Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies

Sixth grade is the year for the big science fair. Dayna has been studying the scientific method and had to carry out her experiment and gather data over the break. She chose to study how changing the fat in a cookie recipe affects the taste, texture and appearance. Eighteen dozen cookies (and a gallon of milk) later, she determined that shortening looks best, butter tastes best, and margarine is a flop altogether.

Christmas in Norfolk

Christmas in Ashland

Hamsters for the Holidays

Our sweet Hickory became a big brother this month. Hamilton joined us at only three weeks old. He's already grown so much, and he is extremely social...climbing right into our hands when we open his cage. The boys seems to be getting along pretty well - from their separate cages. And we're enjoying our furry family members.

Christmas Piano Recital

In the middle of an ice storm, I still had 11 students show up to play for the recital (and my dear mom got dressed up and sent me a video!) Of the twelve total students who played, 7 were beginners in their very first recital! This was so exciting, and I couldn't be more proud of my little studio (that's starting to become not-so-little.)

43 Years!

The world has been blessed for 43 years with my great husband! Dayna was excited to make his birthday cake this year.

Preschool Family Night

Annie's preschool had a fun family night decorating gingerbread houses, singing for families, and even meeting Santa.

Annie's Sunday School Program

This was Annie's last year to participate as a preschooler in the Sunday School program. I'm sure going to miss those bells!

Holiday Band and Choir Concert

This month was Dayna's first middle school concert. She continues to love music!

Getting Ready for Christmas

It seems there are so many things that fill our days in December as we prepare for Christmas. Family fun. Food we probably shouldn't be eating. Frolicking with our neighbors in a downtown "snowball" fight. Seeing Santa. This year we added a trip to see the Nutcracker. It's a busy time, but we enjoy every moment of making memories together.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Random Advent Reflection

I love this picture.

It almost looks magazine worthy. The little train going around the track. The mix of homemade and coordinated ornaments that reflect my love for everything red and white at Christmastime. Even the ornaments hanging in the window.

But what you don't see is the process that went into my beautiful tree and lovely window. You know...the boxes and chaos.

But isn't that exactly what Jesus came to do? He took my chaos cleaned me up. He sifted through my piles and messes, helped me throw out what I didn't really need anymore and caused me to remember His faithfulness from times in the past. And little by little, the mess became manageable. I'm still a work in progress - nowhere close to the picturesque tree - but He's still sweeping out the cobwebs and making me a little more like Jesus everyday. So as I continue to prepare my home for Christmas, I pray that God continues to prepare my heart.


Once again, our trusty Ford took us to Prairie Pine Plantation to find the perfect Christmas tree. This year, we broke from tradition and splurged on a fir instead of a pine. I must say, this is the best tree we've had since my parents sent us one from Oregon in 1999.


This year's Thanksgiving was quite possibly the most perfect Thanksgiving weekend ever (with the exception of missing many family members.) We had an enjoyable morning eating our traditional "acorn donuts"
followed by a perfect drive to see Dan's parents in Norfolk. The parade was on, the Lions won, the turkey was juicy, the pies were fabulous...but the company was the best. We really enjoyed our stay with Dan's parents.

The drive home was pleasant, the Huskers lost (okay...not a perfect weekend, but the Beavers made up for it by beating the Ducks), the tree was chosen, the house was decorated, the Christmas bucket lists were made, and we all genuinely enjoyed a lazy weekend together.

I was particularly proud of the girls that their Christmas bucket list ideas were all experiences rather than material things. These are the memories that last a lot longer than the newest fad toy.

So at the end of the weekend, I must say - I am truly thankful for my family.

Family Music

These are the days I love. When the sounds of multiple family members spontaneously making music fill our home. I missed the chance to record Dayna on the cello with her dad on recorder. But this little tambourine player kept quite the beat!

Preschool Play Date

The day before Thanksgiving, there was no afternoon preschool. Two other mamas were in a pinch, so we invited their boys over to spend the day with Annie. I can't begin to tell you how much laughter, mess and noise (Bryton discovered the recorders and other musical instruments!) we had. It was a truly delightful day, and I'm sure we all slept well that night!