December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

Bringing the baby bump out for a fun night with friends.

Love spending the evening with my girlfriends!!  This is the second time that Maris and I have been super pregnant together.

December 25, 2010

Christmas memories 2010

I'm so thankful that Trever's family lives in Wenatchee (hear me out Shiela!)... although I wish we were able to see them more often, it's so nice to have a change of scenery when we go visit. The kids know that we have to go "over the mountains, over the mountains again, and then over the river" to get to Nana and Papa's house. And after all of that terrain we get to enjoy snow in the winter and sunny weather in the summer.

"Santa, I Believe!" This is a great stage of life. For the kids, to be excited and genuinely believe in the mystery. For us, to witness the purity, the simple joys. I really had no idea what gifts would come into my life as a Mommy. I'm so thankful that God intrusted us to raise these beautiful children.

And visits to Wenatchee mean quality time with the cousins.
Because you have to sleep in the new tent when it's set up in your bedroom!

The best Christmas gift... my brother finding love and bringing Amy into our family.
Nathan has a wooden train set, we have a Firefighter train for around the tree, my dad has an LGB train set for his tree. Nathan REALLY wanted this veggie train for Christmas, so Santa obliged. Then we watched the Polar Express movie.... and now Nathan REALLY wants the Polar Express train. He plays with all of them. An expression quickly comes to mind: How many motorcycles does a man need? Just one more. (I can hear the chuckle from Trever and Mike)

My 1950's daughter, working in the kitchen with her pearls on.

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December 19, 2010

A picture of motherhood

I can’t believe we are weeks away from these moments.  The cuddles, the tiny hands, the awe of meeting this little person we’ve been growing for so long. 


It makes me love my husband so much more each time I look into the face of  our children.  I am so thankful for the beautiful gifts he has given me, for the blessing of motherhood.


Baby-066 Baby-074

Kissel-114 Kissel-272 Kissel-279 The love of a Daddy is such a wonderful thing… I’m filled with appreciation that my children will be raised by such an amazing man.

December 18, 2010

Annual Santa Breakfast

My good friend mentioned once that she feels like all of our kids are "cousins" to each other. And she's totally right! The Momma's are like Sisters... we plan to be family forever and we're so lucky to be friends. Our kids see each other from time to time, but the family part really shows up around the holidays. The family get-togethers are some of my most cherished memories.

This year there were 15 kids, next year there will be 18 (maybe more if some of the other girls can make it). I guess we subscribe to "the more the merrier!"

I wonder when our kids will start to question how many times they get to see Santa before Christmas comes around?

Posted by PicasaIt's a good thing Katie and Tom built a home big enough for all of us!

December 11, 2010

Visiting Santa

I love this sleigh at Alderbrook, I can just imagine a chilly sleigh ride cuddled under a blanket. It's such a romantic image, snuggled close to my husband traveling to visit some friends for dinner. As I'm enjoying my romantic images the kids are enjoying some play time.

I am so thankful we found Santa at Alderbrook. The lobby is warm and relaxing. As you walk through the doors you are welcomed into the Christmas spirit by the roaring fire and beautiful decorations. Santa is always jolly, and the kids get to loiter and play since there isn't a line of families feeling impatient behind them.
Those smiles light up my days.
Helping his sister mail her letter to Santa.
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December 4, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

I can't imagine having a fake Christmas tree. We go to the same lot each year and search for the no-so-perfect but we're-gonna-love-it tree. I look forward to the years when the kids really care what the tree looks like, and we have the time to loiter and look until we find the right one to bring home. For now our criteria have more to do with the right height, fairly good looking in symetry and close to the car. A couple of years ago we made the mistake of not thinking about how far we were from the car. As the tree fell so did darkness. At that moment Trever and I realized that we had a 2 year old, a 9 month old, a dog and tree to carry (well, we didn't really have to carry Nathan or the dog). Poor Natalie got held in the nook of my elbow as I balanced the tree in the other hand. Maybe she enjoyed flying through the field of trees??? This year I was hugely pregnant. At least we learn from our previous mistakes and make it easier on ourselves. And we will always have the fond memories of the moments that helped to teach us a lesson.
Our new tradition of letting one of the kids put the star on the tree.
Two darling Santa's getting ready to "shake your booty" with the snowman.
Are the holidays ever really complete without the homemade goodies?

November 29, 2010

Bring on the snow!!!

I'm kind of sad that I'm writing this post with the knowledge that we didn't end up with a ton of snow days this year. We started the winter with the belief that it was going to be a cold year, which translated in my mind to a year filled with snow! Well, it was a cold year, we stayed below freezing a lot for the NW. Unfortunately that didn't translate into a lot of snow days. However, when it was here we made the most of it! And we can always dream of years in the future that will be filled with sledding, rosey cheeks and lots of hot cocoa.

The first snowman of the year!

A visit from our good friends who live in Texas... our friends who live in Texas and got more snow that we did this year!

We're lovin' the tradition that was started years ago by our neighbors... you get to sled down the street for just over a quarter mile, and then get towed back up to the top by a car or a tractor. What a treat, to sled down the hill and then back up!
The loves of my life... I think this picture speaks to a quiet moment filled by joy and adventure.

She's a big girl... wanting to do the things her brother does. And she can, she can keep up in so many ways. And when a moment comes that Natalie can't keep up, my heart wells with joy as Nathan stops to help her. He's an amazing big brother.

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November 17, 2010

Nathan's first leader day

We had so much fun going to school with Nathan on his special leader day. He's had 2 months to watch other kids be the leader so he was very prepared for the excitement of feeling special. I loved being able to participate and watch what he is learning at school. Of course I'm thrilled that Westwood incorporates the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as prayer. Although we teach about God at home, it's been so nice for those values to be reinforced at Preschool.
It was interesting to see what he picked for show and tell. I have no idea how he made his decision, but he was thrilled to bring this large silver car. He even remembered that it came from my Uncle Tony. I like those moments when we get a glimpse into what Nathan remembers.
Natalie was SO excited that Nathan had invited her to school as well. She had a blast being a big girl for the day. And one of my favorite things about Nathan's school is that Logan Prigg and Luke Houk are his classmates. They are all such sweet, polite boys. During circle time the teacher has to manage a few of the boys... but not ours. I feel so blessed that they all get along well as playmates.

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