December came with so many blessings - big and small. I'll try to hit the high points though the month flew by like a blink.
Look who has decided he loves trucks. He has started making the buzzing sound with his lips when he's playing with them and it's the cutest thing you've ever seen. He's growing so fast and is such a complete joy - every new thing feels like it's 7 times more fun for all of us. I know why the baby is always so spoiled - it's because every time he does something wonderful I remember all of the others at that stage and doing that thing. I see each of them, their differences and their likenesses and being able to hold him makes me miss all the little "them's" a bit less.
The kids and I decided to try the cool pancake drawing that we've seen on pinterest. We made Elsa and snowmen and Ariel and Batman and all kinds of pancakes. We burned through 4 batches of batter and had a great creative time.
Little man got a yucky eye infection. Seems like it will take a bit for us to work through all the new germs and bugs that are here - someone has been sick since we arrived but nothing serious so far thank heavens.
For the first time in our married life I fell in love with the idea of going and cutting our own real Christmas tree. Turns out the little guy wasn't feeling well so I didn't get to go after all but Daddy took the big kids and brought home this beautiful Charly Brown tree. We all had fun decorating it and smelling it.
It only lasted a couple weeks before it started drying out so it got thrown out in the deep forest behind our house and was replaced by a beautiful artificial tree we were gifted. The funny thing is I think Charly Brown sprouted roots in the back yard and is growing there now.
The only possession I was truly keen to replace immediately was the piano. I found this old relic on craigslist - stored in subzero temperatures in an old barn. The price was right so we enlisted the missionaries to help Daddy go and get it. For Christmas I got a tuning kit and have worked on tuning it up. It was pretty painful to listen to at first, but now it plays beautifully and thank heavens to have music in our home all the time again.
Beautiful silly old tree.
We got to do a lot of puzzles and games over the Christmas Break. It was so nice to have it quiet and dark and peaceful. The lack of places to go and people to see was surprisingly wonderful and allowed for a lot of time together - playing and bonding and just enjoying each other. I think the change in lifestyle will be really good for the kids because they see a lot more of me and especially Daddy here.
For Christmas Eve lunch Leisl had been begging to have Hot Dogs - it was the only thing she kept asking for over and over again. We bit the bullet and had hot dogs. She was happy as can be.
Noah usually loves to sit and play the piano with me or his sisters. I'm not sure about this face but it made me laugh.
Here he is enjoying our pancake day.
And more hot dog happiness.
Hello Christmas Morning. Our new tree really is beautiful. The kids each got one big thing from Mom and Dad. This year their things were:
Ksenya - art easel
Kabe - giant chess set
Ayvri - just dance game
Brig - Box of legos
Darla - toy kitchen
Leisl - princess tent
They each got something for the sibling they drew out of the hat as well and those were very thoughtful. And of course Grandma's sent packages that were over-the-top spoilage which were enjoyed by all.
The girls decided to sleep in the princess tent with their babies.
In all, December was full of blessings and sweet tender mercies. I think the kids had a little homesickness, especially through the holidays, but all have weathered it well and we enjoyed all the time together.