Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

boys 2

We had a nice Christmas this year. We had a big snow storm last weekend, and there was still plenty of snow on the ground Christmas morning. We hosted dinner this year, so I had a lot to do to get ready. Chris was great about doing all the cleaning and decorating, so I just had to do the usual shopping and wrapping, and plan the dinner. His family brought side dishes, so I just had to do the turkey and stuffing, and Chris made our usual holiday punch. Even so, I was up late wrapping, and then up early to get the turkey into the oven. The poor boys had to wait a little longer than usual to open presents, until I had the turkey ready LOL.

They help cover up that hideous wallpaper!
We use Christmas cards to decorate the kitchen

do you see that awful coffee pot wallpaper?
The boys made gingerbread houses while I was out shopping. I think they still need my guidance LOL.

Are you seeing that awful mural wallpaper?
Chris decorated the top of the tv with his n-gauge train, and the boys had fun opening the Lego advent calendar this year. The candy jars had to be refilled almost daily!

More decorations:

12 days of christmas

advent calendar


christmas tree

family room
The ladder goes up to the loft, which is finished enough for Noah and Caleb to sleep up there now. We will be putting in a spiral stair this spring, so I can get up there too LOL.

Stockings stuffed

We started at 8:30 and were done by 11, enough time to get the rest of dinner ready. We were supposed to have dinner at 12 but it turned out to be more like 1, because the turkey was bigger than I had guessed. The tag with the weight on it was missing, so I guessed about 18 lbs, but it ended up being a 22 lb turkey - oops! Everything worked out fine, though, and I got compliments on my stuffing. :-) MIL usually makes hers from a mix but I did mine from scratch; she was impressed! I also made pumpkin pies for dessert too.

My Christmas breakfast:
christmas breakfast

We also had bagels and cream cheese and cinnamon rolls. Troyer also added left over pancakes. It's no myth how much teenage boys eat! LOL

christmas dinner
Christmas dinner. The turkey was on the counter - it didn't fit on the table LOL.

Now the boys are happy with gifts, and I am ready for a long winter's nap!

Merry Christmas for 2009 and Happy New Year for 2010!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Picture Palooza

Well, since I haven't posted since September (oops!) I have a lot of catching up to do. It will be mostly pictures, but I'll throw some labels in for you :-).

In the beginning of October we got free tickets to go to the Apple Harvest Festival:

apple harvest tractors
Antique tractors

Since the tickets were free, we were able to spend money on some fun stuff, like pony rides:

levi on horse
Levi's first time on a horse!

micah on horse

caleb on horse

The boys' favorite part was the Tractor Square Dance:
tractor square dance

We had some pretty days in October:

fall colors

flowers out front
Our church sold some mums at a fund raiser, so I got some for the front flower bed.

Sparkette was following me around while I had the camera out. Clearly she wanted her picture taken LOL.

Someone might recognize this shirt:

Yes, it is one that I used to wear when I was 8 or 9. I have a drawer full of old shirts that the boys now wear. Including a Camp Wanttago shirt, and a Milton Ave shirt!

Caleb and I went down to visit Aunt Michelle for a field trip to the Smithsonian. It was a cold rainy miserable day, but we had fun anyway! We took the Metro in and walked from the station down to the Air & Space Museum. We noticed that the Castle was open, and I had never been in before, so we stopped there first.

caleb at smithsonian castle
Caleb likes birds, so he enjoyed the Audobon exhibit.

caleb at air and space
The Air & Space Museum had a scavenger hunt of sorts related to the Night at the Museum movie filmed there, and Caleb had fun hunting down all the items. The first one was the landing module.

No Halloween pictures because while I did buy pumpkins, we never got around to carving them. Rather than waste them, I decided to learn how to prepare them for pies from scratch. They turned out pretty well!

preparing pumpkin

You have to bake the pumpkins a long time, and then mash them up and make the pies, and in the end they taste exactly like the canned pumpkin. It was fun but I don't know if it is worth all the extra work. I did buy frozen pie shells rather than try to make my own crusts.

pumpkin pies
The finished product.

Our church had a Fall Harvest Party at the end of the month. It was pretty fun. I got pictures of almost all of the boys.





I had a picture of Samuel but he's trying to hide behind a cup LOL, Noah wasn't feeling well, so I let him off the hook, and the picture of Troyer just didn't turn out well. I did get a picture of this elusive person:
Not too many of him!

And this guy is so cute, I had tons of pictures of him!

Once again, no picures for November. We had a nice Thanksgiving at my sister-in-law's house. All of Chris' family was there. The food was great and it looks like we were lucky to have Mike, Shawna's husband, able to enjoy himself. Only a few days later he was admitted to the hospital for gall bladder problems, and it turns out it's all from his cancer returning. Now he may not be able to be home for Christmas. He's in a lot of pain from the damage to his gall bladder and then the reaction to the medicines that damaged his pancreas, and might have to be hospitalized during Christmas. We are all hoping he will feel up to visiting by next week. We are also praying that the doctors give us an optimistic diagnosis and a simple treatment for him. I'll admit, I get scared when I hear about cancer returning. Our fingers are crossed.

This year I bought some window candles for the house. I've always loved them, but didn't have windowsills for them. Our new house is perfect, so they are up! I think I needed to wait for it to be a bit darker before I took the picture:

outdoor lights

Unfortunately, 3 of our cats followed me across the street while I was out, and only 2 made it back :-(. We lost Firepaw tonight, one of the orange kittens. I hope the Christmas holiday gets a little merrier in the next week!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Pictures

First, the rest of the pictures from my trip to Virginia and DC:

Some stills from the Spirit of America show:

I used to dress like this and march like this and play fife like this! Only I was 13 LOL

Here I am with one of the fifers during intermission. There were several of the musicians out in the lobby offering to stand for pictures. They were all very friendly!

On Saturday afternoon, Michelle and Gary took us out on their boat and we went to Georgetown via the Potomac! It was Micah's first time on a boat, and he loved it!


Parking for lunch at Georgetown!

Micah and Jenny

We sailed (do you "sail" on a boat with a motor?) past the Lincoln Memorial, and I got a shot of the Washington Monument behind it!

For Labor Day weekend, we had a picnic at our house. It went great, phew. I don't do a lot of entertaining at my house LOL.

Noah made his own cake for his birthday this year, and we served it at the picnic. Can you tell what it is supposed to be?
Happy 13th Birthday Noah!

At the beginning of the month, 6 of the boys started up again with Adventurers and Pathfinders. Troyer didn't want to be a Pathfinder this year, so he volunteered to be an assistant leader/teacher for Adventurers instead. The jury is out on how that is going to work out LOL It is Levi's first year. He wasn't so sure about the uniform idea.
Don't they look awesome in uniform?

A few weeks ago we had this beautiful sunset, so I snapped a picture of it:

Jacob loves going down to the barn to terrorize visit the cats. He likes the boots because he can put them on himself. He looks like a real farmer boy!

Today Troyer turns 15 years old. He's a pretty darn good kid. I think we've got it easy for our first go-around with this teen thing. It's nice to ease into it LOL. I'm sure we'll get our money's worth out of some of the next few...


A Troyer in his natural habitat (Muppet reference intentional!):

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spirit of America

This weekend I drove down to Michelle's and brought Micah with me. We came down because Michelle and Jenny had gotten tickets to see Spirit of America , which is a musical show put on by the US Army. It includes performances by The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the precision drill team, and the US Army band and the Army Orchestra. It is a review of the progression and growth of the armed forces from the Revolutionary War up to today. Most of it is music but there are narrated parts where men in costume and period uniforms act out short skits. There are fired rifles and cannons, and horses racing across the stage. It was all very impressive, and super fun! Of course, my favorite part was The Old Guard.

Here is a short clip of part of the performance; my batteries were running low, and I also wanted to watch the show live, rather than through my camera's view screen! I'm hoping I'll be able to buy a DVD of the whole show.

I have more pictures to post, as well as pictures from the rest of the visit. We went out on Michelle and Gary's boat, and went up the Potomac River to Georgetown, where we docked and had lunch. Micah loved the boat ride!

After the show on Saturday, Michelle and I found an old friend, and caught up on old times with him. He was in the MCM with us, and after high school went on to join the Old Guard himself. He retired from the Guard a few years ago. We had hoped he might be there, but weren't sure if he had gotten tickets or not. It was fun to talk Drum Corps with someone else!

Hopefully I'll be able to upload the rest of the pictures soon!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you!


Happy Birthday to me!


Happy Birthday SOSOM!


Happy Birthday to us!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Troyer's Art

Troyer is getting better and better at his drawing. It's no wonder, as it's all he seems to do! He carries paper and pencils with him almost everywhere. Here are two of his latest works:

The first one is pen and ink with crayon:

Space Ghost vs Techzilla

This one he did on the computer, using a program called Corel Painter X: