Wednesday, December 31, 2014

it's New Year's Eve ...

well here it is, 2014 is (literally) nearly over! 

the year is nearly over and yet I still have quite a few photos that haven't made it
onto the blog yet ... oh well, I don't think 46 posts (that's for the whole year, I might add that
in 2011 I had 317 posts, that year was my all time high as far as this blog goes)
merits me having a book printed this year ... so if I could schedule in time for me to blog
and manage to catch up in 2015 - I'd still have all my 2014 photos within one book!!!

what a year it has been.
another year of saying "see ya later" to my hubby ...
the past few months have been spent as temporary single mother status!
never easy, but having him away has given me the opportunity
to try to achieve some things that seem more a challenge when he's home.

(for example, the house is quite torn apart currently - as I go through boxes, bags, baskets, etc. in another attempt to get this place all organized ... my theory is the same as always, if everything had a place it wouldn't be such a disaster all the time ... we'll see how true that ends up being ... if, that is, I actually do make it through this slow process to the side of actual organization!  I've managed to that only once before in my married life - and that was three kids and far less stuff ago!  we shall see!)

it's also given me time.
time that I need to spend in prayer.
time that I need to study the word of God.
time to spend with my children.
time to learn more about myself.

I have this goal to really give a lot of effort toward working on, what I like to address as,
character issues.  whether within myself or within my children - there are
absolute things that I am trying to eliminate (ie: name calling, fighting, angry outbursts, etc.).
so far I don't feel I've made much head way ...
I believe the Lord can change me, first and foremost ...
and in turn, my hope is that I will be a positive role model for the children
and they will also incur some positive changes in behavior.

I know I can't do it. 
I also know that God can!!!
I believe.
I have faith.


I also have this goal to get all of this years "good camera" pics up on this darn blog!
whether that means there is little to no editing or not, I am getting 
more and more determined to get back to blogging!

so, shall we begin -and end- with Christmas morning?
here it is ...

 this was Christmas Eve ... I love a good "Santa's been here" pic!!

 this year "I" decided to really scale back ...
I did the "three gifts" idea: a want, a need, and something to read!
in addition to that, each child got a "Santa" gift
(which actually I ended up just putting a $30 limit on Santa - this worked well so that
I could give Zoey the "big" gift for her and also the boys their "big" joint gift ...
 but it all still added up to right at $30 per child!)
in addition to those four gifts, I assigned each child a sibling to buy for ...
this way instead of a bunch of dollar store junk (which is how you have to do it when you
have four kids all buying for each other) each child got another nice gift!
it also was meant to help foster some attention and care for siblings who tend to squawk!
so, right there each child got five nice gifts - or more if it was a multiple
piece/item type of gift!
bring in the grandparents, aunt, uncle, & cousins - and my kids were beyond spoiled!!!

 opening her Santa gift!

 despite the face, he was quite excited about his Minecraft tee shirt!

 so many presents!!!

 he loves Christmas morning!!

 we forgot about the stockings, usually it's tradition to open those first!
so we did them sort of in the middle, but toward the end of the gift opening!
(notice in the background I have mugs out, ready for hot cocoa - and I had cinnamon rolls
in the oven ... after all the unwrapping and fun they were excited for a fun breakfast!)

 Zoey, trying out her tricycle from Nana!
we are going to really be working on learning to pedal!!

 can you believe it?
I didn't take 1.1 million pics of Christmas morning!
it was a little hectic, I'll be honest, with daddy on skype - I had to prop
up my phone when the battery got real low and I had to plug it in!
at one point I was holding my phone, trying to video tape, and trying to take photos!!!
I really just wanted to enjoy it.
to watch my children's faces light up with each gift ...
to see their surprise and delight ...
to look at their newest priced possession ...
so that's what I tried to do!

Happy New Year!

2015 holds much for us, I am sure of it!!!

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas littles ...

be still my heart (I know, I say that a lot - I can't think of a better way to describe
the feeling I get when viewing certain photographs of my sweet little ones) look at these two!
I wanted to title this post "Christmas babies" ... but given that the "baby"
is nearly five, I decided to go ahead and give them my second favorite title of "littles"!
did I mention Zoey Grace is nearly five?
did I mention how crazy that is?
did I mention that I miss having a baby?

anyway, I caught a couple photos of these little ones of mine before church tonight ...
looking all cute and fancy (pretty nice dress Zoey has there, huh - $4.50 at Once Upon A Child)!!
and this one, this photo, when I saw it - awwwwwwww ...
the sweetness of little sister adoringly smiling at big brother, it is just too much!!!

and big brother, looking even more like his daddy now that he has
a big boy hair cut (we went and got that fixed this week at the barber shop, fyi) with
that grin - he is definitely daddy's little clone!!!

can't really tell Zoey to say "cheese" ...
or we get all sorts of variation of faces such as this!
and look at that impish grin on the boy - my my!

*after I typed that, I decided I really should look up the exact definition of impish
before posting: 

inclined to do slightly naughty things for fun; mischievous.


yep, that about covers that sweet, baby faced, boy!!!




everyone with me now, awwwwwwwwwww!!!

 and because it's still sooo stinkin adorable, we'll revisit this one with a different photo effect!!

we are trying to make the most of these days ...
ok, I am trying to make the most of these days!

it's Christmas break now!
time to clean house and enjoy each others company, I say!

Merry Christmas season to all!!!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

transformations ...

so last week, I took my shaggy haired boys in for haircuts!!!

I have a real love/hate relationships with hair cuts ...
I love how refreshing it is to see my beautiful sons' faces and eyes!
but I sort of end up missing their shaggy locks, too!

here's Jericho - before:

and Jericho - after:
I really like how it looks when it's styled, when it's just washed and dries-
and he doesn't want to stop long enough for me to style it - it's just ok!
what a smile, what a boy!!!

and here's Liam - before:

and Liam - after:

what a silly face - that boy is just like his daddy!!!
so, yes, I finally did it - finally had the courage to get him an actually "short"
haircut!  I thought it looked adorable all slicked to the side ...
however, the lady cut it so that it HAS to be like that - or it's all long
on one side and short on the other ... hmmm!
so I'm gonna have to have that all fixed!
he is perfectly happy with it, I'm sad a little bit about it - 
but I think only because daddy didn't like it,
so now I feel bad!
oh well, can't put it back now ... and he is nearly 7, after all ...
he needs to look like a little boy!!!
(but I do miss that long hair, it's always been his look, so 
I totally understand what daddy is saying)

he's so funny!!!

in other news, I think I finally finished up the Christmas shopping!
(aside from "teacher" gifts, it's weird that there's still so many -
even though I'm homeschooling two kids - but they have their enrichment
classes teachers and their ES, so that's five right there!  then Zoey
has her lead teacher and "helper" and speech therapist,
as well as two bus drivers!  I'm not even doing anything for
Annicka's teachers and I still have 10 "teacher" gifts - lol)

I'm not gonna lie - the last two days were a bit stressful with all my looking
online and figuring out just what to get!  it's super fun that the kids'
grandparents and aunt and uncle send me money to do some shopping ...
but they didn't have hardly anything on their wish lists,
so I had to really get creative in deciding on gifts!

in the end, though, I stuck to my plan and did the "three gifts" 
from us (mom & dad): a want, a need, and something to read!

then a "Santa" gift!
 (which was set by a per child budget - so for the boys it's an individual gift as well as a shared gift) 

and a sibling gift 
(this year I assigned each child a sibling to buy for, so everyone still has cool stuff and not just dollar store junk)

then all sorts of goodies from Grandma, Nana & Grandaddy, Auntie Layla,
Uncle Kris, and cousins Dominic, Katie, and Willow!
I may have decided to pull way back this year,
 but they are certainly still plenty spoiled by family!!!  :)

so, that's the update for us ...
I hope & pray everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season ...
making lots of memories and spending time with loved ones!!

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

it's that time of year!!!

 Buddy the elf has arrived and the kids are finding that fun (mostly Liam, Jericho enjoys being a part of "helping") ... he's doing things a bit different this year!  if you're interested, check out this blog - that's what we're going off of!!!

the tree is up and so are lights and inflatables in the front yard!  that's as far as we've gotten so far!!

the other day Zoey happily posed for these pics ... I think the "new" camera (as in, the expensive nice one that she has probably forgotten about - therefore, it's new to her) was acceptable in her eyes, since she's so used to my phone being the camera - lol!!!

and boy is she growing - looking at these pics makes me realize just how big she is getting!  I can't believe she's nearly five!  it makes me sad.  it also makes me miss having a baby or little one around here ... she keeps me plenty busy, as do all of the children, but honestly I've got some baby fever in a big way!  hahaha!!!

anyway, I keep the hope that I will get better about blogging again ... at the current time I just rely on the fact that I still have preserved memories via instagram!!!  it's not the same, though!

more pics to come soon, we've done some fun stuff for the season!

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