Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy 18th Birthday, Matthew!!!

I know it becomes kind of a a cliche, something that every parent of older children says, but I don't know where the years have gone!  Today 18 years ago I gave birth to my first son.  He was my hardest pregnancy and one of my hardest deliveries, but he has been nothing but easy to raise.  I can honestly say that the teen years have been a breeze with him.  Sure, there are times I would like to "knock a knot on him" when he forgets to take the trash out or I go to his bedroom and it looks like a tornado has struck. But when it comes to the stuff that matters he has been such a joy to raise.

We recently had a "manhood" ceremony for him. (I will post more about that later.)  As I was going into the church taking the food into the fellowship hall I got a little weepy.  It was a cold, rainy day just like the day that he was born.  I thought about how fast these eighteen years have gone by.  When you are in the thick of raising children you sometimes lose sight of how little time you have to invest in their lives.  The memories of babyhood, first steps, teething, little league baseball games, home schooling, the day he was saved, his baptism, all of the days that stand out when you think back over the years.... and they are over.  Now we are talking jobs, college classes, career paths, vehicles, finding a Godly wife (not now, but one day!)  I am so thankful that the Lord gave him to us to experience all of these things with.  I pray that he will always look to the Lord for wisdom and that he will never stray from His truths.

 "He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." Psalm 24:5

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013 in pictures

Another Christmas has come and gone.  Time just marches on.  In some ways I am sad that another Christmas has passed and in some ways I am glad it is over with.
 Christmas Eve, my sister and her family came to our house. Madeline and her cousin Carrington always had the tradition of making a birthday cake for Jesus with their grandma. It was bittersweet watching them at the kitchen counter making it this year.

We had so much food that I don't think anyone ate any of it that evening.

My sister and me.


and MORE FOOD!!!


                                                    Macheus chilling out with daddy.

                                                       Daniel and McKenzie

                                       Daniel, McKenzie and Carrington.

We went to a Christmas Eve service at a church in town.  Madeline was asked to play a couple of Christmas hymns for the service.  It was crowded, so we didn't get a great picture of her playing.

The stockings were filled.  It is hard to get a picture of seven stockings lined up!

                                                     Macheus' first stocking! :o)

Macheus got a sock monkey, an old-fashioned wooden ring stacker, some books and one "noisy" toy.

It has always been our tradition that the children all come down together while Marc videos.  They are getting crowded at the top of the stairs! :o)



Macheus wasn't very happy Christmas morning.  We realized the next day that a cold was working on him. 

Love the excitement over such simple things.  This is a coon skin cap!


Myles and his new confederate hat.  Both of the younger boys got new confederate hats, coon skin caps and toy deer rifles.  They are spending their days outside with their new stuff now!

Barbies....  When I had McKenzie I was NOT going to do the Barbie thing, then someone passed some dolls to her, then my sister asked me if she could buy her a Cinderella Barbie and I said yes.  We had a hard time finding decent clothing for them, but McKenzie's favorites were wedding dresses.  She either played wedding or she played with Barbie horses.  Madeline never liked Barbies so there was a stretch of time that they stayed in a bin.  Mariah loves all things having to do with horses,  including the myriad of Barbie horses we have collected over the years.  There has been conflict in our home lately because she takes Malachi's G.I. Joes and turns them into her "grooms" for her weddings.  She asked for a Ken doll for Christmas.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a decent looking Ken doll!?  I was shocked.  To keep my blog "G" rated, I will just say the Ken dolls I found were not masculine looking.  I happened to be in a Target and decided to see what they had.  There amongst the rows and rows of immodest and weird looking dolls was this beautiful "bride"  Barbie and handsome "groom"  Ken.  I was so thrilled!  Marc didn't even ask how much they were!  He just said,  "Put them in the cart."  She is happy and Malachi is too! :o)


                                                       McKenzie and Daniel

Christmas night we went to Daniel's house and had dinner with his family. 

Grandpa spent Christmas with us.  He was a trooper and kept up with us the whole day.

Madeline and Marc

Off to bed...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6-7

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Myles and Buddy

Today was another beautiful day.  After church we played outside until the rain came.  Myles and Buddy are always together.

    I heard a crash and went out onto the porch.  Myles looked at me and said,  "Buddy did it."

 Not sure if he was in trouble or not...........

Who could be mad at this cute little face? :o)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Birthday and other random things.

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a very peaceful day.  I woke up to a card from Mariah asking me what I wanted for breakfast.  She fixed me Ezekiel toast and vitamin water. :o)  I went for a run and then just hung out around the house for a while.  The weather has been perfect lately, as in windows open perfect!

 Marc surprised me and had an appointment at the health food store for me to go and have a massage.  I left thinking that I would go do a couple of errands after I was finished.  The lady that did the massage (it was wonderful!) asked if I minded her messing my hair up a little.  I told her no thinking she was just going to clip it out of her way.  She massaged my head (A LOT!) with her greasy fingers!  When I got finished I looked in the mirror and about died! :o)  I threw it back into a greasy pony tail and headed home for my second shower.  The picture above  is after I washed it and it still looked greasy!

McKenzie (with the help of the other two girls) worked all day in the kitchen.  We had the most wonderful salad with chicken and everything else you can imagine on it,  homemade raspberry vinaigrette dressing and homemade garlic rolls.  She also made this beautiful (and yummy!) chocolate cake.  It is so nice having a grown daughter.  She is a blessing to our family in so many ways.

All of the children showered me with very thoughtful presents.  It is always so sweet to see what they pick out.  Daniel (McKenzie's boyfriend) came for the evening too.  He just seems like one of the kids to us now.   He has been around enough that he sees what we are really like. :o)  It can be a zoo around here sometimes.   He is a pretty special fellow.  After cake and ice cream the little boys went to bed and the older kids piled up and watched movies.  It was a good day!
Here are some random December pictures.

  I love pictures of the kids in front of the Christmas tree each year.

Matthew is so sweet with his little brothers.
My Christmas shopping is completely finished!  We have some baking still to do and food to fix for Christmas Eve and day.  My sister and her family will be coming Christmas Eve and will be bringing my dad.  Madeline has been asked to play at a Christmas Eve service at a church in town.  Other than that, it should be a pretty quiet next few days!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tis the season

I was up late last night finishing our Christmas cards.  This morning I got up early, mopped the floors, started the laundry and left for a run.  When I got home I took a shower, did some school with Malachi, and then had to go to town.  I dropped Matthew and Madeline off at the orthodontist (with a pie in hand for the office that was made late last night), ran to the post office to get the cards mailed off, ran into Walmart for a few things that I forgot on my Walmart run yesterday, and then went to pick them back up.  We went into town to meet a farmer to buy some raw cow milk (our goats are dry right now) and he was an hour late.   I finally had to just leave without the milk because I knew Macheus was waiting to eat.  I ran home, dropped Matthew off, fed Macheus and then Madeline and I jumped back in the car to go for hair appointments.  We swung back by the farmer's market to see if the dairy farmer ever showed up and he was there.  We got the milk and headed to the salon.  Once we finished there we headed back home.  Everyone loaded up to go to church this evening and I stayed home with Macheus!  They ate at church so it was really nice to not have to fix dinner tonight!  Macheus and I wrapped a few more presents (I am almost done!) I balanced our checkbook and paid bills early (because Marc got paid early.)  I cleaned the top of my dresser and nightstand off!  I hate when they have clutter on them!  I graded some school work and did another load of laundry tonight in hopes that I won't have to do but one tomorrow. :o)

Every year I say I am going to get things done early and not get caught up in the craziness of the season.  Here I am again feeling stressed with busy stuff to do.  Christmas cards are nice, but I ask myself is it worth it?  I guess there are a few people that we don't keep up with via the computer, but for the most part everyone either has e-mail or is on facebook.  I have tried to keep the shopping and spending in check this year, but when you have seven children it takes time and money even if you don't do a lot.  We always bake for neighbors, the assisted living and any offices that we have appointments at during the Christmas season.  I think we are about finished with that too!  I look at my children sometimes and think about how fast they are growing up. I wonder if I spend time on things that really don't matter.  This might sound bad, but I even ask myself if I spend time and energy on people/relationships that don't matter.  These last days up until Christmas I hope to slow down, soak up my family and remember why we are even celebrating CHRISTmas at all.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

They humored me.

What an experience it was to get these pictures!  I wanted one of Macheus by himself since it is his first Christmas.  We backed him up so that he couldn't see Santa.  After the pictures were taken he reached back and felt his beard.  He turned around and that is when he started screaming and didn't stop until we got him. :o)   Myles was terrified of that "scary old man".  We don't really "do" the Santa thing, so I guess he was a little unsure of why we were taking pictures with this strange looking guy! :o)

I'm glad that we took the effort to do it and I am glad it is over with!  We definitely made some memories!

Friday, December 13, 2013

The big sister.

 McKenzie has always been a good big sister.  She loves her little brothers and they love her too!

Sometimes it makes her sad that more than likely Macheus will have no memory of her living at home.  She said that she hopes one day he will know how much she loves him.  I think he will. :o)

There are times that they test her patience.  They test mine sometimes too!  It is a lot of fun though having so many different ages.

I am so thankful for all of my children.  As I sit here at the house on a Friday night there is much activity and bustling around.  We finished up dinner that the girls fixed, Myles is playing with his beloved trains (and loudly singing his own version of Silent Night),  Macheus finally fell asleep, Matthew was showing me the Christmas present that he bought for his little brother today. They are all home with us, and they are all content to be here. I am very blessed!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Decking the halls

Every year we decorate the Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  When the older children were small I always planned it out and wanted it to be a wonderful, fun evening.  It usually was chaotic and something always went wrong with the lights, the tree stand, broken ornaments, crying children or grumpy parents.

I have learned to just go with the flow and let life happen.  The kids have more fun and it makes me stress less. :o)  This year was loud, crazy, chaotic and we had multiple broken ornaments.  I think the kids had fun though and we made memories.

Marc and I affectionately call Matthew "Father Christmas".  He has always loved Christmas.  His first Christmas (he was turning one that month) he would point to the Christmas lights and say,  "Ight, ight" over and over.  He would have our entire house covered in lights if we let him.  I think he looks forward to the day that he can decorate his own home at Christmas time. :o)

I am not sure why there aren't any pictures of the girls decorating.  They were there!

 I love meaningful ornaments that make you remember something.  Each child has at least one first Christmas ornament.  We also have ornaments with our names on them.  We have one with just mine and Marc's names from our first Christmas together, and then one as we added each child.  I need to get one made this year and add Macheus!  We have ornaments from the different towns we lived in and last year we added one in memory of my mom.

 Macheus hasn't paid a bit of attention to the tree.  Myles loves the lights and every morning he gives me a hug and says,  "Merry Christmas lights mommy!"