Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of our friends and family, both near and far, a blessed Christmas and a wonderful new year!  We are thinking of those for which this time of year can be tough, whether it is because of the loss of loved ones, or being far from family, or suffering through other trials in this life.  May you all experience the peace promised to us as we quietly contemplate the blessed miracle of Christ's birth.  

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!


Snow Days

Front yard

Decorating the tree
We had snow days on Monday and Tuesday!  It's probably the one time of the year I don't mind the phone ringing at 6 in the morning.  When your husband is a busy teacher you rarely get to see, it makes the day even more special.  We got a tree and trimmed it, played in the snow (and did lots of shovelling - ok, Stu did the shovelling...) baked, and just enjoyed spending time together.
Mr. Snowman getting buried.
Oma's Christmas tree.
Picnic snack after playing outside
The backyard
C-note always draws whatever is going on at the time...
Decorating the gingerbread house.  I found the recipe on Food Network.  Just add a couple of tablespoons more water. ;)


Five Months!

She rocks herself when she's sitting on our laps, and when she's standing, she loves to jump!  She loves to be where the action is. and is always moving, grabbing everything she can get her chubby little hands on.  Of course whatever it is, it goes straight into her mouth.  She loves to giggle at her brothers, who are always being goofy and trying to get her to laugh.  That or snuggling and kissing her.
Five months old...but it feels like she's always been in our lives...  I always consider it a blessing to forget the first tough weeks of the newborn stage!
So that's what I look like!
She loves the bath!  These days we don't use the blue tub.  She was too confined in it so just lays in the big tub and splashes and squeals to her heart's content!


Story Time

Big brother is reading his little sister a story.  This video is already over a month old, and just watching it again I can see how much she has grown since!  She no longer clenches her fists close to her chest, but has them out and ready to grab anything that gets anywhere near her reach.  I have to be quite careful when I want to take a drink of something!  I hope to revive the blog (four months already, yikes!) and post more updates soon, but for now enjoy this video.


Our Little Girl

Meeting Strawberry at the hospital
 With thanks to God, who made all things well, we welcomed our daughter Strawberry on Friday, June 28th at 7:30 in the morning.  She weighed 9 pounds and 10 ounces, and measured 21 inches.  She was delivered by caesarean section, as were her brothers, so recovery takes a bit long, but we're taking it one day at a time!  Her brothers love her, especially C-note, who always wants to hold her, and "oohs and ahhs" over her every move and sound. 

We left the hospital the following evening as I was eager to sleep in my own comfortable bed.  I was overwhelmed and exhausted from a sleepless night, and the problems I had nursing the boys seemed to be occurring again so I quit trying the second day.  Once home, though, I had a good night's sleep while my amazing husband took care of the night's feeds.  When I awoke, I thought, "What if I tried one more time, just to see what happens?"

I tried again, and we've been nursing ever since!  It's complicated and a lot of work, but I've gotten farther with her than with her brothers.

Home safe and sound

Hanging out with Daddy
First "girly" gift!

Proud and doting big brother.
Welcome to our family. <3 br="">


Where Does the Time Go?

Sometimes I wish everything would slow down, and at other times, like when the baby kicks me especially hard, I wish it moved quicker.  It seems "like only yesterday" at times, but more often it feels like things have always been a certain way, or at least have moved quite slowly. 
Until you reach the milestones.
Last autumn our first baby boy went to school for the first time...yesterday he just lost his first tooth!
I think it would have been more tragic had none of his fellow classmates gone through this experience before him.
Mr. Sensitive bravely allowed me to yank out the stubborn thing that was just barely hanging on.  It was wiggly for what seemed like ages.  Its neighbour is wiggly, too, but it will be a while yet!
Another milestone reached.



Last week we celebrated this cute little guy's third birthday!  He has always had an advanced grasp of vocabulary and speaks as someone older than his current age.  It's been commented on many times, with some people guessing that he was as old as four!  It must be all those books we read...
He's Mr. Tough Independent Guy, very different from his older brother!  Although just as silly as him.  Just when I thought someone couldn't be as silly as C-note, A-team came along and proved me wrong. 

 His chosen birthday meal was "cheesy noodles!" 
I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.  It was "chocolate cake with chocolate icing and marshmallows on top!"  Happy Birthday little boy...I can't believe it's been three years since you've come into our lives.  You've definitely enriched it with your giggles, crazy walk, and creative play!


Great Big Update Part 1

Well.  It's the end of the year, and I haven't updated since April.  So, for the readers who are still with me, it's time to fill in what's been going on in the Harseverse.  My heart had gone out of blogging for a while but I hope to catch up and once again keep you in the loop of the happenings over here!
The first photo is of one of the many birds who have been stunned by flying into our giant front window this summer.  I was able to get in nice and close to photograph this goldfinch as he was quite dazed by the impact.  Other birds were not so lucky and we've had to remove a few of them afterwards.

 The castle project!  We had an extra ladder that came with the bunk beds we had bought for the boys, and so were dreaming up ways to use it.  Stu drew up some plans after settling on the castle theme, borrowed some tools and went to work.  It turned out really well, complete with an upper floor.  I painted the landscape in the background.
This spring I was able to attend a women's conference at Camp Caroline, hosted by the churches in Edmonton.  Beautiful grounds, wonderful speeches by Sally Gleason, and fun fellowship with sisters in Christ were enjoyed by all!
Beach days!  C-note is getting more and more used to the water, and even goes up to his shoulders now.

We had a fun day at a park where the kids got their faces painted.  C-note chose a butterfly while A-team chose a tiger.  Later in the summer we visited the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.  It's an open-air museum that depicts the history of east central Alberta by telling the story of Ukrainian immigrants who settled in this region.  All the people are "in character" as Ukrainian settlers.  It's kind of weird to talk to them as who they represent.  A really neat and educational place to visit, though!  I have plenty of photos from the trip but limited space in this big giant update...

A-team petting the goats at the town's street festival.  C-note rode a pony for the first time.  He's getting braver!  There were balloon animals and a bouncy castle to enjoy.  And cotton candy!

Honeybees drinking in our lilac's sweet nectar.

There's always a day here and there where a fort is in order.  Like a rainy wet day.  The living room is transformed into a little boy's hideaway.
Mom and baby moose tracks at the beach.
Our niece B came over for a visit.  The boys loved it!  We did a little sight-seeing in the area.  Unfortunately a beach day turned thunderous so we had to head home early.  We still had fun road tripping!

Mom and Dad and P came to visit this summer.  It was lovely seeing them again.  A-team like feeding P his snacks, and standing on his wheel chatting with him.  Both boys learned to bike this summer and they took many walks/rides to the park with Grandma.
One of the projects tackled by energetic in-laws: new paint!  It really brightens up our living room.  And, bonus, the paint was on sale!  Woot!  Thanks for all your help, Mom and Dad!
Campfire in the backyard.
Fishing game enjoyed by the kids at our church picnic.
It's hard to choose one picture from our trip to the mountains!  We took the Jasper Tramway this year for some awe-inspiring views.  We also experienced the Miette Hot Springs, which were relaxing (except for when A-team almost drowned!) and we stopped at a few interesting places along the way to see a waterfall, elk, mountain goats, and even a bear!
A float from the town parade.
Our garden growing and growing...tomatoes!
My birthday raspberry bush growing some sweet delicious fruit!
And at the end of the summer our first bundle of joy turned 5!  I can't believe how time flies.  It's been a wonderful five years with this lovable, curious, always-cheerful guy in our lives!  I can't believe he's going to school already.

And so ends part one.  Stay tuned for part two, coming soon.