"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sledding and such

We were able to sneak in a visit with our favorite goats and some sledding this past weekend. We even figured out how to create a sled contraption for five!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Eve

Our tradition for the past 8 years or so has been to spend New Year's Eve having a "family camp out" by the Christmas tree ~ with movies, popcorn, sparkling cider & goodies at midnight. Last year my sister and her family joined us and we decided it was super fun ~ so they came back this year, too! We watched movies, ate lots of fun food and played a couple of games . . . and stayed up entirely too late! (we were in the middle of a really good movie at midnight and couldn't just turn it off and go to bed!)

We loved having my sister's family here, but didn't get to have our traditional camp out by the tree . . . so we ended up doing that a few days later (before taking down our Christmas decorations). Not the best night's sleep, but sweet memories!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Helping Ham" continues . . .

The morning of New Years Eve, we enjoyed repeating something our children dubbed "Helping Ham" last year. This time, we invited friends to join us for a "packaging party". We set up an assembly line at our dining room table and packed 35 lunch sacks full of sandwiches, cookies, fruit, other treats & notes from the kids. We finished in record time ~ Emily commented several times that she couldn't believe we made 70 sandwiches that fast! Then we headed downtown to distribute them to the homeless. It was cold and blustery (Samuel nearly blew away!). We were thankful that we had a warm car to get back into when we were finished.

The Great Sledding Incident!

I still can't believe I didn't take a picture of one of our greatest adventures of the past week. In our family, the running joke is that if there wasn't a picture, then "it didn't really happen"! Unfortunately, photo or not, it really happened and I'll try to paint you a picture of the scene.

We were invited by some friends to go sledding at a nearby campground (Jellystone Larkspur) and to visit the goats that we've become involved with over the past few months. It has snowed several times throughout the Christmas break and there is still a lot of snow everywhere. When we arrived at the campground, we decided we would head up to the barn to see the goats first and then go sledding. We were almost to the barn when my car (with brand new tires, but WITHOUT four wheel drive) decided it didn't really like the snow packed road I was driving on and started sliding backward. It came to a stop fairly quickly . . . in a snow bank!

We had quite an adventure attempting to get the car "un-stuck". I called the roadside assistance service (that is included in our car insurance policy) and they sent a very large tow truck to assist me. Things looked promising. The driver, however, could not get permission from his boss to take the very large tow truck up the road where my car was (b/c his boss was concerned that he would himself become stuck). He was very kind and tried determinedly to push me out. He made limited progress, but was unsuccessful in getting me back on the road (fortunately the service is included in our policy and didn't cost anything extra!).

Darkness fell, the temperature dropped and my little mini-van remained stuck!

On the other side of the campground, the kids (and my niece ~ who had come with us) had a fabulous time sledding and snowboarding and enjoying a campfire. As it grew dark, they put out the campfire and proceeded to have a most memorable time huddling in the nearby bathhouse for almost 30 minutes (attempting to stay warm) until I returned for them!

Several hours after our adventure had begun, the wonderful campground owner and his son teamed up and managed to pull me out . . . the kids were all rescued from the bathhouse and we were even able to visit our beloved goats before heading home!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day both fell on the weekend in 2011. Let me just say that I'm glad that will NOT be the case in 2012!! It was a busy season, and definitely had some highlights. We enjoyed Christmas parties, some creative holiday baking, a big snow just a few days before Christmas, the kids were involved in special singing at church (for the Christmas Eve and Christmas services). We were able to see some grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles on Christmas Day, we spent time with some great friends, we enjoyed good health and we were able to spend time as a family enjoying some of our new gifts!

Fun with Food

Anna absolutely loves to be a kitchen helper. She delighted in having a few different opportunities to help make fun holiday treats this Christmas season. She loves to don an apron and chef hat (or Santa hat!) and create something fun to share with everyone else. She was particularly thrilled to receive a fun little mini donut maker as one of her gifts this year!