Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hope it was Merry!

Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful celebration this holiday season... we're having a great week, and had a lovely time with family and friends from near and far. It was especially great to see my far-away cousins and many friends we haven't seen since moving... going home for Christmas is special indeed! I (of course) forgot my camera, so here are some pictures my sister Sophie took:
light! 

my dad reading the T'was the Night Before Christmas to my kids and sisters 

They loved it! 

Christmas Morning! 

A quiet moment after all the gifts were given and after we'd visited Zach's mom's house... she's reading her new science book :). 

My mom's table setting

Romanian and Chilean beauties! 

Crazy boys' table

My Mimi and PopPop- best grandparents ever, and now GREAT grandparents to NINE kids! They still walk a mile a day and party on a regular basis. We should all be like them :). They read this blog- Hi Mimi and PopPop! 

Zach (here with my brother Kyle) sketched all the grandkids for my parents and in-laws, including my brothers' new babies and Zach's half-siblings... yes, my husband is an artist... my begging finally paid off and he got out his charcoal pencils for Christmas! 

All Pete wanted for Christmas was snuggle time with cousin Laela! 

telling jokes from our poppers!

Every year that we get to spend with each other is such a gift. I'm so grateful for our wonderful family and all the time we got to spend with them this year! Off to celebrate the New Year in style... Be back soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peace on Earth

Merry Christmas friends! Wishing you love, light, and peace. And lots and lots of joy and sugary treats :). And if you're feeling extra sassy, spray painted hair.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

work, programs, parties galore!

I know... once again I win the Most Boring Blogger award.... I do have excuses.... lots of jobs to be had (subbing at the preschool- my personal favorite!), some contract work, being in charge of crafts at Christmas parties (x 3 kids = my brain was stretched to its maximum creative capacity).

Leah and Pete's Christmas Program... waiting to start... can't you find them in the crowd? :)


But the most fun to be had was yesterday, when I woke up and baked goodies from 9:30 until 3, and then had a magnificent celebration with our landlord, his extended family (our dear friends), and our neighbors. I don't cook well... but I bake (well, I made everything but the Trader Joe's german spice cookies)... so a dessert party it was! Complete with cider and hot chocolate... and the perfect sugar coma was bestowed upon all! :).






Teenagers (and Pete) would rather watch Elf....
Who let that guy with the Dook shirt into my house??? :)

Elf got really popular...

A great time was had by all, and it was a fun way to kick off the Christmas festivities! Today we watched a couple of extra kiddos for a working mama, and Mario Kart is my new hero while heavy rain falls outside. Now we just need to wrap some gifts and do some laundry, and the Christmas weekend can actually occur.

Nothing else too exciting to report... hope you all are well and having a joyful week! (off to watch Elf for the 3rd time since yesterday... rain rain raaaaaaaaaaaain go away!)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent


Advent is upon us... and we wait expectantly, together as a family, joyfully and quietly, as the season unfolds around us. Winter skies remind us of the light that enters the world every single day... if only we're wise enough to look for it... to look at it.

(photos from our front yard at dusk)

Zach is finished for the semester. We can exhale for a bit... before it all starts again in January. I do not take this for granted. We're all cherishing every moment! Love and Peace to all of you... have a great week!

“The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart…The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”

— Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark, pp. 2,3


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Time Smother you in Christmas...


Helloooo!

Decorations are up... Husband almost done with school (for a little tiny bit... I'll take it!).... presents at least thought about... (that whole lack of income thing is causing a LOT of creativity around here). Kids are in the spirit! Now if it could snow a little here... or at least be colder than 60*... I would be thrilled!!!

Here is tree #1 in the living room:
Yes, Action Figure Jesus continues to grant us Peace from the top of the tree.


Tree #2... first time we've had room for TWO trees!!! In our dining room area and seen through the window above... so pretty!

We have, of course, been listening to great Christmas music, and Sara Groves is still my very favorite (I mean, not to dethrone Amy Grant or anything. That would be blasphemy. But Amy is legend and doesn't even need to be mentioned. She's like Oprah and doesn't even need to be considered for the awards anymore. She's that solidified in the Christmas music history of America. Not to worry. Tender Tennessee Christmas, anyone?).

So anyway, once again, this blog will serenade you with my fav Sara Groves Christmas song. Be merry and bright!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Have. Mercy.

It is Advent.
Do we really care about our neighbor? Are we even willing to give, just a little? My grandfather emailed this so me, and it is powerful. I hope you'll take the time to watch it, and let your heart be moved, and broken, and changed.

Change For A Dollar Movie: Is he asking for Change, or is he asking for CHANGE? Follow a man as he affects multiple peoples' lives with just one dollar, proving that it doesn't take much to be the change in someone's life. Written and directed by Sharon Wright.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I might regret this.

Yah, I know. It's Wednesday. Haven't blogged much. Yada Yada. Real life. blah blah blah. I know life's a "marathon and not a sprint" but if Someone could possibly let these next two weeks be a sprint, I'd be so grateful and possibly do more good deeds or something. Probably not though, considering that whole "sin nature" thing.

Anyway, about regrets. And oh, did I mention a "marathon" up there? Hmm, seems I did, how interesting. Regrets?

No no no, I am not running a marathon. Who would actually pay to do that? And have your toe nails fall off? I've heard some people pee all over themselves too, at the end of the race. Sounds like a blast.

But half of a marathon. Hmmm. Half. That sounds like it could be challenging without making me pee my pants or rip my knees to shreds. Maybe I won't fork over my cash for ultimate suffering... But I will fork it over for half-suffering. That I am capable of.

So a "half" is what I just apparently signed up for, like officially. So now it's officially official. Not until March will this little half race happen. And by "race" I mean "becca will run an 11 minute mile and come in last." I'll be racing the crawling babies and they'll probably win. But as I get wheeled into surgery, I'll still have the memories of completing a half marathon!

Am I an idiot?

Who cares. Well, yes, that's already been established. However, now I am a running idiot.

Oh, and did someone just say that tomorrow is December? What the ????

I am so behind on life. Please tell me you are too.

Be back in awhile...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

just horsin' around.

Okay I'm sorry. That was such a cheesy title. But yes, we did a lot of horsin' around in Virginia over Thanksgiving! Zach's aunt boards her horse at a GORGEOUS barn on incredible land outside of Richmond. So instead of shopping on Black Friday, we went horseback riding! I grew up riding and jumping horses, and it's always fun to re-visit that part of myself. Getting to teach my kids (and show them that I'm sort of cool) is always a treat :).

time to groom and tack up! 

Sammy helped

so excited to teach her! 

Leah loved it

Happy Pete! 

You have no idea how amazing it is that he's not afraid anymore! he LOVED riding! 

My turn :)

Yeehaw! 


out of practice, but still got it... sort of... :)

Sam even got on Ticket (horse instead of pony)... he said "whoa! it's higher up here!" 

love this picture! 

hello beautiful

Sammy snuggling with this precious sweet horse. He has come SO far and isn't afraid. A true miracle! 



We had such a great time. The weather was awesome! I have a few more pics to share later, but I was a pretty bad photog and forgot to capture the actual thanksgiving meal. Something to do with making sure my kids didn't destroy in-laws house... can be a tad bit stressful... but it all worked out :). They behaved! Hope you all had a GREAT holiday... off to decorate for Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Time...

Time. I don't have much of it, these days, for blogging. But, I hope to take a gazillion pictures and gather fantastic stories over Thanksgiving. We are all excited for the little break... a lovely preview of the bigger Christmas break we will be gifted with in a couple of weeks!

Oh, and I HAVE, seriously, started the 1/2 marathon training. It feels good to be working toward a big goal. I am staying very hydrated with coffee, and very carb-loaded with all the recipes you shared with me. (ps... what the heck is up with so many people dissing carbs? I can't even walk up the stairs without eating some good old bread. Count me out of the people trying to eat like our ancestors. We EVOLVED, duh. So, I will eat bread. And cheese. And cake. And then I will go run.)

Here is a little something I've been reflecting on:

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~Henry Ward Beecher


Thankfulness. 


Not to get too preachy here (because we all know where that gets me...), but I think we have some big ol' problems in this country regarding thankfulness. In other words, I think we've become a nation of "wendy whiners". We have a case of the galloping gimme's. We want want want. We've lost sight of how much we actually do have. While there are so many people really, truly suffering... and then we watch those people, those people who are actually suffering, give THANKS for what little they have. THAT is what being "thankful" looks like. 


Thankful for every breath you take. For every bite you take. For every step you take. For every word you speak. For every hug you receive. 


Unthankfulness? Will get us nowhere, as individuals. Waking up with a thankful heart? Immediate joy... immediate mercy... immediate love... immediate peace. 


I'm choosing to "Occupy Thanksgiving" this year... hope you'll join me :). 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ideas?*

helloooo.

How's it going?

I'm good. Busy, as usual, but good busy. Just took a little data-entry job for a local company that I can do from home over the next few weeks... just this project that they needed help with. It will help with Christmas presents or gas money. Whichever I decide to assign the $ to in my head :).

Also, started training for a 1/2 marathon. I should be able to do that, right? I mean, why not? Running used to be "too hard" for me, and it's true that I've had left knee and hip issues, but I feel good and strong, and the training lines up with how I exercise anyway, so should be good to go. We shall see.

Kids are great. Excited for Thanksgiving and then the "BIG" break for Christmas. They ask me eleventy billion times a day... "MOM... HOW LONG does the break last? Really? TWO WHOLE WEEKS???" They are a wee bit excited :). For now we are all just happily trotting along in our routines.

Hmmm, what else. Not much, really. Zach's entering his home stretch of this first semester, which is crazy. It will feel like an awesome accomplishment when he finishes his last exam and we realize that this actually worked. We actually got through the first semester of Dental school, our sanity (pretty much) intact, all of us happy and at peace with how are lives are going every day. I love my family! I have a great husband and awesome kids. I have a ridiculous amount to be thankful for.

Am I boring you? It is all sort of boring. But I do need your ideas. With baking.

*Okay, so we're traveling to see Zach's Dad's side of the family for Thanksgiving, and I've been assigned "desserts" for about 20 people. I need to make these desserts about 2 days in advance and then keep in the fridge. Of course Pumpkin Pie is a nice staple and easily keeps in the fridge for a few days, but what else should I make? I was thinking 2 pies and something else. What would be okay (maybe re-heatable) in the fridge? and Easy? and is tried-and-true for you, so I know I'm not going to show up looking like a baking idiot? (I do love to bake. One of the only things I'm actually good at. But, I need ideas!!!).

Come on internet. Help me out. Love you guys!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

harvest

Sorry to bore you with more stories from our little patch of land, but it's so much fun to explore! With each new season we're discovering more treasures that exist here. Our latest find... Pecan trees! With tons and tons of pecans! The kids have had a blast picking up the falling pecans and shelling them. Our landlord had a blast teaching our kids about these trees. We are very blessed to be here! 


See that tree in the middle? That's one of the pecan trees here. Yesterday it shed it's top leaves! so cool to watch. 

Pecans! 




Just for kicks... a blurry sunset out the back door...
Hope you've all had a great weekend... cherish your surroundings and the people in your life... pure beauty!