Friday, March 23, 2012


Kevin bought himself an e-reader for his birthday/Christmas and the whole family enjoys using it:)

All of the kids started music lessons in September.  Micah plays guitar, Rachel plays violin and Danielle plays cello.  All three were involved in Christmas concerts with their music school.  Kevin was able to make it to Micah's concert, but not the girls'.  Kevin videoed Micah's concert so I could take pictures, but I focused on videotaping the girls instead so I don't have pictures from their concert unfortunately!

Here is Daddy and Micah before his concert.

He performed Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and was very cute if I do say so myself!

If you'd like to watch their video clips, here they are.

Micah's is too big to upload here, but you can view it on facebook (only if you're a facebook friend of mine, I believe). 



Closer to Christmas, we made fruitloop garlands to add to the tree.  Brings the tree to a whole other level of Charlie Brown, doesn't it?

I love these guys:)

The first Christmas celebration was on Christmas Day at my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Adrian's house.  It was another "first" without Grandma, since she past away on Dec. 30 last year.  We missed her a lot, but it was still a great family day.

The next day on Boxing Day, we celebrated with my Dad's side of the family at my Uncle Leon and Aunt Sonya's house.  We had a soupfest and there were several different kinds of yummy soups to choose from.  We had a great time at these two events, but I didn't bring out my camera at either one and relaxed instead:)

The day after that, we had Hoogstad Christmas.  We rented the rec centre at Redeemer and it was a great spot for our gathering.  It's centrally located and can fit us all in there (it has three different levels), plus there is a kitchen, so that is great when you're there for an entire day.  Because several of us Hoogstads are Redeemer alumni, we got a special rate to rent it for the day so that was a nice bonus!

Kevin's Mom and Dad did a present game for all the grandkids.

They each had their number and waited for it to be called so they could choose their present.

Erin was up first.

Then Braden.

Mom had made up gender specific baskets, and Rachel accidentally chose a boy one so Mom had her exchange it for a girl one.  Rachel wasn't thrilled with this.  5 is a tough age for her... I can't wait until she's a teenager!!

Leah showing off her present.

All the kiddies, minus Brenda (who played the adult present game instead) and Jeremy (who was napping).

Some of the presents were edible:)

Another one of Micah's gifts was a LED headlamp. He plays with it a lot!

Once Rachel opened her gift and saw all her neat surprises, she finally stopped crying.

Mom opening her gift from our family.

Danielle showing off some of her gifts.  The thing in her hand is a bracelet from Jeremy, which Marc & RenĂ©e bought when they adopted him up in South Africa.

Mom & Dad got South African doilies, which they displayed on their heads.

Then we decorated little graham cracker houses, which Mom wisely pre-made at home.  Thanks, Mom!

Some of the adults. The couches in there are as uncomfortable as I remember! :)


Starting to decorate the houses.

The next day, we headed to Mom & Dad Hoogstad's for a few days. Not everyone could make it out there this year, which is why we decided to have this one day celebration, but since Kevin had the time booked off of work anyways we decided to still go to Brighton. The kids really enjoy going there and we had a great time, too!

After we got back from Brighton, Grandma/Oma invited us over for lunch and so we had to take some photos of course. It's such a blessing that my kids can get to know some of their great-grandparents:)

And that concludes the 2011 blogging. Here's to not leaving 2012 blogging until 2013:)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kevin's Birthday

December 3rd fell on a Saturday this year, and that means Kevin didn't have to work on his birthday:) We started a tradition a couple of years ago that Daddy's birthday celebrations coincide with putting up the Christmas tree for the season.  The kids love interactive birthdays!

Our big box of hand-me-down ornaments.

The notorious Christmas Mouse.

They all enjoyed rediscovering all the ornaments.

Kevin putting together our fake tree.

All plugged in and ready for decorating.

It's all about the bokeh.

When little people decorate the tree, it tends to be a little bottom heavy...

And then Micah & Danielle found the french horn ornaments and couldn't resist pretending to play them.

Portraits of the kids I hung up from our "back to school" photoshoot.

Oh yeah, I was there, too.

We also plugged in a string of lights in the girls' room. They enjoyed having their room decorated for Christmas, too.

We love this man very much! He is a great husband and father and we thank God everyday for him.

Yeah, we're big on cupcakes for birthdays:)

To make the day even MORE special, we decorated a gingerbread house together.
The tree lasted about 20 minutes before the kids started eating it...