Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas From The Wieber Family Year 2011 in Quotes
Reesie turned 2 this year…
“Gnk gnk!” (ice cream)
       -Reese and her enduring word for ice-cream
“It's cold, hot-dip.”
-Reese holding the Tabasco that she just pulled out from out of the fridge
“Tee too (thank you), Jesus, for haircuts, hats, and hot balloons”
-Reese, during prayer time at night. 
Holland turned 6 this year…
“Here's one ride I'm tall enough to go on.”
-Holland, assessing the height requirements while on daddy’s shoulders after spending the morning too short to ride on many of the attractions at Knott’s Berry Farm. 
“C’mon pretty boy”.
-Holland to dad while helping him shovel dirt into the garden bed.
 “Does this McDonalds have eye balls, feathers, and fingers in their chicken?”
-Holland, after watching one too many documentaries about fast food restaurants. 
“But mom! I'm showing then some MMA!” 
-Holland, after being told to quit wrestling with her friends.
“Dad, it doesn't look good on you, but it looks good on him.”
Holland, referring to a pink shirt and white pants outfit for a ken doll
“We were dancing a little jig then it got craaaazy!”
-Holland, explaining what happened to Brian after he had to confiscate the girls’ swords during a duel with their Jack Sparrow swords at Disneyland.
Liv turned 8 this year…
If people see our car, they’re going to think we are bad drivers! 
-Liv, after a car crash in which we totaled our car.
"How come they X-ray shoes? There’s nothing in there but stink.....and shoelaces" 
Liv, age 7, in line at the airport security check-point. 

“I feel like holding a scorpion.”
-Liv, age 7.
“I want a cobra.”
-Liv, age 7, and a glutton for punishment. 
“I thought you were the boss around here.”
-Liv, after Brian said, “Check with mom about that.”
“I’m glad that I'm not satan”.
-Liv, with a big sigh of relief. (We are glad, too, sweetie!)

“Dad, can I hug you from behind?”
“Liv, sweetie, that’s called choking.”
“I know, Dad.”
Doesn’t getting older mean that one gets wiser, as well?   Hmmm…we thought so, too…
“I couldn’t handle being in a real horror movie.” 
-Jen, always bringing enlightenment and wisdom to any conversation. 
“You girls want to see something funny about this blanket? I can make this blanket scream and say, ‘No, no no!’”
-Brian, right before he began tickling Jen while hiding under a blanket during a family ‘bout of Hide-n-Seek.
“You can't tap out to tickling,”
-Brian, reviewing Wrestlemania House rules. 
“A new helmet would be cheaper than an MRI.”
-Jen, the voice of reason. 
“Stop boxing with your forks!  That's called stabbing.”  
-Brian, taking time during dinner to educate the girls on proper table manners. 
You know you it’s been too long since you’ve cleaned your car when you find a bees nest inside.
–Brian, during a restoring session with his Ford Bronco.

Some of my best friends have punched me in the face and choked me unconscious.  
-Brian, trying to convince Holland that the fact that Liv crossed the imaginary line between their beds wasn't a particularly bad grievance.  
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ. Angels and archangels may have gathered there, cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; but his mother only, in her maiden bliss, worshiped the beloved with a kiss. What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him: give my heart. --Christina G. Rosetti.

Merry Christmas to you all!!!  We love you!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alternative Christmas Tree

We've been wanting to do one for awhile.  Actually, Brian is the one who has had this tree on his's been cooking in his brain for the last few years now.   And it's just like my hubby to wait for a really full year to go ahead and bring this tree to fruition.  So what if our car just got totaled and our other vehicle: our very cool, very needy '76 Bronco is in pieces in the garage...the only way for my sweet husband to get to work without having to drag his butt and bicycle out in 30 degree December frigidness?  I like it that he always has time for creativity, even when knee deep in the To-Do's of life.

His idea was to make a tree out of scraps in the garage (he is a major recycler!) and make a super fun, awesome, totally modern tree for our Christmas this year, and those to come.  And since he's using scraps, He figured the money that we would have used to purchase a tree, should be donated to The Water Project.  They use the money to help fund wells for communities and schools in Africa who are in dire need of clean water to drink.  It's amazing really: you donate the amount you are able and they send you a link where you can follow and watch the progress being made!  They even give you GPS coordinates, so we will be able to involve our children in watching the well be built, pray for the people using the well...and we can map it on our map and learn more about Africa in the process.  The well is implemented by Living Water International, which "exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water."

The site gives you a choice of where you want the money to go, and the girls were adamant about Uganda.  Not only do we know of and have been praying (please pray with us!!!) for a sweet family living in Uganda RIGHT NOW who is trying to finalize her adoption to a little girl (and who has adopted a little boy from Uganda as well!), but they have also watched the videos of Katie Davis, the young girl who went to Uganda to serve the people there, and has stayed to live and has now become the adoptive mom of 13 girls! Right after we finished sending in our donation, we were sent a link and learned that we helped fund a well for a school in Uganda.  The girls were so thrilled and excited.

More about the tree...I call it our "tinker toy tree".

Because that is exactly what it looks like.  The middle is made from PVC pipe, covered with very lavish, expensive, authentic gold duct tape.  The middle pieces (where the dowels rest) are recycled pieces from a beautiful oak bed my husband had made us our first year of marriage,

the dowels are from the crib Brian made Liv right before she was born

(These parts were further recycled when Liv built a real live scooter that really truly worked for her grateful little sister who didn't have a scooter at that time...and then went on to win first place at the fair in the category of:  Recycled projects.....notice a likeness between Liv and Brian?  :o)  The base is from the girls' bassinet that Brian built for them.  Yes, it is a very special tree for many different reasons.

God can provide for these people. It's not us...nor our measley donation, but how wonderful it is to do something practical for someone, especially at Christmas.  That elderly neighbor who lives next door, the family down the street who is struggling, the person you don't know who is in pain....there are opportunities all around us to share God's love.  So grateful for my sweet husband and his beautiful woodworking skills!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Liv Turns 8!

In October, our Livvy Lou celebrated her 8th birthday!  She is a dream...brimming with ideas and always tinkering and never short on love for her sisters, oh and my helper around the house.  She is amazing and I am so blessed to have her as a daughter!

For her birthday, she wanted to invite the whole world to go to Powell's candy store with her.  I had to decline, bringing up her college fund and her parent's retirement and asked if she wanted to eat dinner this week and all that.  In the end, I did tell her that she could, in lieu of a big birthday party, invite 2 friends to go to Powell's with her.  That is what she chose (and then proceeded to wrangle a slumber party out of the deal ;o).  Boy was it a fun day!

It started with our traditional family crepe birthday breakfast. (The above picture shows Liv trying to give Holland a thank-you hug with syrup-y hands :o). I was able to make a poster for her at Brian's place of work, commemorating the entire year.  Little gifts and balloons surrounded her seat, and a stack of delicious crepes proudly displayed the 8-year-old candle.  8 years ago, we became parents for the first time!  Felt overwhelming parental love for the first time.  And it brings a little of that to the surface, when we celebrate her life.

We then cleaned up and headed out for a Nature Walk (yes, homeschoolers are fierce...trudging on through birthdays! :o) with our Nature class (ie Mary and Chelsea) and explored the Fall-ness of Boise.  We then ran home, had lunch, and then we took off to go to Powell's.

Powell's is a sweet, nostalgic, and surreal experience where every candy under the sun can be found.  I'm pretty sure they sell packaged happiness, too.  It's an amazing little shop.  I made some origami rings made from $5 bills for the girls to use for their purchases.

Then the choosing and hemming and hahing and big eyes and filling of baskets began.  Then, those who were more decisive, sat with their bags of candies in front of the screen showing of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. (Notice it's the adults and the teenager having trouble deciding? :o)

Afterwards, we went home to play and rest up for the birthday dinner and slumber party.

Liv's dream dinner consisted of Mizithra Pasta, Caesar salad (ok, so that was her mom's dream, not hers), and french bread.  And what 8-year-old girls wouldn't choose Tiramisu for her birthday cake?  :o)

I saw this awesome project on the Family Fun website.  You save large tin cans (such as those that house V-8 or Apple Juice) and open it using a safety can-opener. Then peel the paper off to reveal the perfect robot body.  Glue strong magnets to the back of the huge pile of doodads...light switches, wires, hooks, screws, etc.-- your husband has in the garage (and being the inventor he is, has stored these doodads for years for that light-bulb project he has up his sleeve) and allow the kids to make robots, by placing the magnet doodads on the robot body.  It's a wonderful party project! hour of play switching out robot parts--no glue--no scissors--no mess--but an instant and complete art form to take home!  Oh, and have I mentioned that Liv has always wanted to make robots?  Isn't she awesome?

After Robots, came opening presents,

And then saying goodnight,

and waking up to choose your own mini cereal with your sweet friends.

Liv loved her birthday!  She is such a wonderful daughter to me!!!  

Friday, October 7, 2011


Holland, 6 years old

Holland turned 6 a few weeks ago and ever since, I've been pondering on what a blessing she is to our family.  I thought you might want to get a peek into the window of Holland.

Things you might not know about our new six-year-old:

She's rather shy

Mozart makes her swoon. In fact, she has shared her opinion that Chopin copied all of Mozart's life works.

Her most favorite color is turquoise. 

John Singer Sargent's painting entitled "Carnation Carnation Rose" has been noted as one of her faves.

Unfinished art projects cause her to break out in hives. Ok, so maybe not hives, but they do illicit a sort of panic.

She dislikes getting her hands dirty. Mom has to crack the eggs.

She can use both hands to draw, catch, and do other notable things.

She isn't afraid to pick up ants with her bare hands. Around these parts, we call her "The Ant Slayer".

She has a serious (and absurd) disdain for melted cheese.

She loves to sing her conversations.

Everyday, she declares that she wouldn't trade her little sister for ANY other baby, EVEN a boy baby.

She adores singing, practices her songs on the piano every day, and can't wait to learn to play the violin or mandolin.

Root beer popsicles are her favorite.

She welcomes the sight of blood.

Antique shops make her happy.

So do book stores.

She adores technology and if we didn't care about her brain, she'd play Angry Birds 24/7.

She has compared herself to Mater and her sister Liv to Lightning McQueen...both characters from the Movie, "Cars". This really cracks me up.  Really, Holland?  Mater?!  

She has an interesting fear that she will grow super small or super large.

She is an amazingly tender, creative, joyful little girl and I am super blessed to be her mom!


In other news, Holland decided 2 weeks before her birthday that she did not want any kind of birthday celebration.  She had worked herself up to a panic at the thought of it.  I was surprised, but then I wasn't.  She likes to steer away from being the center.  I assured her that she didn't have to have a party and she was visibly relieved.  But knowing how much Holland really does LOVE birthdays and friends and celebrations, I decided a small little party couldn't hurt, and would make her feel loved and important.  So we fashioned a small surprise party and made it just her style.

A fictional character lives within our walls....our mind walls, that is.  Suzie is a boy dragon (his mother wanted a girl...go figure) who was created to relax Holland's fears about dragons after a nightmare she had one night.  ("Really?" you say.  I know what you're thinking...a healthy does of dragon fear isn't so bad...but to that I say, "Dragons are not real.") Since then, Suzie shows up in bedtime stories nearly every night.  Holland really adores fact, the other day she wistfully told me that she wished Suzie was real.  Suzie spends most of his days saving the day and being a good friend.  Instead of telling you about Suzie, I'll share one of my stories of Suzie:

Suzie {the boy} Dragon

The day Suzie was born was a sad day.  You see, Suzie’s mom so convinced herself that she was having a girl dragon, that when out came a BOY dragon, she was in utter disbelief and refused to name him something other than Suzie.  So if you look at Suzie’s birth certificate you will see that Suzie is indeed a boy dragon, and Suzie is definitely his real name.  

Now that you know Suzie’s birth story, I am sure you, dear reader, will be able to accept Suzie as he is, dragon and all. 

Now, I know you must feel bad for Suzie, since his mother wanted him to be a girl, but Suzie looked like any other happy, healthy boy dragon.  Oh, his mother dressed him in a pink bonnet for a few weeks--at first.  But Suzie is now choosing his own clothes and is able to wear black rubber boots and his favorite blue suspenders.

Have you seen Suzie?  You can’t miss him.  His deep purple skin and his bright yellow dots seem to pop out and say, “Here I am!!!”.    And because he is the only dragon in town (except for his mother) he walks everywhere and claims his wings are only for looks.  (Because, you see, Suzie is NOT a show-off).  Suzie is slow and clumsy and every so often, he straightens his bow tie and gives a good click with his tongue (like this:  “cluck cluck”).  Everybody loves Suzie.  It isn’t because he is so large or because every time he sneezes, fire comes out his nose.  Nope.  Everybody loves Suzie because he is kind and helpful to anyone who needs someone, well…kind and helpful. 

One particular day, Suzie was out walking along the sidewalk, kicking at boulders along the way, when he heard a frantic train whistle.  He had heard train whistles before but this time it was different.  It was as if the train was shouting, “MOVE OUT!  MOVE OUT!”  Suzie did not waste any time at all.  Now, I know I said Suzie wasn’t a show-off,  but I also said that Suzie is kind and helpful to anyone in need.  He spread his wings and pushed off towards the train with all the speed and might he could muster.  Above the tree tops he soared.  Around the fire station he turned.  More blaring train whistles could be heard. Beyond the river and through the woods he gathered speed.  The train whistles were becoming more and more urgent. And when he rounded the bend near the grocery store he saw why the train was so frantic--A car was stopped on the tracks and the people couldn’t get out!  As he got closer, his heart raced fast:  His best friend Holland and all her friends were inside!  He glanced over and saw that the train was dangerously close now to the car. Hovering over the crowd of people who had gathered, Suzie swooped down and literally plucked the car from the tracks and carried it safely out of harms way.  Holland and her friends tumbled out of the car and tackled Suzie with hugs of gratitude.  The townspeople rushed at the loveable dragon and shook his hand vigorously, one by one, until Suzie thought his arm would fall off.  And the following day, The Mayor of the town had a meeting where he awarded Suzie a “key” to the city so that, though he was a dragon, he was now an honorary member of the city and could now be counted in the annual census.  Best of all, in Suzie’s opinion, was the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast waiting for him afterwards. With a click of his bow-tie and a skip to his step, he invited Holland and all her friends to join him and together they devoured those pancakes! 


Anyhow, all this was shared with you so you don't have to ask:  Why is this little girl so happy to have a dragon birthday cake?

My mom took Holland shopping as we set up for the party.  When Holland returned, she was so happy to see friends and balloons and food!  Then, as the kids were finishing their dinner, I gathered the kids together to play a game and then "noticed" that one of our guests was missing:  Suzie!  Well, of course, the kids wanted to know who Suzie was (though some already did know since Holland talks about Suzie all the time!), so I told the kids the story of Suzie as we waited for Suzie to show up.  

Holland was ecstatic that Suzie was the center of attention.  As I was finishing, Brian came up with a letter and exclaimed that a man with mask just dropped off a letter for Holland!  

Holland and friends,

Your dear friend Suzie will not be attending the party because he is a little tied up right now.  (muhaahaaa!!)  In fact, you can kiss your chances away of ever seeing your friend again! 


Bad guy

She looked nervous as she opened the letter.  We all suddenly knew that Suzie was NOT coming to the party, and that Suzie needed help badly!  He was captured and being held against his will.  Suddenly a clue was found on the ground, and the hunt for Suzie began.  

The clues led them to the sunflower garden, 

the sandbox, 

to the apple tree where the correct number of lemon drops needed to be guessed.  

Then to the canoe, 

a mad rush to the pastor, 

up the climbing wall, 

where straws were drawn to see who had to be brave enough to seek out advice from the sage, 

and to the old sage...

...atop the mountain with a clear warning: "do NOT drink from the paper cup."  

At this point, the pinata lowered and the kids desperately tried to free Suzie from the pink castle where he was being held.  

Then the castle broke open and the kids gathered army men (who, of course, were guarding the castle), candies, and other treats.  When all the goods were gathered, the kids were asked if they had seen Suzie.  None had, but then a look into all the bags found him in Holland's bag!  She was super happy to have found him.  

Afterwards, the kids dug into the Suzie cake and the kids played the rest of the night. 

Brian helped plan this party, and the whole time we were working on it, we both felt so grateful for our unique little girl.  She is an enormous blessing to our family and completes it only the way she can with her wild imagination, individual ideas, and her warm little heart.  

Happy Birthday, Hollywags!  We love you!


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