Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Day After

For the second year in a row, my surprise Christmas present is strep throat! And just like last year, I started to hurt on Christmas Eve. By Christmas morning it was pretty clear that I’d been bitten: my tonsils were trying to push themselves right out of my throat. In fact you can hear my just-swallowed-marshmallows-voice in the Christmas videos I took.

Christmas day was still great but I’m feeling pretty low right now. I’m in good company, Calvin has strep too. And we’ve been administrating antibiotics to Enoch and Taran for the last week. At least this year wasn’t as painful as last year. And it’s kind of nice to sit around on the day after Christmas and read and watch TV and ignore the mess and tell myself, “I’m too sick to clean.”

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful year! We are so blessed. Life with four kids on a student salary shouldn't be this bounteous. We cannot thank those who love us enough. All we have to share in return are these pictures. It's not much, but the pure, unabated joy in our faces says it all.

Calvin pulling the sheet off of his biggest gift, a play kitchen.

Enoch and Taran looking at a gift from Amy and the boys to both of them.

Mommy and Calvin open his gift from Amy.

Cheryl ponders: What is the significance of Christmas? or What did she get me?

A picture of Emma on the "best day of her life."

Merry Christmas!

Santa Came!

This is a picture of the tree, stockings, and gifts waiting for the Martins. It was taken right after Santa came. I thought I'd add it here as a contrast to the chaos of Christmas morning.

Christmas Morning--Before the Gifts

Each Christmas morning, before we open gifts, we sit as a family and think of a gift to offer Christ. We write that gift down on a Christmas card and (try to) work on it through the year.
Here we are writing down our gifts while Enoch hides in the bed.

The kids are done and READY to go down!

The Nativity

Our Christmas Eve tradition is acting out the nativity. Enjoy...

Emma played Mary, Taran was Joseph, and Enoch was a shepard.

Calvin was a king. However, he didn't like the costume.

We read the story from Luke and Matthew and sang Christmas songs while the players pantomimed. Here the shepard has just arrived. The former king watches too.

The story in action.

The whole gang, Cheryl as a king and David at the piano.

And me.

Peace on Earth, good will to men!

Christmas Dinner

The table set and waiting for us! Emma did the fancy napkins in the goblets. She calls them roses.
Yum! We had crown roast, salad, rolls with Meyer honey, apple cider, potatoes, and chocolate cake and pie.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Caroling

Ever since I was young, my family has gone caroling to neighbors and friends. As the Martin family, we are continuing that tradition here in Minneapolis.
There are some essential points of the tradition. These are:
-Kids goofing off.
-Which quickly turns into kids fighting.
-Dad gets mad.
-Then the kids get quiet.
-Which is usually, but not always, followed by the kids goofing off quietly. In my day it included imitating dad's angry face.
-Then of course, singing Christmas songs to some very patient souls.
-We always leave a plate of cookies at each house. It's a way to say Thank You for listening to our "joyful noise."
-We end our annual song fest at home eating leftover cookies!

We are proud to maintain this honored family tradition!

Emma, Taran, and Calvin bundled and ready to go.

Enoch pitching a fit in the snow.

It's over! We're all happy and ready to eat OUR cookies.

Friday, December 7, 2007

We are Thankful for Friends and Family

Thanksgiving weekend the Meyer family came up from South Dakota and joined the Martin family (Cheryl included) to eat until we couldn't move and play games until we couldn't see! It was great. Then, Kirsti, Cheryl, and I continued the gluttony on Friday by spending all that we had and more playing Santa at the mall. Meanwhile J.B. and David watched the kids and nursed their sprains and bruises from the Thursday morning annual Lake Nokomis Ward Turkey Bowl.
Then LAST weekend our good friends the McKees came for quick stay. Despite the first snowstorm of the season, we drove to St. Paul to the Children's Museum. And then picked up sitters and went out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory (YUM!). In fact, because of all the snow, there was no waiting for anything. It felt like we owned the Children's Museum and we were seated right away at the restaurant (on a Saturday night!).
Now here I am back to reality. Making grilled cheese sandwhiches for dinner and going to bed by 11pm.
Meyers, McKees, or anyone! come and visit!

Some pictures and videos to entice you...

Thanksgiving Dinner. We had the whole smear: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, two salads, yams, and pie, pie pie.

Somehow cards and board games wasn't enough. David and J.B. started to see who could do more push ups. Then we all got into arm wrestling.

Can't believe it? See the video...

Here is Taran decorating the tree and Enoch and Addy loving Henry.

The McKees

Unfortunately, I didn't get many pictures with the McKees, but here are some cute photos and an adorable video of Emma, Taran, Jessica, and Enoch dancing to Christmas music. Joseph sat in the middle, extremely composed and could not be enticed to dance.

Friday, November 9, 2007

First Snow

It's snowing!
The first things that went through my head...
-That's pretty.
-Oh no! Emma was not dressed warm enough today.
-I guess it's really time to get that new coat.
-I should have raked the leaves yesterday.
-I'm going to have to dig out the snow boots.
-I should bring in all the toys from the lawn.
-It's really pretty.

So here you are. I decided taking and sharing pictures would come first. I'll get to all that other stuff...eventually.

Nocha and C enjoy the snow. (The other two are already at school.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Halloween 2007

Here are two pictures from the Church Halloween Party. The Donuts on a String game was a winner. Calvin would walk away from the game and then run back when no one was looking, grab one down, and stuff it in his mouth. He must of eaten five or six of them.
Emma and our neighborhood friend Haily compete to see who can finish first.

Here's "spooky Halloween night."

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Children's Museum

The Minnesota Children's Museum is AWESOME! We are so lucky to have a year pass (thanks Amy). When Addy, Henry, and Kirsti came out to play, we took them.

They have rotating exhibits at the MCM. This is the newest, Sesame Street. Emma, Taran, Addy, Enoch, Calvin, and Henry are hanging out in Big Bird's pad. Addy just door bell ditched Sesame Street 123, Emma sits in front of some old Sesame Street toys. Does anyone Hasleton reognize the Fisher-Price toy behind her?

Kirsti Comes!

We love you Aunt Kirsti!


Our very own "Dently" a '98 Caravan was transformed from banged up family car to "race car" by Dad and his boys. Enoch loves to drive in the race car van. I think it looks like a life size Pinewood Derby Car.

Butterfly Boy

Taran has been learning about Monarch's at school. He came home wearing this not too long ago.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No TV!

Early Saturday morning Emma asked the usual question, "Mom, can I watch a movie?" I knew we'd be sitting a lot that day so I said no. She complained that there was nothing to do... Later, when I came down to get them ready for the day they'd made a camp out of chairs and blankets and were dressed like this.

Notice Calvin's attempt at a costume. I love Enoch's doo-rag.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sleep Catches Calvin

With three older siblings to keep up with, Calvin never wants to nap. But sleeps finds him anyway, sometimes in the middle of the stairs or RIGHT after lunch.