Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Part 2

Hailey got this wonderful gift from our friends, Billy and Kay. I love it because the bottle is attached and her clothes don't come off. They also gave her all the gear to go with her. She got a stroller, swing, diaper bag, carrier. She takes really good care of her baby. I can tell she's going to be a good mom someday. She even nurses it. It's so cute!

This was our big gift to Josiah. He loves old airplanes so we got him two Indiana Jones lego airplanes. He was thrilled!

Mom and Larry got Hailey this great coloring board toy. It plays music and the faster you draw or scribble, the faster the music plays. She was trying to draw flowers. She loves to draw and color. Completely the opposite of Josiah.

Here we are sitting down to our beautifully laid Christmas table. Menu: Rosemary/garlic boneless leg of lamb with a braised garlic/sherry sauce, garlic herb mashed potatoes, salad and sweet potato casserole. It was absolutely delicious! For dessert, Mom brought angel food cake and we added strawberries and whipped cream. After dinner, while Hailey took a nap, Larry taught Josiah how to play Battleship, while Mom and Grandma and I played a couple of rounds of Scrabble. Michael and Larry played some cribbage and we just visited and talked. Later that evening we used my mom's Fry Daddy and battered and fried some homemade onion rings, mushrooms, shrimp and potato rounds. I used coconut oil and it worked awesome as a frying oil. Not too greasy and no coconut after taste. Plus, it's not bad for you! Perfect end to a wonderful day. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to reading your Christmas posts.

God Bless,
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Christmas Part 1

On Christmas morning I was up at 5:30am. I waited impatiently until the kids got up (after 8am). We ate breakfast then sat down to open our stockings. I made Josiah and Michael wear their camo Santa hats. Michael is holding up a mug that says "Operation Iraqi Freedom - Veteran". He had found this mug someone had left behind when he was in Iraq and brought it home. Somehow he broke it and he was always bemoaning the fact. I got on-line and managed to find the exact mug. He was thrilled!

Michael took this picture of me. Not the best, but the only one I have since I was behind the camera the majority of the time. Michael got that Lord of the Rings "Evening Star" necklace and earring set when he was in Iraq. He had it shipped to me. I still love it!

We waited to open presents when my mom, step-dad and grandma came over at 10am. Josiah could hardly stand the wait. At one point he asked if he could call them to see how far away they were. My mom told him about 10 minutes. I walk into the living room to see that he had set the timer for 10 minutes on top of his present from Santa and was drumming his fingers impatiently. I was able to snap a picture before he realized I was behind him.

Just before we started opening presents we did the last devotion associated with the Waiting Tree. Always a great way to refocus that Christ is the reason for the season.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Eve

We have a few Christmas Eve traditions we look forward to every year. We let the kids open their presents from their Aunt and Uncle. Josiah got a light saber and Hailey got a Fairy ensemble. She's my fiddlin' fairy in this picture. That is an 1/8 size fiddle. It is so cute!

Michael loaded us all in the pick-up and we went into the woods to do a little target practicing. This is his love language! The kids got to shoot the 22. I even helped Josiah shoot the 45 black powder pistol.

This was Hailey's first time shooting a real gun (with help of course), she really liked it. It was so cold! We didn't stay too long.

This is our view coming down Fox Hill Rd, or should I say, sliding down? I was so scared! Michael knew what he was doing, but I was still scared. This is a very steep road. The view of the valley was incredible though.

When we got home, we continued our traditions and ate soup, then drove around and looked at Christmas lights. After that, I tried to make hot buttered rums (Josiah used to call them hot buttered runs - of course we don't actually put rum in it for the kids), but I accidentally grabbed the cultured buttermilk jar, thinking I was reaching for fresh milk. I couldn't figure out why, after heating, my milk turned into ricotta. It was hilarious! I didn't figure it out until the next day when I reached for the buttermilk and discovered it was gone. Duh! Oh, well, we had MRE hot chocolate instead. Watched Santa's progress for a bit on the Internet, sent the kids to bed and wrapped their presents. A wonderful Christmas Eve!
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Church Christmas Program

Last Sunday, the kids were blessed to be part of our church's Christmas program. They were so cute! Josiah's larger than life personality stole the show. Hailey was adorable in her Christmas dress and angel wings. Our dear friend, Billy, filmed it for the grandparents.

Hailey along with the rest of the toddler class clammed up when it was their turn to sing "Happy Birthday, Jesus". Oh well, they were still adorable!

Josiah was hysterical as he sang his solo line "two turtle doves" twelve times. He changed it just a bit each time, with a different expression or voice inflection. The crowd laughed every time it was his turn to sing. Let me tell you, he was eating it up! The play director told him he needed to sign autographs after the play.

Here are the kids standing in front to the beautifully decorated church Christmas tree.
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Here's all of us.Here are our wonderful friends, Billy and Kay. They are the friends who invited us to Calvary Chapel. We first met them when we were all attending the Salvation Army when Michael and I were first married. We were their best man and matron of honor in their wedding. They moved away to become Salvation Army officers. We kind of lost touch, but due to amazingly God-coordinated circumstances, they are now out of the SA and living in our town again. We picked up right where we left off. They are like family to us. We are so grateful for their love and friendship. It was so great to have them at the Christmas program, cheering our children on and enjoying the show. They have the most amazing hearts! 

We've had a few other Christmas blessings pop up. Michael found a position in a maintanence National Guard battalion in the Portland area. They have an officer's slot open for him, so the paper work will begin after the first of the year to get him reinstated as an officer. We will miss our friends in this battalion, but Michael is excited to start a new chapter in his Guard career in a battalion that is conducive to his strengths. It will probably take about 6 months for the paper work to go through, but it will be worth it in the end.

I received another blessing this morning when I went to Curves to work out. I won a drawing for a free night's stay for two at a nearby bed and breakfast. Yes, I showed a disgusting display of joy, because this is the first time I've ever one anything in my life! The ladies were all laughing at me, but excited for me, too. Michael and I are super excited that we get a night away together. My mom said she would come over to babysit. Yahoo! God is good.

I also recieved a rather large Christmas bonus from my very generous boss (least amount of hours I've ever worked and the biggest bonus I've ever received from him) and we were able to get a 40 inch flat screen TV to watch our movies on. Thanks to Dave Ramsey's budget plan, we also were able to purchase a vent-free gas fireplace with a nutmeg stained mantle. We've always wanted a fireplace! The day after Christmas we will be doing a little remodel job on one of our living room walls. Can't wait to see how it will look when it is all done! I feel like God has blessed us so much since we buckled down to do this finiancial peace budget. May God show each of you his blessings this Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone! May it be filled with love, joy and peace this year!

Jackie and Family

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

English Country Christmas

Last weekend, we went to the English Country Christmas party the Northeast Oregon Folklore Society puts on every year. There were so many people there! It was great to see such an awesome turn out. Here is Hailey practicing her dance moves in the kitchen just before we left for the event.

We sang Christmas carols and then a bunch of kids put on a Mummer's play. I've never seen one of these before and it was very interesting, very Shakespearish. The kids did great.

The sword dancers were incorportated into the Mummer's play. They did a terrific job. In this picture they somehow put their swords together to form a start. It was amazing! I could see Josiah doing sword dancing when he's older.

After the play, the little kids followed Carla in a traditional Jewish dance to live music. Josiah, Hailey and Michael are in tow. It was nice they had some dancing for the little ones, too.
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Next came an English Country dance demonstration, mostly made up of older homeschoolers, I noticed. The women were all dressed up in long dresses and looked gorgeous. The dances they did looked like something you would see in a Jane Austin movie. Beautiful and graceful.

After the domenstration, there was a community dance. We weren't able to stay for long since it was getting late. Michael and I were very involved with the Folklore Society before kids. We miss it, but I've accepted that it just isn't our season of life. When the kids get older, we plan on getting involved again. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful, family friendly, folklore society in town.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Living Nativity: Part 4

We wondered back outside after partaking of cookies, hot chocolate and fellowship, and ran into the magi and Clyde the Camel. Luckily, Josiah and Hailey weren't scared of him. We all got to pet him. He's a real sweetheart.

The Innkeeper was telling us there wasn't any room in his inn. You can see the angel choir in the background singing about the newborn King. They have scripture written on wooden scrolls in front of every station. They also had the temple and a synagogue, but I couldn't get a good pictures of them. Maybe next year.

They had lots of animals you could pet, sheep, goats, camels, llamas and even Mary's donkey. He was so adorable.

And finally, we made our way to a humble stable to see what all the fuss was about and we discovered that all the prophesies had come true. The Messiah was born that night!

It has become a family tradition to attend this event. This is yet another way we are helping to keep Christ in Christmas. Hope you've enjoyed this Nativity journey.

God Bless,
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Living Nativity: Part 3

Our friend, Dennis, was the potter. They gave each kid a chunk off potter's clay to take home.

The bakery.

The candlemaker. They did a candle making demonstration.

This is a money changer. They were "selling" doves for temple sacrifices. They talked about the Messiah and how He was to be the perfect sacrifice, then they would no longer have to kill animals to pay for our sins. I just loved the way each stall brought the message of Christ home in a creative way.
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Living Nativity: Part 2

The carpenter's stall was also in the outside market place. They were using old-fashioned carpenter tools.

The first stall in the inside market was the apothocary's shop. They had all kinds of medicinal herbs and spices. All the people in the market were telling us about the rumor that the Messiah had come.

The wool stall.

This woman was dyeing the wool and telling us about all the different natural things they would use to dye wool in the old days.
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Living Nativity: Part 1

Our town has an amazing Living Nativity that the 7th Day Adventist Church puts on. It is a joint effort, with help from many churches around the area. This is their 4th year and it is hard to believe, but it just keeps getting better. We look forward to visiting "Bethlehem" each year. The do a great job of incorporating scripture and prophesy into the telling of the Christmas Story. We are first stopped by Roman guards checking to see what our "business" in Bethlehem was. Of course Josiah had to check out the guard's sword.

Here is the man taking the census and collecting taxes.

Outside, they had a market place. The first stop was the fish stand. The kids loved getting to touch the real fish.

They had a blacksmith making fire pokers out front, too
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hailey's Christmas Picture + some B & W

Here is Hailey in all her Christmas Princess glory. The picture isn't that great, but she was not in a cooperating mood. I saw this dress at Costco for less than $20 and I knew she had to have it. Daddy wasn't going for it, so I did a terrible thing and taught her how to bat her eyes at Daddy and tell him how much she "needed" it. As you can see, it worked! Just for the record, I usually don't resort to using feminine wiles on my hubby, but after seeing this dress, can you blame me? LOL!

I took this B & W photo of Hailey in our back yard.

Josiah took the next two pictures. I thought he did a great job.

Happy Sunday Everyone! Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas week.

Love and Blessings,
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