Thursday, December 23, 2010

Little Blessings

I am really starting to notice and appreciate the little blessings that God gives us here and there.  Remember this...where the PKs got to make ceramic ornaments at the high school with Gram and Papa?

Well, the art teacher asked us to come in this week to paint the ornaments and glaze and fire them!  I thought that the room would be empty, but there were lots of high schoolers finishing up projects.  Imagine how cool the PKs felt working along with the big kids.  

One nice girl in particular helped us a little.  The teacher was so nice saying how beautiful the girls' work was.

She even invited us back and offered to teach PK1 to knit!

I just can't tell you what a blessing this morning was.  The kids loved it. To watch them get to work  in a high school art studio was such fun!

And speaking of little blessings, my best friend at church had #4 baby last week. She was only 5 pounds, but perfect in every way.  I had only held one baby smaller than that.  She was just incredibly tiny.

Here she is with her big brother.  He and PK1 get along famously.

So tired right now, from all my Christmas preparations, but really looking forward to Christmas Eve tomorrow! And hoping to continue to look for and enjoy those little blessings during this holiday week.  For starters PD was home early enough to read with the girls tonight.  We are working through our stack of Christmas books and they read Gift of the Magi.  PK1 really loved it this year.  And I am glad PD was the reader because it is a loooong one!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas on the Farm

We were involved in a Christmas program for our Nursing Home Ministry this year. The theme was "Christmas on the Farm" and it was a collaboration between the residents of the nursing home and the kids.  It was such a blessing to be involved in.  There are a few things that I know we have given up by homeschooling and the opportunity to be in a school program is one of them.  PD and I decided that the pay offs are greater than the sum of these little things we give up.  But it has been so great to see how God has placed little replacement opportunities for us here and there.  This is a great example.  The PKs and I had a lot of fun learning all the songs, gathering costumes and performing.  This is our wonderful and talented leader Miss Connie.

Even the daddies were able to sneak out of work for a couple hours to come support us.

For one scene all the kids dressed as characters from the nativity.  PK2 was an angle (haha) and her little BF was a camel.

Here is the whole group.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Family Birthday for PK1

Saturday night Papa and Gram came over to celebrate the birth of PK1.  Sorry I look a little peeked in the picture.  I think I did have some make-up on, but I have been fighting a bronchitis thing.  PK1 requested burgers on the grill, which is a summer food, but easy, so I agreed.  PD had to put his snow boots on to get to the grill.

It is the year of Playmobil at our house. Gram got PK1 the pet clinic and she and her sister have not stopped playing with it for a second.  Little does she know she is getting three more pieces for Christmas! This is such a great toy and I know it will bring hours of joy in the long winter months.

Gigi got her this American Girl outfit and bird watching kit.  It is the cutest thing.  The binoculars work and the book is really a tiny book about birds.  So glad Gigi sprung for this because I was having a hard time stomaching the price tag.  But PK1 has had that page of the catalogue bookmarked for a year now.  Thank you Gigi!

Sorry to put a gratuitous cake picture on here, but I just thought this cake was so cute and we got it very spur of the moment. It was so perfect for PK1.

Had to end the evening with cards.  PD and I had the kitchen spic and span by the time they were done playing.  What a great evening.  Now I have a couple days to breath before Christmas is here!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Birthday Party #1 for PK1

PK1 turned eight years old last week.  I know every mom says this, but it is unbelievable that I have an eight year old.  In lieu of a party this year she wanted to take her best friend and her sister to Build a Bear.  I had hoped PD could join us, but he had to work.  I was a little nervous about balancing all three girls at Build a Bear, but since they were such sweet young ladies, it all went beautifully.  When we picked up PK1's best friend, she was gifted with sea monkeys!  Our first pet(s)!  I silently cursed my friend a little, but the care of the little darling sea monkeys was quickly turned over to PD.  I just have to look at them every day on the kitchen counter. blech. But of course PK1 is delighted.

We headed right to Build-a-Bear.  They gave PK1 a birthday necklace.

Then we got lunch at Five Guys:

And came back to our house for cookie cake:

The girls played and played and played and when it was over PK1 said it was the best birthday she ever had.  High praise indeed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Zoo School in December = brrrrrr

I swear.  I do so many things that I don't want to do these days.  And I hardly bat an eye.  OK, PD and my friends might say I fuss a bit.  But it was FREEZING at Zoo School this month, but it was also a really good one!

 I am not an animal person, but I have a couple favorite animals and one of my favorites made a personal appearance. Check out the sloth! His name was Sid.  It is so funny when they bring in the animal visitor each month.  They always arrive in a big cooler or crate with their name on it. The sloth expert was really animated and funny.
 The topic was rainforests and they studied the layers of the rainforest and the animals that reside there.  After meeting our animal visitor, they were to use a big array of craft supplies to create their own tropical bird.  They came up with some pretty cute stuff.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The PKs go to High School

PD and I had a little adult evening at a fund raiser the other night.  It was really fun and I enjoyed talking to grown ups and wearing something besides my uniform of crocs, yoga pants and a rotating array of cardigans.  Anyway, while we were there, Gram and Papa took the PKs to an arts evening at their school.  They had a great time and Papa took these pictures for me:


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas at the Zoo

We went to the Zoo Lights on the most beautiful 60 degree night!  PD was unable to join this year, but Gram and Papa, the girls and I enjoyed light crowds and gorgeous weather.  Some years we have really frozen our toes off!

The lights were beautiful as always, but the highlight this year was the Animal Show we saw.  It was the cutest thing.  All these trained animals ran around on stage.  There were dogs, cats and birds..but also kangaroos, lamas and porcupines.  The kids were mesmerized and we had great seats too.

The girls rode the Carousel without me..which was a plus because I always get a bit of nausea.  Another mommy had to help PK2 get off her horse..but that was ok.

Thanks Gram and Papa...for such a special night!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanksgiving was so wonderful and relaxing this year.  It is fun the years we go to the big city of Chicago, but having four luxurious days at home is pretty nice too and just what we needed this year.  We slept late and watched the parade:

Packed up and headed to Gram's around noon:

I made pie:

Gram and Papa get all stocked up with our favorites.  Vino for me:

Chex mix for you think Gram made enough? (This is PK1 dipping into it before the meal.)

PD is the potato masher:

The incredible meal.  I am not kidding, every dish was perfect.

After the dishes, PK2 and I kicked back and watched a marathon of Cake Boss.  The PKs ask me "Why don't we have these shows at our house?"  Me, "Ask your father." Between you and me I think he is half too cheap to buy cable and half afraid the girls and I would stop studying Latin and start watching TLC all day! He may have a point..but whatever.

Then they played a bunch of games:

And Gram gave the girls their ornament for the year.  A bird for PK1 and Curious George for PK2..perfect!

And the day after Thanksgiving, PD and the girls went to Home Depot for light bulbs and came home with TEN poinsettias for me!  They were a dollar a piece.I should have been generous and given half away to the neighbors, but the house looks so great with all the red..that I just stink'in kept them!