Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Routine

We had a wonderful time in Iowa for Christmas.   What a blessing it was to be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior with those we love the most.   We drove to Russ' folks in Glidden on Monday the 20th and spent the night.  After several games of "O, shucks" and "Rage" we headed for Sioux Center mid-afternoon on Tuesday. 

Seth loves the old "Little People" toys at Grandpa and Grandma Herman's house.

The older four kids spent Wednesday at OCCS renewing friendships and remembering what is was like to be in a classroom.  Russ spent a little time at MOC-FV and then Seth, Russ and I shopped in OC.  It was fun to shop and drive around OC again.  After Wednesday, our days were quite full for the next week and 1/2.

Friends we saw (other than at OCCS):
Anna was able to spend time with Sophie Swart
Byker family at the All-Seasons Center
Kate Walhof came to Sioux Center to spend time with Lydia
Sarah Walter came to Sioux Center and spent time with us as well--we even had fun skyping a few times!
Scheaffer family

Fun activities
Went sledding on the Alton hill
Swam with friends at the All-seasons center
Took in the movie Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Helped Grandpa clear snow from the driveway (Seth loves Grandpa's tractor)

Made snow globes with Aunt PT--thanks for the great idea!

Skyped Aunt Lynn and Uncle Cory in Haiti--so good to see their faces again!
Celebrated Christmas with the Bleekers on Sat night with Grandma's very fine prime rib dinner followed by Bingo with the gift table.

Played snooker, Dutch shuffleboard, Foosball and ping-pong in Grandpa and Grandma's basement and lots of games of Monopoly Deal, Settlers of Catan, and Scotland Yard

Fixed two 1000 piece Christmas puzzles.
Caleb was able to visit Dr. Grobowski for a 6 month ortho check-up.  Not necessarily a fun activity, but when he tells you that you do not need full braces and do not need to schedule a follow-up, this mom thinks it might qualify!
Watched lots of college bowl games.
Made apple cider with the rest of Grandpa and Grandma's apples

Good foods we ate/made
Made homemade pig in the blankets
Watched aunts make stroepwaffles (I was actually downstairs teaching the kids another Dutch tradition--Dutch Shuffleboard or Shula? Shoola?)
Ate Grandpa's popcorn (twice even!  Thanks, Dad)
Ollie bollen on New Years Eve

Donuts from Casey's Bakery
Lots and lots of other good stuff.  We'll have to put our YMCA membership to good use.

Places we worshiped
Went to church at Immanuel on Christmas Day, HRC and Harvest on Sundays, and HRC on New Years.  It was so good to see so many familiar faces and catch up with friends at each of these churches.   How humbling it is to see so many remembering our family in prayer during this transition time.

Did you know it takes three men to hang a picture?

So we arrived back home last night around 9:00 Michigan time, so thankful again for a safe, uneventful trip.  The kids were troopers about getting things put away.  Thanks to mom's washer and dryer in Sioux Center I did not have very much wash to catch up on.  So, we got up this morning and since we still had no bread or milk in the house we made blueberry pancakes and just got started back into the school routine.   We had several inches of snow on the ground this morning and it has snowed on and off all day several more inches.  Russ enjoyed getting his "new" snow blower out for the first time and Seth loved helping him.  The nice part about this snow is that it is big and fluffy and the temperature outside is at least 25 degrees--lots of fun to play in.  Maybe now we can go sledding on actual snow!

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