February 04, 2017

Christmas 2016

Christmas celebrations in our neck of the woods...we had a fairly quiet Christmas Day celebration with just our family. I had spent the majority of Christmas Eve in the ER with leg pain that we learned was caused by superficial blood clots (thankfully not deep-vein thrombosis). I missed hearing Charis play violin at our church's Christmas Eve service but arrived in time for the sermon, and Ted took a video for me! She did a great job. The winter recital had been a couple of weeks earlier, but this was her first time to play in church.

Christmas music recital; Charis with Michelle, our teacher
Taking piano lessons these days: Charis, Kenna, Lucan
Violin: Charis

Roll-out cookie dough! I have lots of eager helpers!

Decorating frenzy begins...

...along with a lot of tasting.

Yay! Sugar!!

One Sunday morning the girls discovered they were matching by accident!

Caroling at the nursing home with our church family

Christmas morning...stockings are hung by the fire with care.

Breakfast before church...homemade cinnamon rolls with scrambled eggs and sausage.
We put candles in the rolls and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.

Verity and I say, "Merry Christmas!"

Advent Book...we read this after we got Rhema down for her nap.
(We only did stockings before church; everything else waited until the afternoon.)


Star Wars blankets and buddies!

Charis did a couple of special handmade gifts this year,
including these darling Minion mittens...

...AND this AMAZING blanket for Verity!!

Christmas Dinner! Kids helped a lot with the side dishes: Kenna made mac'n'cheese;
Tobin put together the cheesy potato casserole. Ham and squash bake completed our meal.



January 08, 2017

Thanksgiving 2016

A peek at our low-key Thanksgiving at home. We were blessed to have my parents spend the week with us. After traveling to San Antonio and back the week prior, we didn't have much time or energy for fancy stuff, but we enjoyed a wonderful meal and quiet time together as a family. (We will pass over the sad fact that Ted learned the hard way to wash past his wrists after preparing a raw turkey...thank the Lord for our Young Living DiGize oil which helped him recover in time for a birthday date over the weekend!)

Following our friend Shauna's instructions, we prepared our first-ever (but definitely not the last) turkey-in-a-paper-bag! Sooooo easy, and sooooooo incredibly yummy!

Oops...accidentally picked one of the blurry shots of us...perhaps someday I'll go back and upload a different one, ha!

My little turkey!!

Ted calls drumstick!

Grandma makes her famous turkey gravy!

Zaden rests while Grandpa naps!

This is us!

Ted normally isn't a huge turkey fan, but this...this was incredible!

The girls are chilling...waiting for food to settle so we can enjoy dessert!
My birthday date--the Omaha symphony playing the soundtrack of Raiders of the Lost Ark live while we watched the movie on the big screen! So incredibly fun!

I loved watching the musicians and picking out which instruments were playing during the various parts of the movie. We could see the visual cues for the conductor to keep all of the timing spot on.

National Bible Bee

This was the 3rd year in a row that Charis qualified to compete in the National Bible Bee Competition, held this year in San Antonio, Texas. There was some angst related to the decision of attending, as she felt rather overwhelmed with her other school activities (which include a competitive speech class with apologetics emphasis). But after much prayer and discussion, she decided it would be worth making the trip.

So, the week before Thanksgiving, we packed up our family of 10, stuffed the van to the gills, and made the day-and-a-half trip to San Antonio, stopping at my friend Karen's house in the Dallas area for the night. We spent 4 nights in the hotel, where the kids took complete advantage of the warm weather to enjoy the water park during our free time. Between that and the Family Fun Area set up, it truly was a vacation of sorts! Charis was much more relaxed this year, having resigned herself to not being as fully prepared as she would have wished, but we are of course still so proud of her for her time and efforts spent studying God's Word.

Like last year, we met up with a number of friends in the area throughout the week, including one family whom we had gotten to know as newlyweds during our first duty station in San Angelo, Texas, from 1997-1998! We've had all our kids since moving away from there, obviously, so it was fun to meet each other's kids in person for the first time. One of their sons qualified for Nationals as well, so that's how we all happened to meet up!

It was a good time of spiritual refreshment and fellowship, plus time to make family memories and set aside some of the current confusion and stress associated with Verity's diagnosis.

Seanin was delighted with the fountains!

Rhema, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with water!

Charis (3rd from right) and the girls in her oral round session.

Charis on stage (not that you can see her, lol, but you can see her
photo on the big screen--the middle one!)

The whole family!

The little boys learn about ancient writing materials

Our family plus the T family, whom we have known all our
married lives! Total of 12 children between us!