Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas shopping

It is a (relatively new) tradition for us to go to Let's Play in downtown Hillsboro and shop for the cousins!!

The local cousins all draw names for Christmas, a procedure that will likely change as Marcus and I now have more than half of the kids.  ;o)  This year we left Celeste out of the drawing (she didn't notice) and continued on as normal.

I like to wait until a week or two before Christmas to hit the toy store for the cousin gifts.  The kids really get that "Christmas-y feeling" with the twinkly lights downtown.  It works out well to go on an evening before Religious Ed, and then go out for fast food before classes start at 6:45pm.

Luckily Let's Play keeps wish lists on file!
Bunny thought this dress might be good
for Emmet.  
This plain brown rock would make a good
gift for Sophs.
James can't understand why this nice Groovy
Girl doll isn't on Lukie's list….
Gemma thinks this baby doll would be great
for Aidan!
And Sedric thought some Thomas trains would be a swell gift for Eliot.  :o)

Luckily, Marcus and I directed the kids to some more ~appropriate~ gifts for each cousin.  

After shopping and wrapping we made our way down the street to Subway.  With coupons and daily-deals, we go out of there for under $20!

Seddy ended up eating the WHOLE 6-inch!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wind Storm!!

One Thursday earlier this month, the talk guys on the AM radio station I listen to were warning everyone about a huge windstorm coming in the afternoon.  This seemed weird to me since everything outside looked so calm and beautiful at the time.  Sure enough, around 3:30pm it started to get windy…and more windy….  It was so odd since it wasn't a storm that had high wind, it was JUST the high wind!  So, we had an adventure that evening:

the kids enjoying the wind
the trees, not so much
As predicted, the power went out at about 4pm or so.  I was JUST walking over to the oven to put in a cake when poof! the oven turned off.  (Good timing, really, since I just had to put the cake batter in the fridge and bake it later.  Better than having the cake half-baked and THEN the oven going off.)  Another good stroke of luck: we had soup on the menu that night, which is something that could be made 100% on the gas stove:
We had prepped the veggies already, so dinner was a snap.
soup simmering by candlelight
 I thought it was a good time to break out the beeswax candle that Fr. Peter gave us specifically to light during storms.  (the pretty pillar candle next to the lantern)

It turned out to be a fun and peaceful experience.  After dinner there were no dishes to clean (since we didn't want to waste water) so we all just gathered around the fire and read books.  The night wasn't that cold so we didn't miss the heater, luckily.  And the power turned back on at 7:30am the next morning, just in time for Marcus to go to work.  

(Marcus did go out shopping the next day for a generator.  It's waiting in our barn as I type, and Papa will come in a few days to help us hook it up.  ;o)  )

Saturday, December 27, 2014

ZooLights 2014

Merry Christmas!  I will take a little time now to chronicle our pre-Christmas activities.  First we have ZooLights!!  This is an annual tradition for us.

First stop:  Noodles & Co.  This is a special treat!  Here is
Marcus putting in our (very large) order.
"Our" spot in the restaurant--the only spot that will fit
all 8 of us!
Celeste was super-excited.
I told Marcus not to pay for sodas but he just
couldn't help it…and I was glad he overruled me
since the kids LOVE choosing from the fancy machine.
We made our way to the Oregon Zoo at around 7pm.  This was a Monday evening, and we figured it would be FANTASTIC because no one would be there that late on a school night.  I started doubting that theory when I saw "Lot Full" signs on the highway…uh oh.  Sure enough, it was PACKED!  People were leaving, though, so we found a spot fairly quickly.  It wasn't our front-row spot we got last year, but good enough.  :o)
    Once we got thru admissions we made our way to the zoo train.  We NEVER spring for the Christmas lights zoo train so the kids were excited.  But not so much when we saw the wait in line would be 45 minutes!!!  Boo. So we decided to have Marcus wait in line for us while I took the kids through the zoo.  It was a win-win: Marcus got some quiet time on his iPhone and I got some fun time with the kids.  :o)

Before waiting in line.
on our walk through the zoo

seeing some animals was a highlight

After "cutting" in line  ;o)  Here comes the train!!!
You can imagine how EXCITED Sedric was...
"Hurry up, mom, get on board!"
a little snack for Celeste (she was such a trouper)
wiped out

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas is almost here….

Whew, it has been a BUSY December!!!  Our social calendar was filled to the brim with all sorts of parties and obligations!!  It has been incredibly hard for me to sit down at the computer at ALL these past few weeks, much less download photos.  But I just had to get a few onto the blog here, for all my loyal readers.  ;o)  Here's some random shots:

who needs batteries??
photo op
shopping for cousins?  or for himself???
bunny made me lunch one day
this is normal

Thursday, December 18, 2014

James goes to a party

James was invited to his friend's Nerf-fighting birthday party!

It was on a triple-booked Sunday so I also had to take Celeste, Mariposa, and Sedric to the party with James.  Marcus was at a memorial service with Gemma, and Bunny was at an Advent retreat with her Franciscan Girls Club.  Whew!

The kids had a blast!  (pun intended)  We don't go to many "friend" birthday parties since most of our friends don't hold them, probably because their families are big and, to be equitable between siblings, parties would be too costly.  Plus, a lot of our kids' friends are their cousins! and we always "just" get together for family dinner which is a party of a different sort--any time 11 kids and 9 adults get together, I'd call that a party.  So anyway, this "friend" party sure was a special treat. 

Here are some pics of the fun time!

Sedric had a run of the place while the kids were eating pizza.

Happy birthday, Zach!  Thanks for the great time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A typical day in December

Any given day in our house might look like this:

outside my window :o)
(Seddy with Mrs. N)

look who's smiling!
Bunny made this cookie pie
<< love >>

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Turkey Trot 2014

Every year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving we head out to the HilHi stadium for the Turkey Trot!!

Well, almost every year.  I forgot about it last year.  And one year we had an ice "storm" so it was cancelled.  Oh well.

Anyway, it was great weather this year so even taking Celeste was do-able.  We were counting on at least ONE of our 5 racers to win us a frozen turkey (the top prize in each age devision; sorry Erica and Mary).  Here is the photo-story of the event:

Gemma and Sedric were first up in the preschool race.  It was
1/2 time around the track.  Gemma had good position and I
was very confused when I saw her THIS far back after only a
couple of yards!  Mariposa (her starting-position helper) told
me later that she had tripped right at the start, in the crush of
excited kids.  :o(
…but that was better than Sedric, who got
scared at the BANG of the starting gun and
decided to take a shortcut ACROSS the field.
Gemma still got 3rd place!!  Makes me think
she might've won us a turkey if she didn't trip.
At least she got a pic with a turkey even if
she didn't win one.
Here's Barley of Hillsboro Hops baseball.
We had high hopes for Mariposa, who won 2nd place for
the past 2 times we attended the Turkey Trot.
Cheering Mariposa on from the stands.
She ran well but not quite fast enough to get the turkey.  :o(
She had to run 1.5 laps!!!
The racers
James warming up.  At this point I was in the van with the 3
youngest kids.  Marcus took the photos.
Go James!  (but alas, no turkey)
Bunny's turn to warm up
Aaack!!  Hurry Bunny, they are all getting ready to start!
Bunny had to run around the track 3.5 times.  Wow!
(remember, we are NOT natural runners…this is a big deal
for ANY of us…)   
But Bunny did not win the turkey either.  :o(  We had to go hungry for Thanksgiving day. sniff sniff (tears)