Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

There's something about Christmastime!

We put up our tree and lights on Thanksgiving night... we love this happy season!

Kassie's cute Swiss friend Charlotte from school came to play...  keep-away and Oh Susanna songtime!

And WHO KNEW that the movie Chariots of Fire is based on the Presbyterian missionary Eric Liddel from Scotland who won an Olympic medal in running, but wouldn't race on Sundays?? (Probably everyone did except me) Stephen just finished his biography for homeschooling then we watched the movie. Nothing tops that running scene on the beach with the Vangelis music!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Get out and play!

The kids loved starting their Christmas advent calendars today... eating the first chocolate, since our countdown is now on day 24 for when we return to Texas! Yahoo!
I love reading things that re-inspire me to re-discover things that I should always re-member!!! I just came across this great advice for parents to let their kids 'get out and play'... something we all used to do for HOURS when we were kids (one of my favorite memories was climbing 'Danny's Tree' in our neighbor's backyard, which arched over a river -- I don't think my kids have done anything like that!).  Now, kids' time is so 'scheduled' - with dinner and lessons and homework and bathtime... where do we fit in playtime? If we don't, it's not good for them (or for us).


And I love this woman's gems of advice too:

My sister recently called my daughter Kassie 'unflappable.'  I love that description of her. If she were a cake, I think this is what she'd look like. Just full of fun colors, sugary frosting, and lots of happy marshmallows. She reminds me to take life slowly. Because this life is all we have.

photoparadise: Weheartit

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cool ideas

I just discovered Pinterest.com from my sister -- unreal! Fun ideas below and an INSPIRING story -- I want to spend my 40th birthday the same way this cute lady spent hers!

Colored Ice Glass.  Fill balloons with water, food coloring, freeze. Break balloon, take outside and enjoy! cute idea for a not too hot summer day 

Colored Ice Glass. Fill balloons with water, food coloring, freeze. Break balloon, take outside and enjoy!

so easy...Wood letters glued to canvas then all painted a solid color.
Wood letters glued to canvas then all painted a solid color


Last day of school holding a picture from the first day of school...would be cute to do the first or last day of Senior Year as well...with the kindergarten picture!

coat hanger

 Pinned Image
Bake your favorite cake recipe, let cool. Before frosting, make sure your cake is shorter than a kit-kat bar, if not trim some off the top to leave room for the M&M;’s. Cover with your favourite icing. Take a bunch of kit-kat bars (about 4 large packages), cut or gently break each bar into two sections. Place the bars on the cake, gently pushing into the frosting. Tie with a ribbon and fill the center with M&M;’s (about 1 large bag). You can leave some out to pour around the base of your cake.
Water PiƱatas!
Such a cute idea for your kids!
Bath with glow sticks. Easy idea!
Bath with glow sticks... this will revolutionize Kenny's tubby-time experience.

Thumb tacks. So smart.

“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”        President Gordon B. Hinckley
“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.” President Gordon B. Hinckley

Holiday Family Photo
Maybe we'll take one and hold CHALK letters. Cool.
Cut Bell Pepper into 1 inch rings. Crack an egg into it.

Freezer English muffin sandwiches for busy mornings: Lightly grease muffin tins + crack one egg in each well. Stick these in a 350 oven for about 15-20 minutes. Assemble: whole wheat English muffins + egg + cheese + Canadian bacon/ham/sausage, wrap and freeze.

Thanksgiving (or anytime) Veggie Tray for the kids

"Laugh til your stomach hurts"

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Check out how this darling lady spent her birthday. We should all copy her atleast once!
(How I Celebrated My Birthday (aka 38 Random Acts of Robyn)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Swiss Thanksgiving... at IKEA!

Today, we started off our first-family-Thanksgiving-not-being-in-America by making 'thankful scrolls'... the kids opened them up at breakfast and wrote things they're grateful for.
This evening we stopped by HP to see their new lobby Christmas tree...

Then off to IKEA for our yummy Thanksgiving feast: Swedish meatballs and ice-cream cones!

And here are the kids this week in their Handball class - the teacher ROCKS. 
He lets all ages come in together and wants them to learn the game.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

'Choosing friends wisely' lesson

Our good friends, the missionaries, gave us a GREAT Family Home Evening lesson tonight about choosing friends wisely. They are such wonderful examples to our kids of how missionaries should be: friendly, dynamic, creative, and passionate about spreading the gospel. They brought us a pan of homemade tiramisu dessert, and used 2 pieces as their object lesson. One symbolized our 'good' friends (which got topped with yummy things like caramel and oreos) and the other was 'bad' friends, which to the kids' great amusement, got topped with vinegar, mustard, and raw eggs. Learning can be so much fun when we put a little creativity into it!

They huddle to reinforce the idea of friends supporting each other ~

Here's the end result:

Camping in Lauterbrunnen!

Our final weekend fling with Sterling… off to camp in Lauterbrunnen! 2½ hours away, 72 waterfalls, sleeping in a cabin instead of a tent this time… a perfect getaway.  Highlights:
-          having the campsite to ourselves at this relatively quiet time of year (after summer, before ski season…)
-          drinking hot chocolate and playing cards in the lodge by the fire
-          riding the cablecar up the mountain
-          taking Stephen during the night to the town doctor to get stitches on his forehead after he bashed open a huge cut when playing on the rocks in the park. Super-duper fun twist of events. But what a humbling, faith-promoting experience: Sterling gathered the 2 kids around to pray right as Daron drove off with Stephen, and said a sweet prayer for him ~ and incredibly, Daron and Stephen returned within 20 minutes! The doctor had gotten the call from the campsite frontdesk lady helping us, then he met our boys at his office, cleaned the wound, and stitched it up in no time. I thought for sure it would be an all-night adventure. But we had plenty of time for card-playing when they returned. Amazing.


Riding the cablecar up!

And then we found these cute mountain goats...

Our campsite has the COOLEST kitchen... we made our spaghetti carbonera and hot chocolate here.

Note Steebie's special stitches... he had to do his "lick-em-and-stick-em" card round a bit differently...

We had the whole lodge to ourselves!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sterling is so much fun...

Even though I wanted little Sterling to be born a girl (since his parents would have named him Melanie, and that's always fun to have someone named after you), I'm sure glad he came out as a boy. He's just FUN! We're having a great time with him, and can't believe we only have 4 more days to enjoy his company... the month just flew by. Here we are making balloon animals this morning ~ Kenny took one to his teacher, who was thrilled...

Here's last night's popcorn-tossing contest...

And that must've left Sterl wired; an HOUR after we put him to bed, we hear him boom out - "Melanie! What time is it?"  Sterl, it's 11:30. "I'm NOT TIRED!"  Here his is laughing in his bed... he's pretty cute when he's being a baby. 8-)

Here are the boys at ripstick war in the parking garage after we
went running this morning (well, they biked while I ran). 

Monday, November 14, 2011

"We need to request an extension"

That was Daron's response to me tonight, when I told him that we only have a few more years with our kids being "little."  Wouldn't that be nice if we could just freeze time and keep things the way they are? Or 'get an extension'?? I know life is about change, and change is good, and blah blah blah -- and all that's true. But when I see them growing up, I just sometimes kind of want to cry. I really like my kids a lot - every day, at every stage.  It just seems like time is ticking faster, and they get bigger more quickly now than before. I wonder if God misses when we were in the baby stage.

Here's Kas tonight reading The Friend on the ipad... it's quite handy. But I still think I prefer the magazine version you can hold, or in Kenny's case, color all over.

And I think Stephen will ALWAYS 'snaggle' (that's how they say 'snuggle') Kenny ~
no matter how old they are.  Here's today...

And same pose, different date...

They had fun singing together last Sunday in their Primary Program -- Stephen's last one to do while he's still in Primary!