New Years’ Resolutions

As a new year is getting ready to dawn I start thinking about New Years’ Resolutions like I do every year. I have always found them kind of pointless because I NEVER stick to them. But this year I have quite a few things that I would like to accomplish in a few areas of our life. So my question is this:
Do you make New Years’ Resolutions? If you do, what do you to try to get yourself to stick with your resolutions and actually reach your goals by the end of the year? And if you don’t would you like to?

Christmas 2010

One of the best (and hardest) things about Christmas is all of the different celebrations we have to try to work into our schedule, and still stay sane. Amazingly this year we did this without totally loosing our minds, which says to me 7 years and 3 kids later we are finally getting our groove!

Christmas Eve is always spent with Steven’s mom’s side of the family. We get together at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for food, presents and lots and lots of laughs. This year we didn’t do a name exchange with this side which made my life a little easier I think!

Jonah with his “fairy godmother” Kristi

Sam playing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” on the ukulele.

GaGa Kim (Steven’s mom) with the kids in their new Christmas jammies.

The kids with Steven’s grandparents

All the Ruschell grandchildren, minus Keith and his new wife Tara and daughter Morgan.

By the end of the night Micah was all tuckered out! This was taken before we had even left the driveway!! 
We got home and put the kids to bed, and then started getting everything under the tree. Chris and his partner, Josh had arrived from DC while we were gone so it was nice to spend a few hours with them while we put together the new train for the tree and other gifts. We went to bed around 1:30, and the miracle of all miracles occurred….the kids didn’t wake us up until 9!!!! Yippee! I love my children!

Jonah’s gift from Santa.

Bri’s gift from Santa.

Micah loved his Santa gift, a new ball pit!
Our new Polar Express Christmas train. This was fun to watch the kids play with!

Opening our new HD TV from mom. Christopher bought us Apple TV to go with it, which I am LOVING!!! I had never heard of it, but I am so now on the Apple bandwagon! lol!

Jonah in Micah’s new crawling tunnel.

There were lots of laughs and smiles on Christmas day!

Playing cards with Papa Chip. It looks like Christmas threw up all over our house in the background!     
Christmas night we get together with Steven’s dad’s side of the family. This year was really different with the sudden death of his uncle David, but we are so greatful to have his dad back in his life again, and in our kids lives, after many years of absence. Unfortunately, Micah was running a fever and was very unhappy so I stayed home with him while they went to visit the Waugamans. They came home very happy and very tired! 
Yesterday my Nana and Aunt Stacey and cousin Kenzy drove down from Indiana to visit for a few hours while Chris was in town. We are getting together with this family on New Years’ Day but Chris won’t be here so they drove down to see him for a while. It was great to see them! Then last night we got together with Steven’s stepdad’s side of the family. We always do a white elephant gift exchange with them, which can always be quite interesting. The same hat has shown up at the exchange for the past 4 or 5 years now I think! It’ll be back next year, I guarantee it! 

The Fischer clan, minus Mike and Sarah and little Katie Rose, who were at home sick! ;-(
New year’s day we have one more Christmas to go to and then we’re done until next year. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a productive week recovering and preparing for your New Years celebrations!

The Christmas Countdown

Today is cleaning day. Tomorrow is baking day. Friday is wrapping day and Christmas with Steven’s family. Then comes Christmas morning! It has been such a busy, but very fun, Christmas season. We have put a lot of miles on the car this week, especially with the passing of Steven’s uncle last Tuesday. He died of a heart attack and we finally had the funeral yesterday. It feels like we can finally move on to the rest of Christmas, although it’s going to be a weird one. But the house is decorated, the shopping lists and menus are made. The ingredients have been rounded up to make lots of holiday goodies, and the Christmas music is playing on Pandora. Just a few more little presents and we are done. So much more prepared than we were last year. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow of what we’ve been up to: We had Jonah’s 4th birthday, Brianna’s Christmas recital and lots of other fun stuff! Just wanted to give you a quick hello and Merry Christmas! I hope you are enjoying your week!

Shout out!

I want to give a shout out to Steven and thank him for getting the blog updated for us! I have been in a bit of a funk lately and he got us all caught up with what has been going on! My goal now is to keep it from getting so far behind again! So thanks babe for all the help! You are a blessing!

Inside of the house decorated – Check!

 Well as you all know we love Christmas! We start to decorate the day after Thanksgiving – it has been a tradition for a long time.  Now some may think you can have too much Christmas but we beg to differ.  This time of the year just brings so much happiness knowing that our God sent us a savior to be born in a stable.  In our anticipation for Christmas we prepare our homes for this joyous time of the year.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful faith and family!
Here are some pictures we took around the house!  We hope you enjoy because we sure do.  There is nothing like turning all the lights off in the house and just leaving on all the Christmas lights on.  Seeing the illumination from the lights are just is so calming.  Also it makes you want to keep the house clean so it even looks prettier.
Anita bought some adorable window clings that we put in the morning room and kitchen windows.  We also added garland with color lights and a red bow to our sliding glass door that leads to no where.  As you can see we brought up the patio furniture which is coming in handy for playing the Wii and also for family get together’s.
Well we couldn’t pass up these new Christmas ornaments.  Our old ones were starting to fade and once we saw these aqua and brown ornaments that matched our color scheme we had to buy them.

 Our Christmas caroler’s always find a place to go – Aunt Theresa bought these for our first Christmas.  The aqua and brown poinsettias also make a nice touch to the garland.

 I bought this village when I worked at Thriftway.  I always waited until after Christmas when they were all marked down so I probably spent like $4, if that, for each building which was a steal.  Over the years we’ve made little additions, this year I added some spot lights to reflect on the water.

 The main village which sits on top of the entertainment center.  The camera Anita bought for Kari’s birthday takes panorama shots – isn’t it awesome.

 The Angel room is one of our favorites.  Anita really has a special touch when it comes to decorating.  This year she changed the colors from burgundy to red.  With the walls it just pops not to mention you never saw Santa wearing a burgundy suit!

 Still waiting for baby Jesus to come.  Then of course the wise men that our spread out in the house will come on the Epiphany.  We added a tree and some garland this year.  We love manger scenes – I wonder why?

 Speaking of manger scenes – Anita made this a while ago and it found it rightful place in the morning room.  You can even see it from the street through the sliding glass doors.  Didn’t she do a great job!

Anita’s Vintage Tree!

Isn’t this manger scene precious?

How true is that saying?!  Can we say “AMEN” or as the kids say with Santa – I BELIEVE!

 Brianna says if you don’t believe then you are on the naughty list – our kids are so smart!

Anita’s kitchen window – great find on the candles!
Yet another perfect spot for the candles!
Anita couldn’t pass this sale up – what a perfect decoration!

So those were some shots around the house.  Now that is not all of them believe it or not because we have to keep the surprise.  So come and visit because it is so much better in person!  Now don’t come just to see our house all lite up but to spend some time with family and friends.

We are all excited to have Uncle Chris and Josh for Christmas. Pa-Pa Chip is going to be spending some quality time with the family as well.  Since Chris is coming in town Nana and Aunt Stacey are going to stop in so we can’t wait to see everyone.  Don’t you just love Christmas?  Remember to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in your hearts and that God loves you!  What a gift and blessing each on e of us are to each other!

Outside of the house decorated – Check!

Christmas is our favorite time of the year here at the Fischer’s.  We love to decorate the house and being on the corner we have to make sure the outside of the house is decorated!  We also have to make sure that our manger scene is up since “Jesus is the reason for the Season”.  Last year we were given this nativity set from a friend at church.  He was getting older and it was getting to be too much for him to put up each year.  None of his kids wanted it and he knew how much I loved it so they offered it to us.  We were so happy to accept it and give it a new home.  He made all of this from hand – thank you so much Art!
It is so amazing when it all comes together.  The kids enjoy it as well.  Since Kari and Anita went out I decided to be courageous and see if I can put it all together while watching the kids.  They were so cute.  As I was putting the wise men and shepherds together – halfway through it I put all the animals together and the kids had a ball playing with them in the garage.  Micah got bored since when he tried to ride the animals and they didn’t do anything so he found an old car seat – climbed up in it, started to suck his thumb and watch everyone else.  I wish I would have grabbed the camera because it was so cute.
Instead of putting in the front like last year we changed it up and put it in the side yard.  Anita had some green lights which was a perfect accent to outline the grass where the sheep, shepherds, and wise men are!

So Micah was getting tired so I laid him down for a nap.  This allowed Brianna and Jonah to go outside and play in the snow while I set up the Manger scene.  While setting it up neighbors stop and say “I love your Nativity”,  Our neighbor across the street called and left a message on my cell phone saying it all looks nice and they love the view from their windows.

No lights on the roof – kept it simple this year.  Partly because I didn’t take care of the nice weather since we were busy.  Also the blue lights on the tree on the front porch was a nice accent thanks to Anita!

Don’t the trees look nice – we added those this year! Except for the dogwood that was a mother’s day gift to Kari a couple of years ago.

We are so glad it brings joy and happiness to all – after all isn’t that what Christmas is all about.  Jesus is the light of the world and it’s up to us to keep the light going!  God bless everyone and during this Advent season we wait for the coming our Lord as we prepare not only our home but our hearts!

St. Nick (December 6th)

St. Nick blessed us with many things in our stockings – so much it couldn’t all fit!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of MyraDiocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships. Under the Roman Emperor , December 6th

Advent Wreath with Children bible

So prior to dinner we had our Advent Family Devotion which is in our Family Bible.  As a family during each of the four Sundays of the Season we started praying a simple family devotion.  We lit two of the purple candles and Kari read the scripture from Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11.  Then we read petitions and responded “Prepare the way of the LORD.”  Then we concluded with prayer; “Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your Son who is the Light of the World.  The light from the candles on our Advent wreath reminds us that we wait in spiritual darkness for the coming of Your Son.  Fill our hearts with the anticipation of this miraculous gift on Christmas.  may the joy of receiving Jesus be evident in our family and in our home.  With rejoicing in our hearts we pray, Amen.

Then we ate dinner, cleaned up the table, straightened up downstairs so St. Nick wouldn’t see a messy hous.e Then Daddy headed up stairs with the kids to give baths while Kari did the dishes.  So we were both washing – mine just had attitude – LOL.  Once baths and pajamas were on we headed back downstairs to read about St. Nick.

The story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman’s father had to offer prospective husbands something of value—a dowry. The larger the dowry, the better the chance that a young woman would find a good husband. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man’s daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas.  And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.

Once the story was over the kids were tucked in their beds.  Well Jonah was tucked in quite a few times. Then morning came and the excitement came.  The kids rushed down to see what awaited them.

 

Each of the kids along with us received an ornament as well we will show pictures of them later when we show the Christmas shots of the house!  We also received our Christmas book and this year it was “There was an old Lady that Swallowed a Bell.”

Micah loves books!
Stickers – remember those go on paper not walls or windows!
Daddy’s little helpers in the kitchen!
Now these are aprons not costumes.  As soon as Jonah put his on he ran around the house saying “Run, Run as fast as you can.  You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread man.”  It was so cute I wish we had our video camera out.  We really weren’t expecting that reaction so you gotta love kids and their imagination.   They bring so much joy to our lives.  Thank you St. Nick!