Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas from our home to yours! We pray you all have a blessed Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! And may your new year be filled with the love, joy and peace that can only come from Jesus! He is the best gift!

Love,
Matt, Amber, James, Hannah and Ellie

"For God so loved the World that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11

JOY TO THE WORLD!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Champions!


I was looking back over my blog and realized I hadn't posted much about James in a long time. It was definitely time to write something, and his football season is certainly something worth writing about!
He had an AWESOME first season playing football. It was a huge time commitment with practices 3-5 days a week at 2-3 hours a day, plus games on Saturdays. And it started in July and didn't end till the middle of November. Whew! But it was so worth it! James enjoyed every minute is already looking forward to next season!
The 5th/6th grade team he was on had super coaches who really knew what they were doing. Most of the other kids had been playing since 3rd grade (which is as early as they can play), so James was the new guy, but he jumped right in and worked hard and made starting positions almost every game. He mostly played on defense (I can't remember the exact position name since I am not a football expert), but he did have the opportunity to learn some other positions on offense as well.


It was such a great experience for him and we are thankful we finally signed him up this year. And the highlight of it all was that his team went undefeated and won the championship!


We are so proud of how hard he worked and the enthusiasm and good attitude he had about it all. Even Ellie and Hannah had so much fun cheering him on at the games. Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow!

We had snow here the other night! Yes, it wasn't very much, but since we don't get much snow here, it is a BIG deal when it does snow. The kids were so excited! We were all wishing it had snowed more. But we enjoyed it just the same. :)



Sunday, November 14, 2010

So much to be thankful for...


81. Flipping the switch and having light.
82. Having kids who are willing to give and share with others.
83. Golden leaves covering the ground
84. A wonderful evening out with old friends
85. A super friend who was willing to watch the kids so I could go out
86. New friends
87. Knitting with friends
88. Getting a super awesome deal on some beautiful yarn
89. Elderberry syrup
90. Big hugs from my girls
91. Having one on one time with each of my kids
92. Cupcakes
93. Reading my Bible in the early morning
94. Watching Hannah enjoy her dance class
95. Cheese
96. My wonderful hubby who works so hard
97. Skype
98. My warm, comfy bed
99. The freedom to go to church and worship on Sunday
100. Silly faces

"Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised." Psalm 48:1

Friday, November 5, 2010

Frugal Friday

Good morning! I hope you all have had a wonderful week! We have enjoyed some lovely November weather here in the Pacific Northwest.
I just wanted to share really quick with you about a new website that I came across by recommendation from a friend.

It is... http://www.ebates.com/

With ebates.com you earn a certain percentage back on your online purchases if you start at their site and click onto your favorite online shopping places. They have hundreds and hundreds of stores on their site, from Home Depot to Target to Diapers.com. In addition to earning cash back, they also have many coupons for each site as well that give you more discounts.
I have just recently started using ebates.com and so far I have been very impressed with it. I know it might not be for everyone, but I for one love the idea. Especially since I have been doing more of my shopping online to save time in our busy schedule.
If you'd like to check it out, please use this referral link, and we will both get $5 bonus when you make your first purchase!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thankful heart


"Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works withe rejoicing."
Psalm 107:22


Sunday evening. Time to sit down and focus on the wonderful blessings in my life.

61. My loving family
62. Roses and pumpkin pie for my birthday
63. My dad coming out for a week to spend time with us
64. Getting to go out on a date with my hubby
65. Walking around the mall holding hands
66. A 20 minute massage in the massage chairs at the Brookstone store
67. Watching my hubby's face as he tasted tea at Teavana...he has never really had tea before
68. The cute tin I now have to keep my tea in
69. The sweet birthday card crafted at school by my step-son
70. Making a new friend who loves knitting
71. Ravelry.com
72. The wonderful people at our new church
73. Feeling so welcome at our new church
74. Having fun playing with my camera
75. Taking family pictures of my friends for their Christmas card
76. Watching my kids be so excited to dress up for the church Halloween carnival
77. Happy kids eating candy...but not too much. :)
78. Apple pie
79. Ice cream
80. A few minutes recapping the day with my hubby before heading to bed to start a new week

Friday, October 29, 2010

Frugal Friday

A picture of the finished banner. Sorry it's not a better one.

Happy Friday! A while back I had thought it would be fun to blog about things that we do to save money, and for a few weeks I kept up with "Frugal Friday". And then, like everything else on my blog, it kind of fell to the way side. However, I am working on posting more consistently again (or at least as consistently I can right now...kids are much more important!).
This project is something that I did for Hannah's birthday party back in May, and it was so easy and fun and practically free, that I wanted to share it with you! I know it is a birthday banner, but with the holidays coming you could make one in Christmas colors for a quick and festive decoration. Anyway, on with the directions!

Supplies:
Tissue paper in desired colors (I used tissue paper from my stash that I save up from gifts we have received, but you can usually find tissue paper reasonably at the dollar store, Target or Wal-Mart)
Ribbon of desired length and color (once again, I was able to use ribbon that I had on hand)
scotch tape
staples
scissors
scrap paper

Step 1: Cut a template from a piece of scrap paper...whatever size you desire.
Step 2: Fold your pieces of tissue paper in half to work with the size template you made. Now to be really thrifty and make the best use of the tissue paper tape the open edge closed so you have a nice tube. That way you can get more shapes out of each piece.

Step 3: Lay your template out and start tracing. I don't have any more pictures to show you what I did, but basically I just traced the first like it is in the picture, and then moved it over so the top left corner of the template is touching the top right corner of the traced triangle and trace again. You will end up with triangles pointing down and triangles pointing up. (Wow! I don't know if that made any sense, but hopefully you kind of get the gist of it.)

Step 4: Cut out your shapes!

Step 5: Lay out your shapes in the desired order. I made three separate banners with mine.

Step 6: Cut your ribbon to desired length and then open up the triangles and lay the ribbon in the middle.
Step 7: Fold the triangles back over the ribbon and staple to secure.

Hang up and enjoy your handiwork! A fun, easy project to add some festive flavor to your home for a party or whatever. And it's easy on your wallet too!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Exploring the yard...


The other day the girls and I spent the afternoon outside playing in the grass and dirt and enjoying one of the last dry days before all of the rain. We had such a wonderful time being together in nature. It's amazing just how much you can explore right in your own front yard! Ellie tasted a stick, Hannah found some lichen, and they both had fun running around and playing in the colorful leaves. Well, I guess Ellie didn't really run...it was more of a wibble-wobble. :)
We finished off our time outside with a fun game of hopscotch. Or as Hannah calls it: scotch hop.
So thankful for these times I get to spend with my girls!








Sunday, October 24, 2010

The journey continues...


"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving THANKS to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 5:19-20


I must say, I have really been enjoying taking the time each week to sit down and focus on all my blessings. It really has been putting my heart in the right place, and helps me see just how much God's hand is in my life everyday, in every little thing.
And so my list continues...

41. Taking nature walks with my girls
42. Watching their joy at seeing the wonderful things outside
43. The sound of the rain on the roof
44. The roof over our head to keep us dry
45. Fresh, warm biscuits
46. Kisses from my Ellie...it is so cute when babies first learn to kiss!
47. A full 8 hours of sleep
48. Quiet time reading my Bible in the mornings
49. Seeing my girls' smiles when they wake up in the morning
50. Veggies...mmmm!
51. Chocolate candies in trail mix
52. Going to the zoo
53. Saving money at the store with coupons
54. Looking at the stars at night
55. The moonlight shining in through the windows
56. Snuggling on the couch with my hubby watching a movie and eating pie
57. German chocolate pie
58. Learning to knit
59. Hannah staying dry at night and even getting up to go potty in the middle of the night
60. Sundays to go to church

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

School Time!!!

Hannah coloring a picture of a mama duck and her ducklings.

This week for school we are reading the book "Make Way For Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey. And we are enjoying many activities learning about ducks. Monday we took a "field trip" to the pond by the library and fed and watched the ducks. We saw LOTS of Mr. and Mrs. Mallards! The girls had so much fun watching the ducks that I think they could have stayed there all day. While we watched the ducks we talked about the differences between the daddies and the mommies, and what they like to eat, and how they swim, etc. We've been having fun counting ducks in different pictures for math. We also have a fun duck craft planned for later this week to practice cutting skills, and probably another trip to watch some ducks at a local nature park. Ellie has been learning how to make sounds like a duck. She says "ack, ack". So cute!
Hannah has also been learning how to write the letter "i" and doing some pages in her Boz the Bear workbook. We are also continuing to read in our Pooh story book and Little House on the Prairie. Of course, there is time for outside play and other fun things like playdough and the rice box (a plastic shoe box filled with rice and scoops and other safe toys for sensory play).
Hannah has also been learning how to clean the bathroom and does a great job helping me get the house in order in the mornings! She is so willing to help and do things!
Oh, and in the afternoons we watch a Signing Time video from the library and we've started teaching Hannah to play the piano.
Boy, that really sounds like a lot when I typed it out, but really we only spend a few minutes with the book work and mostly just play and read books and have fun together.



Our basket of library books which we read from daily.







Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thankfulness journey continued...

21. Giggling little girls
22. My new camera
23. A morning at the Saturday market with a good friend
24. Warm sunshine
25. Dahlias
26. A Sunday spent worshipping and learning about our Lord
27. Fellowship with friends who are like family
28. Pineapple coconut cake
29. Cream cheese frosting
30. Sunflowers
31. My nice warm bed
32. Hubby waking me up to kiss me goodnight when he gets home from work on nights he works late.
33. A new week ahead
34. Our piano
35. Girls that love "playing" the piano
36. Playing peek-a-boo with my baby
37. My mom
38. That she listens to me talk on and on about being a parent and the struggles involved
39. Her encouragement
40. Cobwebs on the ceiling...it means I have eyes to see. :)

"Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High."
Psalm 50:14