Sunday, December 26, 2010

Project 365-Week 52!!

I am really proud to be typing this post!! Week 52 and I completed the whole year...hooray! There is a lot to look at this week, so here goes.


Worked and then small group Christmas party. It is always so much fun! We have dinner and then the younger kids do a gift exchange, while the older kids and the adults each do their own white elephant exchange. There was some fun strategizing going on, and to secure gifts like these, who can blame them!

Rick with some lovely candle wreaths or as Princess Leia, you chose.

Lori with a fashionable "Mistletoe Tester" shirt.

Now Jill has the shirt. You get the idea. A very fun time!!


I had today OFF!! Let me repeat, I had today OFF!!! Jill and her kids came over to visit and play. The girls were dressing up but Kyla's outfit really caught my eye.

Now that is how you do Snow White!!


Today I let the kids open the gifts that the teachers from Salem gave them. They were so excited to get two fun new games!

Thank you Salem friends!!


When I was getting ready to leave work today, one of my co-workers and I were having a "light saber" fight with our chap stick. (Long days call for some entertainment) Anyway, she said she would show me, so she pulled out her phone and showed me this app.

You can chose your light saber color and then when you move the phone it makes the light saber noise and even plays the battle song from the movie. I was laughing and then thinking that if my boys saw this they would be begging for a phone!


The girls wanted to go for a ride today so Kevin obliged.

I love this because my dad used to give us rides like this too. Fun memories!


It's Christmas Eve!! I had to work and then it was off to Grammie and Grandpa's for dinner and presents.

Passing out presents.

Kyla opening her Princess lamp. She was super excited!

Ethan + Star Wars legos = HAPPY!

Bryce with the game Loopz. He has had a lot of fun playing it and finally beat a level.

And instead of Ella with a present, here she is doing this.

Grandpa put a Christmas cookie on her forehead and told her to get it down to her mouth just by making faces (no hands allowed). She was so funny trying that I had to capture it!


Merry Christmas!! With everything that has happened in our family this past year with Kevin's job situation, I had no idea how we would do Christmas. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, our small group and other wonderful people decided to love on our kids. Here is what our tree looked like before the kids got up.

All of those things waiting there for my family. What a tangible reminder of God's love. Not because there were presents, but because they were a reminder that He never forgets. That He is, was and always will be sovereign. That the little baby in a manger came so that I could have a way back to Him.
To all of those that blessed my family, thank you! Thank you for loving us. Thank you for sharing His love with a family that is humbled and grateful for your generosity. Thank you for making this mama's heart have relief and great joy by hearing all 4 of my kids say, "This was the best Christmas ever!!" or "I can't pick a favorite gift because they are all so awesome!"

Here's a quick peak...

Bryce overjoyed with NBA 2K10!

Ethan thrilled with Nerf guns! (And let's just say that the darts have been flying!!)

Ella with her Lalaloopsy doll.

Kyla with her very own camera! I think she'll be a Project 365-er in the future!

Later that day it was off to my brother's to celebrate with my side of the family. Here are the 11 cousins all together.

Almost impossible to have them all looking at the same place with a "normal" expression!!

Now, that was one long post!! I pray that your week was filled with blessings, family and joy too! Enjoy the rest of 2010 and I will look forward to seeing you next year!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Project 365-Week 51

Week 51...really? This has proven to be a week of trials and joys. A week to be thankful and to wait with anticipation for Christ's birth.


Had to work today and Kevin had his Santa duties. Kids were divided up among friends and family for church and the afternoon. Shortly before I was supposed to get off of work I received a call from Kevin letting me know that he broke his truck key off in the ignition downtown. The weather was getting bad and we were supposed to meet at the church for the annual night of carols in which all of our kids were participating as well. By God's grace, made it to Kevin and then back to the church just in time.

These are the K-3rd graders singing their song. Can you find Ethan or Ella?

Here are the Junior and Senior High kids. Do you see Bryce?

When we came home someone was bound and determined to get her tooth out. She had been playing with it all evening.

Now all she has to do is lose the other top one and she can sing, "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth"! BTW, don't you just love her expression?!


Worked all day and then ran home to grab things for the pre-school's Christmas program. This year the kids were decorated as ornaments.

Here Kyla is before the program. She and Ella decorated the ornament and then there is the headpiece. That is actually a dog collar cover that we got as a white elephant gift 4 years ago at small group. I ended up hot gluing it to the construction paper headband and Ethan wore it. Then Ella wore it for the next 2 years and now Kyla is wearing it. It's silly, but kind of a fun little tradition.
After the program, I went for some refreshments with the teachers. Nice time, good food. When I went to leave the truck wouldn't start. Got a ride home with a teacher.


Thankfully I was off work today. Spent the morning and afternoon at the pre-school wrapping up the cookbook delivery. Was very blessed by the teachers as they showered me and my family with some special gifts. There could have been tears, just sayin'. Then took Ethan to piano lessons. When I was walking out I noticed this in Miss Michelle's little tree.

A nest full of snow. Don't know why it struck me, but it did. I then was driving home to get Bryce to bring him back for his lesson when I heard a noise. I thought it sounded like a flat tire so I got off the road, walked around the van but everything was fine. Drove on home, Bryce got in and we pulled out of the driveway. Horrible noise and van pulling to the left. Turned right around and back into the driveway. What did I find? Driver side front tire TOTALLY FLAT!! UGH!!! No way to go get Ethan because truck is dead. Thankfully Miss Michelle ran Ethan back home.


Worked today, then home to get Bryce to church for youth group. After youth group, we dropped off a friend and then Bryce wanted something warm for his throat.

Any idea what he is drinking? A peppermint mocha. He was very happy.


Off today and had to clean!! Grammie came up to help and then of course was talked into playing a game.

Also got this back today.

Ended up being the starter. Thankful to have it fixed, to have an honest and good mechanic (that happens to be Bryce's youth leader) able to help us and fix it. Thankful to have people who bless us so that we can have the funds to pay for it. Love when trials turn into so many blessings!!


Our girls have been begging for Pillow Pets. Today one showed up in each of their arms. Kevin said they were carrying them around and cuddling them all afternoon and early evening. They were actually asking when they could go to bed. HA!!

Ella with her magical unicorn.

Kyla with her puppy.


After work today I went to Borders for some Christmas music provided by some of the youth from our church.

Bryce can sing and play the bells at the same time! :)

Tonight I finally got around to taking the annual Christmas card photo of the kids. Don't know if I will actually get cards made up and sent out but at least the picture is taken!

Merry Christmas and many blessings from the Yoder home to you!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Project 365-Week 50

Does the phrase better late than never count for me this week? Our computer crashed this past week (among other things) so it has been very interesting around here. Here is my week, a little late.

Sunday (there are a few pictures today)

When we came out of church this morning the snow was really coming down. This is the top of my head just from walking to the van.

After church I took the kids to surprise Kevin. He was downtown doing his "Santa gig" so we went to see Santa. As a side note this is the first time any of the kids have ever gone to see Santa. We have never done Santa, so I think it is pretty funny that it's their dad! :)

Kyla was laughing so hard that she was crying. It was hilarious!

Ella telling Santa she wants a Barbie doll.

Ethan telling the big guy some expensive electronic device....keep dreaming!

Bryce proving you are never too old to see Santa!

Then at small group tonight we met at Lori's house. Her daughter Melissa was our babysitter and the kids really miss her. (so do we adults!) Anyway, she was on Skype when we got there and Ella, Kyla and "A" were talking to her.

This was super special!


Today is Ethan's 8th birthday. I had to work all day so we gave him his present before school.

My mom pitched in a lot and helped with a DSi. He was so excited! Do you see the weight in the box? I put that in to make it heavy so he couldn't guess what it was.
Happy Birthday Ethan!! You are a delight and so much fun. Your humor is amazing and your love of life and Jesus is contagious. I love you my sweet little man and I am keeping you forever!!


Tonight we had Kevin's parents and my mom over to celebrate Ethan and Grammie's birthday. I was supposed to be off and had great plans for a super meal and carrot cake, by request, but I had to go in to work. So, we had pizza and store bought cake. Not exactly perfect, but at least we were all together and honoring two very special people!

Hope both of your wishes come true!


The girls wanted to go out and play in the snow. After bundling up this is what they looked like.

So glad they remembered to go potty before putting everything on!! :)


When I went outside to leave for work this morning I saw this written in the snow.

I think someone is ready for Christmas break!


Ella and Kyla worked on a snowman when they were playing and here he is after Ella finished him up.

I tell you, the $3.00 snowman kit we got last year was a super investment!!


Today Ella went to a birthday party. She brought this home.

They made gingerbread fun!!

Well there you have it, another week at the Yoder's! Hope you have had a great week!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Project 365-Week 49

I can not believe we are in week 49! Where did this year go?
This has been a busy week of projects at pre-school and work too. I am so thankful for so many that have helped this week!


This is the hallway I walk down to enter the mall and go to work almost every time I come.

Kind of blah, don't you think?


This is our new mailbox, expertly installed by Kevin's dad today.

Why did we need a new mailbox you wonder? Well, our mailbox and post fell victim to an underage drinker. So thankful that no one was hurt. Thanks to Dad for coming to the rescue!


Today I was off and spent a lot of time at the pre-school. We have been working on a cookbook as a fundraiser and it has been a lot of work. Due to my working, my wonderful friend Ann has taken on the task. Oh how I love her!!
When I got home this one had the giggles.

She couldn't stop laughing and it was funny and contagious!


We have been having some of these boxes arrive lately.

Now that might not be out of the ordinary for most houses this time of year, but for ours it is a HUGE blessing. Due to our situation we are not able to do Christmas gifts this year. Our small group got word of this and have taken action with others and our kids will be receiving gifts. I don't tell you this to gain sympathy, but to give thanks and praise to God who never fails. Thank you to all of those special people who are blessing our family too! I can never express my humble gratitude enough.


The kids saw something today that caused these reactions.

What could get them going like this? Maybe this?

No, he looks like Jack Frost got ahold of him.

Maybe this?

Kevin has a "gig" as Santa for the city of South Bend. He was trying on all of his garb today to make sure it looked ok.
He walked out to the mailbox in full costume...

...and you should've seen the cars going by and then the honks he got. It was hysterical!!


Remember that cookbook I mentioned? Thanks to Ann and Kevin IT.IS. DONE!!!

Hopefully everyone will be pleased with the results and will love the recipes inside. Again, I am so very thankful for Ann, who stepped up for this project due to my schedule. She is an invaluable gift to me!!


When I actually get a break at work, I usually sit down in the food court to get out of the store for a bit. I love to people watch while I am there.

I see some very interesting people and behaviors while there. A note to parents...know what your kids are doing at the mall. I will leave it at that.

I hope you have had a great week and that you are anticipating Christmas and Christ's birth with great excitement this year!! Have a super week!