I hardly want to type any words, because the title seems like enough.  Thankful.  I am so thankful for our beautiful Thanksgiving.  The weather.  Our family.  Our home.  My son’s 2nd birthday.  My daughters.  My husband.  See… I told you thankful was enough!  Here is a glimpse of our day:

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The birthday boy in his jammies.

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Helping Mama make her first-ever cinnamon rolls from scratch.  (My girls have now requested them for their birthdays, as well.)  I found a great recipe which requires very little “waiting,” which is why I decided to do them.  We Yehs are hungry in the morning, and can’t wait 90 minutes for dough to rise!

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It was suppose to rain.  Instead, we spent all morning outside waiting for Papa to come home from work.

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An afternoon movie.  A nap.  Then family, dinner, and presents!

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We decided on hot pot and sashimi over turkey this year.  It is so nice to have incredible food and so little prep work!  But, we did have to promise the girls we would do a turkey and potatoes for Christmas.  They are such traditionalists!  (Love that about them!)

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Auntie brought a cake for the birthday boy.  Best. Cake. Ever.  I may have snuck more once the kids went to bed.  shhh….

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After dessert it was time for “Don’t Eat Tom Turkey.”  It’s a tradition, you know.  I’ll let you guess who insisted on playing.  As always, we had a great time.  The best was when the little man had his turn ad put every marshmallow in his mouth as fast as he could.  Good time, good times.

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Truly, the emotion I feel when I see these pictures is overwhelming.  My heart is overflowing with gratitude to my Father of Lights for every good and perfect gift; especially the gift of His son.  (I’m looking forward to celebrating His birthday, next!)

Happy birthday, sweet Malachi!

Schooling Around

We are officially on Thanksgiving break, and I am oh so thankful!  I believe the sickies are behind us, too.  Would you believe I’ve already started wrapping Christmas presents?  I’m also looking forward to seeing some friends we don’t get to see too often during the school year, having a wonderful meal with our family on Thursday, and then turning on the Christmas music to begin the decorating.  Exciting stuff ahead!  In the meantime, here is a peak at some of our schooling the past few weeks:

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We enjoyed our stay in Russia; especially the Russian pancakes and painting the Matryoshka dolls!

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We tried something new; puffy paints!  They worked great, though they were quite messy.  Once you make the paints and paint the pictures, you simply microwave them for a few seconds and watch them puff up.  It’s pretty cool.  You can get the original recipe here.

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I love Natalie’s face; she wasn’t fond of the mess.

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We are now in England and have done two crafts this week:  1)  quilling  (The girls were already familiar with this from a previous Keepers of the Home meeting!)

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2)  We made thaumatropes.  Yeah, I had never heard of them either.  They are a sort of toy developed in England where you have a picture on one side of a circle and another picture upside down on the other side.  My girls did a bird and a bird cage, love and a heart, and a fish and a fish bowl.  Once you’re done, you pull a string through and wind them up.  Once you spin them, your eyes are suppose to trick you into seeing the objects superimposed.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t spin them fast enough to get good results.  But, they were fun to make!

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Finally, Allison and Natalie are sewing dolls by hand.  Allison got the pattern from a boook she got for her birthday.  So far she has cut the pattern, cut the fabric, pinned the fabric, sewn the fabric, and stuffed the doll herself.  I am impressed.  Next up — the fun stuff.  Embroidering the face and making some clothes!  (Oh, wait — we have to sew the legs on, as well!)

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Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Hot Chocolate

It’s that time of year, again… brrr… I always think I like the cold better than the hot.  Then the cold comes and I’m… well, cold.  Funny how that works!  But a little hot chocolate definitely makes us all a bit cozier!

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Thursday was our first big rain of the year.  We told the girls they could stay in their jammies and have hot chocolate instead of tea for our Thankful Thursday tea party.  Add a fire, and it was super cozy!

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This was Malachi’s first hot chocolate.  I LOVE the looks on his face.  🙂

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Once the girls wrote in their thankful journals, we decided to read.  I sat on the yellow chair reading.  I would glance up once in a while and see my husband on the couch with Malachi, and the 3 girls huddled by the fire.  It was so sweet, it almost made it hard for me to read without getting choked up.  I am so grateful for days with our entire family together… especially when they involve hot chocolate, a good book, and a fire!

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Malachi’s Party

Guess where we went to celebrate Malachi’s 2nd birthday?

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Sometimes simple is better, and this time around we kept things very simple.  Chick-Fil-A is like our home away from home.  It is embarrassing how often we eat there, really.  And, that is exactly the reason we chose Chick-Fil-A

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It wasn’t really an official “party.”  No balloons, party favors, invitations, or even presents.  We simply had lunch and cupcakes with some dear friends.  Chick-Fil-A did provide a present, however… and Malachi loves his new cow!  And, our friends did bring presents… but not for Malachi.  We asked that they bring a present for Operation Christmas Child, as that is an organization we love supporting.

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Candles were a little challenging this time around.  But, he did love hearing the birthday song sung to him.  And, his buddy stepped in to help with the candles…

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Here is Malachi with his best little buddies; Madelyn, Johnny, and Noah.

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We were so blessed to have the cow come out.  Malachi loved jumping and dancing with him!

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And, I must say… this was the simplest birthday party we’ve ever done.  And, it was just what we all needed.

The Animals

Life is never dull around here with our animals.  (No, I’m not referring to our children — though that works at some level on some days!)

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Here my husband invited the animals onto our bed to share his dried fish snack.  Ya.  Don’t ask.

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The cat was the lucky winner.  (The dog got scared off by the camera — for some reason he still thinks it’s a weapon.)

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My boy having fun pretending to paint and having the cat attack the paintbrush.  Perhaps the shirtless boy outside on a cold day explains why the sickness lingers on…

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This poor chicken.

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We have our first experience with “molting,” and I don’t like it one bit.  It kind of gives me the creeps to see the new feathers growing in.  Eow.  So far she is he only one who seems to be molting.  Hmmm…

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And, this elusive chicken.  Her name is Grace.  She gets out of the chicken yard every day.  We clipped her wings and covered the spot where we thought she may have been escaping, yet she still manages to get out.  We have yet to catch her, but I am dying to know how she keeps escaping.  Today she and the cat were staring each other down through the window.  Of course, by the time I grabbed my camera it was all over, but it was pretty funny!

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Nothing Much!

I know, I know… I said no more sickie pictures.  But, just look at the little face I got to see up close and personal all day:

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Ugh.  Melts your heart, huh?  Little dude is officially on day 3 of misery.  I woke-up with sore arms today and realized it was from little dude’s day 2 of misery.  Hey, at least I’ll get a good arm workout carrying sick boy all day!  On the bright side, he looked a little better this afternoon.

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I know this looks more like a summer picture, but this, my friends, is why I love living in southern California.  Our Farmer’s market has the best strawberries still.  They are so sweet.  I am hoping they will help rid our house of this sick bug with their vitamins, but so far no luck!

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Curly top is finally her old self.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing — ha!  Truly, I am happy to have her back from the sickies even if it means we’re back to spankings!  🙂  Today she and the dog decided to have their cucumbers outside.  It was precious, and I actually caught a picture without the dog knowing I went to get my camera and running off on me.

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These two lovely ladies are also on the mend.  I’ll miss our games of Sorry, Monopoly, Boggle, and puzzles, but it will be good to get back into a school routine!

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And, last but not least… this was our loot today when I opened the nesting box.  It is always just so pretty.

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Perhaps you’re tired of posts about sick kiddos.  Me, too.  I’ll spare you the sad kids asleep on the couch today, but let me just lament one more time.  This bug is brutal!   Today is day 5 of my older girls being totally wiped out with a high fever.  Totally, like I’ve never seen them before.  And day 1 of my little guy spiking a fever.  Here we go, again!  Ok, I said I’d spare the yucky details.  Let’s move on to happier thoughts… like this cat.  Hilarious; sleeping half off the couch with a big smile on his face!  I found this while downloading pictures tonight.  Thanks for snapping it, Honey!

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Sierra finally got her appetite back today.  So, while trying to think of a snack, I remembered something my mom let us do as kids.  After a birthday, whenever we had leftover frosting we made graham cracker frosting sandwiches.  Hooray for childhood recollections!

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In an attempt to make the girls feel better, I blow-dried their hair all nice after their shower this morning.  I was hoping that clean feeling would make them feel better.  We also cuddled up on the couch to watch “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  We read it again this week.  I think it was our third time reading it together, but the first in a very long time.  Oh, the conversations and questions and excitement over these books.  Personally, I can’t get enough of them.  We will be starting “Prince Caspian” again tomorrow!

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To add to the coziness of a sick day inside, it was gray and gloomy out all day.  Sierra and I did venture out to get the mail, and she insisted on wearing her rain boots.  When we came back in, we started Narnia all over again.  Yes, we watched it twice in a row!  As much as I don’t like this round of sickies, I am thankful for all our cuddle and cozy time.  Oh, and a break from our regular school routine.  Yes, even teachers need sick days!

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Day 7

Really today is more like day 15 of the yucky bug that has attacked every one of us in our house.  But, it’s day 7 of this little one being a complete zombie.  Thankfully, her fever broke today.  (Not for her sisters… boo…)  Looking forward to health and normalcy returning to these parts!



We recently mentioned to some friends that our kids are sick…again… They commented, “Your kids are always sick, it seems.”  Feels that way over here, too.  Thankfully, it’s never more than a flu or cold.  And, though they seem to linger,  eventually they go away.  And so this week has seen quite a bit of this:

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My poor sweetie who never naps has not been able to keep from falling asleep anywhere!  This afternoon she conked out on the rug, then outside, then on my bed where she still is now!

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With the beautiful weather, we’ve tried a few sister time activities outside.  Sidewalk paints lasted a minute.  Playing with mud and water and making pretend menus for our pretend restaraunt lasted a bit longer due to the older girls.  Then Malachi took over with his trucks!

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Natalie took to the catching bugs idea, but little sis was just too tired to join her!

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Our only kid without a high fever today was this guy:

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Perhaps it’s because he likes to steal my salads!  (Don’t be too impressed, though.  He’s done after 3 bites!)

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Mostly it’s because he is our good sleeper.  This week he has had two 4-hour naps.  Most Mondays he misses the garbage trucks because of his naps.  Today he actually got to see the recycling truck before going down.  He was enthralled!

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Then the truck drove out of our cul-de-sac. **tears**  Then it was nap time!

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The Flamingo Party

I always let my kids choose their birthday theme, so long as they promise not to change their mind.  So far so good.  When Sierra said, “flamingo,” I had to smile.  I can’t explain it, but it fits her personality so well.  Remember this flamingo picture taken just a few weeks before the party?

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It was perfect to use for her invitation!  Ok, on to the party…

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Most of our parties are heavy on crafts and light on games.  This time around, I switched things up.  Other than coloring, it was mostly outdoor flamingo games.  Unfortunately, I was leading the games and forgot to hand the camera off.  In fact, I was bad with the camera all-around.  Here are the only lunch and game pictures I took:

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Sierra can be somewhat shy and overwhelmed when it comes to large crowds.  (We weren’t even allowed to sing happy birthday.)  But, she did great this birthday and even enjoyed the birthday chair and present opening!

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After the cake, I finally gave-up and let the kids go upstairs.  My rope blockade had long since been torn down.  I think they had the most fun just dressing-up and playing.

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Happy 4th birthday, my sweet girl!