Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!! May your Christmas be centered around celebrating our Savior's birth and cherishing time spent with loved ones!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Full House

Borrowed this from Cassie's blog...a picture of all the cousins at Papa & Binga's house! Getting 8 kids (ages 11 to 1) to pose for any camera, let alone in the unfamiliar environment of a picture studio...we decided to just try and get a group shot at home! This is the best one she got...everyone is basically smiling and even looking in the camera's direction!!
Bryce (almost 5yrs), Jacob (4 1/2 yrs), Kaedyn (7 yrs), Mia (11 1/2 yrs), Tate (1 yr), Anna (6 1/2 yrs), Isaac (1 yr), Hudson (3 1/2 yrs)
I think I got all the ages right! Kaedyn & Anna, and Bryce, Jacob & Hudson are within like 9 months of each other. Isaac and Tate are only 1 day apart.

Best Saturday Ever (according to Anna)

 We finally made it back over to Scott's place. After the competition in Texas, Scott put Maverick out in the pasture to give him a break from training. Then he took him to a feedlot, hoping he would get more used to being around cattle. Except Maverick got really wild again! Scott couldn't even catch him. It wasn't looking very promising for keeping him as Anna's horse. Scott said he would just put Maverick in with his therapy horses so he would be around people constantly and see how he did. If you tried to go up to him, he would run away. But as soon as you turned your back, he would come right up to you. So we were curious what he would do with Anna.

 He didn't even back away from her! And he followed her everywhere she went in the pen. Scott said with the progress he's made so far, she'll be riding him by summer! She flipped her lid and was doing somersaults (literally)!! She would have stayed there all day petting him, content as could be.

She asked Scott if she could ride a horse, so he got out an old bag of bones horse Buster for her to ride :) He's not exceptionally old, but he is very lazy!! So Anna got a good lesson in "show him who's boss" :)

 Scott gave her some great riding lessons and she caught on pretty quickly.

 Learning how to make him mind and follow her leads.

She even got to trot! She was bouncing around so much it was comical. He worked on teaching her to use her legs and bounce with the horse. She had so much fun!! And the horse Scott is on? A green one he's breaking! That's how laid-back Buster is...didn't phase him a bit when Scott's horse got a little antsy. 
We're hoping to be able to make it over there every other Saturday so Anna can continue working on her riding skills so she'll be ready for Maverick in the summer! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Family Supper

I try to have a special family supper for each of our "other" kids 'birthdays. Sometimes I do better than others. This year, we combined a birthday with Christmas. I made a cake for Seth's birthday (using Aunt Cara's frosting recipe!). Seth is all about hunting, so I used Isaac's camo pajamas as inspiration for decorating his cake. :)

I can't believe my first son is 25!! ;) He was just 18 when we first took him in. We've loved every minute of it!

The kids helped him blow out the candles!

I don't what happened or who took this picture...must have been when I was putting Isaac to bed. It's hard telling. Jacob is in a whiny/cry-over-everything stage. It's really frustrating!!

And then, just like that...he's fine. Look at those baby blues!

 These "kids" have watched my other kids grow up. We love them dearly!

And this is why my kids love the big kids! :)

I didn't take this one either. Probably Anna. And probably being a goofball with the "big kids"...although Anna informs me every time I call them "kids" that they are NOT kids! :)

Anna's first piano recital!

Today Anna had her first piano recital! She's been taking lessons for about a month, and she is doing so good!! She loves it and even taught her cousins a little bit over Thanksgivng. Here's the video...

Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

Isaac's 1st Birthday Party

 How's that for a catchy title. :) It made the weekend even crazier, but it was the easiest way to ensure that 1) family could be there and 2) people didn't have to make 2 trips back to back between Tate's party and Thanksgiving. So Uncle Terry and Aunt Cara let us have Isaac's party at their house the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I wasn't very well prepared for making his cake. Actually, I didn't even have a plan. I just had the cake mix and frosting. (Sorry Isaac!)

  He really wasn't too interested in opening his presents. But that's okay because he had plenty of help! :)

 Isaac is a Papa's boy, for sure!

 I was surprised but he didn't really dig into the cake much. And he didn't eat much of his piece, either. But he sure it cute! 

Okay, I was just going to do a plain cake and write "Happy Birthday" but since Isaac really likes tools I thought maybe I could do a hard hat. It didn't turn out too whoopy! At least people could tell it was a hat! hahaha! The other problem was that the icing I had really didn't work very well for how I decorated it. But I got a great lesson on cake decorating from Aunt Cara! And best of all, I have her frosting recipe!! :)

 He wasn't too happy when we took the cake away, but then he didn't want any of the piece I cut for him. Go figure...

 The hosts :) Doesn't Terry look thrilled to be the ice cream scooper?! He was just mad because nobody wanted his ice cream! tee hee! ;)

Grandpa Frank is making sure I get him a big enough piece!
Thank you all for helping us celebrate Isaac's 1st year! And especially thanks to Uncle Terry & Aunt Cara for letting us use their home!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thanksgiving/Anniversary/Birthday/Christmas Weekend

I mentioned how busy Thanksgiving weekend was. So here are some pictures to prove it :) Not as many as there should be since I forgot my camera at home! But I swiped some pictures off Dad's camera so I have a few more.

 Mia talked Uncle Jamie into playing cards with her.

 Tate and Uncle Jeremy playing with Isaac's new toy.

 The weather was pretty mild Thursday so the men and the kiddos went to the backyard to play while the women fixed dinner. Papa got a little workout in, being chased by all the kids!

Almost caught him!

Trapped! (I think he was glad to have a reason to stop running!)

Since Jeremy & his family won't be back for Christmas, we celebrated with them. We always have a little "program" where we sing some Christmas hymns and each family shares. I don't know who taught those girls that look, but Mia and Kaedyn have it down pat! ;)

Double Trouble!

She's 11. Which means she's a tween. Or preteen. I got confused when she was explaining it to me. I asked her what the difference was? "A year." Duh Aunt Jenni!

Miss Mia teaching Uncle Jamie some French. I'm so excited that she's taking French!!! Joyeux Noel, Mia! :)

Just chillin' watching the big kids run around.

The girls (who are sorely outnumbered!!) singing Away in a Manger.

Bryce is so cute. I tried to get him to live with us...he said he would for a few days and then he had to go home. :)

These two got along really well this year! So fun to have cousins close in if they were just close in distance!

Some table decorations for Mom & Dad's anniversary party.

Kaedyn about to launch a ball at the boys. Asher is thinking it's a bit too loud in the nursery!

For the record...Anna was supposed to be wearing a SWEATER!! But I wasn't there when the kids walked out the door (I left much earlier to decorate), so here she shows up to the party in a summer dress when it's like 30* outside! At least her hair was still fixed, right?? :)

This felt like such a small family picture! It's been over 10 years since our family has been this small! 

That's more like it!
Jamie, Hudson, Cassie, Tate, Mom, Dad, Mia, Bryce, Jeremy, Alisha, Kaedyn, Aaron, Jacob, Anna, me, and Isaac. Whew!

Mom and her family...Danny, Cara, Mom, Dona, Grandma & Grandpa

We put all the big kids (except Mia) in one room at Cara's house. Between their hard play right before bed and all those little bodies in one room, it got a little toasty! All of the kids had some (if not all) of their pj's off by the time I checked on them a couple hours later!

Playing a fun new game, Fishbowl, that Jamie and Cassie taught us. It's a combination of Taboo, Password, and Charades. Fun!! Alisha's dumpster dive charade was the best!!!

Dishing up some delicious food at Cara & Terry's house.

I don't know why these are out of order, but I'm too tired to move them around. Here's Papa & Binga with all 8 (soon to be 9) of their grandchildren!
Anna, Kaedyn, Binga and Tate, Mia, Papa and Jacob and Isaac, Bryce, Hudson. Ages 11 to 1!

Mom and Dad with Grandpa and Grandma Stinemetz

Mom's side with the spouses.

Unseasonably warm weather one afternoon!

Uncle Terry taking the kids for rides on the 4-wheeler! (Bryce, Jacob and Heather)

Now it's the girls' turn!
Busy, busy, busy! I don't have any pictures from Dad's side-I guess the cameras got left at home that day. We also celebrated Isaac's first birthday this weekend. I really know how to relax on vacation! ha!! (there's no such thing as vacations for moms....unless the kids aren't along!)