"Who hears these words of mine & puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, & the winds blew & beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine & does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, & the winds blew & beat against that house, & it fell with a great crash."

Matthew 7:24-27

Friday, April 29, 2016

Christmas #3, #4, and #5

We end up having three Christmas celebrations on Christmas Day.  The first is with our immediate family here at home.  I actually woke up the kids because I knew we kind of needed to get up and get moving for the day. :)  As soon as the kids got up they were downstairs and ready to open their presents.  It was fun watching the kids open their presents and seeing the excitement on their faces.  Grace was especially fun to watch as she really understood what she was supposed to do this year. :)

Grace and her stocking

Kyler and Norah with their stockings

Norah with her new toothbrush :)

Grace with her hat and mittens she opened

Everyone checking out something 

Norah and her new Lego set

Grace with her Anna dress

Kyler and his Lego set

Yes, Grace put the dress on too :)

Norah and her hair styling chair for her doll

When we had finished opening presents, we all had breakfast, got dressed and then loaded up to head to my parent's house.  We arrived about 10:30 for Christmas #2! :)  The kids were all ready to go and headed straight to the living room, so we had to tell them to wait a minute until we could get Grandpa up to open presents. :)  The kids went first, taking turns opening presents.  When they had finished the adults went around the circle opening their presents.  When everyone was done, we enjoyed a yummy brunch of waffles, bacon, and orange juice.  After brunch, the kids laid down to take a nap for a while before we headed to our final celebration.

Before we started...

Grace checking out her stocking

Kyler and Norah with their stockings

Kyler with his antlers on ;)

Kyler opening a present

Grace opening a purse

Yes, Grace is putting on something else now :)

Kyler with his Star Wars art set

Norah opening her American Girl Doll

Grace (wearing something different) ;) opening her Bitty Baby Doll

Ben opening the trunk Erik made him

Grace checking out her trampoline

She loves it!

We got everyone up from their naps about 3:30 so we could load up again and head to my aunt and uncle's house for Christmas #5.  We arrived a little after 4:00 and got everyone organized to open presents first.  The kids of course went first, and then the adults followed.  When everyone was finished opening presents, we head upstairs to do the finishing touches on dinner.  When dinner was all ready, we enjoyed a wonderful meal of ham, two kinds of potatoes, fruit, bread, relishes, corn, and beans.  After dinner the kids played for a while, and then we decided we needed to eat some of the wonderful pies and desserts before heading home!

The chaos of organizing :)


One side of the room

Another side...

Norah opening

Kyler with a Lego set

Girls table :)

Boys table :)

We were once again greatly blessed this Christmas.  We are so thankful for all of the time we were able to spend with family and for the gifts that we were blessed with.  And above all, being able to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is kind of low key for us as Erik usually goes to work for a bit in the morning to make sure everything is ready to go for the evening.  The kids and I hung around home in the morning, and loved the wonderful surprise Mother Nature brought to us, SNOW!!  I'm one that loves a white Christmas, and it was so fun to see the snow coming down during the day on Christmas Eve.  Erik came home for lunch and we then got a few things organized for the evening before the kids took naps in the afternoon.  Erik then headed back to work and I got ready to head to church.  As soon as the kids got up from their naps, I got them dressed and we loaded up to head to Christmas Eve service at church.  After church, we headed to my parent's house for dinner.  Erik was able to join us for dinner and then around 8:00 Erik's parents, my cousin's family, and my aunt and uncle came over for our annual Christmas Eve homemade pie.  As soon as we were done with pie, Erik headed back to church and I loaded up everyone to come home and get in bed for the night. :)  It is so fun to enjoy all the fun Christmas Eve traditions!

Grace checking out the snow

So pretty!

So quiet :)

Before church photo attempt

After church photo shoot

Another try….

Our family

With Ashley's family

Ben with his nieces and nephew

Grandma and Grandpa with the grandkids

Ben and Kyler being silly

This is what happens when your husband does the Elf on the Shelf :)

Stockings :)

Tree :)

Christmas #1 and #2

The first Christmas celebration we had was with Erik's mom's side of the family on the Saturday before Christmas.  We got up, ate breakfast, and then loaded up the car to head to their house.  We arrived about noon, and ate lunch as soon as we got there.  We all enjoyed several different soups, sandwiches, veggies, and many desserts.  After lunch was cleaned up, the youngest kids opened presents.  When they were doing opening presents, Grace took a nap for a while, while the older kids played and the adults got ready to play BINGO.  The last couple years, the adults have brought $5 gifts and played BINGO instead of a gift exchange.  Kyler actually enjoyed playing BINGO this year too and came home with some mini Reeces. :)  When BINGO was over, we gathered everything up and got ready to head home, it was a nice day celebrating with Erik's mom's side of the family.  I don't have any pictures from this celebration though.

Our next Christmas was with Erik's immediate family the Tuesday before Christmas.  We headed over to Erik's parent's house as soon as the kids got up from their naps.  Once everyone had arrived, we opened presents.  The kids were really excited to open presents. :)  After the kids were finished, the adults had their turn opening.  When presents were finished, we enjoyed a yummy dinner and lots of desserts. The kids then played for a while before we loaded up to head home for the evening.

Grace checking out her stocking

Kyler and Norah looking in their stockings

Grace opening her present

Norah taking a turn

Grandma Deb helping Kyler with a present

Kyler showing us his new Vikings jersey

Norah trying on her cape that Grandma Deb made

Grace playing with her Minnie Mouse doll