Saying Goodbye.....

Today, we said goodbye.  We said goodbye to something that put smiles on our faces, something that gave us a bit of joy each time we looked upon it.  Today, we said goodbye to our Christmas tree, or as Zeke puts it, our "Mismas tree!"  The decorations are stored away, the aroma of a wonderful season is gone. Tonight we finish 2011 with a wiping of the slate.  Tomorrow, we start anew. What does 2012 hold in store?  Only the Lord knows.  As the new year begins, I am looking back at what took place in 2011.  We had a year of hurting and healing, as well as busyness and blessings abundant.  I think one of the best things of the year had to be the addition of Selah Joy Houston!!!  Our sweet baby girl is a promise of great things for the future, and a wonderful reminder that we are to pause & reflect and rest in the joy of the Lord which is our strength!  As we say our "goodbyes" to the things of the past year, we also look forward to a year ahead.  We say "hello" to a new day......  Happy New Year to all!!!!!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Your Branches Green Delight Us!

Shatter proof!! Yay!
A delighted boy

Good friends
Carrying out our tree!

On the hunt!
hot cocoa
Daddy placing the star on top!
Helping hands

The finished product

Ok, so I'm a bit late in getting this post up!  Sorry!!  Everyone's busy, so I know I have no excuse! =)  We had a great time going to get our Christmas tree this year.  Since moving in to our house 7 years ago, we have made it a tradition to go to Bacon's Tree Farm just down the road to pick out our tree.  It is great fun as we walk around viewing all the different types of evergreens.  Once that "perfect" tree is chosen, the boys then cut it down and carry it out.  We then celebrate with hot cocoa and candy canes that they give out.  This year, we went with good friends and had a blast!!!!  Memories being made............

Speech Club

Daddy and Crew
This weekend, my four oldest children had a speech competition.  They are in a speech club for Christian homeschool students.  There are several different speech styles they were allowed to choose from.  Naomi did a biographical narrative about William Wilberforce, Anna and Samuel did a duo interp on a Grim's fairytale (memorized story they also "act out" with motions and facial expressions), and Daniel did an interp on Billy Goat's Gruff.  They each worked really hard to have their speeches memorized and ready to go for this round robin event.  Many from the community came to judge the speeches.  Competitors came from all around~  Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  The next competition is in January, only it will be 4 days long and will be held in Oregon.

Each holding their judge's responses
My husband volunteered to be used in any area needed, so they had him be janitor for the day.  He also judged a round of apologetics speeches.  He chose to not judge any others as he wanted to slip in and hear our children do their speeches.  I know Naomi, Anna, Samuel, and Daniel were a bundle of nerves, but they had a great time.  Much relief and exhaustion showed as they came home nearly 12 hours after leaving.

This club has proven to be a good learning experience.  They are showing more confidence and poise as they prepare and deliver these speeches. I am so thankful we have encouraged our children to join this group!!
Finished Relief!!

A special THANK YOU goes to Bro. Nick Vegkley, Bro. Jeff Bedsole, and Bro. Mark Howe who took time from their day to come and participate in judging!!!!!