Valentine/ Birthday Celebrations

Our Valentine/ birthday celebration took place over the 13th and the 14th.  We thought we would start to celebrate the 13th because we had so many activities the 14th… Turns out all the activities were cancelled due to sickness!

And sick children meant  smaller appetites, but Daniel and I more than made up for it!  He blessed us with crab cakes, clam chowder, and fresh bruschetta along with dessert from my favorite bakery, 85 Degrees!

The next morning, the kids dug through their Valentine bags with their most special cards coming from their Papa.  Meanwhile, Daniel made his famous quiche and fruit salad.

Dinner was Uh-mazing!  Filet Mignon, Creamed Spinach, roasted potatoes, and individual lava cakes for dessert.  I seriously think I gained a few pounds in 2 days!

As you can see, we mostly took pictures of food!  The poor sickies were mostly in their jammies and on the couch with blankets.

Thank you for yet another amazing birthday/ Valentine celebration, my Love!  Praying you get better quickly!!!

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Chinese New Year

It didn’t look like we expected…

Chinese Take-out

Leftover wine from Valentine’s Day

Cute “Year of the Dog” plates from my sweet friend that we didn’t think we were going to be able to use…

And 5 out of 7 family members feeling miserable from the flu!

No, this was not what we were expecting.  We were suppose to be on vacation.  We were so looking forward to our trip and celebrating the marriage of our missionary friend.  Bags were packed.  Reservations were made.  Tickets were purchased.  But alas, the flu got the best of us…

Daniel and I tried to be positive… at least we would get lots of projects done and our home organized!  Then he got sick.  Poor guy.  Yet here I am!  I honestly feel great.  I deep cleaned the kids rooms, vacuuming under beds, washing sheets, and spraying Lysol everywhere.  I organized our laundry room.  I am working on organizing my office; all while saying, “Yes” to far too many videos for the kids, getting medicine and water every hour it seems, and enjoying my free Starbucks birthday drink and leftover cake.  All-in-all not too bad.  But, we will certainly be thankful when this nasty bug leaves our house and the kids can finally sleep in peace without coughing all night!

Not Just Blossoms…

PEACHES!!!!

Every year I am amazed at how early our peach tree blossoms.  But, this year… Early February and our tree is loaded with peaches!!  Many of them are larger than golf balls!  The crazy warm weather we’ve had seems to have confused our tree.  I wouldn’t mind, except that cold weather is coming.  What will happen to our lovely peaches?  To be continued…

Backyard Skate Park

This week we are redoing our pool surface and equipment.  We’ve debated doing this since moving in, but waited due to cost and other factors.  Sometimes it’s hard to wait… we live in such a NOW culture!  But, there are many blessings that come in waiting.  God loves to show himself faithful.  That’s a whole different post, but I am just feeling so grateful for God’s unexpected provision!

I wish I could show you the videos… the kids spent most of their free time this week out in our emptied pool/ skate park.

Malachi:  “If I ever live in a house that has 2 pools, I will empty one and make it a skate park.”

The pool is now jack hammered and awaiting it’s new surface, so our skate park is no more.  But, this fun little childhood memory will linger on!

A Little Art… and A Little Prayer…

We’ve been in a bit of a rut, lately.  I’m afraid my younger kids think school means “Hurry up and get this workbook done so I can play!”  Oh, that is not how I want it!!  Of course, we have our morning times, which are awesome… but after that, I have been SO uncreative!  Scenes like the ones above used to happen almost daily when my older two were their age.  But, now… Ah, seasons! I am learning that things for my younger kids will indeed look different; and that is ok.  We adjust as needed, and each year looks different.  Right now I am praying about all sorts of things.  Though it’s tough to not be exactly where I want to be or even think I ought to be, it is also strangely comforting to recognize that we’re not in control, but we have a loving God who is!  Once again, Lord, I need you to show me how to best school my kids!  And, I am so thankful that each day is a new day and I don’t even have to wait until next year to change things up; I can start now!

14 Years!

Having big kids is so lovely!  On Wednesday, we celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.  It was a busy day filled with kids activities, but we managed to squeeze in a poke bowl lunch date, and then headed to our favorite coffee spot, 85 Degrees.  The weather was beautiful, and the time with just us while my oldest babysat the rest was special.  What was even more fun was to come home to this lovely almond cake our kids worked on while we were gone!  It was so delicious.  The mess was… pretty spectacular, but the love behind the mess made my day!

The evening was spent at running club, and then we all got cozy on the couch and watched our wedding dvd before heading to bed.  Happy anniversary, to the one who still makes my heart flutter!  I am so thankful for the life God has enabled us to have together!

New Year’s Eve 2017/ New Year’s Day 2018

We had plans for both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day this year… but both got cancelled due to illness.  It seems to be a bad year for the flu, so we are vey thankful to be well over here!  In fact, a small part of me was rejoicing that it was going to be just our family.

Tried out the bread machine… followed instructions exactly except for warming up the milk.  I think I need to warm up the milk!  At least the kids thought it tasted good.

Daniel came home from 4 days at work, and treated us to one of his feasts.  Sushi, tempura, sashimi, poke bowls, miso soup… then out to Yogurtland for dessert!

We did our traditional New Year’s Eve puzzle and played games.  (Thanks for the puzzle, Grandma!)  We told the kids they could stay up until midnight.  The big girls actually did!

Puppet shows… walks… haircuts… projects… food and more food… Family time!

Feeling blessed and refreshed by our quiet family time.  Also extremely grateful that we have another week to ease back into school.    I pray you feel excited at the prospect of a new year — a new start, and a fresh beginning!  As you seek God, remember to thank him for prayers answered as well as unanswered prayer, and keep seeking Him!  (Talking to myself!)

Scenes from Christmas Day 2017

Christmas Eve was small, and Christmas Day even smaller, as Daniel had to go to work. Though we opened ALL the presents the day before, the kids still got to start with stockings from Santa!

We spent the rest of the morning out walking… what else do you do on such a beautiful Christmas Day?

We came home to fresh baked hot cinnamon rolls from the neighbors.  I barely snapped a picture before they were gone!  What a blessing.  We may or may not have eaten them for lunch!

Christmas 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

Our Christmas celebration seems to take place on different days each year, according to Daniel’s schedule.  This year the “big” celebration was Christmas Eve.  Though, it was not really “big.”  We enjoyed having my parents, and of course having X-man’s first Christmas with us.  Our traditional breakfast, along with church, opening presents, and a lovely dinner made by the Hubs, (who was still recovering from a stomach bug from the day before!)

I was debating between a bubble machine and a scooter for this little bot, when I found this “Finding Dory” bubble blowing scooter in the clearance section at Target.  I love how God looks out for me!

Had to include the Sierra picture… we had tongue moments, for sure.  (Keeping it real!) Overall, I really enjoyed having a smaller Christmas at home.  After a super busy year of travels and Daniel fighting fires, it was just what we all needed!

Fire Station Celebration

Our Christmas at the fire station took place a bit earlier this year… Dec. 22.  It was X-man’s first time to the fire station.  Initially, I was disappointed because he was more scared than excited.  But, after a few minutes he came around to enjoying it and ended not wanting to leave.  As always, we enjoyed good food, did no dishes, and the kids played.  I’f day that’s a win!  So grateful for our hard-working firefighter captain!