Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy 2012!

New Year's Day 2012 was on a Sunday, so the girls got to wear their new dresses that they got for Christmas. Brantley picked the dresses out by himself. He has great taste - the dresses are darling!

New Year's Eve 2011

Tim and I usually just stay home on New Year's Eve so we can avoid the crazy drivers. I know, I know, we're sooo boring! But the older kids go out with friends to dances or parties or some other fun activity. And for the last 3 years, Ellie has gone to a super fancy dance in downtown Seattle where she gets to wear formal evening wear. This year, she went with Marquis. Aren't they a cute couple?

Northwest Harvest

Once or twice a month I go help out at Northwest Harvest. We package up food for food banks around the state of Washington. We also sort, box, and distribute food that's received as donations, which is what I'm doing here. It's a great organization, and I'm so glad I can help!

Christmas Day 2011

Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, so we got to go to church before we opened presents. It was so wonderful because Ean and Lexie were able to be there too! I loved looking down the row and seeing all 8 of the kids in church with us. It's been years since that's happened. After we got home, we changed and opened presents. Then we had our traditional lasagna dinner. It was a wonderful, spiritual, fun Christmas. I wish Christmas was on a Sunday every year!

Letter to Santa

As far as I knew, none of our kids still believed in Santa. It's hard when you have older kids to keep the younger kids believing. However, this year Emily wrote a letter to Santa, and left it with cookies and milk for him. I guess she still believes. So cute!

Christmas Cookies

Another Christmas tradition for us is making and decorating Christmas cookies. I keep thinking the older kids will lose interest, but they love doing it every year. This year, they decorated faces too! I never would have thought of that!

Christmas Lights

Every year we go to see the Christmas lights. It's one of our favorite Christmas activities! We listen to Christmas music and always get Dairy Queen Dilly Bars when we're done. This year, with Lexie and Ean gone and only 6 kids with us, the van seemed like it was almost empty!

Our Weekend With Sebastian

The little girls have a class mascot named Sebastian. He's a little stuffed dog. Every weekend, Sebastian goes home with a class member and they take pictures and write about the adventures they had together. One weekend in December, it was Ashlyn's turn. Sebastian went swimming with us, did homework with Emily, and went to church. It's just such a cute idea, and we had a great time during our Sebastian Weekend!

Thanksgiving 2011

We had a great Thanksgiving! Lexie and Ean no longer live at home, but they were able to join us for the day and it was great to have everyone here - at least for a little while until Ellie took off to spend the rest of the day with Marquis' family. We just relaxed and ate and enjoyed each other's company. I, of course, cooked too. The weather was very nice and everyone was healthy. We also got a chance to take a picture with all 10 of us, which hasn't happened in over 6 years. We have so much to be thankful for!

Baking a Cake........

OK, so I must confess that I never make cakes from scratch. Mixes are just so much easier! But one day in November, Brantley really wanted to make a chocolate cake from scratch. So he did, playing with the flour of course, and it turned out to be super yummy! It was a first for both of us, and now I'm not so intimidated by the idea of cakes from scratch anymore. Maybe he'll be a future professional baker! Wouldn't that be fun?


The kids love it when Ellie's boyfriend Marquis comes over. In fact, they usually end up in a wrestling match with both he and Ellie. He's an only child, so I worried about how he'd be with our large loud crew, but he just fits right in. Thank heavens!