Thursday, December 28, 2017

December smatterings 2017

I have a bunch of random pictures from December like this one of Samuel with his new reading cards. By the way, Samuel is doing much, much better than last year at school and especially reading.  He can actually blend the sounds, read the words, and retain what we've read in the past. He's really getting it! 

I like this adorable picture of Luna. She looks like a stuffed animal! So fluffy!

We hadn't been on a date since our September birthdays so after Nathan and Ana left, we really needed to get away. Noah babysat for us and did great! He is nearing 13 after all. This picture makes me smile and laugh so much. Terry was just being a dork and hamming up for the picture, but his expression is so blank. Then his hands seem too small for his head because he's leaning forward. It's so funny! 

Unfortunately for Nathan and Ana, they discovered Thorin had fleas right before they came to visit us. They did absolutely everything to avoid bringing any fleas with them (and I think they succeeded), but just to be careful, we decided to treat Luna and Trouncer. Here they are getting their flea baths. 

Trouncer "loves" getting baths. But it's good. He's been getting baths every week or two since we got him in September to keep down on the pet dander and avoid allergens for guests. It's good for him.

Cold wet kitty. Evie chased him down and took his picture.  

That night while Terry and I were watching a show, Luna and Trouncer found each other and snuggled for body warmth. So cute. 

We decided to winter the New Yorker on the side of the garage.

Stunning sunset one night. 

I squatted down to get some of the barbed wire in there. 

Swirly clouds! I think this is my Facebook cover photo right now. 

There was so much light reflecting off the clouds I could see very well for the time of night. Those deer were keeping an eye on me. 

Rewind to the day that Nathan and Ana arrived, November 20, which was also the day that Jazmin left for South Africa for a month. She was doing mission work there, helping and supporting a single missionary girl. Zoe and Sherrie were going to join her after three weeks (Kate later decided to go too).

David and Jazmin saying good bye.

Jazmin's trip to South Africa is the reason I have so many random photos from this month. We would talk back and forth on Messenger and I would include photos from whatever we were doing, which most often was school since our mornings were her evenings nine hours later. So here's a sneak peek into our school days. Noah and Evie work at the table Nathan made a few years ago (2013!!). Trouncer likes to lay on their books.

Samuel, Ezra, and I usually work at the little coffee table on the other side of the room by the couch, so we can snuggle. :)

Stinking cat sitting on my laptop! I sprayed him with water to teach him not to do that.

While Jazmin was sweltering in 100 degree African heat, we had some of our first snow.

I think a couple days later we got a little more before it warmed up and melted. While it was warm it was the perfect weather for building stuff. Evie had built that wall out of the brick form Terry got a while back. 

Noah beginning his snow ball.  

Luna loves the snow. She goes nuts for it, racing all over the yard, perhaps because she grew up in it last year when we first got her. 

Exhibit A

I believe this was Trouncer's first time experiencing snow. 

He looks fantastic with his black coat against the snow, but he's not a fan of the cold.

Evie built her wall so high that it began to fall down soon after.

One of their big snow balls, Noah's I think.


Samuel on his own snow ball.

I don't know why I took this photo but I had sent it to someone, either Terry or my sister, and it's funny.

The week before Christmas break I sewed and patched nine pairs of jeans at my mom's house. It was exhausting. I didn't want to go to Youth Group that night.

The ninth pair were the clearance jeans I had bought on Terry and I's date. They were good (and cheap!) jeans but I just couldn't handle the rips (too cold) so I patched them!

Mid-December Saturday lounging.

I called Noah a cat-whisperer but really the cat does this to anyone, including me just last night. 

Trouncer hilariously fell asleep and his head drooped into Noah's neck. Ha!

Later in the day my mom stopped over and helped me make fudge. The last once or twice that I've attempted to make it I have failed. I think I've heated it too much and scorched it. She made sure to not do that. Thanks mom!

More cat snuggling the following Monday while Evie watched her Math video.

Later that day Jazmin and the girls (Zoe, Sherrie, and Kate) returned from South Africa!

We arrived just in time to see them disembarking. What fun it was.

Afterwards we ate at Applebees as a special treat since we were given a gift card and then shopped at Best Buy later for a sound bar for Terry's folks. 

early Nathan & Ana Christmas 2017

The evening that we got our Christmas tree we thought we'd take a quick family photo with Nathan and Ana and all the kids. It wasn't so easy. I zoomed in on this photo and even though it's blurry it cracks me up, especially Evie's face. And notice how Luna is going for Ezra's foot (or trying to get away from it...). 

Little Elin was moving so much it was difficult to get a good shot, plus it was dark.

A little better... At least now you can't see my pajama pants, except it's grainy. Blah. Oh well. 

The following night we had my folks over for a very small early Christmas. 

Grandpa joined the dogs on the floor so he could rest his back, but that meant the dogs were all over him, plus the kids were all down there so it got a little crazy. Elin is standing on their gift, a new kitchen play-set from my folks, which is also something they gave Noah and Evie in 2009. My kids are getting so big!!

Here our kids are opening their one big gift from the grandparents and Nathan and Ana. When we decided to do an early Christmas we didn't have much time to come up with gift ideas so we just went with what I thought was a good, a giant swing for all of them to use outside.

Gramma gets these illustrated Harry Potter books every year, but Terry got me the first one too!

Elin being cute. 

The grandparents and Terry and I went in on this larger gift for Theo and Elin, two car DVD players. I like how Ana is showing them what they are with her hands.

Ana had the best "gift" though, a proper wedding band! HA! All she's ever had since they got engaged in 2008 was a beautiful little scalloped ring. They could never find a band she liked to go with it until that visit. Neugebauer's (same place he bought her engagement ring, along with where Terry and I got our wedding bands) was selling off inventory and they scored a fantastic deal on a beautiful band. 

Once again, my dad the dog whisperer. Ha! He made this face with Snap too. So funny.

Luna wanted some love too. 

The following day Terry set up the swing and let them at it!

Footage of their first swinging, though we've moved it to the other side and the kids go super high now.

It was a little too crowded for Noah so he joined cranky Elin. Her face!!

Elin is an expert swinger.

How fun does that look?! 

Added in Theo...who's trying to get off.

Samuel had a treat when we went back in at dark, a gluten free brownie. We're back to doing gluten free but I thought it was hilarious how greedy he looked with both arms on the counter and absolutely absorbed in the work of consuming that brownie. 

{Samuel seemed to be completely out of control behavior-wise after having lots of snack crackers at the ranch during the fall retreat, plus his skin was extra covered in little dry bumps, something that cleared up when we did GF before in the spring. In addition Ezra had been daily complaining of tummy aches and having "d" as Evie calls it, so Ezra is going GF too. Perhaps we'll all end up doing it. Here is a GF biscuit topped turkey casserole I made the following night. It wasn't too bad!}

That night Terry and I needed a break from the craziness so we went on a small shopping date after the kids were in bed while Nathan and Ana visited with some friends, Rachel and Aaron, at our house. We found some Christmas jeans for Terry, a couple clearance items for me, and then I posed with this fabulous gold coat. It made me laugh so much.

The next morning was the end of Nathan and Ana's visit. Here's squealing Elin finishing up her breakfast.

After six days it was time to say good bye to Nathan and Ana. We love you guys! Miss you! Hope to see you before another year has gone by, but no more funerals please.

They left and then the kids did some swinging in the back yard. Evie was a bit disappointed in the gift because it was something I wanted for them, not something they had picked (the punk) but she now agrees that it is a great gift. They have a ton of fun on it every day.