We continued our Christmas brunch tradition this year. We usually make ebelskivers but this year we decided to make donuts. They were a success. We made regular yeast donuts with vanilla, peanut butter, and coffee glaze. Totally worth the extra work. If you've never had a homemade donut, believe me when I say, they are so much better than any donut you've ever had.
Of course, it makes the process much easier when I have help. I don't know what I'll do next year when I'm flying solo. Trevin will be 5 by then, so he'll probably be old enough to be frying in hot oil. Actually, I don't think I'm old enough to fry in hot oil. I can prove it by the number of self-inflicted burns I've experienced.
Our Christmas celebration at home is one of my favorite days of the year. Such sweet memories with my babes.
One of the boys got army men for Christmas. They all spent an equal amount of time playing with it, so it was hard to remember who received it. At the end of the day, we remembered it was Trevin's.
James got his Christmas present a little early. A bow for deer hunting. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get a kill this winter and was a little bummed that we won't have summer sausage and deer sticks this year. He made me a beautiful table for the basement for Christmas and also let me get a new camera lens.
The large Huenefeld Christmas is always filled with fun activities: the annual Christmas pageant, games for the kids, the birthday candle, and a scavenger hunt.
Myla pulled up for the first time at Huenefeld Christmas. I watched it happen and tried to keep my composure as my baby girl grew up in an instant.
We got iced out on the first go-around, so a January Christmas celebration was planned. Our extended family gatherings are all too large to meet in anyone's home. So we meet at churches, community centers and CRC instead.
Those poor girls only have big brothers, so they're used to playing with trucks, trailers, and anything machine. Myla was able to score a couple dolls and girly toys this Christmas to help even things out.
|Looks like trouble to me...|
Myla is a mama's girl and doesn't tolerate other people very often, but I think she started to warm up to people at Christmas.
My family Christmas:
We always make soup and elephant ears (fried bread); with this many hands, the work goes quickly! You'll also notice that I was in charge of the salt shaker because I'm not capable of dealing with hot oil. Brooke has scars to prove it. (Have we talked about this already? This feels familiar...)
My nephews got a virtual reality headset for Christmas. It brought hours of entertainment. James gets motion sick, so the rollercoaster about did him in. Even though it's animated, it's crazy how real it feels. The rollercoaster was about all I could handle, no scary videos or creepy things for this girl. I don't want to have nightmares for a decade from that. No, sir.
Leave it to aunts and uncles to get him the loudest toy gun in existence. (Literally, as I'm typing this, Trevin came over and saw the picture and said, "Mom, thank you for my gun! I love it!") He does love it. And I try to not hate it.
Myla loves to snuggle, so she adores the teddy bear and lights up every time she sees it.
James' family Christmas:
In perfect Huenefeld fashion, we celebrated Christmas with brick oven pizza. Apparently pizza throwing is in the genes, because James picked it up quickly. (I've attempted, many times, to throw the dough, but have found better luck with a rolling pin.)
+Eating like a champ. I can't believe my eyes when he's eating spinach plain without a single complaint. Some days he still puts up a fight, but it seems to be more of a power trip than anything. We've noticed he is more willing to eat individual foods before he will eat foods made in combination, such as casseroles, soups, or salads.
+Trevin has started to feed Myla. He loves having jobs and feeling needed. And it's super entertaining for everyone to watch a 4-year-old try to feed a baby.
+Part of his dinnertime entertainment is making a millennium falcon out of quesadillas, cookies, or anything that could resemble a spaceship.
+Paul and Dori gave the grandsons suckers with real bugs inside. Trevin got a cricket and was a little uneasy about the whole thing. Eventually he took a couple licks, but wrapped it back up several times with a look of disgust. It took him a few days, but he got to the bug and worked up the courage to take a lick of the cricket. Immediately, he wrapped it back up and it's been sitting ever since.
|Ruthie and Trevin are best buds.|
+Trevin has learned a few manipulation tactics when dealing with James and I. Unfortunately, he hasn't learned how to make them effective. His honesty is his weakness, (I consider it a strength, but in his efforts to deceive, it's a weakness). One day he told me, "I'll just cry and then you'll let me." That may work every once and a while, but it really doesn't work when I know his game plan. Seriously, his honesty is something that I adore.
+Oh this little lady. I've said for months that I didn't want her crawling before Christmas, because I know the struggle of keeping a crawler out of the tree. She started crawling 3 days before Christmas. Of course, she was into the tree constantly. On a positive note, this year was the earliest I've ever taken my tree down. No Valentine's Day tree for me this year.
+She's a sneak. She's really quiet when she's crawling around so I've got to pay extra attention to her. The house has been baby-proofed, and Trevin is learning the new rules for his Legos.
+We moved her crib mattress down last month; the very next morning she pulled herself up to stand. In the night, we often find her standing and crying in her crib. We really think that she pulls up in her sleep, because when we get her she seems to not actually be awake.
+She's pulling up to everything and starting to slowly walk around furniture while holding on. She's also mastered the stairs. Going up, anyway. When Trevin was little, we never used our basement, so that's something that we never dealt with. But Myla is very familiar with the stairs and scoots her way over to them every chance she gets.
+Myla is waving! She gets both arms flailing and is so excited when someone waves to her. For a while, she was doing this weird "hail Hilter" wave. She'd turn her head and salute. It was hilarious.
+I don't want to talk about her sleep. So I'm not going to. Because it's rough.
+She's been saying "dada" for a while now, still no luck with "mama". But I know she adores me, so my pride is still in tact.
+She loves to snuggle, (which is a nice change from Trevin when he was a baby. If a baby could give you the cold shoulder, it would have been him. Thankfully, he's much more affectionate now.) Myla will give me a hug almost every time I pick her up. But she's only given a few other people hugs, and it's very rare. Yes, I'm aware she adores me. Sometimes I'll be working in the kitchen and I'll sense someone watching me. I'll look down and she'll be staring at me. And she continues to just watch me. I hope she always loves me this much.
+Myla helped us discover all of the stickers that are on the bottom of our dining room chairs. She spends a lot of her time under the chairs, picking off the stickers. That might be her favorite thing to do, except to staring at me, of course.
|Trevin helps keep Myla entertained at the shop.|
We spent New Year's Eve with some friends and the men got a little too aggressive playing Heads Up. These people have been so great to us this year. Love doing life with them.
It's been so fun having James around a little more this winter. Without fail, when I hop in the truck with him, there's a rifle sitting in the front seat, (typical country boy). I've voiced my complaints about having to share my seat with a firearm, but this last time I told him, "Buns before guns, babe. It goes in the back." So now that's our catchphrase. Buns before guns.
The flooring in the multipurpose room is finished! Trim is currently in the works and we'll be picking up some furniture this weekend. It's really exciting to have a new room with so much potential. James has done a great job; I think I'll keep him around.
Last week was a tough week for us and both sides of our family. I don't have the emotional strength to write about it today, so I'll just add a few of my thoughts that I shared on Instagram:
"Tuesday night I stood in a packed hospital room and saw my uncle in the last moments of his life. We've lost a great man; someone that cared deeply for his family and was a faithful, steady hand in the life of those around him.
And Friday I sat in a packed courtroom as a man was sentenced to many years behind bars. I didn't know what I was supposed to feel. My friend, Rick, put it best when he said it was like "bad medicine". It needed to happen for our protection, healing, and future, but it tastes terrible, and right now, feels agonizing.
The spectrum of emotions that I've experienced this week have been extreme. Today I mourn the loss of two men. I mourn the loss of a great man, one that stood by his family. But I also mourn the loss of a family member that turned our life upside down. I mourn the loss of a father for our nephews, a husband for our sister, and an uncle for our children.
I long for Christ's completion of His creation, because these days are leaving such a sharp sting. But even so, there is hope. Death has been defeated, justice has been served, and protection has been provided. To God be the glory."
Thank you all for the prayers, kind words, and support in the most difficult year of our lives. Some day soon I will be able to put words to everything that's happened, but until then, please know you've had such an impact in our lives.
Donuts by the dozen, growing on the farm...