Saturday, December 29, 2012

Joey Taekwondo Testing

Joey  needs to test at least 3 times before he can test for his 2nd degree black belt and test with 3 different weapons and so he has been working hard and doing great. We hope he will test for his 2nd degree sometime next year. 

 They have learned some boxing combos this testing cycle. It has been good for Joey.  He upper body strength and coordination is something that was a concern when he was first tested for occupational therapy. He did graduate from therapy but it is really good for him to do these sorts of exercises because it works on his strength and coordination and memorization (not really something Joey has to work at).

 Joey's form is looking better and better.
He loves it and that is what we are thankful for.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Peter's Project

Peter is the best!
His coworker is remodeling his master bathroom and asked if anyone wanted the old cabinets.
I am not sure how Peter thought of it but he decided he would take them and refinish them and convert them into a sewing table for me. 
I am so excited!
I usually have my sewing machine set up on a small folding table in our bedroom.
 One of the cabinets and the drawers. 
 The other two cabinets (on their side).
The cabinets have been sanded, new back placed on them, and a new top. 
Peter added the middle piece which is where my sewing machine will go.
 Sanded and primed.
Peter spent Christmas Eve painting and finishing my beautiful sewing table.
We carried it up to our room- there is a window nook area where it fit perfectly and the windows give great light to work by-on Wednesday.
I can not wait to put it to use. I always have a pile of to be repaired clothes and I have a few quick projects I need to get done in the next few weeks.
I have the best husband ever and this was an amazing Christmas present!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas was magical!
Christmas was full of surprise!
Christmas was white!
Christmas dinner was tasty!
Christmas Eve Pajamas before I left for work. Notice the clever wrapping of Joey's and Jon's. Joey said his was like a ship in a bottle and was not sure how to get them out at first.
Christmas morning- I went first with Lily, Joey was next, and Jon and Arabella decided waiting was not in the plan and came down together about 30 secs after Joey.
Peter did an awesome job of catching expressions. Joey was obviously excited about his BB gun. If you look at the right top and middle pictures you will see Jon looking at his bike and his expression- not too thrilled. He gets really anxious when he rides a bike- he can do it but he panics and tends to run into things like mailboxes. Santa is so smart though because he knew it is life skill Jon has to learn and that it might be more bearable on a better sized bike that has skulls on it.  The skulls did make Jon at least think it looked cool.
It did not take much for Lily to figure out that open presents was fun and she helped others with their gifts since she was so good at it. She also found her cutie tangerine and wanted it immediately. Jon loved his dinosaur legos. Joey was grateful for some new church clothes.
Lily opened some clothes and immediately started tugging at her pajamas to get them off so she could put the new clothes on- that is why she is dressed in the Christmas morning pictures. She also screamed at the packaging her dolls were in.  She pulled at the doll and the packaging and was so frustrated that we could not get them out faster.  The dolls were the most securely packaged items we opened that morning.
 Sharkzords, baracuda blades, new ties, and a new kitchen= happiness.
 Once Lily figured out how to get the fridge open and saw there were shelves her immediate reaction was to climb.  Peter did help her get turned around for the final picture but she did the rest by herself. Crazy girl!
 Then came the snow! Of course the kids played in it and wished there was more so they could make a snowman but alas, we live in Texas and the 1/2-1 inch we got was wonderful and an unexpected Christmas Miracle.
We had our dear friends the Ostermiller's over for a french Christmas dinner.  We cooked a goose and it was yummy! I would say almost like a cross between a dark turkey meat and roast beef. Also on the menu: 5 different cheeses, roast potato salad, shrimp, ESCARGOT, salad, quiche and a buche de noel for dessert. There was a small incident with the crepe batter but we were all full and happy to try something new. They 
joined us last year for a German Christmas dinner and we are thinking next year we may go South American or Harry Pottter (I have a Harry Potter Cookbook but this would just mean a British dinner). I lucked out and my snail was not too chewy and tasted quite good.  All of the kids at least put it in their mouth and I believe they all swallowed at least part of it and some all of it.
I pray that all of you had an equally Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Memories

As I have been going over Christmas lists in my head, I kept thinking of how I did not have much for "Santa" to bring to Peter or I. Peter is remaking some cabinets into a sewing table for me but the kids have been watching the process.  Most of the things Peter wants are expensive and we just bought him some new camping equipment a few months ago and decided that is a great thing for Santa to set out for him. 
I am not complaining because I can not think of anything I really needed. There are things that I want but most are not things that could be left under a tree and are not meant to be because there is a different plan in store for me and my family.  Any how... this all got me thinking about my childhood and if I remembered what Santa brought to my parents.  
I do not remember and I would venture to guess that my kids could not tell you what I was given by Santa last year.  I do not think children are selfish for not recognizing this.  Kids become wrapped up in the excitement and joy of what Santa has brought to them.  
In my efforts to remember what my parents brought to me I had two specific Christmases come to mind.
First, I thought of the year I woke up early and peeked before everyone else woke up. I don't remember how old I was but we were still living on South Main and we had our gifts in the front room so I must have been about 7 or 8. I don't remember what I got that Christmas but I clearly remember sitting in the middle of the room was an electric typewriter. 
This is not the exact one but will help you envision the amazing technology of the day.

Second and more meaningful, was the year my dad took me with him to get a ring for my mom at BEST.
I can still so clearly see in my mind walking with my dad into the store and going over to the right to the jewelry counter.  It was a gold ring with a black oval shape on the front and a small diamond in the center. My dad was careful in his selection and I was so excited to see my mom open it on Christmas morning. I was likely only 6. Again, I am not totally sure what I received that year for Christmas but it may have been the year I got my Cabbage Patch Doll- fond memories of that moment!
I realized as I thought of this and as I have talked with my kids about "it is more important to give than to receive" why this is a great memory.
The times in my life when I have given a truly thought filled, love filled gift have stuck in my memory more than many of the gifts I received- no offense anyone. I can think of many gifts that were given to me that I knew were filled with love, thought and sincere intent.  This year one of the best gifts I have gotten was that someone did the 12 Days of Christmas to our family. I had thought of doing it to someone but my heart just was not in it. I was struggling to feel the magic and spirit of Christmas this year.  Then as the days went by and my kids would get so excited my heart was full. I was so touched that someone thought our family was worth the effort to do something out of the ordinary for. I needed it. I needed that extra little bit of love and attention and I did not realize it until it was given to me and my family. To our sweet secret Santa givers (as the kids called them), the Bjarnason's, you made my Christmas and lifted my spirits more than you will ever know! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Class Christmas Parties

Thursday was Party Day
First, my friend took Arabella and Lily for the afternoon so that I could attend without little helpers. It was nice since there was some increased security to go through due to recent events. 
Then, I headed to Joey's classroom. They were getting ready to do a book exchange.
Mrs. Bailey read a story with a bunch of lefts and rights in it and the kids passed their books. Joey convinced another boy to trade with him so that he ended up with a Magic Tree House book that he did not already own. He loves those books!
 I helped pass out donuts and donut holes so that the kids could make snowmen out of them.

The kids did a great job!
I was sad I could not stay longer but Jon's class party was going on during the same time frame and I was supposed to help in there too.
 Again we made snowmen out of powdered donuts. The kids did a great job again. They loved eating them!
 We played Christmas Bingo-which I was in charge of.

 And then there was a book exchange and it was gender specific. There are only 5 girls in Jon's class and one was absent so the girl's circle was small! It was more like a musical chairs style game.  Jon was able to convince the boy that got his book to switch with him because he really wanted the Beast Quest Luna Moon Wolf book he had picked out. 

The kids were super excited.   They give Mrs. Sessions an apron with a Christmas tree on it made out of their handprints-so cute!
That night we had a Taekwondo party. I forgot the camera. The kids made ornaments and colored Christmas picture.  We ate food - we took a big pot of red beans and rice.  
They gave out a few awards for the year and Joey was awarded the Loudest Yell award which is so true.  When he answers up it is good and loud!
A fun filled day of parties and the girls enjoyed a trip to Costco with friends!

Friday we had a party with Arabella's Preschool Class.
We made more Christmas character donut creations, played bingo, ate lunch and had a good time playing.
Each child made 2 reindeer.  Arabella made this one and said that it looked more like a bull- she was right.
She wanted a picture and this is how it went.
 Oh wait, that was a  blurry picture and it looks like it is pinching your eye
 Clear but oh dear now you look like a bull with a ring in your nose.  I was laughing quite hard.
Oh, there we go a beautiful girl with a lovely "bull reindeer".  
I hope that all of you enjoyed a party or two this holiday season.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Arabella's Christmas Concert

She was like an angel! 
I believe she was a little bit overwhelmed by the set up but she did wonderful!
 Ballet dance

Tap Dance
There is some interesting cinematography by Peter because as the concert was starting they asked us to only film/photograph our child since some parents do not want their child posted on the internet.
One little girl really did not want to dance and so at the end when you see Arabella leave the video it is because they were trying to join hands with the class and dance in a circle. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Memory of Omelia Koen Rabner

Last Thursday, we headed towards Houston to the small town of Liberty for the funeral of Peter's grandmother Omelia Koen Rabner.
We left really early and enjoyed a beautiful drive with our beautiful girls. The boys stayed with a friend so they could go to school and we would have room for Peter's parents to come back to Dallas with us for a few days.

 It was really fun to visit with family we have not seen in a long time and some that we met for the first time that day. I led the music and Peter read her life sketch and gave the closing prayer. 
Peter's dad gave a wonderful talk.

 She looked so peaceful and her casket was beautiful it had a light pink lining and copper colored handles.
 Peter was a pole bearer and is seen here laying his carnation on her casket.

 Max with his sisters: L to R Alicia, Brenda, and Deanna
 Arabella loved the flowers and seeing her Grandma and Grandpa. She was also concerned that we were burying Grandmother.  She said she would get lost if we buried her.  I explained to her about a headstone and then we had a great discussion about death and resurrection. Which she excitedly proclaimed she knew what resurrection meant- that you are alive again. I love when I am able to make gospel lessons and principles more real for my kids. 
It was a lovely day and a beautiful service. I am thankful for the strong and loving woman that she was and the great things she taught her children and grandchildren. She will be missed.