Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's 2015

We are still house-sitting for my brother and his wife. This has allowed us to have a ginormous house, beautiful yard and two wonderful fur babies to play with.   We knew the traveling Gherkins and the adult Male Gherkins would be staying at Will and Sherri's. We hadn't planned that Krista and Arielle (Adult Female Gherkins) would move over with us. They simply couldn't resist the chance for family fun. Ten of us under one roof - that's nearly as perfect as it can get. We gave the D family a pass on sleeping on the floor over here. They've been over a lot. 
Gracie and Jared

Leighla & Me

2015 has been a YEAR for the Gherkins! A year transitions......All of our boys have left San Angelo, Arielle graduated and moved to OR, we retired and moved in the trailer and BreZaak are closing out the year and ringing in the new by moving apartments.  We've had the GREAT joy of expecting our BreZaak's blessing - our grandblessing.  We entered 2015 praying for answers to Michael's health concerns - and Parkinson's Disease entered our lives uninvited and rather surprisingly - but we have 99% of our answers.  It's been a year of going deep with Jesus. He is still good - all the time. 

It's o.k. to say goodbye to 2015 and welcome in 2016. I'm curious to see what God will do this year in  each of our lives. 

We ring out the old with hourly are our bags ready to go. 

Izaak brought over a couple of big pans of Enchiladas, Krista made panfuls of steak fries, the rest of us brought yumminess from local delis. Dinner was our first activity. 

Up next was our 2015 gift exchange. 

Stacia was VERY excited for all to open her gifts


Izaak got a bracelet making kit as she knows he loves to make
bracelets with her. 

Gpa got a mug about being Strong

Older boys got a little bottle with personal messages about what each means to her

Gma got an elephant mug (she collects elephants)

I got this canvas

Older girls all got polish 
SCORE - Chick Fil A Sauce
BreZaak gave everyone PJ's - wonderful themes.  

The Wookie
 We scored three kindle fires for $35 each on Amazon - they'll be great for the kids in the trailer. 
Alex, Stacia, Nolan open gift
 We got the older girls adult coloring books and funky colored pencils made from birch

Nolan collects Monopoly games - this is Seattle based

This is MY gift - Baby Bosch

 In keeping with giving experiences and not "stuff" which has to be stored and/or hauled with us....we bought THIS.....but first....they opened a gift, found a clue, had to find the next gift and so on....the older helped the younger 3 find their gifts.  Chocolate bars.....

A book....

Graham Crackers and Marshmallows

 Finally, "the gift"

We asked what they thought it was.....well....all the stuff for s'mores, a book....sounds like a campfire....and that's just what it is.  A patio fire pit which will easily travel with us so we can have campfires wherever we go. 

By 8:30 p.m. our 3rd Gherkin Gingerbread Competition was are posted on FB at the Courageous Joy Page for voting. Feel free to click and vote - before 3 Jan. Both houses are great - a bit messy as our time was SHORT. This is a race!

Wooky helps guys

Mad Hatters Tea Party 

Tea pot, cups and table

Santa's Sleigh at Santa's Village

Santa's Village
Krista had planned a Scavenger Hunt for 9 - 10:30; but we were getting a late start....and so we divided into three teams and made Rave Videos.  Maybe some of us will do the hunt next week. 

We talked, played some games and then it was time for THIS. 

Our first family acts of 2016? We came back inside and shared memories, toasted the New Year with sparkling cider and then prayed in the year. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Family Baby Blessing

*Photos with Baby Girl's current name selection are intentionally funky.

Sherri and I had talked about a surprise Baby Shower for the ladies in the family, but time was so short before they left for AZ that we didn't pull it off. As Michael and I continued talking, we decided we' like to shift the focus a bit. We would have a "family blessing" for Baby Girl - a time when we expressed our support for BreZaak, our thankfulness for this little blessing and blessed them with a few "things," as well as prayers.  The boys would be able to participate. We are blessed to be house-sitting for Will and Sherri and have plenty of room for the dinner.

I baked the cake, the girls decorated it - isn't that pinata the cutest? 

We put a "family dinner" on the family calendar and let all but BreZaak know the dinner would be a Baby Blessing.  I did worry just a bit they might not be able to make it as this is an incredibly busy week for them - they're moving to a 3 bdr apartment. No fears - they came.

It was great fun for Michael and I to work together on shower games and shopping. He even helped to melt candy for the "Name that Poop" game.
The decorations were in the living room and they camped in the dining room. We eventually got them moved to the living room where they saw the gifts and banner. It was great fun to introduce the male gherkins to the fun of a baby shower. ::snort::

Yes, we did play the clothespin game....some have very interesting ways of displaying their pins.
Izaak - our favorite Son in Law
A fun game I found online was "How Sweet It Is..." click for the free printable.  There are pregnancy related words on the left side and candy names on the right side of the paper. One must select the candy that goes best with the pregnancy relate word - i.e. "epidural and lifesaver".....

Serous considering going on

Elizabeth  - our niece

 Next, each person got to measure off a length of yarn that they thought would be the same circumference as Bre's Baby Bump.

I believe we're at 25 weeks

Jamin prepares to throw the yarn and yells, "Go long!" 

I had to compare Izaak's baby bump with Bre's

Bre holds the actual length - these three were closest

Nolan won by 1/2 inch
I nearly lost some men on this one. I explained we were looking for the Poop Expert as you know - babies bring a lot of poop. There were six diapers - filled with six fragrant offerings (melted candy). I told them they could look, smell and taste to guess the candy name.

You'll never view chocolate the same again

Jared - The men couldn't believe we'd be this gross



Zander got a kick out of this game

Arielle - Really mom? 

When in Rome....

Krista - the winner
Krista was our expert - with 5 of 6 diapers deciphered correctly. We decided this makes her the chief diaper changer for Baby Girl. It was ironic she and Arielle had filled a bag with baby essentials - the first being diaper ointment.

Aunt Stacia gave Baby Girl a hooded princess towel

The boys offered a Boppy Pillow which will match the nursery

 Grandpa Mike and Granna De will buy a glider when the perfect one is selected and made sure this little one will be appropriately attired for game days as well as supplying a few sweet books for her starter library (The Giving Tree and a Dr. Seuss).

Gma (GG) and Gpa Townsend, along with Krista gave Baby Girl a vintage bassinet.

 All was fun...but the highlight of the night was not the dinner, the games, the conversations or the was the prayers of blessing.....

 Oh - and the winner of the clothespin game? It was a tie between the two who avoided saying "Baby" the best all night long.

 Yes, we are truly grateful to God for blessing BreZaak with this new little life and for allowing us to share in the joy of the event. We KNOW the church will be throwing Bre a baby shower - but we simply needed to do something as well and the whole family won't be together again before the sweet darlin makes her arrival.