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Christmas Goodies

December 2013


One thing we like to do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is to make treats.  I know most people like  to make them ahead of time but because we have no extended family commitments and because treats don’t last long in this house, we make them on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.



Caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods.



Levi tried to help.  He got messy instead.



This is one of my favorite treats to make, but I forget just how messy it is to make the caramel on the pretzels.



The other Grandma and Grandpa supplied breakfast on Christmas Eve morning.  Yes, sugar cereal and Hawaiian Punch.  We rarely buy cereal and sugar cereal, that is a real treat.



Crazy kidlets.



Levi is excited to do more stuff.



Cutting out Christmas cookies.



Yes, we all got into it.



What a fun activity.  I love how old and well loved the cookie pans look.  We have made many cookies on these pans.









Levi even got into the festivities.








Messy boy with his favorite sister, Bethany.


So fun to make treats as a family.  Worth every moment of work and mess.





Christmas Eve Gift Opening 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

We like to open some gifts on Christmas Eve.  This year we opened gift from Grandma and Grandpa and from Mom and Dad.  Oh and I suppose Ted opened gifts from the kidlets.  What does every bachelor need?  Cookies.


What did Grandma and Grandpa get all the menfolk?

Knives, even if I did not get a picture of them open.


Elianna and her very own laptop.



Caleb and his new pair with matching jammies.



Levi with his new singing toy.



Me with my hot chocolate, warms socks and new blanket.



Olivia and Miriam with their new jammies.



And they got a box of outside toys.




Now their gift from Mom and Dad.



Movie night supplies, candy, popcorn toppings and a new movie.



Despicable Me 2.


Bethany and her doll in matching nightgowns.


Miriam and her doll and their matching nightgowns.



Olivia and her doll in their matching nightgowns.


Abigail got a neat nail care kits.  I apparently did not get a picture of it, but here is Abigail with her doll.


Caleb and  his matching bear.


Elianna walking in the air.  With a doll’s arm photobombing.


More to come.





Setting Up the Christmas Tree 2013

December 2013


We typically put up the tree on my birthday, but this year I was attending the delivery a friend on my birthday and then was graduation and our house is not that big, so we waited until the weekend before Christmas to put the tree up.


As the kidlets get older they slowly take over jobs that Sean and I used to do ourselves.  It is truly a joy to be slowly handing off some of these jobs.


Arranging all the branches so our fake tree does not look so fake.



Slightly lopsided, but it is good.


Every year we lose little green needles, but it still looks nice.



Nathan helped Sean string the lights.  One of these years we will buy some lights that are green instead of white.  You know, we got those lights on clearance and they have lasted a long time.  I am content with what God has given us.  Our kidlets will laugh about it when they are adults I am sure.



Nathan helping his little buddy, Levi, put on an ornament.


Nathan putting up the chains that explain the Christmas story from Scripture.


Everyone wants to help Dad.



Abigail with an ornament we made at the library in Des Moines with Miss Deb.



Thomas is required to put his up high now.  He can reach higher than I can reach.



Elianna putting on the baby safe ornaments.


Bethany hanging the felt ornaments we made one of our first years here in NC.



Olivia explaining tree ornamentation to me.


Caleb, such a happy, happy boy.


Our 19th Christmas as husband and wife.


Notice the door open and the screen up.  It was hot in the house.


An ornament from his cousin from last year.  See, Legos are great for just about everything.


Bethany reaching higher than she did last year.


Because we add new ornaments every year, the tree keeps getting fuller and fuller.  I love every single minute of it.  I love these pictures, each child’s personalities shines through.






Crazy kidlets.

There was great debate about whether to put a star or angel on the top of the tree.  Last year we had the star.  We were going to do the angel and then we remembered why we used the star, the angel does not fit on top of the tree in this house.  The star is a gift from a friend from college and the angel used to be my Dad’s Mom’s angel.  They are both very special to me.  The kids are hoping for a house that we can put the angel on the tree, maybe 2014.


There are a lot more Christmas pictures to come.






Baroo’ and Doc Brown’s Big Adventure


December 2013


Every year for Christmas, the kidlets exchange names and then make a gift for their giftee.  This year Abigail picked Caleb.  She decided she wanted to do an action book with Baroo’ and Doc Brown and the adventure that they have when Caleb is busy about his day.  Here are some pictures from the day she took for her book.


This is a favorite park of ours.


We talk about owning the house in the background and then having a park in our side yard.   Baroo’ and Doc Brown swinging on the swing.


Climbing the rock wall.


Doing the monkey bars.


Climbing the stairs to the twirly slide.



Stuck in a tree.


After all that work, we had to go to Krispie Kreme Doughnuts.



Drooling over the fresh doughnuts.


Donuts and hot chocolate, what could be better?  Baroo’s has mud, Doc Brown’s has snow on it.



You thought Baroo’ was fake,  you were wrong.


Yum, yum, this snow is not cold.



After all that work and those yummy sweets, it was nap time.  ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz


Good night, Doc Brown.  Good night, Baroo’.


Caleb loved his book, by the way.




If You Give a Boy a Basket – Wordless Wednesday

December 2013








Just the other day Caleb, Elianna and Levi were all in baskets for quite a long time.  It never gets old.




My 22nd Birthday, Again

December 2013

We waited until Grandma and Grandpa came to visit in order to celebrate my birthday this year.


Again, I was spoiled rotten by my husband and children.



I received new accessories for my iPod touch.



A book with a note from each child and Sean, in a book form.


This is my favorite gift every year.


It is fun to see how each child has grown and changed in the last year.



All my gifts together.  I am so blessed.


I can put vinyl on these.


Until my birthday next year.










Grandma and Grandpa Came to Play

December 2013

Grandma and Grandpa came down for Sean’s graduation and stayed for the fun.



They lost to the kidlets at Monopoly.


The kidlets don’t want to play with Mom because they do not like her house rules.  Grandma and Grandpa are so much more fun.


Elianna, Abigail and Grandma plotting against the menfolk.



We enjoyed Thanksgiving in December while they were here.



Yes, all the trimmings.



And family craziness.


And food.


And fun.


And joy.



And love.



And photobombing.


We had a great time with them while they were here and we are thankful they made the trip down.  The kidlets loved the time and begged them to stay longer.







Sean Graduates – It is Finished, Mostly

December 12, 2013

Today is the day that two amazing things happened. First Sean graduated. At the last minute he chose not to walk, so presently we have no pictures, but we have all the stuff and we’ll take pictures, eventually.  One of the main reasons he did not walk is because this is also the day that our house in Iowa closed and we were busy signing papers and tying up loose ends until 1:15 our time for a 4:00 central time closing on our house in Iowa.  I would say that is a great reason to skip walking.


The funny thing about a graduation ceremony is that it really does not mean anything, especially since Sean’s thesis had not been approved yet.  It was waiting on minor edits in formatting.  The thesis itself was done, but you know acedemia and their perfectionist ways.


We celebrated Friday night with his parents.


If you have seen Cake Wrecks, this cake could land on that site.  It was supposed to say, “You did it.  We are not the least bit surprised.”  Yes, fail for the Costco cake making department.  It still tasted excellent.


Sean and his cake, with Levi looking, longingly, on.


Come on Dad, you know you want to give me some.



Nathan glad that Dad had graduated and that our old house had sold.


Grandpa enjoying the quietness that is our home.


Yes, the easy way out, pizza from Costco.


Caleb in his dinner concert.


Grandma and Uncle Ted listening intently while Caleb plays with all he is.


Olivia doing her part.


It is good to be a the end of that season of life.  Sean has since had his thesis approved and he officially graduated, we even had the diploma to prove it.  Now onto getting a job in his field.  He has started a website, but it is still under major construction.  Sean Kelly, GIS

Bethany and Mom, Out on the Town – 10th Birthday


December 2013


Bethany is definitely my daughter.  I asked her where she wanted to go to eat her birthday meal and she chose Chipotle.  I love that girl.  She chose a burrito bowl with 1/2 chicken and 1/2 beef.  Yes, she is my daughter.


I ordered the same thing.


I have no idea why I think it is a god idea to take pictures of her eating, I do it quite often.  :)


I thought I had taken more pictures, but it does not appear that I did.  We like going to that location because there are always firefighters or policemen there. It is a fun location, even if the parking is horrible.  Anytime anyone wants to get us anything, a Chipotle gift card is a great idea. bwahahaha.


After we ate, we went out on the town and did some shopping, nothing fun, just food and stuff.  It was so fun to spend some 1:1 time with Bethany, we laughed and talked and then laughed some more.  I can’t wait until next year.  We can do it all again.




Beautiful Spring Days – Thankful Thursday

Winter has left and spring is here in full swing.  The trees are blooming, the grass is growing, the weeds are blooming, the kids are antsy, the sun is shining, the wind is whistling through the trees, the rain is pouring.  For all of this I am thankful.  We threw up the camper last weekend and we are looking forward to being able to enjoy it as a family.  We need to find the tent as we no longer will all fit in the camper.  Exciting times.