Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

We had such a fun New Years Eve this year. My friend Christy suggested a Progressive Dinner and it was such a blast. Unfortunately I did not take pictures besides our house. We went to 4 houses. One house hosted Appetizers, where I was already stuffed for the night before I left. The next was soup and Salad and THE best lemonade I have ever had.Third house was main course with a HUGE spread of pretty much EVERYTHING. Then we ended at our house with dessert and ringing in the new year. And I should add that my friends are not so much night owls so while we got them to stay till midnight, at midnight oh one they were all rushing out the door.  I, on the other hand was up cooking breakfast at 2am. :-) It was a blast and I hope that it is a tradition to stay. 

I tried a new dessert that was HEAVENLY so thought I would share the recipe here. I found it on allrecipes, YUM! 
The only change I made was adding heath bar pieces in the layers and sprinkled on top. :-) 

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate
pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped
topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped
topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy
1.Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
2.In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
3.In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

My Family

 Annie joined our family for christmas! 

Uncle Ray shared an interactive Christmas Story. 

 My brother joined us on Skype from China! 
 The kids did the Left Right Nativity Story. It was hilarious. 
Cousins so happy to be together! 
 Christmas Jammies! 
 I am not sure when this was but she looks Christmasy. 
 Spoiled Kids. 

Crazy Kids! 
Marks family

Monday, December 24, 2012

Family Time Christmas 2012

We had a few fun family activities we did the week of Christmas. We visited the new and improved Incredible Pizza Company where we had a blast. We went in with gift cards and their machine was not ready yet. They allowed our family of 7 to enter FREE, which is a really big deal. We had so much fun playing together that day. And eating together of course, that place has the best cinnamon rolls. 

A tradition I have started with the home school kids is taking them to Cracker Barrel for breakfast right before school gets out on break. They don't get a class party so this is our party. We all look forward to the AMAZING cinnamon roll french toast. First year Makenna has not been along, we were sad.

 And our most highly anticipated tradition is our candlelight dinner we do each year. We have a fancy dinner that we would not normally have on fancy China that we never use with fancy goblets and grape juice.

 The kids draw a name of a sibling and we take turns over the month shopping for that sibling. All being a surprise of who has who and who chose what. I love how much thought they put into the gifts.

 These 2 are obviously just weird. 

Ok I love all of our traditions and they are all my favorite. On Christmas Eve we have a big old slumber party in our room. It has been interesting over the years as we have brought in pack and plays for babies, toddler beds for kids who refused to sleep in anything but their own bed. I hope that the kids will always look back on these things with fond memories. Especially if they are in therapy telling about what crazy parents we are. We started our morning this year with reading the Christmas story from the Bible before we even left the bed. So sweet.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 in Review

 Makenna graduated 8th Grade, we survived homeschool! 
Sawyer turned 12, and was excited that 6th graders are now in the youth group. He is quickly becoming a tween ready to be a teenager. 

 We started back to homeschool with just Sawyer and Malaine. 
 We celebrated Gotcha day with Sage, SIX years with our spicy girl! 

Sawyer and Mark did his Passport to Purity weekend. (Still think this is the best ever!)

Welcomed friends home from China with their beautiful BOY! 

Watched Makenna in her very first school parade with the colorguard team! 

Makenna attended her first homecoming dance. Had fun getting ready with cousin Courtney and help from Megan. We had a houseful of girls for the night afterwards. Nothing unusual there. 

 Makenna turned 15. The fact that this means she gets her drivers permit soon is not making us feel any younger. 
 We welcomed a sweet visitor with Safe Families. She was just a few weeks old. 
 Malaine turns double digits, TEN years old! 

We had a smurfday party! 

We celebrated Mavery's Gotcha Day. 4 years with our wild woman! 

We participated in Judgement House. 

We had trunk or treat at church and our theme this year was Alice in Wonderland. And yes I realize I have the best husband ever who agrees to dress up with me as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. :-) Malaine was Alice, Makenna was the Cheshire Cat, Sawyer the Mad Hatter, Sage was the Queen of hearts and Mavery was the Queens flamingo she plays golf with! 
Some of us did not think Halloween was all that much fun. 

 Mavery turns SEVEN! 
 We celebrated birthdays with family! 
Sage turned SEVEN! 

Enjoyed playing dress up and watching her grow! 

Received sweet love from Chenzhou for Thanksgiving! 

Had fun with cousins FREEZING at the orchards. 

 Lived out some of my pinterest ideas through Christmas decorating. 

And by hosting TWO Favorite Things Parties. A new favorite idea for sure. We had so much fun!

Enjoyed any chance of sleep we could get, which was not much. :-) 

Had friends visit from Charlotte, had such a GREAT visit! We had the chance to visit in May and it was so good to see my Chenzhou baby again! Really love this family. 

Had fun with the youth for a Christmas Party. 

Enjoyed Breakfast with Santa at Eckerts. The big kids really love that I still make them get in the pictures. 

Enjoyed all the kids being in 2 Christmas Concerts at church. 

Said goodbye to baby girl after 2 months of fun. Thankfully we still get to stay in touch with this one and though I cried MANY tears, it has been a good growing experience for all of us. 

Celebrated good news on an MRI that Mavery had done on her heart. All is well for now, hooray! And celebrated Good news on Marks yearly MRI. Hooray! God is good. 

Had a super fun family day at Incredible Pizza Company. After some misunderstanding with a GC, the new owner let us in FREE. A huge blessing for us! Go St Louis IPC! 

Made nativities out of graham crackers with cousins! 

And that sums up almost everything up till Christmas! My kids are giving me a hard time for neglecting the blog and so I wanted to catch up and hope to get back to it more often this year. Maybe I can get Christmas on here before the month is out. Miracles still happen, right?