Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Christmas Snow

We have been sitting here today waiting for the snow to start falling and I decided to put these pics on here from our Christmas snow. Multiply the above picture by four and you'll see why it takes me 30-40 minutes to get everyone ready to go outside to play in the snow.

The boys got their own snow shovels for Christmas and boy, did Joseph get right to work. He was puffing and grunting away and he really kept at it.

Even when he fell on the ice he did not lose his grip on his precious shovel.

Dominic liked his shovel too, but was not as gung-ho as Joseph. It was a strange snowscape, to be sure. Some places were swept almost bare and then in places there were large drifts.

It was a little difficult to sled, as the snow had been largely blown off the hill. The kids enjoyed it anyway. Although Joseph would only get on the sled if Mommy held his shovel for him.

"Mommy, this snow is really cold!"

After a while, the twins and I went inside and the hardier souls stayed out longer. Catherine and Joseph decided they wanted to be buried in a snowdrift, so Daddy obliged.

Is she sleeping?

Joseph could not stay under for very long. And there is his shovel, not far away!

Funny Moment While Visiting

We went to visit my parents and siblings/families over New Year's and had a great time. Needless to say, the kids got more presents to open. During the festivities, Joseph was given a present and he took it over to Grandma and climbed up on her lap. When he pulled out the clothes inside (which Mommy loved!), he handed them to Grandma and then quickly got down, looking for more presents to conquer. (A certain large dump truck has become one of his prize possessions.)

A New Saint?

Last night at the end of family prayers, the kids did the usual litany:

Mary, Queen of All the Saints ... Pray for us

Padre Pio .... Pray for us

Fr. Emil Kapaun ... Pray for us

St. Catherine ... Pray for us

St. Dominic ... Pray for us

St. Anne ... Pray for us

St. Joseph ... Pray for us

Mary Joseph ... Pray for us

Then Joseph piped up: "St. Daddy, pray for us!"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christmas Day 2009

Hey, at this rate, I'll soon be blogging about January events! Well, I have to say, it was a good thing we hadn't planned to go anywhere on Christmas because by Christmas Eve day, we had a layer of ice on the ground rapidly being covered with snow and we would not have been able to travel anyway. Especially since there was a tremendous wind creating some big drifts. When we got up Christmas morning, we looked out and there didn't seem to be too much snow, but it was still an adventure getting to Christmas morning Mass. First of all, when Dan opened the garage door, there right in front of it was a very large drift, which fortunately we were able to plow through. Now, living out in the country, our roads do not rate a speedy plowing. Thus, when we turned west to drive down the usual road just north of our house, we shortly were in for a challenge. The road was entirely drifted shut. Putting the car into reverse, Dan drove backwards until the intersection and we went a different way. A roundabout way, as in we didn't get to church until the opening song was starting and the priest was ready to process in. I felt lucky that we got there at all.

Visiting Baby Jesus in our church after Mass.

Then there was our ham fiasco. With the high winds and blowing snow, we had periodically lost power, but only for seconds at a time (thank goodness, as the temperatures were bitterly cold). Well, we had planned to cook the ham before we left for Mass and then reheat when we got back. Dan even got up early to get the ham in the oven. Not even an hour later, we had one of those brief power outages, and in the flurry of getting everyone ready to leave, I didn't even think to check the oven. Yes, you guessed it, the oven didn't turn back on when the power came back, so we had an uncooked ham sitting in the oven.

So one of the ways we postponed our dinner was with a "wine" party. Sparkling grape juice anyone? The kids thought it very exciting to drink out of champagne glasses.

Ah, here we are, sitting down to our lovely ham dinner, which they all ate very well. It was a happy day in the Brungardt household!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas Eve Day 2009

This was our first year being home for Christmas, which was a lot of fun. The kids awoke Christmas Eve morning to find presents under the Christmas tree. They were most excited. But they had to wait to open them!

They did, however, get to dive into their stockings.

The girls found some princess costume jewelry, which they immediately put on.

The boys were thrilled with dinosaurs and little trucks.

All day long they had to wait to open presents. Finally after dinner, it was time. Here is Joseph, with his favorite shirt on (that he wants to wear every day), sporting his new tool belt.

Dominic is ready to fix some things around the house. Which is exactly what he and Joseph have been doing since Christmas. They fix the stairs, the walls, the chairs...

What happy little faces!

Daddy examines his new mug with picture of his tractor and kids on it, while there in the back is the infamous doll high chair, which was harder to put together than a real one.

Anne's turn.

And then oh, what bliss! The boys got a pedal tractor! You can't see very well here, but Joseph is grinning from ear to ear. It was difficult to get him to let Dominic take a turn, but Dom was a trooper. Eventually the girls even got a ride.

Dominic pushed Joseph around the house, as Joseph couldn't quite get the pedals to go. Won't be long.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Year Already?

Yesterday we celebrated Mary Joseph's birthday. January 19th was the day she delivered, though she was no longer alive. She would be 5 months old now had she lived. But, then we would not have the blessing of this little one who is now growing in my womb. So we baked a cake, decorated it, and celebrated the blessing of her short life. And asked for her intercession. It was a joyful day with tinges of sadness.

Mary Joseph, pray for us.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Last Days Before Christmas

Joseph "helped" Mommy make some fudge. Here he is complete with marshmallow fluff face and fudge hands.

On Dec. 23rd, the kids decided to write some "letters" to Santa. There was soon a pile of about 20 envelopes under the Christmas tree. If these envelopes look funny, you are right. They are all junk mail return envelopes. I stash them all in a drawer for their letter writing fits.

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care!

Then, on Christmas Eve day, we made sugar cookies! The kids watched while I rolled out the dough.

Then it was attack! Everyone jumped in with cookie cutter in hand. It got a little crazy. Catherine rolled out and made a few of her own, and we baked hers on that little baking sheet.

Later in the day, we decorated the cookies. Mommy iced them and then the kids put on the sprinkles.

As many sprinkles as those poor little cookies would hold. And then some. The kids all loved it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christmas Travels, #1

The weekend before Christmas, we travelled to Victoria, KS to visit Dan's mom. The kids were most excited to see the snow, as at the time, we had not yet had any that stuck to the ground. So Grandma and Daddy took them out to play. I got to stay inside and rest. :)

A sled was found and they all took turns sliding down the hill. Who is on the sled? Well, it is Anne, and she is wearing a crazy concoction of oversize sweaters and jackets. Somehow, in the flurry of packing the car, her winter coat was left at home.

Admiring the nativity scene at St. Fidelis Church (Cathedral of the Plains). No Baby Jesus yet! And look who has on a new coat! Her old one was getting small, so she needed one anyway.

And look at this nice family picture Dan's mom took for us. I can't believe everyone is actually looking at the camera! And smiles on all but Joseph, who is hiding my big belly.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Okay, so we took down our Christmas tree today, so now I can tell you about getting it! :) Not quite two weeks before Christmas, we took a trip to the Christmas Tree farm. Here we are waiting for the tractor to come give us a ride out to the trees. I remember we thought it was really cold that day, after seeing the -19 degree wind chills here lately, we'd probably think otherwise now.

Look at those smiles! We are ready to go!

Looking for just the right tree.

We found it, Mommy!

Daddy chopping it down.

For some reason, Catherine found it all hilarious.

We watched our tree get shaken and wrapped.

Then we headed inside for some hot chocolate and popcorn. When asked later what their favorite part was, a couple of the kids said, "The popcorn!" Like we never have that at home.

While the kids were napping, Dan brought in the tree and I hung the lights. Then all four of the kids helped put the ornaments on the tree. They thought that was great fun (and I did, too!). And I managed to refrain from moving any ornaments, only pointing out when there were four ornaments hanging in the same spot. I'm sure I have a picture of the finished tree somewhere, but you'll probably see that later. Ha! Ha!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Holy Family Comes To Stay

We've been wanting to get an outdoor nativity set for several years and finally this year we took the plunge! So early one Monday morning at the end of November, I got a phone call from the delivery man. "I'm almost at your house." I looked out the front window and the truck was at the end of the driveway. I guess one minute is calling ahead.

So that night Dan unpacked Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and brought them into the house. The kids were extremely excited and we all admired the Holy Family.

Joseph was enthralled with Baby Jesus and gave him many kisses.

Then over the next week or so, Dan spent almost every evening, after the kids went to bed, out in the big shed, building and staining a stable for the Holy Family. Go to this post on his blog, Haus of Brungardt, if you want details of the stable-making. So on the second Sunday of Advent, we moved the completed stable with Holy Family to the front yard for display, complete with spotlight. It has been awesome to see every time we come home, especially at night!