Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Has been a Good Year

I can't believe that 2012 is almost over!!
It's going to take me another month at least to get used to writing 2013.
We filled this year with alot of things.
Here is the low down.
January -- playing at the park.  Can you say unseasonably warm? Yes, we played at the playground on the swings in mild weather in January. 
February -- We were praying for a snow day.  We didn't get one.  Grandma Aggie turned 105 and Gigi turned 5.  One hundred years apart. 
March -- Grandma Aggie passed away while we were home for Spring Break.  I was so glad I was already in Ohio so that I could be there for my mom.
April -- Lots of running.  It was go time for training for the 1/2 marathon.  I was also trying to complete Rosie's Easter Dress I made by hand.  I got it done in time. Oh, and the biggest news....literally.  We became owners of a very large Camper.   Our home away from home.
May --  I ran in my first ever 1/2 marathon.  For many days I was really really sore, but I must be insane because I have plans to run it again this year.  We started the adventures in camping with 4 small children.  I learned that hotdogs and pudgey pies aren't the only thing you can make camping.
June -- We went to DISNEY!!  The three oldest were treated to their first ever plane ride and then a trip to see Cinderella's castle.  We had lots of fun and the kids loved getting autographs of all the characters and riding their first ever roller coasters.
July -- Tennessee and Camping.  Over the fourth, we had a family vacation with all my brothers and sisters in Tennessee.  A week of family bonding in which we also celebrated my mother's 70th birthday.  Love her!!  Then all the other weekends we were camping.  There were very few weekends we were actually home.  The kids started tennis lessons in July and all three fell in love with the sport. 
August -- Lil Miss moved into a big girl bed.  Lots more camping.  And the first day of school.  We officially have three kids in school.
September -- Our weekends were spent at cheerleading, football and soccer.  The kids love playing sports with their friends.  We also started adventures in Boy Scouts and popcorn sales.
October -- Lil Miss turned 2.  Mommy and Daddy got a night away in Chicago with good food, shopping and quiet.  We took a family trip to the zoo on a school day and took a three day weekend in Columbus where we took a tour of the Horseshoe.  Mommy started as a regular writer for the Quad City Moms Blog.
November -- Daddy went to Africa on missions trip.  Mommy had Lasik eye surgery.  We ate lots and lots (too much really) of pumpkin pie.  Rosie turned 8 and had a slumber party with 7 girls over night and we all survived.

December --  Spending lots of family time together.  Bubba turned 7 with a swimming party at the YMCA.  Getting together with lots of friends and family and celebrating the season. 

Hoping that 2013 is as fun and exciting as 2012 was.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Recap

We made it home.
It feels good to be at home sleeping in our own bed. 
The truck is unloaded and 75% of it is put away.   3 loads of laundry are done and awaiting folding, I estimate at least 3 more loads will still have to be done.   Who am I kidding the laundry is never done.
But all that can wait so that I can share pictures from our holiday vacation back home in Kalida. 
Last week we had a blizzard before we left.  The kids had their first snow day on Thursday.  We got 6" of snow and the winds were blowing hard.  While mommy was packing and getting everything ready for Ohio the kids had fun watching movies and running to the widow every hour to see the snow "grow".

 Lil Miss looking out at the snow
 Rosie asked if we could do some baking, so I pulled some ingredients out of the pantry and we had all the fixings for Oreo truffles.  We added a little with the peppermint bits on top, but they still tasted good.  For lunch we had a indoor picnic downstairs and watched Tinkerbell as we ate summer sausage, cheese and crackers.  The kids had such a fun snow day that they were disappointed to have school on Friday. 
 Daddy came home early to watch Lil Miss while mommy did her first duties as Head Room Parent in Gigi's Kindergarten class.  We had a class party with games, a craft and snacks. 
 We had a snowman building contest. 
I hope the teacher didn't mind we teepee'd her classroom.
As soon as the kids were done with all their holiday parties, we were off.
This was the first year we took one vehicle home for Christmas. 
I packed light and didn't go excessive on Christmas gifts so we fit everything in the truck with a little breathing room. 
Christmas in a Glance --  
{Uncle Nate and Baby Miley} 
{Grandma Pam and Rosie -- Rosie shared her hair chok so they both had purple streaks in their hair}
Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.
-- The Grinch
On both sides of the family we cut back on so many Christmas gifts. 
It made us really think hard about making the gifts meaningful.  Alot of the gifts from us were handmade this year, and I think they turned out really great.  (more on those later)
Even Santa thought long and hard about the few gifts each child got and I don't think any one was upset about the 4 gifts each one got.
 {mini photographer}
 {Megan broke her foot last week so ALL the uncles had to sign her cast and doodle on her toes}
{Christmas happiness} 
 {What was Uncle Neil thinking when he gave Josh swords?  Probably that the boys would LOVE them.  Luckily nothing was broken at Grandma Pam's.}
{lovebirds.  Can't believe my neice is getting married this year!}
 On the 23rd we got together with my whole family. 
The little kids had a blast playing together and I got to enjoy my birthday beating Nate in pinochle.  It was quite the birthday gift to get awesome cards! 
Also my mom and siblings spoiled me with awesome gifts. 
I am blessed.
 {Lil Miss loved opening each package}
 I couldn't wait for my godson Lincoln to open his gift. 
I made him a pirate ship!!
I am so happy on how it turned out.  It came complete with pirate hats and eye patches.
Hopefully they have lots of fun this winter playing pirates in their new "playhouse". 
 The grandkids gave Grandma Judy a Steel drum and it didn't take Nate long to hammer out Joy to the World on it.  The music makes me want to sip on a drink with an umbrella in it!
We closed the night by watching a video from my Uncle about my father's company.  
They compiled some interviews of past and current employees and they had such nice things to say about my dad and his brothers.  It makes me proud to be his daughter on how he made an impact in other people's lives.  The DVD is a treasure.
Christmas eve we spent time with the family. 
The girls and I revived an old game we used to play --- Mille Bornes. 
Mom and I were on a team and we had such rotten cards it was quite comical. 
Thanks Kathy for getting us the game, we have been obsessed with it ever since. 
{Me and Baby Miley} 
Just Dance 4 was torn out of the packaging and popped into the wii. 
Rosie had a great time showing off her moves.  All the Schulte Girls got in on it. 
We were all tucked in that night and the kids were dreaming of sugar plums while Santa placed presents under the tree.
The kids knocked on the door the next morning to get us up and show us the splendor under the tree.
By 7 am we were tearing open the packages to what Santa brought.
{Christmas morning}

 {gigi got a jewelry box with a key}
{someone was really excited to get her own sewing machine}
 We spent the morning in our pajamas playing with all the toys. 
Mommy learned how fun it is to put together legos. 
I don't know who enjoyed the finished product more Bubba or Me.
 Around lunchtime we got dressed and had a little pumpkin pie treat. 
Lil Miss is a HUGE fan of pumpkin pie and will schmooze anyone who has a piece out of a few bites.
{Lil Miss learned how to gallop around with her pink unicorn} 
The day after Christmas my mom and us sisters headed to the movies in a snow storm.  I had
desperately wanted to see Les Miserables and talked them into going with me. 
It was a slow ride to the movies as the snow was coming down but we had plenty of time to get our popcorn and milk duds to munch on before the movie started. 
The movie was great and I was shocked out how great Russel Crowe's voice was. 
Glad I had some companions to watch it with!  
We had looked through some of my grandma Aggie's things before we went to the movies and I was lucky enough to where this beautiful blue sapphire necklace that was once her's.  It matched my outfit for the day!   
Bubba was excited to show off his new outfit too! 
Santa had brought him a buckeye basketball jersey. 
He was stoked!  
That night we met up with some of our college buddies for pizza. 
It was good to get together and catch up.
Surprise the next morning though when we got a text that Erin had her baby girl. 
Nate was just happy her water didn't break during dinner.  :-) 
Since we had some wonderful snow on the ground from the snow storm the kids were begging to go out in the snow.  Bubba was dying to use his new snowboard. 
So we headed out Grandma Judy's to take advantage of the best hills in the county! 



The best part of playing in the snow is the Hot Chocolate!!
We warmed up with a bit of the yummy stuff and a movie. 
Best Day Ever!! 
It was an exciting holiday vacation, but we are glad to be home. 
I can look back on our Christmas with wonderful memories that we created and shared with family and friends.  What a great way to end the year. 
Rosie said it best as we were leaving the pizza place on Wednesday night. 
"That was fun mom.  Even more fun than getting gifts.  Almost."
Love it. 
All I wanted was the kids to not worry about what was in the pretty packages and to remember it is more fun to be with those you love.  I think they got the point. 
What a wonderful way to celebrate Jesus' birth.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to all our Family and Friends!!
We are having a great time spending quality time with our family. 
Don't worry I am taking lots of pictures and will share those when we get
back home, but for now I just wanted to wish you all Christmas Blessings!!

Today we are going to remember the real meaning of Christmas. 
It's not about the shiny wrapping paper, or the pretty bows.
It's not about those gifts inside those brightly colored packages.
It's about a little baby who was born in a manager who came to save us all.
Life is precious.
I was vividly reminded of that this week.   On saturday we attended my uncle Dan's funeral.  it brought back so many memories of dad's funeral.  The condolences, the tears, the memories of those very first hours lost without not knowing what to do or how we were going to go on.   My last memory of my uncle Dan is seeing him at the funeral home staring at the pictures we had put out of dad when he was younger, and there was uncle Dan weeping in front of them.  I went over and gave him a hug.  And as we remember death we remember life.  

One of my best friends had twins at 32 weeks last week.  She had been on bedrest in the hospital since the middle of October and we were praying everyday that both girls would be born healthy and strong.  There were many times the odds were not in these little girls favor, but
last monday our prayers had been answered and Joey and Angie became parents to two beautiful girls.  God is Good!  
So today as you are ripping all that paper off of those packages and filling yourself with lots of chirstmas cookies, don't forget to remember that little baby born in a manger.

 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall 
be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called 
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Season's Greetings

Who doesn't love mail?
I don't mean the junk mail that you pitch right away or the catalogs you never read that sit on the floor by your bed til they go in the trash, or the bills.  I mean the hand written notes, the birthday cards or my favorite CHRISTMAS CARDS.
I love the pretty cards. 
The photo cards are fun to see the families and how much they have grown. 
So many of the kids in those photos don't even look like the little kids I remember. 
The beautiful nativity scenes adorning the cards or elegant script on the front with meaningful verses on the inside. 
I love looking at each and every one. 
{2012 Christmas Card} 
I think my generation can take it or leave it with Christmas cards. 
Some don't have enough time. 
Some don't want to waste the money.
And some just plain forget. 
But I like the forgotten art of the written word. 
Okay, that isn't fair because I don't really "write" my Christmas cards. 
Sure I have to address all the envelopes, seal them, and put the stamp on them,  but I don't write a small note to each one.  I really should. 
I do write a family letter on the back but both last year and this year one of the kids wrote it. 
There are only so many ways I can say our family is blessed and it was a really good year.
I vividly remember my mom sitting at the kitchen table writing out her many many Christmas cards each year and signing each one in her perfect handwriting. 
Maybe that's it.  If I had good penmanship I would sign my cards, but I don't. 
So here is the Schulte Christmas Card for 2012.
And no it isn't photoshopped we were really there in the Horseshoe.
I never blogged about it because we did it as a surprise for Daddy.
In October when the kids and I took a trip to Columbus, I had big plans to go down to the stadium on one day and take a shot in front of the Horseshoe to frame for daddy for Christmas. 
I had told my older sister Kathy of my plan and she does one better. 
She talks to someone she knows (she knows everyone!) and gets us inside. 
That Friday we pull up to the Horseshoe and drive right underneath. 
I park the car and get the kids out and am awed to be underneath the stadium. 
We parked right next to a Ice Cream Stand!! 
Of course there was no one working in the stadium that day because it was an away weekend and a friday, so we ventured out on to the field with Kathy's friend. 
We walked in and Bubba shouted "Holy Macaroni!" 
It looks bigger than on TV. 
They took off for the field and did 50 yard dashes from center field to the endzone. 
I'm not sure we were supposed to be doing cartwheels on the field and rolling around in the turf.  But no one stopped us.  LOL 
The kids were full of energy. 
I snapped a few pics but it was hard to get them to sit still.
Gigi was literally rolling on the field.  (she took home a handful of turf in her hair)
It was a once in a lifetime experience. 
I owe Kathy for pulling some strings for this experience.
When the kids see the field on TV they shout that they have been there.  
{Future OSU Cheerleader}
This all was supposed to be a secret for Daddy that is why I didn't blog it til now. 
To tell you the truth I spilled the beans about 3 weeks after we got back. 
I am very bad at keeping secrets from Nate.  
{Someday bubba you can be a running back for the Scarlet and Gray}
I couldn't convince Nate to get a family picture taken for Christmas so the O-H-I-O picture was the next best thing I had. 
We got lily to put her hands up like that by singing if you're happy and you know it and saying Hooray! 
It works every time. 
So Season Greetings from Our House to Yours. 
All of you may not get our card in the mail but just know it's only cause I don't have your address.  :-)
It was a very good year for us and I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us.