Thursday, November 26, 2015

So Thankful!

So thankful for this family!
For these children-
big and small
and for that handsome hubby of mine!

So thankful for our oldest daughter Katie-
 She took a few professional photos of us!

We were instructed to wear neutral colors...
we don't listen well...
and we tend to be a bit unruly!

I am having a bit of trouble with
blogspot and facebook.
They are compressing my pics 
we are looking quite blurry lately...

And here is my point and shoot photos
in front of the fireplace...
as usual!

Matt and Caitlin had hoped to join us for Thanksgiving
but were unable to-
we miss them but we understand.

Goofy works for us!

And now,
it's the Momma and Daddy's turn with the treasures!

Taking pics with this crew...
can be exhausting...

says it all!

Our cook!
We made a 22 lbs turkey!
We wanted a bigger one but this was the largest they had...

The girls love setting the table with me!
The adults sat in the dinning room.

All the younger girls sat at this table
and the
 little boys were right next to them on another table!
The empty seat is for Emily's high chair.

My little girls are getting big.
They are all such a joy!

Our big girls are wonderful
and so helpful!
Holidays are a little hard for Mia
but she rallied today.

And these four
are just plain FUN
and a little bit of trouble!

Before the Uncles arrived Emily played outside!

She loved the snow but she didn't want to keep her mittens on...
silly girl!

First time sledding!

Some of our kiddos were outside too
their Momma was getting ready for Thanksgiving
and couldn't be outside to take pics.

We live in Minnesnowta-
I am guessing I will have PLENTY
of opportunities to take winter pics...

Emily's Aunties are so helpful!
Thank you Melissa!

Sarah and Mia made the appetizer!

We played lots of card games!
Katie and Sarah each won a game!

These two just happen to be wearing the same Matilda Jane dress!

The kids were doing a bit of bargaining!
Back rubs for money!
Abby just found out she wasn't getting paid-
hence the lack of a smile.

So thankful they could come for Thanksgiving!
Katie can't travel as of Tuesday, December 1st!

Sam was doing such a good job that Billy was falling asleep!
I think my flash woke him up!

Madeline is giving Johnny a post Thanksgiving meal massage!

Anna and Ben played the latest version of monopoly!

Ava got a dollar from Mark but Johnny was just paying 50 cents...

Not sure who earned the most but it Madeline was a hard worker!

Sarah like sitting and chatting with the grown ups now!

The evening ended with the big boys going to a movie.
Katie, Andrew and Emily are already preparing for Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sweet Melissa is 10 yrs old!

She came home when she turned 7 yrs old and now she is 10...
This is all going much too fast for me!

Melissa is just beginning to not wear her glasses all the time. She has the green light to only wear them for school, reading, and arts and crafts.

This girl is amazing!
She is smart, sweet, funny, quiet and oh so lovable!
Our family has been so blessed to have her!

And what did she want for her birthday?
Pretty much what the other girlies wanted!
A Beanie Boo, pierced ears, boogie board(electronic writing pad) and clothes!
And that's what she got!

As you can see... we went out to eat!
It's as much a treat for the birthday girl and kids as it is the parents!
Big bro Johnny met us there and we had two extra large booths right next to each other!

Her Birthday dessert!

And then we all hoped into Sylvia to head home...
Sylvia was having issues...
We made it 6 blocks down the road to a gas station...
before she died...
So there we were 9:30 at night...
13 children and 2 adults stuck 25 miles from home...
Thank goodness a shuttle service and taxi could come to get us and bring us home!
Where ever we go...
there's an adventure!

It turns out it was the battery...
Sylvia was towed and has a temporary battery until her new one arrives!
Thank goodness we were only with out her for 24 hours!
Especially because we had tickets to
The Wizard of Oz
at the children's theatre !

This was Melissa's actual birthday but we often celebrate a day or two ahead on the weekend!

Happy 10th Birthday

Daddy's making a joke and Melissa doesn't think he is as funny as he thinks he is!

And this time Mark joined us!
Love that 3 of our bigs live here!

Mark is singing to his little sister!

Genetically speaking...
the bigs did not come out well
when it comes to singing voices...

Ava would like to help... blow out the candles!
I wonder if she did???

Love you Melissa!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What a WONDERFUL Fall!

One of my favorite things of fall is that
for 2 weeks 
we have 6 kiddos
that are 9 years old!

Madeline turns 9 in October and then Melissa turns 10 in November!
So between their two birthdays we have a bundle the same age!
We love it!
And I'm thinking they love it, too!

In the very beginning of the fall we went to Valleyfair!

It's a theme park in our neck of the woods!

This is the first time we have been there with our younger kiddos!
It was a perfect early fall weekend
and everyone else was busy with football games, except us!

No crowds, just lots of fun!

We have some daredevils that love the crazy fun rides!

And others that DO NOT like them.

There is a ride for everyone and for everyone there is a ride!
Sweet Emma wants nothing to do with those scary rides and little Joey
is just not big enough for them.

Ellie can go on some of the scary rides
but as she has gotten older she seems to prefer the safer more calm rides.
I really love it when our kids support their siblings special needs,
they meet them where they are at and have fun together.

We filled the whole submarine!

They all now that their Momma loves to take pics
so they have a ready smile!

The other kids hopped on this ride with Joey and Luke!

They just aren't tall enough to go on many of the rides!

Love these two!
They can be dickens together though so I always have to keep an eye on them and have them in earshot cuz ya just never know what they will get into!

One of the rides scared Ava and she needed a moment to re adjust...
and not throw up ;-)

This was the last ride the kids went on as we were leaving...

And it was seriously scary!

They swung right over us!
I ducked!

I didn't need to... but I still did...

This is Alfie.
He is an adorable bunny rabbit!
He was being rehomed and well...
I couldn't help myself...

The kids were thrilled that Alfie was joining our family!

We've never had a bunny rabbit so this was the first time for all of us.

Sadly... he just wasn't a fit for our family.
He was a bit overwhelmed by us and he had wickedly strong back legs that went a million miles an hour every time we picked him up.
A couple of us got scratched
so we decided that he might be a better fit
for the other family that really wanted him.
They were experienced bunny parents!

Hubby and I went to the
Empowered to Connect
and so helpful!
It gave us a new outlook on how to parent 
our treasures.

We had some visitors!
Which just makes our day!

And then a couple days later Momma came back to show off her baby!

I thought this was funny!

And this was cute!

The weather this fall was BEAUTIFUL!
the kids went bug hunting and played outside in their shorts
through September and into October!

We met our Mandarin teachers parents!
They are here for 6 months so they can help out when she has baby #3!

We found a stray doggy!

He was such a sweet dog!
The kids loved him and he loved the kids!
So much so, that he came back a couple times!

We found his owners and it turned out
that they were our new neighbor though the back woods!

The second time he visited we just walked him home!

Big brother Billy is the cat whisperer.
When he was little we had a cat that liked ONLY him.
Celia feels the same way, she just cuddled right up next to him!
Ava is our other cat whisperer.

We went to the play "Junie B Jones" at the Stages Theater!
It was really good!

In the beginning of the fall many of the leaves just dried up and fell off the trees.
It had been a dry summer so we didn't get all the colors we usually get.
our yard does not disappoint...
Lots of maple trees and oaks!
The colors were fantastic!

Everyone needed a trim or haircut.
Summer swimming can be hard on the girls hair!

It was a long day BUT we got the job done!

I love fresh haircuts on the boys!

We went to homeschool day a Sea Life in the Mall of America!

We had the behind the scenes tour!

And then went and enjoyed the exhibits!

It's so much fun to touch sea anemone, stingrays and more!

No one climbed in but we had a few wet shirts!
It was nice to have a day off from our school work!

Somebody got new glasses!

Our first snow flakes came in late October!

No shave November ;-)

Cozy afternoons watching football on TV!

Lattes before our school day starts!

Lukey lost his first tooth!
He was our last little one that hadn't lost a tooth yet!
He's thrilled to join the ranks with the bigger kids!

This is what our driveway looks like in the fall!

It takes my breath away!

God is such an amazing artist!

Our kitties are a year old and all grown up!

They have been a perfect fit for our family!
All the children love them!
And so do the parents!

We had a busy fall being soccer fans!
I will post more on this soon!

So other than everything else I have been posting on,
this is what we have been doing!