Cookie Pops

When you’re a 10 year old girl and you get an American Girl Baking book as well as a frosting set for Christmas, I suppose it doesn’t matter how many Christmas cookies and treats are still lying around… you just have to bake something NOW!  (And she did… all by herself!)  I guess there is no such thing as too many sweets, because I sure enjoyed my cookie pop!  Good Job, Sees!!!

Christmas 2019

There was food, family, presents, traditions, sick kids, cookies, church online, games, devotions, candles, rain, fireplace roaring, hugs, books, fussing, forgiving, egg nog, (yuck!), lefse (yum!), Christmas Carols and so much more…. Feeling blessed by 2019 and grateful for 2020 and all that it will bring!

Lefse

The goal was to have it made by Natalie’s birthday and to freeze the rest for Christmas… well, the dough got made but there was no actual lefse for my girl for her birthday.  (Thank you for your grace, Natalie!)  This was mostly due to the fact that we were all fighting something.  The next day as I made the lefse following Natalie’s party, I offered all the scraps for my girl who wasn’t feeling so good… and there were a lot!!!  I guess it’s a good thing I’m still not very good at making lefse!  (Goals!!!)

Natalie’s Party

I asked her what she wanted to do for her 13th birthday… Boba and games with friends was her request.  Nothing fancy.  Very little planning on my part…. and I realized that just like that my girl was growing up and parties were starting to change!  The morning was so relaxed and stress-free that I couldn’t be sad or nostalgic if I wanted to; this new phase was so relaxing!!

Sure, she was now a teenager… but that didn’t stop her from playing hide and seek with friends or letting her brother and sister play games with her.  (Poor Allison was too sick to join in or she would have also!)  I was one proud parent!!!

The girls were too full from boba to try the brownie heath bar trifle, but not this little guy!

Can’t wait to see what God has in store for your 13th year, my dear!!

Natalie Turns 13!

I prayed that this sweetie wouldn’t be as sick as last year for her birthday… and God answered my prayer!  But, I probably should have prayed she wouldn’t be sick at all, because she still was fighting the bug living here.  Thankfully, she was still able to enjoy her morning presents, Danish Kringle for breakfast, and a mini bundt cake for her birthday dessert.  The day was sweet and quiet and restful as she prepared for her party with friends the next day!

Happy birthday, my Natie Bean!

Advent

Traditionally, we have spent the time before Christmas doing special Christmas devotions and reciting the Christmas story by heart.  However, before this year we have never done a traditional “advent” where we light the candles on Sundays, and do daily devotions.  (Of course, we have always done the daily advent calendar because there is chocolate involved!)

This year I chose the book Unwrapping the Names of Jesus and I really loved it.  As with most things, we started off strong, but finished on a weaker note, mostly due to sickness.  But, there was something very special about preparing our hearts.  I feel like it really helped us not to get too down when the kids literally came down with the flu for Christmas for the second year in a row.

Looking forward to making this a new tradition!

The Wild Side…

We’ve had a few visitors lately that we rarely ever see, much less capture on camera.  First off…

These 2 “rascals” were wondering down our street when Daniel and the kids returned home from Taekwondo one night.  When we went back to snap a few pics, we found them in a neighbor’s yard.  We stayed for a bit to watch them play and the kids really enjoyed it!

This poor hawk was on the curb as I went to get the mail, and I thought it was odd that it didn’t move.  When I ran back to get the kids, they were actually able to pet it before it took it’s last flight, landed in a neighbors’ yard, and passed away.  Animal control said it was most likely .new castle disease.   Natalie did a little research and determined this was a baby female sharp shin hawk

Last, but not least, this is a bobcat in our backyard!  Long story short, we lost 6 out of 12 chickens, and then sent the others to live with another family.  After 7 years of raising chickens, we now have a quiet (albeit a bit too quiet) back yard.  I miss looking out the window and watching our girls waddle about as well as all the fresh eggs, but I do not miss the early morning cries when the bobcat decides to visit and terrorize our yard!

Roof Tops, Christmas Lights, and SNOW!!

Did you see all that snow on the mountains in the first picture?  Our Thanksgiving storm provided the perfect snowy mountain backdrop for hanging Christmas lights the next day.  The boys LOVE going on the roof with their Papa, and look forward to this day each year.  On the other hand, my stomach can only handle a quick picture, and then I go inside and pray for their safety — seriously!

Every day since, Xavi has asked to go on the roof.  Thank goodness it is only one day a year!