Merry Christmas 2014!

Photo compliments of Aleah Stein

Photo compliments of Aleah Stein

My, my, what a year 2014 has been! Finishing one year of school, a full summer and now a new school year well under way! Let’s see, at the end of 2013, Anna was 6 1/2 years old, Jordan was 4 1/2, Maggie was 4 and Carolyn was 1. To think it’s been a whole year since then!

January:
In January we had a new dog (Smoke) who was a whole lot of fun, but didn’t end up working out. We also had Razzie, our dear little doggie. Maggie was in AWANA Cubbies and Anna was an AWANA Sparky. Anna was midway through her first grade year and Maggie’s schooldays goal was to do any one of her worksheets according to directions instead of “crazy” as she prefers.

Practicing AWANA verses

Practicing AWANA verses

Going for a little winter walk on a dry day.

Going for a little winter walk on a dry day.

SAM_6671 (Large)

February:
The most exciting thing about February was that it brought a brilliant snowstorm! It was wonderful as I kept the house all bundled up and warm and Brian went out adventuring with the kids. Except for the snow days, Jordan continued to go half days for preschool five days a week and we kept picking along at homeschool. We realized that a proper fence was more urgent than not while we had Smoke the doggie and that our whole family would benefit by a fence come summer… particularly the little ones, so we got a few fence quotes this month.
SAM_6680 (Large)

SAM_6687 (Large)

SAM_6744 (Large)

March:
March thaws brought blueberry plants, tadpole eggs, broody hens and a better awareness of the sodden, muddy nature of our property, despite being on a hill. :-)

SAM_7083 (Large)

SAM_7092 (Large)

SAM_7134 (Large)

April:
April was full with birthdays, births (my sister’s baby girl), Easter, the beginning of strep throat season AND….. my Mom visiting unannounced! Could. not. believe. my. eyes. We had a really good time together, talking, hugging and catching up.

SAM_7168 (Large)

SAM_7172 (Large)

SAM_7189 (Large)

SAM_7271 (Large)

SAM_7333 (Large)

May:
May brought the next chapter of ENT visit for Jordan for new ear tubes, the end of Mom’s visit, a continuation of strep throat, our family’s first parade and an eager awaiting for fresh strawberries!

Graduating Cubbies and Grammy snuggles

Graduating Cubbies and Grammy snuggles

Grandma snuggles

Grandma snuggles

A parade!!!

A parade!!!

Sending Mom off with lots of.... wiggles.  :-)

Sending Mom off with lots of…. wiggles. :-)

June:

It appears that we were finally done with strep come June! Jordan finished preschool, my girls went to part time school (just about once a week), my DAD visited! The weather got nicer and we started figuring out how to put up our swimming pool, I got to spend time with my Dad and Jordan had been in a family as long as he had lived in an orphanage. This is also the month when my emotional health tanked. I couldn’t tell you why, but this is when the word depression came up in our home. Could’ve been the long spell of strep throat and miserable kids, could’ve been a new wave of grief for not being able to connect with Jordan and how I couldn’t tell if he was sick or not, could’ve been that I was sleeping again and Carolyn wasn’t keeping me up all night and my system finally relaxed…. I couldn’t tell you just what it was, but it was.

Vaseline came out of her hair at last when I used corn starch.

Vaseline came out of her hair at last when I used corn starch.

Grandpa time!

Grandpa time!

Baby chicks!

Baby chicks!

July:

Wow – lots happened in July. It was hot. The pool was wonderful. We had my sister and her family over for a “camping” trip, which was so much fun and so much easier than real camping. We decided to sell Smoke, we went blueberry picking, I took just the girls to a parade, we went to a rodeo, got some craft entries ready for the county fair and just in general had a blast and wore ourselves out. I also started taking Prozac during this month and noted a significant relief from depression symptoms.

Rodeo!

Rodeo!

First rodeo ever together on the Fourth of July!

First rodeo ever together on the Fourth of July!

It works!!!!

It works!!!!

Grandma and Kevin visit!

Grandma and Kevin visit!

Hot dogs on a girls' date at another parade!  For the record... I was exhausted.

Hot dogs on a girls’ date at another parade! For the record… I was exhausted.

AWESOME family "camping trip" together at our house.

AWESOME family “camping trip” together at our house.

August:
We were able to get a babysitter in August and take the girls to the county fair! It was a lot of fun. This month also held a HeartChange workshop for me and an overnight retreat for Brian and I to the beach. Wow, that felt good.

Ferris wheel ride!

Ferris wheel ride!

Jordan "swimming" unassisted!

Jordan “swimming” unassisted!

My dear friend Hollie.

My dear friend Hollie.

September:
September brought the beginning of a new school year. Anna in second grade, Maggie in Kindergarten and Jordan in Kindergarten at a new school that I like. Carolyn turned two years old, Brian also went to a HeartChange workshop (Thank you, Mom D for helping with the kids while he was gone!) and by the end of the month, the Prozac’s side effects were too much, so I went off medication for the months of October and November.

Ready for ballet!

Ready for ballet!

Carolyn's second birthday!

Carolyn’s second birthday!

October:

October brought rain and puddles and muddy children. It also brought my tiny Maggie’s fifth birthday party! Brian prepared the home for winter by building a Jordan-proof fence around the pellet stove. Anna wrote reports on pets for her school writing projects and I prepared for Jordan’s IEP at school.

Caterpillar cake

Caterpillar cake

New pellet stove fence!

New pellet stove fence!

End of the summer...

End of the summer…

November:
I know November is the most recent month, but I’m having a hard time remembering it! I know I tried taking 5-HTP as a natural antidepressant for two weeks, but it gave me really bad breath and I didn’t notice any improvements, so I stopped that. I restarted Prozac at the end of the month until I could get into the doctor again in December. For some reason I’m gaining weight. I don’t know why, but it is wreaking havoc with my wardrobe. I’ve never had weight gain before. I literally tore a pair of pants apart in the rear-end. I didn’t notice til I was home. I so hope nobody noticed. Oh! Thanksgiving happened! We had one of our best Thanksgivings yet, with Jordan doing really well for both dinners.

SAM_8081 (Large)

SAM_8095 (Large)

SAM_8122 (Large)

There was a dusting of snow, so all the cold weather gear got brought out.

There was a dusting of snow, so all the cold weather gear got brought out.

This little one joins me in bed almost every night or morning.

This little one joins me in bed almost every night or morning.

Thanksgiving walk!

Thanksgiving walk!

And that brings us up to now!

School keeps trickling along, we have lights on the house and are looking forward to Christmas! Anna made a paper chain and they tear one off every morning. I am getting drowsy, because I was eating Almond Roca while typing this. And it’s 2pm. That is nap time, right? Brian is painting primer on our moldy bathroom ceiling. I’m taking a new antidepressant, but don’t think I like it. We hope to go to a ballet recital next week. I’m going to counseling. We are fostering a little dachshund mix doggie for a month, though there is the possibility of us keeping her! This is a new development today, so I’ll keep you posted.

But…. without further ado, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

DSC_6816 (Large)

DSC_6818 (Large)

DSC_6825-Edit (Large)

DSC_6828 (Large)

DSC_6834 (Large)

4 Comments

Filed under Everyday Stuff

Video overload!

Clearly the proud parent, I took a lot of video at ballet class last week during parent observation days…

It’ll probably take you 24 hours and a $50 charge card Mom and Dad, but if you manage to download these videos at your house in Uganda, you’ll be downloading several minutes of undiluted cute!

Maggie’s ballet class:




Anna’s ballet class:






Anna’s AWANA Verses (She is a memorizing wonder – halfway through the year and she’s almost finished the book!):

Maggie was supposed to talk about a missionary for AWANA that week… she chose to talk about Grandma and Grandpa. :-)

Maggie’s verses

A series of very short videos that didn’t quite capture Anna’s dramatic rendition of “Let it Go” and where the two girls wander happily around in the freezing cold.




Leave a Comment

Filed under Everyday Stuff

Ballet, Silly Party and Snow!

I’m off antidepressants, because of their side effects and have had some yucky days here and there the last few weeks. I have a new supplement I’m trying and have had a really wonderful week this week, mood-health wise. It’s been a good week otherwise too! Not that I remember it all. I can remember back to… this morning! It was a good week, though, I’m sure of it. We did one day of school and had some visiting with my sister today! Love you, Melissa! Thank you for the tea!

Now, enjoy a pile of adorable pictures of the kidlets. And pray for Jordan… he might be coming down with something.

No.... I do no know why Jordan fell asleep like this!

No…. I do no know why Jordan fell asleep like this!

Praying before ballet class!  (Maggie's class is not usually this large)

Praying before ballet class! (Maggie’s class is not usually this large)

SOOOoooooo adorable!

SOOOoooooo adorable!

Lift!

Lift!

Point!

Point!

Stretch!

Stretch!

And stretch!

And stretch!

Anna at the barre

Anna at the barre

Anna at the barre

Anna at the barre

Look at her go!

Look at her go!

Plie

Plie

Yes.... we dressed up like total goof balls and then went out for dinner.  Thank you, Mom D for a birthday dinner out with the family!

Yes…. we dressed up like total goof balls and then went out for dinner. Thank you, Mom D for a birthday dinner out with the family!

The duo of goof.

The duo of goof.

I was ready for the silly party!

I was ready for the silly party!

I'm not sure if they caught him or if he just wore out.

I’m not sure if they caught him or if he just wore out.

We had a snowball fight!  The snowballs left cotton all over the floor that we're still trying to vacuum up.

We had a snowball fight! The snowballs left cotton all over the floor that we’re still trying to vacuum up.

Jordan loved the silly party!

Jordan loved the silly party!

Grammie says he is in "jammie jail!"  Personally, since he's learned to take off his pants and diaper... I think this terminology is very appropriate!

Grammie says he is in “jammie jail!” Personally, since he’s learned to take off his pants and diaper… I think this terminology is very appropriate!

Can you identify the type of tree that fell over during the wind?

Can you identify the type of tree that fell over during the wind?

Needles

Needles

Cones.  All fallen tree picture courtesy of a very cold and courageous Anna.

Cones. All fallen tree picture courtesy of a very cold and courageous Anna.

It was COLD.  Nearly freezing with a freezing and blustery wind chill.  They were out for hours and hours.  I kept havign to make hot cocoa and warm baths and otherwise warm them back up again.

It was COLD. Nearly freezing with a freezing and blustery wind chill. They were out for hours and hours. I kept havign to make hot cocoa and warm baths and otherwise warm them back up again.

Pretty green view with the garden all dormant.

Pretty green view with the garden all dormant.

Looking down the hill.

Looking down the hill.

3 Comments

Filed under Everyday Stuff

Videos – October 2014

I went outside when I heard Carolyn’s happy shrieks slowly turning to cold happy yells. I got this adorable, filthy mud-puddle video before it turned to cries. They all climbed into a warm bath after we rescued Carolyn from where she was stuck in the mud. (Her boots were stuck)

Here is a first! Jordan has been getting more and more relational lately. The other evening, he was not releasing me and actually climbing into my arms to be played with. I loved it. He was so silly and enjoying being my little boy. He was even wrapping his arms and legs around me when I held him which happens…. NEVER. Thank you Lord for Your healing!

And here’s just a quiet snippet of some happy play time at our house with Jordan and Carolyn playing their own games in the play room. I heard the happy sounds and went over with the camera to capture a bit of the happy home sounds.

1 Comment

Filed under Everyday Stuff

October 2014 Photos

Ready for the birthday party and watching for guests!!!

Ready for the birthday party and watching for guests!!!

Hey Mom!  Look how awesome my living room looks!

Hey Mom! Look how awesome my living room looks!

We called it a jungle birthday party and this is the tree fort where they ate their picnic food... wouldn't want to eat down on the ground where the tigers can get you!

We called it a jungle birthday party and this is the tree fort where they ate their picnic food… wouldn’t want to eat down on the ground where the tigers can get you!

These are.... err... caterpillar cupcakes.

These are…. err… caterpillar cupcakes.

Selfie!

Selfie!

Good friends and their children.

Good friends and their children.

Piles of buddies!

Piles of buddies!

Birthday girl turns five!

Birthday girl turns five!

And the rain returns.... and within hours, I find the kids here!

And the rain returns…. and within hours, I find the kids here!

Second time I found them out here, we had to rescue Carolyn, whose boots were stuck in the muck.

Second time I found them out here, we had to rescue Carolyn, whose boots were stuck in the muck.

This little pumpkin-muffin-batter-eater keeps going outside and feeding the cat more and more and more.

This little pumpkin-muffin-batter-eater keeps going outside and feeding the cat more and more and more.

The father of all pellet stove fences has been completed by my masterful husband!  Try and throw toys in THERE to melt, Jordan!

The father of all pellet stove fences has been completed by my masterful husband! Try and throw toys in THERE to melt, Jordan!

1 Comment

Filed under Everyday Stuff