Saturday, December 31, 2011

one last post for the year

I've started writing blog posts a couple of different times, and then I never finished any of them for one reason or another. But I figure it's the end of another year, so I should post one last time for this year. (Although as a former teacher married to a current teacher, my mind still thinks of years "ending" in June!)

We've been pretty busy around here this month, although we have been staying put for the most part since Christmas. :) The kids are just enjoying playing with new toys and having Daddy home since he is on break. We did our annual family bowling with the Myers family yesterday. So fun! (And for the record, I beat Kevin's score for the first time EVER!)

We have played multiple games of Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Uno Moo, and Twister just about every day. I am glad the kids are enjoying the games. Well, Kate doesn't really understand but will still play with us. It's been fun. The kids got awful colds a few days before Christmas though, and they are still sick. They are in wonderful moods and sleeping well, so I am hoping that they will be better soon!

We thoroughly enjoyed having "Uncle" Audrey come stay at our house for a few days. We also enjoyed hosting several different people over both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think I spent about 15 hours in the kitchen between the two days! (And I must add that Kevin and Audrey were a huge help in the kitchen, too!) But well worth it as we had a wonderful time...and we had enough leftover so that I didn't have to cook for a few days afterwards. :)

Kevin still has all of this upcoming week off as well. He plans on doing work at school, and we still have yet to get out our Christmas cards. We figured better late than never. ;) Our 8th anniversary is this week, and we will be going out to celebrate for the first time since we moved here. Yeah! I am pretty excited. I am looking forward to another slow week and enjoying being together as a family before another busy semester begins.

And it is always amazing to think back on this past year and all that God has done. A year ago I most definitely thought we would be moving back to the US and celebrating this Christmas at "home" with family. It was weird to unpack our Christmas stuff this year as I had packed it all up last year in preparation for a move or getting rid of it. Ha! But the Lord is good, and we trust that his plans are better than ours. We feel great peace in being here now, and we thank the Lord for continuing to provide for us to be here. We wish all of our family and dear friends a wonderful (and belated!) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May you sense how deep our Father's love is for us, that he sent his own son to come into this world to die on the cross to save us from a life of eternal separation from him! Thank you, Jesus!

And onto some pictures! :)

Christmas Eve spread (forgot to take a picture on Christmas day too!)

Kate got a new baby doll from Horsey Grandma and Tractor Grandpa and the diaper bag and lots of accessories from Great G&G. With the help of Miss Amanda P, the baby has a name...Baby Clara! (But since Kate can't say the /k/ sound, it sounds like Tara at the she calls herself Tate.)

Kate still LOVES Pink Baby, too, and now she plays with both babies. When I took this picture, she said, "Look, Mom! Two babies!"

HG and TG got Grandparents of the Year award for the 3rd year in a row I believe. My kids managed to sleep in until 8:30 or so on Christmas morning, and Kevin's parents got up to Skype at almost 3 a.m. their time so that they could see the kids Christmas morning. Here Seth is excitedly showing them something.

New basketball hoop for Seth from HG and TG! We were able to bring some great presents back with us this summer since we shipped things. This sort of hoop does not exist in stores here, so we were super excited about being about to bring it over. He's playing it in the hallway for now (or until he breaks something!) but will play outside this spring.

Seth is really into Lego's now like this Mom, and I was more than happy to build the 5 new sets he got!

A snapshot of our gift to the kids. :) I will post more about this later with better pictures, but it is a play kitchen made from my parents' old night stands.

With all of our guests Christmas day, we decided to wait and do Christmas with my side of the family on the day afterwards. It worked out well because my siblings and everyone was there, too. So here the kids are Skyping and having their second Christmas. (We love whoever invented Skype!)

Dollhouse for the Sylvanian Family! She got a bunch of stuff related to this for Christmas, and I am sure we will be adding to it over the years. :)

Seth is having a blast with this microphone and singing!

Kate is too. :)

Zsolt and Gabi had us over for lunch and gifts for the usual. Kate is hugging them and thanking them for the new bath toys!

They gave Seth a drill, which came with these goggles. He wore them around the whole day I think. He now wants goggles that he can wear underwater, too.

Playing with Zsolt!

I forgot to take any pictures bowling, but I snapped one of Kate with the phone on the way home. She passed out with a cookie in her hand and chocolate all over her face, hands, and pants...with Baby Clara in her arms. :)


Audrey said...

What a fun break it's been--and there is one more week left! I thank God for his deep and abounding love that he showed us by sending his son and continues to show with his daily presence and provision.

And Happy New Year!

Doug said...

Looks like it was a great couple of days! So now we need to start buying tools for Seth???? Love, Dad

Stefanie Schocke said...

Seth watch out for your mom with those Legos! Thanks for posting pictures!

Jessica Heights said...

It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Happy belated New Year! :)