The kids were begging me to decorate the tree. I just had no energy by the end of the day and put it off a few days, but then I had no more excuses and I let the oldest four stay up later one night and we decorated the tree when Judah went to bed. Only two ornaments broke, only one that couldn't be fixed. Not too bad, I'd say, especially considering Drew was a part of this and wasn't responsible for either break.
St. Nicholas' Day was a busy one this year. It started bright and early with German Saturday school until noon. Then it was straight to a neighborhood St. Nicholas party. Then we came home to rest and nap until 4pm. Then it was time for the real St. Nicholas gifts to begin. This year there were more gifts than usual because it was my parents' second to last day here and they wanted to give everyone their Christmas presents so they could see them open them.
Here's what they got from us for St. Nicholas' Day.
Drew got some super awesome Superman slipper boots with muscles and capes.
The day before St. Nicholas day we rushed to cut down our Christmas tree. It's nice to have the tree up on that feast day. We didn't decorate it yet. It was also good because after church on Sunday we were to take our own Christmas card pictures. A tree is a good background, right?
Did I mention it snowed on Hannah's birthday? I did not go out in it, but Daddy had a short work day because of it. He went out with them and got these pictures. The children had fun as always. Each of the oldest three built their very own snowman.
Hannah turned ten the day before Thanksgiving! The big 1-0! She was elated and the following picture pretty much sums up the day. She was bubbly, and that is something for Hannah.
We spent the day opening presents and hanging out with her grandparents who are visiting. I did a little pre-Thanksgiving cooking too. She chose Red Robin for her birthday meal. She enjoyed bottomless mac-n-cheese (which she claimed was the best ever,) bottomless fries, and a bottomless Root Beer float. This is not the place to go if you are shooting for moderation. She was stuffed to the gills and generously donated her complementary dessert to her siblings. Judah was especially ecstatic with the balloon. He ran around the entryway squealing, "Boon!"
The reason for the Root Beer float was due to her ten year old privilege. Each birthday comes with new responsibilities and at least one new privilege. I don't know how much I have blogged about this tradition in our house, but I can't find a post where I list them out. So I am going to attempt to do that here.
1 year - cake and dessert
2 year- juice and juice boxes
3 year - moving to a big bed
4 year - moving to a booster
5 year - chewing gum
6 year - (Ahh! For the life of me, none of us can remember this one! Isaac is still very distraught about this.)
7 year - having a birthday party without boys/girls
8 year - wearing earrings (girls only), move out of a booster, can stay home alone
9 year - having the "birds and the bees" talk on a date with mom/dad, holding a baby while walking
10 year - having non-caffeinated sodas (Dad wants to add that this is on special occasions only, not their new water!), can have a sleepover instead of a party
Instead of a party, Hannah opted for a sleepover with SOME of her friends. She really wanted Mimi to be there which turned out to be super helpful to me on many accounts. The girls played outside for a bit when they first arrived, but they couldn't wait to get into their jammies.
The girls played a couple of Minute to Win it games that I found with a friend's help on Pinterest. For one game, they had to put Vaseline on their nose and transfer (using no hands) as many cotton balls as they could, one at a time from one bowl to another. The girl with the most single transfers wins. There was a tie between Genna and Lucy.
The other game was bouncing a ping pong ball on the table and trying to get it to land on the piece of bread covered in peanut butter at the other end of the table. The ball had to bounce at least once and had to stay on the bread to count. The tricky things about this game that I had not anticipated were that we had to remove balls once there were a couple of them or they impeded the incoming balls from sticking and I had to hand wipe down the balls and hand them back to the girls. Hannah and Maeve tied this one up.
The girls made some easy little bracelets, and then ate dinner. They ate meatball subs from Subway with my La Madeleine knock-off tomato soup. I am not letting Hannah just pick the menu anymore since she had some strange requests and most of the girls didn't care for the food. I told her, from now on, we are going with regular party food. We also had Cool Ranch Doritos, cheese balls, Ritz crackers, and caramel popcorn (for the movie). Of course, there was root beer and apple cider, since Genna can't have root beer yet. (She handled that like a champ, by the way.) Hannah really wanted to be involved in the planning of this party. I did the games, and that was pretty much it. She even made her own cake and decorated it with some instruction from me, but very little actual help. I choose this style cake because she said she wanted whip cream frosting instead of regular icing. I know how well that goes on a cake and knew it would need something to cover it up.
I watched a movie upstairs while the girls watched a movie on the big TV downstairs. Rio 2 was the movie of choice as she had never seen it. After that, I got the girls settled down in the basement and told them 2am was the absolute cutoff. Then I went to bed. I had one girl wake me at 2am and say everyone else was asleep, but she was upset and needed a snack and her sheets straightened out. I got her all fixed up and went back to bed.
There's the wild and crazy bunch!
In the morning, we made pigs in a blanket and had little donuts. Everything was splendid, but all the girls were a bit cranky that week. Did I mention we had the party on a Sunday night?
I made a quilt for my godson's first birthday. I started with a Superhero fabric for the backing, and walked Joanne's looking for coordinating fabrics for the front.
After a lot of wandering, I came across a bundle of this chevron fabric in the colors I was searching for, but I hesitated thinking it would make it too busy since the backing has so much going on already. Then I figured I could add a plain white fabric to break up the crazy chevron and decided to take the plunge. I looked everywhere for a good app for quilting design where you can take pictures of your fabric and plug it in to see what the quilt will look like. I thought I was getting close because I found one that said it did that, but, alas, it wouldn't work right. So I borrowed my daughters' colored pencils and drew it out the way I envisioned it. I liked the way it looked on paper so I went with it. I was very happy with the way it turned out. I had to go back and re-cut the squares a second time which was majorly frustrating, but something happened when I sewed the strips together to make some of them smaller. I was super excited to sew on my tag onto the back for him to remember me by.
I'll be happy when I can get this to my little guy to keep him cozy this winter!
My husband and I were sitting in church before Mass shortly after we were confirmed into the Catholic Church. Both of our gazes drifted to a pew close by where a family filled up the whole pew. Granted it was one of the shorter pews, not a full length one. I can't remember who said it to whom, but one of us said, "I hope we fill up a pew with our family one day." We agreed it would be wonderful. And so that is what we're hoping for...a pew all our own.
People think they have to find their soulmate to have a good marriage. You get married, and after 20 years of loving, bearing and raising children, meeting challenges- then you'll have "created" your soulmate. -Diane Sollee