Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Our sweet, sweet Emma has turned 5! It's so hard to believe... She's growing up so quickly.

When we asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she said, "A butterfly cake." So I asked if she wanted a flower-shaped cake with butterflies on it or a cake with a big butterfly on it and she picked the big butterfly, so that's what I made. :)
As is our tradition, the kids made her a beautiful banner

And Olivia enhanced the whole room with litle hearts, flowers and butterflies on the walls.

Emma's one big gift was to go to a 3-day Snow Princess Dance Camp.
The camp was for 3- to 5-year olds and focused more on gross motor movements than the finer points of dance. So they did big arm movements,
making themselves a snowball,
and then a snowflake.
(I'm not sure what this was besides an ab workout...:)
They swayed
and hopped
and ran around and froze when the music stopped.
Then they twirled
and played with the parachute.
Our sweet Snow Princess!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


If there's one thing we really hope for each year, it's one good snowstorm. And this year, we got it!
It was questionable whether we'd even get anything right up to the night it was supposed to start.
But it did start and it kept coming down!

The next morning, we had 9 inches on the ground and it was still snowing pretty hard as times. By the time it was over, we had a little over 10 inches, which is pretty significant for us.
The chickens weren't particularly thrilled with the snow.
But the kids were. :) Irene was so excited to get to go out in it; a far cry from last year, for sure.
Emma, too, was raring to go when she saw the whole world turned white.
The did some sledding in the front yard.
Olivia went over to the big hill and did a little there.
Even Nukkah got into the action by escaping and running like a mad dog all around the park.
It was just so pretty...However it was freezing cold, so staying outside took some serious determination.
Olivia wanted to try her hand at shoveling. It didn't last long. :) 
Because it stayed cold (like 10-20 degrees for highs) for a couple of days, the snow wasn't any good for making snowballs or snowmen. However, a couple days later, the sun came out and softened the snow enough to make a couple of pretty good snowmen in the yard.

They didn't last long, tho. the very next day, we found the bits and pieces all on the ground as their occupants had melted swiftly away. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Yard Work

Sometimes, I can manage to get the kids to actually do some work around the yard.

This happened to be one of those days. We'd had a few windy days and there were limbs all over the yard, so I offered them each $1 an hour to pick up sticks and limbs in the yard.

They managed to fill the trailer to be taken to the dump, so it was worth the $6 to get them to do the work.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hanukkah 2016

It's Hanukkah time!

The kids love this time of year because we spend 8 days and nights reading stories, lighting candles, and doing all kinds of fun stuff. I'ts a tradition for us to have a different fun thing to do each day, one of which is to go through the neighborhood near us and see the lights they do each year. This year, though, we decided to walk instead of drive. It was a new perspective. The kids found one of those projecting light shows and got all silly dancing in it. :)

Then, another day, we went and got donuts at Rise Bakery. They were oh, so good! They also make a bangin' chicken biscuit. :) According to their sign, they're the "Best Dang Biscuits and Donuts" and they're certainly making a good attempt at it. :)

After breakfast, we went out to Durham to see Rebecca's grandmother at the nursing home.
Olivia and Gabe played their recital pieces to the delight of the family.

After lunch, we were headed home, but decided to stop off for a hike through the Eno River State Park. It's a really pretty trail that runs right along the river.
Gabe found a hollowed out tree to hide in.
Olivia tried her hand at skipping rocks.
Then she spent some time jumping across the ones she couldn't skip. :)

Emma tried to scare me by hiding behind this rock and jumping out at me. :)

It was a very nice 4 mile hike and we were glad we made the detour for it.

But the highlight this year was making these. We made handprint hanukkiahs for each child to light their own candles every night. We used a board and painted their hands on them and then glued nuts (the hardware kind, not the eating kind) to each fingertip to hold a candle.

Despite the obvious fire hazard, we let them carefully light their candles and had no mishaps or burns the entire week. :)

It was pretty bright once everyone's was lit! :)
And this one is our prize-winning family hanukkiah! We all worked together to make it and brought it to church for the homemade hanukkiah contest and it was voted the best of the bunch!
Once again, it was a great time together as a family and we look forward to next year!