Monday, December 31, 2012

Do you ever get that feeling . . .

You know, the one where you are metaphorically running behind a speeding truck trying to catch hold of a rope to pull yourself in so that you can have a reprieve from the constant chase, but you never seem to be able to get a hold of that rope?

Well, that has been our life as a family these last two months. As the kids get older more stuff is going on and there are six of them after all, which multiplies everything:) So we will try to catch the rope now so we can ride in the truck for awhile. (At least until we hit the next inevitable pothole that pops us right out because of course we are riding in the back of a truck without proper safety restraints and the driver is very questionably incapable. Though I'm not sure who is driving this truck. It should be one of us right? How odd . . .)

This was not Anya's first recital, but it is her first medal. It was awarded for having had three years of piano lessons. Very exciting.

 We finally got some outdoor lighting. We are planning on more, but baby steps, you know.
 St. Nicholas Day morning, this is the most exciting December morning, since they get the bulk of their gifts this day.
 Pandimonious present sorting.

 The Annual Aunt Laurel Pajamas
 Seriously?? They even posed themselves:)
 It's like four cute little not-so-old-old-men.
I love having a huge mantel with plenty of room for the stockings and the nativity. This would of course be Christmas Eve.

Next comes the early morning company meeting at IHOP. Rumor has it that MandJ's is making some changes . . . 

This brings us to the close of the year 2012. It was an exciting year full of changes and new experiences and we are looking forward to 2013!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reasons to Be Full of Thanks

With Mark having turned 12 recently, we took advantage during our Thanksgiving break to enjoy his first visit to the temple.  
He stood as proxy for those who had departed from this mortal life without having received the saving ordinance of baptism.  It was a great experience for us...and a tradition we hope to carry on with each of our children when they turn 12.  Our family goal this year is to determine what family history work has yet to be done so that we can take our own personal family names to the temple.  

Another fun event that we took part in was the Christmas festivities that occur in Old Town St. Charles.  The cobblestone streets add to the nostalgia.  The buildings are simply and tastefully decorated.  And there are Christmas characters from all over the world that walk the streets and talk with the children.  Plus, there are fresh baked goods and kettle corn.  Something for everyone!

We got there right in time for one of the many parades.  It looks so official with a police officer on top the horse.
There were drummers drumming and carolers and fairies and scrooges.  Every character you could imagine.
There were also a variety of santas from different parts of the country and world.  There was even a frontier Santa and a soldier Santa.  
And then the REAL Santa with Mrs. Claus concluded the parade in their carriage.  Luke's eyes opened wide as they passed and he said, "This is the closest I've ever been to Santa!"  He was so excited.  

So this Thanksgiving, we were thankful for the beauty of the eternities and the beauty of this mortal experience.  God is certainly good.  And we love this time of celebration.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Yeah, we know.

It's December, and we are just getting around to posting Halloween pictures. Better late than never, plus once we post this we can throw in Thanksgiving and eventually Christmas sometime around Midsummers:)

We begin our belated Halloween adventure with a Big Boys trip to a haunted house. 
 Apparently it was scary, but not all THAT scary:)

Next is the annual Halloween Party. We are sorry to all of our guests, who we are honestly experimenting on while we figure out how to throw a really fun party. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. 

 We had tons of food . . .
lots of games . . . 
and the everlasting doughnut eating contest. We always walk away from that smiling:)
Last but not least, the actual day of.
 The cast of Harry Potter
 And some animals
Yes, that is a dog, pig and panda.
What do they have to do with each other you might ask?
Not one darn thing. The end of an era has arrived, we are no longer able to coerce all six of our kids into wanting to dress up as a bug group for Halloween. So we did two groups this year. One matches and the other is just way to cute, not to mention they are dressed as their favorite animals. 
 Lest you think our baby girl odd, know that the pig won simply because it is pink. She loves and claims all things pink as her very own.

 How can you dress up as Harry Potter characters and not try some curses? They had a blast and raked in over 21 pounds of candy between the six of them. It was quite an event.