Sunday, December 21, 2014

Some of our December Busy-ness

We have had a busy couple of weeks!  Lots of fun things for the girls and the rest of us :-)  I wasn't able to get pictures of all that we did, but here is a sampling of what we have done.

 Party time at the barn!  The barn that Isabella works at had a pot luck for all of the families.  After eating there was a bon fire and dancing.  The girls and some of their friends that knew, helped teach the others the Virgina Reel.  Everyone loves this dance!!!  I forgot to get online and have them learn a few other 'barn' dances.  Maybe next time.

 Ok, this looks a bit crazy, but everyone was really having fun.  Merida was enthralled with the sparks from the fire.  She would point to them and get all excited. The boys were very good around the fire.  Which is a good thing.  When they were up at the 'dance floor' they were crazy savages :-) All week long it has been so warm out, and then....the one night we are going to hang out outside it is freezing.  Which reminds me that the other freezing night we had was the night of Christmas caroling.  It was SO COLD.  Brrr.  At least at the barn party there was a fire!

After the barn party we took the boys to see some Christmas lights.  The girls stayed behind to dance a bit longer.  We were waiting in line to get on the little train to see the lights on this one guy's property.  He has an impressive display!

 One of the displays.  It is nice to see that some people are keeping Jesus in Christmas.

I always get a kick out of this whale.  It sits at the opposite side of the pond.  You can also just make out on the very left a crocodile, with a santa hat, trying to 'eat' a penguin.  Very funny.

 I could not get a good picture of this display, but it was one of my favorites!  Christmas pigs!  Soooo funny.

 Coming back to the start.  We headed home and it was straight to bed for some very sleepy kiddos.

 Isabella and Moira had their first drama performance.  Here is Merida waiting for the show to begin.

 Isabella got a speaking part in her skit.  Moira was a caroler in her skit.  Moira was a bit disappointed that she didn't get a speaking part.  Maybe next time.  All of Isabella's practicing paid off. She remembered all of her lines....and tried to help some of her fellow actresses to remember theirs.  They had two performances that night.  The first one didn't go as planned.  They regrouped and managed to remember all of their lines for the second show.  Their teacher is doing a great job.  The drama club is quite large, and she is trying to help everyone out at their level.

 The older two girls finally made it to a Christmas Ball!!!  Last year they came down with the flu then night before.   They were so happy to be well for the ball this year.  I wish we had a picture of Moira's hair.  It turned out so great!  Here is the youtube video I used to make her hairstyle: everyday updo  Moira's hair looked like the one in the video, except that I had each round spaced closer together than in the video. Isabella had a small braid that went from the top of her head to her ear.  Her hair has really grown since she first got it cut, so I managed to do a little french braid on the side of her head.  It was a little something to dress up her hair.

The girls had so much fun at the ball.  They love the dancing!  I love hearing about their night.  They are both hoping to go to the prom this coming spring.

I wasn't able to get a picture of Moira's hairdo, but she got a snap of the lovely waves that it produced once she undid it!

Let's see, besides the pictures here, we also attended Saoirse's Christmas play.  I would post pictures. but all of them have a ton of other kids in them, and it would take me a long time to put little circles on their faces!  Flannery was brave enough to attend a middle school Christmas party by herself (as sisters).  I was very proud of her for going.  She is a bit on the shy side, so I was a bit nervous about how it would go.  She had fun, though she was quiet a lot of the time.  Then the three oldest girls went to our church's youth group Christmas party.  Lots of fun.  We also attended the Christmas parade, where Moira participated (I think I wrote about that last time).  We had a small fellowship gathering of our care group at church after Saoirse's play.  I think there was at least one other event that I am forgetting about.

For the next few weeks we do not have anything on the calendar.  It will be 'just us' for Christmas this year.  The first time we have been 'just us' for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Probably for the better as the boys all have this cough.  For the first few days I thought we would be through this quickly.  However, and I am assuming it has something to do with the sugar they consumed, they are really coughing up a storm, and their eyes are all red.  As a matter of fact, both Jed and Jonah came up to me asking me to put them to bed...and it was only 8:10PM!  They don't even start getting ready for bed until 9 PM at the very earliest!  Jed was complaining about his ear hurting him.  He was really carrying on about it.  I told him that it might be a good idea to tell me a whole lot sooner about any pain that he has!

Must be off.  I am making some homemade card and board games for the kids for Christmas.  Not sure if I will have them ready by then!  So I must get off and get cutting and laminating.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A Family of Hats

Well, at least a half family of hats!  I've been busy whipping up a bunch of hats to keep everyone warm.  It's been trial and error to get some of the sizing right.  Since I wanted just a very basic hat, and didn't want any bells and whistles, I went with the 'base' of a hat that I made a couple of years ago.  No problem.  Except I was working off of memory, and what I know of crochet.  The first hat I was making was for Aubrey.  He wanted a gray, green and blue hat.  I made it all up and put it on him.  Too big.  So I tore it out until I got to the increase rows and took a couple of increase rows out, and made it back up.  But, being a wee bit smarter this time around I decided to try it on before I had it all finished.  Too small.  Ugh!  Jeremiah suggested I try it on Merida.  A perfect fit.  But not the perfect colors, since I had gray, blue and green.  Jeremiah suggested I finish it off with a pink trim.  And ta-da, it looks great!

It was back to the drawing board for Aubrey's hat.  I now knew how many increase rows to do.  I started the first round in gray, like the above hat.  Aubrey walks in and exclaims he no longer likes gray, and wanted a rainbow hat.  He proceeded to point to ALL of the yarn I had and said he wanted each of those colors.  Hmmmmm.  Alrighty then.  So I made him a lovely striped hat.  The only problem is I don't have a picture of it.  The picture is on Flannery's camera, and it is a joke trying to get the pictures downloaded.  I decided to take more on my camera, but now his new hat is missing in action.  Oy.  I am sure it is right under our noses, and when it turns up I will take a picture of it.

On to Jonah and Jed's hats.  Jonah wanted a gray and blue hat.  Jed wanted a white (I had cream), and green hat.  I got those made lickety split.

Those were pretty basic.  And I made them that way because I know my boys.  Not two days after I made these we went by a display of gloves in the store (and they needed gloves!!), which came with a hat.  Yup, they are wearing their new black hats, which match their skeleton gloves.  Sigh.  I am sure they will wear these hats above throughout the winter, but I knew enough not to put a ton of time on something my boys are very capable of loosing, destroying, or lose interest in.  So I balance the reality with my desire to create things for my family :-)

I had already made Moira a bear hat.  It came out great, and everyone who saw it loved it.  Problem is, I got it finished a few hours before she took off to NY, and didn't get photos of it before it went missing.  I am thinking that maybe I should have some sort of cable attached to what I make and it's owner?  She says she remembers wearing it one time after NY, and that she put it back in her room.  You, know, the black hole of a bedroom.  No, actually, their room is not in bad shape, which makes this all the more perplexing.

Ok, so on to the last hat (so far) that I have made.  Any more hat making will be put on hold as I will be tackling my first knit sweater.  Not only do I not usually knit (though I know how), but this sweater will be for Jeremiah.  I chose what seems to be a basic sweater, with what looks like clear instructions.  We shall see how it goes.  For my hat I wanted something colorful.  My wardrobe consists of green, brown, green, a bit of blue, green, more brown,, yeah.  So I made a rainbow hat for myself.  I really liked how it turned out.  Since my hair is so poofy, I can live with the spaces that are in the granny pattern.  Ha, ha!

There you have it, a half family of hats.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Getting a new family photo

Oh my.  Let me tell you how NOT to take a family photo.

:: Do not wait 3 years to take your next family photo.
:: Do not wait until winter to take your family photo...if you are not prepared with warm clothing.
:: Do not plan to take the photo during the work week, when your husband can not make it to the photo site until 15 minutes before sunset.
:: Do not scramble to get into a spot, any spot, and click away, then look at the photos when you get home (we did look in the preview window, but we couldn't see that the back row was coming out a bit blurred).

Well, I am sure there are more, but I think those are good lessons to pass along :-)  Actually, for the few minutes we had, and the few photos we took, I am surprised that we at least got one decent shot.  We definitely want to wait till a weekend and try again though.   But, hey, at least we finally have our whole family in one picture!   So I'll take it.  Here it is:

We had quite a few shots of half of the kids not looking, or Jonah making silly faces or waving his hands...hence we made him put his hands in his pockets.

All the kids.  Back row: Jedidiah (8), Jonah (6), Aubrey (3).  Front row:  Isabella (17), Moira (15), Saoirse (10), Flannery (12), Merida (10 months).
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