Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sinter Klaas Day

The van Wingerden family started a "new" tradition a few years back. It's actually an old Dutch Tradition, and we all love it. We don't celebrate on the actual Dutch Sinter Klaas Day - we celebrate when we can organize all vW's schedules to get together. This year it was Dec. 13th.
We started with a simple but family favorite meal: Pizza from Lorenzos! (sounds totally Christmasy doesn't it?).
Then we gathered around the fireplace and Opa read the true Christmas story from Luke 2.

Then all the grand kids found their wooden clogs lined up by the fireplace, and posed for the obligatory picture. Kayte, Jack, Gracie and Blake are on top. Hailey, Todd, Chatham, Hannah - holding Abby, Mak and T.J. Then Will in the very front (never too far from his Mommy)

Chatham read to us the opening of the riddles - each kids had a clue in their clogs, and the gifts were hidden around the house.

David read Kayte's Riddle - she wasn't too interested.Kayte loved her new travel bag and magnadoodle! Jack's riddle - of course all the older cousins help him to solve it.

TJ and his new Sudoku game - for the plane trip.Mak showing off his travel bag - did you notice they all got one? Plus something to put in it.
His riddle was my favorite:

No Doctorate, no Masters,
no Bachelors for me,
The reason I work,
I have Zero Degrees.

He found his 2nd clue in the the freezer :)

Grandma has a stack of gifts for each of the kids too - a little activity or book to put in their travel bags.

And to finish off the night we have our traditional snowman cake - which doubles as a birthday cake for Oma.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Party!

Yesterday we have our "school" Christmas party - actually we just invited a family, who invited another family, over. We made cookies, ate pizza, decorated cookies, read books, ate cookies and listened to Christmas music.
This is "Miss Wendy" (I met her that morning) with Carson and Chatham.
Roll out the dough! We had 9 kids in all. Look carefully to see Jack. He has become a very timid child, and it took him until the cookies were baked and half decorated before he could come into the kitchen - and that was holding my hand. He did come around though and realized how much fun it was.
Carson again!
TJ and Jack
(who has taken to winking for almost all occasions - it gets him out of saying "thank you")
Kayte (who was very upset for some reason at that moment), Carson, Mak and Will. Mak really is tall, but he is also several years older than William.

Will, Macie, Maddie and Chatham.

When I tried a group picture we couldn't see the cookies :) So I broke them up into little groups.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sick doesn't mean sad

I generally don't sleep well when David is gone - he's in Guatemal right now. But last night I had a different reason for my lack of sleep. If my Title and the picture below haven't given it away for you, I'll explain.
Kayte came down with a fever yesterday afternoon. By 5:00 she was exhausted so I put her to bed. She woke up two hours later, a trend she continued through much of the night. Since she is such a picky eater and drinker things are only more difficult when she is sick - so she pretty much only consumed milk yesterday. Getting any medicine in her to help her feel better is also a huge challenge. For example I tried to give her some Tylenol and, being the stubborn girl she is, she gagged on it. That triggered further gag reflexes and it didn't take long before she and I were covered in curdled milk! That was 7:00. David is so much better at the whole medicine thing! By 11:00 she was miserable, and I resorted to strapping her down and giving her medicine basically drop by drop. It helped her (and me) sleep for a bit.
Today has been a "hold you" day. And despite the fact that I am getting nothing else done, I've been enjoying it. She's normally not much of a cuddler.

Jack gave me quite the giggle showing me his dance moves. I tried to hold the camera still...hope you smile as much as I did. I took two videos, and both make me laugh, though they aren't too different from each other. He is such a goof!

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Sorry about the lack of posts lately, I haven't been pulling my camera out much lately...that usually means we aren't doing anything fun or worth posting, which is probably because we are busy just trying to get through school so we can enjoy our Christmas Break!!!! We are very excited because it's been 6 years since we've had a Christmas with the Ewing side of the family - so Chatham was Kayte's age the last time. I hesitated to post our "Christmas picture" (taken on Thanksgiving), because it may spoil the "surprise" of our Christmas card, but oh well.

Above is all Seven of us. I think my boys need lessons in how to smile. Uncle Jason, our very gracious photographer, was quite frustrated with them!

Below is all Twenty seven of the van Wingerden family. There are two expecting mothers in this photo too - but I'm not one of them :).

For the Record (or those who really want to know, but can't remember) Clockwise from back left:
Wesley, Scott -holding Will, Abby, Kevin - holing Blake, CJ & Alison, Opa, Jason, Carolyn & Chris, David - holding Kayte, Chatham, Mak, Keri holding Jack, T.J., Oma, Connie - holding little Abby, Todd, Hailey, Hannah, And Mona - holding Gracie.

My fun kids

My fun kids
In their favorite tree