Saturday, February 10, 2018

Snow Day - January 17, 2018!!!!!

We couldn't believe it!  I rarely give much attention of snow predicted in Montgomery, because it so rarely happens.  But I could tell it had snowed when I woke up briefly in the early morning hours and looked outside from my bed.  The ground was lighter than usual.  When I did wake up later, the kids were so excited and looking for warm clothes so they could play in the snow.  Nathalia is from Brazil so she had never seen snow except for a few flurries that we had in December!  I think she was more excited than the kids!  I got out our snow skiing clothes and even though the kid's jumpsuits were about six inches too short, they worked fine with snow boots.  We even got out plastic sleds and the kids had a ball not too mention our dog Max (the brown one).

The snow lasted all day, so Hope and Lena played outside much of the day.  It was still around the next day but it was messy and dirty, so being the mom that I am, I said no playing outside.  We had a movie day instead:).  Andy needed to get to Atlanta and tried but had to turn around due to the road conditions.  The kids were able to return to school on Friday - woohoo!
Our backyard and the golf course!
Will and Nathalia
Will enjoying a sled ride!
Nathalia with Casey and Max!
Nathalia enjoying her first snow!
Andy with the kids on a hill on the golf course! 
Hope making a snow angel!
Lena making a snow angel! 
Hope and Lena!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas 2017 - Part ll

Since this Christmas was on a Monday, we moved our annual Cracker Barrel breakfast to Saturday morning since we would be attending church on Christmas Eve morning.  It was great having Nathalia and Viola both join us this year.  We chose a couple and a family of three to play silent Santa and purchase their breakfast!  That is so fun!  It always seems like God points to just the right people to secretly buy their breakfast every year!

On Christmas Eve morning we went to the worship service at church.  Then we had a relaxing afternoon finishing up with Christmas gifts and wrapping.  Nathalia and Viola made gifts for each other so it was exciting and fun to watch their projects come to life.  However, they kept several as surprises until for us until Christmas Day.  On Christmas Eve,  we all went to the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at church.  Then, we came home and had pot roast and cheesecake for dinner.
Nathalia and Viola gave their gifts to the kids before bedtime.

Beth did a great job of decorating the playroom for the kids to all sleep together!  They all snuggled on the floor with their sleeping bags and it was so cozy!

Christmas morning was very special!  N and V had the kids make us a beautiful clay-like model of their three hands together, Dow received his Auburn diploma framed (first time he had seen his diploma)  and Beth got M-CAT books!  Plus, Hope got her very longed for bow and arrow!

Then it was time for breakfast casserole and gluten free Happy Birthday Jesus Cake!  Andy read the Christmas story and it was a good morning!  We had a good day and then left for the lake in the afternoon.  We enjoyed a good visit with everyone and the kids gave homemade gifts to Gigi, Mimi and Pawpaw!  We had fun with Steve and Stevie's matching ugly Christmas sweaters!  It was also fun having both N and V with us.

Two days after Christmas, Andy and I took Beth and Dow to the beach for a few days.  It was great to spend time with them although the weather was rainy and cold.  I enjoyed shopping at the outlet mall and we also spent time playing cards and reading.

Our annual Christmas breakfast at Cracker Barrel!
The Night Before Christmas!
Kids waiting at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning!
Lena with Nathalia and Viola and their gift to her!
Hope with Viola and Nathalia and the wolf blanket they gave to her!
Will with his new Avenger sheets from Viola and Nathalia!
The house is all ready for Christmas morning!
Will go a really awesome Avenger Lego set!
Hope asked for a bow!
Lena with another new doll!
Dow's first time to see his Auburn diploma and it is even framed!
Beth with a surprise gift!
Viola and Nathalia exchange gifts!
An incredible gift of Hope's, Will's, and Lena's hands!
Nathalia, Viola, and Beth at the lake on Christmas night!
Christmas dinner at the lake!
The Birchfield Fam
The kids make special fingerprint plates as gifts!
Tony and Carole gave Viola and Nathalia Niffer's t-shirts!
Steve & Stevie!
Andy, Tanya and Andy at Sandestin!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas 2017 - Part I

As usual, the few weeks before Christmas brought many fun times.  Viola returned for the Holidays and we had Nathalia to share them with as well.  Beth was home for a couple of weeks from Samford and stayed through Christmas.  It was strange not having Dow home for the long college break.  This is his first year to be out of school and working during the Holidays.

Of course we went to the Living Christmas Tree which for me marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration!  Milla Kaye Pearson (a friend of Hope's) went with us this year and then we ate at Newks.  Nathalia got to see it too.  Viola was so excited to take her and she loved it!

Mrs. Shan had a playdate with Hope and they made the coolest gingerbread cake!  Even monogrammed!  Viola's parents sent us a special box with an assortment of authentic German gingerbread!  The box will always be a part of our Christmas decorations.

Will's class sang at John Knox assisted living again this year.  Will played Silent Night and even played along with the class.  This was the first time he had played while someone sang along.

We spent a day with Mimi Payne while Andy was in Haiti.  We had smores (microwave) for an afternoon snack with her.  They were delicious and Mother's first ones!  Beth was able to join us since she had just finished her exams at Samford and Dow drove up from B'ham so Mother got to see all of our kids.  We also got a little time with Aunt JoJo!

The kids had lots of fun on the last day of school with their parties, playing games, and receiving sweet gifts from their teachers!

Mrs. Shan and Hope - these two have a special bond!

Hope with her monogrammed Gingerbread House

The 2nd and 3rd grade classes at Eastwood about to sing at John Knox

Will playing Silent Night

Kids with special Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Givens

Hope with 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Markwell

Lena with 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Duggar

The girls with 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Ford

The kids with Eastwood's Headmaster, Mr. Geiger

Will, Hope and Lena eating smores at Mimi Paynes

All the kids with Mimi Payne

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fall 2017 - Part II

Hope's 4th grade class along with the 9th grade class at Eastwood had been studying Medieval Times including the architecture of cathedrals.  Both classes visited five churches in Montgomery to get a first hand look at the many different styles and symbolism.  I was able to tag along and it was very interesting and educational.  Of course, Hope's favorite thing was a huge pinecone that she discovered hanging in a tree:)!  Seriously, she did enjoy it.

We also welcomed our new au pair, Nathalia, who is from Brazil.  Once again, we feel like the Lord led us to just the right person.  We are thankful to have her with our family!  The kids were able to show Nathalia all about carving a pumpkin and decorating them.  Viola was also back visiting for a few months and they all made the most of Halloween!

We were all invited by Julie Beasley to visit her barn and horses.  The children did so well and it was fun meeting all of the horses.  Dr. Love ended up being a favorite!

Hope got her tonsils removed Nov. 16 and she was a very brave trooper.  It was uneventful but it did take some time to recover.  She also got a bad cough about five days after surgery which aggravated her recovery!  By Thanksgiving, she had almost fully recovered and had not missed a week of school!

Will received a special bow and arrow set.  He had a hard time pulling it back at first but with a little practice, he was able to do it!  Hope decided she really like it and asked for one for Christmas!  Even Lena gave it a try but she prefers dolls and all things girly!

Hope on a field trip to learn more about cathedrals in Montgomery

The 4th grade studied Medieval History and learned about the architecture of churches during this time.

Will and Hope with Nathalia!

Hope enjoying the gooey stuff in a pumpkin!

Will and Lena hard at work decorating their pumpkins!

This is one ferocious cat!

Lena, Hope and Will

Lena, Hope and Will ready for trick or treating
Nathalia and Viola ready for trick or treating

A horse loves to be brushed!

Hope riding

Viola helping Lena ride!
Lena helped braid the tail!
Hope had her tonsils removed just before Thanksgiving!

The Birchfield Family at Thanksgiving!
Birchfield and Hubbard children enjoying Thanksgiving!
Sharp shooter!
Lena giving it a try!

Will was so kind to share his bow with the girls!