Thursday, January 1, 2015

Year of Family Snapshots 2014

January--posed--We sure get silly at bedtime!

--candid--Saturday chores (not easy to see everyone, but this is one of my favorite photos!)

February--an afternoon with Dad at his work (the kids were off for Presidents' Day, but Eric wasn't)

March--At the zoo at the end of spring break

April--candid--Finally getting to be spring!

--posed--swimming at the Y

May--a Memorial Day hike at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

June--at Historic Kirtland

July--Cow Appreciation Day!

August--during a visit to my Aunt's lake house at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland

...and a family selfie on our 11th anniversary after a run on the trail!

September--ending our Feed Ohio campaign at our church

October--wagon ride to the pumpkin patch at Kingsway Farm

November--during an FHE (the pic with the most of us in it from the month!)

December--Christmas Eve day errands

Merry Christmas 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This year we had our first Christmas in our first home! It was almost silly how exciting it was to pick the place to put the Christmas tree and what wreath to hang on the front door. With all the new firsts, we are also putting down roots and continuing to establish our own traditions. We've been in our new area of Ohio for 2 1/2 years now. Eric is coming up on his first full performance review at work, and the girls are on their second year at their current school. We are busy and happy, and love calling Ohio home.

We had our own adventures this year, squeezing in two summer getaways (camping in a yurt in Delaware State Park in Ohio, and a visit to Robyn's aunt's lake house in Maryland). We locked ourselves out of our house one Sunday morning in the spring just before we needed to leave for church and had the fire department come to our rescue! In the fall Robyn got stranded at a farm and had to have the van towed to the shop to be fixed before coming home (the boys loved riding in the tow truck). And we continue on our adventure of home-ownership (we added a piano (!), furniture, new paint to the inside and outside, and are still making slow changes) to make our home ours.

Eric is currently serving as the second counselor in the bishopric of our ward. He teaches two evenings a week, comes to Mutual on a third night of the week, and this last semester took a gym class on a fourth night of the week. We definitely look forward to our open Friday nights! He is enjoying all the things that keep him busy. He did another relay race this year with his siblings in Colorado. He also took his students to North Carolina on his first overnight field trip as a professor. And he was amazing at being a single working parent for a week over the summer while Robyn was at girls camp!

Robyn continues to serve as the Young Women president in our ward. One of her biggest accomplishments is getting the kids to church alone every week, especially the two Sundays a month when she has early-morning meetings! She ran two 5K races during the summer, but doesn't plan on joining in on Eric's relays anytime soon! This year she also started a co-op preschool with some friends. She teaches a couple of flute students and tries to stay involved with music at church by accompanying people and playing at baptisms. She stays busy with her friends as she is in charge of a play group and book club, and loves the chances to socialize!

Mierae turned 9 this year and is in 4th grade. She hates math, but she loves to read! She read all 7 Harry Potter books and watched all the movies between Thanksgiving week and New Years. She just started taking piano lessons with her mom, and she already wants to quit! (But of course she isn't allowed!) This year she started using an alarm clock to wake herself up for school, and she is becoming more and more independent and helpful around the house and with the boys.

Jolie turned 7 this year and is in 2nd grade. She took art classes after school for a while and was in the 2nd grade musical just before Christmas. She joined Girl Scouts this year, which is a first for us. She really enjoys it and has lots of friends from school in her troop. She has lost a lot of teeth this year!

Henrik just turned 4 and is loving his weekly preschool with his friends. He is still mom's good buddy at home, and a great playmate for his younger brother. We kept a busy schedule again this year with Music Time, Story Time, Play Group, and weekly shopping. Henrik had an ER visit this year related to his vesicoureteral reflux. He has stayed healthy since, but he may need surgery in the coming year.

Oliver is now 2 and still the sweetest, happiest kid! He loves his big brother and is so easy-going. He loves to play outside and play late at night when all his siblings are asleep and he has free reign! He is finally starting to have a better sleeping schedule and can skip naps and go to bed very well at night. He is talking really well, and he has no end of things to learn to say from his siblings, for better or worse!

We hope your Christmas season was filled with the peace and love of the Savior, and we wish you all a wonderful 2015!

Our favorite Christmas videos from this year:
Live Nativity with Piano Guys:
He is the Gift:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


We were out and about, holly and jolly, on Christmas Eve! I was feeling better and had a Kohl's coupon that expired today, so we packed up the kids and and Eric took them into Kohl's to buy their sibling gifts while I did some exchanges at Target. When I joined them, Henrik was missing and Eric was already fed up! We finally found Henrik with the girls' help and both boys were put into carts for a few more minutes of browsing before Eric took the boys to the van and the girls and I finished up. So much for their gifts being a surprise! We needed to use up our McDonald's Halloween vouchers, so we went through two different McDonald's drive-thrus at one coupon per person; then added one nuggets meal and one cheeseburger. So for $6 we all ate enough to get us by. Eric and I traded off at JCP to use our other $10 coupon while the kids watched a show on my phone in the van. We kept Ollie awake through it all and made it home in one piece to make our clam chowder dinner and enjoy a nice Christmas Eve at home.

This was all I wanted for Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014


The view from my "sick couch." Eric helped put a handkerchief over my nose and mouth when I dipped truffles today. I was too weak to finish and he took over for me. Jolie and I cuddled today, played Heads Up when we were feeling up to it, and hardly ate a thing. Mine is stomach sickness like the boys and Jolie got; Jolie has a bad cough; Oliver has blisters all over his mouth after his fever yesterday and we're sure it's hand, foot, mouth. Mierae was our nurse tonight when Eric had to go out for a bit once the boys were asleep.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I totally sneaked this photo when the kids went up to sing in Sacrament meeting!

Finally! Eric picked up some peppermint oil for me this week, and I couldn't wait any longer. And two batches of truffles are in the fridge waiting to be dipped.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


This was the back of the prints we gifted to the young women.

It was another late Saturday night. We hosted all 6 missionaries for dinner and then correlation meeting...after our Christmas card writing flurry in the morning and afternoon. Then tonight it was prepping the frames for the prints for the girls and wrapping them; then getting my lesson finished up and practicing for 1 of the musical numbers I'm participating in tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2014


The boys were up in the night last night throwing up. Ollie slept until 11:30 this morning and was fine; but Henrik couldn't keep anything down all day. He finally napped from 4-6 tonight and woke up a new kid!

Everyone wants to play when Daddy starts practicing!