December 2015 archive

Random {Christmas} Rambles

A little recap of our Christmas holiday…

We got to see Santa and a couple of real live reindeer…

Petting the reindeer

Petting the reindeer

And again....

And again….

Telling Santa he wants a Paw Patroller

Telling Santa he wants a Paw Patroller

Hoping for a Barbie Pop-Up Camper

Hoping for a Barbie Pop-Up Camper

We ate a few chicken nuggets, went to the doctor for the FIFTH TIME IN 2 WEEKS and then came on home.

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Sweet Sayble is finally feeling a bit better.  She got croup just like brother but had two infected ears on top of it and now has a cold.  We did a lot of this around here…and I haven’t minded a bit to be honest…

Sweetest little (bald) thing...

Sweetest little (bald) thing…

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One of my FAVORITE things to bake is pumpkin bread and banana bread.  I’m not a fan of thick, dense, heavy bread and these two are moist and light and heavenly, if I do say so myself.

Since we had a little downtime with all the sickies, I cooked up 22 loaves for some of our sweet friends…

YUM-MO

YUM-MO

We ate two and took two the Phipps family Christmas and the kids were asking for some this morning.  Guess I shoulda made more…

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We always get the kids Christmas jammies as an early gift.  They got to open them before we went Christmas light looking and hot cocoa drinking last week.

We get to open a present?!

We get to open a present?!

They got changed immediately and looked ADORABLE!

Sisters

Sisters

He looks so protective in this one...

He looks so protective in this one…

We cruised around Holyoke and then came home for some popcorn and a little Apple Dumpling Gang watching!  This was one of Wrexy’s FAVORITE movies as a kid and our kids have fallen in love with it as well.

Popcorn!

Popcorn!

It was a REALLY good day…

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Sigh...

Sigh…

My home is truly a place of refuge for me.  The other evening we had the lights off and the Christmas tree was glowing and the candles were filling the air with sweet scents…the kids were playing joyfully in the other room and Sayble was cooing at an angel from the nativity scene…daddy was on his way home and supper was in the oven and I was just so at ease.  There is truly no place I’d rather be than HOME.

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Our sweet neighbors invited us over to have supper and have a little Christmas celebration.  The kids had a ball (per usual) and were bouncing off the walls in excitement.  (Pretty sure the Krueger house was a LOT quieter after we left!)

Mr. Rick built the kids a barn for all of their farm animals and toys and it. is. gorgeous!  The hay mow flips open and the barn doors slide; there’s glass in the windows and ‘Phipps’ is engraved in the side.  Seriously, you guys, it’s one of the kindest, most thoughtful gifts we’ve ever received.  The kids have played with it CONSTANTLY since then!

Twins - Mr. Rick and Sayble

Twins – Mr. Rick and Sayble

THE barn

THE barn

With his Charolais bull

With his Charolais bull

Sawyer posing and Wryder over-smiling...you know, the norm!

Sawyer posing and Wryder over-smiling…you know, the norm!

Wryder didn’t fully understand that the barn was ours to take home.  When it was time to go, he immediately started melting down and said, “Can I please come back and play with it sometime?”  Ms. Kristi jumped in and saved the day and helped him realize he got to take it home.  He stopped, dried his eyes and started jumping up and down with joy!  It was pretty cute.

Mr. Logan and sweet Sara got the kids an EQUALLY awesome gift – a membership to Adventures in Odyssey!  For the year, we can listen to any and every episode that we can!  With our living in the boonies and driving 30 miles+ to get anywhere, this is a GREAT gift!  The kids (and us!) love it!

With Logan and sweet Sara

With Logan and sweet Sara

We are blessed with some of the best friends, I tell ya…

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On Christmas Eve, we spent the day getting ready to head to Nebraska.  We still had laundry to do and suitcases to pack and a few last minute gifts to wrap.

We ate a yummy lunch of steak and potatoes – everybody’s favorite – and took communion as a family.  We are so thankful that Jesus was born!   We took time to thank Him for the ultimate sacrifice He made for us with His death and took time to remember the faithfulness He’s shown us in 2015.  We are a blessed people….

We went to Christmas Eve services at church and the kids got to get fancy!

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

My heart

My heart

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Sawyer and Wryder left Santa some cookies and milk and they left carrots for the reindeer.  :)  Santa showed up and the kids didn’t even get up until 8:00 to check out their goods!

For Santa and friends

For Santa and friends

Barbie car for Sawyer

Barbie car for Sawyer

Microphone for WD and a push toy for Sayble

Microphone for WD and a push toy for Sayble

Wrexy snacked on the carrots and then threw them in the yard as if the reindeer ate them.  The kids found them this morning and were SO excited!

Ick.

Ick.

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They have been so kind and gracious and grateful this year…makes a momma’s heart happy.  They’ve wrapped “gifts” they’ve taken from their rooms and made gifts and then wrapped them all with whatever they could find.

Wrex was looking for his shoes to go to the barn the other day and Wryder had taken those, too!  We found them wrapped in tissues under the tree.  Their generosity and desire to bless blesses us…

Earrings Sawyer made me...her creativity is ASTOUNDING!

Earrings Sawyer made me…her creativity is ASTOUNDING!

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We headed to Nebraska on Christmas day to be with the Phipps family.  We had a WONDERFUL time being together.  The kids had so much fun playing with all of their cousins and we had fun with their cousins’ parents.  :)

With RaRa and PaPa

With RaRa and PaPa

The boys got pajama pants and we took the mandatory modeling picture.  If you don’t hear from me for a while, it means one of these guys has killed me for posting this.  ;)

A handsome crew!

A handsome crew!

Urkel style, just for fun

Urkel style, just for fun

All of us grandkids got to give Grandma Rusk a very special gift this year.  We wanted to make it the grand finale – the last gift to be opened – but we were all so excited we did it pretty much first thing!

A merry Christmas for a special lady...

A merry Christmas for a special lady…

It worked out well because the kids were all quiet and there weren’t a lot of other distractions.  This lady is something else and so deserving of every good thing.

We took time for everyone tell the family a big thing they felt like the Lord was doing or something they really needed prayer about in the new year.  During that time, Granny said that she’s gotten the same word two different times that the Lord has a mission for her in Stillwater. She was saying she didn’t really have a clue as to what it might be or have any preconceived notion what it was but she was ready to get there and get going! Lord I hope to be here and be that ready to serve the Kingdom at 80 years old…

We love this lady

We love this lady

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We finished up Christmas here today.  This year has been especially fun with the kids older and fully able to soak up the joy of the season.

Wryder with the Paw Patroller and Lookout

Wryder with the Paw Patroller and Lookout

Sawyer with her new doll

Sawyer with her new doll

We are so fortunate to have daddy home with us the rest of the week for Christmas vacation.  We plan to soak him up and watch fun shows and eat fun food and play games and enjoy being together…our favorite thing!

Oh, and nap.

:)

:)

Christmas break is hard, y’all!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Since we finally got the new carpet in, we finally got the tree up…the latest we’ve ever done so.  I didn’t want to put it up just to take it down or drag it around…

Our tree is covered in memories…special ornaments from when Wrex and I were little kids…ornaments from Grandma’s…ornaments our kids have made…ornaments we’ve given them each year…ornaments from our lean years and our years of plenty…  It has no rhyme or reason or theme and I LOVE it!

The tree...

The tree…

For real though...

For real though…

Wreathery...

Wreathery…

The kiddos get a special ornament from us each year that they’ll get to have for their own grown-up trees one day.  This year, Wryder got a golf cart to commemorate the cart from the elder WD.  He LOVED it and just wanted to drive it instead of hang it on the tree.

The cart...

The cart…

Sawyer got a very outlandish chihuahua decked out in a bow, necklace, tutu…much like my pretty princess dresses day to day.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

Sayble got a sparkly gold boot…mainly because I just really liked it…but it’s kind of like a baby shoe…right?  Right.  She just wanted to eat it anyways….

Cute toot with a boot

Cute toot with a boot

Glitter is ok for babies, right?

Glitter is ok for babies, right?

We pulled out the cookie cutters and made gingerbread men and women and candy canes and stockings and pumpkins.  Yes, pumpkins.  Thank you, Wryder.

They had so much fun getting frosting up to their eyebrows…and sprinkles all over the floor.

My little caker-baker.  (Ignore the ugly electrical box.  I blew the breaker earlier in the day and never replaced the mirror you see in the corner.  Old farmhouse = subpar wiring.)

My little caker-baker. (Ignore the ugly electrical box. I blew the breaker earlier in the day and never replaced the mirror you see in the corner. Old farmhouse = subpar wiring.)

Makin' messes...

Makin’ messes…

Prim and proper...

Prim and proper…

Wryder giving it a go on his own...

Wryder giving it a go on his own…

He's awfully cute, isn't he?!

He’s awfully cute, isn’t he?!  And that apron.  Swoon.

The REALLY fun part!

The REALLY fun part!

The finished products!  (Note the pumpkin - ha!)

The finished products! (Note the pumpkin – ha!)

My personal favorites of the night...

My personal favorites of the night…

They ended the night like this…

Be still my heart...

Be still my heart…

Indeed.

Christmas Card 2015

We have some friends in the Denver area that have a tradition of rotating photos for their Christmas card.  One year, it’s only the kids…the next, it’s kids and parents.  I liked that idea but the way it’s shaking out around these parts, it’s just easier to photograph the kids and call it cute.  That’s REALLY who people want to see anyway, isn’t it?!

Taking photos of a baby isn’t my strong suit and for a smiley little thing, she didn’t have too many smiles to give this day.

Wryder leaves a lot to be desired in the listen-and-obey department and was more interested in exploring the front yard than focusing on smiling or taking photos.

Thankfully, we have Sawyer who posed her way through 20+ shots to make my job a tick easier.  :)

I’ve been in love with gold glitter…well, for forever…but I’ve used it a lot lately and our Christmas card was no different.

Version 1

Version 1

Version 2

Version 2

See?  Don’t ya love the gold confetti glitter, too?! 

I was thankful that I did end up with some good individual shots of each of my cuties…

Good gravy, she's beautiful...

Good gravy, she’s beautiful…

Girl's got it down...

Girl’s got it down…

Handsome man

Handsome man

Most typical...

Most typical…

Those toes...

Those toes…

My other little beauty...

My other little beauty…

My girls!

My girls!

Wheeeee!

Wheeeee!

My favorite (not in-the-moment favorite…but after-the-fact favorite) is the “blooper reel” that always has a way of manifesting itself.  Take a peak…

Yes, that's a cat...AGAIN this year...

Yes, that’s a cat…AGAIN this year…

And of course there's one with Wryder crying...

And of course there’s one with Wryder crying…

And an awkward face or two...

And an awkward face or two…

The nose picking is new this year...

The nose picking is new this year…

Thankfully, dad came to the rescue...

Thankfully, dad came to the rescue…but Sawyer’s still posing!

Seriously, even the bad/frustrating/didn’t-go-like-I-planned moments are GREAT moments.  Thankful for this life…

Random Rambles

A dear (and beautiful) friend checked in on me yesterday.  She had noticed my lack of blogging and wanted to make sure all was well in Phippsville.  Indeed, it is.  We’ve just been in a season of feeling like we were just keeping our heads above water with all we’ve had going on.  It’s been GOOD stuff, just lots of it!

Today’s blog is an attempt to catch you up on the past 6 weeks of our life…most likely in no particular order because oh, my brain….

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Sayble turned 7 months old and went in for her 6 month old check up. *ahem*  (Re-read the first paragraph…we’ve been a little busy).  She weighed in at 19 pounds and was 29 inches long!  She was terribly fussy yesterday – not usually her style – and lo and behold there was a sharp little nugget of a tooth pushing it’s way up!

Cute as a button...and bald as a cue ball!

Cute as a button…and bald as a cue ball!

She started eating baby food and LOVES it.  Kid is eating about 16 ounces a day and would eat more if I’d let her.  She’s still just as sweet and smiley and bald as ever.  It’s gonna grow.  Really it will.  Soon, sweetie…soon.

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We got new carpet! YAY!  That’s what happens when your adorable 6 month old starts the barrel-rolling/crawling phase and she’s wrapped around daddy’s finger and he thinks the old carpet that was here when we moved in needs to go.  Hey, whatever it takes!  ;) 

It. Is. So. Soft.

It. Is. So. Soft.

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One of Wrex’s dreams came true and he got a pony…with a cart.  His name is Ernie and he’s about as wide as he is tall.  He’s 12 years old and is actually quite broke and talented.  The kids ADORE him and they can’t wait to ride him in a local parade.  Keep your eyes out for us!

Ernie and crew

Ernie and crew

Taking Wryder for a ride

Taking Wryder for a ride

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I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for one of the sweetest girls I know!  She is expecting a baby girl named Mesa Rae (isn’t that gorgeous?!) in January so we showered her with lots of love and gifts and (soup and cupcakes)!  It was a fun afternoon of celebrating mommy and baby to be.  There’s just something about a first-born girl…

Ali and Cliff

Ali and Cliff

Gifts!

Gifts!

The guest book

The guest book

Centerpieces

Centerpieces

Advice for momma

Advice for momma

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Sawyer has been DYING to have a Barbie Pop-Up Camper.  I mean, they are pretty cool.  I had the Barbie RV AND the Barbie Dream House when I was growing up so I get where she’s coming from.  ;)

Wrex and I had pretty much finished her Christmas shopping and had gone back and forth on whether to take something we’d already gotten for her back to get this but that just didn’t set well with us.  She has a dollhouse that she plays with and we felt like the Pop-Up Camper would be similar and that she’d enjoy some of the other things we had already purchased a little better.

Pop-Up Camper was ALL we had heard about for quite a while and we just asked the Lord for wisdom on what to do.  She doesn’t have to have EVERYTHING she wants…this is the just the first thing she’s ever REALLY asked for by name.  People always ask her what she wants for Christmas or her birthday and she has no clue, so this was definitely different…we just didn’t know how to navigate it.  He answered.

She woke up last week and said she had an idea for us.  She wanted to know if she could cash in her piggy bank and then do chores to work and earn money to pay for the rest; we were definitely behind this plan!

The chore chart

The chore chart

Girl had $64 in her bank!  Thanks, sale barn buddies!  We created a chore chart and she’s been working outside and moving chickens and picking up trash and doing laundry and dishes to beat the band!  We saw it in Wal-Mart today and that added to the excitement.  I’m so proud of her for having a goal and working for it!  That will serve you well, sweet pea… 

Checkin' it out...

Checkin’ it out…

She did say she wasn’t going to buy it until AFTER Santa came because if he wanted to buy her one, she’d save her money for something else.  She’s a smart one, that one…

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Speaking of Santa, we went and saw him Monday evening in town.  He left a little to be desired in the santa looks department (no offense, sir!) and Sawyer was a little skeptical.  She told us afterwards, “He doesn’t talk like the santa we saw last year.  I’m pretty sure one of this is just some guy dressed up as santa…”  She’s a smart one, that one…

Skeptical about Santa

Skeptical about Santa

Ready to watch the parade

Ready to watch the parade

Sayble snuggling daddy

Sayble snuggling daddy

Shopping with Sayble.  I'm sure this is safe, don't worry...

Shopping with Sayble. I’m sure this is safe, don’t worry…

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We met up with the Phipps side of the family for Thanksgiving and the three youngest cousins got to meet each other for the first time!  These cuties were all born within about a month of each other.  We took somewhere between 50 and 100 pictures and I’m thinking this is one of the best ones we got!  Three babies plus a house full of people trying to get them all to smile equal chaos…

Saylor (8 months), Chase (7 months), Sayble (7 months)

Saylor (8 months), Chase (7 months), Sayble (7 months)

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Sawyer sold her first show heifer this past month with some help of daddy and her good friend John Tucker.  She got her check in the mail and opened her first checking/livestock account this past week.  My baby is growing up, it seems.

She picked out checks with horses on them and is so generous, she wanted Wryder’s name on them, too.

Signing her paperwork with our sweet friend, Katie

Signing her paperwork with our sweet friend, Katie

Sawyer and Corn Cob

Sawyer and Corn Cob

Even cooler than the checking account, she tithed off of her income to a ministry our church runs and supports called CARE Uganda. I helped host a fundraiser for them this fall and she’s as bought in as the rest of our family is.  So proud of my girl…

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In the midst of all of the busyness, we have had so much to be thankful for.  We have entered this Christmas season at a slower pace and a purposeful turning of our hearts towards Jesus.  We’ve spent our mornings with our hearts and noses in our advent readings and have worshiped through song before bed every night.  He is so worthy of it, friends…