Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snow Day

On Monday, we had a small amount of snow so we all headed out to enjoy it while it lasted. We made a small snowman, a snow fort, concrete snow angels, taught the little guys that its fun to shovel snow, and threw a ton of snow balls. 8 kids, 2 dads, and a couple of Moms with cameras....

Old Man

November 22nd was Christian's birthday--he's 31! I love it that he's so much older--it gives me plenty of time to get used to getting older before I have to actually do it.
We had a great day. His birthday was the first day of his week-long vacation, so we really took it easy. I made breakfast, and we gave him an immersion blender--a kitchen toy he's wanted since he saw it used on America's Test Kitchen (he loves to cook). The best part of the day was a little surprise I had planned. He knew we were expecting a lot of company the following week, and I kept trying to get the house ready, but he, understandably, was highly unmotivated to clean house. What he didn't know was that his brother Adam (and fam) were coming two days early...and it was so fun to have a surprise like that for him! It was a great start to our holidays.

Lots of picts of family fun to's one of my favorite pictures from Christian's younger days (I recently found some old photo albums and wanted to share). (5th grade)
I can't tell what I like most--the glasses, the cheek bones, or the smirk.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a week!

I have fallen sadly behind on my blog--but rest assured, many pictures and stories are on the way!
Just a teaser: a Thanksgiving feast to feed 23, including 4 vegetarians; 13 house guests (plus our family of 6 makes 19); Christian's 31st birthday and surprises; and all the fun of watching 12 cousins play together. Thanks to everyone who shared their holiday with us!

Friday, November 21, 2008

School Pictures Update

Much better, don't you agree?Thank goodness for retakes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Its beginning to feel a lot like...something

I'm seriously falling behind in my blogging.

Although the weather has now changed, we've really enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and relatively warm weather. It's hard to believe these pictures were taken in a Michigan November...

The kids' new favorite game is emptying my kitchen drawers (specifically the lids and baking items) and banging them all over the kitchen floor. It makes a horrible amount of noise, but keeps them extremely occupied. They also like emptying our pantry (yesterday I found little beans spilled all over the living room.

We had our first snow--so exciting! I know I'll be sick of it after Christmas, but for now its fun.In preparation for Thanksgiving (and the visitors we'll have), I've been trying to deep clean the house, which means unpacking boxes I haven't opened since we lived in Provo. In part, I found scrapbook paper, family pictures, five different partially used packs of printer paper (and two broken printers), and unfinished Christmas projects. I'm having fun finishing ornaments I started working on 4 years ago, and I'm still finding more things!

The one thing we haven't found is Christian's Tigger suit--I'm afraid we've lost it somewhere between Provo, Baltimore, and Shelby, NC. If you have any information on it, please call me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rachel's first-ish words

Here's a quick (low-quality) video of Rachel's first-ish words. I left out "no" because all kids, even the deaf ones, can say that, so it isn't something to brag about. We have a long way to go, but I'm thrilled to see her making progress.

She actually starting saying "hot" today as well--and spelling it, without me showing her how. She's really interested in how to spell words and likes to find words in books.

We had her parent-teacher conference last night, and I really love her teacher and classroom. She's learning a ton, and basically her main limitation is that we don't sign well enough to keep up with what she wants to say. Her teacher is also concerned that her implant isn't giving her enough information, but she's already doing much better than the doctors expected. She has a check-up and CT scan next week so we can check to see if everything is working as it should.

A Project

I found a pattern for this skirt on one of those crafty blogs, and it only took me six months to get around to making it. Rachel has this adorable shirt (actually it was given to Hannah, but we never had anything to go with it so she never wore it!) and I had to find something to match.
Unfortunately, I never did get a good picture of Rachel actually wearing the skirt, but needless to say, she looked cute.
If you're interested in making the skirt, I'd use a wider elastic and wider waistband, and maybe slightly less material around the waist (at least for a kid as skinny as Rachel).
What do you think?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time for Something New!

I've been busy, but not in a "take a picture and tell a story" kind of a way. We're expecting a houseful of family for Thanksgiving so I'm trying to get a few things put in order... like our storage room (which will become a bedroom for one lucky aunt), Fall crafts, finishing a few projects for the girls, and tidying the laundry/coat room.
Christian is home--and we think he'll be here for a while. However, he came home from his last trip feeling sick, and it has now spread to the boys, so they stayed home from church and I'm staying away from the YMCA and friends for now (just hoping the girls won't catch it).
Aaron is a walker--he loves to chase after the big kids. He doesn't exactly run--he just walks after them with more enthusiasm. He still isn't talking, beyond "Daddy," "uh-oh," and a grunt for yes. He does seem to understand some simple signs, although he isn't really interested in signing back to me.
We moved Nathan into the girls room so that nap time would be less stressful, and so we could put Aaron down earlier at night. So far it seems to be working and Nathan loves it--although for the very reasons he loves it, bedtimes are a little crazy.
I'm so pleased with Hannah's progress in school. She is reading books (simple ones) independently, and is learning math and writing skills that I wouldn't have expected in first grade.
We had our first dusting of snow last weekend. So far, I've been thrilled with the weather--it was in the 70's last week! I had expected a really long, really cold winter that started in October---but the snow has held off much longer!
Oh and we roasted and pureed our pumpkins and have enough to make 5 or so pies. We think we are going to make a bunch of small pies to test out different recipies to come up with our favorite.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Girlie Drama

I love Hannah. I really do. But sometimes I don't know what to do with her.
Last week, we had one of "those" mornings...Hannah woke up crying and never seemed to stop. On the surface, she was upset about her clothes, but I think it was more than that (PMS, maybe?). Anyway, I made her go to school anyway. While we waited at the bus stop, she hid behind me and was still upset as she got on the bus. The bus driver even gave her a tissue and a hug (major guilt trip!). I fully expected a call from the school nurse within an hour, and was pleased when I didn't hear anything. Then I got the call (around lunchtime) from...the school principle. Apparently, when her teacher asked what was wrong, Hannah said her friends has teased her at the bus stop and the principle got involved. I assured him that nothing had happened with her friends and hoped it was all over. THEN my friendly neighbor came by--she was very upset that her daughter (who has a reputation for being a bully) had been wrongly accused and she wanted to make sure I understood that Hannah's behavior was wrong. Believe me, I understood. When Hannah came home that afternoon, she was in a great mood--but I wasn't. We made a plate of cinnamon rolls and Hannah made this card to take to her wrongly-accused friend. It was very important to me that Hannah understood that her actions could hurt other people.

Put one foot in front of the other...

and soon you'll be walking out the door! (Bonus points for anyone who knows which song that's from...)
Look who walking! (but still not talking)

He's pretty pleased with himself, and he's getting better every day.
He's also very interested in exploring the house.
Aaron's 1 year picture:

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We enjoyed a busy, fun day, with multiple costume changes. Rachel's school chose to do a "Harvest Day" rather than Halloween, so Rachel dressed as a cow-girl/farmer (can you tell she enjoyed her look?). Hannah had a party and parade at her school (Nathan, Aaron, and I went to watch the parade).

Then for dinner we ate mummies (hot dogs wrapped in breadsticks), bug brains (applesauce), and grubs and blood to drink (crystal light, 7-up, mandarin oranges). The girls dressed as princesses, Nathan was a superhero, and Aaron was a tiger (Grrrrr). Aaron actually spent all day as a tiger because I thought he looked so cute. We love our neighborhood and I enjoyed trick-or-treating because we were able to see so many of our friends---Hannah loves other kids! Rachel loved the candy, and Nathan was done about half-way through the neighborhood--which was fine with me (he stayed home with Daddy). Aaron came along for the ride--he lasted as long as he was supplied with Kit-Kat bars.Here are the girls, enjoying their haul.And then, apparently Halloween last for a few days. This afternoon, they all switched outfits for a fun afternoon.This little piggy likes Halloween!