Monday, December 7, 2015

 Thanksgiving 2015

Our Thanksgiving was quite lovely this year.  It was quiet this year, as we only had our family and my sister and her family over, but it was very nice.

We had great fun playing card games, as well as Mancala and Zingo ( the littles really love that game right now).  We also taught everyone a game we call Mean Neighbor.  It's very easy to play for all ages, but still lots of fun.

We enjoyed all the traditional fixings including:

(I made the gravy days ahead with turkey wings.  I found a recipe on that used turkey wings and some veggies.  First, I roasted the wings and veggies and then basically made a turkey stock.  Then, I thickened the stock with a roux.  It was just like making gravy on Thanksgiving, but saved the hassle and frantic cooking at the last minute. I'm not sure if it was worth the extra expense of purchasing the wings, but it was a very yummy gravy!)
Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes
Brussel Sprouts with carmelized onions and balsamic glaze
Creamed Corn
Homemade Rolls

I also baked two apple pies (Darryl's request) and made a Trim Healthy Mama Chocolate Raspberry Pie.  

After dinner, we headed outside for races.
  It was a great way to burn off all those goodies before dessert and avoid the carb coma.
I am shocked at how fast the big boys are now.  Wasn't it just yesterday, they had little pudgy legs and I had to pretend I was running fast, so as not to beat them in a race?  Now, they beat me easily.  
Ah, such is life.  It makes me want to work harder.  Hopefully, I will get stronger and faster and perhaps win that race next year.

After our races, we came in for some desserts and more games.  
The little ones, with sweet sleepy eyes were ready to settle down.
We gave them some pie and prepared a cozy spot on the sofa for some movie time. 
Such wonderful memories were made.
Good Food. Good Company.Good Times.
All we need is time together and some yummy food and our family is perfectly content.

Here's to another great holiday together!

(Little Joe and Juliana's Thanksgiving sign-those drawings are turkeys and hearts).

Monday, November 30, 2015

 With the holiday season here, we have been inundated with Christmas catalogs.  Our favorites are the catalogs from Rainbow Resource, Magic Cabin, Nova Naturals, Heartsong and American Girl.
Joseph has taken every.single.catalog and marked, in green marker, the items he wishes to have, as well as items he wants Santa to bring Juliana.  However, he has marked almost everything!  
We aren't ones to shop for toys during the year, nor do we watch regular television.  Perhaps, that is why he is so excited to see so many toys he has never seen before.  
However, I had to draw the line when we received the Bed, Bath and Beyond flyer.  He marked everything in there too!  lol


 Sweets making sure he marks what she likes.  

 Respite in nature.

Something about a warm fall day just calls us to close up our studies and spend the day outside.  
While this doesn't happen every beautiful day, it certainly is a welcome surprise for the children, as well as for mommy (:

Last week was glorious, with temperatures in the high 60's to low 70's.  After lunch, we spotted a beautiful grasshopper on the deck.  The children all rushed outside for some nature study.  He really was quite fun to watch.

After our fun on the deck, we decided to use a sheet for a leaf toss.  The big boys had lots of fun making the little ones scream with delight!

Chillin' on the dog.

Sometimes, Nicholas and Matthew can get a bit extreme with wanting to please their younger siblings.  Here they are swinging Joseph in a sheet.  No worries, as soon as I saw this(and took a picture), I promptly told them it probably was not the safest thing to do with their little brother.

 Even I got a bit of time to enjoy my knitting outside.
This project has taken me forever!  It seems I would set my knitting aside for a couple of months and then pick it up, only to knit a couple of rows and then set it aside again.
Now that I've finished this cowl, I'm itching to start another project, perhaps a coordinating hat?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

 We had a princess and Olaf join us for school last week!

Our princess brought her special dolls for story time.

Of course, she needs her princess shoes as well.

So cute!

Olaf joined in on the fun too!

We had lots of giggles as we sat down to our *school* time.  As we sang our songs and read our books, I asked Princess and Olaf to join in, they thought that was the funniest thing.  
All of my kids give me such joy, but starting over homeschooling again, a bit older, a bit calmer, a bit wiser, has given me such perspective.  I truly enjoy all of it and to God, I give all the glory and thanks for all of his blessings.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Our Thankful Tree

I got this really cute idea from one of my favorite blogs.
Here is a link to her project:

I just used an old bucket I had in my fall decor box that never get used, some sticks found in our woods and a bunch of rocks to stabilize everything.

Super quick, easy and fun for the kids!

I pre-cut all of the leaves, hole punched them and then tied some jute around each one.
I put them in a cute basket, along with a marker right by the tree.
That way, when inspiration strikes, all the kids have to do is write!

All the kids have contributed(although I have had to gently suggest it multiple times for the big boys).
Some cute ones:

Joe is thankful for babycakes (his baby sister) and pumpkins

Juliana is thankful for babies.

It makes a cute display in our dining room, as well as brings me such joy to see what the children are grateful for this holiday season.

Monday, November 16, 2015

 We had so much fun this year again heading down to downtown Concord for trick or treating.
Nicholas and Matthew invited some friends and they had a blast running ahead, going as fast as they can to get as much candy as possible.
The residents of downtown always do such a wonderful job creating the perfect Halloween environment for the kids.  Lots of old homes paired with creepy decorations make a perfectly, spooky experience.
We all had a blast!

Tracey and Lil' Coop.
Someone even gave him a doggy treat!

My funny nerd.

The sweetest witch in all the land.


Halloween Costumes 2015

 Nicholas...aka Nerd

Mathew...aka Mr Shark

Juliana...aka Witchy!

Matthew..aka Richard Simmons

Joseph and Juliana had a great time at our annual homeschool Fall Party.
Unfortunately, Nicholas and Matthew couldn't come because of an online class, but the littles brought home lots of treats for their big brothers.

Our scary shark!

A fun pumpkin weaving craft.

Juliana wanted to wear her mamma made dress instead of her costume.

Fun games!

Best friend *B* cheering on little Joe!

All this candy for me?!!