First Colorado Christmas

We wanted to share some of the sights and shenanigans of our Christmas season.  We have many traditions that we look forward to each year - some passed down from our childhoods and some newly minted.  This was our first Christmas without the blessing of extended family visiting or us traveling to them.  I thought the house was a little too quiet!  But the calm and staying local allowed us to more easily focus in on the truly important this holiday season - Christ's wondrous gift to all, the blessing of family, and peaceful rest.  Hubby was VERY ill the week before Christmas, so that put a bit of a damper on our plans for holiday outings.  But Colorado did not disappoint and there was a chill in the air and snow on the ground for the week leading up to Christmas and even beyond.  We enjoyed the warmth and glow of our family room fireplace and made and ate FAR too many sweets.  We are looking forward to our flight to see some of our beloved family for a belated Christmas in January!
We have a tall and stocky fir tree in our backyard.  And with its branches glowing from snow lit by lights, it was the perfect Christmas sight!
Caught this beautiful sight just after sunset.

One of our beloved traditions - working together to build a gingerbread house.  This one was top notch!
Christmas makes us crazy!
This year's ornaments - a mini beanie boo and a Steve from Minecraft
Hard to see, but this is one of the many gifts they were blessed to receive.  Legos!
A gift from brother :-)
His favorite gift - a de-cellularized phone.  A glorified iTouch, as hubby calls it.
It was a Shopkin Christmas!
Another favorite - Calico Critters ballet theater
A gift from sister (he was doing an air fist-pump!)
Merry Christmas to me!  Get in shape, girl!
Captain America for our Chaplain America
Colorado winter preparedness
Look who preached Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas, from our clan to you! (Photo by R. Ball)

Homeschool life

Our kids are enjoying the blessing of being a part of a homeschool enrichment program here in Colorado.  It is funded and run through one of the local public school systems. (= FREE!) They go to "school" one day a week and get a bunch of fun and amazing stuff that we couldn't (wouldn't?) do at home.  They also get skilled instruction from very credible and capable teachers - my favorite part!  (Did I ever mention that I'm a nurse by trade - not an educator?!)  In early December the school hosted a winter showcase and parents were encouraged to attend.  Below are some sweet pictures of the great projects they created over the fall semester.

D and his buddy at winter band concert
Art class creations
Cafeteria buddies
Technology class
Social studies project
Art class...
...and more art.
Art is her favorite!
And, of course, a cat.
Technology class - movie making
Learning to log in


This year we stayed home for thanksgiving and Chaplain's parents came to our place!  We fixed a traditional turkey dinner and on Black Friday we went up on a mountain top instead of into a store.  A much better way to spend the day!  Below are pictures from our food feast and Pike's Peak.

Mom's famous cornbread dressing recipe

Nanny's sweet potato casserole recipe

My man, the meat carver

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving walk near our home

Tree full of turkeys (not partridges in a pear tree)

From Drowning in Disappointments to Upheld by Hope

It’s not supposed to be this way... I chose to revisit one of my favorite books yesterday.  (Love Lysa’s story!) And my whole heart resonat...