Let the festivities begin!

We started celebrating Christmas this week with Mike's family. I really like spreading Christmas out over two weeks. This is all rather raw footage - nothing fancy. But it felt has cozy as it looks in these pictures to me.

Thank you Grandpa, Grandma, and Uncle Doug. We love you. Merry Christmas!

And this...

...is why we asked for some matchbox cars for Christmas.

In case your baby Jesus comes up missing...

Or your socks for that matter. Olivia has taken to putting every member of the Nativity in her socks - the ones from her feet. She takes off her socks (daily) and fills them with the holy family and their visitors. Most of the time they remain crammed in the barn; however, they have been found in various places around the house...and they are always in "the bag" that leaves the house with her and sleeps in her bed. She is kind of like Queen Elizabeth with her bag - always nestled in the crook of her arm, even while she sleeps.

Baking Christmas cookies "with" the kids

Maybe I should say baking Christmas cookies near the kids. It doesn't help that one of us is six months pregnant and doesn't even really enjoy baking/cooking all that much anyway(clearly that is not me...I love to cook). Plus the fact that we didn't really make it a kid friendly event - we used all new recipes (including some gluten-free ones for a friend who will be at our cookie shin-dig tonight) and didn't really know what we were doing. They begged and begged to watch "the sheep movie" (it is a Christmas cartoon about a sheep who was at Christ's birth...I think), but then they only watched it for about 10 minutes. I can't say that really bothers me all that much.

So this was the older girls' contribution - supervising the oven...and taste testing the results of course.

As you can see from the previous post, Mike made it back safely from Israel. I think he is still in the process of going through pictures and should put some more on his blog. I told him you can't title a post "Day 1" and then leave out days 2-4.

We have been a bit busy working on various Christmas projects and just getting back into a family routine. Mike should be done with all of his school projects as of today and his parents get here tomorrow for the beginning of our two weeks worth of Christmas. I love it!

It is overcast, a bit snowy, and about 20 degrees outside. It is perfect for snuggling up for a warm nap...but by the current sounds of it, Joseph is not convinced so I better go.

From our house to yours...

(We couldn't decide which recitation was clearer. You decide. Or for a translation see Luke 2:9-11. And excuse Olivia's ragamuffin hair - she was pre-coif at breakfast.)

Note to Readers

We are on a bit of a blog hiatus while MIKE IS IN ISRAEL. He took our camera and will be posting pics and updates on their travels. He already has one post up! You can link to his blog just to the right on The Approach.

She's got...

...the wonderful love of her blessed Redeemer way down the steps of her heart.

Hope you do too.

I ain't much

But it's out there and she's playing in it...in her pajamas.

Lotta sap in here


...scope out next year's tree...

...hug it...

...have an argument over hot cider while standing in a petrified tree stump and call it all a brilliant success! Merry tree hunting!


have a cheese ball picture made with a scenic view...

...start haulin' 'er in...

...break for a picture...


find the right tree...

...help Daddy cut it down...

...double check...

...fetch the tree sherpa.


You eat your lunch because it took an hour to get out there and we were huuunngeee...

...get your picture taken on the front porch of the B&B because it is cute and you are making memories...

...hitch a ride on a sled out into the fields of trees...

...and look cute, again because we are making memories.

Heard around here

"Is it possible to get tired of seeing a nakey baby run?"

"Sometimes trash talk is all you have."

"They are him's and we are her's."

Can you guess who said what and why?
We are off to get our Christmas tree!!

numero dos and tres!

A little late for one and a little early for another. I finshed two more skirts - one for Annika and one for Lauren Pollack. Lauren's birthday was the day after Olivia's and Annika's is on Sunday. Annika and Lauren aren't really skirty girls. They are a little more rough and tumble...but I don't know how to sew pants yet. Plus, what's a little grass stain on your skirt when your little? I still have to put the elastic in the striped on - that is one of Mike's old polos and I picked up the ribbon on sale at an art store in town. The brown, gray, gold, mustard (there is debate on the color) one is one of Karl's old dress shirts and the trim is something I found at those antique stores we hit a couple of weekends ago. This continues to be very gratifying.

Remember these?

The trains are up at the Botanical Garden. Joseph was really interested this year - we look forward to taking Grandma, Grandpa, and Unlce Doug when they are here next month. We wish Pam and Jeff could be here too - to carry on a tradition. It was so nice outside Thanksgiving morning that we spent a couple of hours here - working up our apetites. Happy Thanksgiving!


Do you think she is trying to tell us something? This reminds me of the time in highschool when I kept complaining that our house was too cold and my dad kept telling me to put on more clothes. So I put on all my snow gear - hat, snow pants, gloves, scarf, snow coat, etc and plopped down in the living room to watch television. Thinking I had smartly proved my point, my dad only walked by and said something like, "There you go." Not quite what I was looking for.


This is the most commonly heard word around our house these days - at least out of Joseph. I recommend safety goggles of some sort, possibly even a helmet if you visit our house. Your back is turned toward the stove, or sink, or computer, or washing machine and you hear from behind, "CATCH!" My first instinct anymore is to duck, though he is pretty good about waiting until you give him the go ahead. We are trying to teach him that soft balls are the only thing he needs to be throwing in the house. But, here are a few things that have been in hand when the phrase was thrown (ha, ha): a cup, his sanwich, a bat, an old cell phone, a small book, a fork, his plate (after he is done with his supper). Like I said, you might want to bring some goggles.

Six(?) is a Crowd

So this is how Olivia spent most of the week - with all of her beloveds as close to her as possible. She has been sick as a dog. She even sat on the couch through the entire Muppets Christmas Carol - and she doesn't even really like television. She is a bit of a hoarder anyway...or I like to call her a gatherer (as in hunter/gatherer, minus the hunter). There is always a little bit of something in her bed, but this seemed a little extreme to me.


Just some proof for our Atlanta pals that Donnie is alive and well up here. He comes to our home fellowship group - this week we had a light crowd for various reasons so he entertained the kids with some Dominoes. (Sorry the picture is dark - I just don't like flash pictures. You would totally miss how cozy they looked with the flash.)

"Deep and Wine"

Apparently there is a fountain flowing "deep and wine."

The whole impact

She took it with her nose. There is one tiny scratch on her left wrist, but the rest of her body came to a screaching halt on her nose. She wasn't even running - might have even been standing still (Mike's back was turned) - but that is the way it is with Olivia. She is sitting in a chair one minute and the next minute she is face down behind it crying. We aren't really sure how it happens most of the time. I doubt ballet is in her future, but you never know...

Found a match!

Trish, look what I found - the match to the creamer you gave me! For 5 bucks! They had the set for $60, but there was an accident in the store and the sugar bowl got a small chip on the edge - that is why it was only $5. I didn't care - in fact, I think the creamer has a small chip in the foot anyway - so, they really match. Those are Joseph's little hands on it - trying to put another chip in it I suppose.

This is what the kids were doing while we were hunting treasures. The dads graciously kept them so we could go check out Antique Row on Cherokee Street. We just found it a couple of weeks ago - probably less than two miles from our house - this whole time only 2 miles away!
I think this was the hot chocolate break after a walk at the park.

On the cat walk

I don't know why we don't get asked for our kids to model for Children's Place or Hannah Andersen or Baby Gap or something. They are so stylin'. Olivia puts on this hat (that is a season too small), grabs her brother by the neck and says, "Cuuuute. Here, take our pitur."

Warm it up Cris!

Well, our second Spring in the middle of Fall has ended and it looks like Winter is coming fast. I am a bit of a wimp with the cold and have been looking for any reason to turn the oven on. There is something about winter that makes me want to bake and make soup. Poor Mike. We had a run of about 5 days straight with soup a couple of weeks ago. He kindly asks, "So, you in the mood for soup lately?" Another way of saying, "Could I get some carbs and meat here - my metablolism is WAY to fast for this." This morning Olivia and I made granola. She really loves to help and I am really a control freak. She is learning to ask before she just grabs stuff and I am learning not to be so immature. We were in our pajamas baking until nearly noon - it was great. Then we went for a walk at the Garden with some friends and now I am drinking coffee, brrrr.

Bye bye Fall

Llama, Llama Mad at Mama

This is one of our new favorite books - thanks, Tootsie!

The moral of the story - A gentle answer turns away wrath. Olivia and I have both learned a lot from it.

Random Finale

Sorry if you are bored of the Weekend in Farmington posts. I haven't had (or taken) a bunch of time on the computer lately so this has drug on a bit too long. There were a couple of other fun things to highlight. (I can already tell this is going to do the wrap around text again - sorry, I know that is hard to read.)

So the deal with Farmington was that we got 2 free nights, a dinner for two at a "fancy" restaurant, a tiger viewing at the tiger sanctuary, a round of golf for two, and a tour of the winery and lunch for two - all for 50 bucks and listening to a time share schpeal. We talked the Pollacks into going with us and with the way things started out we weren't too sure we would still have their friendship by the end of the weekend. But in the end a good time was had by all.

The Tigers were fun to look at. Above is a lioness - not sure what she was doing at a tiger sanctuary - our "guide" didn't know either. In fact, she didn't know much. I asked about ten questions (I like interesting animal facts) and she didn't know a single answer. Of course, I had also seen her working at the front desk of our hotel about an hour and a half earlier???? She did say, as we were passing this lioness, "You might want to know that she is pretty fond of children." What does that mean? Well, about that time she (the lioness) started stalking Joseph. Really. If you blow up this picture you can tell that she is slowing getting up. She lurked her way all the way to the fence and then pounced toward him. All the girls backed away, but Joseph thought she was great - and we all thought it was interesting so we kept letting him go over to the fence to watch her do it. (There were two layers of fencing with about a 4 foot space in between them, grandparents.) She would move until he looked at her or until I moved closer and then she would stop or even look the other way as if she were trying to make us believe she wasn't interested. It was fascinating.

There were actually five turtles here, but you can't see the 5th. St. Joe State Park

DJ Jazzy Lauren and the Funky Bunch. This was at Elephant Rocks - fun place to hike around.

A cow, a bee, and Indiana Jones

We got new hats. The Columbia warehouse sale came through a couple of weeks ago and we got hats - for the whole family and every one of them was under 5 bucks! Mine came with the manufactured worn spot on the brim - so I could look extra cool. Mike's came with the cup from the Last Supper...what is that called again? Man, it's hard to be funny when you can't even remember the punch line.

Not our kids' most intelligent look, but still sweet. Don't guess we'll use this for the Christmas picture.

We took these while we were "hiking" around St. Joe State Park while we were in Farmingtom last weekend. I think we hit the peak for the trees because with the wind this week everything is almost gone.

You can see his little bee costume had wings.