Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012

The kids had the best time playing Just Dance 4. Kristi danced for over 3 hours straight!


  1. Ken and I made a quick trip to Missoula this morning. We had time to talk like adults, we spent a whole lot of money on groceries, and then we came home and got to work. It was a nice morning.
  2. Par-tay, par-tay, par-tay! New Year’s Eve party in Scrivnerburg!
  3. QOTD from 5yo Kate to Dale when I walked through the room groovin' to the tunes:
    “Look! Your mom's dancing... I think.”
  4. It was a long, but great day.
  5. Happy 2013!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30, 2012

The second-to-last day of my blessings photo posts! Wow, this year has flown!

VICTORY! The poor guy has to stand at the gate and sing to his dryer from a distance all the time. He never, never, never gets to go and commune with the dryer. Today he finally made it through! He was THRILLED! (Until Mama took him away and locked the gate again.)


  1. Nap time! I love naps.
  2. I had the opportunity to use my new 22” griddle today – it was actually fun to make pancakes!
  3. Gavin at an entire pancake himself, after having eaten a serving of Cream of Wheat an hour earlier. I think he’s trying to put some weight on.
  4. We had a different but enjoyable time at church this evening.
  5. My cold symptoms didn’t start to show up for real until after I had to sing at church.

Cold or no cold, we’re partying in Scrivnerburg tomorrow. A dance contest, games, puzzles, food…I can’t wait! We haven’t done anything fun on New Year’s Eve since we partied like it was 1999… in 1999.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 29, 2012


  1. It’s been a mellow, low-key day. Yay! (I have to chuckle at my own idea of mellow and low-key – that means I didn’t have to put makeup on.)
  2. Kid Central. We seem to collect 'em like some people collect coins. The two spares in this shot spent the day with us. One day this week we had 13 kids here for a while. Craziness. But a fun kind of craziness.
  3. Fancy and Salia spent some time with us today, too. (So counting Salia, we actually had 10 kids here today.)
  4. Our family had an opportunity to minister to a friend.
  5. This house was full of happy kid sounds all day.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28, 2012


  1. Gavin has his appetite back. He’s been eating everything in sight (including oranges – this was a new one to him today), and sucking down multiple bottles at a time. I think he plans on gaining weight! That would be great, because an 18-month-old child shouldn’t weigh less than the cat.
  2. My children make me laugh. One of these days I’m going to show you a comparison of the mating dance of the bird of paradise and Nathan’s version of the dance. Nathan could woo a lady bird of paradise.
  3. I’m enjoying my coffee again! (Finally! After the stomach bug last week my taster couldn’t handle coffee. That was sad.)
  4. We watched a fun family movie tonight – Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.
  5. Ken and I made fun of a terrible movie tonight – Super Cyclone.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 27, 2012


  1. I love having time off from school because I can do some or all of my work day in the morning. If I get done before dinner I can spend time playing card games with the kids in the evening. Yay!
  2. Philip brought his kids over for the afternoon. We had quite a houseful of kids (Rose and Virginia were here too), but it was great!
  3. I finally took the time to read a few articles about making gravy – after cooking for 25+ years I thought it was time to really learn how to make a good gravy consistently. This article was the best one I read, and helped me make an excellent chicken gravy to go with our chicken breasts and mashed potatoes.
  4. I did get that game time with Ken and Dale. Fun! We played Word Winder – it’s a quick and fun word game. Yay for family game time!
  5. I’ve really enjoyed the non-sickie family time during this Christmas break.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012


  1. Ken and I decided to make an impromptu trip to Missoula for a few errands. It was a date day!
  2. I found my new favoritest ever shoes! They are awesome Mary Janes made by Eurostep. They are so comfortable – even for my skinny-minnie feet. Love love love them! (It’s hard for me to find great shoes.)
  3. We got to visit with some wonderful out-of-town friends this afternoon.
  4. Jenny, Philip, and their kids joined us for dinner. I’m so glad they’re close so they can do that now!
  5. Even though I had to work quite late Ken stayed up and watched an episode of Eureka with me. He’s wonderful.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christmas at Nana’s.


  1. We had a great Christmas morning! Presents, fun, food, more fun…
  2. For the first time ever, I had all of my children in one place at the same time.
  3. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas day at Nana’s house. So so so many presents, great food, fun people, and then we got to watch a bunch of the crew play a dancing game on the Xbox Kinect. So fun!
  4. After Nana’s we came home to open one more present each – Kindle tablets for the kids and a Samsung tablet for Ken and me. Awesomeness!!
  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this whole day. I even spent time just reliving it in my mind after the kids went to bed because it was such a great day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012


  1. Getting things done!
  2. Tracking Santa on Norad.
  3. Dale gets the gold star of the day. Ken and Dale were having a problem with their new shoe inserts and I made a minor suggestion. Ken said, "Your mother may be right. Sometimes she has those years when she's right." (Ken gets points for that.) Dale responded, "Years?! I'd say decades." Yep - Dale gets a gold star.
  4. Philip gets the next gold star for the day. I offered him some of the beverage Kristi was preparing and he said, "No thanks. I'm good." Pause. "What is it?"
    A wise man declines such an offer from his mother-in-law BEFORE finding out that it's hot apple cider vinegar and water.
  5. Conversation in Scrivnerburg:
    Caleb: If Santa doesn’t come I’m going to get angry.
    Mom: Why would you get angry?
    Caleb: Because I really want Santa to come.
    Mom: But does it fit the spirit of Christmas to get angry if Santa doesn’t come?
    Caleb: No. Jesus is the spirit of Christmas, and Jesus is Happiness.
    Mom: Are you still going to get angry if Santa doesn’t come?
    Caleb – shoulders slumping: No.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 23, 2012

“You wanted these shelves clear, right Nana?'”


  1. Ken and I spent half the day shopping in Missoula with Jenny and Philip. It was fun! (Even if I’m still exhausted.)
  2. Nana actually enjoyed the time with 7 grandkids and 3! great-grandkids. Whew. (That coulda driven her crazy!)
  3. I was able to eat two small meals today.
  4. I still have one more day to wrap gifts! (That’s really good, because this weekend was a total loss for wrapping.)
  5. It’s bed time.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22, 2012

(This was posted a day late – if you noticed I was missing, you may have guessed who was next to fall with the dreaded stomach virus. I did manage to take a picture of our Christmas tree in its new location.)


  1. I survived the stomach bug. I think.
  2. I slept through the day.
  3. I lost weight.
  4. I had a totally peaceful day.
  5. I like Dreyers No Sugar Added Fruit Bars.

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012


  1. The world didn’t end today!
  2. Everyone in Scrivnerburg is starting to feel better – yes, even Ken. He slept most of the day, but he’s feeling better.
  3. We had the yummiest homemade creamy mac & cheese for dinner! It was really easy, too!
  4. We’re watching The Santa Clause with the kids. I love holiday movies!
  5. The days are going to start getting longer now!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 20, 2012

This is reminiscent of the shot of Gavin yesterday…that’s because the sickies have returned to Scrivnerburg.


  1. It’s not a blessing to have half of my kids sick, but it caused us to start Scrivnerburg Academy’s Christmas break a bit early. It was good not to have to worry about school today. It was another busy one.
  2. Ken spent last night taking care of the sickly boy so I was able to get some sleep.
  3. I had a great work day today!
  4. It’s almost Christmas!
  5. I was able to enjoy a couple periods of quiet today. That’s a precious commodity around here.

I did not create this – click to get to the source through which I found it – but it made me laugh out loud.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

After all the craziness of the day Gavin was done.


  1. I spent almost the whole day with my beautiful daughter Jenny and her children.
  2. Our family doctor squeezed Jenny’s son in for a quick check when Gavin had his well-child check. I love how they work with us.
  3. Gavin didn’t need shots today!
  4. His physical therapist is very happy with the quality of his movements – yay! (He may not be gaining weight or speaking, but his gross motor skills are doing great!)
  5. My beloved cooked me dinner tonight. He’s awesome.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012

Dale took this shot for us (while I was talking. yay.).


  1. (Or “grossings.” The clean-up wasn’t a blessing, but the humor in the discovery was a funny moment in the day.)
    Fictional conversation in Scrivnerburg:
    "Hey Gavin, did you know that if you stick four fingers far enough into your mouth you'll throw up?"
    "I do now."
  2. Ken brought Jenny and the kids back here from Spokane. Yay! I haven’t seen them in more than 2 years!
  3. It was a crazy-busy day for me, and my wonderful mother-in-law went out of her way to take two kids to the dentist for me. She gets gold stars!
  4. Kristi folded and put away her laundry – without being told and without complaint. Will wonders never cease?!
  5. My sweetie is home!

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

Nathan wanted a family picture before Ken left for Spokane. Gavin wasn’t as cooperative as the rest, but since he’s been on here a lot lately, we’ll let it slide this time.


  1. I am so thankful for my friend Deb. She is such a blessing – she comes and helps us homeschool our children even when her life is plagued with trials and troubles. She loves our children, and she brings a smile to everyone.
  2. I had the opportunity today to help a couple ladies who were trying to jumpstart a vehicle today. To me it was just a little thing (I’ve done my share of jumpstarting), but to them it was a great blessing. It doesn’t take much to be a blessing to people.
  3. Albert and Christie at Bitterroot Thrift Store are great people. They make me smile, and I love that they care about and think about our family.
  4. My darling beloved got over the passes and into Spokane safely on this wintery day.
  5. Jenny and the kids are on their way to Spokane! Yayayayayayayay!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16, 2012


  1. This day has been full of fun things!
  2. We had a great time at the nursing home – singing carols and chatting with the residents.
  3. We enjoyed a Christmas party and talent show with Light of the Valley. What a blessing!
  4. Gavin learned a new trick today…
    Fortunately, he also learned how to get back down without hurting himself.
  5. I am so so so thankful for my many beautiful children. May I never take them for granted.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15, 2012

Saturdays are becoming picture blessing days…

1. Dale is the baby whisperer.
Dale Baby Whisperer

2. We went to Nana’s today to help her get things rearranged and set up for Jenny and Philip and the kids. This is Gavin’s version of helping.
Rearranging at Nanas

3. I thought he was so cute (and naughty) that I took video.

4. Caleb was patient enough to untangle the candy cane Christmas lights at Nana’s.
Caleb untangling

5. I love our neighbor’s Christmas house.
Christmas lights

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14, 2012

Today I remember that I am blessed beyond measure.

My heart grieves for the families affected by the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

I do not have only five blessings for this post – I have nine. Jenny, Fancy, Dale, Andrew, Austin, Kristi, Nathan, Caleb, and Gavin are among the most precious blessings I can fathom. Tonight I thank God that my beautiful children are healthy and happy, and I am praying constantly for God to help the devastated hearts of those families who lost so very much today.

Lord, hold the broken hearts of all those affected by this tragedy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

Gavin’s new favorite thing. We didn't really need the Wii stuff in that box, Honey. It's okay - just throw it on the floor.


  1. I’ve been working on Christmas presents! Whoohoo! It’s so fun!
  2. I was able to work for 3 straight hours, almost without interruption! A Christmas miracle!
  3. More Christmas presents arrived today – some for me, some I ordered…more Christmas fun!
  4. This holiday season isn’t flying by waaay too quickly as they often to. I’m able to enjoy this one more than normal.
  5. My honey brought home some treasures – new chocolate goodies, my favorite cereal, stuff I like to drink…he’s a good guy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012

My Sweetie. I'm gonna keep him.


  1. Gavin walked! He turned away from the table he was standing at and walked 18 consecutive steps before dropping to hands and knees so he could crawl out the open door at top speed. Yay! (I did catch him before he got out the door.)
  2. I have a high tolerance for pain – or as is said of my “sensory” kids, I under-register pain. Good thing for me! I did one of my signature, “She-walks-in-grace-and-beauty” moves and caught myself up in the equipment at Gavin’s pediatric rehab appointment. I didn’t think I had hurt myself when I landed on my knee, although it felt like my jeans scraped it up a little. Hmmm…well, that was true. It is scraped. And it kinda looks like someone stuck a plum to the front of my leg. It didn’t really hurt until I found out how big the lump was! (The picture really doesn’t do the lump justice.)
  3. Weirdness. I was getting ready to start working in the silent trailer and singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to myself. I sat down, started Pandora, and BarlowGirl came on singing that very song - in the same key.
    Did Pandora hear me?
  4. Nana invited the whole family out to enjoy dinner with her and Grandpa for their birthdays. Yay! We had a very nice meal at Fiesta En Jalisco.
  5. The kids were very well-behaved at the restaurant. I think it’s the first time we didn’t have to correct any obnoxious behavior at all. Whoohoo for good kids!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012

Gavin is so attached to Aunt Felice lately!


  1. School went fast today – which is good because I didn’t get enough sleep last night.
  2. I got my mom’s Christmas tree up. I didn’t decorate it, and I didn’t even get all the lights working right (ERGH!), but it’s up and lit. It’s about time! (I also finally remembered to fix up the strap she needed for her chair. ‘Bout time for that, too!)
  3. I started my new task at work in earnest today – it was brain-taxing, but it went pretty well.
  4. One more week until I get to see Jenny and the kids!
  5. I think I’ll get some sewing time today! Yay! It’s been so long!

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10, 2012

Say no to that face. I dare you.


  1. I had plenty of time for Bible reading and prayer today (should I mention that it was because Gavin had me up before 6am?).
  2. It was a jumbled day, but we made it through the school day. I’m not sure I was even there, but it got done. Ken gets the credit for that.
  3. My mother-in-law got a smartphone! “How is that a blessing for Elli?” you ask… She was thrilled with her new phone, and that makes me happy.
  4. I can’t wait for Christmas! There are going to be some gifts under the tree that will just thrill the hearts of some of my favorite people. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait?
  5. Ken and I were able to spend an hour with one of our favorite people in the whole world today. Lovely Jill, you are a blessing every single day!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 9, 2012



  1. I finished my Christmas shopping today!
  2. I enjoyed a couple hours all to myself in Missoula.
  3. It was a very enjoyable Sunday.
  4. We had a new worship music setup at church today and I thought it went well. I’m looking forward to doing it again! More new music – I love it!
  5. Ken and I went out and had an impromptu dinner-breakfast with our mothers after church. Yay!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8, 2012

A photo blessing day!

  1. angelic light on a teething portrait
    I loved the angelic light on Gavin as he was chewing on his “teething table.”
  2. Pretty scene at Liners
    It was a beautiful winter day at Linerslodge.
  3. Gavin and Felice
    My boys were loving Aunt Felice today – Caleb sat next to her during lunch and Gavin went to her repeatedly – especially after she fed him ice cream.
  4. Gavin in the Moby
    I’ve wanted a picture of Gavin in the Moby Wrap for evers so I could share it on the Moby Facebook page – and what does he give me? A picture I could have shared before he was adopted. Crazy boy. He did sleep peacefully in the Moby Wrap though.
  5. Goofy Dubbies
    Caleb is such a goof. I was trying to force my cell phone camera to give me “bokeh dots” in the background and he was making faces for the camera. He also insisted that I get a shot with Molly in the frame…

Caleb and Molly

I was able to get just bokeh dots, but none with a subject in front (with my cell phone).
Christmas bokeh dots

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012

Dale made a candy sleigh!


  1. My kids are so crafty! Dale saw this in one of his school books (English, I believe) and decided to make it. He didn’t follow a picture or anything – he made it from memory(I’m a direction follower – it drove me nuts that he didn’t even have a picture, but it worked!). It’s cute!
  2. My job is flexible. I love that.
  3. Tacos for dinner! My second-favorite meal.
  4. The house is strangely quiet – Nana took FOUR kids home with her! (I am kinda wondering if that concussion was worse than we thought – she took the busiest four kids.) ‘Love you, Nana!
  5. I can go to bed early! (And I did – this post was finished the next day because I was so exhausted I headed to bed at 7:30pm.)

Special bonus blessing – today is my father-in-law’s birthday. I am so thankful for him. He is a good man, wonderful father, and a proud grandfather. I have been blessed to be a part of his family for the last 24+ years.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 6, 2012

“Do you know the muffler man, the muffler man, the muffler man…”
Gavin stole my scarf! He wore it all afternoon and evening. Stinker.


  1. I had sweet cuddle and play time with my littlest man before anyone else was up. He’s rapidly (now) outgrowing that phase, so I love those times.
  2. I am so thankful that my mother comes over to read with my kids. They get a chance to know her, and she really helps us out with Scrivnerburg Academy.
  3. For the second day in a row I was able to work straight through and get my work day done before dinner. Yay! I get to wrap presents!
  4. Gavin at my dinner. (Yes, that’s a blessing because he’s so scrawny we’re doing everything we can to put weight on him.) And then he finished Andrew’s dinner. Good job, Gavin! (Now I need to find something to eat.) (Edit: He just stole a cookie right out of Daddy’s mouth. ROFL!)
  5. I was able to spend some time catching up with a friend. I hate that we’ve gone so long without chatting, but I’m so glad for the chance to check in!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 5, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas at Marcus Daly.


  1. I love good coffee. Dunkin Dark is my favorite.
  2. Gavin is making good progress in his feeding therapy. He’s still working on munching (rather than just slobbering his food until it dissolves), but he’s eating much more efficiently now.
  3. I was able to work straight through this afternoon!
  4. Christmas gifts (that I’ve ordered) are arriving. Yay!
  5. Jenny and her kids will be here in less than 2 weeks!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4, 2012

Playing with Camera Zoom FX


  1. Caleb worked right through his school work without a single issue or meltdown today. Whoohoo!
  2. I got to spend a couple fun hours with my co-workers. We all work from home, so that’s a rarity.
  3. Pizza from Kodiak Jax!
  4. I had a tiny bit of peace and quiet. In this midst of this crazy busy day, that was a treasure.
  5. I am so thankful for my beautiful family, my parents and parents-in-law, and the wonderful friends that I have in my life. After being involved in the second funeral in 8 days, I realize even more than I usually do that I am blessed beyond measure to have all these people around me.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012


  1. Apparently Gavin can tell time. At 7am, precisely (the time we allow the older kids to come out of their rooms) he turned his head and started yelling at the hallway for Kristi to come out. She's almost always the first one out, and she usually comes out on the stroke of 7:00. Gavin obviously knows that because he yelled "OOOHHH!" for her until she came out. Funny, funny boy.
  2. Ken and I were discussing who was going to read with the kids this morning. Kristi wanted Daddy to read, but I pointed out that I have to spend time with Caleb one-on-one, so I can’t teach the other kids and Caleb at the same time. She said, “I do two math!” (Upon further discussion, we find that she means one-and-one math.) I love that girl!
  3. Most of our school day was done before lunch – that set us up to get stuff done (like work) before dinner, and then have some fun family time in the evening.
  4. I was able to work fairly consistently and without much interruption today. Whoohoo!! So much less stressful for me.
  5. Ken and I are raising the future…it’s a tough job, and there are days when I forget the big picture, but we are making a difference for the kingdom of God by raising the future.

Here are a few shots of more kids…

Andrew by the treeAustin by the treeCaleb by the treeKristi by the tree

Nathan by the tree triptych

Gavin happy by the treeGavin done with picturesGavin happy with Dad

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2, 2012

Today’s photo will have to wait for a day or two – it’s on my cell phone, which I left at the church. (Thank you for your patience – here is the photo for Dec. 2)

A quick snap of the Fabulous Felice’s hat.


  1. Gavin slept for 12 straight hours – he didn’t even wake up to eat! I slept through the night!
  2. I had a lovely, calm, quiet Sunday morning, complete with a doze in my chair.
  3. Caleb and I spent a little bit of time sewing today. It’s been waaaaaay too long since I could even see my sewing table. Time to get busy with that machine!
  4. My mother-in-law brought me chocolate!
  5. I can go to bed early tonight!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 1, 2012

It’s a photo blessing day!

1. IMAG2448
Stella wasn’t feeling too good, but a little visit with Dr. Shura made her feel much better. And gave her a camel hump. (IV fluids because she was dyhydrated.)

2. IMAG2451
Why did the turkeys cross the road? Ken says, “To get away from the chickens.” We had to stop and wait for the turkeys to cross – that was a first for me.

3. IMAG2455
My lunch posse. I took three pictures, and in each one Gavin is reaching across the table for anything he can reach. That’s how lunch went – I practically ate in Mom’s lap, and Gavin kept throwing things on the floor. It took me three times as long to get through my food even though I was sharing it. Fun times!

4. IMAG2456
I don’t think I would ever have a purple or pink Christmas tree, but I liked the colors of the display at Walmart.

5. IMAG2457
These colors are true – I couldn’t believe the vibrant shades of these flowers. So pretty!