Friday, December 19, 2014

Colorado Family

When I was growing up, I had these little cousins in Colorado.  They were way younger than me and it was fun to visit them because they were such a close knit, fun family.  But they were my little cousins, you know, they were just kids.  
Well, a couple of decades later, our family found itself in a predicament.  I had just found out I was pregnant with Joseph and Graham had just turned four.  Asher was two and Samuel had just turned one.  The beginning of my pregnancies were very difficult and I wasn't sure how we would survive this one.  Amanda was my answer to prayer.  She was 21 and in a place in her life that she could come and help us for awhile.  I can't tell you how much it meant to me.  Her help was amazing, but even greater was the friendship we made.  She became more like a sister to Chris and me, and less like a cousin.

Well, now Amanda is all grown up and has a beautiful family of her own.  She came to visit us with her precious kiddos, Grace and Josiah.  My boys LOVE Grace and Josiah!  We had fun doing various things in Fort Worth.  The weather was perfect and it was lovely spending so much time outside.  Also, Amanda's brother, my other cousin Seth came and brought his girlfriend (now fiancĂ©!) Kelsey.  They were amazing at playing with all of the kids, and I enjoyed knowing Seth as the adult (he has the facial hair to prove it!) that he is, not the little boy I remember playing with Thomas trains.  Kelsey is wonderful in every way, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for the two of them as a married couple.

They were also here over Halloween.  A special shout out to Asher for making Nathan and Grace homemade costumes.  

Thanks for the visit, Colorado family!  Melissa, Scott, Chris, Julie, and Greg, we expect you to come next time ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Putting Up Christmas 2014

Each year Christmas seems to come a little sooner.  And I seem to work myself out of a job.  They did the ornaments, put up the star, helped make the cookies, and poured their own hot cocoa.  
These ornaments are always the first one pulled out.  I wish I had done one for each of their Christmases.  Maybe I'll do that someday for them.  

We made one of our favorite cookies and ate lots of them.

These boys… such sweet friends.  Such good companions.  

I love that they love traditions and that even things that are very simple can be very joyful.  

I love them so very much, even that one hanging up a picture in the background :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Just For Old Times Sake...

… a cookie recipe!

We made these cookies last night and everyone LOVED them, so I had to share with you.  I can't remember how I stumbled up on them.  I probably was craving almond that day.  Anything almond flavored is like plaid… never too much plaid, or stripes or too many colored Sharpies, or too much almond flavoring.  

Joseph requested that I make these for his birthday instead of birthday donuts.  That's how good they are.  They melt in our mouth, thus the name…

Almond Meltaway Cookies
And just to give credit where credit is due, Asher made these :)

Also, if you want LOTS more cookie recipes you can check out my 25 days of cookies which is when I made a different cookie every day in December until we ate ourselves into a sugar coma and didn't even want to eat Christmas cookies anymore.  But it was fun.  The kids still remember it fondly.  I do too, and we still make lots of cookies in December, but not that many! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What HAVE We Done This Fall?

I'm sitting in Starbucks on a Saturday watching people come in and order BOGO holiday drinks.  I think that means that fall is officially over and that the Christmas season has begun.  Seasons are a wonderful thing.  We are starting to have seasonal routines as a family.  But this fall we did something a little different.  We did nothing.  We didn't sign up for anything.  We spent lots of time at home.  I have to admit I'm one of those discontent people who has to fight comparisons.  When I'm super busy, I covet free space on the calendar.  And then when we're not super busy, I worry about whether it's best.  The years are flying by at warp speed and I want the kids to look back at their childhood and think of it fondly.  I don't want it to be too rushed because then we can't enjoy all the fun.  But then I don't want it to be boring (because in my house that sometimes means we bicker more).  It's a fight to be balanced as a family and I wish I was really sure that we were doing it just right.  I can only pray that God blesses our efforts.

This fall was slow.  We are doing some different things in school and I knew from the beginning that meant we had to be at home more.  I'm teaching at our co-op.  This is my first year teaching five, yes FIVE, grades.  We are still plugging away in piano.  We didn't really do sports.  We didn't leave the house much during the day.  We did lots of school.  We tried to have people over, even though that meant sometimes they came over with only a semi-clean house and a not-very-gourmet meal.  Home schooling older kiddos (this is for a later post) is not for the faint of heart.  It's maybe my hardest season with them.  It's a lot of work for everyone involved, especially me.  And yes, I've had moments of feeling sorry for myself like I do every fall.  

What's the point to this post?  I guess it's just to document this fall in our family.  We have spent lots of time together.  I don't want to forget the moments.  I'm thankful for them.  They're not glamorous, but they're ours.  I've been trying to pick up my big camera for more everyday moments.  Usually I do that more on instagram because my phone is more readily available.  But I love these faces all big and blown up with lots of pixels.

And just a few off my phone too :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cousin Photo Shoot

We've done quite a few of these in the last decade.  It's a pain dragging my "big camera" around town.  But I know I'd regret it if I didn't.  These kids are growing up too fast.
Chris was behind them making them laugh.  I can't even tell you what he was doing.  I should bring him along to any photo shoot.

Samuel really wanted to take a picture of Dad and me.

And Nathan wanted to be in this picture of Chris and me.  

We had a beautiful day at Sundance Square.

So that's all folks ;)