Rich just left for evening service at church a little while ago with Jacob, Ethan, Grace, and Davy.  Lil’ Caleb is sick with croup.  He’s been barking and coughing all weekend long, poor thing.  So I’m home with him, and he’s busy watching Thomas right now.

This weekend my parents came for a visit.  We celebrated Christmas!  I confess. . . .we STILL have our Christmas tree up, this is the longest Rich and I have ever left it up and we are SO ready to toss it out the door.  However, we are happy that we kept it up long enough to have a Christmas family time with my Mom and Dad.  They got here on Saturday about noon and the children could not wait to talk to them, and show them things, and to open gifts.


Grace received a crochet kit.  My mom sat right down with her and gave her a lesson.  I am happy to say that Grace seems to be a natural at understanding crochet.  It made my heart happy to see her.  She currently has about 6 inches of her project done (it’s going to be a scarf).



My Dad took time to have several NERF gun wars with the boys, downstairs in their room.


Every once in a while, we could just sit and visit. . . . .here I am, with my Dad and my Mom.


My sister Amanda and her sweet family came later on to open gifts.  Sometimes my big house actually feels quite small.  We were all buzzing about, talking and laughing.


This morning, my parents stayed home with the children and Rich and I went to church together, just the two of us.  It was like a date!  When we got back home, we ate lunch together and then Dad, Rich, and the kids all went ice skating.  Mom and I walked down so I could take a few pictures.  It was a gorgeous day.  Sunny but cold—cold in a refreshing BREATH DEEP way.  I’ll not soon forget my mom going down the hill five times in the sled!  Or my Dad racing around the pond on ice skates with the rest of the family.  Spending time outdoors in the wintertime, skating, was such a treat!  It brought back many childhood memories for my parents, who both spent time as children,  ice-skating on ponds with their friends and family.  (For those of you who don’t know, this is just our third winter here at this house–this was the first year my parents ice skated with us.)  We started making plans for next winter….to set up a bon-fire area with lots of wood, to bring some big bales of hay to set up around the pond for seats, and to keep collecting ice skates in every size.

The sky was so beautiful blue and big today. . . . .


Dad, Jacob, Grace, Rich, and Dave.


My handsome hockey player, in his potato skin (what I call his carhartt snow suit, aren’t I funny?)


The ice is thick and smooth, the best it’s ever been!


Ethan, my yellow-boy skater. . .hitting the hockey puck across the ice. . . .


Davy-do was racing just as fast as he could go, to catch up with Ethan.  I like to see their shadows, too.


Guess who lost a tooth the other day?  Actually, I pulled it for him.  It gave me the willies, but I did it.

(maybe you can’t see from the picture….it was a front bottom tooth)

A milestone for our dear Davy-do!


Sadly, Mom and Dad have left to go back to their own place in NY.  Jacob was fighting back tears of sadness to see them go….we all were.  But, we are so very thankful for the time we spent together and are looking forward to seeing them again very soon—when Seth arrives!

I wanted to add Jacob’s recipe for the weekend.  He showed such a servant’s heart by working hard in the kitchen squeezing lime after lime to make a special soda for his grandparents, his Dad, his siblings. . . .saving his own for last.  I was so proud of him. 

We found a cookbook at the library titled, The Star Wars Cookbook, and it’s such a great cookbook for boys.  (My boys have never seen the movie, but still somehow love anything to do with Star Wars).  Jacob made a list of ingredients for the recipes he wanted to try and this is the first one he made:

Yoda Soda


3 limes
3 Tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 cup sparkling water
1 scoop lime sherbet or sorbet

Place 1 lime on the cutting board and cut it in half.  Squeeze the juice from each half into a measuring cup.  Repeat with the remaining limes until you have 1/4 cup juice.

Put the lime juice and sugar in a small pitcher.  Stir with a wooden spoon  until the sugar dissolves.  Add the sparkling water and stir until mixed.  Taste and add more sugar, if desired. 

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop up the sherbet and drop it into a tall glass.  Pour in the lime water.  Serve immediately.  Makes 1 serving.

Tonight, after church, he plans on making us “Jawa Jive Milkshakes”.  I can’t wait!


Okay, maybe just maybe some of you are wondering who won the corn bag?  Well, I put over 100 slips of paper in a marigold fiesta bowl, stirred and stirred around with my hand, closed my eyes…….and…….

this is the name I pulled out………….


I had to laugh!  Alaskahannah is a friend of mine….I have never met her face to face but we met here through xanga and have become penpals.  We’ve been writing back and forth for quite a while now and our children also write to each other.  She has such a generous heart, is so warm and friendly, and her children are following in her footsteps.  For example, her daughter MADE Grace a gorgeous quilt for her birthday this year, and mailed it out to her!  We have come to love this family and I hope to someday have the pleasure of meeting them all.

So, Hannah Banana, congratulations on the win!  I hope the warm corn bag keeps you snug as a bug in snowy cold ALASKA!

Thank you, to all who commented and added to the fun.  It was great to meet a few of you who have been reading my blog but have not commented until the giveaway.  I guess I know what to do now, if I want to hear from you!



Love, Shanda

0 thoughts on “

  1. Congratulations, AlaskaHannah. What a nice thing to do Shanda. I’m sure Hannah will get much use from her prepared-with-love gift.These corn bags also work great right from the freezer for a headache or to soothe a feverish brow. I fill a pretty sock with corn, tie it off loosely at the end and leave them in the freezer for whenever you need them. The knot allows you to wash the sock fromtime to time. Happy week!

  2. How lovely to have your family there. Your parents are so great! By the time my children were born, my parents really didn’t have that kind of energy to play with them. It’s so wonderful for your children to have them such a fun part of their lives. I think Hannah from Alaska certainly should have the corn bag. Brrrr! Long, cold Winters up there!

  3. A “Yoda Soda” – how cute!!!Smooth ice skating, huh? You need one of those Zamboni (Zambolli? – whatever) machines like the ice rings have to smooth the ice out after your skates have cut grooves into it!!!

  4. Congratulations Hannah! Now I am researching how to make those “corn bags” for myself! That one was so cute, I’d like to make some to keep and some to give away.  Could you pass along the instructions maybe?  Wonderful post as always. I look forward to reading your daily posts, so fun, and so heartwarming. 

  5. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend with your family.  The outdoors fun looks great. (I haven’t ice skated in YEARS and I wasn’t too great at it then…..).  Congratulations to the winner of the cornbag. 

  6. What a great giveaway!!!  I know I’m an “airhead”, but I need to ask, Where do you find the hard whole corn? I keep imagining popcorn, but I’m thinking that would not work, putting it in the microwave!

  7. What a wonderful weekend! Thanks for sharing it with us. With all of those wonderful pictures, I feel like I was there with you all!Congrats AlaskaHannah for your win on that sweet giveaway!

  8. That’s so awesome…I’m glad you had a nice Christmas with your parents.  I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages, but I got to see your kids and Rich tonight, I wanted to makes ure Davy got his invitation.  I hope you have a great night.  Love, Trish

  9. First let me say how shocked I was to see that you only have 18 days to go until little Seth is due to arrive!  To think that I’ve been reading your blog long enough to be apart of one of your pregnancies is like a special gift!  πŸ™‚  LOVED the pictures of everyone ice skating… Such beautiful memories – thank you for sharing them!

  10. huh? WHAT? I didn’t win?!?  Awww, I already had my acceptance speech all planned out-lol Oh, and totally agree on pulling a tooth giving you the willies–I get chills just thinking about when I tried to help my little one pull hers… 

  11. It sounds like you had a great weekend!!   Your pictures are very good.   That soda sounds good, I will have to look that cookbook up at the library.   My husband is a Star Wars fan.

  12. What a FUN weekend with family. I LOVED your ice skating pictures, they made me smile. The yoda soda sounds fun to make, I will have to try and find that book since I have a house full of star wars fans.

  13. Your skating pictures sure reminded me of former days when our family was young.  My husband LOVED to skate and we kept a couple big boxes of assorted sizes for our own children, visiting children and adults, made bonfires to keep warm and a whole bunch of people would get together and skate, laugh, fall, etc. till cheeks were rozy, and toes tingled from cold!  Fond memories!  That was back when we lived in IN and when it got cold enough to freeze a swamp, the lake or whatever my husband could find that was hard enough!

  14. I can’t believe I won!  Thank you so much, Shanda!  I look forward to getting my cornbag in the mail!!  I think my kids are more excited that I won than I am, although it’s a toss-up!  LOL!  The ice skating looks like so much fun!  The name you gave Rich’s carhartts made me smile.  The Yoda Soda sounds yummy, but labor intensive.  What a sweet boy to stand there and make them for everyone.  Thank you again and thanks to all who sent congrats my way!

  15. The Yoda Soda sounds yummy!I love the original Star Wars trilogy…gimme Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and R2D2 and C3PO anyday! (oh, and don’t forget about Chewbacca)

  16. Congrats to Hannah…certainly a good pick! We just finished Christmas this weekend with my big boys and wives. David so wanted to leave up the tree, but some dry weather days made it too dry to leave up! So glad you had such a sweet time with your extended family. All the gifts and playtime look so fun. Great ice skating pics… the future plans sound great with the hay and bonfire…I will make hot chocolate ( I wish!) I love the potato skin name…so funny. Jacob’s yoda soda sounds very yummy! Good for him serving everyone so.

  17. What a great weekend with family and outdoor fun! Do ya’ll live close to NY? (your parents) I moved from California to Texas 2 1/2 years ago, and all of our family is still in Cali. So when they come to visit, its a very blessed time! I hope you have an easy delivery and speedy recovery….I have enjoyed getting to know your sweet family through your “love” filled posts! Blessings…

  18. What a great visit with your parents.  You are all such a close knit family and I love to read about it.  I’m home today and am being homey–apologize for this term.  I couldn’t think of the word to describe cleaning, nesting, tidying up, and cherishing the home.  YODA SODA!  Jeremy will laugh at that one.  By the way, I was reading your last blog and I had the music pretty loud on the PC and Jeremy was in the next room.  He heard that cute song you have on your playlist and he came in, with this quizical look and smile on his face (I think he thought it was one of your kids singing) and he thought that song was so cute!  It made him laugh.  Anyway, this comment is way way to long!  Maybe I should write you a letter!  Love ya! Lish

  19. I, too, am COMPLETELY SHOCKED I did not win! COMPLETELY SHOCKED! Oh, well, I’ll be all ready for next time; AlaskaHannah, great gal though she is, can’t beat me twice in a row!
    ha ha ha!
    Love ya!

  20. Shanda, I enjoy your blog so much, peeking into the window to catch a glimpse of your family’s life. You are such a good, loving mom – I know you’re so ready for your new little Seth to arrive. God bless you all REAL GOOD tonight, and may that little one arrive strong and healthy, with a strong and healthy Mama! Please let us know as soon as you can when he arrives – if you are away from the computer for a day or two, we’ll suspect he’s here!

  21. what a sweet post! aren’t parents just completely wonderful. πŸ™‚ and ice skating!! i was looking at your pictures last night with emma on my lap – she kept saying, “go back mommy. go back… i want to see that boy again!!” πŸ™‚ hope you’re having a great start to your week. did you get snow? we got our biggest one so far – maybe it’s headed your way! good excuse to sit down with a cup of tea. πŸ™‚ throwing hugs your way on this chilly day ❀

  22. I’ve got that JOY Joy joy JOYdown in my heart. WHERE? Down in my heart from reading this post!
    btw, we took our xmas tree down ljust last week…and today I’m finally putting away all the ornaments that were lined up on the livingroom cabinet!

  23. The idea of a bonfire and hay bales sounds like a camp, all cozy and full of great memories, I love love love the idea of collecting ice skates in every size.  Your property is like a dream!

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