Saturday, December 31, 2011

Science fun

Even though we had off school this week I still managed to get not one but two field trips in.   Yay!  We have a membership to the DaVinci science center in Allentown and it comes with a reciprocal membership to the Franklin Institute and the Academy of Natural Sciences plus hundreds of science museums nationwide.   I'm not sure that we are going to get to any science museums in Arizona but it's still a pretty good deal.

Thursday we went with some friends to the DaVinci science center.  It was our third time there this year and the kids absolutely love it.  It is not huge and overwhelming and everything is hands on and very educational and there are lots of volunteers roaming around helping and answering questions. 

Each time we have gone they have had different exhibits and this time they had these fun Keva Planks that we spent time playing with.

Aiden and Naomi were brave enough to try the gyro-sphere this time.
 I think it was a little much for Naomi though.  :)
 Playing with the robotic dinosaur.
 Learning about bridges.

Yesterday Christian took off work and we headed down to the Franklin Institute.  Lesson learned:  DO NOT go the Franklin Institute during holiday week!!  My thinking was that it would be less crowded because there wouldn't be any school trips but it was so jam packed with families it was awful.  I was almost wondering it they had maxed out their capacity it was so crowded.  Thankfully we hadn't paid to get in so we didn't feel quite as bad leaving after only a couple hours.  We did manage to explore a few exhibits though and catch a planetarium show at least so it wasn't a total waste but we will definitely not be trying that again.
I love the train room!
Somehow there was no line at the paper-making exhibit when we got there and the kids got to try their hands at that.
Mirror maze in the fun "Elements" exhibit.

Since we were already in the city and it was such a nice day we figured we might as well walk a few blocks to the Comcast Center for the Christmas show.
 ..."and a partridge in a pear tree".
The sleigh ride scene almost made me motion sick watching it.  It was really cool!
Claire was an ace the whole time and stayed snugly warm in her car seat, hopefully tucked away from all the germs.  She is such a good baby!  If she wasn't I wouldn't have attempted all we did in the past two days.  She has been pretty good all along but she seemed to have really settled after she hit that magic 6 weeks mark.  All my babies seemed to become more content after 6 weeks but she even more so.  What a little blessing she is.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Bookmark made by Grace for Christian

Earrings made by Grace for me

End table made by Christian for me

Another shot with accessories because it is so awesome!

Sword for Asher made by Christian out of black walnut wood and knight costume bought HERE because I didn't have time to make one and my sewing machine was broken.

Binoculars for Christian from me.
Now to just try and keep grubby finger prints off the lenses.

Kalimba for Aiden

Automoblox truck for Asher from Grace, but it's really just an excuse for another shot of the amazing table.

Flower press for Grace
Tea set for Naomi

Christmas day supper at Christian's side of the family

What is becoming the annual Nativity play with the cousins
  Absolutely hilarious!

The cousins on my side waiting to open their presents.

This year was such a lovely simple Christmas.  For once it was not overwhelming with too many presents leaving you with a sort of empty feeling amidst the carnage of boxes and wrapping paper.  Each child got one gift from Christian and I.  Grace also gave presents to everyone as well because she just gets so excited about making things or picking out something special with her own money for everyone.  I also loved that so many gifts were handmade this year.  It makes it so much more special.  I was very surprised that Grace managed to make those earrings all by herself.  She is such a sweetheart.   I had been asking Christian to make me an end table out of a slice of tree trunk for a while but he kept telling me it would be too hard to attach legs.  He really surprised me though and made one anyway.  I LOVE it.  It is so us.

Christmas day was spent at home and we went next door in the evening to Christian's parent's for the traditional filet mignon supper.  Yum!  The next day we went to my parent's for the traditional brunch.  On the extended sides of both families we did gift exchanges so again it was simple there as well.  The gifts were well thought out and much appreciated.  But of course the best part is just getting to spend time with our families enjoying lots of laughs, story telling, games and crazy antics from the kids.
 Aren't my Mom and Dad cute in their new robes? 
(Ignore the fact that I had the wrong white balance setting on this picture)

We are taking off school this week so I can catch up on laundry (yikes!) and clean and the kids can spend time enjoying their gifts and playing games.  I also hope to get to the science museum sometime this week as my first attempt at a field trip with baby.  We'll see. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Amazingly we somehow managed to get a decent family shot with a 2 week old. 

Wishing you a joy-filled peaceful Christmas remembering the one who came to bring us that peace.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The missing tree

Once upon a time there was a Christmas tree in this spot in our family room.  This year there is a fern and a view of the backyard partially blocked by a pile of firewood with a cat perched a top.   This year we decided not to purchase a Christmas tree.  Gasp!  Horrors!  Not because we are stingy and scrooge-like though.  I recently read THIS and was reminded again whose birthday it was anyway.  Now it was too late to forgo gift giving altogether, although it will still be a simple Christmas around here with the kids receiving only one gift each but it wasn't too late to give Jesus his gift.

We decided that instead of buying a Christmas tree this year we would use the money for something that would last much longer.   Something like maybe warm clothes for children in Albania, food for children in Somalia, or a share of a well.   The kids are all for it.  They know what is important.  Naomi is often praying for the poor without even being prompted and her prayers are many times quite profound.  Last winter she prayed for a person somewhere in the world who only had one mitten and whose other hand was cold.  She is always trying to figure out how we can help the poor in the world and comes up with some pretty interesting ways to do that, like how to get 2 gallons of milk to Argentina.  That girl is going to be a mover and a shaker someday.   

So this Christmas as we look at the vacant spot where a tree once stood we are happy knowing what that emptiness represents.  Food, clean water, clothing, or possibly even matching mittens.  It's really such a small sacrifice in light of all He has done for us.

Matthew 25:40
"And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’" 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Life with baby

I realized that it's been almost 3 weeks since I posted last.  That's life with a baby.   Plus the fact that it's Christmas time and I am making presents and we have puppies and I am still homeschooling.  There just isn't much time left for blogging.  Plus I am back to typing one-handed most of the time again which is just slightly laborious.

Claire is doing great.  She sleeps well, is happy most of the time and the reigning princess of the family.  When she is awake and cooing (yes she really does this and she sounds like a little dove.  It's adorable) the kids are usually found crowded around her saying over and over again "she is sooooo cute!".  Grace takes any opportunity to hold her and doesn't even mind if she is crying.  It is just wonderful having all these helpers around.  

Doing your math is much more fun when you are holding a baby.
It's also just slightly distracting.
Crocheting is also more fun with a snuggly baby sleeping on you.
I am supposed to be making Christmas presents but I just had to make one for Claire.  I had no idea owls were so popular until a friend asked me to make an owl hat for her baby and I looked on Etsy to find hundreds thousands of them.  They are cute, that's for sure!
Claire isn't so sure.
"Get this thing off me!"
"That's better!"

Oh and did I mention that we still have puppies?  They are ready to go to their new homes Christmas Eve which is so exciting.  They aren't too much work because there are only 2 of them and they are tiny but it is just one more thing to take care of.  We will definitely do it again but hopefully not at the same time as our own newborn again.

So that's where I've been.  Happy, just slightly busy.  I'll try to do better from now on.

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