas book after that and we all had hot cocoa with whipped cream (we're out of marshmellows).


Monday, December 10, 2007

80 degrees out there today!

Can it really be Christmas time when it's 80 degrees outside and we're walking around in short sleeves and sandals? It doesn't feel quite right; but let me tell you, I like this much better than having to get bundled up every time we go outside and trying to get the kids in the car without the freezing wind messing up my hair too much and being cold in the house no matter how warm I try to dress. So we're enjoying our warm Florida holidays!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Various Pictures

Catching some breakfast in the morning (Phoebe always knows when I'm eating and wants to share in the spoils).

Elizabeth loves taking pictures of herself.

Phillip in a favorite spot. Working on the computer, but always around so the kids and I can bug him when we want to.

Elizabeth sporting new jeans and boots (with an added old hat and rope).

Jonathan isn't afraid to put on the spider man mask now. Phoebe now enjoys saying the word "spider man".

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Birthday Bash!


Elizabeth turns 6 tomorrow, but we've already done all her birthday celebrating. On Friday, she and her father dressed up (she loves to see him in a tie and he rarely wears one) and went to a "fancy" restaurant called "Piece-of-cake" to have lunch. The waitress there (small restaurant) sang happy birthday to her and gave her a cupcake with a candle in it.

On Saturday evening she had a pajama party (not a sleepover; no sleepovers yet!). Six girls came over in their pajamas. We had waffles with whipped cream and strawberries and sausage. Then played musical pillows.

Elizabeth has wanted a pinata for the last two years, so we finally made one together this year. It had so much paper mache though, that the girls all had 3 turns each and none of them could make a dent. So one of the moms took a hammer to it and I shook the contents out onto the floor so the girls could hoard the candy (leftover Halloween candy; yea for getting rid of it!).

They then painted their nails with the nail polish they found from the pinata.

We had chocolate cake and opened gifts and then the plan was to watch a movie; but that many girls will not sit still, so they ended up in the garage riding bikes and scooters and playing dress up and singing and chasing one another.

My Place in this World



One of the times I feel most satisfied as a wife and mother is when I take time to relax and fix a tear on a shirt or sew on a new button. This shirt is for Phoebe and is so very cute. It just needed new buttons on the two sleeves and on the front.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Baking Cookies



Elizabeth gets to stay up an hour later than the other two now (bedtime is 8 o clock for her). So we often do things like make cookies or watch Andy Griffin or play checkers. And we always try to have a cup of tea right before she goes to bed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Memories

I remember going to Grandmas for Thanksgiving or Christmas when I was a kid. The aunts and uncles and cousins would all come over. One year was snowy and icy and I believe I had a new driver's license. Maybe it wasn't so new, because Bunney was with us, I think. The adults had gone to bed and the kids were up, probably playing cards. Nathan and Bunney and I (was there anyone else with us?) backed the car out of the driveway with the headlights off and started slowly to the store on the icy roads. We purchased a half gallon or so of ice cream and made our way slowly back to Grandmas. We turned the headlights off again to drive into Grandmas yard. We thought we'd gotten away with something, but the next day my mom found ice cream in the freezer and gave a knowing smile.

We played lots of cards at Grandmas. Watched Princess Bride and Anne of Green Gables countless times. Seems like there was always shrimp and dip which was really, really good. Uncle Dan and Aunt Lenora would make fresh salsa. We would play outside in the snow. I remember going to shoot guns on a mountain one year. Lots of good memories made with my cousins and aunts and uncles. I hope my children have their own special memories by the time they leave home. Memories and traditions that they can make with family and with friends. But there seems to be no more special bond than the ones made with family.

"Do you know what Thanksgiving is about?"

This I asked of each of the kids. Their replies:

Phoebe: "Yea! Hewupdewow"

Jonathan: "Um... Food!"

Elizabeth: "The Pilgrims moved to America to get away from the king. They had a big feast. The Pilgrims and the Indians shared their food. The Pilgrims were the first Americans in the country." (then she got a little confused because she wasn't sure if the Indians were the first Americans or if the Pilgrims were.)



Rush Limbaugh always reads a section from a book he wrote and the section is about the real Thanksgiving. The link to read it (scroll down to the bottom of the page) is:

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_112107/content/01125113.guest.html

It is so good to be reminded of because the Pilgrims had a great faith in God and we don't hear about that very often.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kids


Phoebe in her monkey pajamas eating her breakfast of golden grahams, half a banana and her cup of milk.


Jonathan eating his breakfast of cheerios and milk (tired of bananas) in his spider man costume which he wears for pajamas now.


Phoebe crawling up on the table being silly.


Jonathan wants to be super spider man!


Elizabeth in the play equipment at Burger King.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Family Day at St. Augustine

Phillip is on vacation this week, so we decided to skip school and spend an afternoon at St. Augustine. Elizabeth changed into her "Olden Days" clothes complete with a blue "bonnet".

We walked through the old town area which has the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the US, a fun water wheel (used for a mill), oldest drug store, a Huguenot graveyard, and lots of old homes and walls and tourist shops. We stopped for ice cream at Tedi's Olde Tyme Ice Cream Shop.

Elizabeth chose chocolate, Jonathan had superman (the brightest most artificial blue and red you can find), and Phoebe and I shared cherry vanilla. Phillip bought a chocolate peanut butter cup at Whetstone's chocolate shop later on.

The most favorite part was walking around Castillo de San Marcos (an old fort). The kids loved the "castle" as they called it, and they loved the wind. It's so cool to think of the ships that sailed up to that fort. To think of the men running around on the ground you're walking on, loading cannons, shouting orders.

We went to Burger King for supper and the kids played in the play area. Jonathan got stuck up at the top and Phillip had to go rescue him.

Phoebe didn't get much of a nap, so she was a little crazy. She gets very silly and falls over a lot when she's tired. It's funny to watch.

Another fun fact I found at the old drug store. There was a headstone type of thing with an inscription about an Indian Chief. It said that this man was kind-hearted because he would not scalp you if you begged for your life or if you paid him money. He was more of a gentleman than a savage, it read. I just found this humorous.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lovely Friends



Our good friend Tara (the family we exchange kids with once a week) has worked in a hair salon before, so she offered to cut all our kids' hair! Yea!! The last time I took all 3 kids it cost $40, so I was glad to have her come to our home and wrestle with them as she gave them a haircut. I didn't get a picture of Phoebe because I was trying to distract her and keep her from falling off the high stool.