Saturday, December 28, 2013


We're all sick with varying degrees of upper respiratory infections.  Some of us are coughing lots and yet, still refuse to rest our throats, (Taylor).  Some of us are acting like we're healthy, until we're asked to do something we don't want to do, (Logan).  Some of us are too exhausted to care, (Joleane).  And one of us still isn't fully recovered himself, yet is now taking care of the rest of us, (James)!

We've been sick for the last week, so Christmas pictures were halfhearted, at best.  Besides, my kids are past that stage where I could dress them up in festive outfits and have them pose in front of the Christmas tree with a perfectly wrapped present.  (And when they were young enough for that, they wouldn't hold still anyway, so needless to say, we don't have any of those kind of Christmas pictures).

What we have are these:

a grainy picture of Logan getting socks.  He was actually happy to get socks.  He'd asked for them for Christmas.  He was down to one pair that matched and one that didn't.

 Taylor got not one, not two, but three Rainbow Fairy books.  She started the series this year, but our new library doesn't have any.  Those should last her about 3 days.

 Logan also got a Lego Star Wars set.  He's been wanting this set for a very long time, the Jek-14 Stealth Star Fighter.  Don't ask me what it is, I barely know the name of it.  I can tell you though, that it was a very complicated set to build because it took Logan 2 days to finish it. 

Taylor also got a make-up kit from Grandma.  She is beyond thrilled.  She loves make-up now.  She and her cousin, sat in front of a mirror and applied make-up for a long time.  I think it make them feel like grown-ups.  

The ballerina doll I got Taylor wasn't a hit.  She liked it, but didn't love it.  She already has a doll she loves and I guess she doesn't need another one.  So we're sending it back and Taylor's already picked out Lego's to replace it with.  

And that is our Christmas.  The house is still a disaster, but it's slowly getting back into shape.  Nobody has the energy to do much though.  So we're just resting and recovering here.  

Hope you are all healthy and well!  Merry Christmas, (one last time)!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

The kids have been so excited for Christmas.  They've been adding "eves" to the last several days.  "It's Christmas Eve, Eve, Eve!"  

Then Sunday evening, Taylor got sick.  James had been sick for the last week almost, with fever, aches, cough and sore throat.

Now Logan this morning.  On Christmas Eve, of all days.  He just lays on the couch and he's taken 2 naps today.  Soooooooooo not like him.  And I've got a sore throat and am trying not to cough.   

 So I've got a fire going and I'm just relaxing.  I was looking through some of our old Christmas pictures.  

Just 6 years ago, our Christmas looked like this......

Logan was 3 & 1/2  and Taylor was just over a year old! 

We had Christmas at Nana & Papa's house. 

Logan got a train, which he still has. 

Taylor got a doll, with those eyelids that close when you lay the baby down.  She was fascinated by them.  

And 5 short years ago, Christmas looked like this...

and this...

 Christmas at home.

Logan was 4 & 1/2 and into pirates.

Taylor was barely 2 and already into princesses.  

Christmas also looked like this...

A very large branch from our tree came down on our car.   (Okay, I can't remember if this was before Christmas or after it).

Thank goodness for the bike rack though.  It saved our roof.  We took the whole tree down after this.  I never liked that tree anyway.  It left little orange "berries" all over our walkway.  

It's fun to look back at old pictures.  The kids were so small and cute.  They're still cute, just not so small. 

We have no idea where we're going to be next year for Christmas.  Hopefully we'll be in our home somewhere and Nana & Papa will be there too.  (Unless Elizabeth has already claimed them.  I may just have to fight her for them).  ;)
Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends!  Take lots of pictures of your little ones.  They grow up so fast. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Birthday Boy

James is the birthday boy this time.  The kids are always so excited whenever it's anyone's birthday.  They love giving gifts and watching other people open them.

 Logan's card to his Daddy.

"Dear Daddy/Father,  thank you for being my dad!  thank you for... taking me on bike rides.... & showing me things on my nexus 7 & getting me a nexus 7..... & many many more thing love your son Logan Edward Sharp the first"  

Then Logan drew a picture of himself and his dad riding bikes. 

Taylor's card to her dad.  She also drew a picture of the two of them on bikes.

"Dear Daddy, Happy Brithday!  I love, you, you cooking, you being an eai (eye) dokter.  I love you 100,000,000,000,000  Love, Taylor"

She drew more pictures inside of the two of them doing things together.

James had set a goal and worked toward it and accomplished it.  The goal was to be completely done with all three Board exams by his birthday.  I think that was the greatest birthday gift this year.  To have all of those behind him.  

His birthday has fallen on Finals week for the last 3 years, so it was very nice that he didn't have to take a final and/or study for a final on his birthday.  

For nearly the entire first month of this rotation, James was studying for his last exam.  He would come home from work and study until dinner and then go study some more and then come out for family prayer and putting the kids to bed, then he'd study some more.  

He'd say things like, "Well, I'm heading back into the cave."  "You know where to find me, I'll be in the cave studying."  Etc.  

The kids had no idea what this meant, but they drew pictures of what they imagined it to mean and put them on the door of the study.  This one is Logan's.

Taylor's cave has an eye ball in it, and I'm sure there is a reason for it, I just don't know what it is.  Her sign is more lenient than Logan's, as it says, "Do Not come in, unless you really need to."

Now that Boards are over, James hardly spends any time in "the cave."

This is another drawing Taylor made for James on his birthday.  I think that's James and he's at his desk, in the study.  Then there is some dialog, something like this, 

"I think you'r amaging (imagining) in the cave"

"No amagnashun (imagination)"

"How r u doing"


"Rede (ready)"

"Grat (great)"

"Kuming Bak (coming back)"

I don't really understand it, but I'm not surprised.  It is a conversation between herself and her dad. 

So for James' birthday we actually went out to lunch as a family this year and then made him a special dinner of Swiss Enchiladas, which we were able to share with his parents as well.  He had all the time in the world to spend with us and it was wonderful!

Happy Birthday, Babe!  Hope you had a great day, (even though you did have to work on your special day).  Love you!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Crafts and Our Tree

To make a long story short, we don't have any Christmas decorations, ornaments, stockings, anything.  No. Christmas. Anything.

To make a short story, a little longer... 

When we were packing all our stuff 7 months ago, before we started all our rotations, we were dividing our things into two categories, "Put in Storage" and "Taking With Us."  We had a huge box full of all our Christmas things and I thought to myself, "I don't want to haul this gigantic box with us, moving it around every three months."  

So I very cleverly, split it into two boxes.  

Actually, what I did was put only the bare essential Christmas stuff into a smaller box.  Just our stockings, the lights for the tree and some ornaments.  Then I marked it CHRISTMAS.  

But, (and this is how clever I am) I saved it until the very last to put into the storage unit, since we'd be back in the same town as the storage unit 3 months later.  So why haul it to Oak Harbor and back?  We'd just get the CHRISTMAS box from the storage unit right before we moved to our 3rd rotation (the one that spans the holidays).  

Well, here we are, in our 3rd rotation and we haven't seen or thought about that CHRISTMAS box for 7 months.  It's still sitting right there, near the very front of the storage unit, waiting for me to pick it up and bring it with us for Christmas.  Now, that's how clever I really am. (sigh)

My initial inclination was to drive back to the storage unit and get it, but that's an awfully long drive for Christmas stockings.  I guess we'd have to do some some Christmas crafts instead and just make due.  

So we turned on some Pandora Christmas music to get us in the mood.

We started with white paper.  Folded it just so.  And then cut it to pieces. 

 Then we unfolded our nearly shredded paper...

 to see what we'd created. 

Here are some of them. 

The largest ones we used to decorate the house with.  The smaller ones we put on our tree.

Oh, yes, our tree.  We just went to a tree lot this year.  The good thing though, was that James was with us again.  Yay!  No finals for him this year!

We picked out our tree and managed to scrounge up enough money to pay for it.  We were still 6 cents shy, but the lady took pity on me when I asked James if there was any change in the car.  We could have gone with a shorter tree or a fir instead of a noble, but it all worked out.  

 The tree.

We borrowed a tree stand from James' parents.  We also had to let the tree thaw and dry overnight.  I kind of liked it undecorated, in it's natural state.  It added a great splash of color to the rose/burgundy/brown room.  

So the next day was Sunday, but church was actually canceled due to snow and ice conditions.  We decided to have church at home.  A Family Home Evening sort of church.  

Taylor read from the scriptures.  She chose to read the Christmas story in Luke 2.  

Then Logan taught us about how Christ is the Light of the World.  While James strung the lights on the tree, which we also borrowed from James' parents, Logan read scriptures illustrating his point.  So the lights on our tree represent the Light of Christ, illuminating our lives.  (You should look up Light of Christ in the Bible Dictionary.  It's great.  Just saying).

Then we decorated the tree with our paper snowflakes. 

This is how our tree looks now.  If you look closely you can see the penguins the kids made out of empty toilet paper rolls.  

Okay, I'll make it easier for you to see them.  They were another little craft the kids did.  Just cut and paste, the old-fashioned way.  Or if you're like Logan, who didn't want to wait for the glue to dry, you can just use tape. 

The children also made a "service jar."  It's an idea they read about in a church magazine and went ahead and did it all by themselves. 

They came up with service ideas on their own.  Okay, I helped, but just a little.  These are some of Logan's: Give F.H.E. next.  Read the Scriptures.  Say Please and Thank You today.  Pick up brother/sister's room, (Logan really wanted Taylor to get this one so he could play and not have to clean up.  Turns out she did draw this one and on the same day, Logan drew one out that said, "clean your sister's room.")

These are some of Taylor's service ideas:  Speak only kind words all day.  Empty the dishwasher.  Write to your teacher a Christmas card.  

They put their strips of paper into a jar and eagerly  pull out their service each day.  They are having a lot of fun doing this.  I never have to remind them to draw one in the morning or to do their service during the day.  I wish we could keep this going all year long. 

Today's services are: For Taylor vacuum, which is usually Logan's job, so now he won't have to.  And for Logan, make someone's bed, which, it won't be hard to find an unmade bed around here.  

We hope you all are staying nice and safe and warm, wherever you are.  We also hope you're enjoying your holiday season.  We sure are.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Let It Snow

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

But the fire is so delightful...

And since we've no place to go...

 Let It Snow!

 Let It Snow!

 Let It Snow!

"It doesn't show signs of stopping...

And I've bought some corn for popping...

 The lights are turned way down low...

 Let It Snow!

 Let It Snow!

Let It Snow!

"When we finally kiss goodnight...

How I'll hate going out in the storm! ...

But if you'll really hold me tight...

All the way home I'll be warm...

  Let It Snow!

  Let It Snow!

 Let It Snow!

"The fire is slowly dying...


And, my dear, we're still goodbying...

But as long as you love me so...

 Let It Snow! 

 Let It Snow!

 Let It Snow!!!"