Photo by Sarah Stucky Photography

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pre-Christmas fun!

We have been having a blast around here lately.  Christmastime is so full of fun!

My mom and I took the kids to see Santa:

Matthew started rolling on the ground?! Ha ha!

Joshua and Santa

Kathryn telling Santa that she wants a Rapunzel dress 

Matthew wasn't quite sure about Santa, but he sat on his lap for a minute

William and Santa

 Esther watched our kids one day and made Reindeer cupcakes with them. Aren't they adorable??

 And then  Karen came over and made sugar cookies with the kids one day:

And then we had a big party and made a gingerbread "Scene" and decorated all of the sugar cookies too:  

Isn't this great!! Ha ha! Notice the pile of  marshmellows.  The kids were told (ahem) that it was snowman poop... so it ended up all over. 

Catching Tim snacking!

Matthew was decorating too!

Karen and Kathryn making cookie art!

Ellen snacking! :)

A sample of  the cookies we made

We had a Christmas celebration on Sunday night, since my sister Margaret and brother in law Bob, were here for a quick visit.  What fun!  We did the whole thing, dinner, desserts, presents...

We always end our Christmas celebration with reading of the Christmas story and singing carols together.  A tradition I want to always keep. Our focus is on Christ as HE is the reason we celebrate!

Oh the wonder of Christmas! It is such a joy to experience it through our kids' eyes.

Some more baking, cleaning, decorating, wrapping, and the big days will be here soon!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Psalm 69:30

 30 I will praise God’s name in song
   and glorify him with thanksgiving.

The short list of Things I'm Thankful for this year:

1) Our Lord and His love for us
2) Family
3) Health in my baby boy! (It's been a rough year but praise God for his healing!)
4) Seeing to Lord's hand in taking care of so many who have needed healing and help
5) Provision of all of our needs

What a fun Thanksgiving we had this year!  I was so glad that my parents could join us at the home of my In-laws!  It never happens that I get to spend holidays with both sets of "parents" at the same time :)

I took no pictures.. oops! We were having too much fun!
In the days that followed we did the following:

Kids jumped in one of these:

We played a lot of this game: 
Went to see this movie (and LOVED it!):

Had a photo shoot with Sarah Stucky Photography  She is Wes' sister and really talented!  I am so ridiculously excited about the pictures and Christmas cards that are printing RIGHT NOW :)

We also did a lot of visiting and playing, some shopping, and enjoyed a worship service at Eagle ridge church and seeing friends there. 

Blessed! Happy Belated Thanksgiving :)

My Birthday

I turned 32 on November 20th.  Yep..that sounds old.  But I so don't feel it so that's what counts, right??

The rain changed our plans to go to Knotts Berry Farm.. but we're going to try to go sometime soon. 
 Instead, we went to  Red Robin for dinner as a family.  You get a free meal on your birthday so we go every birthday, lol :) 

I am also very spoiled with a wonderful family. The day before, we had a full on Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house to celebrate my birthday (and have an early celebration with my brothers family since they were going to be in Iowa on Thanksgiving).  

Then on Thanksgiving day we also celebrated all the November birthdays together with the Lennertz side of the family.  How I love and appreciate my family.  We are so very blessed. 

 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30  I wish I was better at this. Asking the Lord for Him to draw me closer to Him every day.

Gift Exchange

One of the sites that I love following for all of the GREAT fun and ideas is called Craftaholics Anonymous.  Linda hosted a handmade gift exchange this year and I decided to just do it and get involved.  And it was so much fun!

I met Michelle from Australia, and we emailed back and forth just a little bit.  Then we sent each other a handmade gift!  She doesn't have a blog, so I'm going to show both what I gave and what I received to link up the pictures.

I made a reversible quilted table runner for Michelle.  One side is Christmas: 

The other side is fall-themed!

I totally stole this idea and pattern from my incredibly talented sister in law, Sarah. And I hope Michelle likes it!

To wrap the gift, I used a piece of printed blue and white fabric, and added a ribbon and an aqua colored flower clip.  (Doubling as wrapping or for your hair, etc)

And take a look at what I received!  LOVE this!

Michelle sent a beautiful full tutu, a flower headband, and a hand painted ornament that says "Australia". 
Here is Kathryn modeling the cuteness!

Can you tell how much she loves this! Thank you Michelle, we love everything!!

 Linking up to share the gifts!

Craftaholics Gift Exchange

Monday, November 15, 2010


Thanksgiving is a time for being grateful for all that God gives to us! 

But, I must admit that sometimes its easy to get distracted.... and grumble a little bit. 

God gives us everything that we need.  There are basics in our life that we totally take for granted, yet there are people who don't have a roof over their heads, a car, even don't have enough food for themselves.  When we think about it like that... we realize how very blessed we really are.  We have a home, 2 vehicles, Wes has a good job,  our kids go to school and have fun classes to take, our fridge and cupboard are full of food and we can run to the store and get anything else we need. 

I look at our kids... and realize how blessed we really are.  Our extended family on both sides... SO VERY blessed. 

But I grumbled.  For just a little bit I forgot to focus on the blessings and let myself dwell on what we didn't have. 

Our Ford Focus (read good mileage and husband's commuter car) had a coolant leak and needed a new transmission.  It was in the shop for about a week while they did the work.  Wes drove our van to work, and the dealership rented a car for us to drive while they fixed ours. 

What a pretty van it was!  Brand new, Stow and go 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan with all of these special features and doors that opened and closed on their own.  The kids and I rode around in it commenting on every feature that we found.  It was pretty, and suddenly I felt a discontent in myself as compared it to our (quite nice! Ford Windstar, 2003).  Then I had to flip a switch and I started talking with the kids about what it means to be grateful... what it means to be content with what we have... how God is the one who gives and takes away, and how in everything we need to give him thanks.  This verse is perfect: 

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12)

The kids and I started naming our blessings and soon the discontent faded. We prayed together and were so happy.  I love kids.. I love that everything is taken so simply.  I love that because I want to teach THEM good things and good habits, it makes ME get out of the funks I have. 

I had to sigh and thank God for giving us the money we had saved up, as we paid for the car when we went to pick it up.  All things come from Him and to Him we give all of the glory. 

I am trying to make this attitude carry over to the rest of my life.  Not to be distracted wishing I had more, or better, but to be content in any and every situation.  This can be an act of service to our wonderful God, better said, a natural overflowing of gratitude to Him for everything he provides. 

In other news, my boy lost a tooth! What a big boy he is now..

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things that make me happy!

Finally my Fall decorations are up! I've had a couple of pumpkins out... and some delicious candle scents.  It just changes the whole feel of the house when the decorations change for the season. 

By the TV. The plant isn't really "Fall"... but ah well!

Sarah made me this table runner and I love it!

Above our main windows

The "mantel". I am still displaying the kids' colored pumpkins.  In a kid's just the way it is!:)

This had turned into a "catch all" for everything.. kid's homework, etc.  NO MORE! ha :)
Now the "catch all" is in a basket by the sewing machine. (One day, Sarah, I will give your machine back.. until then. I thank you!)

This is my favorite... I put mini pinecones in a jar, with just a couple of berries.  wrapped a seasonal ribbon around it.  

What makes me more happy is my family.  I am so grateful for every one of them! I feel so incredibly blessed.  I hope that we take this season to be thankful for all the blessings we are given. 

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13

Monday, November 1, 2010

Star wars costumes

  I have always loved dressing up and putting together costumes.   I must have a drama bug in me or something!   Halloween has become really fun now that we have our sweet kids.  They love dressing up, and it's the best thing ever for them to get candy and do fun things. 

I really, really wanted to make my kids costumes from the Wizard of Oz this year.  Kathryn as Dorothy, with the three boys as the scarecrow, lion, and tin man.  My older boys would have nothing to do with it! They just wanted to be Jedi. When Wes said that he'd dress up as a Jedi too, I decided to just go with it and do Star Wars costumes for the whole family.  And Kathryn was even excited about being Princess Leia.. I mean... she IS a princess, and that's really all that matters! :)

First thing I did was to visit a thrift store.  I found two Karate Gi's for the boys (a little too big so I had to alter the shirts down), a California King sized brown sheet, a tablecloth, and a white cloth. I think I spent $8 for all of that.

They already had belts, light sabers, blaster, brown sweats, and Wes had a Kempo Karate Gi of his own. 

I originally was going to make Matthew a Yoda outfit... I even found a light green sweatshirt to do so...but I found this little lion/bear outfit at the thrift store for about $2. Now he could be an Ewok! YES!

I visited Joann's with a coupon, and bought some costume brown satin, a small amount of silver, and some white muslin.  This was for capes for the boys, and a Princess Leia outfit for Kathryn.

Here's some pictures of how everything turned out for the kids:

For Wes' outfit... he wanted to be Mace Windu.  So, he wore his Karate Gi in White.  Then I made a shirt out of the brown tablecloth.  Then I made a cloak out of the brown sheet.  The lightsaber was funny, because we couldn't find a purple one at the stores.  We would have had to order one online.  Since it wasn't until last week that we decided to be Jedi, I was afraid we wouldn't get it on time.  So, I used a purple plastic tablecloth and covered a red one the boys had. Funny! But hey, it worked!  It wasn't perfect because I didn't use patterns for anything, but for a costume I think it came out pretty good.

My costume was Padme Amidala from  Episode II.  She wore so many outfits in the movies but this one was the easiest and cheapest to put together... the battle outfit.  I wore the white pants from one of the Karate Gi's I got for the boys (ha!), and a long sleeved white shirt that I had. I draped the white material like a cloak.  I made silver bands from cloth, wore boots and a white belt and carried a blaster. 

We had such a fun time being dressed up all alike and got so many comments from people about being the "Star Wars family".  Or, "The Force is strong with this group".  One boy saw Wes and yelled out in amazement,  "WOAH, it's a Jedi Master!"

We spent the evening at Paz Naz' Harvest Festival. The kids bounced in bouncers, played carnival games winning handfuls of candy.  Got Jamba Juice, hotdogs, popcorn, Cotton candy.  Matthew's favorite was a duck fishing game, where they caught ducks out of a mini swimming pool of water. And then got candy for it.  He didn't want the candy... he just wanted the DUCK!  He was a sad little Ewok when I picked him up and carried him away to go do something else.  He kept yelling "Duck, Duck!"   They had so much going on we didn't even get a chance to do everything, but we did have a great time.  :)

We ended the evening with a lightsaber/blaster duel in the parking lot.  Fun night for all of us :)