Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Hodge Podge

We have been very remiss in our blogging as of late, and it's not for lack of activity. We have been quite busy this past month, but not many pictures were taken. Bringing the camera AND remembering to take it out of the bag at an event proved to be a challenge sometimes. This post contains a conglomeration of photos from our Christmas season.

The first Saturday in December is always set aside for the Secret Sisters' Party with all the females 16 and up on my mom's side. We're getting to be a pretty big group! Next year our number will have grown to 17.
Aunt Kim and Mom
Katie, Aunt Denise, Dani, Kelly, and me
Grandma, Aunt Tammy, Denise K, and Kristina
We ate a yummy lunch, visited, and opened our presents from our Secret Sister. Mel received a purse.
Mom made my cousin, Kristina, an advent calender for her to enjoy with her two cute little girls. Each of the 25 pockets has an ornament to attach to the tree.
As soon as we arrived home from the party, we hit the road again traveling up to Monroe, WI to an English Country dance. No pictures from that event, but we had a fun!

This year, Mel and I made goodies as Christmas gifts to our students.
She spent a long time on her cookies, and the palettes turned out really cute!
But after making 34 of them, she was ready to be done!
I made cookie dough truffles for my students. It was so hard not to sample them!
Melody and I traveled down to Urbana for a Christmas Ball.
The English Country dancing was quite enjoyable as was the fellowship with friends. We enjoyed dressing up for the occasion.
My pretty sis
We didn't return home until the wee hours of the morning. The next morning we attended church and then drove to Rockford for family Christmas with my dad's side. Dad and his sister, Robin, did not attend the ball and had a decent night's sleep, but you wouldn't know it to look at them.
Crazy faces run in the Hemmer family!
As you can see, Melody and Jason come by their silliness naturally.
It's never dull at Hemmer gatherings.
Melody decided to tattoo our cousin, Andrew, and he was quite happy to accommodate. She used Sharpies to draw the initials S.N. for Snicklefritz Nixon. Don't ask me why he has that name!
Then she embellished it.
Grandma Hemmer flew up from Texas again this year, and we've enjoyed having her with us the past week and a half.

Grandma got all the bows as each present was unwrapped.
Melody and Jason have a tradition of wrapping their presents for each other as strangely as possible. This year they went all out with the bows. A Kleenex even topped one that was wrapped in baby paper. Jason started to neatly wrap a gift, and then he said, "Wait a minute. Is this Mel's? Well...that changes things!" He then proceeded to scrunch the paper together on top and tie a ribbon around the whole thing to hold it together. She felt loved. :)
Melody drew the picture for our Christmas card this year.

I came that they may have Life, and have it Abundantly.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A visit with friends

Recently Melody and I traveled to central Illinois to visit Kyle, Gretchen, and their sweet little girl, Alaina.
We spent the first afternoon and evening playing games and visiting.
The next day after Alaina had lunch (she makes great faces!)...

...Melody got to work. No, she's not searching the classifieds.
We wanted to picture how large the project would be. Now for some light sketching.
The first coat of paint on the mural for Alaina's room!
I always enjoy watching the process--from blank wall to beautiful picture!
The weather was lovely, and we thought a walk was in order.
"Do you think she'll notice if I try something?"
"Faith! What did you do?!!!"
"Oops. Sorry, Mel. I just painted one stroke..."
"What will I do with her?"
Watching the master at work.
The results of an afternoon's work.
Time to play!
We were amused by Alaina's attempts to walk with her pant legs hindering her efforts.
After supper, we started a fun game of Super Scrabble. It took us three hours!
We had a lot of fun, and it was a close game at the end, but Kyle emerged the victor!
The next morning, Gretchen and I picked out the fonts for the lettering, worked on the sizing, and then cut the letters out. The little miss was supposed to be napping, but she didn't get much of one.
So when she got up, she and Mel had some play time.
Her socks kept falling off, and Mel put one of them on her toys. Alaina thought it was hilarious.
I think she was a bit slap-happy from not getting much sleep.
We had a grand time laughing with her. Thought you might enjoy the video!

After lunch, Gretchen and I did our part.

Placing the letters and tracing around them took us a good portion of the afternoon.
Melody was happy to leave the math and measuring work to us. She would much rather be creative--decorating people was more interesting to her.
We brought a container of homemade cookie dough truffles with us, and by the third day, this was all that was left. Hard work requires sustenance!
This was our pose for the rest of the afternoon.
Melody worked and we watched. :)
Time to paint the Bible verse!
Our entertaining little companion.
I think she wanted the camera.
Deciding which paint to use for the flowers.

A butterfly!
All done!!!!
After a delicious supper, Kyle headed out to help butcher a deer. He offered to let us come along, but we told him the ice cream needed to be eaten.
Our creations were quite yummy!
I couldn't resist a few more Alaina pictures!

"Oops! Am I supposed to have this?"
I love the delight of a baby as she enjoys the simple things in life!
Many thanks to our gracious hosts! We had a wonderful time with you all!