Saturday, December 29, 2007


A couple quick pictures of Christmas Day.

Jacob's new work bench

Nathan's new sword (all the boys got one with their name on it.) He also got a bike.Steven's new toy which is a spiderman arm thingy. Pretty cool

Brandon with his new "Johnny Jump Up" (he is more interested in sucking on it than jumping in it.)
Jessica coming down to see what Santa brought
Nathan looked inside his hollow chocolate Santa and got choco all over his eye.

Steve suggested that the boys hug each other when they open their presentsSteve with his new PDA that he bought back in October. I hid it until Christmas though. :)

For dinner we had the Carley's over for a huge Thanksgiving type dinner which was fabulous. Then after dinner we played a new game the Hancock's taught us which is an expansion of Settler's called Cities and Knights. It is lots of fun and made for a great Christmas Evening. Even if Jessica didn't join us.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eve

We have had a wonderful Christmas, and I want to blog a little of it before my next adventure. I am already behind in blogging by about 5 ideas. And tomorrow all the boys leave with me and Jessica to go to BERLIN for 2 days. I am very excited to see the city, and am only slightly worried about traveling with the boys without Steve. I can be forceful enough with them, but when I do it myself it can really effect my attitude. I will let you know how it goes. :)

First....we bought a live tree around the 1st of December. We took a look at it on the 17th when Steve's parents were leaving and realized that it wasn't looking too good. Since we wanted to have fires over the holidays we figured we would be smart to get that dead thing out of our house and buy a second Christmas tree. So, the day Jessica got here we went and bought another one, and here are Steve and Jessica decorating it.

As for Christmas Eve:
Steve's family has a tradition of eating KFC on Christmas Eve. They usually go to a tree lighting ceremony where they are away from the house for about 2 hours right at dinner time, so bringing food in makes things a lot easier. And Fran and Lyle found themselves at KFC for two Christmas Eve's in a row when they were newly married. So, Steve would like to keep that tradition, and although I complain about it sometimes, it sure makes my Christmas Eve easier! I had time to finish wrapping presents, make sugar cookies, and clean the house to get ready for company instead of spending lots of time in the kitchen. It tasted pretty good too. The Hancock's (Nathaniel, Felicity and William, plus Felicity's Mom) are the company that we were so happy to have over for the evening.
After dinner we had a wonderful performance of the Christmas story that Jessica put together for us. We got to sing lots of Christmas songs from the hymn book and remember the birth of Christ.
{Nathaniel, Felicity, and William playing Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus}

{We had the privilege of having Jessica be here as our Angel holding the star}

{Here is Jacob with Williams hat acting as a sheep}

{Everyone all looking at the baby in the manger }

Then we went in to the kitchen and frosted the said sugar cookies so we could have a treat for Santa.
{William loved the sugar cookies, and being with his Grandma}

K, here is Jacob's way of frosting the cookies:First you frost
Then you dump the sprinkles on the plate
Then you rub your cookie in circles all around the plate to pick up the sprinkles.
And Wahlah a perfectly decorated sugar cookie.

After the Hancocks left, the boys got to open one gift and they all got matching Superman pajamas.
{OK, the ironic thing here is...I bought these PJs back in September. Then when we were home in Virginia for Thanksgiving, I was going through Daniel (my nephews) old clothes to see if the boys could use any. I found this Superman Halloween costume that Steve has been wearing every day for the past week. And they are almost identical to the PJ's I bought.}
We then set out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and sent the kids to bed.
{The nicely decorated ones were all made my Jessica. It has been so nice to have her here!}

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nana and Papa

As you have probably guessed from the lack of blogging, we had a wonderful time with Steve's parents these past 10 days. They came here to visit US of course, but also to go to the Christmas Markets that are so fun here in Germany, and we were able to see a lot of them. We would send the boys to school in the morning, and then in the afternoon we would go to a market. The boys did well, and I was thrilled to be seeing a lot of the stuff people had told me about. We have been gone for the past 2 years around Christmas time, so this was a real treat for me. We especially enjoyed the banana-nutella crepes. YUM! Don't be too jealous Tawna and Krista.

Sadly one of the days they were here I dropped my camera and it had these red lines running through all the pictures, so I took very few pics. And Steve's Dad's camera had a lot of the pictures erased off of it.
Last weekend we decided to go to Belgium to see if their Christmas Markets differed a lot from Germany. It was pretty much the same idea, but they did have a lot of different stuff. We were glad we went to see it. I had a great time. It was dang cold there though, and there cold weather is now hitting us here in Darmstadt. It is about 28 degrees here at night. Sooo coooold. Especially with no central heating. But I guess one could always complain about the weather huh?

K, here is a picture of me just to prove that I was there with them. Not my best side I would say.

And then our little Brandon boy. He turned 4 months yesterday although it seems he has been around a lot longer than that. I gave him a cracker to gnaw on tonight, and he enjoyed it. Also, somehow the camera is now fixed. This picture looks great and was taken this evening.

K, I have more to report so stay tuned.

Monday, December 03, 2007

FHE Nativity

Real Quick....

So, I am not quite on top of my game yet since my vacation. I think it may be because Nathan and Jacob haven't gone back to school yet, so I don't feel like I am back on schedule. But, Monday got away from me without planning a good FHE lesson.

So....good ole computer guy Steve, found a wonderful little video for us to watch on the computer. We brought all the boys in our office (which is trashed like always) and discussed Christmas. The fun Santa parts of Christmas and then the real reason of Christmas and what we should be remembering at this time of year. Then we watched this video on youtube which is very touching to me.

For dessert we ate some fruity candy from our Advent!
Nana and Papa Hughes are suppose to come on Friday and we are so, so, so excited. They are coming to check out the Christmas Markets here, and I am happy because that will make me go to more than I would have otherwise. Plus we love their company and the boys are excited to see them again. So, I will see what I can come up with for next weeks FHE with company.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Our Wonderful Vacation to Virginia

We had such a Marvelous time in Virginia and are so happy that we got to go. It is crazy to me to think the amount of money we spend on tickets and the amount of time we spend on airplanes to go see family for a week or two. is SOOOO worth it! We love visiting with our families and are so grateful that we have such a good relationship with both Steve's side and my side.
{Here are the boys roughing up Erin}

So we got to VA on Saturday night, and went to bed about 9. Of course the kids were up again at 3am which is what they have done every time so it never surprises me. It is also not all that bad, because my body is just as ready to be awake as theirs so it doesn't kill me to get out of bed. We napped during church and then got to go to Lisa and Charlie's house for dinner. They have 2 wonderful children Daniel and Emma and the kids had a BLAST with them.

Monday's biggest highlight was definitely WALMART. Steve and I were completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that is in that store.

On Tuesday we all went to see the dentist! I am so grateful that the boys have teeth like Steve's. He never has cavities and the only cavity from the boys was a tiny one in Jacob's mouth that the dentist filled with no numbing thank heavens. I on the other hand had to get two cavities redone. Oh well, I am used to dental work.
{We are at the dental office that Fran works for, so she got to hold the bebe}

Then Tuesday night when I got back from the dentist Landon and Sarah were there to spend some time with us! I am sooo happy they came. I totally enjoyed there company and it was great seeing them and sweet little Aiden. We went out to Red Lobster with them (which wasn't as good as I remember) and then they stayed over at Lisa and Charlie's house in a small apartment they have downstairs. The next day we went and walked around Colonial Williamsburg in beautiful 75 degree weather. And Landon got to see the school that he almost went to, The College of William and Mary.
{A little trampoline time}
{This is me with my Brick Brownie in Colonial Williamsburg. Mmmmm}

Thursday we had a Marvelous Thanksgiving feast with every person in Steve's family. His sister Kristin, the only one that doesn't live in VA, came from Delaware with her husband John and their 3 girls. It is funny that they are having the girls and we are having the boys. Anyway we took some family pictures which I think turned out great. Then had our yummy turkey dinner, and afterwards Steve and I taught the Hughes how to play Settlers. They took to the game of course and Steve and I were in our element. The cousins all played together wonderfully and are now lifelong friends.
{Lisa with Brandon and Kristin's daughter Hannah who just turned one.}

{Here is all the family. This was taken in Lisa and Charlie's backyard. Isn't it beautiful.}
K, do you like this one better or
this one. Help me decide
{Nana and Papa with their 9 grandkids.}

Then through the weekend we shopped, ate out, and went to a movie and just enjoyed each others company. It was exactly the way a family vacation should be. I was totally relaxed, eating good, and spending lots of money.
{Fat and Happy}

We flew home on Monday. They messed with our first flight out of Richmond and we ended up hanging out in the airport for 6 hours before we boarded a plane for a 1 hour flight, 30 minute layover (which was not enough time to catch the next plane without the little golf cart that picked us up), then a 7 hour flight back home.

So now we are here, and adjusted again. And the only Regret I am having is that I did not take enough pictures. I think holding a baby all the time has affected that. I am having my sisters-in-law send theirs to me though so I will have more.