Friday, November 17, 2017

Michael Has a Birthday

This is Michael's birthday week - and what a week it has been!  Today, however, is the legal, honest-to-God, REAL BIRTH day! Last year Michael and I were traveling the Caribbean Sea. We both spent some time thinking back. This is Michael's first birthday without Mom G. 

In the past year our family has grown, Arielle got married, we have a new home in a state we've dreamed of, we've said goodbye to Mom G, battled cancer with Mom T (who is battling it again)....It's wild that Michael has two new grands since his last birthday!  Here he and Gideon enjoy some recliner time. 
Gramps and Gideon Enjoying each other and Gemma's camera antics
This afternoon this newly minted family came home! 
CoRielle and Bennett

What a joy! Another baby to love. 
I took a photo of the kids and Cory and Bennett - but it's not on my phone! 

We headed out when CoRielle arrived home. We thought they'd appreciate a couple of hours of quiet time as they settled in.  On the way to town, we stopped for mail. Lots of cards and even a package from John and Mary in the box! We visited Lowe's and Fred Myers and then came home for dinner.  The kids will be coming over tomorrow to celebrate Michael's birthday but I made a little brownie/cookie/cake for tonight. 

What could cause such hilarity? Our attempt at singing Happy, Happy Birthday to You....Jesus loves you....we'll do better with Bre in the mix tomorrow for his REAL cake. 
Fuzzy - but too good not to keep
 Michael didn't want me to buy 3 boxes of candles.....

We topped the night off watching, "The Emperor's New Groove" on vhs in our bedroom so we didn't blast Bennett out the window.....and playing Dominion. I, decided catching the blog up would yield better results personally than being trounced in another strategy game. ::snort::

Happy Birthday, Michael! You are my adventure, my best story, my best friend and confidant. Thanks for loving us so well.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wintry Day

What do you do the day after you welcome an adorable new grandson to the family? We stayed inside and watched the snow come steadily down. We NEEDED a new white covering - snow gets muddy.

Sometime either yesterday or today, they came by and took the top 3 feet off our trees out front. We had hoped to do one before they did and use it for Christmas. My lingering hope was they'd leave the tops and we'd nab them for decorating. I can't find them. They left OTHER brush in the ditch. LOL  We'll be on the look out for areas where one can get a permit and go cut their own tree. I found the form for 2015 and the cutting area was out here in our area. 

We did a LOT with food. I'm still playing with recipes while processing all the changes going on in our family.  Stacia made another cake and decorated it in expectation of CoRielle and Bennett's homecoming.  I NEED to go buy some "normal" ingredients for her to explore.

We also made an ice cream cake for Michael's birthday, yogurt, berry compote, and came up with a new White Chicken Enchilada recipe. Tis the season when decks off kitchens become lovely walk out coolers.
When we lived here before we had a table on the deck. It was great for cooling cakes, cookies etc. it also served as overflow holding for Holiday meals. I need to get a little table out here. We got about two inches of snow today. It's winter so no bears should come sniffing out our food. LOL

The kids got a good day's school work completed. Michael is working on a new set of bookshelves to go in the study.  He took time out to look at my machine. It's really quite sad.

In EVERY move, they've opened the case, stuffed it so it didn't rattle, and then put the machine in a box and packed it solid - marked it fragile. This time they just grabbed it from the closet and threw it on the truck!  We didn't notice in the hubbub of the move. The case is shattered, parts of it don't match up any longer. Michael says that there is something "organic" wrong with it.   We COULD have put in a claim on this move - but we weren't unpacked to discover the damage in time to submit the claim. I finished today's projects on Stacia's little machine.  Going to sewing club with her, gave me confidence to try to recreate my favorite baby blankets. These are a yard long - flannel on both sides....stitched right side to right side, and then top-stitched.

The one on the left is for Gideon. Bre has my old blankets - but every boy needs a BOYS blanket of his own. The other three are for Bennett. In the interest of full disclosure, the first one with giraffes is not finished. I need to get some thread that will coordinate before I top-stitch.
I'm dreaming of new projects - I'm discovering that sitting, with hands busy and the whirring sound of the machine, is calming.

We amused ourselves sending videos to friends, back and forth with Mom and we even got a few from the kids at the hospital. We love the Marco Polo Ap. It was a great day. Tomorrow is another big day.....

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Welcome Bennett!!!!

A funny thing happened Tuesday night, just as we were settling in bed for the night.

Cory came upstairs.

Michael came and got me.

"Can it really be like this?"

Yes, it can. Just like in the movies, Arielle's water broke and it was time.

We prayed, they loaded into the car and drove across to the hospital. To say we were all excited would be an understatement.

It felt warm - honest. 

We had an amazing Northern Light Show. Another post will follow - we've been a bit busy and I've not gotten them loaded to the laptop.

I was sad when we got an assignment out of Alaska - Stacia missed being born in Alaska. Though being a Texan is the next best thing. Today, I am thrilled to announce our  first Alaskan-born family member has arrived on the scene.
Bennett Lee S
11-15-2017 @ 0947
7lbs 5 oz and 18 1/4 in long

We gave them all a tiny bit of time to rest and then headed over around 2 p.m. to meet our newest bundle of awesomeness! It was love at first sight. 

Bennet had great timing. We're having a birthday dinner for Michael on Saturday and it can do double service as Bennett's meet and greet! We all think it's about time for Michael to have a birthday buddy. Michael's birthday is Friday. The rest of us are bunched  mostly in Feb and June. 

We had several reactions back at home. Stacia made a "Welcome Bennett" cake. Michael suggested we watch a couple of  "loud movies," as we didn't have to worry about Arielle getting her sleep or waking up a baby. ::snort:: I had a fit of domesticity and decided to finish the baby project Stacia and I thought we had all week to work on.  My sewing machine took a real beating. I'm sad. 
I've had a machine for decades, but had no clue what to do with it. I also had very little time to learn with 9 kids, homeschooling and ministry. Life is slow now. I've attended sewing club with Stacia and think I can do this. It also seems like a fun wintry thing for Stacia and I to do together.....and NOW my poor machine is pretty busted from our move. BUT Michael got it hobbled together and I'm sewing. LOL 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

They're at it Again

Stacia made her first cake from scratch today. If I had known she was going to do so, I would have gotten all-purpose flour and white sugar so it would have done what was expected. BUT we all like it with whole wheat and coconut sugar just fine. LOL  She also made the meatloaf tonight. I made the potato salad. 

The other exciting thing was Cory and Arielle's departure for the hospital - which I blogged about yesterday as I'm blogging out of sequence.

As they left we noticed the sky! WOW.....lots more colors tonight - stronger colors. The stars were out and beautiful. These are in front of the house.....rather than from the deck.

 Our house with stars.....the red lights are from the neighbors....

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lazy Monday

We enjoyed a cold, lazy Monday inside the house. The dining room is always warm and cozy.

It's amazingly fun to watch Gideon's personality unfold. Just in the last two weeks he's become incredibly smiley, jolly and loves to MOVE.....Here I was standing him on my lap and he was determined to get down on my legs and scoot down them.  Fun times.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Fun

We envisioned Sunday afternoons full of playing and visiting, topped with dinner/devo together. It's not exactly worked out that way - mainly because reality interfered. The kids are really busy. Most the playing we envisioned - hikes, yard games -  happen best without snow....JaRissa have been screaming busy and Sunday's will never work for them. Other nights don't work with Cory and Izaak's work schedule.  BUT we've enjoyed our weekly Family Dinners and Michael and I are always talking about tweaking - looking to encourage connections and memories.

TODAY - the boys surprised us by coming out early and playing games all afternoon. Stacia is not thrilled about strategy games and we are heavy on the strategy games around here. ::snort::  We were not here when they arrived and stopped in at BreZaak's. Cy has a great photo of Bella, who ran to the other end of their tiny home, got behind the bed, and peeked over the top. I've lost the photo. I did snap the one below of Dominion.
Alex, Nolan , Cy and Michael - Jamin and Stacia were out of range
 BreZaak came up early and I promptly put them to work. We kept it simple tonight - Chili and Cornbread.  I accidently added double cumin, when it was time to add a bit of curry (that happens when I'm distracted), Michael worked to remove it - but the chili ended up tasting a bit like taco soup.
Izaak, Bella and Bre
We finished our look at Philemon and will be moving on to new things in the near future. Next week is Michael's birthday celebration...from there it's Thanksgiving and then we'll do four weeks of advent devos on Sunday nights.

We are enjoying life.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Horses and Sleds

We've heard there's a bear in the neighborhood - we've not seen one. We've heard wolves. We've had lots of moose and ptarmigan in the our yard.  However, this is a new one! 

 As I was talking with Mom on the phone, this guy came into our yard. Michael was at men's meeting - meaning I had no car - it was snowy and I didn't want to drive someone else's car.  I am not a horse person. I love them, but had no clue how to get him to STAY until we could find his owner. 

Cory is a horse whisperer and kept him calm and in the yard for over an hour. 

I ran around the neighborhood, in my pj's, trying to figure out where the hose came from. I'm not sure I've shared about the neighbor who answers the door without pants. I avoided his door.  I found another one in a skimpy robe. I was getting a bit perplexed about what to do, when I stopped at a house I've been admiring. Jim, who answers the door fully clothed,  had me jump in his car and we drove all over.....horses everywhere....we drove up  to trailheads, and up and down horse person sending us to a next. I called Animal Control as someone said owners often call there when their livestock get out. Alas, the horse eventually left us....but it looks like he had a clear idea where he was going. Jim tracked him for a bit. 

It was a great way to meet a new neighbor.

The kids declared there was enough snow to try sledding in the yard. 

Before this stunt, he had a foot on two different sleds - it didn't end well. 

It was a great day! What a blessing to be settling into this community.

Friday, November 10, 2017

#WYFF - New Entertainment - Gemma & Gideon

Michael and the boys have been working on a project this week. Hanging the new TV on the wall, re-hanging photos, putting up speakers and wiring them. They did a great job! The wires are hidden in conduit - painted to match the walls, and Nolan and Michael went up in the attic and threaded wires down to several of them.

Alex is holding Michael on the hutch - Nolan is balancing
 Done! Josiah and Jamin came out for dinner and then we watched  Tim Hawkins DVD - "Just About Enough."

AND......we had Gemma and Gideon time....