Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Pictures

I decided to share some more of our Christmas pictures. It was such a precious morning together - just us with our kiddos. It felt nice not having to rush off anywhere this year and just soak in the simplistic joy of our children. After Eden opened her present containing the baby she promptly took off the hat and tried to wear it herself. I loved her expression in this picture.
Here she had her daddy put the baby blanket on the floor and she was trying to get the hat back on the babies - belly?
Eden wasn't sure what to think of her stocking and frankly I don't blame her. Hers didn't have too much inside of it simply because what do you put in an 18 month olds stocking? I was running low on creativity this year.....but I am pretty sure she didn't notice.
It was almost midnight until we got home from my brothers house on Christmas Eve but the boys were too excited to fall back asleep. So.....we gave them their new pj's. Shane really, really enjoys his pajamas and would stay in them at least half the day. He received some new Spiderman pj's which he is sporting here.
And Judah is blazing his own trail in this house full of Eagles fans!! He likes his Steelers and got two new Steelers items. His eyes sparkled upon opening this gift.
Here we are at my brothers house and honestly - has the man never watched America's Funniest Home Videos? This just looked like a disaster waiting to happen. He somehow got through the pinata without any injuries.
Here is our very own vicious little boy going after the pinata somewhat tentatively. The bat was a little much for him to handle but he enjoyed joining in on the fun with the big kids.
Some of the handsome young men of the family.
My nieces Kayla and Caitlyn who seem to have grown up way too fast.
And of course I got my pictures all mixed up and backwards in this post. We are back to Christmas morning again. Judah was helping Tristan with his stocking. Tristan really had zero interest in opening presents so his big brothers stepped up to help out. Trust me - they didn't mind helping at all.
And back to Christmas Eve. My dear sweet little nieces who are all under 5 years of age.
My Shane man not really wanting to give me a full blown smile but I somehow got him to at least look at the camera.
My brother Steve with his precious little girl.
And one of my favorites from Christmas - Tristan laughing!!! He is such a sweetie and I say on an almost daily basis that I could eat him. Don't ask me what that means because it doesn't really make sense.
The boys with Uncle Dave in the back of the van. It was a tight squeeze but they managed. The boys enjoyed having him stay with us for a few days and he did pretty much whatever they asked him to do.
And that my friends is our Christmas wrap-up!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


It is taking me a long time to recover from Christmas and the following days. I decided to just write a snippet at least and maybe catch up tomorrow. The boys will have off school this week so maybe I will find more time to blog. Maybe. Christmas was wonderful!! I have so many sweet and fun pictures of the kids. I am only posting two today and for obvious reason. This was Eden's first Christmas with us. Last year at this time we didn't even know who she was. We were pretty sure she may be born but really didn't have any idea. Christmas Eve I woke up and was surrounded by memories of Ethiopia. This has happened two different times lately. I wake up and it is almost like I can smell the smells and feel the warmth of the sun. I laid in bed and just marveled at how different our lives and her life is from a year ago. Last year on Christmas she was an orphan and didn't have any family. This year she was continually surrounded by family for a few days in a row. She has changed our lives in so many ways!! Here she is wielding one her brothers light sabers. All her girly toys were surrounding her and she gravitated towards the weapons. Oh well.... I have been fixated lately on the rosy color of her cheeks. Just beautiful.
Here she was after opening her new baby. She was thrilled!!! She was showing her daddy in this picture. She kept saying, "Baby. Baby." and rocking the baby in her arms. Soon she was kissing the babies little head and snuggling her. I am amazed at how instinctual the mothering instinct is in a little girl. Although we found Tristan singing the ABC song to the baby yesterday in a real soft voice.
More Christmas pictures will follow over the next week. I had an hour this afternoon when the two little ones were sleeping and some friends picked Judah and Shane up to take them for ice cream. I meant to get some office work done in the silence but accidentally fell asleep on the couch. I guess that is what happens after getting to bed too late for a few nights in a row. First, it was Christmas Eve and then it was hanging out with some girl friends for a night out that earned us the title "loose women" because we were out so late and then it was waiting up for my husband who went out with all the "loose women's" husbands the next night. Loose or not we sure did have a lot of fun and I had to behave marvelously since I am with child!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Favorite Christmas Decoration

Yes....my favorite Christmas decoration has no deep spiritual meaning or anything to do with what Christmas is really about. My favorite decorations are the beautiful stockings that have been so lovingly knitted by Mark's grandmother. Each one is different and equally beautiful. Eden's just arrived in the mail on Saturday so we could add hers to the lineup. Her name is on the wrong side but hers is the last one that is green with the little penguins. So perfect for her. And I don't know if his grandmother purposely gave her a stocking that says Joy on it or if that was just coincidence. The only thing is the size of these stockings!! They are ginormous!! Makes it hard to find things to fill it up!

Friday, December 19, 2008

This Week

Let's just say this week has had its fun times and its more stressful moments as well. I will do my best to explain without getting too long winded. But I can't promise anything - here I sit at 8:15 with the two little ones in bed and the two older ones watching some of Narnia Prince Caspian! Mark is out working and will be most of the night probably. I am getting tired of these slushy/icy messes that keep occurring. Makes his work much harder. He doesn't seem to mind too much. He genuinely enjoys snow removal and the weird hours that go along with it.

The fun things from this week: having our life group party on Friday night and hanging with our friends. We had a great time and relationships seem to be meshing more and more the longer we know one another. Kind of the natural progression I guess. I really appreciate our friends and enjoy anytime we get to spend with them. Tuesday of course was also fun finding out we are being blessed with another little girl! I am still a little in shock about the whole thing. Normally there is extra anatomy floating around - not this time! I am happy that Eden will have a little sister and already am praying for a deep, quick and lasting bond between the two of them. I am a little nervous too which someday I will go into all that. Last night Mark's sister Christine and her husband Eric offered to babysit the kiddos so we could get a night out!!! Yippee!!!! We were hoping to finish up last minutes shopping but weren't very successful. We did laugh a lot though - especially when he made me sit down and relax for a minute and stop being so task oriented. He is very good for me! Today I baked some more Christmas cookies with the boys and they are wonderfully delicious. Oh......I do love the holidays! Here is the picture I am using for our card this year. I am so behind with everything! We packed everyone on the couch before bed in their pj's and took some pictures. They are so dear!
Eden was quite fascinated with the tree! It has very sparse decorations since she broke 2 in the span of about 2 minutes. I didn't want any little fingers or toes getting hurt so the tree doesn't look overly embellished! Maybe next year! Oh, and excuse the stains on her shirt. The problem with her love of food is that she is kind of messy when she eats and a lot of her clothes show the results.
Another one of the kids in front of the tree! They are counting down the days at this point to seeing their cousins and Christmas morning.
My little man! In his favorite moose shirt! He normally resists getting dressed unless I offer his moose shirt. Then he is more compliant.
Now....the other fun thing this week and also the thing that caused us the most stress. We closed on our new house today!!! Yeah and a huge sigh of relief! The reason there was so much stress is that we didn't get our final approval for our loan from the bank until 2 hours before closing this morning!!!! Ridiculous! On Tuesday, they suddenly needed a crazy amount of extra documentation from us and from our CPA. Apparently there were a few glitches. The one being this: we have two rental properties and only one showed up on our initial credit check for some reason. So...we had to provide signed leases for all the rental units, bank statements, letters from our CPA, investment account statements, yada, yada, yada! Then...the last and final problem was they thought for some reason that we could not access the business account for any personal use. Well..how exactly did they think we got paid? Our broker told us today that our numbers were perfect and he didn't know what all the run around had been about. But our realtor did tell us that this is becoming more and more common. All in all we are thrilled!! I am a little nervous simply because we have to finish getting our house ready to put on the market and then have to wait for it to sell. Hopefully it doesn't take too, too long. Although I would like to be able to come back early spring and dig up my strawberry patch.

One final funny tid-bit. Our hens have been laying eggs now for almost two months. Yet, we were only getting 1-2 eggs a day from 5 hens. I kept saying to Mark that something wasn't right. We have two rogue hens that somehow escape the pen almost daily. So...Judah would go out, round them up and pen them back up. The one is very tame and follows you around and will even jump in the van if it gets the chance. One day this week Mark was outside and knocked on the window. Turns out those two hens must not think the nesting boxes we provided were not okay for them. They were getting out and laying their eggs under an azalea bush - 2 dozen eggs to be exact! Judah and Mark put them in a bucket, went back in the woods and threw them at trees since we didn't know how long they had been laying there. So now the hens are completely confined and we are getting more eggs in our nesting boxes. Quite the exciting times at the Eveleth house.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's A............

Today found Mark, Judah and I at the doctor's office. First for our ultrasound and then my quick 3 minute check by the doctor. It never gets old seeing your little person on the monitor. The practice I go to has top-notch equipment and we got to see color 3D pictures of our baby and see the blood flowing in the umbilical cord, the technician enlarged the heart so we could see the aorta working, saw the diaphragm, the kidneys, the stomach, the sweet little mouth.....everything looked wonderful. And by the way.....we are adding another girl to the family!!!! We are so excited, thrilled and feeling very blessed this evening! It was extra special for me having Judah there and so enthralled by everything. He was really hoping for a girl so he was extremely happy.

I know I have been rather absent lately but wow!!! We have had some very challenging days at this house. I will do better here and make sure I post some pictures soon because really who wants to just read my rantings?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lucky Ones

Yesterday I decided to make some cut-out Christmas cookies with the two older boys while Eden slept. We ran into a few problems: Eden didn't take a nap, Tristan woke up from his nap after a 1/2 hour and proceeded to scream for quite a while, the cookie dough kept breaking and numerous other glitches. We still made cookies and the boys are knock-out cookie decorators. That means they are very liberal with the sugar they pile/dump on dump. No sprinkling of sugar at this house - we are all about dumping sugar because the dough doesn't have enough sugar already.

In the midst of the mayhem and me questioning why I ever thought this was a good idea the boys started figuring out how many kids are in each family on my side. So....we went through all the cousins, aunts and uncles and came to the conclusion that we have the same amount of kids as Aunt Joy and Aunt Donna. Shane said, "We all have 4 kids in our families."

And then the thing that warmed my heart came right after. Judah replied, "Yes, but soon we will have 5 kids and then we will have the most. We are the lucky ones!!"

Did you hear that? Lucky ones??!!! You have to know what our last two weeks have been like around this house to really appreciate it. They haven't been very fun weeks for some reason. But in the midst of it, my son who seems to need to much time, attention, stimulation etc. from us as his parents feels lucky that we will be adding another one to our family. Made my heart sing!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A New Week

Here it is Sunday night and I am hoping this next week is the complete opposite of last week. Meaning....I hope there is a lot of peace, a lot less issues between siblings, more positive words spoken and just a general all around feeling of joy!!! Today was wonderful so I am hoping we can build on that more tomorrow. It just seems like sometimes everyone gets in a downward spiral at the same time. And now I need to go because Tristan is still on his ABC obsession! We don't have to say them multiple times a day but now we have to sit with a pen and paper and I have to write all the letters he dictates. So far while typing this post I have had to pause and write the following letters as he tells me to: ELDAPRMETDERCCCSSWWHQPO. This child sure does love his letters!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Some Pictures

We are onto something new at this house - the two little ones like to now watch Thomas. Well...Eden may prefer something else if she ever had the chance to choose but Tristan is pretty set on his Thomas movies. This has helped me tremendously since it gives me a half hour of uninterrupted time to help the boys with their school work. I'm sure I will regret it someday but for now this new phenomenon is pretty sweet!!
The boys had so much fun at my sister and her husband's cabin this weekend. This constructive gear set was a big hit!!
Even though it was very cold (at least to me) the boys spent a considerable amount of time down by the creek skipping stones and playing in a natural fort Judah discovered.
Here is an area in the fort where you can get some shelter in case of rain. Now keep in mind these are all things I was told by my son - I didn't come up with this stuff.
Shane and I on one of the very "comfortable" couches a.k.a. a fallen tree.
The two boys together on another couch. This fort had a speaking room (what?), a library, a living room, hallway and so much more!
Here we are at the entrance of the fort about to get the full tour.
The weekend was nice but I am reminded this week of why we so seldom take all the kids away for a few days. The following week is murderous!!! It seems to take the kids so long to get back into the groove of things and everyone has to have their attitudes reworked. I have had one good day this week and all the rest of them have been excruciating!! I am tired and ready for a new job description. Can anyone relate?
I just got the two little ones to sleep so now it is time to try and get some things done around here and spend some good time with the older two.

Updated:: after nap time everyone was in much better moods - including the mom. Judah spent an hour outside hunting birds, Shane and I played Sorry, I scrubbed some floors, we had snack time and suddenly life isn't so bad.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Grinch

Last night as I was sitting in Tristan and Shane's room (our little implementation of "the plan") Shane leaned over the top bunk and whispered, "Mom. The grinch's heart was 3 sizes too small." I agreed and that was the end of the discussion. I really wish I knew what makes him think of these things.

"The plan" is to sit next to Tristan's bed for a few nights and make my way to the door and then out the door. So far it has worked great!!! Tristan hasn't made an attempt to get out of bed and falls asleep relatively quickly. And he hasn't woken up until 4:15 the past two nights. Actually, last night I fell asleep on their bedroom floor at 9:00, woke up and stumbled downstairs to the couch around 10:00, made my way back upstairs at 10:30 and slept real well. I felt wonderful today!! The past two nights he has fallen asleep by at little after 9:00 (versus 10-10:30) and has only woken up once. Much better than the three times a night that have been habit. I almost hate to say it has been going well - I don't want to jeopardize anything. Ask me again in two weeks.

I have some cute pictures from the weekend at the cabin but I haven't downloaded them yet. Maybe tomorrow!