Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Today we went out and took pictures at the park and one other location. Here are the photos of Tyler.

In his "Sun" costume (anime)

He bought the material and planned the tail, and Jessica used her sewing machine to make it.

I like this one alot.

Helping Jasmine

Big brother to all

Really like this one too.

I love this one

Different camera

Which photo of just Tyler should I enlarge and put on the wall?

Sunday, December 28, 2014


If you read the last post, you know Christmas is a little different this year with Jessica being married and Adam sharing an apartment with a friend. Our celebrating with them was done on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning it was Rick, myself, Tyler, Jasmine, Kaleb and Kayla. That may sound like a lot, but not when compared with the Christmases where we had six children here with us, sometimes seven.

Thankfully our kids don't get up at daybreak on Christmas. This year no one was up before 8:00. Our tradition is to have cinnamon rolls (or orange rolls) on Christmas morning. Then we open gifts. We hand everyone the gift from a certain person and open them together. This year we started with the clothes I'd bought everyone.

Then we opened the gifts from my brother.
This year he sent the older kids checks so they could buy their own gifts. The younger ones got snorkel sets which is something they've wanted since we started snorkeling with just masks at one of the beaches that has jetties. Sometimes the area around the jetties looks like a tropical fish tank!

Then we opened the gifts from my sister.
In reality, my mom, brother and sister send money and I buy for everyone. Usually I buy DVDs from Aunt Lou each year so they've come to expect that. With shopping Black Friday, I was able to get some good deals. She usually orders me something through Amazon, and this year it was a waffle iron.

We opened our main gifts last.

Rick isn't holding his blue ray players (one for our room and one for the living room) for some reason.

We are combining the money from my mom and Rick's parents to get the kids a trampoline. I should have gotten one on Black Friday when they were half price, but we hadn't yet planned on getting one.

Trying out the new skates. They are for the rink so she can't wear them outside.

I got Caspian a squirrel. He doesn't fetch a thrown toy, but he cuddles with them.

Travis loves to fetch toys.

He just wanted to be a lap dog.

She will fetch and play, but I don't know where she put her new penguin. She's almost as big as Travis.
They were all happy with their new squeaky toys. Travis will sit and squeak his until we are all crazy.

 The last several years we've done make-your-own pizzas for lunch.

The kids spent the rest of the day watching the new DVDs, loading things on tablets and skating in the kitchen. 

So that was our Christmas this year. I wonder what changes we will have before Christmas  next year?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Day Before Christmas

I was going to call this post "Christmas Eve," but it really was all day. We started out with Kayla and Kaleb making the birthday cake for Jesus.

It was a two color velvet cake.

Jasmine helped get the pulled pork started and in the oven. It had to cook for six hours. We did the Dr. Pepper pulled pork. It's really good. We changed some stuff from the original recipe.

I frosted the cake, and Jasmine decorated it.

The stockings were filled and ready. In previous years, we opened stocking gifts on Christmas eve as well as the gifts the kids purchased for siblings and parents. But this year we did it differently. It was still the stockings and the gifts the kids purchased (the youngest three didn't buy any this year). But we also gave Jessica and Hunter their gifts and Adam his gift so they could have Christmas free to begin their own traditions or fulfill other obligations. Deja joined us too.

Our Christmas eve service was at 5:00. Everyone went except Hunter.

Jessica brought brownies and a cracker tray. Adam brought lemon bars he made himself, but he didn't show up until later because he hadn't wrapped his presents. We ran in to him in Walmart after the Christmas eve service. Jessica and I went so I could get a salad to go with the pulled pork and she could get a gift bag. Adam was there buying wrapping paper. He went back to his apartment to wrap gifts with Deja, so we put on "Frozen" for the kids  when we got home knowing it would be a while until Adam and Deja arrived.

I got Adam a leather jacket from Guess and got Deja a mini cupcake maker.

Jessica had wanted to get both a Shark and this vacuum cleaner at the Black Friday sale but didn't have enough money, so she bought the shark and I bought them the vacuum cleaner. She also got a mini waffle maker that makes waffles sticks.

Birthday cake for Jesus.


The older kids left to get things ready for their Christmas Day celebrations, and the kids still with us watched half of "How to Train Your Dragon 2" that Tyler bought them.

Lots of changes this year with Jessica and Adam both out of the house, and we're creating new traditions. But it all went pretty smoothly.