Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010


Sam's obsession with pandas continue. The singing pandas he wanted from Mimi and Pops (Heath's parents) and the big panda from Santa along with the little panda he got for his birthday in July.
We are having a great Christmas this year. Here are a few pictures:

The girls each got a new Madame Alexander 18 inch doll that they LOVE.


We had a White Christmas. These were at the beginning of the snowfall. The younger ones actually liked it more than the older ones who kept complaining their hands were cold.

Presents from our old neighbors who the kids really miss. All of our new and old neighbors are the best!! We even had an early Christmas dinner with our next door neighbor complete with presents for the kids.

Our cinnamon rolls were our individual birthday cakes for Jesus as we have way too many sweets in the house. So the kids blew out the candles.

Dolls from Mimi and Pops (Heath's parents).

Sam's garbage truck he really wanted. He kept driving it around saying, "Here comes Tonka the garbage truck". Santa asked him if he wanted stinky and he said no, so he thought this ones name was Tonka.

Alex's gift from his godparents.

New Years with my parents. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Happy 2011!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent, School, and more

Well, I haven't blogged in a little while due to computer issues. We finally had to buy a new one which I didn't want to spend money on but oh well, these things happen. First, St. Nicholas visited our house on the 6th. Last year I took more pictures and did a better job. St. Nicholas is a Catholic Bishop who lived a long time ago and there are lots of stories about him helping people by putting money they needed down their chimney or in their shoes. He remarkably looks an awful lot like Santa Claus which is where the idea comes from. Here is last year: http://johnston4in4.blogspot.com/2009/12/advent-2009.html The kids got some candy, fruit leather, and money.

Next, for the last month or so we have been reading the little house books. We started with Little House on th Prarie which I never read or watched but the girls loved. Then, they wanted more little house books and we just finished Little House in the Big Woods (which is the first book before the prarie). We did some prarie crafts and got some other little house books the girls have been reading. They sewed their own bonnets from the directions in a little house craft book we got from the library. The dimensions were pretty big and the bonnet fit me but it was a fun, easy sewing project. Sam sewed a pillow for his panda instead. They made bonnets for their babies afterward. They have all been calling me "Ma" for the last month or so.

We started worm composting. We have been composting since before Brianna was born but now started under the sink worm composting.

We are getting out Christmas decorations.

We celebrated the start of advent 3 weeks ago. We celebrated by making donut advent wreaths although I couldn't find purple candles anywhere. We also had green rice (cheese rice with pureed spinach) for lunch and they used the candles for the donut and the rice.

Other things we have done for advent are a sacrifice manger in which they put a piece of string for sacrifices they make and by Christmas, it makes a nice soft bed for baby Jesus. We also have a Jesse Tree we made of green poster board with about 12 Jesse tree ornaments the kids have made so far. We are enjoying Holy Heroes Advent Adventure and re-learning all the Bible stories from the old testament and making ornaments for important ones.
We also celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadelupe with some friends. Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico and left her picture on his tilma made of cactus fibers as a sign to the bishop that she had appeared to him. She also filled his tilma with roses that were not normally found growing there. When he dropped the roses, they saw the picture of our Lady. Hilary Clinton was visiting Mexico and asked who painted that beautiful picture and the Bishop said, God did. Scientists cannot figure out what it is used to paint it or why the tilma made of cactus fibers has lasted so long without fading or disintigrating. Anyway, I am sure there are way better explinations of this story elsewhere but here is our celebration.
tilmas cut of tortillas that my friend Erin made with ham roses and a cheese picture

ritz cracker and cheese sombreros

Tepeyac hill guacamole with tomato "roses" and our lady

the fiesta, we also had "sun" dip because he said she looked like she was clothed with the sun, mexican hot chocolate, praying hands sandwitches, and a few other things...
paper bag tilmas with our lady and roses


Sam loved this and insisted on dropping his roses over and over and making me call him Juan Diego. Here is the gingerbread (graham cracker) church built on that hill in Mexico City that still stands today. I am sure that this looks nothing like it but it was fun anyway.

We are so lucky to have such great friends to get together with. Erin is amazing at finding ideas and we are so lucky to be able to steal them from her and get together with them for these fun religious parties. She has the best ideas on her blog http://mommyerin.blogspot.com/ and here is he better explination with pictures of the feast. http://mommyerin.blogspot.com/2010/12/our-lady-of-guadalupe-celebration.html
We made cookies with the girls best friends the other day and our neighbor came over today to make gingerbread men with them. We are way too sugared out but I feel so blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving


No, this isn't Thanksgiving but I'm starting with pictures of the girls and their best friends, a rainbow over our house, and Brianna losing a tooth. She has since lost a second one on the bottom too.
Here is where the pictures of Thanksgiving begin. We went to Heath's parents on Thursday for Thanksgiving and then again on Saturday to see his brother and his family. They live nearby so it is nice to go as much as we can.

Here is Heath's Aunt Susan and cousin Jason and his brother's youngest daughter who was feeling pretty miserable the whole time. The kids missed playing with her. Instead, they just followed their older cousins around.


Here is Heath's brother, Bryan and his wife, Pam. Their oldest, Austyn with her cousin, Katelyn, who followed her around like a puppy dog.


Here is just one of the hundred silly pictures of Austyn we got on Saturday. I promise she is really sweet and normal! :)



Above is the one of Heath's brothers 6 kids and our 5. Makes a long line of grandchildren.

And here is the whole bunch. Heath's brother and his family, his parents, his sister and our family.

And here is crazy Austyn showing us what her uncle does to make them laugh. We have about 20 pictures like this.


Heath and his 2 cousins.
Another fun day at the Johnstons!