I am ending 2014 with a post of random pictures from various days over the past two weeks. We have been busy with Christmas, playing, and finishing some small projects. We have also had more than our share of fighting and whining, but here are some pictures of the fun we've had.
The kids Christmas morning. Getting them all to cooperate and smile took a long time. Layla would not smile and this picture was important because I was sending it to my aunt so she could add to my grandpa's large picture frame of all his great-grand kids. But we finally managed one picture with all of them looking and smiling.
One day before Christmas I loaded up my three kids and took them to the children's museum for a good 3 hours so they could wear themselves out. It was the first time I took all of them by myself and I was a little worried about one or more of them running off, but the girls did a great job of listening and checking in with me as I followed Malakai around. One of our favorite rooms to play in was where we had a snowball fight with white loofas. All the kids were laughing and even the adults were getting into it too!
The day after Christmas the girls asked to wear their Guatemala outfits. Sanaa then spent the morning walking around and speaking in Spanish. Some of what she said was made up, but she also had some correct words to. She'll tell you she doesn't know any Spanish but her understanding of it is really growing. There were at least two times over Christmas that my dad asked her a question in Spanish and Sanaa answered in English without even thinking. Normally, she would just look at my dad and say, "I don't know what you said." But now she'll just answer as if he had asked her something in English and then go on her way. It is so cool to see and I can't wait to see how much more she understands by the end of the school year.
Earlier this week I took the kids shopping at Ikea. The girls spent an hour in the kids play area while I browsed with Malakai. I then picked them, we ate lunch, and I finished my shopping. Nate's parents gave us some gift cards for Christmas and I had a great time spending them! Each of the kids got a little reading light to hook onto their beds. I wanted to get one just for Sanaa, but knew we'd have massive fights if that happened. So now they can each read in bed with their light.
The girls received a bunch of books from Nate's parents for Christmas and I had wanted to put little wall shelves behind their door to hold more books. I showed my dad the idea I had found on the internet and asked if had any wood I could. Yep, he sure did. He had part of our picket fence that the previous owners had left in our garage. They used some of the picket fence to block off the garden area but had extra. I had given my dad all the extra wood that was stacked in our garage when we moved in. So he cut down the wood for me and helped screw in the small ledge piece in the back. Once home, I painted the wood and then yesterday I finished hanging them on the wall behind the girls' door. I love how it turned out!
Today we took down our tree. The girls weren't very excited since that meant Christmas was over. We still have our other decorations up but I wanted to tree down so we could get Nate's new entertainment center up. This year instead of dragging the tree out into the garage we cut the branches off. Sanaa and Malakai ran walked back and forth putting the branches into our yard waste container. Malakai would clap each time he put a branch into. The pictures are blurry since they were running back and forth.
Inside the tree we found a fun surprise. An old birds nest! It's currently sitting in our garage because the kids did not want us to get rid of it.
And the wonderful mess that was left.... I think this is the worst part of the season. Cleaning up afterwards. But it didn't take too long since Sanaa was very sweet and helped scoop up the needles to dump into a bag.
Finally, our big project for the afternoon was to put Nate's entertainment center together. Nate wasn't there to help. It was his day off but he was helping a friend move. So during Malakai's nap the girls and I put the unit together. This was easier to put together than I expected. I thought I would have some of it done by the time Malakai woke up, but not the entire thing.
I had intended to put the bookcase section on the other side and thought I was.... until I pushed it up against the wall. Both girls gave me a hug as I sat on the floor just looking at and wondering if there was an easy way to fix it. But then I decided to just leave it.
Once Nate was home he connected the tv back up and then we filled the shelves with books and commentaries our former pastor gave him. And I must say, my mistake of putting the shelves on the opposite side actually looks good. It makes things much more balanced by having books on one side and then the computer desk on the other.
I looked back through our photos and discovered that the tv unit we had been using we had bought during our first year of marriage. We had always intended to update the tv unit but never did. Getting a library of books from our pastor gave us the little push to actually update it, so 11 years later we finally get a new tv unit!