Friday, January 23, 2015

Cute kiddos!

I have been far too busy lately planning the
 
but I just had to share a pic of my sweet kids  :)
 
 
 
I can't believe my little girl turned 2 years old 1/17!
 
 
She is a spunky little thing...
(most likely gets that from her middle brother),
but I just love her to pieces!
 
Can't wait to share a better update!
 
Eliana will be here soon, too! 
Due 2.13.2015
 
<>< Stacy
 
 
 
 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

December Snapshots

As usual, December was a very busy month for us!
Between playing Christmas performances
and preparing for Christmas gatherings,
we were constantly on-the-go!
 
Luckily, we had discussed and decided in advance
to put a bigger emphasis on GIVING with the kids this year.
 
Check out some of our projects and some other cute moments!
 
 
Compassion Project
In November, our character study curriculum covered compassion.
That week, a Miracle Hill fund raiser arrived in our mailbox.

When I read their mission statement, it said,
"homeless men, women, and children
receive food and shelter with compassion..."
 
That was no accident!
 
 
We discussed the curriculum's definition of compassion:
Being willing to expend effort to help alleviate the suffering of those in need.
 
The boys started doing odd jobs here and there to raise money.


Taking a break from raking leaves for their compassion project  :)
 
They even picked up the wrapping paper trash on Christmas for $2.05.
They were excited to feed another homeless person for a day!
 
We are mailing their donation soon - enough to feed 30 people!
Thank you to everyone who provided jobs or donations.
 
I really feel like this project had a lasting impact!
 
 
Christmas Crosses
 I prepped these cross ornaments out of cardboard
for the kids to make for the Christmas tree at church.
 
 
The kids balled up the tissue paper and glued it to the cross.

Tissue paper cross tree ornaments


Proud of his project!
 
Hanging the finished products at church!
 
We ended up making these for some special family, too!
It was a fun way to keep the reason in the season!
 
 
Operation Christmas Child
This was our first year doing OCC boxes!
Each boy made a box for a boy their age.

We let them pick out most of the stuff
so that they would really feel connected to the project.
 
Shopping for goodies... they picked some interesting things!
 
Before we packed the boxes, we watched
some videos from the OCC website.

I wanted them to see the children in other countries!

We discussed the process, the recipients, and
the overall importance of the project at length.
 
Christopher loved this little knight he picked out!
 
I had trouble fitting everything in,
but it turns out Michael is quite the little packer!
He insisted he could do it himself...
and he DID!   :)
 
Focused on fitting everything in!
 
Michael really did pick a gecko.
 
We had purchased two 4 packs of wash cloths,
but were only able to fit 3 in each box.

Solution?

The boys each picked one to keep as a reminder
to pray over their recipient each time they use it.
 
Packed tight!
 
Lastly, the boys filled out these fun pages
"about me" to personalize their boxes.

Lots of color needed...
 
We added a family picture,
prayed over the boxes,
and delivered them to the church!
 
Super excited about their finished boxes!
 
By the end of the night, I knew this project
had made a special impact on the boys.

As I paid online, it gave us the option to
"give an extra $12 to send a Bible in another language".

I felt compelled to ask the kids what they thought,
and as if I was crazy, they said YES right away,
"Mommy, you know how much me and Christopher love Bibles!"
 
And as if that wasn't enough to melt a Momma's heart,
Michael went up in front of the entire elementary packing party
and prayed a special prayer over the boxes.
 
Special Delivery!!
 
God doesn't only use this project to change
lives and hearts in other countries...
He is working here, too.
 
Happy Momma  :)
 
 
Bell Ringing!
Michael's Trail Life group took shifts
ringing the bell for Salvation Army!
In my opinion, it's a great idea -
little kid bell ringers are way too cute
to pass by without giving!
 
Michael and Christopher bell ringing
 
 
New Nativity!
This is random -
but isn't this nativity the coolest?
 
Lego Nativity!
 
What a fun project!
 
 
Putting Up the Tree!
 
I was so excited to discover that the kids are old enough
to 'fix the branches' when we put the tree up!
My least favorite job!
 


He was a pro at fixing branches!

The tree builders!
 
Mommy was chillin' on the couch, resting!
 
 
PJs and  Hot Chocolate!
Every now and then you just gotta have fun!
Snowman teapots, snowman nativity, hot chocolate and sweets!
 


Always stir hot chocolate with a candy cane!
 
 
Angel Tree
This was our first year taking on our
very own angels from the church's angel tree!
 
To keep the kids involved, we got
a 6yr old boy and a 4 yr old boy.
 
The boys picked their gifts (with help)
and helped with the wrapping process.
 

Such happy givers  :)
 
The boys ended up really wanting
what they picked out for their angels,
but that opened the door for some great discussions!
 
 
Christmas Parade!
Casey and the boys rode the church float for the Christmas parade!
 
 
Elizabeth watching with Grandpa and Uncle Steven!
 
 
The Nutcracker
We have been studying Tchaikovsky at co-op
so we went to see The Nutcracker at the Peace Center!
 
Looking at Nutcracker books while we wait
 
Super excited boys!!!
 
We had a blast!
 
The whole crew - we left the littles with babysitters :)

My sweet, sweet kiddos!
 
 
Nutcracker Tea Party!
We themed our weekly co-op tea party, too!
 
Drosselmeyer, Candy Cane Dancers, Flower,
Sugar Plum Fairies, and more!

Themed food!
 
Seriously fun - Lacy played clips of Nutcracker music
and they had to eat the food that corresponded with the song.
They were actually quite successful at figuring it out!

My sweet little rose  :)
 
 
Art Lesson
We have been learning about Rembrandt at co-op,
and their latest art lesson was amazing!
 
In addition to learning about silhouettes, tinting, shading,
and Rembrandt's use of light and shadows,
they painted a beautiful nativity!
 


LOVE our art teacher :)
 
 
 
Random Cuteness...
and now for some random snapshots
of the children being adorably cute!
 
By the Christmas tree!
 
You know that ONE day when everyone
cooperates for a cute picture? 

This was a random December Sunday...
 






 
 
 

This little guy... drives me crazy and into laughter everyday!
 
 

Let's not forget the classic baby bump and selfie shots!
 
Wow!  What a fun month with lots of
meaningful celebration of Christ's birth!
 
I already posted our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
pictures to facebook, so they probably won't make it to the blog,
but I am so thankful we were able to get a new little camera
so I can continue capturing our life and sharing it!

 
God is so good to us!
 
<>< Stacy