Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We have had a wonderful Christmas this year. The only reason it wasn't perfect is because Jonathan was still sick. After finally getting over the flu, he also had an ear infection and wheezing. I am hopeful that the medicine will help and he will be better soon.

Here are Nathaniel and Daniel at the beginning of our illnesses two weeks ago. Nathaniel was out of school for the whole week with the flu and strep. From the 13th to the 17th, each child got sick. Some of them got sick again the next week. Thankfully, they are better now!

Luckily, they were well enough to perform in their Christmas piano recital. They had worked so hard, and they did a great job!

Sweet Jonathan loves to cuddle when he is sick.

Papa came for a visit! We had a wonderful time!

Papa brought this hat, and Daniel claimed it as his own.

Decorating Christmas cookies! The kids had so much fun. Papa made sure we had plenty of sprinkles. Andrew was an excellent worker, as were the others.

The finished product

Christmas day, enjoying their new toys
Daniel played with his new track all day. I only had to put it together three times. :-)

Michael and Nathaniel got a really cool tank game, and Emily was soon beating them both.

Andrew got tools, tools, and more tools. He loves his work light.
We are so blessed and grateful for all that we have. We want to wish a very Merry Christmas to all of our wonderful family and friends!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Portraits 2010

When you have five kids, it's hard to get a family portrait just right. Someone is always looking away or has their eyes closed (me!) or making a goofy smile (Nathaniel) or just finished crying (Daniel). I think these turned out pretty well, all things considered. These are the originals on the CD we bought, so they're not all cropped right but they were before they were printed.

I love this one of just the kids.

I love this one even more!

These next two were spliced together for a special effect print.
I LOVE this one of Daniel and Jonathan. It's so like them!

Angel baby

Daniel cried until we let him have his picture taken in this chair.

My baby boy is growing up!

Pretty Emily!

Nathaniel was all washed out on the white background, so we chose this one instead.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Emily's Christmas Parade

Emily got to be in a local parade again this year with her dance studio. We had a great time!

She loves her dance class, and she is getting really good at twirling her baton.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa Visit

We went to see Santa early this year. Last year we went a few days before Christmas, and Emily asked for something she had never mentioned before. This year I wanted to make sure we went early so that I could be prepared. It was nice because there was no one there so we had Santa to ourselves for a while and the kids had a great time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day at the Zoo

Here we are at the zoo on Veteran's Day. We were invited to a birthday party, so we took the opportunity for some family time. The kids had fun looking at the animals, riding the train, and playing at the park. I'm not sure what Nathaniel and Emily are doing to Daniel in this picture. He takes his Cat in the Hat everywhere. Jonathan was a good sport, even though it was his nap time. He slept on the way home. We had a great time!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Sweet Baby

I mean, seriously! Is that the cutest smile or what? Yes, I get to smooch those cute cheeks every day. I'm a lucky Mommy!!!
And then he does something like this and I think, "You're lucky you're so cute!" Haha. I knew he was playing too quietly. This is my laundry room/office. He sure had fun!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Pictures

My sweet boys are doing their best to read a book together.

Jonathan's play closet
We hope he doesn't tell people some day that we kept him in a closet when he was a baby. I promise we don't close the door on him! He sure loves playing with his toys in there.

Michael was getting ready to go home teaching (a visit to some members of our congregation). As soon as Andrew heard that he was going he rushed off to his room to get his church clothes on so that he could go with him. Daddy couldn't say no, of course. I mean, look at that face. Andrew's main joy in life is being Daddy's helper.

Decorating Halloween cookies.

We had so much fun yesterday at the birthday party for Emily's friend Bethany. They said all of the kids were welcome, so Jonathan stayed home with Michael and we all went. They had a hayride and hot cocoa and lots of games and fun things for the kids to do. Thank you, Hudsons! Daniel was a little ball of energy at the party, but he was fast asleep by the time we got home. Poor little guy had a rough night, and he was sick this morning. He is feeling better already, thankfully.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monopoly Money

I'm sitting here waiting for Jonathan to wake up so that I can feed him lunch and go vote, so I thought I'd do a post about the great deals I'm getting with coupons. Almost everything I do, I get the information from You can still find good stuff on it even if you don't live in the South. On the website, I can find out the good deals and even link to the coupons to print out. My favorite stores are Rite Aid and Publix. I used to think it was weird that all of these bloggers would post pictures of the stuff they bought, but after a few months of couponing I totally get it. Here is my example. I got all of this stuff at Rite Aid for $13.84.

If the store isn't busy I'll do two or three separate transactions, which is what I did here. I think I was the only one in the store, so I didn't hold up the line and the cashiers are always happy to let me. This is how I did it:

First transaction

3 boxes of Kleenex, $.99 each

1 box of Huggies size 5 diapers, $19.99

1 Crest Pro Health Clinical $3.99

Coupons used:

$5 off $25 purchase

$3 off Huggies manufacturer coupon

$2 off Huggies Rite Aid store coupon (you can use both on the same item)

$1 off Crest manufacturer coupon

$1 off Crest Rite Aid store coupon

$.50 off Kleenex manu. coupon

$1.00 off Kleenex store coupon

2-$1 off Rite Aid coupons on any non-prescription purchase

The total after all of the coupons was $13.25, and I used a $10 Rite Aid gift card that I got from a rebate on some good deals I got in the past. My total paid was $3.25.

I also got back $6 in +UP coupons, that are good on my next purchase.

Second transaction:

3 Kleenex $.99 each

2 Nestle Crunch Fun Size bags $2.50 each

Venus Breeze razors $5.99 (these are usually $9 or more)

Thermacare $2.99

2-Little Critter Gummy vitamins $6.79, $3.39 (buy one, get one 50% off)

I used these coupons:

$5 off $25 purchase

$1 off Thermacare manu. coupon

$1 off Kleenex manu. coupon

$.50 off Kleenex store coupon

$2.00 off Venus Breeze

2-$1 off Nestle candy

2-$1 off Rite Aid coupons on non-prescription purchases

$6 +UP reward from last transaction

Total: $9.44. I also got $2 more in +UP rewards

Third transaction:

2 boxes of Ziploc bags, $2 each


$1.25 Ziploc coupon

$2 +UP rewards

Total: $1.15, with $1 +UP for next time

Whew, it takes a while to type all of that up. It does take some time to get everything organized for a shopping trip, but now that I've been doing it for a while it is much easier and totally worth it. I only buy the stuff we can actually use, but I sometimes stock up on free stuff that I can donate. For example, I have about 12 tubes of toothpaste that I got for free or for pennies, and I'll donate what we don't need.

Let me know if you want to try this and you need help. I've decided that coupons are like Monopoly money that you can actually spend. I have been able to reduce my budget and actually stick to it. Yay!

Baby's up. Perfect timing. :-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Five Little Pumpkins

The kids had so much fun for Halloween. We had a Fall Festival at church on Wednesday night where they did some trick or treating, and then we went trick or treating again on Saturday night. I was happy because we didn't end up with an insane amount of candy this year. They were so cute in their costumes, and they had fun helping design their own pumpkins. We used craft pumpkins this year (thanks Papa and Nana!) and the kids have been playing with them non-stop. Emily has named every one of them, too.
Here is Daniel with the pumpkin they carved at Mom's Morning Out.
Super Jonny! He is the fourth boy to wear this same costume.
Emily made a great cheerleader.
Daniel was so excited about the Thomas costume I bought him, but when it came time to go trick or treating he wanted to wear this homemade one instead. I made it for Nathaniel six years ago! He did wear the other one to Mom's Morning Out and storytime at the library on Friday, though.
Andrew as Batman. He wasn't fond of the cape.
It took us forever to find a costume for Nathaniel. I got this on Wednesday at CVS, of all places.
Ready to go get some candy!
Here are the pumpkins we carved. Jonathan was already in bed, but we carved one for him, too--it's the one in front of Daniel.

Jonathan just wanted to roll them around on the ground. Here he is this morning before church.
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Emily's Baton Routine Part 1

More of Emily's routines. I'll post the other half later. :-)

I realize the camera work isn't great--I was dealing with whiny boys. You can probably hear them in the background.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Emily's Jazz Routine

I finally figured out that my videos were too long to upload to my blog, so I've trimmed this one down. It's one of Emily's dances from back in May.

Nathaniel Playing Piano

Here is Nathaniel playing "Morning Has Broken." I love to hear him play. He is getting so good!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Best Buddies

I am so excited that I was actually able to upload a video. Yay! Andrew gives Daniel a ride on his tricycle a lot and it's so cute. I love it when they play together. It's hard to hear it, but after Daniel gets off the tricycle Andrew says, "Love you."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Random Pics of the Boys

Daniel is so excited to be Thomas the Tank Engine for Halloween. I got this costume at a great price at a consignment sale. He wore it for a few days straight until I told him we needed to put it away to keep it nice for Halloween. He (amazingly) agreed.

Here is my happy Jonathan in the car, with Andrew in the back.

After many tries, we were relieved that Daniel had finally gone to bed. This is what we found in Nathaniel's bed. Can you tell they are brothers? Notice Daniel's hand underneath Nathaniel. :-)
Here is Daniel reading the "newspaper," aka the Toys R Us ad!

That seems like a lot of pictures of Daniel. He is home with me all day, so I guess that's why. I'll post some of Emily soon.

Good morning, Dad! I know you're reading this, since you're my number one blog fan. :-) Have a great day! I love you!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Michael's Awesome World War II Speech

Two weeks ago, Michael gave a speech called "Remembering World War II" at the reunion of the 504th Bomb Group. There were 10 World War II veterans there with their families, as well as second generation members of the group. We had a nice dinner first, and I was privileged to sit next to Fiske Hanley, who was a prisoner of war in Japan, and his sweet wife, Jeri. He said he was kept in a 9 by 5 cell with five other men for six months. I can't even imagine what that would have been like, or what other things he suffered. He is a very kind man. He was so impressed with Michael, and after his speech he excitedly told Michael "I have a book I want you to have!" Now, really, I'm not just saying this because he is my husband--it was a wonderful speech! He had read their history and shared some information and anecdotes specific to their group. I sat there with a huge, goofy smile on my face as I watched people line up to tell him how much they enjoyed the speech, and one man even asked if he could use part of the speech for a book he is writing. I was so glad I was able to be there!
From left: Fiske Hanley, Jeri Hanley, me, and Michael

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just when I thought they couldn't get any cuter... :-)

It was time for Nathaniel, Emily, and I to have a check up with the eye doctor. Since we have insurance for the whole family, I decided to have Andrew and Daniel checked as well. I'm so glad I did! Andrew has a lazy eye (on the right--I couldn't even tell) and everything is fuzzy through it. He definitely needed glasses. Daniel has astigmatism in both eyes, so he needed glasses, too. Emily was the most excited about getting glasses, and she needed them the least. She had them picked out before she even knew she needed them. Nathaniel just needed a stronger prescription; he's been wearing glasses for a couple of years.
Don't they look cute?