Saturday, December 31, 2016

Keenan and Moriah's First Piano Recital

Keenan and Moriah have been taking lessons for several months now from a very talented and sweet teacher named Mrs. Haynes.  She held a recital for her students (about a dozen) last night at a church with a beautiful baby grand!

Keenan was super nervous and didn't think he was going to like it at all, but he was pleasantly surprised!

I went ahead and took my pictures before the program started, when I could get the angles I wanted:

Keenan played "Jingle Bells" and "Joy to the World"

Moriah played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "Go Tell It On The Mountain" 

So proud of these two!

With their wonderful teacher!

It was actually a really nice program and their teacher and her husband put on a wonderful spread afterwards.   Keenan won't be so nervous next time... =)

Rob and Ada's visit Dec 2016

 We had a Great post-Christmas gift to look forward to:  A visit from Rob and Ada, Brayden, Josh, Galina and Olivia for three and a half days!!!

Unfortunately, I hardly touched my camera! =0/  I guess we were having too much fun..

 The kids got gifts from Rob and Ada

 ...and a box of fun from my parents

 All the cousins loved the Kinder Eggs!

 My mom made Moriah an adorable nightgown for her birthday!

 All the girls in the nightgowns from Grandma =)

On Tuesday afternoon, while Keenan and Moriah were at piano lessons, Ada and I went to the grocery store and had a good chat.

 On Tuesday night we went to Logan's for dinner
(The kids each ate about a Pound of shelled peanuts and several rolls each and Then ate all of their dinners, too!!  It was unreal!)

That night, Rob, Ada and I watched The Giver, while Philip and Keenan played the new Catan card game that they gave Keenan for Christmas.

Wednesday morning I needed to take Jane and Amos to a doctor's appointment and deal with a bunch of paperwork, phone calls, etc for them, so Rob and Ada held down the fort and made lunch.

In the afternoon, we went to the zoo!

 Watching a fish chase a spotted ray

 My only picture of their whole family (in the Tropics)

 This was super cute (despite Keenan's closed eyes)

 All of our lion cubs

 A rare sighting of the lioness allowed onto the male's big rock =)

 This statue is brand new, it's a small replica of the "Keeper of the Plains"
(I think it's probably called "The Zookeeper")  Ha!

After dinner we took them to Nifty Nut House, and judging by the box of stuff they left with, they liked it as much as we do! =)   

On Thursday, Ada did Moriah's hair:

 Moriah LOVES having her hair done!

 I think she looks like a ten year old here!

 Sooo pretty!!

 She figured she should get dressed up to model it properly =)

On this day, we got word that my Dad's brother, Uncle Dave, had gone home to be with Jesus.   It wasn't a shock because he had deteriorated quickly before this, but it was still sad, and it was nice to be with other family, since Philip was at work.

In the afternoon, we played "Dixit", and then I needed to take Keenan to the doctor, after he got shot in the eye with a nerf gun.   Philip was worried he might have a corneal abrasion.    He loved the numbing drops they gave him, and I loved seeing his eye all lit up and glowy when they put dye in it and looked at it under a black light ;)  Thankfully there was no abrasion!    When we got home, Ada had dinner on!   I love that girl!

That night we drove downtown to see the lighting of The Keeper of the Plains.   It's always so pretty, seeing the reflection on the water and then we walked across the bridge and stood where we could feel the heat of the fires!

 After most of the kids were in bed, we introduced Rob and Ada to Ticket to Ride.   We had a great game and Ada got second place her first time!!

It was great to get to spend time with Rob and Ada's kids and see them interact with their cousins.   They definitely have Amazing manners (some of which we are now implementing since they left)!

 They left on Friday morning to head to Iowa to visit with a couple of Ada's sisters and their families.

Thanks SO much for making the (long) trip to come see us!   It makes me so happy that all four of my brothers have been here now! =)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

First, Christmas Eve...

It was a wonderful, relaxed day, spent mostly at home.

Story time with Daddy

In the evening we went to a beautiful candlelight service at my friend's church and then headed to Jane and Amos' house to drop off their Christmas presents:

Moriah and Bahati

I LOVE this picture!  This is the most of them we've had in one photo!  (Amos was sleeping)
Merry first Christmas in America!

When we got home, I snagged a quick photo of all of us while we looked nice:

Then the kids got into jammies and got to each open one gift:

These were gifts I had bought when we visited the town of Lindsburg (Moriah got dala horse earrings and the boys got fun books)

Daddy and Caleb reading his Viking book

Keenan reading his book, about Leif Erikson

Christmas morning!!

Stockings first!

They loved these little coke bottles 

Caleb liked the water bottle/snack cup

Keenan with his joke book

Then we had a delicious breakfast and started opening gifts.  Caleb decided he wanted to go last and Daddy should go first.

The first gift - from Aunt Jessica!

A Michigan chair!

Works great!

Moriah had the tiniest gift of Christmas (beautiful earrings from Aunt Jessica and Uncle Matt)

My gift from Philip

What a great surprise!   An amazing camera gear/iPad backpack!

Riah's gift from us


Caleb's gift from Papa - a kit with six simple machines (pully, screw, cart, wedge, lever board, barrel weights)

My gift from Caleb - a pretty sledding girl

Caleb gave Keenan some dart guns

The kids got new Michigan slippers for Daddy

Keenan LOVED his Barnes and Noble Gift card from Matt and Jessica!

Moriah got a Magic School Bus volcano kit and 2nd grade "Smarty Pants" cards from Papa

Caleb was pretty excited about his scooter from Daddy and Mommy

This was our gift to Keenan


Philip and I with some gifts from each other

Keenan got "Seven Wonders - Duel" from Papa

Mark and Rebekah got us the audio books of Hiding Place and Ben Hur!

Caleb gave Moriah a watch

All of us playing Caleb's new "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" boardgame

Thanks, Aunt Jessica and Uncle Matt!

Moriah and I wore festive hats for our run
(We all ran together, but just did laps back and forth on our street because of the 30 m/h winds!!

Moriah trying out her new rollerblades for the first time!

I roasted my first duck for lunch!
(I used this recipe and highly recommend it)

Years ago, at my Aunt Nora's my dad read a story to us all on Christmas Eve.   I had Wonderful memories of it, but couldn't remember what it was called.   A month or so ago, a friend mentioned she was reading it to her kids and it was called, "The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever".   I ordered it (and the movie!) on Amazon!    I read the book to the kids over the past couple of weeks and we watched the movie yesterday afternoon.    It was so fun!! =)

The evening was pretty chill and fun...

Caleb played with his gift from Papa...

...Moriah learned how to make giant snowflakes...

...and Keenan and Philip played Keenan's new game

...and this morning we took a picture for Mom and Jeff (who gave me these fun photo props and we forgot to use them while they were here!)

We had a Merry, Merry Christmas!!