Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Videos of Ethan

Ethan had a big drama roll in this years One Voice Christmas production. The story is about a man, Barnabas, who owns a "Camel Lot" (similar to a used car dealership in Bible times). Barnabas finds his Camel Lot very busy in Bethlehem during the Census and many of his customers are trying to talk him into going to see the baby who was born in a manger down the road. Barnabas has a son named Jonathan. This is the part that Ethan played. Jonathan is a very eager young boy who wants to help his dad, but ends up saying many things that are probably not helpful in selling camels!

Ethan's part made the audience laugh every time. I am told that after getting a few laughs, Ethan walked backstage and saying "they love me". He did a super good job with his lines...four shows and he didn't miss any! I was a nervous mom..but in the end, super duper proud!! Ethan wasn't nervous one little bit...

The video was taken with my phone so unfortunately the quality is not great. The drama is only a portion of the show...lots of singing and dancing as well. Four shows packed with a packed house at the Inter-lakes auditorium!

video video video video video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mr Lijah

I get to spend four days a week hangin' out with Elijah. He is a super sweet little guy who finds himself quite entertained by the daily shananagans of Luke and Owen. Normally, little Lij tends to be quite camera shy...turning his head away from the camera as soon as he see's it coming. Today, he seemed to be in a particularly good mood, so I figured I would try to get a few pictures of him. He was quite compliant today and I was happy to see some smiley pictures!

Some of these could clearly use some cropping (lots of space over his head), until then, these are straight out of the camera.
My personal favorite..

Monday, December 7, 2009

If only I could find their stockings!

I am so frustrated. I have searched high and low in what seems like every crevice of this entire house and that of my garage...and I canNOT seem to find the kids stockings. They aren't just 'any' stockings either. They were all hand-made...they all have their names embroidered on them (and I just so happen to LOVE their names..tee hee) and they are THEIR stockings. I don't know what happened. I'm not sure if maybe they were hanging around a little longer than the rest of the Christmas decor and then got put in a "safe place" after everything else was already put away...or if they are indeed out in the garage, hidden under who knows what. I am bound and determined to find them before Christmas morning...and hopefully a whole lot sooner than that!

Besides the stockings, I think I have finished the decorating in my house. I don't tend to go crazy with the decorating. I do enjoy it and enjoy what the house looks/feels like during the Christmas season, but I try not to let myself get overboard with 'stuff' everywhere!

Of course, there is the tree. The bottom half has been decorated by the kids. I only re-arranged a few items but in general, left things the way they put them on. I then finished the top half of the tree myself.

There are lots of hand-made ornaments on the tree from the kids and some others that we decided to hang near the tree!

I keep a few little things on the piano, but since our piano gets so much use, I hate to clutter it up, making it difficult to actually play.

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is receiving cards in the mail. Since living in this house, this archway seems to be the home of the cards. There are only a few so far, but this doorway is usually covered by the time Christmas is here.

We have two Advent Calendar type activities that recount the story of the birth of Jesus...one having to do with hanging a new ornament on the tree each night and another that involves revealing a new significant person from one of these little boxes!

Just another view of the Christmas tree:)

..and a mistletoe! The kids like to "trick" me into standing under this with them...they think its hilarious when I "realize" what is going on and smother them with kisses! (I'm not even sure this is really a mistletoe...but we call it that!)

A sure sign of winter in my house..

Oh..and this year we put a few lights on the stairs, although, this with the constant use of the railing...it may have not been the greatest idea! It is showing its 'wear' pretty quickly!

(I had to edit this post because I forgot a couple of pictures!)

The dining room table with a pot of beautiful poinsettias given to us by a member of the youth group (and his family). I put a cute little sled next to the plant...that the kids want to play with constantly. And also, in the kitchen right now is a plate of cookies that we made today. We are making our "test" recipes..and eventually will fill the buckets/tins in the background to give away as gifts!

I feel so blessed!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just to balance things out

Since I've been focusing (or not focusing?) on being out of focus (ha..that was a funny sentence)....I might as well balance things out and try to do the opposite for a little bit.

With the help of a tripod and the highest f stop, I was able to get some flare off of the lights on the tree. Its still not as significant as I would like it to be, but I haven't quite figured out how to make it better.

Now, I really need to stop taking pics of the tree and finish decorating it, as well as finish decorating the rest of my house!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My husband doesn't get this.

I'm learning that maybe it is just photographers who think this is cool...but I just can't get enough of Christmas tree light bokeh. Josh is very encouraging about my photography in general...but when it comes to pictures like this

..he looks at me with this look of complete confusion. I'm all smiles thinking "isn't this great?!" and he just shrugs his shoulders wondering why I am so excited about all those little blurry dots.

This got me thinking...why am I so excited about the blurry dots?

I don't have an answer. So...maybe I am crazy?

Oh well:)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Tree decorating.

On a usual year, I skip black Friday shopping and stay home with the fam to decorate for Christmas. This year was a bit different because we enjoyed our second Thanksgiving dinner with family on Friday...so instead, used Saturday to get started on Christmas decor.

I spent a few hours putting up the tree (yes..its fake...lay off!). I HATE this part. I really do not enjoy one second of arranging the limbs to make it look a tree. One thing that seems to happen every single year, while I am doing the limb arranging, is that I tend to sit there thinking about how much has changed since the last time I was sitting there for hours torturing myself trying to make a fake tree look real. I also find myself wondering what kinds of things are going to change in the next year. I actually DO enjoy this part.

Its not even that I plan on doing this. I don't get out the tree and think "ok, now I am going to sit and think about the past year and the year to come". I don't plan on doing it, but it just seems to happen..every year.

So this year, as I was in the middle of limb arranging, I was thinking about the fact that our immediate family didn't really go through any major changes over the last year. No new jobs, no new babies, no new living situations...which is all good. I did think about how each of the kids have changed since last Christmas.

While decorating my Christmas tree last year, I am sure that I wasn't thinking about being in two weddings the following summer! Now both of my sister in laws are celebrating their first Christmas's with their husbands!

Then my mind switches from what happened last year..and then starts to wonder what might happen this year! At this point, we don't have any plans for big changes...but yet, its fun to think of what the Lord has in store for us! I would be absolutely overjoyed at the thought of having a year like last year! I LOVE where I am right now and would feel blessed to have another year like we've had in 2009. But..at the same time, I know very well how quickly "my" plans can become disrupted!

I admit, I am hopeful for at least one neice/nephew for next year. I mean really...its about time somebody else starts contributing here!!!

One thing is for sure, I know and trust with 100% of my being that what happens between this Christmas and next Christmas will happen just as it is supposed to happen. I am excited to see it all play out!

After my time of torturous limb arranging...we moved on to decorating the tree. This part is, for sure, LOTS of fun! This year in particular because all four kids participated. I didn't hang a single ornament. I sat back, took pictures and watched as they had fun going through the box of mangled, tangled tree decorations. They each took the job very seriously trying to find the perfect spots for each ornament.

Of course, the tree is only decorated 3/4 of the way up since they are not quite tall enough to reach!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh boy.

I thought I was good. I thought sure I was done. I was certain that I would get my "baby fixes" by holding other babies...and then be perfectly happy to send them packin' with their parents.

That was until him.

Oh my goodness. This little three month old hunk of love is my cousin's little guy, Julian. He has to be one of the sweetest babies that I've snuggled with ever!

Poor little Julian was having a bit of a rough afternoon of certain over-stimulation, but both his mom and dad were so patient and calm with him and after a couple of hours of fussiness, they were able to sooth him back to, what I am told is, his normal self. The problem is, even when he was screaming his little face off (which was really only for a moment) I STILL felt like I wanted another one.

This is not supposed to happen!!

To make matters worse....my lovely husband, who is not usually all googly for other people's babies, leaned over to me while Julian was fussing and said "I want to hold that baby". He doesn't do that usually. I was able to snuggle with Julian after his mom calmed him down..and then Josh wanted him. I reluctantly gave him over, with the warning that if Josh didn't stand up, the baby would cry...which was what I was hoping, so that he would quickly hand him back to me.

Josh took him...and proceeded to make him belly laugh for about 15 minutes straight. It was quite entertaining for everyone.

Snuggling with Julian was a perfect end to what had already been a wonderful Thanksgiving day!

I mean really...how can you not want more of these?? (photo of Julian and his dad)

Life doesn't get much better than this!!
(picture taken by my cousin, once removed or something like that:), Melissa!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A few more of Ally.

Ally was here today..and she had a super cute outfit on (from what I hear was her dad's doing)...so I couldn't help but snap a few pictures of her. It helps that Ally loves to play on the stools with Owen and is a pretty easy 'subject' to photograph:)