Tuesday, December 26, 2017

MeRrY ChRiStMaS 2017

Praise God for His Son our Savior,
Jesus Christ!

We are so thankful for this Christmas season!
Amongst all of the moving and chaos
we were able to find peace and joy!

In fact... it's the 26th 
and we are still lounging, way off schedule 
and enjoying ourselves!

Throughout our adoptions we have ordered
Pottery Barn Kids Christmas stocking.
I am thankful they have not changed their design, too much! 
I might have to send this into them for advertising!

In the beginning of the month we focused on school 
(to get as far as we could before the holidays and the move)!

We packed boxes and loaded truck #1 of 3 (hopefully not 4)
on the 19th.

Then it was time to bake!

We made our favorites!
Peanut Butter kiss cookies (modified a bit)
Covered Pretzels
Fantasy Fudge
The Best Fudge
Mint Chocolate Brownies
Frosted Sugar Cookies

ALL of the children helped
and loved it!
Especially licking the spoon, beaters and bowl!

If they weren't helping me in the kitchen,

 they were playing video games(Mario Cart) with Johnny!

Yes, they were way too close to the TV!
They are all going to ALL need glasses... soon!

Then we had an exercise class,
 lead by Johnny!

And more video games!

FYI- We never play video games 
so this was a wonderful novelty and 
gave the parents time to "get things"done!

We go to a large Catholic church in Denver.
3 services were being held all at the same time!

We were thankful to have gotten seats in the gymnasium!

Have to get a few pics before we start the festivities!
Ignore the multi colored socks!
They had cute boots on but
they got wet from the dusting of snow outside!

Johnny and all of his younger sibs!
It's so fun having him here!
The kids are loving it!

Mark and Kari were supposed to come to Colorado  
but Mark had an emergency appendectomy 
3 days before Christmas.

Poor guy was really really sick. 
We are so thankful he got it out and is now on the road to recovery!
He turned the corner 
once I told him I was flying to Madison 
to be with him.

Abundantly blessed!

This is me being bossy...
and telling Johnny...
how to take pictures...

close ups...
must you...

And this is how I look all of the time...
happy, joyful, yadda, yadda, yadda...

Yes... you've taken enough... 
we must have a good one in the bunch...
of pics, that is!

We miss this beautiful family...
wish we could have celebrated together
but thankful
we were all together on Thanksgiving!

Matt, Caitlin and Elodie came over Christmas Eve!
Didn't take any pics except this one...
We had so much fun together!

Santa and Mrs. Claus are a bit older than they used to be...
to be exact, they are 61and 59!

So instead of arriving in the early morning...
they came in the early afternoon!

This may be a new tradition!
We liked it!

The kids impatiently waited...
some never got dressed for the day!

Excuse me, Melissa!
You may be laughing at the floss in your stocking
but your dentist is proud of the Claus Parents!

The chapstick will be good for all of our dry chapped lips!
And yes, you really did get socks...
because you NEED them!

There is no dress code on Christmas morning!
Come as you are!

Thank you Katie, Andrew and girls for the family portrait!
So excited to put it up in MN!
(This is a pre lipstick photo for me
and pre shower photo for hubby)!

And finally it was time to open gifts!

Sarah had no idea what she was getting.
I thought of it earlier and knew it would be a great gift for her
She loves listening to Christian music!
KLove, The Way and KTIS!

The kids gave us a short list of 3-4 gifts idea.
We gave each child one gift.

As we pack our things and know we have storage spaces in MN
we realize how much "stuff" we already have...

I was concerned that one gift would not be enough...

but, it was enough!

Everyone was thrilled with what they got!

Emma wanted Legos.
She cannot put them together herself
but it's a wonderful way for others to help her 
and to play with her!

Christmas felt better this year.
It wasn't out of control with
too much stuff...

It was so much better than last year
when I was in the hospital with influenza A.
Jake and Grace are especially happy 
to have their new Mom 
healthy and at the celebration!

She had no idea what she was getting!

But she liked it!

I think she will be putting on a magic show in the near future!

Melissa is an amazing daughter. 
She is patient and kind. 
She is always that last in line for meals and snacks. 
She is helpful to all of her siblings.
She is our non snitcher... 
in other words she won't tell on her sibs... 
even if we want her, too.
It's hard for her to pick out something she wants,
 so she usually lets us do it.

When we saw her file we thought she was such a nice girl 
and then we sent the file back... 
2 hours later I panicked and 
realized I just returned our daughters file. 
I quickly called the agency, 
prayed she was still available, 
and asked for the file back!
Praise GOD we got it and she is forever HOME!

We've been giving Johnny Fifa soccer since he was about 9 years old...
he still loves it!

 We also had 3 family gifts
(family games- credit card monopoly, star wars monopoly and speed uno)
 and 2 gifts from friends!
Thank you Laura and Jodi for your kindness!
The kids were thrilled! 

It was a perfect celebration for all of us!

 The kids all enjoyed playing with their new toys!

The parents took a deep breath and relaxed!

Jake did this all by himself!

Praising God for HIS kindness and for this peaceful time together!

Soon, we will be back at packing and planning our move!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Since life was a bit busy we didn't get a chance to coordinate clothes!

We call this photo...
"The Battle of the Plaids"

We will try harder next time!
Until then,
I am just happy to have this photo 
of our current and complete family!

Of course,
I am also up for it being "not current" at any moment!
Got that, big kids!

Kathryn Lee Photography
at work!

Her hubby has it down!
Keep the smile, keep focused on the camera even if the kids aren't!
Be part of the solution NOT the problem!

I could decide what pic I liked best!
Love the look in her eye!

And now,
Ali is looking perfectly at the camera!

Yes, all you have to do is point and
Nana will take you where ever you want to go!

We watched the Viking game on Thanksgiving!

We also have a Packer fan among us,
so not all of us were happy with the results!
(Sorry Caitlin!)

I wanted to get MORE pics of kids, etc but 
once the group broke up and started playing
football, 500, and keep away...

my hopes were dashed!

We love watching everyone hanging out together 
and enjoying themselves!

The crowd that cheered the athlete on!

Nice catch Hubby/ Papa!
Very impressive!
I bet you used to play football?
Oh, don't get him started on the conversation!
We've been having it since the day we met!

This makes a Momma happy!

Time for a water break!

Catch it Johnny!

I love to decorate the dining table for the holiday.
The center pieces cannot be too high 
like in the magazines or people cannot
see each other and converse 
from one side of the table to the other!

We never fully moved into this house
hence the empty display shelves and barren walls.

We chose not to have the last truck 
that we packed in the end of August delivered.
We suspected a move was in our future...?

The kitchen here is Yuuuuggggeeeeee!
Perfect for our extra large family!
We will miss it 
but we love cozy with character, too!

This game is 
it's sooooo loud!

Bigs and littles playing a game!

The littles adore the bigs...
and I adore that!

Even Ali(grand baby) is having FUN!

Katie made her delicious
sweet potatoes dish with marsh mellows!

Hubby is testing out the food!

It's good!
Let's serve it up!

There was NO lefse in Colorado!
We had to import it from Minnesota!

This was part of the plan!
I-pads are sometimes a neccessity!

The Mom and Dad were hoping to be able to sit down 
and enjoy their Thanksgiving meal!

When their are 29 people you need many different places to eat!

The counter kids!

The adult table!
Thank you Katie, for taking the pic!

And Elodie, too!

We had a family turkey coloring contest!

The contestants did their best coloring
and entered it into the contest!

The adults admired their hard work 
and complimented them
on their creativity and uniqueness!

The adults voted for the two of the entires.
The votes were tallied...

And the winners of the turkey coloring contest are...
Emily (an eclectic version/ Picaso like) and
Grace(a non traditional Green Bay Packer turkey) .

Congratulation girls!

Our five little boys
in their uncoordinating clothes!

It was a casual Thanksgiving this year!
Our big girls and grand baby Elodie!
My goodness, we will miss this precious child
when we move...

So blessed to have everyone together!
Thank you for joining us, Emily!

Our bigs!
Missing Kari and Abby-
maybe next year!

my attempt to get a pic of the grands...

they were a but uncooperative...

Okay, okay...
it was the end of the evening and they were tired...

Love these babies!

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed!