Only one month left until I get to make a GIANT collage canvas of 366 pictures and put it up in my house where I can walk by everyone who comes in. I have a feeling there may be a daily project in 2013 as well....

After getting the mail with Jasper today, I found the boys with their markers going through the toy catalogue, putting a check by all the ones they want and an x by all the toys that are just too scary for them. A few toys got "xx" because they were realllllly scary.

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They all adore Oma and Opa. My mum and dad have invested so much time in them. It is one of the greatest gifts they could have, grandparents that are loving them and spending time with them.

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It was a very emotional and special day of gathering with old friends and family to celebrate the life of my Uncle Gerrit. So grateful that death is not the end and we will see him in heaven. Hope.

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We loaded up on carbs and great conversation with wonderful friends .

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He's got a nice fat belly for blowing zerberts.

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Every time Theo notices me taking a shot, he runs over and points to the back of my camera, "Dodo see." Positive re-enforcement.

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They decided that the leaves smelled like skunk poop but were willing to clean them up for some quarters.

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Love this time of year.

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Yep, I think they look like brothers.

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I had the BEST time at a get together celebrating 20 years since I graduated with these fine people. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up. Thanks to Rachelle and Kevin for hosting. (I have to say....I think we look pretty good for being 20 years out of high school ).

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We went to The Lorax at church tonight. Theo munched down his corndog and then wandered around, hugging legs, plopping into laps and pointing to the food that people had that he wanted.

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All the boys (except Theo) got their hair cut this morning. He still wanted to get in the shower with his brothers. It took me a half hour to clean up the mess and the hair EVERYWHERE but was worth it to see Jasper and Tymen congratulating themselves on how handsome they were.

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It's one of our favorite family projects, filling shoeboxes with goodies for Operation Christmas Child (toothbrushes, contigo water cups, candy, toys, art supplies, blankets). Anyone else got your shoeboxes done this year?

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When I was in college I lived with the Walsh family. I nannied the kids, had late night conversations with Pete and Mary, and ate many a homemade meal at Mary's table. This trip to visit was so fun as I stayed at their house again. Just like old times, we agreed, one late night after laughing until we couldn't breathe.

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I had lots of coffee and lunch and dinner dates on my trip. It was so refreshing to catch up with some of my heart friends. I dropped a few dollars into the coffers of La Madeleine and Starbucks :).

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After their session, I got to spend the whole day with the Morriss girls (and their mom and dad). We went out for lunch, to Historic Grapevine to walk the street and eat ice cream and swimming at their hotel before Alison and I snuck away for dinner. I wish we lived closer. These girls plus their two big sisters are precious.

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After Heather's photos, Jan, Heather and Hannah took me out for lunch. Jan is always laughing,...or encouraging. Love these girls.

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(Okay I fudged on the actual time of this picture...it was an hour earlier but I needed a picture for the 18th). Mary, relay co-ordinator for Operation Christmas Child, came staggering home with many, many bags of goodies late Saturday night. Helping assemble shoeboxes was Grandy Elaine (who also was cooking sweet potatoes in the oven which she didn't prick that turned into bombs), Hannah, Chase and Karen who were at the Dollar Store, and J Dubs and his buddy. Good times.

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With my friend, Tiffany. We became friends in a painfully boring winter session of World Lit. and she became a heart friend. No matter how much time has passed, when we get together, it always it so easy to connect.

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Does it make me a bad mother that this makes me laugh?

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Pie Day at the Hamiltons! All the kids got to make their own "baby pies" too. And yes, it was a mess when we were done. And yes, it took about three times the amount of time it would have taken me alone. And yes, it was totally worth it :) (And yes, Tymen's hair is buzzed because he cut his own hair....again.)

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The boys could hear his brains shaking and thought the wing was his beak. Unfortunately, the tryptophan didn't kick in as heavily on the kids as it did on the parents. Thankful today and everyday :).

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On a dark, rainy afternoon, we're getting crafty and loving this cozy time of working on Christmas projects. What a relaxing weekend!

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There's a good reason that when my kids want fun, they go looking for daddy.

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I'm so pleased with the Christmas pictures of the kids that we took today. Ben is a master at helping me get those four moving targets on the same page and is so great at getting them giggling. He's a super dad too.

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Finally got a fancy phone, largely to to the broken side in my old flip phone, which frankly, suited me just fine. I'm most excited about the camera capabilities but it's all going to have to wait until I get caught up on sessions. Ben's going to need to do some tutoring with me :)!

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Christmas after school snacks. We have a load of Christmas mugs that the kids get to choose from every time they want a drink. I need to pick up some pannetone.

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So glad I have his professional opinion.

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Even though it often is a mess in our office, I love that our kids craft and churn out art daily. This was a collaborative effort. A few things to note:
"Ben Snowman" has a scruffy beard. (Mmmm, maybe the real "Ben" should set an example and shave?)
Theo tore off a penguin when no one was looking
Every holiday creature is happy.

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He takes every opportunity several times a day with whoever else has a beverage to do some "cheers!".

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