Monday, December 2, 2013

Welcome Back Banjo!

We are so happy to be welcoming back Banjo (our elf on the shelf) this year!  Since mornings aren't really our thing around here and Sunday mornings are especially hectic, we welcomed him back with a North Pole Dinner!

The table setting with a winter theme, since he did travel from the North Pole!

A close up of a place setting.  The table cloth, plates, cups, napkins, and plastic wear all came from Walmart (they have the lowest prices.)  The cute chevron bags I actually scored for free at Michaels and the "placemat" is just a while piece of 12x12 card stock.

Snowman donuts I found on Pinterest.  Check out my Christmas board for more ideas!  I don't recommend using straws to make them.  I had to improvise with them and it was not pretty.

Also found this gem on Pinterest!  The boys were so funny!  Hunter and Finn first made Jack try until Hunter picked one up and read that they said Hershey on them.  He's too smart!

No table is complete without a centerpiece!

With him, Banjo, brought us 24 Christmas books.  One to open and read each day leading up to Christmas.  I know most families do 25, but I decided to forgo the book on Christmas day.  There is enough going on that day for me :)

After a quick clean up from dinner it was time to open our first book!

Finn opened book one! Surprise it was Elf on the Shelf!  

Hunter is such a fabulous reader!  He read the entire book without one hiccup! Finn was enthralled!  I guess we should be reading A LOT more!

I assume Banjo wanted us to read this book first for a gentle reminder of why he is here!

This tradition may not be for every family, but after seeing the wonder in the little ones eyes tonight when they came down from playing in their rooms and saw that Banjo was back, it will be one we cherish for years to come!  All of our children love to see the mischief he gets into each night, but the little ones just seem to marvel in the wonder of it all!


This year we spent Thanksgiving in Kentucky instead of going up to Michigan with our family.  We are incredibly Blessed to have made some life long friends down here.  We are not only close to them, but also their extended family which made being away from our family during this Holiday bearable!
We had dinner at my friend Erica's parent's house along with her sister and her family.  It was fun and so yummy!  Being that we had 13 children there with just our 3 families, and also 10 adults, I didm;t quite get as many photos as I would have liked.  Just keeping up with serving the children was a task in itself :)
Abby and Finn.  This is as close as they would get to each other

John made a smoked turkey breast for the first time. It was delicious!

Andrew and Eliza! 

I handed off Baby Nathan to Jack so I could take some pictures and he fell right to sleep.  Eliza snuck in the chair next to Jack just as soon as Andrew.  She is too adorable!

My dear, sweet friend Erica, whipping up some mashed potatoes!

We were a little crowded with all the people we had in Erica's Mom's house, so it was hard to let Everleigh run around.  I snapped this photo while she was in Ryleigh's arms!  Don't ya just love the pig tails?

My Hunter who insisted on wearing this hat to Thanksgiving.  Some battles just aren't worth fighting!

Andrew and Hunter playing Minecraft while dinner was being plated.

Hunter...this is what we usually find him doing.

Andrew, Jackson, and Nathan

Rick was busy finishing up desserts! So yummy!

Two of my beautiful girls! I can't believe there is nearly 15 years between these two!

Nothing like a good movie while the adults cook! Thank you Disney for making the most amazing flicks!

To all our friends and family all over the country, we hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We are so thankful for every single one of you and what you bring to our lives!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our Trip Back Home

I am so grateful that here in Kentucky the children get a break in the fall from school for an entire week.  By the time October comes we are definitely ready for it!  We weren't sure how staying at  grandma's for a full week would be with Miss Everleigh, so we went for the last half and stayed over the weekend.  It was so good to be home and it gave Ryleigh the opportunity to go to Homecoming with her friends in Michigan.  Homecoming was also at my high school, so it is a little extra special!

We were also able to enjoy a fall festival with Grandma in Gibraltar. It was small, but the kids enjoyed the few activities that were available and it was nice to be outside!

Everleigh couldn't eat the cookie fast enough.

Love these pictures of Everleigh and Mom. Miss E has quite the stranger anxiety, so it was a relief to all of us when she finally decided that Grandma was ok.

Had to have a picture by this cool Coke truck!

Finn asked for a piggie!
Hunter and his cat!

Before we headed home Maddi and I took Hunter, Finn, and Everleigh to Lake Erie Metropark to play and take some photos. I definitely took living across the street from this park for granted. I never thought I would miss the smell of the lake air and the sound of the seagulls. Horses are beautiful too, but I miss the water.


Then there are the moments that weren't photographed...the hours mom and I spent talking and catching up, all the movies we watched, and yummy meals we had. The time I was able to spend with one of my very best friends, scrapbooking at our friend's crop (just like old times.)  These are the moments I miss the most and the ones that make me the most home sick. That being said, we are so lucky to still be close enough to drive back and stay a few days.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Today I am submitting some of my Project Life layouts to Becky Higgins! She is once again choosing members for her Creative Team.  I wanted to share my layouts here also and I am hoping that I can be more proactive with my blog.  I really try, but life just seems to get in my way.  

Project Life! 

The basic layout of week 18 using the 5th and Frolic Edition!

The following two photos are in the "insert" I used between the 2 pages of week 18's layout

Week 19! This layout was made with the new Sunshine Edition!

I will admit, that as of today, I am only done up to week 20 in my album.  I would love to stay caught up, but sometimes with 6 children, it just isn't possible.  I do however, have my photos sorted and mostly edited, up to the current week, on my computer.  I also use a Filofax planner, to journal and keep notes of what happened each day and what photos I have taken.  The app Momento, on my iPhone, which I just recently discovered, has been very helpful! It actually keeps track of what I post on Facebook and Instagram daily!  I don't know how I didn't know about this app before!  I hope to be sharing more in the near future!