Christmas 2014!

I am so behind on posting! Needless to say things have been busy here.

It was so special spending our first Christmas in our very own home. This was also Levi’s first Christmas, so that made it even more special!

We started the day off checking out our stockings and opening presents. After that we had breakfast, played with our new toys, and got ready to go to Nonna and Papa’s house.

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It is hard to believe that not even two months ago on Christmas Day the temperatures reached the low 50’s. Right now in Lowell it is a balmy 7 degrees! I’m getting off track here. Like always, Christmas at Nonna and Papa’s house was a crazy messy blast. We had a great day spent with family.

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Christmas Preparations

We were all very excited to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home. We went as all out as we could given our budget and having four little ones. The first task we tackled was the outdoor Christmas lights. I guess I should really say that Jonathan tackled this task. Though I helped by watching the kids! We invested in LED lights. What I like about these is that you can choose white lights or multicolored lights with the push of a button! Jonathan probably both loved and hated doing this job. Of course it was fun to put lights up, but it was a very cold and tedious job as well. This weekend (mid-January) he will finally take them down, to be stowed away until this coming December.

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Jonathan installed our Christmas lights with a lovely coating of snow as a backdrop. During the afternoon we gave the kids a chance to play in it for a bit. This was Levi’s first experience with snow. He didn’t quite know what to make of it at first. But then I think he decided he didn’t like it. Lily and Sarah spent most of their time harvesting the snow for a little snack.

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We ventured north to New Hampshire this year to pick out and cut down our own Christmas tree. Decorating the tree was a bit chaotic, but a memorable experience. As Christmas drew nearer and nearer the ornaments climbed higher and higher up the tree. The funny thing is though, Levi was not the primary offender. Lily was the one who just couldn’t keep from grabbing at the ornaments.

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A Few Firsts

And these aren’t for Levi. I didn’t really think about all the “firsts” Abigail would experience this year-probably because of all the firsts Levi has had.

One first for Abigail was losing her first tooth. Her bottom tooth was quite wiggly a few weeks back. While watching America’s Funniest Videos Abigail saw a clip of a girl having her tooth yanked out with a piece of string. I convinced her to give it a try. I managed to tie a piece of dental floss around her tooth and proceeded to watch her s-l-o-w-l-y pull at her tooth. How could she be ok with this slow method? I suggested she let me yank it out. She agreed and a few squeals and 1-2-3 yank later it was out!

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Three weeks later she went ahead and pulled her second bottom tooth out on her own while I wasn’t looking. On Sunday night her third came out with the help of a chewy lifesaver. We’re waiting for her fourth to probably come out within the week. And we can already see two of her grown-up teeth coming in!

 

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Abigail’s second “first” was learning to ride her bike without training wheels. This was one of our summer bucket list items, but we didn’t get to it until September. Jonathan spent a little time with her one Sunday afternoon. She made progress but was hampered a bit as she was very discouraged each time she fell or lost balance.

A few days later though her determination got the best of her and she pressed on-on her own. First she tired out our neighbor’s smaller bike and then made several attempts on her own bike. Then BOOM! That was it. She can ride her bike all on her own without training wheels. What a girl!

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And here are a few more pictures of the others having fun outside.

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Apple Picking

We had our annual apple picking outing at Smolak Farms in late September. It was a beautiful warm and sunny day for it. The only problem was that the apples were pretty scarred (maybe from a rough winter?). We had to work extra hard to find apples with the fewest blemishes.

We were joined by Nonna, Papa, Auntie Laura, and Bridget. This made our outing that much more enjoyable! Before they all arrived we started off checking out the farm’s pumpkins.

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Despite the poorer quality apples we still managed to fill our bag with plenty of fruit for apple pie, crisp, muffins, sauce, and just plain eating. Plus, the girls had a blast as always. This was Levi’s first apple picking experience. He slept through most of it, but once he woke up we were able to help him pick his own apple.

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First Day of School!

I just cannot believe that it is almost October already. We are well into our 2014-2015 school year, but I couldn’t miss posting about our first day of school.

I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I hoped to be (as far as setting up the school room went), but we were as ready as we needed to be.

Abigail started first grade. She’s doing Sonlight for Language Arts, Saxon Math 1, Apologia’s Exploring Creation through Astronomy, and The Mystery of History Volume 1.

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Sarah started Kindergarten. Because she followed along with Abigail’s My Father’s World curriculum last year we will use a series of printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler and 1+1+1=1 along with a workbook for language arts and math. She is following along with Abigail for science and history as well.

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Lily. What can I say about Lily? I had grand plans for her and preschool. But, you know what? I think I’ll let her go on being a 2 year old. She hangs out with us in the school room coloring, “crafting”, and fooling around. I hope simply being in the room with her big sisters will do a good job preparing her for preschool come next fall.

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Here’s to a great 2014-2015 school year!

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The Arrival of Levi James

In the weeks leading up to Levi’s birth I eagerly anticipated a labor and delivery much like my previous three. I would know just when it was “time.” We would get the girls situated with my parents. Then we’d make a quick trip to the hospital and peacefully wait for delivery. The part I liked most about waiting in the hospital was being hooked up to monitors where I could hear my baby’s little heart beating away. With each of my three previous deliveries I had a good few hours of this waiting. My experience with Levi was much different.

I had a thought in the back of my mind leading up to the big day. I didn’t share this thought with anyone. Well, I did tell Lily one night while helping her to go back to sleep. I also mentioned it to Jonathan, but not until we were on our way to the hospital. This was my thought: Maybe I’ll try and do it this time without any drugs. When discussing this with Jonathan I had pretty much changed my mind.

I started having regular contractions (about 3 minutes apart) at 7:40AM on January 7. Jonathan hadn’t left for work yet, so we got the girls dressed, I showered, and we headed to my parents’ house. We then left for the hospital. The amount of time between our arrival to the hospital and Levi’s birth was about two hours. There was no time for an epidural. My saving grace was how quickly things progressed. Now I can cross drug-free labor and delivery off of my bucket list!

Levi James was born shortly before noon. He weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds 12 ounces and measured 20 inches long. He’s my little chunky monkey.

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First Day of School

A week ago we started our 2013-2014 school year. Abigail is in Kindergarten and Sarah is in Preschool. Lily, well, maybe she can be our mascot? All kidding aside, I still need to think of what to do with Lily. I want to find some exciting activities for her to do during school that are only special school-time activities. She likes to get into things, which makes it harder to give Abigail and Sarah any undivided attention. I’m sure we’ll get into a groove-just in time for our little guy to arrive!

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We have our good days and our hard days. Once we get out of the basic intro stuff I think the girls will have more fun with it. I’ll be sure to update you all on our progress!