Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday Stephanie

No one can ever say that Stephanie will miss out on celebrating her birthday by having a late December birthday. She gets more parties and cakes than anyone! It was just as busy and fun as in years past. She feels so loved.
Mee-maw got some cupcakes to have a little song and celebration too. We had a great day of being together over at the "Wagner" house. Next year baby cousin Aiden will join us.
Another celebration up in Gainesville. This birthday cake was Grandpa's, but he wanted Stephanie's help.
A girl can never have too many friends. This was a cold day, but lots of fun.
Normal is always nice.
Grandma Porvaznik always lets the birthday girl decorate her own cake. These are the moments I want them to remember with her.
Lots of fun presents from friends!
The cupcake looks like it might blow-up. Nine sparkler candles was almost too much.
This girl cannot get enough play-doh...she has been getting it for nine years straight!
Kay Kay made these yummy cupcakes to help all the friends celebrate at the park. They were delish!

Beautiful Pottery

These were the beautiful results of the day of making pottery. Joe Frank and Travis outdid themselves and we have such great pieces of pottery to keep.


Christmas wrapped up

This was the first year the girls picked out their own dresses. They looked beautiful. Their dolls had matching dresses, but did not get included in the family pic. Oops.
"Santa" brought them bikes. It was a complete and terrific surprise!
Stockings are always the hit, and they love all the little treasures.
One of our favorite moments was when the girls gave us their gifts that they had shopped for by themselves. Olivia gave me makeup and Steph gave me a coffee mug. Steve got a football and some candy!
There was not a shortage of love wrapped in lovely packages....we are very blessed and taken care of.
And my nephew Conrad came over for a few is always a ton of laughs around here with he is posing in his "one-zee"...he hates it when I call it that!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve

A tradition for Christmas eve is spending it with the Porvazniks. Time at the grandparents and with the uncles and Aunt Theresa. Then there is the opening up of "one" present and it usually being jammies. Yep, it happened again! Then we get our note written to Santa, and go outside and leave treats for the reindeers. Off to bed, but this year we were a little late because we were up playing our new game!
We loved the pretty presents and gifts from our favorite sewing teacher, Mrs. Russ.
Ms. Russ gave the girls a wonderful treat for Christmas Eve with their new matching jammies for themselves and their dolls. They are just so precious.
Grandma Porvaznik finished these coats and wanted to pose with the girls. If we lived up north we could get a lot more use of these, but her thoughtfulness and love in handmaking them is very appreciated.
Uncle Shmerl could not stand it any longer that we do not have my grandmother's piano here at the house yet...he is so concerned the girls are missing out. So, he got them this Casio keyboard to use and learn on. I hope they have some deep hidden talents when it comes to learning all the music theory.
And Grandpa and Grandma came through with the BIGGIE.....Wii!!!!!!!!!!! The girls were over whelmed and so excited! We hooked it up and they got to show the Gparents how things work. It was a perfect present and the time with family was super wonderful.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Roman Feast

This Ancient Civilizations semester ended with our study on Rome. We celebrated a job well done by this great group of kids by having a Roman Feast and having an evening that included the Dads. We decorated with columns, mosaics, standards, laurel wreaths, stolas(garments) and food from that time period.

This is a costume, Olivia wanted to wear...not a surprise to anyone!

We had representatives from every township and tribe. Notice the gladiator on the far right.
These were the standards that each student made. It represented them, and they understood that each camp set up a standard in battle so the enemy would know who they were coming against. I loved how we were able to incorporate so much of the words that Paul wrote to us in various books of the bible. We took the time to learn about the armor of the Roman soldiers and the armor of God which we are challenged to pick up and use daily.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17

The kids just fell right into character by lounging on the pillows and at the tables. They loved breaking off the chunks of bread and drinking the "wine".
This was the foods of the feast. We had lamb, chicken, olives, artichokes, and many other super great things to eat. We all were full by the end of the night.
The best part of the night was when the group of kids raised their glasses in a toast to all of us parents and our hard work for them.
This was the whole room. Yes, doesn't it look like Pontius Pilate was there with us?
These were two bums we found hanging around outside and welcomed in....after all it is Christmas. Not really, just two of the Dads!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let the celebrations begin...

With ten days to go, we have already partook in some great holiday gatherings. We had our church party, which is like a variety show. The girls stayed dressed up in their pretties, while being a part of a finale and signed part of the song, The Revelation. It is on the playlist on the side if you need a boost! It was just wonderful.

Pastor Ron shared a story about his best Christmas ever, it was of a night spent in a lonely not so quiet barn structure with noisy and smelly animals. It gave a different perspective on the "Silent Night, Holy Night" idea.
Our extended family gathered for some good company, food and a small gift exchange. The kids (not you Kelley!) had a blast and these kids just keep on growing!
Two weeks ago, the girls had their "winter" recital and they shared a song using flags. It was so worshipful and sweet. No one got banged in the head or lost their flags!

The girls and their Papa (great-grandfather). What a crew!
This is Ms. Barbara's little ballerinas. We love her so!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Centered. Pressed. Pulled.

What an amazing experience we all were a part of during our visit into Dillsboro, NC. I had the idea to go and ask the great, funny and talented guys at a local pottery shop for a favor. We visit the shop every time we are up in the area, the pieces are so beautiful and unique. Joe Frank and Travis are the owners and they were swayed by my charm, I am sure. They offered to do an individual pottery lesson for each of the kids, which they DO NOT usually do. It was one of those life memories.

It got me to thinking afterwards. I have sung the song about being the clay in the Potter's hands. I have read the verses even. But, this day I watched it happen. There were many necessary steps. First the clay MUST be centered, and it needs to be on a firm foundation. Next, while things were spinning, pressing must occur. Hard pressing. Then almost immediately, the pulling begins. But now it is more gentle. Water is dripped in, so things are more pliable. Stretching occurs. After the bottom is stable, pulling of a different kind occurs, and the shape changes. Squeezing must occur next. Yet, it is with a pressure only known to the Potter, does the shape take form and the uniqueness of that piece is made. I have personally felt the pressing, pulling, squeezing, and I can only hope that my Potter sees a piece of clay he wants to use.
This is inside the shop, it is just lovely.
Isn't this just like the Lord, gently guiding us with direction.
Some works of art.
Adding water to make it more pliable.
Gently guiding and instructing.
Thankful and oh so pleased.