Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I just love this time of year! Celebrating the birth of our Savior, getting together with family and friends, giving of gifts to loved ones, and the food! We had a great week celebrating and it's a joy to see the excitement the kids have for the season. Here's a recap with lots of pictures.

Christmas Eve the kids opened a box with new pjs, a movie, and some snacks. We enjoyed a quiet night at home and now Blake's new favorite movie is Charlotte's Web.

Christmas jammies!
 Christmas morning before church the kids opened their stockings. We also Skyped with Grandpa and Grandma Pontier in Canada so the kids could open their gifts from them "live" on the computer.

All dressed and ready for church Christmas morning!
Later Christmas day we went to my sister Grace's house in Pella and celebrated with her family.
Lots of fun with the Barnes cousins.
Finally we made it back home in the evening to finish opening our presents for the kids and each other.

Rebecca and Blake love their new scooters and had to practice riding them in the house.
 This past Saturday we had Dan's family over to our house for the De Vries Christmas. We spent almost the whole day together and had lot of fun.
Brianna got pretty good at ripping open presents!
Opening gifts from Aunt Linda and Uncle Bill.

Trevor and Blake intent on a video game.
All the little grand kids!
We still have some celebrating to do when my brothers and their families come to visit for New Years!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Birthday Celebrations

It's been a while since I've posted. We've had a pretty quiet November. Back at the beginning of the month, Dan and I celebrated our birthdays and we took advantage of a Groupon deal and stayed over night at the Ramada hotel water park in Des Moines. The kids had a great time swimming, I didn't have to cook supper, and it was some good family time after harvest was mostly over.

Here are a few photos of our fun day away.
Brianna loves bath time so it's not surprising she loves swimming too.
Rebecca was very brave and we had fun racing down the big water slides.

Birthday supper for me!
Everyone helped me eat my birthday brownies and ice cream. 
It took Blake a little while to get comfortable in the water, but he eventually was able to go around on his own.
He went down this slide a lot!
We also had a great time with friends and family for Thanksgiving, but I failed to take any pictures! Can't believe Christmas is in two weeks! Love the holidays and trying not to stress out :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quilt Show 2014

Last weekend I flew to Houston with my sisters and mom for the International Quilt Show and a visit with my younger sister Rachel, who currently lives in Houston. We had a great time together enjoying the quilt show, seeing a little of Houston, and relaxing together - kid free!
Some of the quilts we saw were beyond amazing. It was the 40th anniversary of the quilt show and was celebrated with this special display "Ruby Jubilee" of red and white quilts.

I love this one because each quilt square could be it's own quilt.
This wall hanging quilt had squares smaller that my finger nail!
I think this spiral quilt might have been one of my favorite red and white quilt.
This quilt was beyond amazing!
A fourth of the convention center was quilts on display, but the other 3/4 was filled with booths with ANY THING relating to sewing and quilting or just women in general.
This was one of my favorite booths - beautiful batik fabrics and great quilt patterns.
This is the convention center in Houston where the quilt show was held. This only shows 1/3 of the building - it was huge!
Across the street from the convention center is a park where we had lunch one day, taking a break from walking.
Here is mom with "George". She just recently got a George machine so we told her to pose with this virtual guy by the George machines. My dad teases that George is the other man in her life and she now spends more time with George :)
Just having a little fun in a photo booth - we could have had this picture printed on some fabric.
Wings of Houston! In the park across from the convention center.
A selfie in the park.
Our very lovely accommodations - Rachel's apartment. She painted quilt squares in her pumpkins in honor of our visit!
I've seen so many pictures of dinner parties on this back deck, so glad I finally got to enjoy one myself!
Better than a restaurant meal!
From left to right - my sisters Rachel and Grace, sister in law Tonya, me, sister in law Andrea and Mom.
I did buy a quilt pattern, so hopefully in the next year or so I'll buy fabric and get started on it!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brianna's 1st Birthday

Our little ladybug is 1! 

We had a great time celebrating Brianna's birthday a week ago. I had the idea of doing a ladybug theme and then my mom told me she had made a ladybug quilt for her so that is what we went with. 

 She makes the cutest birthday girl!
I made the headband bow and tutu.

She got a little help from her siblings blowing out the candle.
She couldn't eat the cake fast enough! By the time I got the camera out, her little piece was almost gone!
Ladybug quilt was lovingly made by Grandma Pontier. We gave her a ladybug pillow pet to go along with it.
Here's a little recap of how I made the cake. I baked one cake mix in 2 sizes of pyrex glass bowls. The smaller bowl cooked in a 3rd of the time. When they cooled I cut the smaller to fit into the larger to make the head. The white stuff on the cake is just flour from greasing and flouring the bowl so the cake wouldn't stick.
 Blake did a great job supervising and eating as much frosting as he could. Black and red are probably the two hardest colors to make, but I just tried to get them as dark as I could without using the whole bottle of coloring paste. I find that frosting actually gets darker as it sets so my gray and pink ladybug looked more black and red after a few hours.
 I used a medium star tip all over for both the black and the red.  Making progress...

 I added the details (spots, eyes, and smile) last and was very happy with how cute it turned out! I was glad there was a little room on the cake board to add the words "Happy Birthday" and "Brianna 1". 
 The only thing I wish this little guy had were some antenna made of black pipe cleaners. I realized a little too late in the day that I didn't have any. Maybe cake #2 will get some for birthday party #2, we'll see.