Friday, January 29, 2021

Welcoming 2021!

We are entering 2021
with cautious optimism!
(Pictures are from the first half of January 2021)

2020 was a challenging year for us and
 for everyone else...

We are ALL (even the tired parents) drinking apple juice 
and 7 up in plastic champagne glasses!
Every other year...
we have been able to watch the ball drop in central park,
celebrate the New Year with hats and noise makers!
Then we would quietly send everyone off to bed at 11:05...
snicker, snicker!
But not this year, they caught on to our secret trick!
This time we all stayed up past midnight!

Frozen fog on the trees, aka frost! I see it as "stunning" but 
if you don't like winter you may describe it differently...

We entered 2020 with grand resolutions and 
claims that it would be our 
Yep, we honestly said that!

God's artwork takes on many different forms!

We are very positive people and 
always try to look on the bright side.
BUT... 2020...
even though,
 we saw God's many blessings scattered throughout the year,
you. were. NOT. our. best. year. ever....

We love playing games in the evening!
PIT and Sequence are our current favorites!
Tell us which games are your family favorites! 

Movie night often migrates to the master bedroom!
It was the dogs turn this time!
The cats have had a lot of opportunities!
 We are getting more lenient in our old age!
Usually they are not invited on the bed!
But they are soooo cute
we couldn't help ourselves!

Early in January the kids went to Homeschool Ski Day!
It was Joey, Jake and Luke's first time skiing in MN!
They previously skied one time in Colorado.

The kids had a blast!
We had two snowboarders and 10 skiers!

Some of the most difficult parts of 2020 were-

STOP right there!

(Madeline, Abby and Ava... how did they get so good at selfies?
Definitely a talent, Hubby and I will never have!)

I actually wrote a list of the things
 I'd like to forget about from 2020
BUT, no need... "you all" lived it...
You already know.

(Madeline, Jake Melissa and Mia)

you also had many many blessings!
Such as-
Great family time!
Plenty of homeschooling time!
Weekly family movie nights!
A slower pace!
Hubby works from home now!

Mia was so happy to get the day off from work and go skiing with her sibs!

(Blessings continued)
A new commitment to exercise!
(Hubby and I walked over 400 miles and the kids ran and walked with us, often!)
Church at home! 
(Although we can't wait to get back to church in person 
wo masks and when we can have full communion!)
Distance Doctor visits (no travel time)!

I love when they send me ski photos!
I was home with the non skiers but am hoping to go next time!

(Blessings continued!)
Time to read good books!
Time to play family games together!
Home projects getting done!
A true appreciation for other humans 
and how much we miss conversations with friends, real life hugs, etc!
And so much more...

Yep! The hubster and I flew to Virginia and 
celebrated a 5th birthday with someone VERY SPECIAL!

Incase you wondering???
Throughout the post (here and there)
I am having two conversations/ two topics
going on at the same time!
Multi tasking is my middle name!

2021 is a New Year and
there is every reason to have joy and hope!

We are pushing the reset button and 
embracing whatever it will look like!

Truly, our spirits were instantly lifted!
It is such precious and cherished time
with our grands!

A Nana and an Omi with their beautiful granddaughters!
We are both, so blessed!

A friend party just wasn't going to happen at this point...
so the Grandmas' were invited to a special
American Girl Doll party!

It was such a thrill for this Nana to
be at the party and share in the excitement!

Both girls got their first American Girl doll
and the birthday girl received extra outfits!

What a good deal for the big sister
(and the birthday girl sister)!

Emily chose Joss and Ali chose
a look like me doll!
Ali's doll has blue eyes and blonde layered hair!

Happy 5th Birthday sweet girl!

Such a precious birthday girl!
How can she be 5 yrs old already!?!

We all love this puppy sooooo much!
She is the sweetest dog!
Coco is one year old now!

The three boys had a great day together 
and once the ladies were all home
we continued the celebration!

January has already been a good month for us!
Thankful, just plain thankful!

I'm sorry... That is not her glass of wine!
It belongs to an adult in the near vicinity!

As you can see the chosen dinner
was mac and cheese, chicken fingers and blueberries!

The adults may or may not have eaten that same dinner...
 Use your imagination!
We enjoyed our meal after the kiddos went to bed!

And then it was time for the gifts!
Birthdays are so much fun,
especially from the eyes of a child!

Emily was making a you tube on her 
latest science experiment!

Joss was right there with her!

It's hard work being a Papa!

Jim and I celebrated our 39th Anniversary this month!
I'd say that is truly an accomplishment!

We are so thankful for the blessing and challenges
that we have faced throughout the 39 years.
We are so grateful to God!
For HIS steadfast love, peace and protection!

The two of us celebrated a night early!

Because it just so happened that
three wonderful couples were available to come over
on our actual anniversary!

It was such a blessing to be together!
These two spent Christmas in Moab!

We missed them but the enjoyed their time away! 
And had a peaceful,
beautiful, quiet Christmas together!

We played PIT later in the evening
and Kelly won, Billy came in second!

All of our middles/littles were home too!
But we rarely get a pick of the bigs together
so we made it a priority!

Minnesota goodbye's tend to be long!

Lots of hugging, high fives, reiterating goodbye 
and making potential plans to see each other again!

We are so thankful that they all adore each other!

Truly such a blessing!
The photos speak for themselves!

Along with the crowd that gathers 
when people/ family come and go!

We hope and pray that you 
have a healthy, happy and prosperous