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A Busy Month

We have had a very busy month, starting last month with an impromptu trip to Wisconsin so we could be with Dad and his wonderful wife while he had surgery.  That combined with a focus on school and working on our outside when spring came early, well, we have been busy.  I am preparing to get back into things here.

 

Yesterday Sean and I had the opportunity to attend a preview screening of War Room and I hope to write up a review and share it with you in the next week.  Here is a sneak peek at the trailer.

Until then.

 

Susan

New Year’s Eve 2014

31 December 2014

 

 

One thing Bethany wants to do in 2015 is bake more, so we had her start early and make some treats to take to our church’s New Year’s Eve Fellowship.  They were good.
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Fabulous.  Too bad I have to share with others.

 

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Caleb enjoying all of the treats he could eat without us finding out just how many he had eaten.

 

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Abigail pretending to pout.

 

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Levi running around.

 

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Miriam, enjoying some food and a game.

 

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Abigail solving the world’s problems with a friend.

 

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Levi, that kids is a joy.

 

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I have more pictures, but I am trying to not share pictures with too many other people in the frame.  It was good to be “home” for New Year’s Eve this year.

 

Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Faces From 2014

December 2014

 

Jeremiah snuggling with Mommy.  Elianna snuggling with Abigail.
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Jeremiah sleeping soundly in the swing.

 

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Elianna concentrating.

 

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Miriam reading about her namesake.

 

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Jeremiah sleeping soundly on Mom’s lap, still.  He loves Mom.

 

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Abigail smiling, enjoying life.

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Levi getting in trouble because he was playing with a game he should not have been playing.

 

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Levi happy to get up from his nap.

 

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Bethany choosing her weapon to defend herself.

 

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2014 was a year of change and growth.  I wonder what God has in store for 2015.

 

Susan

Kidlets Gift Exchange

December 2014

 

 

We continued the tradition of the kidlets exchanging names and then making gifts for each other.  We exchanged names earlier and worked on gifts earlier.  It was easier than this year than it was before.  Every year, the kids can help more and many do their gifts almost by themselves. Again this year we used Thomas’ Random Item Selector (available for free from the Windows App Store for Windows computers and phones) to choose names. (now, go download it and open it at least once a day so Thomas can get some ad revenue from it.  bwahahaha)

 

Jeremiah got to start the exchange this year.  Who does he have?  Who?  Who?  Who?
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He drew Miriam’s name.  Of course, Baby Bird dew her name, but now we know it was Jeremiah.

 

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He made her a beautiful blanket.  Now she can stay warm in our chilly house.

 

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Miriam drew Caleb for the exchange.  What could it be?

 

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A shirt with a 747 on it.

 

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And one on the back.

 

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Caleb has Abigail.  Levi wanted to be part of the picture, but he did not help to make it.

 

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Wrapped in the box, too.  He made her wait longer to see what it was.

 

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A pair of pajama pants.  Yes, he helped to make them, no, not a lot of help.  He did choose the fabric and what we would make for her.

 

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Abigail had Thomas.  They may have fought a little bit.  Levi may have pouted.

 

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A shirt to be custom made for him.

 

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A custom made Dassel Software Development shirt.

 

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Thomas had Olivia. What did he make for her?  He always makes good things.  The package is not too big.

 

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A $500 gift card for Dassel Software Development.  But all his apps are free.  I told her to save it as it may be worth something some day.

 

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He then went and got her real gift.

 

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An 18 inch doll bunk bed in her favorite color.

 

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Olivia had Nathan, and he is excited about it.

 

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A warm camouflage blanket so he does not freeze to death in the cold winter in our home.

 

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Nathan had Elianna.

 

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An empty box of markers?

 

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Oh wait, here it is in a big box.

 

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Her own personal, purple chair.

 

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Nathan decided to make her her own chair so she did not have to share with anyone.

 

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Elianna has Bethany.

 

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Look in the box, Bethany, look in the box!

 

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Elianna is more excited than Bethany because she had not idea what she made Bethany.  Why, you may ask.  Elianna cannot keep a secret.  We told her that she had drawn Mom’s name.  She did not help make Bethany’s gift at all. Maybe in 2015 she will be able to keep a secret better.

 

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A horse shirt in Bethany’s favorite color.

 

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Bethany had Levi!  He is so happy that it is finally his turn to open his gift.

 

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A big box of dishwasher detergent.

 

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A bag for Sunday School or to tote my treasures around.  Bethany did a majority of the cutting and sewing for Levi’s bag.

 

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Levi had Jeremiah.

 

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Pictures from Walgreens?   No way!

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A romper that says, “Perfect 10″.

 

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This is my favorite part of exchanging gifts at Christmas time.  I love to watch each child think through what they can make for their sibling.  I love the deep thought that goes into each gift and the help that each child is able to contribute to their gift.  I love that each year children are growing and changing and able to make their gifts by himself or herself or at least able to do a majority him/herself.

 

Susan

 

Christmas 2014 pt. 1

December 2014

 

Obligatory picture by the Christmas Tree.

Thomas-16, Nathan-14

Bethany-11

Olivia-7, Miriam-9, Jeremiah-4 weeks

Levi-2, Caleb-6, Abigail-12

Elianna-3

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I don’t know where those kidlets get their craziness.

 

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Abigail’s gifts to all the girls.  Yes, she made gifts.

 

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And gifts for the boys.

 

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The kidlets got together and gave us a card with money in it for a “date night”.

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Bethany made gifts for the girls.

 

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And boys.

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I had not idea that they had done any of this.  What a great idea.  Card ornaments.

 

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Olivia’s favorite color, orange.

 

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Abigail and Bethany made me a gift.

 

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Wash cloths for everyone, personalized.  I guess that means I can get their washcloth out and have them do the dishes.

 

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In their favorite colors for the most part.

 

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Sean even got one.

 

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We made Sean a shirt with a poem he wrote in college.  The poem, which everyone in the class loved and made out to mean so much, was really just a cut at poetry in general.  It means nothing at all, except it represents that anyone can write poetry.

 

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Family gifts.

 

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Family calender

 

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Another family calender.

 

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Additions to our Settler of Catan Game.

 

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Sean

 

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Doodles About Dad

 

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It was a fun day.  We were blessed beyond measure by our time together with family and friends and the care each took in making and giving gifts.

 

Susan

Playing Outside on Christmas 2014

26 December 2014

 

We spent a couple of days at my sister’s house with her family and my extended family came to join us for the day.  It was a cold yet green winter day.  They have a very fun backyard, it is more like a park than a yard.
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Enough space for all of the kidlets to play.

 

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Levi loved the slide.

 

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So did Elianna.

 

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Bella and Olivia

 

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Levi and me watching Caleb do something, I don’t know what.  I love the way my sister hung snowflakes and ornaments from the ceiling.  I am stealing that idea next year.

 

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Levi in heaven with a set of cars.

 

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Caleb wresting with Uncle Ted.

 

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Thomas

 

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Elianna getting help from Abigail with her gift from Chuncle Ted.  They made the most beautifully adorned princesses.

 

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Olivia with her very own crown.

 

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Nathan and Jeremiah

 

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Bethany and Miriam

 

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Caleb and Levi

 

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Olivia pouring milk for everyone to make sure each person gets their “fair share”.

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Uncle Ted preparing Jeremiah for what is to come.  hahaha

 

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Susan

Shooting the Cross Bow

December 2014

Christmas Day

 

What did you do on Christmas Day 2014?  If you were with us, you could have shot a crossbow at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Yes, it was safe.  Yes, they were monitored.  Yes, they were supervised.  Yes, I still worried and did not go out there because I would have still been a distraction.

 

Bethany

 
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Miriam

 

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Olivia

 

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Nathan

 

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Thomas

 

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He means business.

 

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Abigail

 

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Watch out world, they are armed and dangerous.  Well, maybe they are just dangerous.

 

Susan

 

 

 

 

 

Of Family, Friends and Fun Christmas 2014

December 2014

Christmas Eve

 

It has been over 2 years since we had seen most of our family.  Here we are at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Grandma must still have been at work. The kids had fun watching the big TV, and showing new skills off for Grandpa.  It was fun spending some time just with Grandma and Grandpa before we got together with the rest of the family.
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We spent some times with long time friends.   We used to do this with them much more often, our kidlets were all much smaller back then.  Our family starts where theirs left off.  Thomas is 1.5 years younger than their youngest.  We love them so much and we had so much fun catching up with them.

 

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Christmas Day

 

I just love this picture of Elianna. That is definitely some crazy hair.

 

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After lunch at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house, the other Grandma and Grandpa.  Everyone wanted to sit at the adult table, so I sat at the kid’s table with all the cool people and we drank soda, ate desserts to our heart’s content and giggled at silly things. We even had our own salt and pepper shakers.

 

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Jeremiah enjoying all the excitement.

 

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All the family, save a sick niece and sister in law.  This may have been the only time it was quiet all day. This is one of 20 pictures I took.  We missed you Julie and Adrianna and had we thought about it, we would have drawn pictures of you two and put you in the shot.

 

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26 December

 

All the cousins on the other side of the family.   Here is a tip for picture taking, take the picture as soon as everyone arrives and is relatively happy.  If you don’t do this, it may never get done and they will likely be crabby later, and I am just talking about those 12 and over.  hahahaha

 

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We did a gift exchange among the kids and the adults this year.  That was fun.  For the most part, our kids took a lot of time to think about the perfect gift.  Abigail chose one of her favorite books and bought that and made her entire gift revolve around that theme.  Nathan chose a gift that he knew at least one of his brothers would want, a Cars theme.   Miriam chose a frozen theme.

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It is an interesting thing as we have 17 kids ranging from 16 to a month old.  I think the kids did a great job at buying gifts.  To me, it was funny what was stolen the most.  I love seeing the personalities of each child who chose gifts and what they chose in the end.  My favorite gift that came home with us was a sled, Jeremiah or Levi ended up with the sled, perfect. We needed another sled.

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Uncle Peter, Jeremiah and me.

 

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Thomas opening up Jeremiah’s gift from Uncle Ted.  Jake holding Jeremiah.  The two J cousins.

 

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Elianna opening her gift.

 

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Even Bucky Badger came to our party.

 

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The “adults” did a gift exchange too.  I went home with the fart gun, thanks Chuncle Ted.

 

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Auntie Cathy loving on Jeremiah.

 

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Playing spoons, fun for all ages.

 

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27 December

 

Decorating gingerbread.

 

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Chuncle Ted doing what he does best.

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Susan

Faces and Games of December 2014

December 2014

 

 

Miriam, Thomas and Jeremiah

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Caleb, Nathan and Bethany playing a Lego game.

 

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They made up new rules for this game.  Here is Caleb showing his strength in the game.

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Nathan cannot believe it.  Levi is creeping up the stairs to cause trouble.  Abigail is playing on the computer.

 

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Abigail playing while Sean is cleaning the kitchen.

 

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The picture taker herself, Olivia.

 

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I hope you enjoyed a bit of fun from our home.

 

Susan

Bathtime With Jeremiah

December 2014

 

When we moved, we got rid of our infant tub.  I have not found a good consignment store and I refuse to pay full price for a new one, besides, I don’t have a place to store it and we have a sink Jeremiah can fit in nicely.  I had all sorts of people willing to help me bathe Jeremiah.
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Levi ready to help the little man get his bath.

 

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See, Jeremiah fits perfectly in the sink.  I know, he likely won’t last long, but hopefully long enough so that he can sit up on his own when we move him to the tub.  I wonder if I got rid of the bath ring too, I think we did.  I know it does not look like it, but he really did enjoy being in the water.

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Elianna watched as I bathed Jeremiah.  I like the little sink because he fits perfectly, at least for now.
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After his bath, here is all of that blond hair and sweet head.

 

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Mommy, I want to go back into that nice warm tub bath.

 

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Getting Jeremiah dressed, he is not impressed at all with getting dressed and Levi is making sure to let me know that Jeremiah does not like it.

 

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Look at all the blond hair, and so long.  He is wearing the outfit our neighbors gave us.

 

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Levi was enthralled with the entire process and did not want to miss a thing.

 

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I am not sure what happened to all the other kidlets because there were quite a few there at the beginning of the bath, but by the time we were done, there were only the two left. He is fun to bathe and care for, even if he is number 10.

 

Susan