Home for the Holidays

Just spending time with family.


God Always Keeps His Promises

The mall shooting happened not far from our home here in Oregon.  These things aren't really supposed to happen close to home, right? One of the persons who died that day lives in the next town over. One I've been to on an number of occasions for doctor's appointment and for frozen yogurt by the lake.

  This past Thursday I woke up with a nightmare about one of my most treasured, one of my children.  I woke up in a panic gaining my bearings and telling myself it was just a nightmare. That my children are safe.  I fell back asleep only to have the same dream haunt me again until I woke up and decided that it was safer if sleep eluded me. The following day, twenty six souls left this earth by someone who had allowed hatred and evil to overcome and harden his heart to a degree that only Satan himself could understand.  And it makes you wonder, if evil outweighs the good in this world to a degree that the balance cannot shift back the other way.  And yet I am reminded of God's promises that His love is forever for ALL of us.  And if I had any concept of the magnitude of God's Love, it is gone now because I do not understand how God loves those with hearts so dark.  I remind my children all the time that "God always keeps His promises". I've said it so much that they always repeat back to me when I'm about to say it again.  And God has promised us a love that lasts forever no matter what.

Both my boys prayed tonight that God would help them love Him more and that God will comfort the mommies and daddies that lost their children.  Jake prayed and asked God to help the children in China find their new moms and dads. And with the prayers of my young boys, I am reminded that God still loves, He still comforts, He still talks with us. I am reminded that there still are some in this world that don't deny a faithful God. Some still follow and seek.  Evil hasn't won and won't have a final say.

My heart is still heavy. I drove my daughter to school today with tears in my eyes thinking about the parents who were grieving a loss that I beg God to never give me. It's hard to understand and comprehend. But I'm reminded of my own words through my children's voices when they say that "God always keeps His promises".  So we grieve with those families and pray for the comfort and peace that only God can give. Admittedly, I don't understand it, but I don't need to fully comprehend it. I just need to have faith and trust that God will.


Jake's Nativity Scene


A Must Read

Today, I'm sending anyone reading over to No Greater Joy Mom to read THIS post.  If you've been in the anxious, buying frenzy, it will redirect your attention to what's important.  If her post doesn't, at the very least, make you think about how materialized we have become, I really don't think you're living and breathing.  When our own families have needs and desires, when we are busy running from activity to activity while keeping a running list of to-do's, we can sometimes lose sight of just how desperate some people are to just simply survive.  If we say we have compassion and love for those in need, but we do nothing, do we really have compassion and love? If there is no action behind the feeling,  then what is it's purpose? 


Messes and Memories

We made some Christmas cookies tonight which always includes making some big messes! The kids always like decorating them and eating the icing!

(That's a Santa hat on Miss Priss's head. She's festive like that)


Interior Decorator

Ally has been doing some interior decorating around here. This is the entrance to her room. There's more loveliness inside her room, not to mention the lights she strung in my bedroom! Oh my!

Note to self: hide Christmas decor better!


A Quieter Thanksgiving

 Thanksgiving, you say? Ours was pretty quiet.  I cooked. Let me repeat that: I COOKED!
Betty sat around and tried to look cute. (I know my mom just luuuuvvves pictures of Betty~ wink, wink). 

Thanksgiving morning, I stuck a turkey in one oven, pies in another, put rolls out to rise, and went to the gym to workout with Eric.  Okay, not actually with Eric. He prefers not to acknowledge anyone or anything while he's exercising, but does like it when I go with him. 

Since, I wasn't fortunate to have my mommy cooking, I enlisted help. We kept our tradition of making butter. YUMMY!

Shake that cream!

Viola! Miss Priss is kneading and molding the butter. 

Again, just for mom. :-)

A work in progress. Thank you, Sara Lee, for your pies! 




Of course, a certain someone managed to get out of helping. He was "too busy" playing games! 


Well Yesterday Was Eventful!

It all began last Thursday when Grant pulled a metal bracket out of place by eating a Sour Patch Kid on his fro-yo.  The one time I didn't check to see what he had on there.  It ended up be a good thing, because on Monday, I took him to the orthodontist to have it re glued (the ortho was closed on Friday).  

Monday morning, the orthodontist asked if Grant had been complaining of any pain. Nope, Nada. Nothing. In fact, Grant said to cancel the appointment because he had "fixed it" himself.  The doctor showed me a big ole abscess in his mouth from a very infected tooth. It was nasty, really nasty! 

Off we headed to the dentist who said that the tooth had to come out pronto! OUCH!!!! So poor Grant had the tooth pulled without so much as a wimper or a complaint.  The kid is tough. He still hasn't complained of any pain from the tooth being pulled and the infection looks soooo much better.  

Eric and I were thinking back to how often Grant has cried because of pain or told us that he actually was hurting.  He's nine and we can count the number of times on one hand.  He just doesn't complain of things like this so if he actually does cry from pain, we know he means it!!! Incredible really, but I wish he'd tell me when he hurts!!!!

We headed straight from the dentist to go pick up Allyson from school. I don't know if anyone has heard of the weather going on out here, but it is really, really wet. Not just Portland wet either! I drove on two different highways that had some significant flooding to where cars and trucks couldn't pass through the lanes.  I know it's nothing compared to those affected by Sandy, but I'm hoping it ends soon and when get a break.  

On a homeschooling note, we found a cool website via pinterest. It's called Toad Haven and there's a ton of cool activities on it, but the kids have been enjoying doing virtual surgery.  They did brain surgery, a total knee replacement, an eye dissection, and a hip surgery.  Not bad for a day's work!   


Well It's About Time!

 I'm going to admit a very terrible fact: We have not had a formal family photo since Grant was about 20 months old. There. I said it. It's out in the open for all the world to see. Horrible, considering we have had Jake since then. In my defense, we have lots of pics just not any done by a professional photographer.  

We've remedied that issue with 86 professional photos and the right to all of them.  And when I made the purchase, and Eric started to gasp, I reminded him of the above stated fact.  No worries, though. He's still smiling. And my Christmas card is packed with as many pictures as I could fit because I could. I should note that these are just straight out of the camera with no editing, but I wanted to post some!

(On a side note, I took the comment word verification off due to certain grandparents complaining about it. You know who you are.  However, I changed the setting incorrectly and found out tonight that I had several comments awaiting moderation. It was a nice surprise to read them though! I believe I fixed the problem, but I'm back to word verification because I keep getting less-than-tasteful comments.  I love reading comments so I don't want to lose any!) 

You know Jake. He smiles big and laughs often so in all of his pictures his smile is prominent and his eyes disappear into adorable little half moons.  That's why I'm in love with this picture, I guess.  Just such a sweet pic of him. 

There ya have it. Now we aren't due for another 8 years. LOL 


Goodbye Sunshine, Hello Oregon

 Trying to cram several posts into one here so sorry for the overload of pics. Let's start with the wacky characters the San Diego Zoo now has.  And let's just take a guess at how many comments the boys got that said, "You guys look goofy!".  At least they were easy to keep track of.

You know who else liked their hats? This adorably naughty monkey liked walking over to the boys with a goofy grin banging on the glass several times.  

I know, no kids in this picture, but he certainly is pretty!

Kissing cousins? Maybe. This polar bear was very curious about this polar bear hat so the zoo keeper let him explore it a bit.  

The girl. Just because. 

 Told you Eric was acting ridiculous in my pictures this trip. Sometimes it's difficult finding photogenic subjects! 

The beach at Coronado island was beautiful.  I'd love to go back in the summertime! 

 This is not our hotel, but it was certainly very nice! They even had several hawks with their handlers to just hang out and keep the pelicans away from their guests. 

And Balboa Park was worth going just for the beautiful walk around to see the architecture. There were so many museums there too. 

And, again. 

Now he's rubbing off on the kids! 



We checked out the old West and the Adobe village there too. 

Last day, a few more ships. The boys asked for this ship and a shuffleboard court in our backyard. 

I thought it was cool that we were visiting these ships as Allyson is reading Treasure Island and Grant has read it, but is now listening to it read on CD. 

 So much fun and even got my Vitamin D in before coming back home! 


A Few More of USS Midway

Just wanted to post a few more of the USS Midway tour. Wow, this was cool! We spent quite a few hours on this ship learning a lot. It was an amazing experience. 

Resting up!

One of the Ready Rooms:

Fighter Pilot in Training

Cardboard stand-in

It's good to be Captain

Proud dad of his boys who earned their wings.

One extra of Miss Priss at Seaport village


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