Friday, November 28, 2008

My Biggest Fan!

The kids were eating lunch at the table today and we were listening to some music on the new ipod docking station that I had purchased in the wee hours of the morning for black Friday and I put on "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper and I was dancing 80's style and singing for the kids and Melody was soooo cute...... everytime I did a new move she would say with a very sincere and admiring voice "mommy, that was REALLY good!"  Yes, thats right folks, someone thinks I am a great dancer!  She is always super sweet!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thoughts approaching Christmas time!

Tim and I occasionally talk about how we want to do things with our family at Christmas.....traditions, gifts, etc.  We have come to the conclusion that our kids have a lot and are very privileged and so we get them one gift each....ultimately they get more with family giving them gifts but the basic idea is that we don't want to go crazy with all the gifts and make christmas all about getting presents.  I am not saying that if other people buy their kids more than one gift they are making christmas all about gifts, I am just commenting that this is a way we have chosen to go about making christmas a little less about getting presents.  We of course want to take lots of opportunities to talk to our kids about the true biblical meaning of christmas in every way we can.  Tim's mom makes a "Jesus Tree" for kids where all of the ornaments have a specific meaning or example of the story of Jesus birth and the gospel.....this year she is making the kids their own little tree and each day of December they get to open an ornament to put onto the tree and we get to talk about the symbolism.....its kinda like an advent calendar!  I also try to think of ways to teach the kids to think of others and I am not sure what that will look like for our family as our kids grow but I want to set some traditions now that we do each year.  One of the thoughts I have that was inspired by another friends blog is by giving to organizations that provide water to 3rd world countries.  "Solving this water problem once and for all will cost about $10 billion.  Not bad considering Americans spent $450 billion on Christmas last year".  -    Poor water conditions is the leading cause of death around the world and specifically in remote areas of the world.  Thousands of children die each day because of water related illnesses and it is not that hard to do something about.  My own children come from a country that suffers its own share of deaths related to poor water conditions and giving towards doing something about water conditions is one way we can help and in the process teach my family to think of others and have compassion for others!  I would love to hear ideas from others!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cooking more and eating healthier!

This is a bit of an out of character post for me but I just thought I would share something I have enjoyed lately! I have always liked the idea of cooking and baking everything from scratch because its more cost efficient, better for you, etc. but I am generally paralyzed by my lack of knowledge and experience and my lack of ideas.  I tend to tell myself I need a lot of time and practice to do all those things so I end up not doing it.  For the last few weeks I have been taking a little cooking class that is about taking the things my family already likes and eats and making them better for us by adding whole grains, fresh produce, etc.  I have really enjoyed the class and the process of learning about new things that are not as hard as they sound.  I have been adding Quinoa to a lot of things we is like a grain and when cooked is similar in texture to brown rice with very mild flavor but it is a complete protein and incorporated very easily into so many things that I already make.  I have learned about grinding my own wheat, which is something I never ever thought I would have any interest in.  Learning about the differences in wheat and how different they are in baking has been so has given me hope that Tim will actually like whole bread b/c there are sooooo many other options than the wheat bread that is in the store. I made my own bread......again something I never thought I would ever do and it was surprisingly easy and everyone has been eating it and likes it!  I have found that I enjoy doing these things and its nice to know that I can provide things for my family that don't contain all of the synthetic junk that is in most processed foods w/o spending an arm and a leg!  Hopefully I will keep moving forward in my progression of cooking and baking more!  I have a few kitchen electrics that will be on my list of things I would like to get down the road that would make this process easier and more enjoyable and maybe I will start trying to make my own fruit lether!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

That doesn't look very good!

Kaden looked at this picture sitting on our shelf today and said "Mommy, what do you have on?"  To which I, of course responded, "a wedding dress" and he replied "that doesn't look very good!"  Not sure what he didn't like about it but apparently its not impressive to my 3 year old.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Piper turned 1!

Piper turned 1 and she was so cute when she got her gifts.......these are the first toys that are just for her and she really liked them, especially her little pink ride on horse!  When we sang happy birthday to her, she had the sweetest little bashful smile!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here comes trouble!

My busy, mobil, go getter little girl is getting into everything and trying to keep up with the bigger kids!  She turns 1 this weekend and is not walking yet but that does not deter her from going everywhere!  As you can see in the picture above, she loves to climb onto the bus and stand up and then scream as if to announce she is up there!  The other picture was not staged, all 4 kids were playing on a tipped over tool bench!  I think Mia and Kaden were pretending it was a car and Piper and Joey were just there to play along!

Mia's 5th Birthday!

Mia celebrated her 5th birthday.....she had been looking forward to it for months!  We had a birthday party with a bunch of her friends and their families and a big bounce house!  She was excited to blow out the candles on her cake!  The other picture above is her birthday present.....a dollhouse!  It was a hit with all of the kids!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

For the aunties . . .

Below are some really cute videos of the kids we filmed recently.  We want everyone that knew them at Amani to see how much they have grown here.  It really is incredible how fast they are growing up.  Our household is busy but fun.

This is a video of Kaden changing the imaginary bag on his lawn mower.  He loves our landscapers, often tells me that he wants to be a landscaper, and plays imaginary landscaper all the time.

This is a video of Joey playing that he is on a cell phone talking with people.

This is a video of me tickling Joey before getting ready for bed.  Joey loves being tickled and laughing.

Finally, this was just a really cute picture of Joey.