It feels like we are already knee deep in candy canes, Christmas ornaments, reading the stories of Jesus being born, and plans for Christmas baking. Before I am waist deep :) I wanted to share our November update and picture. Six people times twelve months. We've managed a family picture eleven months in a row now. I'm feeling like I deserve a cup of hot chocolate as a reward (Trader Joe's peppermint with real chocolate shavings, of course!)

So here are some highlights of the month of November.

Ruby's soccer season ended the first week of November. What a great little group of girls she played with! Ben coached them and Ruby was pleased as punch for her dad to be the coach. It's amazing how little stuff like that can be such a big deal to kids.

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Christmas shoe boxes. This amazing outreach through Samaritan's Purse that sends these boxes all around the world to under privileged children is one of my favorite projects to do with the kids. They each get to have a plastic shoebox to fill with goodies for little boys and girls. It's a great opportunity to share about how fortunate we are to have an opportunity to give. We pray and ask God for good ideas of things that will bless each child that the boxes go to and then we have such a good time cram jamming in as much as we can. The boys proudly carried their boxes into the drop off location this year.

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One weekend we took Auntie Kel and Oma for tea at the Secret Garden in Sumner. Hello, yummy happiness! We nibbled and shared and laughed and Ruby was allowed to have all the sugar she "needed" in her tea. Girl time is the best!

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Our baby boy was dedicated at our church. This was a big one. We presented our son to be prayed for and publicly given to the Lord. We want him to walk in God's paths and fulfill His plans. We are so thankful for great leadership at our church and a strong community that loves our family as we seek to raise our children. Theo, for his part, squeaked and grinned at Pastor Steve and loooooooved all the attention of everyone looking at him. He tried to swipe the microphone and then our pastor's glasses but he's been doing it a long time and knew how to hang onto his stuff :) .

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Thanks, Desiree, for the family group shot!

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I was pretty proud of myself for finding these ties!

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Oma and Opa with the grandkids.

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Tired out from a big morning.

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Thanksgiving was a blissful day. Cooking all day, watching the Macy's day parade with hot chocolate, cuddling was all on the agenda. With the business of everything, it was lovely to have a sweet family day at home.

LOVE the next one of Tymen laying on Daddy.

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Then came the last minute work of getting everything on the table.

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We were pretty casual this year, eating in the kitchen and Ruby made awesome place cards (love Theo's pilgrim face!).

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We digested a little, watched our first Christmas movie, and then Ben had a giant tickle fight with the kids. They were delighted and Theo threw himself into the fray as well.

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This whole month of focusing on Thankfulness has been good for me...a way to realign my heart and focus on what matters.

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