On These Pages Are The Stories Of Our Family We Go Together ! Welcome To The World As Viewed Through Our Eyes
Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Monday, January 31, 2011

January '11 in Review

Since, I'm so far behind in my blogging, I thought I'd catch up by doing the past few months in review.

January began with a holiday visit from Nai-Nai and Yeh-Yeh (Tom's parents).  They spent Christmas with Tom's sister, brother, sister-in-law and nephews in Phoenix and then, came here for the New Year.  It was a good reason to make Christmas last a bit longer...Here they are by our Christmas tree:

They also tagged along to swim and karate lessons and spent lots of time playing with Caedmon and Libby...and of course, no grandparent visit is complete without a trip to the park!

In January, we started a once a week homeschool class called Classical Conversations. We all enjoyed the weekly fellowship with other homeschooling families and Caedmon is soaking up information like a sponge!  The rest of our "homeschool" life this year has been mostly doing lots of reading and learning through life - field trips, cooking, building, coloring, etc. We've also enjoyed good time with friends...

Pappy and Memama also made a January visit to the Lone Star State.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 New Year's Interviews

Two years ago, a friend of mine posted her daughter's New Year's Interview and I borrowed her idea.  It's been so fun to see how Caedmon's answers change and get a little more sophisticated each year.  I can't wait to be able to look back at these first few years and compare them to, say, when he's 10.  I'm sure the interviews will get longer...and probably a bit more reliable!  I know with many of these questions, the answer I get depends on when I ask the question and what is occupying his mind at that moment.  I attempted to interview Libby this year, as well.  She was able to do a good bit more than last year, but I still got some "I don't knows" and some questionable answers.  For example, I asked about her favorite toy on several occasions and got different answers.  I just went with the first answer.  However, I'm not sure how I did on getting her to understand the question.  On one occasion, I asked what do you like to play with and got the answer "Nai Nai" (Tom's mom).  Here are the link to Caedmon's interviews from 2009 and 2010.  And without further ado, here are this year's interviews:

Caedmon's 2011 New Year's Interview

-cereal: Raisin Bran
-vegetable: carrots
-drink: smoothie
-toy - "my Big Foot robot that I got for Christmas"
-TV Show (or in our case, video, since we have no cable) - Sid, the Science Kid
-game: Hide 'n Seek
-book: The Bible
-restaurant: "Pita and Hummus" (Cafe Medi)
-holiday: Christmas
-animal: Snake

If you could change your name, what would you choose? Caed

What do you love about each person in our family?
-Daddy: "that he's my one and only daddy and we drink egg nog together"
-Mommy: "that she's my one and only mommy and loves me very much.  She teaches me to obey God and she's nice."
-Libby: She is my one and only sister and my best friend

Where would you like to go on vacation this year? "to Sanibel Island, of course"

What are some of your wishes for this year?
1. very much fun
2. Emery will come to play and she won't be afraid of my Big Foot
3. I'll grow up

Libby's 2011 New Year's Interview

-cereal: "the heart cheerios"  (Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal)
-vegetable: peas
-drink: milk
-toy - Fancy Nancy
-TV Show (or in our case, video, since we have no cable) - Gigi, God's Little Princess
-game: Uno
-book: Fancy Nancy
-restaurant: Central Market (Cafe for mac n cheese)
-holiday: I don't know
-animal: monkey and giraffe

If you could change your name, what would you choose? I don't know

What do you love about each person in our family? (I altered the question to make it more understandable to Libby.  I asked her what she loved as well as what she liked to do with each person)
-Daddy: "grinding coffee for him, giving hugs and when he holds me"
-Mommy: "greatest"
-Caedmon: "play toys and give hugs"

Where would you like to go on vacation this year? "I wanna go on vacation so I can see reindeer" (The North Pole, perhaps?!)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Eve/Morning 2010

For the first time in the last several years, Tom did not have to work on Christmas Day.  My sister, Heather (who has celebrated with us for 3 Christmases now) and I were laughing about how we weren't sure how to celebrate Christmas with Tom at home.  When he was working, we simply celebrated on a different day, often Christmas Eve morning.  I guess things change every year since the kids keep growing but this year was definitely one where we were determining some traditions.

Tom also had Christmas Eve off work so that was a fun early start to the festivities.  We decided to attend the Christmas Eve service at our church.  It was a really nice service and we were especially blessed to hear God's Word boldly preached and not just a watered down Christmas message.  We were also surprised to see the church packed out with standing room only when we arrived a few minutes later than we'd planned (we did get seats!).  After church, we ended up eating dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, mainly because it was the only place open near church.  It kind of made me chuckle that we were eating out and pizza, nonetheless.  When I was growing up, I don't remember ever eating out on Christmas eve, as we were always at a family gathering.  However, we did always order Dominoe pizza for my sister Amy.

Christmas Eve was, also, a little different this year because bedtime for the kiddos is not quite as early as it used to be.  Despite our repeated attempts to remind them that Santa does not arrive until AFTER they are asleep, both kids decided to prolong sleep.  Tom and I finally opted to sleep for a few hours and then, wake up to prepare for the morning.  We slept from 8 until 10 and then, I got up to brine our turkey and we spent the next 3 hours helping Santa.  When the kids awoke the next morning this is what they saw:

Our living room looked like a toy store exploded in it! We enjoyed a marathon present opening/toy playing morning.  

We spent all of Christmas day in our pjs and enjoyed a quiet day of playing, cooking, eating and, especially... 
thanking God for the BEST gift - His Son, Jesus!

Treasuring Christ in Christmas

This year, we began each morning with our Jesse Tree.  I've been intrigued by the Jesse Tree idea for a few years now, but have never been intentional about preparing the 25 ornaments. Back in August on a scrapbooking retreat, one of the ladies mentioned that they do a Jesse Tree ornament swap and I told her that I might be interested.  When the time came, I was assigned to make 25 ornaments for day # 4 (a camel and a tent).  Then, one night in mid-November, 40 ladies congregated at my house and we shared ornaments.  Each woman made 25 of the same ornament and in the end, each of us had a full set of ornaments.  It was a much easier...and more fun...way to prepare our Jesse Tree.  The ornaments were wrapped and numbered so each morning the kids got to open a present.  It was so fun and the Advent Jesse Tree Devotions were so great.  They tied in really well to the sermon series our church did earlier this fall about God's Rescue Plan and also fit well with our favorite children's Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible.  For our morning devotional time, we read from my ESV study Bible but in the evenings we always read the Jesus Storybook Bible so it was neat that they corresponded.  

Caedmon and Libby also enjoyed singing praises to God at our church's Creationland Christmas.  Creationland is the name of the nursery department.  One Sunday evening, they put on a fantastic program of singing and Scripture.  Libby sang and did motions to Away in the Manger and Caedmon sang Happy Birthday, Jesus.  Tom and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them on stage.  They were both entertainers, showing no fear and putting on quite a show!

We also used our What God Wants for Christmas book for the last week of the season.  It's a good way to keep the focus and again, the kids enjoyed opening the boxes each day.  We did that one in the evening so that Tom could be a part of it.

Of course, it wouldn't be a birthday without a cake so on Christmas day, we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, blew out the candles, and talked about what a gift HE is while eating our cake.

Christmas Traditions 2010, Part II

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without our annual Pajama Brunch.  This year was our third annual Christmas PJ party.  Last year's was a humdinger with close to 50 people in attendance.  This year, I scaled back in an attempt to keep my sanity and enjoy the morning.  We all had a fun morning of eating to much, playing a lot and enjoying our friends.  It was made more enjoyable for the moms because my wonderful babysitter, Sarah, was in attendance to help with crowd control.

Since we don't often get snow here in Texas, we decided we should enjoy a bit of icy weather.  We went to the Gaylord Texan to view ICE! with our friends Laura and Jayden.  ICE! is a display of ice sculptures that is on exhibit for the Christmas season.  This year's theme was The Peanuts.  

We didn't do as much Christmas crafting this year but we did sneak in a little painting and also some cookie baking.

Christmas Traditions 2010, Part I

This year, we enjoyed many of the traditions we've done in the past and added a few new fun adventures.  Our first, Christmas activity was a trip to see the play Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, at Casa Manana in Fort Worth.  We have seen a few of their children's productions over the past year and always enjoy them.  Libby was mesmerized;  Caedmon was a little freaked out by the abominable snowman, but overall, it was a fun experience.

My parents blessed us with a visit during the first week of December.  This was my mom's first visit during the holiday season so it was fun for her to see our Christmas decorations and also, to join in some of the festivities.  We packed everyone up and headed to North Park Mall in Dallas to see Santa Claus and the train exhibit.  

We also decided to venture out for our town's tree lighting ceremony.  We had no idea what to expect, but it was a really nice celebration.  Caedmon enjoyed the petting zoo, a pony ride and face painting.  Libby enjoyed watching Caedmon but was wary of doing any of it herself.  They also had a great fireworks display.  

It was so much fun to celebrate some of the Christmas season with Pappy and Memama!
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