Monday, January 1, 2018

December Review ✽ Hello January... and 2018!


-We decorated our room! December 1st we made some little crafts (wreaths, glittery candles, and attempted snowflakes... ha!), some popcorn, and put in some music, and put all these little touches that made me happy, haha. It wasn't a lot, but it was nice to have even a little bit, and so fun to get to it after I tried up until about three days before Christmas last year, haha.

-One of the churches I volunteer at took the special needs group rollerskating. We got lost and I got there late, but I can only imagine the opening chaos, given what I did witness after things would have been settling down... but it was fun to see them enjoy themselves!

-Our dryer broke. Twice. And we thought it was a simple problem at first, so I tried to fix it, because I've seen Daddy do it before... but it was actually a broken belt and they don't make our dryer parts anymore, so that was interesting. Daddy had to buy a belt that was completely too big and do a bunch of rigging with pulleys and all the extra works so that it would work... but it does now!

-All our family an hour and a half away got snow, and we got rain. Sadness... It's supposedly a possibility it will snow tomorrow, but I'll believe it when I see it ;). Then Grandma and Grandpa got snow for New Year's Eve...

-Me to a friend: "I've made all of these projects and been out shopping for over six hours and we've all got colds that have left us so congested that eating feels like suffication. And that's just the past two days and an evening." We were busy this month ;). Haha! And you know that deal about the more productive I am, the messier my bed is? My bed is depressing to look at in December, hahahaha!

-We went to look at Christmas lights. Twice. And do you remember me telling y'all what happened the first time we went last year? And that the second time last year was much more worthwhile? Well, the first time this year was everything we could have asked for. Then we tried to go a second time out to Lexington to get to see one of the houses set to music. The only problem was we have no radio in the big van anymore, but we thought it would be fine, because we could download a radio app now that we have smartphones.
Yeah. Never trust a smart phone.
There were no working apps, and we spent the whole 45 minutes watching lights dance with almost no context, while Daddy looked for anything that would work. We rolled down the windows (they had a radio playing outside that you could JUST hear during the loudest notes), and all the big people strained to hear enough to know what the lights were going to, and all the little people were just making it five times harder because they heard nothing to listen to ;). We did discover Tori not only can play by ear, but can also read music by lights, though, because she guessed two or three songs without the windows being rolled down... it was odd, haha!

-I spent the day with an elderly lady for her daughter. I took my crocheting with me, and she was so interested, it was cute. I had to leave with about an hour's worth of work left (which ultimately turned into much longer because, um, I was not good at anything the afternoon I tried to finish it, haha, and tried two failed techniques for the mouth until I put it away, got more materials, and finished it in about 10 minutes, haha...), and she was so sad she didn't get to see it finished! We had a lovely time talking about the candies she used to make and how many siblings I have, because that is everybody's favorite topic with me, haha ;).

-We got to watch a live concert online, and it was so much fun <3. (Even though I missed most of it because I was making supper... knowing they were enjoying it and thinking about how cozy it was made me enjoy it, ha!)

-Josiah chopped Noah's hair. Bethi and Emmi have cut their own hair when they were little... but Josiah decided to try it on someone else's. Noah came crying to Mama, holding his head and saying "cut! cut!"... she picked him up to look, and some of his little curls just fell into her hand. He was traumatized for almost an hour, and is still bothered if it's mentioned to him.

-Josiah twisted his first maple twist! It's a big deal in our family, haha. The first maple twist I remember helping with, I got tired of waiting for Mama, and cut circles out of the whole thing... I forgot that it's only one circle in the middle, and twists around that, haha. I was so little, but I remember it vividly, haha. That was the one and only time I got to eat the "middle" of the maple twist (because there were so many ;)...). Daddy always wants that piece... I don't know why, because they fall apart with nothing holding the three layers together...

-We went to spend the day with Granny, and a couple of our Aunts came by, too. We had a wonderful time... several priceless memories made that day <3!

-We took our annual shopping trip with all the little ones to let them pick out gifts at the dollar store... it's crazy keeping gifts hidden from each other with everyone there ;). And Peter... this lady was carrying a whole flat of singing snowmen around with her, and he loved them (he had already seen them elsewhere). She set the flat down, and, being Peter, he didn't realize they were actually hers, so he went over and picked one up, admired it, started to walk away... she was all kind and humorous, asking him, "Are you going to take my snowman???" I'm not sure he realizes even now why I made him put it down, hahaha!

-Andrew build his own working radio!!!

-Candy making, obviously. The candies take much less time then they used to... it used to take days. But with so many hands, one of the most time consuming parts is figuring out how to best give everybody a chance to help, haha!

-Gramma and Papa and Granny came over to help us celebrate Christmas Eve! Usually we leave all our present wrapping for Christmas Eve, but it's been more stressful than fun the past few years, so must of the gifts were wrapped the couple of days before, which worked really nicely! But Tori and I wrapped our presents together on Christmas Eve... and I forgot about this when I answered what my favorite activity to do at Christmas is in that tag the other day. Otherwise, this may have made the answer, because, wow, I love wrapping gifts with Tori. It's the best for so many reasons!!! We weren't done when Gramma got here, but once we were, she had us come bring in gifts from her car... er, rented trailer. Yeah. Hahahaha! It was priceless. It was a wonderful evening... and when they left, we ate supper and did our advent study, and then we had our annual Christmas Eve candy & movie night (which was missed one year due to wrapping gifts until all the little ones had been asleep for two hours... part of the reason we switched things up this year ;).), and Mama and I put all the presents under the tree, because Mama likes it to look just right when we come down in the morning, even though it doesn't last once we go to give out the gifts ;).

-We had a wonderful Christmas <3! I am hopeful (hopeful - not promising) to still get a detailed post about our Christmas out sometime after I get back online, so suffice it to say, it was a wonderful day <3.

-I decided to clean everything I own (including my pen cup) and caught up on correspondence instead of relaxing all day like I always plan... I just need to start planning on being busy all day and loving it, haha. I love how the end of the year motivates me to get things done, and having things done gives me the chance to get to things I always want to do and can't!

-We older four spent a few days with my Aunt Tessa (and some time with my Aunt Amber and her little guy, and Grandpa and Grandma :)!). We enjoyed lots of conversation and coffee and movies and a walk, and just enjoyed being together <3. We help Tessa finish her Christmas puzzle, and we saw a goat on the interstate on our way back home... that was weird. Haha!

-I caught up on correspondence... again ;). Haha! I love people who want to write me even when they think I won't be answering for weeks, but I shouldn't have checked my email... I had to empty out my inbox again before I vanished "for real" after I get this blog post done.

-New Year's Eve <3! We celebrated with our annual s'mores toast (which Noah hated because he got sticky...), and prayed in the new year <3. It has been a rough, stretching, growing year for us... but the Lord was faithful through it, and I'm thankful for those around me at this time. I am praying that this next year will bring some happier moments... but also hopeful to know that the Lord uses everything according to His plan, and what we have gone through has not been by chance.

-Abbi got a complicated lego set for Christmas that I'm now helping her with (no, it's not actually more complicated than other lego projects. yes, I avoid legos usually, hahaha). Send help and chocolate. But I'm enjoying myself despite knowing barely more about this than origami ;). And constantly being afraid we've lost pieces.

-All but two of the little ones on the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree made it over the $1,000 wall by the time the campaign ended, and those two little ones were found by their families (along with six others)!!!! What a blessing to hear <3!!!

Laughing at:

Josiah needs some healing creams on his little face due to being so dry and itchy, so he has to close his eyes while we apply them...
Josiah: "Can I open my eyes now?"
"Sure, buddy."
*peaks one eye open*
*closes it again*
"Actually, I want to sleep."

Josiah, signing Christmas cards...
*signs five*
Josiah: "Am I done?"
I look at the all the cards left on the table...
"Um. No."
*resigned little voice* "Same thing?..."
He knows how to sign his name now ;)!

*I go to check the mail*
*Sees porch tree out of the corner of my eye*
WHO is standing on our porch staring at me?!?!?!? Oh.

Noah at every light we pass while driving now, even just car lights: "Oh, My!!!!!!"
It's sooooooo cute!!!! He got so into all the decorations <3!!!

Sister often: steals food off my plate.
Me once: steals M&m's from Tori's cup.
Sister: screams in horror and terror.
Maybe I shouldn't do that again...

Mama: "I hope you like your Christmas present. It's not fun or flashy."
Me: "Am *I* fun or flashy?"
"You are fun!
'...Well, I guess this is kind of fun in the way you are fun."
Y'ALL!!! It was like the perfect gift!!!

Andrew: "Bri, is it bad if chocolate falls on the floor if it's still in the wrapper?"
"Ummmm.... I mean, you shouldn't throw chocolate on the floor. But at least if it's in the wrapper, you can still eat it."
"Bethi thinks it's so bad. She said we shouldn't ever do that."
"Well, we should never waste chocolate!"
"That's what Bethi says. She is so obsessed with chocolate. She thinks it's SOOOO bad if anything happens to chocolate now. I'm getting tired of it."
And I haven't annoyed him the entirety of his life? Hahahaha! Don't touch these girls' chocolate.
Tori is his only hope. He told her about it, and she was like, "I like chocolate, but I don't care."
To which he gave a relieved little "Weesh!"

Bethi to someone who made a joke: "You are such a comadian."
"Ummm.... commedian?"

I came home one night and everybody was trying to tell me at once that Josiah threw his chocolate kiss after supper and couldn't find it... until they spied it on the chandelier. Hahahah!

Tori opened the microwave to get out her hot chocolate, and then went throughout the entire house trying to find said hot chocolate, because she forgot to put it in the microwave before she turned it on ;).

Peter after getting a firefighter costume: "Maybe, if I put this toy down, then when people pass us they will think I am a REAL FIREMAN!"


-The Old Testament.


-About two chapters of "An Old-Fashioned Girl." Still.

This was going to be the year I read more again, y'all...

The Shop:

-Lots of budgeting, because I'm trying to decide if my prices are right... no surprise, I think they need some work, but, eh, it's always improving, so I'll get there...

-Lots of music lovers were (I hope) made happy at Christmas! (Also, one of these was my first orders from a previous item favorite, that was so fun!!!)

-It was generally a busy month in all respects! People enjoy giving handcrafted gifts, and so this is Etsy's "busy season". This busyness meant I didn't do a lot of "fun to share with y'all" things like add new product, because I was working on orders until right before Christmas, but it was fun for me to get some really neat custom orders and make up gifts for others to give, and raising money for the Reece's Rainbow campaign! This racer set is a new listing, though :)!


I almost used my license to pay instead of my card... I'm so observant and clever...

Me while designing Christmas cards: WHY CAN'T I DRAW ANYTHING TO SAVE MY LIFE WHEN I CAN DO THINGS LIKE THIS??!?!?! I mean, it's all just hand control, right?!??!! sigh...

Well, I scared one of the birds while we cleaned the cage and she flew into the hallway... I went to bring her back so she wouldn't hurt herself, and she let me pick her up (which was shocking), but then bite me and I loosened my hold... she then flew straight. into. the wall. I told y'all Misty was clumsy, haha! I'm so glad she was okay... Noah literally screamed and cried when he saw it happen, it was sad, he loves them so much <3.

I did all this cute word art on my dry erase board, and sent a picture really quick to a friend on my way to family bible time, and realized when I went back to my room for bed that there were two spelling mistakes that I hadn't noticed while I was trying to make the art side look nice, and my friend hadn't even pointed it out, so I'm guessing it was too late for anybody to be proofreading ;).

I practically destroyed a friend with my choice of words. Ah, well. I never mean anything mean, y'all. I just... don't think how things could be taken sometimes. I do apologize to all of you who have to deal with it. Especially to that one friend last year. I will never forgive myself for that one.

Me: I'm going to be so put-together this Christmas!
A month later: Never mind. Let's survive.
Like literally, one day I had a slice of cheese for breakfast because I couldn't take the time to stop working to eat. Although I did take the time to make a cup of coffee that day; several days I decided the time it would take to make coffee that I would eventually drink cold, because I never drink as much coffee while I'm crocheting as I think I do, was wasted. Haha... and I'm glad to be done with nights of 5 and 1/2 hours of sleep, haha.

Me: *puts lemon in water*
*forgets that fact*
It's only good if you expect it, y'all.

Grateful for:

-That Christ did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but humbled himself, and came to earth as a baby, to die for us as a perfect sacrifice, holy unto God, without blemish, and perfectly willing, so that the hope of the resurrection might be ours for all eternity <3.
-A Christmas full of special memories and family activities, that we will look back on and cherish for years to come.
-Noah's love of Christmas lights. It made them even better than usual, it was soooo cute!
-Family read-alouds. I got some Christmas literature, even if I didn't get Christmas reading done ;).
-These blessings that this year has held... moments, even in the midst of trials, when the Lord showed himself faithful.
-The Lord's grace in leading us through this year and the ways He proved His faithfulness when our world was falling to pieces.
-For the people I hold dear who are gathered around me and a part of my life as this year draws to a close <3.

Happy New Year, dear readers <3. I hope the Lord brings you closer to Him in all that this coming year holds <3!!!


  1. Comments part 1 ;)

    I’ve heard a lot of this and commented on it already ;), but here are my thoughts on everything else! :)

    Haha! Oh Tori…

    It is indeed hilarious how many reactions there are to us having so many siblings!

    Aww, that is cozy!

    Huuuhhhh?? That is awful! Poor Noah :(

    I love all the pictures in this post! You get an A+ ;)

    This might sound strange, but I LOVE the way your hand/fingers are in that second pic of you helping ____ with the maple twist! Somehow that “pose” appeals to me as a lovely, feminine touch ;)

    Such a pretty tree, and look at all those gifts!!! Wow, that is a ton, haha!


    Go Andrew!! That’s pretty cool!

    Noah opening gifts. SO CUTE!! <3

    Clean everything you own…hahahaha *insert Tor’s laughing emoji*

    You didn’t tell me about the goat! That’s weird, haha!

    Pictures from the s’more night! Those look delish! Poor Noah lol

    YOU COULD HAVE TOLD ME THAT when we were on the texting while you were building it hahaha! I could have at least sent emojis lol.

    Woohoo!! Praise the Lord :)

    1. Girl, I can't even handle these comments, aahahahahahaaaa!!!! I mean... where did you find the time? *Laughs the tears from laughter away* Okay...

      Yes, yes, you probably find these posts more boring than most, haha! Sorry...

      I mean, she was almost scary, haha!

      Always! She thought it was neat once she understood, though.

      It was!

      Mostly I feel bad for Noah... but I kind of also feel bad for Josiah, because he felt really guilty about it and his little face whenever Daddy's family would mention it the couple of visits right after made me sad, haha! But really, he might have deserved it... so naughty, scaring the baby like that! ;)

      Awwwwwwwaaaaahhhh!!!! I got an A+ from Alyssa! I did this post right!!!! Hahaha :).

      (That is Josiah.) And that was sweet of you, Alyssa <3! I look at those pictures and can't help but feel like all you can see from me is the fact that I am a hovering control freak in the kitchen and I feel like it shows even though I fight it really hard when I have little people in the kitchen with me, but I appreciate your kindness :) <3!

      It wasn't as well "balanced" as former years, but Mama has done a great job picking out biblical+matching ornaments through the years, so I think you are right, it naturally looks nice ;). And yes. So. Many.

      That's Peter for you. We undecorated the tree today (finally), and then he asked, "Can I help with the snowflake tree?!" Ummm, that was done yesterday, bud... he's a doll XD.

      It was so cool. He heard Ken Ham on it, ahahaha!

      Isn't he <3?!

      That's me. Oh well. Doing productive/useful things without a deadline relaxes me, so why fight it...

      Did I not? Hahaha! Yes, it was so weirrrrrdddd!!!

      Yes. Mmmmm, I want another.

      BUT SEE, I DIDN'T HIT DESPERATE MEASURES UNTIL LATER. Ha! We were just starting it that night :). We ended up with extra pieces? IDK, I just stuck them on randomly where they didn't look terrible, so they didn't get lost if we find out we really needed them, lol...

      Yes <3! So happy for them!

    2. Lol! What do you mean? They're just like the comments that you email. Haha!
      I don't find them boring. Lol!
      Lol, I'm probably worse than you are at that.
      HE HEARD KEN HAM ON IT??? That's SO cool!
      That's hilarious. :)

    3. No, dear, I don't think so, hahaha! *One* of them was like my replies to your email... but you posted two, hahahahaha! I loved it.
      Aw, thank you ;).
      He.he.he. No. It would be impossible to be worse than I am. Literally, once they are old enough that they can cook on their own, I force myself to stay out of the kitchen while they cook, because I know they need that freedom to learn, but I actually get so stressed out watching without giving... very strong suggestions. Hahaha! I do really well with the littlest ones, hand over hand cooking that they are "learning" through but I still have complete control over. But the middle ones that I can't let have complete control, and are too big to justify hand over handing, I struggle with. I'm ...attempting... to learn. I had Abbi helping me roll out cinnamon rolls tonight without going crazy inside, that's a plus ;).
      I know! It was soooo neat!!!

    4. Oh. Oh. Oh! Haha! BUT your post had *a lot* more in it than mine do. Twice as long, twice the comments. Haha! ;)
      "He.he.he." That literally sounds like you on the phone!!! Haha! I don't know about that, but I do know that you and I are in the same boat here. That sounds so much like me. It's terrible. Yay!! Good for you, dear!

    5. This is very true, ahahaha! Lol!!!!
      Well, it's very comforting to know that I am genuine/real to life in my writing, hahahaha! It's sad, because I LOVE cooking, and I love cooking with them... but I have to be so careful not to be overbearing, that sometimes I just literally cannot do it, because I know I'm not relaxed enough, haha. I want it to be fun memories for them!

  2. Comments part 2 ;)

    Josiah (cream, sleep)…haha!

    Josiah (Christmas cards)…Lol!!

    Bri…you are so funny. It’s so dumb when that happens haha!

    Noah... awww!

    Sister/stealing story: Ahahahaha!!!

    ooh, the journal/study/whatever it’s called is really pretty!

    Andrew and chocolate: You guys are too much *insert Tori’s laughing emoji x2*

    Bethi: hahaha! The only difference here (if it were among family members) is that whoever miss-pronounced the word would either insist that their pronunciation is right, or retort with “same thing.” I cannot get over either of those. I would want to pronounce words right?? It’s totally NOT the same thing, so how lame to to call it that?? Lol!

    Now, I love that coffee mug ;). But the feeling that you posted that pic just so I would see you use it is not worth the picture, haha! I feel so bad now, lol. If it weren’t for that, I would be so pleased! <3 Am I a mess?

    Of course I was made happy by that sign this Christmas! (We won’t mention the fact that it’s been hanging on my wall since April…) Haha!

    Lol!! You poor thing haha. That makes me feel better though, since I swiped my card upside down once (blush). Lol!

    Oooo, I see mine! How appropriate that you sent me the Joy, one, too ;) I love all of those!! So pretty! I’d have to work really hard and long to do something like that!
    Ahahaha! There must be SOMETHING different about it…

    Misty is clumsy. Noah!

    Thanks for letting me go with that excuse haha! I do know how to spell, Lol!

    You have me confused. Surely you aren’t referring to me? If so, you must not have destroyed me, because I can’t even remember the offense ;)

    You: Hahaha! That is really funny, actually *insert laughing emoji*

    Lemon: Lol!! only if you expect it…

    Loved this post, dear!

    1. Josiah is hilarious!

      I know, but I literally felt like I jumped out of my skin, hahaha!

      I know, he's just precious <3!!!

      I mean, come on, it was once... hahaha!

      Bible Journaling Study... it's all the things *heart eyes* and yes, it's gorgeous as well, heehee :).

      It was sooooo funny!!!! He doesn't approve of this "girl's deal"... but he eats chocolate with us, I assure you ;).

      I get "same thing" if it's one of those words north/south says differently (although y'all have lived where you are all your life, so you shouldn't have that issue), but insisting it's right?! Lol!!!

      I love that coffee mug, too ;). And actually, I just included that picture because I had it, and was talking about the whole pricing deal. I had already sent it to you, there was no point in hoping you saw it here, haha!

      Hahaha! I love you, Alyssa! I'm glad <3.

      Only once? Yeahhhhhh.... never mind, I won't talk about that anymore O_o.

      Yes you do! And that *totally* wasn't by design... *sarcasm*. Oh, I worked hard and long, haha! Hours just to design the outsides! But it was fun <3! And yeah, I guess.... Tori says there is, but, IDK...

      When she's out of her cage, she's as clumsy as me let loose in a store. I feel her pain, haha! I end up pulling things off the top shelf into my face all the time, ha.

      I know it ;).

      Yes, I was referring to you, hahaha! If you don't remember, I feel better, hahaha! No need to remind you...

      Terribly funny. ::sigh::


      Thank you, dear <3!

    2. Me in response to your replies: inwardly laughing and enjoying myself XD ;P. Haha!
      Arg. I have tried to remember what it was, and I have a vague idea, but I can't pull it out! Ugh! *Since you brought it up, you have to tell me.* **here's a taste of your own medicine** Lol!!!

    3. Me: Laughing along with you ;).
      I'll make you a deal... YOU answer me what YOU brought up, and I will return the favor, hahahaha!!!!

    4. Oh no. Not that! Argh! Hahahaha!!!!
      Allow me to suggest, though, that that is not quite fair. You know I don't even remember what I brought up and I'd have to dig through hundreds of texts to find it, but it seems that you remember what you brought up quite well. ;) Hahaha!

    5. I guess that isn't quite fair, is it? But so tempting....
      It was that time I told you that your opinion that I was a nice person was just one of many friends opinions, and I meant it as "I have heard many different opinions" and you instead took it as "you aren't a special friend" and it turned into a twenty-four hour discussion that made me feel terrible about my mistake in wording, hahaha! I really do like you...

    6. So tempting, indeed. I didn't actually expect you to tell me, so what a welcome delight to see this! ;P Oh yes, that ordeal. Sorry I read you wrong lol :D Yes, yes, I know XD


"May the Lord, the God of your fathers... bless you!" Deuteronomy 1:11