Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Decorating the Christmas tree

Thursday, December 26, 2013


A pair of Christmas concerts

Mouse and Alleluia Boy both had Christmas concerts . . . we're working on finding video of Alex's concert:

A Gracewatch Christmas morning

Decorating the tree on Christmas Eve.
Waiting to go downstairs.

Opening presents.

Jingle bells!

An infinity scarf!

Playing Uno!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ah, fall!

Playing in the leaves.

Saying goodbye to the old car.

The ham-iest kid of the bunch.

At Flippin' for Books!

Mouse made this apple pie herself, from scratch -- four hours!

Having lunch at school with Jubilee. Note the glass!

The kids were proud of this giant leaf pile.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Alleluia Boy celebrates four years! "Oh my GOSH! That's CRAZY!"

Well, Alleluia Boy had a fun-filled weekend of birthday celebrations. One of the highlights was going through old pictures and videos with him on the computer -- a source of constant fascination for all the kids. Today he said, very seriously, "You know, my NEXT birthday is coming right up, so we better get ready!" Playing along, I answered, "Yep...it's only ONE YEAR AWAY!" To which he put a hand to his forehead (in classic AB style) and exclaimed, "Oh my GOSH!"

As he was falling asleep, he was asking whether he would have another birthday in two years (yes), four years (yes), ten years (yes). I told him he'd be fourteen years old in ten years -- as big as his oldest brother. "Wow, that's a LOT," he said, and then promptly conked out for the night.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Here's a video that Bear took of the Music Man learning to pour water (Bear has a new camera):

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Maria cooking apple pork chops

One of our chores around here is called "Kitchen Helper." Depending on how crazy the day is, that role may be pretty limited, or on a good day, it might mean taking the lead on cooking. Our goal here is to train our children to cook so that in our old age they will cook a gourmet meal for us every week. Of course, by then all our teeth will have fallen out, and we won't be able to taste anything . . . but at least we won't be doing the cooking.

Here's a longish video of how it went with Mouse making a nice apple pork chop recipe:

Alex tuirns seven

This was originally posted at Alex's adoption blog; I'm cross-posting here.

In celebration of Alex's seventh birthday, four videos of the birthday boy in full thrall.

To start off, here he is in bed in the morning, in a good mood:

And then getting off the bus, with a birthday hat from school, and with two of his PCAs to greet him, along with a new babysitter and family members -- a regular old party down on the curb (I just love these helpers of his, by the way!):

And singing the birthday song:

And finally, a video from earlier -- him practicing his colors. He is learning to count and to identify letters as well:

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

First day of school 2013

Sign #34 that someone's the parent of five kids...the first day of school documentation is more slap-dash than sentimental, huh? But for the record:

Alleluia boy's first day

His teacher, Ms. Anna, demonstrating a work.


Well, we didn't accomplish everything we set out to do over the summer, but one of the things we did finish was a treehouse/fort/clubhouse for the kids. (We haven't quite settled on what to call it.) The kids have been begging for a treehouse for years. We don't really have a tree suitable for one, but after salvaging our deck last year, I came up with the plan to re-use some of the lumber for this...clubhouse stilt thingy.

We spent most of the summer working on it a bit at a time, with a big push in the last week and a half. Most of the wood is re-used; the 4x4 timbers were originally support posts from the old deck, and the floor is an old barn door that had been left in the upper level of our garage. Bear did much of the construction work, after I showed him what to do. The idea was for him to master a few basic carpentry skills and to become comfortable with the tools. (Mouse was invited to participate but she didn't want to, and I wasn't up to making her...although I plan to have her doing home improvement projects around the house, too, eventually. Mouse did do most of the final coat of paint.)

Here's how it turned out: