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Christmas Eve With the Novaks

I know, I know… slow me. But there were some great photos I want to share as well as some good memories. I promise once I get the Christmas parties posted I WILL get back to getting current AND sharing my school resources. Nothing deep and introspective right now. But… that can always change.

Chess

Chess

Our tradition has become going to the Novak’s for Christmas Eve. This year we added in a trip to a church that Alex has become very active in to enjoy their Christmas Eve service.20171224_161259

They had a great tree in the lobby, so we took full advantage and took a whole bunch of pictures. Not a bad looking group. And again, mistaken for blood relatives, surprisingly it was Ken and Andy who were asked if they were brothers. Usually it is confusion over whose kids are whose.20171224_160508

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Just the god son

Just the god son

After a larger number of photos we took advantage and got a couples picture.20171224_160736

Then it was into the sanctuary for service. It went pretty well with 9 kids, two moms and 2 dads. I will let you guess which ones nodded off.20171224_162932

20171224_162615The little kids got a lovely little gift bag as well.

After all that fun it was back home for dinner. We had a brisket (thanks to Ken) and ham and lots of snacks and lovely foods. Everyone was well filled up.20171224_190719

Presents went over well and we had a nice visit with Andy’s parents John and Maggie.20171224_195723

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Each of the boys got a handmade gift, a couple from my fair pieces.

Each of the boys got a handmade gift, a couple from my fair pieces.

We always have such fun at the Novak’s. Even with Alex recuperating from some rather scary brain surgery the kids had fun, snuck in some sledding and basically left the adults alone to eat too much, sit and chat, play a game or two and enjoy some Christmas music. Wonderful!

Snoopy!

Snoopy!

December Brrrr

Yup, a quick overview of a month already well blogged… December…

Advent fun…20171214_110348

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Chinchilla….IMG_20171221_225121_574

YMCA time…20171223_114252

R.I.P.P.E.D

R.I.P.P.E.D

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Night out with Chris and Renee to see a play!!

Pre show Mystro time

Pre show Mystro time

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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

More Chinchilla…

So serious

So serious

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Taught Gavin how to clean the cage.

Taught Gavin how to clean the cage.

Crafting with Gavin…

He made all of our cards!

He made all of our cards!

Crafting period…

These are my final finish of the year and are an adorable set from the designer Knot Bad.

These are my final finish of the year and are an adorable set from the designer Knot Bad.

Neko-Chan is such a sweet model

Neko-Chan is such a sweet model

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Knot Bad rocks!

Knot Bad rocks!

The arrival of a lovely fruit box from Grandma and Grandpa Reinsch…20171221_145011

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Baking…

The twins made cookies as a present we mailed off!

The twins made cookies as a present we mailed off!

Monster cookies

Monster cookies

A somewhat surprise visit from Nana and Baba…20171227_092632_HDR

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And just plain old fun!

Cousin Robbie visited and mentioned never having had a scarf... well that problem was quickly solved!

Cousin Robbie visited and mentioned never having had a scarf… well that problem was quickly solved!

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Opening presents with Aunty Holly and Cousin Jimmie

Opening presents with Aunty Holly and Cousin Jimmie

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Don’t forget school time, we kept up a pretty good pace considering the amount of excitement. Lots of opportunity to learn as we researched some origins of our favorite carols.IMG_20171219_152151_526

We made crystals!

We made crystals!

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A handmade Christmas card

A handmade Christmas card

By Emanuel

By Emanuel

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Chinese for New Years…20171231_180435

If you want to see the already blogged activities.. here you are…

  1. Anoka Lights
  2. Santa Visits
  3. Christmas Pageant

So now that I have posted this WAY out of order (what with the blog back log), here’s hoping I can catch myself up before mid 2018!!!! Wish me luck!!!

We braved the insanity of Mall of America right after Christmas... someone asked for a gift card from Santa this year.

We braved the insanity of Mall of America right after Christmas… someone asked for a gift card from Santa this year.

She stood in line so long that some Christmas money made its way to the purchase.

She stood in line so long that some Christmas money made its way to the purchase.

Dungeon and Dragons with Dad!

Dungeon and Dragons with Dad!

Gavin asked for an item with sequins...

Gavin asked for an item with sequins…

Doing Home Depot at home

Doing Home Depot at home

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Moments in March

March is a special month – within the span of a week my brother AND my father have their birthdays. I will warn  you now… March was photo heavy!! And VERY delayed… but better late than forgetting all about the blog and giving up on it… right?

Our trend of almost every evening at the YMCA has continued. I think we are really taking full advantage of our membership right now.20170304_105422

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IMG_20170309_233608_012Ken and I spent more than a few weekends with an evening at the indoor soccer games.IMG_20170304_220904_230

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IMG_20170318_223622_583Some of those nights Aidan and Alex joined our kids to avoid having to go watch.20170304_230525

20170315_092320We spent some fun time with the Schwartz family.IMG_20170308_123745_874

Of course there was plenty of school going on.

Decorating chalk eggs

Decorating chalk eggs

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Gavin on left

Gavin on left

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Science!

Science!

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KARATE!

KARATE!

20170317_093842We had a tiny bit of snow to enjoy.20170313_120454

We had a bit of a fashion show month.

Thank you Aunty Heather!

Thank you Aunty Heather!

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Don't ask, but that IS a cat on the hat.

Don’t ask, but that IS a cat on the hat.

This is one of my shirts from when I visited my sister at college before Trinity was even born!

This is one of my shirts from when I visited my sister at college before Trinity was even born!

IMG_20170310_212741_776The completions in class just keep on coming.IMG_20170303_105736_964

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IMG_20170306_100028_671And I found time for some baking.20170321_160654

Don’t forget about St. Patrick’s Day!

Zander far left... oldest to youngest in their pinch free green.

Zander far left… oldest to youngest in their pinch free green.

Setting the leprechaun trap

Setting the leprechaun trap

Quite the gold this year!

Quite the gold this year!

Fancy themed table

Fancy themed table

Themed lunch!

Themed lunch!

Or our monthly Pizza Hut.20170321_181551

The sunroom has finally warmed, with the help of the new portable fireplace and a tidy room we have really been enjoying the space.20170328_193612

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IMG_20170328_192042_567We finished up a redecorate on Emanuel’s room!20170304_184808

We also put up improved clothing rods for the girls!20170314_205905

I got in lots of crocheting time.IMG_20170330_151244_082

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Hats for all of us girls

Hats for all of us girls

And found a yarn that reminded me of a famous painting.IMG_20170313_233313_656

Snuck in a cross stitch pattern – a birthday gift for my mom!20170328_151542

And after making them at Cluby, Trinity helped me make some knotted blankets for our sunroom chairs.IMG_20170308_102121

Spent some time at church.IMG_20170326_110250_423

It was great to spend time with friends who are family.20170304_201128

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Shandai and Ravyn's kitty!!! Well, one of!

Shandai and Ravyn’s kitty!!! Well, one of!

Anthony and Chloe

Anthony and Chloe

20170310_230211And just straight out family! 

Cousin Robbie!

Cousin Robbie!

Ken and I snuck out for our own time together too.IMG_20170313_143009_660

IMG_20170308_215536_014All while we played and learned and kept ourselves busy!IMG_20170302_114620_790

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Creativity in the mind of Echo.

Creativity in the mind of Echo.

 

Spot the squirrel

Spot the squirrel