Wednesday, January 17, 2018

post Cmas ice skating

The week after Christmas, Evie spent the night at Grace's and then Grace spent the night at our place. Before we brought Grace back to her house, we all went ice skating. Surprisingly it was warmer in the ice arena than outside where it was near zero.



I decided I didn't really want to skate in order to keep the cost down and so we wouldn't have to rent a locker for our stuff, including my new camera. But I totally wished I would have once Terry was on the ice with all four kids. 



It was only moments before three of the four kids were on the ice and Terry was "drowning." He said they would have all died if the water hadn't been frozen.



When he got everyone over to the wall I did go over and offer to come and help him but he said to stay with our stuff and camera. 



Finally he was able to get ahold of a couple skating supports and that helped immensely. It was incredibly busy that day since it was still Christmas vacation. We went because it was discounted for homeschoolers. 



Finally they were all off and skating.  



Samuel and Grace were super cute, being about the same size.



They all switched up partners quite often. I like Ezra's legs here. After the skating break we went and got the littles figure skates, which had toe picks to help them "walk" around easier since they didn't skate properly.



A pretty little girl stopped to smile for me. 



Here is a funny progression of photos. First Grace is up... 



Whoops! 



Even though they had the supports, they still fell a lot. 



Here is a progression of Ezra falling too... 



Down he goes! But at least he's smiling ;) 



And he's down and Terry's holding onto only air. 



Terry skated around helping everyone up from the ice. 



I got a picture of everyone but Noah before they got off the ice.  



I tried another video with my new camera, from which all of these photos came, but since it was shooting through the glass I think it was hard for it to focus. It goes blurry but then clears up when Terry and the boys get close.

the days after Christmas 2017 - sledding and toys

The days after Christmas are for building Legos, like this AT-AT of Noah's that he patiently waited until the day after to finally put together.



Samuel thought it was fun to watch. Notice all the lovely snow outside and that Samuel was still in his pajamas even though it was two o'clock in the afternoon.



All done!



Next we played downstairs with the new train tower.



Not long after, we bundled up and went into the frigid 6 degree weather for some sledding. The kids hadn't gone at all since last season and were begging to go. One of the last things Terry got me for Christmas was this unexpected seat warmer. The drivers seat heater is broken and I had no idea how cold leather could be without one!



So off they went.



Due to the cold it was very empty.



Going, going...



Gone.



Terry and I were sitting in the van due to the cold and I was testing the zooming capabilities of my new camera. I took this from like 30 feet away inside the van!



Of course I got in and out to take pictures and video though.



I took this video with my new camera. Much better than our previous camera, which would lose focus if you moved at all.



I love that tree.



Samuel and Ezra's hats kept rotating on their heads, making the ears cover their faces. :D



We had to fix them several times.



We had treated ourselves to some Starbucks with a gift card after a stop at the vacuum shop.



Just a couple more trips down.



Ready, set...



Done.



The following day we spent inside just relaxing. Samuel played the old Wii Fit biking around.



Noah and Evie raced cars on the new car track Terry built before Christmas. 



The littles played with their tower and trains.



Each of the kids got some Lego tape in their stockings. Most of it is in their rooms but Ezra opted to stick some on the edge of the Lego table.



My parents gave the cat one of their old toys but he was a lot less interested than I thought he'd be.



For bath time that evening the cat entertained himself by watching Ezra get washed up. He does that every time. I think he has grown used to his twice a month cat bath and maybe doesn't mind the water  as much as usual for cats.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

ranch Christmas 2017

After our little family Christmas was done, we drove out to the ranch for Terry's family Christmas lunch with his folks and Shari's family.



We began with stockings. This was nearly the first photo I took with my new camera. I hadn't (and still haven't) had the time to learn much about it so I just pointed and shot. It could tell it was letting in more light in Auto mode. 



Grace, Evie, and Noah going after it.



Oh, I also took these shots to showcase the new carpet and furniture that they did this last fall. Luna has to stay home now a days.



Terry showing the boys how the Pez dispensers worked.



Poor Jesse woke up pretty sick that morning but stuck it out for the day at the ranch. 



After a delicious lunch we went into the newly carpeted and painted sunroom for presents. It's a pretty good family photo!



Little Rebekah could tell right away what her gift was. She immediately plopped down in it.



It's a chair! She was lugging that thing everywhere. She has a hard time climbing up on a couch or chair so this is perfect for her.



Sarah opening her little activity center. I'm still learning how to focus the camera...



Ezra opening his super cheap and much loved mini-Thomas battery train track.



Samuel's Hot Wheels car track. 



Evie and Grace are equally obsessed with Shopkins, though perhaps Grace a little more so.



When Evie was opening her present she said, "I hope this is IT!" She was super happy about that Lego set, which was the third thing on her list. Terry said, "Was that it Evie?" She was like, "This is it." So from then on, we said everything everyone opened was "it." It was funny.



Noah's Pokemon card set was also it. Oh and I just noticed/remembered how Terry and Noah changed their clothes from that morning so they could wear their matching shirts.



The final of the three Six Pack books I made was finally opened. It was gratifying to see Jerry looking through it a little later in the afternoon. Again, they were so much work.



Terry got his mom a superfluous Menards mug for Christmas (because she has so many already). He had joked with her that he was going to get her one when he saw they were "free" with a rebate equal to their cost. 



She thought it was hilarious. The mug was also it. Terry's been drinking from his at home too.



We all contributed to this sound bar for Jerry and Alice.



It was a pretty small group of presents this year so it was done quickly. Rebekah laid down on her chair since she was tired.



Evie helped those girls set up the Shopkins house since she had done her own earlier that day.



Putting together the littles' tracks.



Evie couldn't wait until we got home to put together her Lego house. We were proud of Noah though. He didn't even ask or whine about not being able to put his new huge Lego AT-AT together because he knew it would take too long. He was content to wait until the following day. He's matured!



Seriously this $20 track is so fun. It's been a great gift.



Samuel's car track was also battery operated. It swings the cars around those big loops and every once in a while they crash. That's why Samuel is blurry. He was laughing so loud and jumping all over the place. It was hilarious to him.



Terry got the sound bar all ready to go.



For the remaining afternoon we played cards. Noah played with us for the very first time! We even got Jerry to play also. This game was Up The River and was a ton of fun. We played Rook next, then had a small dinner, and went home late. What a big day, but a good day.



Evie and the girls were playing with this White Elephant gift from a couple Youth Group parties ago that we finally gave her. It was a winner.