A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Starting On December

Let's see if I can get at least the first half of December written up while it's still December.

Grumman is delighted with the season.  He's pretty sure my militree (military tree, with red/white/blue lights and patriotic/military ornaments) is his own personal enrichment. 

And while that wasn't my intention, let's face it, he's not wrong. 

The December craft I taught at the kids' school was fleece cat beds for SPCA.  I cut and cut and cut a stack of fleece for us to start with, using up roughly 2/3 of my fleece stash.  I'm really happy to be moving some fabric OUT of the sewing room, and for a good cause, too.  (Grumman, of course, thinks my bed is a cat bed.) 

Hannah cutting fringe for her cat bed. 

A finished bed.

Jack, tying his fringe together. 

It was fun to see all the old prints again.  The sharks he's working on there, I used to make Sam a hoodie, when he was obsessed with whales, sharks, and dolphins. 

I finally donated the Lion Dance costume.  It's too short for Grumman's long body.  But I consoled myself by getting him a Santa hat, instead.  He's Not Amused. 

I've mentioned our Nativity tradition before, but I thought I'd show an update with more animals.  Each year, I buy a new animal for our nativity set, and we donate the same animal to a family in need through World Vision. 

Oh Grumman. 

While we're talking about animals, I saw these ducks on one of my walks recently. 

We use fabric gift bags at Christmas instead of wrapping paper.  Well, over the years, as we've added more people to our family, I occasionally need to make a few more bags.  I'm blessed to have been given a lot of Christmas fabrics over the years, so I was even able to pick black fabric to go with the black thread already in my serger.  These little bags were made specifically to hold gift cards. 

My cat is kind of a jerk. 

Gifts wrapped.  I also added reusable name tags a couple years back.  I printed gift tags onto card stock, filled in 3 for each kid, and laminated the whole batch.  Less waste. 

This was a miserable failure of a race.  First, it was raining.  Second, we parked a MILE from the start line.  Third, the race started at 4 pm.  In December.  In the rain.  (Photo above was taken when we got there, so it wasn't dark yet, but by the time we started, it was dark.)  We were only a few blocks in when I turned to Eli and Josiah and said, "This really sucks."  They were over it, too, as we sloshed along with water in our shoes, in soaking wet clothes, so we called it quits.  Actually, my race timing app says we did a whole 5K, if you count the walk to and from the car, but we didn't do the 5K the race organizers planned out.  As we drove home, the thunder and lightning started.  I decided I'm not a die hard fitness fan, but a fair weather walker.  I won't be doing a rainy race again. 

Miss Hannah played hand chimes for the school's church one Sunday recently. 

I think this is most of the middle schoolers. 

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Best wishes for a healthy and purposeful New Year! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Which means it must be time to blog about November, right?

Paul took the boys to an airshow. 

Grumman "helped" me make Eli a cape for...

...The Super Run!

It was a disorganized race, but it was neat to see all the capes.

Zach and Brayden got to participate in a Salute to Service event, seeing the game and meeting some players. 

I helped with another sorting party for Book First.  We made "class packs" from stacks of books.  Each class pack will be taken to a classroom at a local school, and distributed to first graders by a librarian who explains about libraries and encourages kids to read. 

Grumman "helped" me make a poster for Mission San Jose, the mission Katie (and Eli) built. 

This is Kylee, the grand-puppy. 

We dog-sat for Zach & Heather while they went to Disneyland. 

I think they enjoyed SW land more than Kylee enjoyed the antlers I found at Hobby Lobby. 

It was fun to see what having a dog would be like, without the commitment. 

And I think the Hugg A Planet was the only casualty of her visit, and we were pretty much done with that, since we're no longer homeschooling. 

Getting ready for Gobble Wobble, the Thanksgiving Day 5K.  

Josiah did this one with me. 

We had Thanksgiving with Zach & Heather & Brayden & Kylee.  Zach introduced Kylee to Tuzi, our bunny. 

It was pretty cute.  There was a lot of sniffing, but neither one knew quite what to make of the other. 

Tuzi doesn't get as much time out of the cage, since his playpen got destroyed by a foster bunny. 

The ever popular Magni-tiles were played with. 

We celebrated Heather's birthday, too.

My beautiful daughter in law. 

I'm mostly done with Christmas preparations.  Neither Annaliese nor Brianna will be home for Christmas this year.  Not sure yet about Sam. 

Monday, December 2, 2019


Paul was recently promoted, and we got most of the family together for the occasion. 

Guess who surprised us with a visit??

I was shocked and thrilled. 

Gotta love a man (or 2) in uniform.  This guy casually mentioned at Thanksgiving that they're being sent to another base early next year. 

I've been spoiled having them close by for so long. 

While we had most everyone together, I took some pictures.  Surprisingly, most of them were willing to humor me this time around.  I must be wearing them down. 

And a silly picture.

Family picture missing Heather and Sam. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Catching Up On October

Last time we had clinic at Shriners (when the girls see a doctor to check their residual limbs) it was determined that both were ready for a new leg.  A new leg sets off a flurry of appointments.

At one of our appointments, R2-D2 was dancing in the playroom, so we stopped for a photo op.

Hannah's new leg is finished and delivered now.  We're still working on Katie's.

Also, Katie is hoping to get a CAF grant for a running blade next year.  This is the one her prosthetist thinks would be the best option for her.

Jack shot in a tournament, and did well.

He really loves shooting.

Home made chicken noodle soup in the instant pot.  Oh my goodness!  Yum!  Soup season has arrived.

I took the kids to another Feed My Starving Children meal packing event.

Hannah and Jack and I did one 2 years ago, but this was Katie's first time.

Jack served on the warehouse team, hauling heavy boxes, while the girls and I packed and sealed bags.

My 8th 5K race.

Tuzi bunny, out for a frolic.  The foster bunnies destroyed Tuzi's pop up playpen, so he hasn't been out of his cage as much as I would like.

The end of the Healthy Kids Running Series.  Hannah actually placed in her division, 1) because there weren't that many girls in her division, and 2) because we were there every week.

Katie got the Healthy Kid award for attitude and perseverance.  I'm looking forward to the spring session.

And my 9th 5K.

The kids had their Fall Concert, which was outside in the dark, so pictures weren't all that great.

And bringing October to a close was Halloween.

We went to the harvest carnival at church.  Unfortunately, the "circus" act that performed was disability insensitive.  While we were in line, I heard the man on stage say, "If you'd been born without legs, you'd be a freak."  I was so glad the girls weren't paying attention, but what a thing for him to be teaching the kids that go to Sunday school with them.

I finally finished all the skirts I cut out for Hannah.  I'm happy enough with the alterations I've made to this pattern that I think I'm going to make her a couple of school uniform skirts, too.  I really liked the skirts from Primary on the girls, but she's outgrowing the last size now.