Scenes From Christmas 2016

We have enjoyed our time together this Christmas.  Honestly 2016 was a very busy and slightly overwhelming year.  Mr. Bits is finally back home after four long months, the kids and their activities have settled down at least for the past two weeks, and I have been working away on various projects.  All in all, the year has been good, but I am glad to have a fresh start!

Here are some pictures of our very quiet Christmas this year.

Christmas Eve Fun:  Two church services, decorating cookies and new pajamas!

 

Christmas Day gifts and rest.

 

After Christmas Snowshoeing.

After Christmas Hike on a Frozen River with our dogs!

Happy New Year Breakfast!

 

From our family to yours, Have a very Happy and Healthy 2017!

 

Adventure in Arizona

First I would like to say Phoenix is hot!!!!!! Second I would like to say, I was tremendously thankful for the hotel having a pool!!!!!! With that being said, we did have a great time in Phoenix. It was fun having absolutely no responsibilities for a while.

Middle Bit was born in this great city, so he had fun seeing the old house we lived in, hospital he was born in and the church he was baptized in. We took him to the church he was baptized at, and one of the priests is still there almost 13 years later! I have a picture of her holding him as a baby, and now of them standing next to each other 13 years later. Time does fly!

Other highlights were visiting Tombstone and Bisbee. If I had the chance to live in Bisbee, I would. The town is so eclectic and much cooler in temperature. Love it!

We had a great time, but like all good things, we had to come back home. We were all grateful for the time away and time spent together!

What were some of the trips you have been on this summer?

Love,

Suzy

Hoops

Our old basketball hoop was a hunk of junk. It was not a permanent basketball hoop, which honestly caused a great deal of problems. It was constantly blowing over in the wind, which meant the hoop itself was an unusual shape. It was not round, but instead oval, and even rectangular. One day, we finally took it apart, but this left the kids without a net. For our oldest child, that is a big deal. He love basketball! So we began looking for a good deal on a permanent goal. The price for these is unreal!! 800 to a 1, 000 dollars. Something we could not afford! Some friends of ours had taken an old basketball goal down at their house. Their boys, are young, and they decided to remove it. The goal was totally old school playground. The long white pole, with a simple white board and rim. They offered it for free, and so we jumped on it. We had the pole powder coated black, we sanded the board and repainted it a nice bright white and repainted the orange square on the backboard.  All it needed after that was a new net, and it started to look brand new! It was a great project for the three boys to work on together, and cement into the ground. Now we have a basketball hoop installed permanently into the ground, and in the end it only ended up costing us $200!

There have been many games of horse and pig played on it since returning home from Phoenix. Nothing like a summer evening playing basketball!

Hope your summers are going well!

Love,

Suzy

Cardboard Armor

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It never ceases to amaze me what my kids can do with cardboard.  They have made so many things.  Dioramas, houses, cars etc.  Recently, Little Bit went to a girl scout camp that was centered around Mine Craft.  All arts and crafts had something to do with this game.  My children have not been allowed to play this game for quite some time, not because the game is bad, but because I caught them looking up how to videos for the game that were not children friendly.  They did not even ask to look them up.  So, we told them no more game, and for some reason, simply forgot about it.  All of us, including the children lost the desire for the game.  Until recently with the Girl Scout Camp.

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Our answer is still no, but they decided to play the game on their own, making the armor.  Oh my goodness, their imaginations are better than the game!  Middle and Little Bit made their armors, and have taken great care of them.  Every day they come out and lay with it for a while, outside with the dogs.  Somehow, the dogs have become part of their game as well.

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I cannot help but think that this way may be better than the game.  They are playing, using their imaginations, and having a great time.  If the game was being played, they would be sitting in the house, and frankly missing out on summer.  I also am so happy to see Middle Bit, who is getting older, still wanting to play.  This truly makes my heart sing.

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Hope you are all enjoying your summer and using your imaginations!

Love,

Suzy

Flowers

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I have been spending as much time as I can in my backyard lately.  In the early morning I sit in my ugly seventies rocking chair and read my Bible or devotion for the day, drink my coffee and pet the dogs.  In the evening, I walk around the yard, pulling weeds where I see them, and admiring the flowers that are beginning to bloom.  I am trying to slow down, even in the midst of a crazy busy life.  I do not want this life to be a blur from one event to the next.  Instead, I long for peace.  The flowers in my garden are beautiful.  The garden has not yet matured, and there is much growing to do, but the flowers that are brave enough to bloom in the midst of un-organization, they are making an impact.  In the mismatched growing, there is strength and beauty, and I feel as though it reflects my own life. Bits of beauty in an un-organized, mismatched life.  Reminders, that it will all come together, and be beautiful.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Love,

Suzy

40!

In February, I celebrated my 40th birthday!  I did not want any birthday parties or events that make others feel like they needed to get me things and I feel really uncomfortable when I am the center of attention.  I really did not want to be surprised by any of that either.  But I did not know what I wanted to do.  Mr. Bits asked me, but I just could not decide.  The weather where we live had been horrible for a month straight, and the inversion that happens because of the constant snow cover became really depressing.  So getting out of town sounded like a good option, but I honestly had no clue where I wanted to go.

Some friends of ours suggested we try to go in on a cabin together since his birthday was around the same time.  We could celebrate mine, my daughters and his all at once.  So my husband began planning, and we decided on Bryce Canyon in southern Utah.  Warm (warmer but still chilly), clear skies and beautiful scenery.  Our families cooked meals together, sat out on the balcony in the warm sun and drank beers (grownups only of course), and drove into the national park for a day of hiking and looking around.

It was truly a great birthday and a much needed dose of sunshine!  Another special thing about my birthday is that I share it with my grandpa.  He died when I was young, but I remember sharing my birthday with him.  We were both born on Feb 13, and on a Friday!  Every birthday, I have a toast towards heaven and wish him a special day, and this birthday, I felt as though he were wishing me one right back.  Nature does that.  It brings us closer to those we miss.

Love,

Suzy

Oldest Bit

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Our homeschooling year is going well.  The kids have been attending an online school, and they have loved it.  The school has been challenging, yet it is so nice to be able to complete assignments at their own speed.  Yes, they have to complete a certain amount by the end of the week, but there is no time limit during the day for them to get it done, and this truly helps, especially with the different learning styles my kids have.

Oldest Bit has learned a great deal about himself this year.  He has blossomed through all the activities that he has been a part of.  In co-op, he has learned that public speaking is not so scary.  He has played his banjo in front of a large group of people.  He is excelling at basketball.  And even though he has a teenager attitude, he still gives me hugs and tells me he loves me.  How absolutely wonderful.  I cannot believe how fast he is growing up, but I have had so much fun watching him mature and come into his own.

But the child cannot take a normal picture!  Every time I was about to click a photo, he would change his face!  Drove me crazy!

Oh, I love you Oldest Bit!  Please time, go a little bit slower!

Love,

Suzy

What? Halloween Pictures in December?

Yes, I am showing Halloween pictures in December.  That is how far behind I am in keeping the family updated.  Please, be gracious!

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We had a great Halloween, and in some ways, a new normal.  Our oldest decided he was too old to go trick or treating, but did walk with us around the neighborhood.  He also still dressed up.  If you are a Doctor Who fan, you will know what doctor this is.  Hint:  he wears burgundy converse.

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Middle Bit decided he would be Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.  This was seriously the easiest costume I have ever assembled.  A bed sheet, a witches hat covered in a pillow case, and a white beard.  Oddly enough, my son already had the staff.

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Little Bit decided she would be a cowgirl this year.  I loved this one, because everything we purchased for this costume can be worn again and again at any point of the year.

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The pumpkin was a new venture.  I decided to write different tasks on paper and then had them draw what they would do.  Oldest Bit ended up with the eyes.  Middle Bit with the mouth and Little Bit with the nose.  A truly collaborative jack-o-lantern.

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I hope you are all enjoying this holiday season.  I will get caught up to the Christmas pictures sometime in February!

Love,

Suzy

A Birthday

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Middle Bit turned 12 a little over a week ago.  We had been waiting for his birthday patiently because his gift was so unique.  We do not normally go all out for a birthday gift, but this year was different.

He has been playing the guitar for five years now, and getting quite good.  The route he wants to go is playing rock music, but in order to progress we needed to get him an  electric guitar.  These are very expensive, an not something you would get a child just because.  At least not in this family.  Middle Bits teacher said he would keep his eyes open for a good quality used guitar for a good deal.  About a month later, I received a text that one of his students needed to sell their Fender guitar for some extra cash.  It was only a year old and very good quality.  The price was right, so we got it.  We had it hidden for a month and a half, having to endure his longing after every guitar, and expressing his deep desire to have an electric one.  We kept telling him, “One day.  These are expensive so we will have to budget.”

So on his birthday when he opened it up, his eyes widened and he looked in shock.  At first I wondered if he even liked it, but then I realized he was truly  speechless, which if you know Middle Bit, is a very rare thing indeed.

He plugged it in to his new amp, and strummed the electric guitar.  And as he strummed, I saw his future.  It fits him perfectly.  I am not talking about size or shape, I am talking about personality.  I do not know if he will become a rock star, but I do know that the guitar will be a part of who he is.

I am so very proud of him.

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