Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Tooth Day!

On February 28th, Jeb lost his first tooth! Slightly traumatic, but he was really excited about his Tooth Day celebration! We don't do the visiting magical creatures thing, so no tooth fairy at our house-and we didn't want to do gifts for something that just happens whether we celebrate it or not-so I set out to find our own tradition for this coming of age moment. It was harder to find than I thought-I figured there would be other things to do, but unless we wanted to throw the tooth on the roof like some cultures do, it was slim pickins to find an alternative to the tooth fairy. So, I improvised! Since he lost the tooth just before bed time, I gave him an 'I lost a tooth!' sticker that night, and then the next day we had his Tooth Day celebration.

 We started with tooth shaped pancakes

Followed by watching this VeggieTales song a few times and singing Happy Tooth Day to Jeb (if you watch it, it will get stuck in your head!)




Then we played a tooth game-pin the tooth on the mouth!




You never know when you attempt to create a new tradition if it is going to stick, but this was so simple, yet so fun for the whole family that I think it's a keeper!



Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Recap

With the weather being so cold, we've been getting creative with some fun indoor activities!


The girls had a reading party with their dolls
 Vivi mastered a major skill-folding socks! Her fine motor skills are way behind, so this was a big deal! We had to silently shush big brother from across the room when he tried to point out that her first pair of folded socks don't actually match, but since then she's been matching and folding her own socks with such pride :)
 The weather was finally (briefly) warm enough to make good packing snow, and Jeb made his first snowman of the year



 And in a big finish to the month, Jeb lost his first tooth on the 28th! It was a little bit traumatic even though it just popped right out-that was the best smile I could get out of him. I had to promise he could keep his tooth, and that I'd take a picture and he could keep the picture.  :)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Valentine's Day

How cute are my little valentines? Very soon there will be a 4th adorable face in that bunch, how will I stand all the cuteness??

The beginning of our Valentine's day was spent at the homeschool hub. The winter semester finally started after a snow day delayed it a week. Jeb is taking an acting class and a very cool science class, and the girls are taking a music/dancing/acting class and a literature/craft class. They are really enjoying their classes so far. 

We were going to have a very low key Valentine's day, Eric had just finished working for the day, the kids had had a late lunch, so we were going to run to Target. But Vivi had other plans-she wanted Nana and Bapa to watch the kids so we could have some mommy and daddy time-which was her way of saying she wanted some Nana and Bapa time. She has just started being ok with us leaving her with them, so if she's volunteering for us to leave her, we try to do it! Of course my parents were happy to watch the kids, and Eric and I had an impromptu date at Target...where we bought some birthday presents for Journey, some things for the home school room, and Eric needed more deodorant. Hot date, right? 

The next day was our planned Valentine's Day out, my parents had already planned on watching the kids, and Eric and I went to Red Lobster for dinner. The first time we were both at a restaurant with no kids in 5 years...since before Vivi was born! And with Jubilee coming home soon, it was also the last, so we had to make it count. We ordered way too much food! All the good stuff-fried calamari, snow crab legs, Eric got a pasta dish with scallops and shrimp, and I got lobster tails. We were stuffed! Then we walked around the mall for a little while before going to pick up our kiddos. Maybe not the most romantic date, but it was absolutely perfect for us <3

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hopefully this post works-January recap

Since replacing our trusty old computer, I feel like I'm constantly fighting with the new computer to let me blog! Sometimes it won't even let me begin, and other times I have a bunch of pictures and a few paragraphs written and then it decides to quit on me. So frustrating!

There hasn't really been much to blog about-most of January was spent cooped up inside and I took very few pictures. Here are the only share-worthy pictures I took:

One day that it wasn't too cold, they got to spend a few minutes helping daddy shovel
 And then gathered some fresh snow to eat with maple syrup
 We celebrated 'Happy Jebby Day', Jeb's 2 year anniversary of being an American and member of our home. As usual, we celebrated with a big Ethiopian feast-his favorite!
 And just a cute one of Eric and the girls wearing their babies in slings. I'm not sure why Journey's glasses are off but Vivi is wearing glasses haha!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Eve

After celebrating our little family Christmas on Christmas Eve morning, we had the rest of the day to just relax. Well, Eric worked after we opened up the presents, but the kids got to just hang out and play with their new toys until it was time to go to church.

Since we were visiting Eric's family on Christmas morning and then hosting my family in the afternoon, rather than cooking a big dinner at home, we went to our favorite Thai/Chinese restaurant, which happens to be right by the church and placed an order, then drove around the lake and looked at Christmas lights until the food was ready while singing the Christmas songs that came on the radio.

When I was growing up, my dad always made a treasure hunt for us-starting with easy clues that took us around the house when we were little, and eventually elaborate adventures around town when I got my driver's license. We would have to make phone calls, recite silly poems to neighbors and 7-11 employees, etc until we finally found the prize. The prize was always matching Christmas pajamas so we'd look cute on Christmas, but we looked forward to it every year anyway because of the fun of the clues.

It was definitely a tradition I wanted to keep going with my kids, but we're getting to a number of kids where it doesn't make sense to buy brand new pajamas for everyone every year, I'd rather spend that money on other things-adorable pajamas for 4 kids is not cheap! So this year we started a new tradition. I bought red and green pajamas at the kid's resale shop, none of them match but they're all red and green. Next year I'll just have to buy red and green pajamas for Jeb and Vivi (oldest boy and girl) and the younger ones will wear hand-me-downs.

Then I needed a special prize for the end of the treasure hunt. I decided to get Christmas treats. So this year, each kid found a traditional Christmas treat at the end of the hunt-eggnog, chestnuts, and one of those chocolate oranges that you bang to break into slices. Then we got the snacks ready, made a big bowl of popcorn, and curled up on the couch together to watch VeggieTales: Saint Nicholas, which tells the story of the actual Saint Nicholas and talks about giving and loving. There's a great part in the movie where Nicholas talks to a nun who is handing out loaves of bread, and asks her if she gives because it makes her happy, and she says "No, I give because I AM happy" and talks about God's love for us and the gift of His son. It's probably my favorite VeggieTales movie.

Here are a couple of pictures from the evening.











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Friday, January 3, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Eric and I were up and excited before the kids, we had to coax them out of bed! We did stockings first, which were little things like chapstick, pencils, new toothbrushes, and this cheap pair of heaphones I got for Jeb at Five Below that made his day!

Another new tradition we started is having the kids help us pass out presents instead of having them parked in their spots the whole time. We started with Journey, and went up by age order to pick out a present, read the tag, and pass it out. The kids really enjoyed finding out whose present they picked.

"Why did you give me wood??"

"REAL TOOLS!!"


The kids had fallen in love with the book Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper when we got it from the library a couple of months ago. They loved it so much that we used up all of our renewals on it, and then we decided to leave it at the library for other kids to discover. Then we ordered it for Journey's 'something you read'. She opened it up and just saw a tiny part of the back cover and recognized it. This picture shows her mid-gasp, and it's one of my favorite pictures of the day!

Remember the picture I posted of the suspiciously same-sized gifts Eric and I bought? Yep, we bought each other Keurigs. Our coffee pot was a gift the year we got married and has started going on the fritz lately, so we had discussed getting a Keurig or just a regular coffee pot, and then both of us pretended that we didn't really need a new one yet while secretly planning to get it for each other.











Jeb got Eric a new lighter, since ours is really finicky. It was a thoughtful gift that he came up with on his own.

I just love her surprised faces! After all of her presents, she kept saying "Oooh! Thank you everyone! Merry Christmas!!!"

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