Cards and Caroling

Our church had plans to go caroling to two nursing homes this past Sunday.

We planned to join them, and Kayla had the idea that the kids should make cards to hand out to the residents after we were finished singing.

We go to River’s place once a week for lunch and a play date anyway, so we used our visit this past week to make those cards!

Isn’t River ADORABLE?!

I gathered some supplies to take to Kayla’s and also quickly looked on-line for some Christmas coloring pages so that it would be easier for the little ones to participate.

I was thrilled when I saw this Christmas bingo game board printable – the boxes would be the perfect size to cut out and add to cards!

This photo is of the one that Tate colored!

These kiddos embraced this little project, and before long we had around 40 cards!

We still had lunch and play time too!

Just look at these two little ladies.

On Sunday Auntie Gail joined us for the WHOLE day!

We all headed to the nursing home in the late afternoon.

We got there a smidge early, so we waited in the warm van.

What a blessing it was to sing to the residents!

While we were there, a nurse said that a certain resident was non-verbal – and yet he sang “Silent Night” with us with tears streaming down his face.

The mind is POWERFUL, you all.

We used to be part of a monthly nursing home ministry, and we all said over and over (once we were back at Twin Oaks Sunday evening) how much we miss doing that!

I think we have a new tradition to add to the Christmas season.

It’s a good one too!

There are just SO many ways to give!

Not just at Christmas time – but any time of the year!

Capturing the Moments

I’ve got some snap shots of life to add to my little scrapbook!

My helpers – how I love them!

I made a green smoothie one day, but the blueberries in it did not make it look very yummy!

Our Pup, Sadie, is our best dog yet!

The kids and I made stir fry one night.

Tate calls this “my China food!”

We have been buying food in bulk to save some money.

So far we have nuts, gluten-free flours, honey, unbleached paper products, and oats!

We also have a freezer full of whole chickens and half of a pig!

SUCH a blessing!!!

Aren’t these boxes a hoot?!

It snowed, so this guy was out half of the night, as he is a snow plow guy this year.

It called for a super big coffee the next morning!

Maybe that is the size of his coffee everyday?

The snow is so pretty!

Even though we had a llllooonnnggg drive home in it on date night Friday night!

Blake took ALL the kiddos on some errands Saturday morning (I KNOW!!).

Tate came back to give me one last hug and said, “I know you are going to have some peace and quiet Mommy!”

Yes, I DID!

Christmas cards are starting to arrive!

They bless us SO much!

I worked in the kitchen all day Saturday, and filled this scrap bowl three times.

How I wish I had some animals to go and throw it to instead of putting it in the trash!

Here is the fruit of our labor.

A fridge full of yummy things.

The guys were cutting wood most of the day Saturday, but they are always glad to lend me a hand too!

The kiddos and I are going through the advent study “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp.

It is SO good!

One morning we learned about when Abraham was asked by the Lord to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac.

He obeyed, and trusted that the Lord would provide a way!

The lesson then asked the kids to list 10 things the Lord has provided for them.

I wrote them in the order they said them, and I think it is just the sweetest list.

The guys put up our swing set and our bird feeder while I was in Iowa last weekend!

We don’t have any birds coming to our feeder though.

I need to research what we can do to get them to!

Our afternoons always have an hour of rest.

My effort to rid of naps for Tate and Eliza was in vain!

They just cannot make it without them because of how late their nights are because of Blake, Grant and Addie’s work schedules.

Sometimes the boys enjoy an hour of a quiet activity during that time – but usually they head outside to run Sadie.

And there are more moments captured!

A blessed season!

Girl’s Weekend

When us girls received an invite to a wedding shower that would be held in the Amana Colonies, we decided to make a weekend trip together to attend!

Of course, River got to join us too.

We left the guys to hold down the fort, and headed out Saturday morning.

It was only a four hour drive, so we only stopped once about half-way there.

Once we got to the Amana Colonies, we checked into our cute little motel room, and then headed out to walk around all the cute shops!

It was BEAUTIFUL!

And 57 degrees!!

We got some delicious coffee before heading back to our room to get ready for the bridal shower.

Besides the time with my girls, the time I that I had with River was SO precious too!

There are usually many wanting my attention all at the same time!

The wedding shower was so beautiful and meaningful.

There was a meal and gifts, but also a very special devotion and a time where we all prayed over the bride-to-be!

The next day we joined the bride-to-be and her family at their church for sunday school and worship, and then ate a delicious lunch at their home before dragging ourselves away for the drive back to Wisconsin!

I can’t remember the last time the girls and I had time to share our hearts like we did this past weekend!

Kayla and I both were more than ready to be home to our littles, but we enjoyed our girl’s weekend so very much!

Our Sweet Girl

Today is the day that we would have been at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital for Eliza’s hip surgery.

Excuse me a sec while I praise the Lord, again, that this is not happening today.

A few weeks ago, when we sat all the kiddos down to tell them surgery was cancelled, I wish you all could have seen how Eliza took this news.

We literally could see every single part of her soften and relax, from her toes to the top of her head!

Being this sweet girl’s Mama is such a rewarding thing.

On that day four years ago that we first saw her photos and video, I had no idea the amazing journey the Lord would take us on.

I spent most of that morning on my knees in my bedroom begging the Lord to see fit to allow us to have Eliza’s file.

He answered those desperate prayers that day, and I can’t even bare to think what if He had said no.

This sweet girl and I have come so far.

Yes, both of us.

The Lord has used Eliza to change me.

I am so glad He has.

She has SUCH a tight hold of my heart strings, and I hope she never, ever lets go.

The Lord has certainly blessed our efforts to bring healing to this beautiful girl….even though I am sure He is not through yet.

She has become such a confident, smiley gem – and she has such a bright light to share with the world!

Our sweet girl Eliza Claire, I am not worthy to be your Mama, but my heart skips a beat every single time I hear you call me by that name.

I love you more than I could ever say!

And I could never be more thankful than I am today that we are sharing cookies dipped in milk instead of waiting for you to come out of surgery!

Praise the Lord with us!!