Insta Joys: November Catch Up

november is over
that month flew by
its always a busy month in this house
two girls with birthdays
plus thanksgiving
its pretty much a blur
i am thankful for some iPhone picture to remind me of what we did this month!

 our thankful chart
each day we sit down and remember something we were thankful for
a great way to help keep our hearts and minds focused on what is truly important

 i was sorting through my homeschool binder and found this self portrait landon drew when he was in kindergarten
now he's a third grader
i love having this little reminder of him as a little guy

 well chick fil a finally opened in our area
i couldn't wait to try it
i was super impressed with the service
my kids loved it

 its the most wonderful time of the year
schwan's french vanilla ice cream
it only comes around for the holidays
its my favorite
 i might stock up on it so it lasts into the spring
its SOO good!

 her last night as a 5 year old
she wanted to snuggle and sleep in my bed
i couldn't say no
soon she'll be too big
this turning 6 business was hard on this mama's heart

 up early on mauryn's birthday making doughnuts for her party

 the one request she had for her birthday was to eat LOTS of ice cream

 i am so glad these two have each other
they are the best of friends most of the time
i love when they choose to bunk in together

 all ready for the doughnut shop party
misspelled sign and all :O)

 in the same week that mauryn turned 6, morgan turned 13!
aah! it was not right that my baby turns 6 and i have a teenager in the same week
a week full of fun and celebrating but realizing time whisks by in a blur

i love the hand on the head
she was done done DONE
i was thankful she gave into sleep for a few minutes in the car

 afternoon crafting
doing crafts with my kids is not my favorite because its MESSY
they love it
i need to remember how much they love it and do it more
even if it is MESSY
i had just cleaned the kitchen and they were looking for something to do
they made turkeys
it was MESSY
but they had so much fun
it was worth the mess

 the night of the breaking dawn premiere i was leaving to pick up my friend kaylynn
i opened the door to go in the garage and there was edward
well a cut out of edward
it totally freaked me out!
i knew she had the cut out because we were going to use it to scare the other girls we were going to the movie with that night.
they totally got me.
so funny!

 we had grilled pizzas one night for dinner
hands down one of my most favorite meals

my sister in law started posting pics from the wedding
as soon as i saw this one i snapped a screen shot 
such a great picture of my family
parents, siblings, spouses, kiddos
so so fun to have everyone together

 my kids are big on tradition
every year on thanksgiving morning and on christmas eve morning we make lefse
its a favorite amongst everyone in our house
the kids are now experts so i get the potatoes ready and they do all the rolling and cooking
i am pretty ok with that deal
as long as i still get to eat it :o)

 our church holds an advent fair each year around thanksgiving
its a fun night filled with crafts and fellowship
i love getting new ideas for our advent activities
this year i picked up these cute cards for a game
card stock cards + little hands = not a good mix
i ran them through a laminator to make them sturdier so hopefully they will last more than one season

 i shop for christmas early
i wrap everything right away
{i may have a child who likes to snoop}
the gifts go under the tree and then the kids start to sort the gifts and group them
this year i decided to be a little trickier with the gifts
i assigned each gift a random number so the kids have no idea who the gifts belong to
even if they figure out one number there is no correlation to another gift
i am putting together a little scavenger hunt for them to figure out their gifts on christmas day
{thanks for the ideas instagram friends}

 mauryn had her first dance performance on black friday
they danced at a local festival of trees
i was so impressed with how well all the dancers did that day

 some very happy mail
i can't wait to get these prints up on my walls!

 mauryn is in a new dance studio this year
parents are allowed to watch class one time a month
we were gone last month for watch week
this week i was able to sneak in for a peek at her class

 my morning workouts are my time to get caught up on my shows on tivo
the other morning i went to set up for my workout and i could not find the remote
an ipad app saved the day
its a tivo remote for the ipad
it worked great

advent calendar ready to be filled with slips of paper explaining our daily bible reading and activities
i can't wait to get started!

if your on instagram you can follow me @kristencheney

linking up with jeannett
life rearranged

Insta Joys : October Catch Up

yep way way way behind on blogging
like months and months
life just keeps getting in the way
it been busy, full, and fun
someday i will catch up on here

for now here's a glimpse at our october
iphone photos 
moments i want documented so i can remember

 we had a field trip to bodies revealed
i thought it might gross my little people out
it didn't
they thought it was interesting
i was completely fascinated
if this exhibit ever comes to your area check it out
its worth the money

 after our field trip we had time for a quick lunch before getting morgan to practice
we choose to eat at fuddruckers
my soda loving self might have let out a squeal when i saw this machine
so fun to mix your own flavors
the kids thought it was pretty neat too
have you used one of these? if so what's your favorite flavor combo?

 october brought the end of the flag football season {post coming soon}
i was a bit sad this year
these boys played so well together and had so much fun
they cheered each other on and encouraged each other all season
they finished undefeated and no team scored on them all season long

 after flag football we quickly changed and headed to the boise state game
we share tickets with some friends so usually lance and one of the kids goes to the games
we swapped one game so lance and i could take the big kids
it was a beautiful day for a game
bronco stadium is always such a fun place to watch a game

 during our fall break from school we headed to mn for my baby brothers wedding {post coming}
we arrive in minneapolis late
my kids seem to have a sensor for this cut outs wherever we go
we had to stop for quick picture

 morgan and her best friend are both turning 13 this year
when my brother got engaged and we realized we'd be in mn for emily's birthday, morgan wanted to surprise her
well emily had a summer job and had saved up money to fly to idaho for her 13th birthday
since we'd be in mn, emily couldn't come to idaho
so there was lots of secret keeping to make this surprise happen
it was totally worth it to see emily so surprised!
so fun these girlies have remained the best of friends even though we moved 7 years ago

 mauryn reunited with one of her favorite cousins

 a trip to mn would not be complete without at stop at the mall of america and a visit to the american girl store.
 mauryn has been eyeing the mckenna doll since last winter.  
she was so excited to get to bring her home :o)

 after a stop at mall of america, we spent one night at the waterpark of america
the cousins had SO much fun swimming
i got in a little snuggle time with my niece tess

 ready to go marry off my baby brother

 the kiddos before the wedding
photo bomber nieces in the back :o)

 the first time these cousins have all been together in 9 years
9 years ago about half this group wasn't even born!
so so fun to have all 17 of my parents grandchildren together

lance, landon, and my nephew ian dancing the night away
 they were starting a new fashion trend... ties on heads

 one of the places i miss from home is culvers
the burgers, the frozen custard..... so good
we made a few trips in our time home
we picked up a few containers of custard
this snickers swirl was yummy
i think my niece and i polished this baby off ourselves

 the aftermath of vacation
bags to be unpacked
laundry to be done
the part of vacation i don't enjoy that much

 my brother and sister in law had a photo booth at their reception
it was a hit
i've loved looking at the pictures and reliving that night 

 a post vacation nap is a must

 this guy always sleeps next to my side of the bed
he is always sleeping on the pillows

 i participated in the color run with some fun friends
it was messy, colorful, and fun
i think my kids would have loved it
maybe next year!

 no more braces = one happy girl
now she looks SO grown up
time needs to slow down

 halloween 2012
captain america, twister, and dorothy+ warmish weather = perfect halloween

 i was fighting a nasty cold after our trip
the old saying goes feed a cold
i was taking it to heart and raiding halloween buckets for my favorites
thanks kids for helping my cold out ;O)

linking up with jeanett
life rearranged


i love christmas
i love pretty much everything about the christmas season
the lights
the music
the food
the activities

the one thing i don't love about christmas time is the crowds and the sense that everyone is in a rush. there is no slowing down to soak up the season.

a few years ago, in an attempt to embrace more of the christmas season i made an advent calendar for my kids.  it is not filled with candy but with bible reading and activities that we do each day.  many of the activities are things we might normally do during the christmas season.  i enjoy the fact that we take time each day to focus on the true meaning of christmas, the true gift of christmas, Jesus.

over the past few years i have documented our activities each day.  i have loved being able to go back and look at how we celebrated advent.  even though things have been v e r y quiet around here lately, i am hoping to continue on with that tradition.

our advent calendar begins tomorrow.  we are revisiting some of our favorite advent activities and adding in a few new things as well.  each day we will be reading some bible verses and also reading from the book jotham's journey.  i am really looking forward to our advent season this year.

do you celebrate advent?  what are some of your family favorite activities?