Thanksgiving 2009

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was so nice to spend the day (or the weekend rather) with our family and friends. We had 4 Thanksgivings this year: one at our house on Thanksgiving day for lunch, one at Steven’s mom’s house Thanksgiving night for dinner, one at Steven’s uncle’s house (on the Waugaman side) Friday night, and one at his uncle’s house (on the Fischer side) last night. The one last night was a nice change of pace though, they ordered pizza! Now that’s an American Thanksgiving!!!

We had a wonderful feast at our house. We had turkey and all the fixings: sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, noodles, stuffing with cranberries, cranberry salad, deviled eggs, green bean casserole and rolls. Our Phillapino friends brought a traditional Phillapino food called pansit, which is rice noodles, chicken, cabbage, carrots, and celery I think. It’s one of my favorites!

Then there were the desserts, of course! We had pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sugar cream pie, wild berry cheesecake (courtsey of Michael’s friend, Blaire!)

Yes, we ate ourselves silly. And yes, we will be eating leftovers for a month (in fact I’m making turkey tetrazzini for dinner tonight) but it was fantastic! I think the table was almost as pretty as anything else.

The kids table.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, thus the watching and waiting for Christmas has begun. I love Advent! It can be a very hectic time, but I love how it does force you to slow down a little and think about what the season is all about. This week for Family Night we’re going shopping for our Jesse tree gifts, a family tradition. This is something that we always did in our family growing up, and I’m glad that we’re carrying on the tradition with our kids. I’ll post pictures of the fun. I’m thinking about making it a competition, boys vs girls, to see who can get their gifts for the least amount of money. (The girls will win of course!!!) So happy Advent everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had a break in the action where nothing needed to be prepared right now so I thought I’d jump on and send out a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! This is one of my favorite holidays! It is full of so many traditions for us (like yummy cinnamon rolls this morning) and right now, we’re watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and I’m smelling turkey. Yummy!

We’re going to have a full house with us, Michael (Chris got stuck in D.C. We miss you Chris!!!!), Michael’s friend, Blaire, and our neighbors Nelissa and Orlie and their two sons. Nelissa and Orlie are from the Phillapines. They’ve been here for three years and they’ve never had a real American Thanksgiving, so we’re excited to share this with them. I’ll be interested to see what they think of the food- they don’t eat turkey in the Phillapines, and I doubt green bean casserole is on the menu very often either 😛

Today I am thankful for so many things! I am thankful to live in a country where we can live and worship as we choose. I am thankful for such an amazing family! I am blessed with such a wonderful husband, and three fantastic kids. I am thankful for my mom. For everything that she does for our family, even to the point where she’s willing to live in the craziness of three young kids again! I know it’s not always easy but I know she loves it, and we love having her with us. I’m especially thankful this year that we have our home and that Steven and mom have been able to keep their jobs through all the economic downturn. And I’m thankful for all my friends and family that I’ve been able to reconnect with (and meet) this year because of the wonderful internet. I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving! I know I’m gonna eat myself silly (and love EVERY minute of it!!!!)

To leave you with a picture…Brianna and her first sweet potatoe casserole. She was so proud of herself!!!!

Happy Birthday, Brianna!

Yesterday our Brianna Banana turned 5! I can’t believe that my baby girl is 5! It seems like only yesterday that she joined our family and now…she’s 5! I don’t feel old enough to be the mother of a 5 year old! (can you tell I’m having trouble with her being 5?!?!)
We had a great time! We invited over my brother Michael, my dad and Charles, Kim and Ed and Shelly and Samantha (Sam had to work though!), Grandma and Grandpa Ruschell and Grandma Joyce. We also invited our friends Nelissa and Orlie and their boys but they’ve got the chicken pox (which Micah is too young to be vaccinated against) so they stayed away.
On their birthday the kids get to choose what they want for dinner. Bri wanted Chick-fil-a (she’s a girl after your heart, Megan!) so I ordered a party tray of chicken nuggets. Mom made baked beans, mac and cheese and carrot raisin salad (oh yum!!!), and I made the birthday cake. She wanted to do Hannah Montana. The cake was strawberry flavored, and it was a challenge (probably the hardest one I’ve done yet!) but I was very pleased with how it turned out, and she loved it so that’s all that mattered! (I hate the way blogger can discolor your photos! The colors looked a lot better in person!!!)
She was spoiled with lots of great gifts and of course she loved having all the focus on herself! She was going to have a friends party tomorrow, but she has had an absolutely horrible attitude lately and because of that she lost her party! She wasn’t happy with me but little girls who treat their mommy and daddy the way she has started to don’t get birthday parties with their friends. I’ve told her if she can shape up she might be able to have a slumber party with a couple of girls in January. We’ll see what happens.

So here are a few pictures of the festivities. It was great to celebrate the day that this wonderful blessing came into our lives. I will never be the same and I’m thankful everyday that she is mine! I love you very much baby girl! You will always be my rock star Princess!

Her number 5 figurine for her Precious Moments “Growing in Grace” collection.

Four generations- Grandma Nancy, Daddy, GaGa Kim and Brianna the Birthday Girl!

Keeping the Home

Anyone who knows me knows that I like to read blogs. I really do enjoy the glimpses into people’s lives. One thing that I’ve been reading a lot about lately is homemaking. It seems to be a lost art these days, women who stay at home and keep a clean, orderly home that is pleasing to their husband and their family. I know it’s definately a struggle for me, with three little ones, to keep our home looking fresh and clean (especially the kids bedrooms!!!!) but it’s something that I’d like to do better at. I created a cleaning schedule a while back when I started making a home management binder (another lost art that our grandmothers used to run an efficient home) and I’ve since fallen off the wagon. I’m hoping to relook at it and climb back on board because I hate feeling like I’m always playing catch up. And I hate it when Steven and my mom come home and the house looks like a tornado blew through! Especially if we are going to start homeschooling fulll time next year, I need to get my habits under controll first or everything will fall apart.

In addition to keeping up with the house I want to start doing more cooking from scratch. Even though we tend to eat pretty well, I make a lot of dinners from prepackaged items that I know aren’t as healthy for us, and are filling the kids with additives that they just don’t need! (Not to mention packing on pounds that could otherwise be lost!) But when I think about being a fresh bread, homemade yogurt making girl I’m at a lost! I just don’t know where to start to turn our eating habits around and start using more whole foods and less processed stuff!

I’m also looking at more natural ways of cleaning (which is kind of funny if you could see all the cleaning supplies I’ve stored up lately!!!). The store bought ones are so expensive, and let’s face it, they are packed full of all kinds of things that we probably shouldn’t be bringing into our homes! I figure, if our grandmother could clean their houses with vinegar, baking soda and ammonia, why can’t we?!?!?!

So I guess that brings me to the whole reason for this post! I need advice! I don’t even know where to begin. When I google whole foods, for example, I’m just inandated with information that I don’t even know how to being processing it! So, if you know of any good resources for cooking more naturally, or cleaning, or anything else that I talked about, please leave a comment and share! I love to learn about all the great stuff that is out there, and I am so ready to make some changes around here! I’ll post about how our progress is going in case it might be encouraging to someone else. Thanks for all your advice!

Finally…new pictures!!!!

OK, so I’ve been promising new pictures for a while now so here they are! Finally! Today we had Micah’s 3 month pictures taken (even though he will be 4 months on Monday! Shhh, don’t tell!) Here a few of my favorites!

I love this one because he is always wringing his hands like this! Does that mean he’s going to be a little worry-wart?!?!

This morning my mom dumped a container of styrofoam peanuts on the floor in her kitchen and Bri and Jonah had a ball rolling around in them. Sometimes it’s the simpliest thing!

Bri was already for dance class, note the pink leotard and black dance skirt! She looks so adorable!
Tonight I decided to go ahead and start Micah on ceral. He is just so hungry all the time! He will eat 5-6 ounces every three hours and he started waking up again in the middle of the night (that is soooo not acceptable!!! Hehehe!) Just don’t tell his pediatrician- we don’t have their ok! (But Doc, he’s just soooo hungry! And I’m sooo tired!!!!) Sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Anyways, he really liked it! So much in fact that I couldn’t get it in his mouth fast enough! We ended up having to put it in his bottle and just let him drink it, and even then he needed another 3 ounce bottle when he was done with that! Oh little piggy!

So there you are! I hope you enjoyed seeing an update of the kids! I’ll try not to go so long in the future!

Prayers

Short post because I can and because I feel the need to. I just got back an hour or so from singing at the funeral of a young man from church. He was 16 years old and he committed suicide on Wednesday of last week. This was probably the hardest funeral that I have ever done in my life! The church was packed…every row full of people, people lining the walls, the choir loft was full, the cry room was full and people were spilling over into the foyer. I have never seen so many people! My heart is absolutely breaking for his parents and his 2 older brothers! I can’t believe how they are feeling today! The situation is sooo sad! This is the fourth funeral that I have been to this year for someone who committed suicide! I don’t want to go to anymore!

So I ask for prayers tonight for Ethan and his family! I hope he has found the peace that he couldn’t in this life in the arms of our Savior, and I pray that his family will find the peace and comfort that they need to go on without him. And pray for all those who are on the verge of suicide…may they find the help and understanding that they need to save their lives! I’m emotionally drained and sad…I’ll post those promised pictures tomorrow!

Update

I realize it’s been a while since I have posted what we’re doing around here so here’s a little (or not) update! (Unfortunately there will be no pictures! I dumped my camera to the computer upstairs last night and the internet is not working on that computer so I cannot get my pics on here! I’ll take some tomorrow just to post here for you all!!!)

We’re finding ways to stay plenty busy around here. We had a great Halloween! Brianna dressed up like a Perdue University cheerleader (my mom and dad met at Perdue!), Jonah was Spiderman (and we HAD to call him Spiderman! We were NOT allowed to call him Jonah!! HEHEHE!) and Micah was a pea in a pod (we called him our sweet pea!) They looked adorable and got enough candy to last us until Easter! (Especially since I TRY to limit them to two or three pieces a day! Note: I said TRY!!!) After Trick-or-Treating Mom hosted a Halloween party here for some of the students from the program she works with. They came dressed up and we had a great time! The kids had a ball, especially since one of the students brought her two kids over to Trick-or-Treat with them and then stayed for the party!)

Schooling is going well with Brianna. We have done several unit studies. One on “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” reviewing the alphabet and learning about coconuts, one on apples, and one on Halloween. We’re getting ready to start one on leaves which should be really fun! After leaves is going to be Thanksgiving! So fun stuff planned in our school room. She’s doing really well. She has memorized all of the A and B sight words for the pre-primer and primer levels and writes everything that she can (of course we have to help her with spelling but that’s ok!) She really likes doing math! We’ve done our numbers 1-10, patterns, same and different, basic geometry and sorting. Next we’ll be doing lengths (shorter/longer and the numbers 11-20, and number words 1-10.) We are enjoying it, and Jonah even crawls up to the table to join in crafts or cooking activities. We read all the books together for our unit. And sometimes he just colors or works a puzzle. I can’t believe that Bri will turn 5 in 17 days! Yikes! I don’t feel old enough to have a 5 year old!

Jonah is getting so big! He is fully potty trained (even night trained!) and he did it all in about 3 weeks (including night training!) Just goes to show that when they are ready they will train, and not a minute before! He is such a big boy that sometimes I have to remind myself that he is only 2 (he won’t be 3 for another month and a half!) He is starting to talk A LOT more, and make more sense with what he says. I’m going to start doing preschool work with him next year, I think he’ll be ready for it! Right now he loves doing puzzles (he can put together a 25 piece puzzle by himself in about 20 minutes!), playing cars, and playing superheros. And guess which one he always has to be?!?!?! Spiderman! He’s such a joy and is such a tenderhearted child! I adore his sincere hugs and kisses!

Micah is growing in leaps and bounds! I can’t believe he’s almost 4 months old! It feels like he’s always been here-he just molded so well into our family! I’m so greatful that he is here! I haven’t posted his 3 month pictures because….we still haven’t gotten them taken! (I know…bad mommy and daddy! The more kids you have the less on top of that stuff you are!!! I’m sorry Micah!!!) Hopefully we can get that done this weekend (I think it’s a slow weekend…finally!!!!) But developmentally he is amazing! He is holding his head up like a pro and he wiggles himself all over the place! He literally will turn himself around in circles on the floor or in his bed. He is starting to roll…he gets himself up on his side when he’s been on his back. He rolled over from his stomach to his back the other day. I think it was purely an accident though because he hasn’t done it again! He’s still a little early for that! He is blowing bubbles and cooing and gurgling all the time! He is the happiest, smiliest baby ever! I just love his smiles! They light up his whole face! He’s also gotten very chubby which I LOVE!

Steven’s staying plenty busy and has had a few days of overtime recently which is nice. We’re getting to that time of year again, and even though it makes the days very long, the extra money is always nice! I am staying plenty busy at home with the little guys but I am loving it! There is no where else I’d rather be! I feel so blessed to be able to be a stay at home mommy and I’m so thankful that Steven works so hard so that I can be here for our family while they need me the most! Thanks babe! I love you!

So that’s what we’ve been up to! We’re looking forward to enjoying the rest of fall and being with our families in a few weeks for Thanksgiving! Like I said, I’ll try to post pics tomorrow since it’s been sooo long! See you then!