December 30, 2009


For a while now, I've been meaning to have my blog slurped into a book, though Blurb.

Seriously, I've been threatening to do this since last Christmas.

But had I done anything about it?


Why not?

Too overwhelming a prospect for me. In my first year of blogging, my photos were scattered on 3 or 4 different computers.

So John encouraged me to just start with my most recent year. Year 2009. This seemed a little more do-able.

Last night I had blurb automatically slurp up my blog from 2009. And you know what?

It wasn't all that painful.


I only got around to configuring the first couple of posts, so I could be changing my tune once I get further along.

And, I am not trying to do anything fancy, mindyoume. I don't care if it looks a bit institutional. I just want my blog in books for our family to enjoy over the years.

Here is a screen shot of the program Book Smart that you will use. This particular post just had one photo, which made it easy.

The little yellow triangles are there to tell you which photos need higher resolution. The more photos you cram on a page, the smaller the photo, and the less resolution is required. I did not have a higher resolution photo for my ultrasound...and guess what? I don't care! I will replace the ones I can and not worry about the rest!

My next post had quite a few photos, and here is another way to layout the photos and text.

They have about 70 different layouts to choose for your photos and text on the page.
And once I get going, I will probably change the background color and make it look better. Or maybe not. Who knows. I just started.

It's kind of doing a puzzle...trying to get your photos and text to fit together.

I wish they had a way of automatically embedding the photos into your text exactly like they are seen in the actual blog, but they don't do it that way. That's ok.

So, if you were planning on doing this someday, I just wanted to encourage you along. It's not as horrible as you might think. You may even have a little bit of fun. The program Book Smart is very user-friendly. So go ahead. Give it a try!

December 27, 2009

Our homey Christmas

One of the highlights of this Christmas was attending the Christmas Eve program at our church. The story of Jesus was told through the eyes of Julius, the Roman soldier. It was absolutely captivating. I think I cried through the whole program. I really felt like I was there. One thing that struck me anew was the fact that Mary gave birth to Jesus AND witnessed his crucifixion. I cannot even imagine.

Last year, after the program, we traveled to visit relatives.

But, John really wanted to stay home this year. This was our very FIRST Christmas where we did not drive our wheels off.

That night, Finn tossed some magic reindeer food onto the grass, so Santa could find us. He got the reindeer food from school.

Finn took his job VERY SERIOUSLY.

The boys left some cookies for Santa. Deer Santa...

John and the boys surprised me by making sugar cookies that day while I was shopping. I am amazed at how well John can handle the boys AND be productive at the same time.

Now, I do not get into Santa AT ALL. As a kid, we did not "do Santa" and so I just assumed it would be the same for my boys.

But John wanted to do Santa, because he did as a kid...really though, if it were up to me, we would just skip the whole Santa thing.

And John also informed me that I need to buy some more Christmas decorations for our house. When he told me this, I was drinking a glass of water and almost choked! I had to spit out my water into the sink. I found it hilarious that my husband was telling ME to BUY decorations. I will admit, that my house is a bit scarce...John had fond memories growing up of all sorts of special decorations and such. I guess I am failing Christmas 101.

The boys opened up some pj's(John insisted they have new pj's to open that night).

The next morning Twain was into everything!

He's pretty much on the move, constantly.

Finn got a real digital camera this year. John bought it for $10 on ebay. We thought we scored BIG until we realized that this particular camera is a battery guzzler. Oh well.

Ollie loved opening his Mickey Mouse toys.

Finn made me a homemade gift and wrapped the present in his own designer paper.

He wrote me a cute little book.

The other special present Finn gave me, I had been requesting for months. I wanted him to sing me the 'Good Morning To You' song that he sings in kindergarten every day.

And here we are, gearing up for battle.

These two are plotting some mischief.

My mom and dad were both supposed to come up for the day, but dad had a very bad cold/cough and did not want to get the little ones sick. So just mom came for a while.

We missed you dad! We hope you are feeling better!

Auntie Lindsay sent up the the most amazing stuffed Disney Toys.

These Disney critters were a BIG HIT!(
Lindsay-- Sorry I did not get a pic of Ollie with his baby Pluto. He LOVES it. They all sleep with their new stuffed toys and have watched the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD countless times).

My little niece Tacy made me the cutest present--she sewed AND embroidered this little bird pillow. I love it--made this Auntie proud!! It is very special.

John bought the boys a Solar System puzzle, much to my dismay. I totally mocked him for buying such a boring gift.

And had to eat my words, piece by piece...because it was a huge hit with mom and the boys!

She taught them all about the Solar System, while Finn took copius amounts of notes.

The boys then went outside to play with their Rocket Launchers. Another one of John's presents that was a HUGE hit.

My sweet little boys.

Not sure why they were howling.

Mom had to come outside, to see what the fuss was all about.

My mom is a lot of fun and always full of surprises!

Needless to say, the boys love her!

And she is equally fond of her little "twerps", as she affectionately calls them.

We had a BIG FAT YUMMY dinner. It was a group effort. Mom made the ham. John was in charge of the lemon jello and scalloped potatoes. I was in charge of the green bean dish and cake. This was going to be my first time at home cooking anything for the holidays.

Well, John promptly booted me out of the kitchen when he discovered that I was trying to cut down on the mushroom soup, to make the green beans less fattening. Golly. I told you. I failed Christmas;)

John's mom and dad joined us for supper, and we had a grand old time.

And as delicious and decadent as dinner was, I am quite ready to get back to eating my sticks and twigs.

At least my cake made it onto the menu.
We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, which was the perfect way to end the day. After all, that is the most important thing I want my boys to remember.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16.

December 18, 2009

Christmas card '09

This December, my daily little trips to the mailbox have been MOST entertaining to say the least. I've been getting some wonderfully imaginative & creative Christmas cards this

It's been 4 years since we took a complete family picture for our Christmas card. I decided it was high time for me to brave the family photo this year. It was kind of a daunting prospect for me, but I really did want to have the whole family together.

I am so glad that I joined my little gang...otherwise the amazingly talented Lorie would not have captured my favorite photo ever, of me holding Twain.

Lorie just captured the light so magically, and I will forever treasure the above photo, because these baby years are so fleeting. Little pudgy hands grabbing my necklace. Time please stop. Right now.

Finn was on his best behavior for Miss Lorieloo.

Calvin was a bit distracted...and shaggy. One would never know he just had his hair cut the night before. I'm totally serious.

And Ollie would have NOTHING to do with pictures. He kind-of, sort-of got woken up early from his nap. Oops. And a balloon was the cause of all sorts of melt downs.

What is the statistical probability of getting all of my boys to cooperate for the camera?

One in one million?

Another day, I tried to take some group photos of the boys, after Ollie had a proper nap.

But Ollie kept trying to escape our little band of brothers. The open air was just too much of a temptation for my 2 year old. So I did something any professional amateur would do...I sent my hubby into the house to grab the laptop, so Ollie could watch a video. I know what you are she did NOT do that...but oh yes, she did do that...John was just shaking his head.
Did my ingenius idea work?

If you are satisfied with a semi-contained, slightly doped up child, then yes, my scheme was a smashing success.

And he did perk up at one point!

And not crying.

My little peas-in-a-pod.

Finn is not intense at all. Nope, not my firstborn.

Twain at 7 months old. He is turning out to be quite the wild child. VERY expressive. VERY enthusiastic. VERY excited about life.

He is not a real big sleeper, much to my dismay. He falls asleep ok, but then wakes up 20 minutes later...

...fully refreshed. Oi.
It's a good thing we love you so much little Tweetle Beetle!

And finally, here is our Christmas card for '09.

Front of card:
above photo taken by Becca.

Back of card:

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy celebrating the birth of our dear Savior!