Monday, December 31, 2018

December 2018

Final post of 2018!  That's hard to believe.  Here are a few pictures from our December...

Eli tested for his brown belt in karate at the beginning of December.  He has worked so hard in karate for years, and we're so proud of him.  The skills get harder with each belt, and we can't believe that he's only 4 belts away from being a BLACK belt!  

This was pre-test...

Jump kicks were part of skill set for this belt test!

After showing all his skills, sparring, and doing the public speaking portion of the test, here's our new BROWN BELT!

Another big event of December was the "Live Museum" at his school.  The 4th and 5th graders choose a historical figure, do a bunch of research on him/her, write a research paper, and then condense that research into a one-minute summary speech.  They dress up like their person and present their memorized speeches to everyone who "presses the button" to "wake them up."  It's a really great program that ties in so many skills- researching, writing, memorization, and public speaking.  All the kids worked so hard on it!  

Eli chose Jim Elliot as his person, and he did such a great job.

His first semester finished up with a fun class party.

We kicked off Christmas break with ice skating at the Galleria!

Eli took piano lessons this semester, and he had his first recital this month.  Though he was NOT excited about it, he was calm and cool.  His mother, on the other hand, was SO nervous for him!  :)  He did a fantastic job, and we're thankful for what he learned this semester.  He's switching from piano to guitar this semester; we'll see if guitar catches his interest more than piano.  :)

The Christmas break has been full of LOTS of playing outside, which is Eli's favorite thing in the world.  I love seeing what the boys come up with to do.  This was a "homemade dye" that they were mixing up on the front porch one day.  :)

Eric took me out to one of my favorite restaurants (Texas de Brazil) for my birthday, and to see a movie.

On Christmas Eve, the Heinzes came over to play games and eat a fancy dinner.  Here is Hank in his new coat.  :)

We played a few funny games and had a blast.

Christmas Eve night!  Santa came!  :)

Christmas morning, bright and early!  We always love Christmas morning with just the three of us.  We open gifts, eat homemade cinnamon rolls, and enjoy just being together.

After the present opening... 

After that, we went over to my parents' house with the rest of the family for more gift-opening together.  It was, as always, chaotic and noisy and perfect!

After playing and resting on Christmas afternoon, we made a big dinner and enjoyed it all together.

And that wraps up all the pictures I have for this year!  We've enjoyed this last week of the year, resting and relaxing and being home together.  I LOVE this week and am slightly sad to get back to our routine of school and work on Wednesday!  But we're excited about all that the Lord has in store for us in 2019.  

Happy New Year, with love!

Friday, December 7, 2018

November 2018

I don't have a ton of pictures from November, but here is a small smattering!  :)  It was a great month.

The boys have had some sort of "fort" in the woods behind our house for a long time now.  But in November they made it into some sort of hidden "underground hidden fort."  :)  It's super fun to hear them playing out there, and to see how resourceful and gifted they are in building things with wood, logs, saws, etc.  I'm so thankful that they have each other!

We always do a "thankfulness tree" in November, and I love seeing it full of "leaves" by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.  Praise the Lord for his innumerable gifts!

Thanksgiving!  I wish we took a few more pictures on Thanksgiving.  As is our normal routine, we went to Uncle Albert and Aunt Kathy's house for lunch with that whole side of the family, and then we headed back to my parents' house for dinner with the Bergstrom side of the family.  It was a great day full of memorable time with family and too much good food.  :)  On Friday, we drove to Oklahoma to visit another chunk of Eric's family, which was a blessing as well.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we did our usual tradition of going to the Walls Family Farm to pick out a Christmas tree with the Heinzes.  We have been doing this since I was a little girl, and I love it every year!  

We found the tree!  :)  We like this specific kind called a "Leyland Cypress" that is apparently hard to find at the farm we go to.  When we brought it up to them to pay for it, they said, "Wow!  There was still a Leyland out there?!"  :)  So we are reconsidering our plans for next year!  :)

The boys.  Oh, how I love them!

We decorated it the next day after church.  I love our little tree!

At the end of the month, Eric and Eli and my dad and Cooper went on a little camping trip to Fort Parker State Park.  They had a blast, and they caught a few (small) fish too.  :)

See Cooper's little fish?  :)

And Eli's?  :)  They had such a good time, though.

And that rounds out November!  The December busyness of the end of the school year is in full swing, but we are are praying to be able to enjoy each moment, slow down where we can, and worship the Lord who came to rescue us from the mess we made in our sin.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 9, 2018

October 2018

Happy Fall!  Here are a few pictures from the past month...

Eli's school does a "color run" 5k in the fall as a fundraiser.  They had a blast!

I LOVE watching Eric and Eli have a catch in the back yard.

We went to the fair this year with our friends Dawn and Lauren.  Lauren and Eli have been good friends since primer!

They rode a ton of rides- even the big scary ones!  I like how they're looking at each other here, before the ride started.  :)

They played a bunch of games too.

They're on there somewhere!  We adults could barely LOOK AT this spinning ride!  :)

It has been incredibly rainy here in Dallas this fall!  The boys do not let a little rain stop them from playing tackle football, though (and destroying lawns in the process!).

Eli won this little tiger at the fair, and Hank immediately claimed it as his own.  :)  

Our church had its annual "fall festival."  I like how costumes are MUCH easier now than when he was younger.  This year he just grabbed a jersey from his closet!  :)

Our whole family went to Daingerfield for our annual fall trip at the end of this month.  We had a blast!  

When we got there the first night it was POURING.  But, again, who can be stopped by a little rain?  :)  Eli and Cooper played football in the downpour for hours!

LOTS of football in the field...

Duck feeding...

Sunset watching...  (You can't beat fall Texas sunsets!)


The cousins always have so much fun just being together.

More football in the field...

And more sunsets!

For Halloween we made a carnival of our own.  First was the classic eat-a-donut-off-a-string-without-using-your-hands game. :)


Eric won the men's competition.  :)

Next, we sent them into the woods to trick-or-treat from Eric, Phil, and my dad, who were very well hidden and ready to scare them. :)

Next up was the pie eating contest.

And finally, pumpkin carving! 

So many beautiful sunrises, too!

 Campfire stories and games...


Creature catching...  (The caterpillar was kind enough to color-coordinate with Eli's shirt.)

A dog in a sweatshirt...

Unbelievable sunsets!

Our little family...

And our big family!

And that caps off October (and the first few days of November, too).  We're so thankful for the memories we made this past month and are looking forward to what November has in store.  Love to you all!