Visitors from Outer Space!

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Finally, my friend, Christine Barger is able to come by and see the little bundle! We have all been experiencing sickness off and on and that can put a hinderance on visits!!!

O' Christmas Tree

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This one's for you, Pep! Here. It. Is! The tree of delight!

Name the Baby!

10:22 PM Posted In Edit This 4 Comments »
C'mon, people! No one can even guess? Chickens... bok bok bok bok bok!
Okay, the first one to guess correctly and post will win a prize!! You must leave a way to contact you, though! Just to clarify- these photos are of two different babies.... in our family..... you are to try to guess who each is.
Just for fun, see if you can figure out who each baby is! Leave a comment to guess your answer. (you do not have to be a registered user to guess although you can leave your name so I know who guessed correctly)
Possible answers are Annie, Austin, Samuel, Caeden, Justus. Have fun!

Baby 1

Baby 2

Getting Ready for Christmas!

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Christmas is almost here, as my daughter keeps reminding me with her tally of 'how many days until Christmas.' Here is a picture of the children together, with their new haircuts compliments of Daddy. He was planing to just cut Austin's hair when Samuel requested, no demanded a 'cool' hairdo as well. And, of course, Caeden could not be left out... As soon as Samuel was finished, Caeden climbed up on the chair and declared it was his turn.

And as for the tree in the background, we finally went to the ol' tree lot and found the most inexpensive tree on their lot! Samuel chose it and it just happened to be a mere $14.95! It is a nice tree and we wondered what was wrong with it. But nothing was and hey, you throw the thing away anyhow!

Does anyone else get moderately stressed at the thought of four children decorating a whole tree? Well, there was no need this year as they all did great! Last year our angel tree-topper broke and our stand-by star did as well. And I completely forgot until this year. So I made a tree-topper with a few ribbons and a cross we had hanging on the wall in the kitchen.

One Month

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Justus is one month!
We didn't blog about it, so here are a few pictures! He was one month on Dec 6th! He has been such a wonderful addition to our family! Just fits right in and is well-loved by all!

It's a Old Fart Christmas!

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This year, my Aunt Sausage graciously planned the Christmas family gathering compete with Christmas music playing, decorations, and games! We had fun seeing our Old Fart side of the family. It has been too long!!!
My Aunt Sausage had the best of intentions when she suggested a family portrait. Unfortunately, C was done being happy for the day.

T-Bone, my cousin Raggamuffin's's wife, gets ready to photograph the snowball fight and Build a SnowDad contest!
My parents chat with Uncle Droid.

Jasper chats with my cousin Raggamuffin, while the children play.

A proudly displays her coloring abilities!

C, pre-melt-down


Jasper, Staple Ballhead, Milford Saltblock, and Raggamuffin Needlenose (SnowDads)

Back row: grandparents: Dolly Old Fart, Waffle-head Old Fart, cousin: Raggamuffin
Front row: Me, cousins: Shutterbug Ballhead, and Slapper Saltblock

Fill in the Blankie

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Just wanted to pass this great contest along to everyone! Such a great idea!

Fill in the Blankie is a company which creates beautiful soft blankets that you can, as they say, “…personalize…out the wha-zoo”. You can have a personalized message embroidered along all 4 satin edges of the blankie, up to 200 characters! Way more than just a monogram. I love that idea!

10 Ideas: What Really Matters at Christmas?

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We do # 4. Just some neat ideas I thought I'd post.

10 Ideas: What Really Matters at Christmas?

For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

Although holiday budgets may be trimmed this year, nothing can reduce the real meaning of Christmas. More than 2000 years ago Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, was born in a simple manger.

Here are ten ideas that can help us focus on what really matters at Christmas:

1. After returning home from our church’s Christmas Eve service, we light the house by candlelight. Then we have a birthday party for Jesus. One child is selected to light the candle (the light of the world) on the cake, one child begins the singing, one child serves cake to everyone, and the last of our four children hands out four presents that surround the cake. Before any gifts are opened, we talk about the blessings we’ve enjoyed during the year and about the gifts we have given to others.

Each child opens one of the four presents. All are the same: the figure of baby Jesus that belongs in one of four nativity sets. Each child realizes that Jesus is the best present ever, and takes his/her baby to the manger where he belongs. We conclude the evening by reading the Christmas story from Luke, chapter 2. (Contributed by Anne Coletti)

2. We ring bells as a family for the Salvation Army. This takes very little time and is always rewarding. We call the Salvation Army and tell them we would like to volunteer as bell ringers in December. We give them the amount of time that we are available and specify when we can ring the bells. While we ring the bells we talk about where the money goes that we are helping collect. We also talk about the importance of serving others who are less fortunate than we are.

Ringing bells for the Salvation Army helps us show the value of Christ-like servanthood towards others. (Contributed by Gayla Grace)

3. One of our favorite Christmas activities is utilizing the Advent wreath and an Advent devotional. When the children were old enough to light the candles, they took turns doing that. As they got older, they read the devotions. Eventually the kids became completely responsible for the Advent readings on some nights. There are a variety of Advent devotional books available these days. FamilyLife sells a newer one called The Passion Tree.

We had an Advent wreath in my family when I was growing up. I hope my sons will pass this tradition on in their families. (Contributed by Elaine Crowell)

4. Before we had children, I noticed how so many parents tried to top their gift-giving from the previous year for their children. Once my husband and I had children we decided that they would get the same number of gifts that Jesus received—three. On Christmas Eve we read about the birth of Jesus and talk about the three gifts He was given. The following morning the three gifts for each child are under the tree and we again talk about the real meaning of Christmas.

When the children were younger they really enjoyed knowing they got three gifts just like Jesus, and now it’s a great ongoing tradition. Doing this has helped us avoid the trap of making each Christmas “bigger and better” than the one before. It’s helped us point our children back to Jesus’ birthday and the Bible on Christmas morning.

Simple … but meaningful. (Contributed by Tracey Lanter)

5. As a family we often talk about the incarnation and how Jesus humbled Himself when He was born in a manger. We have enjoyed it when we have given ourselves permission to worship the Lord at home on Christmas Eve (sometimes travel makes this impossible). At times we sing hymns and Christmas songs together as we gather around the piano. As we slow down the pace of life and enjoy Christmas Eve as a family, we take time to reflect on all God has brought us through during the year and thank Him for being our Savior. (Contributed by John Breitenstein)

6. We do not place presents under the tree until Christmas morning. This turns our focus away from “what am I going to get for Christmas,” to remembering the birth of Jesus. No one counts gifts to see who has the most under the tree. No one keeps track of the size of the presents or the pretty paper. On Christmas morning the gifts are under the tree, and the children take turns handing them out. We watch as they are opened—one by one. Each gift is appreciated by everyone. It takes longer to do this, but it is definitely worth the time to be thankful and thoughtful and much less worried about stuff. (Contributed by Anne Coletti)

7. When our children were young, we filled a basket with straw and placed it next to the nativity set. During Advent, my husband, the kids, and I would do secret deeds to express our love to Jesus Christ. For example, we might cheerfully empty the trash, bake cookies for a lonely neighbor, or spend time praying for one another. We would secretly put a piece of straw in the manger for each secret deed. Then, on Christmas Day, as an act of worship we placed the figure of Baby Jesus on the bed of straw. (Contributed by Mary May Larmoyeux)

8. Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization. We have used the Samaritan's Purse catalog and allowed the kids to pick the things they want to give. Things like: “feed a hungry baby for a week,” “family survival kit,” blankets, soccer balls, Bible lessons for children, etc.

We also encourage the kids to put in some coins at the Salvation Army buckets when we enter stores. That keeps their focus on giving and being generous rather than thinking about what they can get for themselves.

There are so many opportunities to give. It really helps remind us that God gave us a great gift in Jesus, and because of that, we can bless others, too. (Contributed by Kris G.)

9. Since I’m single and my extended family doesn’t care to celebrate the religious meaning of Christmas, I go to as many Christian Christmas programs as I can get to. Volunteering with the Salvation Army Christmas giving program is nice, too, because giving to strangers (especially children) in need really is the meaning of Christmas … after all, I was a stranger in need and Christ left heaven to be my gift. (Contributed by Toni Ferguson)

10. I try to be especially mindful of what I read and write during the holidays, as it is so easy to be distracted by other things. The story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 comes to mind. It takes a deliberate effort to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. One way I attempt to accomplish this is by creating my own poems about the birth of Jesus. Here are the first two stanzas from one of my Christmas poems:

Baby Boy of Bethlehem,
Is it true what they say?
You’ve come to save the world,
Not to judge it.
To heal the sick
And lift the broken hearted.

Baby Boy of Bethlehem,
Is it true what they say?
Your name is above every name.
You’re Wonderful Counselor,
King of kings, Lord of lords,
Prince of peace.

(Contributed by Linda Scisson)

Evolution of Dance

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Clean Baby!

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There is just something about a fresh, clean baby that makes me smile!
So here is Justus getting a bath!

I know, don't you love the festive wash cloth?

All done and wrapped up snuggly warm.




So, waddah you want? Another picture? Look lady, I gotta get some shut-eye. How 'bout we put the camera down and let me REST!

Wee Sing

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I just thought this was hilarious! I asked them to sing and it reminded me of a SNL skit a long time ago with Tarzan, Tonto and Frankenstein (sp?) Except with more hand motions and way more energy! Enjoy!

PS I published a post and saved it as a draft of Annie saying her books of the New Testament. So when I remembered to publish it, it got put before Sam's b-day... So you have to scroll down to see it-- but I didn't want anyone to miss out on her doing that! She was so proud!