Saturday, April 29, 2017

Christmas and New Year's 2016

I can't believe I am posting this in April. Blogging is one of my last hobbies, which means that at this stage of mothering, having a hobby is pretty much a thing of the past, at least while I have a bazillion kids living at home. 

So... four months late, I bring you our Christmas pictures. The older I get, and the bigger our family gets, the more I love Christmas. This year (well, technically last year), with the way Christmas fell on a weekend, we celebrated from Christmas Adam (Fri, Dec. 23) until Boxing Day (Mon, Dec. 26). 

I already blogged about our main gift to the kids, a cabin mini-vacation up north. My husband bought his own last minute gifts for each of the kids. They were all from the Lego store, and naturally popular with the kids.

For the last several years, we have made an effort to focus on gifts that create memories rather than clutter. Mostly, that means giving them things that are not toys.

Chloe being the youngest and needing a safe place to play on our all-tile floors got a jumparoo and a play yard, which she still enjoys.

The big girls got matching outfits for themselves and their dolls. They still play dolls together every day, often for hours, and these outfits were a huge hit with them.

My gift for my husband was a new fire pit for the backyard. Since Christmas, I have also completely re-landscaped the entire backyard and pool area, where we can now have relaxing and beautiful at-home dates after the kids are in bed. 

The big boys each got pie irons which they have been using again and again to cook up their own concoctions.  I also got them each a recipe book to go with them. Their favorite of these is this one. If you are looking for a fun, yet practical and educational gift, I highly recommend these!!

One of our favorite things to stuff in the pie irons is frozen puff pastry, filled with sweets like Nutella and banana, or savories like ham and cheese. The possibilities are endless!

John is an awesome big brother to all his younger siblings. Chloe is becoming rather spoiled.

Then there was the Christmas food - glorious holiday fare from all different countries in our combined past. 

I made German Rouladen and potato dumplings...

Pork Wellington (home-smoked pork loin baked in puff pastry)...

and a traditional American ham Christmas dinner. There's a lot that can be accomplished food-wise when you take four full days to celebrate!

Since New Year's Eve fell on a Saturday night, our church did not host a Watchnight Service this year. Our family tradition for years has been do to fondue on New Year's Eve, so we enjoyed a cheese one for dinner, and a chocolate one for dessert.

The kids wanted to stay up till midnight, but we parents are getting too old for that kind of stuff. They were all tucked into bed by their usual bedtime, and we parents were right behind them.

Christmas in April... but who's counting! I'm hoping to have the Easter post up sooner. ;)


  1. How Beautiful!!! Loved the photos of the kids and the ideas. Those pie irons were cool, and I would love to see your rouladen recipe some day. My mom made it, and so do I now, though my mom wasn't German, so I'm not sure if it's authentic.....LOL.

  2. I love hearing about your family!!

  3. You have a beautiful family! We had the pleasure of meeting John and Pastor Anderson when they came to Fort Worth, my children really enjoyed his company and tell me how kind he is! We hope to be able to go to visit your church soon to meet the rest of you! I love your Christmas traditions! We too decided to do one gift per child that is memorable or sometimes we do a few big family gifts! We have 6 so far so I totally understand not wanting clutter and can only imagine how exciting 9 is! We go through toys each year to get rid of and donate to reduce the clutter as well. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you for sharing! You have a beautiful family! We had the pleasure of meeting John and Pastor Anderson when they came to Fort Worth! My children really enjoyed John's company! They keep telling me how kind and respectful he is! We hope to be able to go to Tempe soon to meet the rest of you! We too only do a memorable gift or two for our family or sometimes a few family gifts! We also go through all of the toys at least twice a year to get rid/donate some. I love your Christmas traditions! May God continue to bless your family abundantly!

  5. Hi Zsuzsanna, I don't know you personally but enjoy reading your blog. I wanted to comment because my 12 year-old daughter had the same impacted canines problem as your Solomon. This is by far the best article I have found online about the issue, from a Canadian orthodontist.
    While some people live into their 30's with impacted canines and baby teeth in their place, they have a bad long-term prognostic. The wise thing to is to extract the baby teeth as soon as possible and expose the canines, hoping they descend on their own (in 3 out of 4 cases). Which is basically what you are considering doing! It's a pricey and painful operation for sure, but I tell myself there is a reason our ancestors rarely had teeth past their 50's, because of undiagnosed issues that ate away at teeth roots. In any case, best of luck to Solomon!

  6. Merry Christmas to you all!! :)

    Love the pictures! Miriam is looking SO grown-up.

    I've never heard of pie irons, but they look so fun! I'm going to keep those in mind. I've been wanting to buy a fire pit for our family, and those would be a great addition.

    Love the idea of fondue for New Year's Eve! I'm going to keep that in mind. I've never made that before.

    I love reading your posts - I love getting the news about your sweet family and seeing your pictures, and also getting lots of new ideas. You always spur me on to trying harder at the challenging job we mums have in raising our families. :)


  7. Love the outfits! What a wonderful and happy family mine is on the way I have 2 kids but plan to have all the ones God gives to me no matter what people say or think. I learned a lot from the video Pastor Anderson preached about birth control, it opened my eyes I thought to myself what was I thinking I just took out my IUD by myself sounds horrible but I ask God to help me out because I hate going with doctors, and I did it!I tooked it out in like 15 seconds didn't hurt or bleed it was a piece of cake.Also, I found that it gave you depression, and was like no wonder I was always sad and had big headaches and was bloated.The next day I felt great like a normal person.I homeschool my children now I have 3 months already. It has been the best thing I have ever done I have so much fun with my kids and learn from them too. I learned alot from your YouTube videos. Thank you for your time that you take out to help us learn more.I have a question are you coming to Hermosillo or just Pastor Anderson? I have lots of questions to ask you.Hugs and kisses from me a big follower<3


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