Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Journey to Bethlehem

Saturday night was our church Christmas party. They did a spectacular presentation about the Journey to Bethlehem. Everybody dressed up like members of Bethlehem & we had a wonderful ham dinner together. After dinner there was a program where we moved from room to room in the church. 2-3 teenagers were in each room dressed up like a members of the nativity. There was a room with the shepherds, one with angels, the 3 wise men, King Harrod & his soldiers, etc. We sang Christmas Hymns in each room & they each told us "their story" of meeting the Christ child. Then they each gave us a gift to remember their story (chocolate coin for the wise men, a candy cane for the shepherds, etc.) It was a very spiritual experience. I think my kids loved it. We had a blast dressing up for the occasion as well.

Thank you to all who were involved. It was a WONDERFUL evening.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Setting up the Christmas Tree

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
I love it when Christmas comes around. I just love putting up the Christmas Tree with the kids. Each year, we open each & every ornament & tell the story behind how we got it. Our Christmas tree is FULL of GOOD MEMORIES. I love it. Right at the top of our tree this year is our red Mickey Mouse ornament that we got this year to represent our trip to Disneyland. Did I mention I just love Christmas?

Taya got to put the angel on the top of the tree this year. Every year we switch it up between the kids & this was HER year. She was SO excited & ended up almost knocking the entire tree over, but it all worked out in the end. She is very proud of her angel.

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


BOYS. Can't live with them, can't live without them. I turn my back for TWO WHOLE MINUTES & this is what I find. These two are going to be partners in crime for years to come. I have a feeling they are going to give me a few heart attacks over the next 18 years. At least they love each other & play together right? ha ha ha.

Lorien's Soccer Awards

Lorien's Soccer season is officially over. It was a short 6 weeks, but she had a blast & learned a LOT. She had SO MUCH FUN & she did SO GOOD.

After her very last game, they awarded her with a soccer ball trophy. She was SO excited, you would have thought she just won an Oscar. ha ha ha. What a cutie pie.

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

We took the kids to the Salinas Mall 2 weeks ago to look at the Christmas decorations. Sure enough, Santa was ALREADY there (it wasn't even Thanksgiving yet!) & NOBODY was visiting him. Of course my kids begged & begged to say hello. Though Bladen screamed & cried as soon as he got close enough to talk to him, the girls had a blast. Santa's little elf gave each of the kids a fun Christmas hat. The kids loved it & they looked SO festive & cute in their new coats & Christmas hats.

Ancestor Pilgrim

Cadence's class always has some sort of "project" going on. Is it bad that I'm having as much fun helping her as a mom as she is having putting them all together?

This time, for Thanksgiving she had to do some genealogy (I'm happy the school is teaching about family history.) on where some of her family came from before migrating to the United States. For the project she had to make a pilgrim that represented that country. I knew it was going to be a BLAST! She chose her
great-grandfather Heinrich Kinsvater
who migrated from Germany in the early 1900's.

So to start out, I made a little doll from scrap fabric & stuffing I had in my craft room. I've never made anything like that before, but it turned out cute. Cadence loved it. . . mostly because it had underwear on. ha ha ha.

Next we made her hair. Cadence cut all the yarn for the hair & hot glued it onto the doll's head. It's hard for me to sit back & watch how grown up she is becoming. She did this all by herself. Then she braided the hair into 2 braids. It looked adorable.

The 3rd day we worked on it, Cadence made her doll's clothes. I drew out a typical German dress on a piece of paper & she cut out fabric, felt, lace, & ribbon to put on her doll. She did a GREAT job. She's really into sewing, fashion, & clothes right now so this was really fun for her. Her doll turned out BEAUTIFUL just like her.

She also made a family history book with pictures to tell the Kinsvater family story. We've been to the train stations they visited on their way to the US when we lived in Germany & took lots of pictures so she got to share those pictures with her class. It was very exciting & I think she learned a lot. Her teacher LOVED it.

Silly Bladen

Don't ask, cause I don't know. He's just a silly kid.

Craiger. . . on the move

Craiger is amazing! My kids have never been very mobile. They all talk REALLY early, but usually they just sit there & don't do anything until their 12-18 months old. Not CRAIGER. Nope. He started crawling on Halloween Day & has been gaining speed ever since. Now he can pull himself up on things & is even attempting a few steps. What happened to my baby? They grow up WAY TOO FAST.

New Coats

I'm a sucker for a good deal.

Monterey has been freezing for the last few weeks, & Trek & I were finally breaking down realizing we'd have to buy all 5 kids some warm coats for the winter. Who knew CA could be so COLD? Well, after searching store after store & only finding coats that cost $70+, I had given up. But then I found an awesome deal at JC Penny. $80 coats on sale for $19.99. Yes, you read that right! I got
The kids were SO excited to have brand new coats that matched in style, but were different colors to portray their ever so different personalities. Hooray for good deals.

Fall Festival

Everyone loves a GOOD CARNIVAL right?

Every year the kids' school puts on a fall festival to raise money for school programs, field trips, etc. Our school is extremely poor so I try to support these programs whole-heartedly whenever they come up. This year's carnival was FANTASTIC. We had a blast!

"My Museum" was there with several kids' discovery stations. This was the "FREE" portion of the carnival & it was the funnest of all. There was a table with blocks to make kaleidoscopes, drawing paper to draw on, legos, moon sand, water & more . . . it was really fun.

I bought $20 worth of tickets a week in advance & so we had TONS of tickets to use. We used most of our tickets to eat dinner. They had pizza, hot dogs, nachos, pickles, drinks, cotton candy, snow cones, basically the best carnival foods. It was great.

After dinner, we started waiting in line for the carnival games. They had a fishing booth, ring toss, bean bag toss, cake walk, plink, & all sorts of other fun games. Cadence won a huge pan of cupcakes on her first try at the cakewalk (which she shared with the whole family), & Bladen kept winning on the duck pond race. Their favorite game was PLINKO. Not because it was fun, but because it paid out the most tickets for prizes. My girls are getting smart. My younger kids were in it to play & have fun, but my older girls were in it to win it & get the BEST PRIZE. Stinkers.

Once they won their prize tickets, they got to redeem them for prizes at the prize booth. They were REALLY sweet & combined them all & split them evenly between all the kids. They got Bladen a football, Taya & Lorien punch balloons, & Cadence an inflatable guitar. They were all thrilled with their prizes. We had a fun time as a family!

Aaaargh! Matey!

Who can pass up a $.60 pirate hat? Not me. Bladen LOVES being a pirate!