A reality check

4 years and 4 months…

Can it really only be that long until Elizabeth graduates?? 

Jim and I went to the orientation for 8th grade parents last night.  Our little girl is no longer a little girl soon she will be a Freshman in High School and then a High School graduate.  I can remember when she came home from the hospital, loved to “cut” Jim’s hair in her play kitchen, went to kindergarten, started playing the violin, handled the move to a new town and school, and is now in her final semester of middle school and doing very well.  She has been on the Honor Roll for the 5 semesters she has been at Chisholm Middle School.

I want the clock to slow down just for a little bit….

This is a picture from Christmas.  This next picture is of the fall before 6th grade, I can’t believe how much she has grown up.

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13 days since Christmas

This morning during church the sermon was about Epiphany and the wise men’s visit to the magi.  This visit actual occured on January 6 so we are at the Sunday following that wonderful event.  This morning’s sermon also reminded me how faithful Mary and Joseph  were.  They never questioned what God told them to do.  I hope I can remember this in the new year as I try to be more faithful to God’s word.

Christmas was different this year, there was so much snow and cold that many churches cancelled Christmas Eve services. It is easy to remember the reason we celebrate Christmas, but there seemed to be something missing without that  usual Christmas Eve service.   We were in Beatrice, but did not have our annual Christmas picture until we returned home.

The decorations are down, but I want to share some highlights of our Christmas that we shared with family in Nebraska.

Christmas Day in Beatrice

During the time we were in Beatrice, we enjoyed good company, good food (it always tastes better when someone else does the cooking), watched a variety of holiday movies, played games, and Elizabeth and Erik enjoyed the snow.  Oh, yes we can’t forget that we spent plenty of time with the dogs.  If you remember from the Thanksgiving post, grandma has a new puppy. A new puppy has to go outside a lot, which is something that Maisy also likes to do.

The Snow…

This is the snow that Jim and I remember growing up.  We typically don’t see this much snow in Kansas.  On our trip home, we got to Salina which is about an hour from home and there was no snow.  The kids were so….disappointed!  They wanted to play in the snow again.  During our trip, they were outside everyday even though the temps were below zero.

The trip to Seward on Sunday provided for a different type of fun.  Elizabeth and Erik were able to go sledding with their cousins Sarah and Zach.  It was great that Aunt Peggy and Uncle Mike also went outside so we could watch from the comfort of their house.  Erik said the afternoon was AWESOME…!

The snow is probably over 24 inches deep in some places before it is piled for clearing and then add the drifts in from the blowing snow.

Brown Family…

We were able to meet in Seward at Jim’s brothers house.  Everyone was there except Deb who lives in Michigan and Craig who lives in Alma.  He was planning on making the trip, but he was snowed in.  Melinda had been snowed in with Mike, Peggy, Sarah, and Zach since Wednesday.  Barb and Keith made the trip out from Lincoln on Sunday.  More pictures of the day.

The cousins that get along so well when they see each other.  The time together never seems to be long enough.

I hope they continue to be the good friends that they have become.

Games…

One thing that is a favorite at grandma’s house is playing games. We play games when we go for the weekend and we played ALOT of games during the time we were there for Christmas.  We played an old favorite, Polyana.  This was a game that Jamie and I played growing up as well as one that mom played with her family when she was little.

Erik also received a new game “Bop It” which proved to be fun and a little competitive for Erik and Elizabeth.

The Days Before Christmas

A Carriage Ride…

On Saturday evening, December 19 we ventured to Wichita’s Bradley Fair for a carriage ride.  This is the second year that we have taken a ride, but this year it was much colder standing in line.  In years past, we have went to the Christmas Parade in Lawerence, but since living in Newton we haven’t made the trip.  The carriage ride gives Erik and Elizabeth a chance to see the horses close up.

Making Gingerbread Houses…

 

  

When Elizabeth was little, she and I would decorate gingerbread houses.  Originally, I would bake the gingerbread from scratch using a pampered chef mold.  As Erik grew, he also got involved, anything involving sugar is good for him.  Last year due to time we purchased the kits, but continued the tradition of making gingerbread houses.  We also did the short cut method this year.  It is amazing how quickly things change, they enjoy decorating without much help from me these days.  It is also interesting to see how each one decorates their special houses that stay on the bar during the holiday season.

Erik is hard at work putting his house together.

A teenager hard at work!

Baking…

We spent the first two days of break baking goodies to enjoy with our families during the holidays as well as with our neighbors.   We always share home made goods with our neighbors.  Elizabeth even made dog biscuits for our 4 legged friends, but I did not get a picture.  ( She is becoming quite the chef and does many cooking things by herself.)

Jim has started making peppernuts for us to enjoy.  This is a holiday treat I remember having as a young child.  The recipe is different, but we enjoy it just the same.  It is important for us to have our traditions as a family, but also some that we continue from our days of growing up.

When are we leaving…

The weather in December can be unpredictable as we found out this week.  The plan was to leave to go to Nebraska on December 23, but the weather forecast was sounding a bit frightful.  Should we go?? or Should we stay??  It was decided to pack the Escape and try to make it to grandma’s.  The original plan was to be at grandma’s in Beatrice, but travel to Seward to be with Jim’s side of the family for Christmas.  We travelled in rain, but the further North we went, the colder the temperatures were as well as more snow.

Here is a picture of our tree before packing up.

Here is a picture of Maisy the reindeer with 2 elves.