Wednesday, December 29, 2010

~Christmas Eve~

(all photos courtesy of my DSL, Brandy)


I had all the hot food lined up on the table to eat.  Paul opened the kitchen window and the veggie bowl broke.  First the boys said to me "This means we don't have to eat any vegetables. Yay!"  Then about 10 minutes later, my dad walks through the kitchen and says "Oh goodie, we don't have to eat our vegetables"

                        "The Twins"
                        Jacob and Rachel.
                        15 years since our last Christmas together. 

Ann   Mary  Hannah

                                Paul and Elijah


        Mary tearing off her clothes to get her new jammies from Grandma and Grandpa on.

                                         Paul and his girls.

      Me, opening a super-soft-pink bathrobe from my parents.  I sleep in it, it's so cozy on my skin.

      Elijah and David opening their marshmellow guns that Uncle Jacob made them.  They love them    and we don't mind getting pelted with marshmellows as long as we can pick them up fast enough to eat them.

                                Hannah and her whistle. 
                                Yes, feel sorry for me.

                     Ann and her recorder.
                     Feel even more sorry for me.  LOL!

                    My Dad. Grandpa, playing with the boys' gift.

Auntie and Uncle gave Mary this super cool bear that hiccups and sings and talks and everything. 

         My parents started with 2 and now they have 4 ;)

                                                     My Mom.  Grandma.

Balloon toys that Grandpa brought and made.
Lots of food and cooking.
A walk through "the forest park". (My favorite part of the day was taking a walk with my family. 
My dad always took Jacob and I for all kinds of interesting "exploring" walks when we were kids.  It's in my blood)
Three Stooges episodes
Present opening.

a wonderful day!!

and later
making Cinnamin Rolls,
Cookie decorating,
putting cookies out for Santa
Staying up half the night to put those finishing touches on the stockings and presents.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our First ARC Christmas

What I'd rather share are the faces and stories of our men and women, staff, volunteers and Comrads.
But, I only tell our own story.  Theirs is theirs ;)

                     Chouinard's *first* ARC Christmas. 
                          We figure 20+ more. Smile.





A very scared Mary with a very brave Daddy.

 fellowship, gifts, fun, singing,
food, laughter, serving

for sure

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Simple Christmas Pleasure

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,
and we are better throughout the year for having,
in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."    ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." ~ Peg Bracken.

"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us." ~St. Augustine

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas at Home

Dining Room

We added a short and stocky nutcracker to our collection this year,
but he didn't make it in time for the picture. 

Many of our Christmas decorations were gifts throughout the years.  It makes them all more meaningful as I reflect and tell the children where things like my Alaskan Nativity came from.  It's hard to see here, but it's up high, away from little hands.

The star of the show this year.  Our Olive Wood Nativity all the way from Bethlehem!  
It seems like ages since we were in Israel and Jordon, but it was only 9 months ago.  We are filled with so many good memories, pictures and a few souvenirs though.  
The star up top winds up to play music.

We've squeezed in a few Christmas activities too.  The siblings shopped for each other at a trip to Toys R Us after a (looong) store inspection and A&W for lunch,  we've lit the Advent candle and done the readings at church, we drove around and looked at some amazing Christmas lights, we've wrapped gifts for our people, and we will spend this week christmasing our way through the ARC and preparing for our Christmas at home too- we have menu's to plan, presents to wrap, cookies to bake and bathrooms to scrub!

We are very much looking forward to having Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt and Uncle for Christmas Eve and Grandma for Christmas morning.  I feel SO blessed to have Christmas with family.  It's been many, many years.  God keeps showing His unmerited favor.  I should do a post all unto it's own about that ;)

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Boxes =  Hours of fun

Monday, December 13, 2010

Science Around Here

Science around here is big.  How's?  and Why's?  and Why not's?  are explored and observed.
Not always, but most usually.
We probably average a "science" project a week. 
A big one for us was working on David's school science project with him in September/October.  He did well, but it was a lot of work because his ideas kept getting bigger and bigger.  Bottom line was "what military vehicle is most efficient, hovercraft or water-to-land vehicle?" (I'm sure I explained that wrong!)  Of which he researched, built working models, and tested.  Paul and him really got into it!!
In the meantime, the girls and I learned all about the sun and made raisins with grapes, well tried too.  We made (almost) daily observations, drawing pictures and writing descriptive words.  The sun became less strong, and after 2 weeks, they ended up shriveled and moldy.  But that's okay, it was still an experiment.

And some more....

I bet we can get a whole hard boiled egg inside a narrow mouthed bottle.
Light a match in the bottle. Let it burn to suck out all the oxygen, which creates a vacuum to suck the egg right in.

I bet we can hold a full bucket of water up and over our head without getting wet. 
Swing it around real fast.

I bet we can drop an egg from a second story window without it breaking.
                             Tape, cotton balls, boxes, foil, bags, etc.   
                             and creative, clever minds!   
                             and a big mess ;)




"Self-education is the only possible education;
the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child's nature."

                                                                     -Charlotte Mason

"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education."
-Charlotte Mason

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