Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was a marvelous day!
We have so much to be thankful for!

Everyone pitched in and helped prepare for the holiday!

 Kids vacuumed under the table...

Vacuumed the rugs around the house- especially the mudroom...

Where these two puppies hang out when they are not outside.

They set the tables and folded the napkins!

And then they put on all their winter gear and played in the snow!

Except someone may have had his boots on the wrong feet?

Once they were done with sledding they all came in and put on their (kinda) nice clothes!

Some of the children are taking piano lessons(keyboard kids) - Ava, Melissa, Ben and Anna.
They other kids are learning from them!
We may have a few others try piano too if they have an interest!
Mia will be next!

Everyone was so joyful and excited for the day!
It was our first Thanksgiving in this house!

I think I may have caught Mark mid sentence!
He came home for the holiday!

I know Mark really loves his family-
I am guessing we were not the main reason he came home...
I'm guessing his girlfriend may have been a higher priority!

Ellie recited her thanksgiving poem from school for the family!
She did a great job!
She is so proud to be able to do this!
And we are so proud of her!

Last year at this time Hubby and Mark were in China.
Auntie Barbie took the children and I out for Thanksgiving dinner.

They went to China for two very important boys!
This year we are together at home enjoying and celebrating God's Blessings!

We are so thankful you are home
Ben and


Laukii and Mark brought an asian chicken dish and a Hawaiian dessert!

It was sooooooo good!
I am going to have to borrow the recipe and fix it for dinner in the future!

The eight youngest children sat together and the rest of us sat at the round table!
It's nice because the two tables are so close together!
Our thanksgiving day meal was delicious!

And then Auntie Barbie came over and low and behold we were both wearing our brown leggings and brown boots!
My sister is FUN!

Billy and Kelly also joined us a bit later!
So grateful to God for family!
We miss you
Matt, Caitlin, Katie, Andrew and Emily.

I ordered the 4 younger girls Matilda Jane dresses- love them!

Johnny played piano when he was younger!

He wasn't so good at it...

And he inherited my singing voice...
(Emma thinks he is soooo funny!)
Nope, music is not his thing...
 Thankfully he's good at soccer, though!

Love you guys!

Sooooo Thankful!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


What's wrong with this picture?

This is the dog's food.

We have a nice tight lid to put on it.

Someone has obviously forgotten to put "the nice tight lid" on the dog's food.

You can run
you can't hide!


Mickey (Mouse) has visited us twice.

We did the catch and release program... twice.

This is your last chance


If you come back again...

We'll bop ya on the head...

I think Mickey would prefer to die in the dog food!

And eat until he can eat no more...

at it's finest!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Homeschooling - Pioneer School

We spent the day at Cahill School and Marm Erickson taught the children!
Joey and Luke could not join us... 
they where too young for pioneer school.
Em and El were at their school, so they were not with us either.

Four other families joined us!

Sarah went on this field trip once before and loved it!
As the children came home, I knew we wanted to do this again so they all could experience it!

Doing this after our visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder's home and museum was perfect - they all had their outfits!

The children LOVED hearing about and experiencing life back in the early 1900's.

They wrote on slate boards with chalk.
If you erased your answer too quickly, it was counted wrong.

We brought our lunch in pails and baskets!
BUT umm, some one in the group may have brought lunchables... 
I'm not sure who it was...

What a way to kill a pioneer experience, huh?
I don't what to judge BUT she may have had a bundle of kids and was a bit too busy to make 9 lunches ahead of time...

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize this dear boy is actually HOME!

Some of the girls knew each other and some of them just met.
Either way, they all got along beautifully and they are friends now!

Some time,
 silence is GOLDEN!

"Try, try again"
I love this motto!

Marm Erickson read a story to the children. 
She also taught us how the children would bring their lunch to school.
They would use pails or baskets but some of the lucky kids had a lunchbox.
That is an old fashion lunchbox on her lap.

After we ate the children cleaned up,
 just as they did over 100 years ago.
Then, we played games like "button, button where is the button", danced and had a spelling bee!

She gave the children words from their grade in homeschool, which worked perfect for us!

It was a WONDERFUL experience!
So thankful we were able to do this and for the wonderful families that joined us!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday Melissa!

Our sweet 9 yr olds!
They get along so well!
It was truly a God ordained that these two would someday be sisters!

Melissa chose dinner out...
I'm not a very good cook
so a homemade meal is not top on her list...

I'm not complaining and I don't feel a bit bad!
I'm won't be throwing eggs into the air and starting large fires to entertain the children!
Heavenly days can you imagine the mess!

But we are glad they will do that here!

Melissa defines easy!
She gets a long with everyone and she is a peaceful, quiet girl.
She is a thinker and doesn't ask for much.

Melissa and Ava have so much fun together!
They tease and giggle together.
I put them next to each other in the car and they chatter away!
Ben is with them, too!
And his English has improved by leaps and bounds!
(hmm, I think I am going to be putting our challenged speakers with these two, very soon!)
(Yes, we have assigned seats in the van!)

Melissa gets along with all of the children.
In fact, when she first came home and had a few scuffles with Madeline and Mia, it was very upsetting to her.
Each time, she was the one that cried.

Billy and Johnny joined us!
Who can turn down a great meal AND a cute little sister's birthday!

The littles love it when we compare their personalities to the big kids.
We say Melissa is like Billy!
He is quiet, a thinker, loves to read, smart, organized, sensible, self sufficient and Melissa is a lot like that!
They loves the stories we tell and they want to know all about the big kids when they they were younger!
FYI- we are still offering cash to any of our children that can go without a fender bender during the first year they get their license.
So far, NONE of the first five could do it!

My babies... freezing outside while Momma takes a pic!
They know my priorities!

The next day- a school day, was her birthday!

YEP! It was HER birthday!

And there is NOTHING like opening presents when you didn't get to celebrate your birthday for the first 7 years of your life...

And you know how the children want to get closer and closer and closer to the birthday child...
Soooo, I held Joey captive!

She loved her new outfits!

And she loved the suspense of opening gifts!

She doesn't ask for much... in fact it was hard for her to even think of things for her birthday.

So her Mommy broke all the rules and guidelines and bought her precious daughter...

make up!

We are completely into growing up slowly.
The natural look and
you are beautiful just as you are...
I knew she would share.
I knew, if I said this was for home and not for when we leave the house, she would listen.
Sooooo, sweet girl-
have FUN!

Happy Birthday Melissa!
Plus an added photo bomb with Luke!
Who is having the next birthday!

We love you so much and are so blessed to have you in our family!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!

Yes, that we be make up that she is wearing ; - )

Time to make your wish!

I'm pretty sure she is wishing for world peace...

Okay, I'm just kidding!

Thanks for helping out, Ava!

And once again we have had 
successful birthday!