Christmas in Review: 2013

I’m a little late with this, but I decided to take a full break from blogging for the holiday.

Our Christmas was blessedly uneventful contrary to last year which was waaaaaay too eventful! Last year as a whole was too eventful and I must admit I have been eagerly awaiting 2014 and the feeling of a fresh start. I felt a wide range of emotions as we began the holiday season. What if we had another emergency? What if we received pain-filled news again? What if…what ifwhat if

These emotions crept upon me, all cold and empty. The girls decorated on and I pretended all was well inside. As we shared stories of each ornament placed on the tree Rose reminded her two younger sisters why we do this thing we call Christmas. She told them the Christmas lights reminded us of Christ being the light of the world. She retold about the angel appearing before the shepherds with the birth announcement of our Savior. Her innocent truth-filled chatter reminded me to cling to the One whose birth we were celebrating. What a blessing my girls are to me!

We filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child…

Enjoyed box seats at a hockey game with Diego

Watch some classic Christmas movies…

Celebrated with our church family at the annual Christmas dinner…

Played in my Christmas piano recital…
(This was the first time all three of my girls played!)
Learned how to ride these cool scooters…
Investigated an owl’s nest

Celebrated Christmas not once…
(Our house)

Not twice…
(Grandma and Grandpa’s House)

But three separate times!
(Grammy and Grampy’s House)

Made some awesome memories with cousins…

And celebrated the new year with these crazy kids…10 cousins in all!

What a difference from last year…what wonderful blessings…each moment more appreciated and special because of all God had done for us in this past year. 
God’s graciousness brought me to a new place in this season. I shed more tears than I normally do and felt more peace and healing. Each memory was cherished and in every moment I was fully present. 
God in the moment…God with us…Emmanuel

Week in Review: January 14-18

This week can be described as…learning through experience! We tagged along with my husband to a conference at Hilton Head, South Carolina last week. Such a hardship, right?!? Our family had a great time! We always like to try to find new experiences for the girls whenever we travel and seek out kid-friendly sites, museums, and activities. While there wasn’t any formal book-learning, I would say there was a large amount of experiential learning this week!

Considering we were only visiting for about a day and a half we managed to squeeze in quite a bit of fun! Here is a peek from all of our fun…

This small museum is packed with educational fun for the entire family!
Since our homeschool is Lighthouse Christian Academy I like to take the girls to any lighthouses we come close to in our travels!
I was so excited to hear my Rose teaching her sisters about the shore because of what she learned from science this year with Heart of Dakota!

Family Pictures

A very good friend did our family pictures for us this year. I couldn’t have been happier with them!

Rose – 7

Beth – 5
Grace – 3         

My girls got to dress up in old fashioned dresses for part of the shoot. The Beth and Grace (the younger two) are wearing dresses my great-grandmother made for me when I was little. Rose is wearing a beautiful dress her grandparents bought for her in Williamsburg. 
And this one just captures their personalities amazingly well!
This is another of my un-posed favorites!
I really love the new style of photography. I like posed pictures, but there is something so natural about the photography trends right now that appeals to me. These were shot at a beautiful state park close to our home with historical buildings. I already have ideas for next year…