Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shane turns 30!

Notice Esther and Makenna arm wrestling!

This picture made me laugh, at least you can see his cake!

Me and my boy

Malaine, Dalayna & Jaylyn

Sweet Mavery

My baby brother, my only brother turned 30 on Christmas Eve. We had fun celebrating him while he was in town over the weekend. I am very proud of my brother and the choices he has made. He graduated college and was starting his career when He felt God was calling him down a whole different path than the "Career world". He believed he was being called into missions and decided to attend Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky. He went on a mission trip to Bulgaria and I thought that he might end up there. Then he went to China and God grabbed his heart for the people and we will see what the future holds! He plans to return and of course we are thrilled with that. I told him maybe we would be there adopting again when he moved over! hehe! Happy Happy Birthday Shane, we love you. Thanks for being a wonderful brother and an amazing Uncle!

More Christmas Day

Aunt Debbie gave Esther and I cute warm socks we were having fun with!
Very fun!Mavery was very patient as they passed out gifts, she kept saying Open? Open?

Sage enjoyed passing out gifts

Makenna playing Santa
Once again we have no pictures of our evening with Marks side. I tried to bring the camera but our van broke down (yes our new BIG van, so sad) on the way and when we transferred vans the camera got left behind. I blame this all on Mark. OR his brother, he is a photographer, and where was his camera? ;0) Hopefully next holiday you will see we really do visit with them! Not that the pictures are plentiful on my side, what is the deal with men and not taking pictures unless prompted?
OH and for my Christmas gift Mark gave me a sewing machine. I had asked and he told me no as he was/is certain it will be a waste of money and that I won't learn to sew. I hope to prove him wrong! ;0) In my spare time I am sure I can figure it out, right?

Christmas Fun

Trying to make sure Sage keeps the car on the track, she is in such a hurry to make sure Mavery does not get to go first!

So do you think she loves it?! Doesn't everyone wish they had a roller coaster going from their kitchen to the living room?

All dressed up in her princess best and ready to roll! They even enjoyed a big push from Makenna so they could really fly!

We are so happy that Uncle Shane brought a playmate along for the kids, they are able to talk Esther into trying anything!

Though even Grammy realizes how much fun these cars are!

Shane & Esther racing, not sure who won but Shane was not happy we made him squish on here with his long legs! FYI, they hold up to 250 pounds, so fun for all!

Christmas Morning we have a tradition of having the grandparents over for brunch so that they to can enjoy the chaos of our house. Along w/ the fact that it gives us lots of extra hands to put gifts together. It is a nice relaxing way to spend the morning. (Did I just use the word relaxing? YEAH RIGHT, what is that?!)
2 Favorite gifts here were the Coaster Cars and the Roller Coaster. I had heard of the cars on my adoption board, they were having a deal on I had never heard of them before, but the reviews on the board were so great I had 2 shipped our way. Now I wish we had bought 3. I am not sure who is having more fun, us or the kids!
The roller coaster is lots of fun for the little ones as you can see and while we could use 2, 1 is good enough and helps us learn all about sharing and taking turns. The older kids are holding out hope for the Extreme Coaster next year. Doubtful. I often whine that we need to finish our basement but it sure is nice for the kids to make their own amusement park down there with no worries of destroying anything!

Christmas 2008

Not sure if Sage wants to wake up. Both girls were excited about their cars thinking Santa brought them a nice seat to open gifts on!

Sawyer is so much fun, he gets SO excited over EVERY gift!

SOOO tired!

All Sage wanted for Christmas was a BIG candycane and pink boots. Yeah Santa!

Makenna REALLY wanted this and is having fun doing makeovers.

Do you see his face, he sure makes giving fun!

Oh the girls have wanted this wheelchair for years, they love to play doctor with their dolls. That is the look of, "Makenna, the WHEELCHAIR!"

Sage is starting to wake up!

Maverys FIRST Christmas, did not take her long to catch on!

Just what I always wanted. (or maybe what mom always wanted...)

Loving the hair!

Christmas morning was lots of fun around here as you can imagine. Yes, we believe in Santa, and yes, Santa goes overboard for sure. Santa needs a new love language besides gifts! ;0) I know that many do not "do" Santa but I would not miss the magic of Santa for any amount of money. Watching my childrens faces as they run to the plate of cookies to see if he ate them all, watching them open things and the joy in their eyes that Santa knew just what they wanted, even the night before when they are just sure they hear him outside, priceless to me. Someone said I get very excited about Santa, and I do(sorry if it is bad to some!)! My parents made Christmas so magical for me. The fact that they put so much effort into making it fun and surprising, I want to do that for my kids. Some say they want their kids to thank them for the gifts. If your love language is gifts, (as is mine)you could care less about thanks. You just love to give and love to see people get, you don't really need thanks. So that is not an issue to me either. Is it lying to our children? I don't think so. I think it is part of fairytales and make believe. The fun of being little and all that goes along with childhood. It is so short, they are growing up so fast. I will keep it magical and fun as long as I am possibly able. And as far as taking away from Jesus, if you know us, you know that is not true. We celebrate Jesus in many many ways, every single day. And unless we are getting rid of gifts all together, then it is silly to say Santa takes away from Jesus because gifts are gifts to kids no matter where they come from. What a blessing that we can combine Jesus birthday party with gifts for EVERYONE! All that said, if you don't "do" santa, fine by me, but please don't let your kids ruin it for mine! ;0)

We had to wake Sage up as the other kids were not waiting till 10AM for her to open gifts! She cried when we went in and it took her awhile to get into it, but not to long once she saw those pink boots! Mavery is into presents for sure, and yes, they fight over everything and it is safest to have 2 of whatever it is. Though there are some things I refuse to buy 2 of. I do not want them both banging on keyboards at the same time for sure!

Now is the aftermath. It all looks like fun till it comes time to put it away. I know that once they are grown and just want clothes I will miss these days of toys everywhere, but right now I look around and think, WHAT WAS SANTA THINKING!?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Uncle Ray reading the Christmas Story

All the cousins, each year we add more!

Happy Birthday to Jesus! Mavery LOVES to sing Happy Birthday!

My Uncle Joe and my cousins John & Julie with Lexie

Shane & Esther, so cute! My children adore her. And Shane to!

Happy Us!

Us with my parents and Shane & Esther

My Aunt Debbie, Uncle Terry Cousins Brett, TJ, Amy Jaylyn & Adley & baby on the way!

Christmas PJS!

Visions of Sugarplums

Christmas Eve is always a special day for us. Ever since I was a little girl, it has been just as special as Christmas Day. That day the kids always get to open a present, which is always the same thing, a new pair of jammies. We started this when Makenna was born and they all enjoy seeing what they get for this year.
We always enjoy, ok we always endure the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at church. This is another tradition that has happened for me since I can remember. Mark has threatened many times that he is skipping this year as we take all the children in with us. We are Baptist, so we are not used to taking our children into service. We have an amazing nursery that is provided for us free of charge. Which means we sit in church while the kids enjoy a lesson on their scale in nursery. But on Christmas Eve, no nursery. Not that I expect anyone to watch my children for this night, but it makes for a very long service as we are trying to keep lots of hands from grabbing at the communion or catching themselves on fire during the candlelight service. Though I have to say this year the kids were probably the best behaved that they have ever been. We only had a small incident of Sage sneezing EVERYWHERE, mainly ON Makenna, during the Childrens story in front of the church. hehe! That and the fact that Sage does not get what whisper means so there were a few times she spoke out, LOUDLY. I always feel sorry for those around us, but they were all very kind afterwards!
After church we head to our house to celebrate with my side of the family. This year the kids attempted to act out the nativity while Uncle Ray read from the bible. We always enjoy singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and we even pulled out the fancy China candle in His honor this year!
My brother was also born on Christmas Eve, though he let the singing all go to Jesus instead of him! He turned 30! We were very excited that Esther was able to spend the week here with him this year. And for those of you who have asked, no ring. I know, bummer. Hey Valentines Day is not to far away, so maybe.. He is so going to kill me if he reads this. Which I doubt he does.
We always let the kids sleep in our room on Christmas Eve. We started this a few years ago, really because we wanted to see them see the presents under the tree. Our house is a split ranch so they have to get from their bedrooms through the living room to our room. They think sleeping in our room is a great thing and look forward to it all year. Sage did not join in the fun, because Sage likes her bed. And still sleeps in her tent so she only gets out when we get her out. Mavery is still in our room. If we add any more kids, it is going to start getting crowded on our floor!
I am bummed that we did not get pictures of my Aunt Judy Uncle Ray and my cousin Dawn in group pictures. They were able to come in from out of town which we were all excited about. They missed picture time, but the kids did get in the cousins shots, so they were here!
More Christmas coming soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From our house to yours, we hope that your Christmas is filled with much love and laughter all around this year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Twas the Days before Christmas.... Dinner!

Trying to catch up on this week in blogs. If you remember we decided this year we were going to start a new tradition of doing a fancy dinner together since our holidays are so crazy on the day of. The kids had so much fun at Thanksgiving and were very excited to have a repeat. Sage has asked over and over when we would drink our juice in the "dinner room" with candles. I made the mistake of asking the children what they wanted for our Christmas dinner. It was a unanimous vote for steak. We have been spoiled to many times by Marks boss with deliveries from Omaha steaks in the past. But we figured we would go ahead and give them steak and boy did they LOVE it. I think Mavery out ate all of us with the steak. She was so funny, she likes her meat for sure. Scroll down for more of our evening fun.