Saturday, December 19, 2009

Magical Evening

We were blessed with such a magical evening last night. Lately we've been making Friday evenings family night.  I'll pack up the kids and head up to Daddy's office and we'll all go out to dinner.  Last night we decided to try something different and went to find out what Ice Cutters Christmas was all about. We headed north to the Silver Star Ranch and were greeted as if we were old family friends. A warm inviting bonfire was roaring outside the barn.  

Inside was beautifully decorated for Christmas and full of yummy sweet and salty treats and hot chocolate.

We arrived around 7:30 and they scooted us outside where a crowd was gathering to watch Jay Maclaskey entertain with a live ice sculpture carving. In less than 30 minutes, using a chain saw and an ice pick he transformed a 300 pound block of ice into jolly old St. Nick.  The kids in the front of the crowd would scream with delight as the ice shavings would sprinkle over their heads.  

There were goats, sheep, ponies and a big Texas longhorn in the stables.  

A jingle bell hayride pulled by a big red tractor got us up close and personal with the light displays at the back of the ranch. They had a craft table for making personalized Christmas ornaments and a snow ball battlefield where the big kids battled it out. No lines, no big crowds, it truly felt like it was just us and a few good friends. 

If you are in or around the Montgomery, Texas area (near The Woodlands & Conroe) you have got to take the time to check out Ice Cutters Christmas. They are open Friday & Saturday nights from 6 pm - 10 pm.  It's $5 per person and kids 6 and under are free!  It's nights like these that I hope the kids will remember as fondly as we do. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Much Fun!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here - we even had snow last week which is almost unheard of around here!  It was fun to watch the kids enjoy the wonder of the cold.  What was not fun was to try to get four opinionated two year olds (who see no need for things such as socks, hats, coats, pants) bundled up for only a couple of cold wet minutes of play.  My hats off to you mamas north of us who do this day in and day out all winter long - what a job!  Other Christmas traditions we enjoyed this week; hot cocoa with jumbo marshmallows, butternut squash soup, decorating the tree together, redecorating the tree alone and taking family Christmas photos.  What a fun time of year this is, especially through the eyes of three boys and a little girl!  

Snow Much Fun from Mari Goerlich on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday's Truth

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.  In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.  

Psalm 34:4-6 (NLT)

Monday, November 30, 2009

B is For....

Blogger Bums!
Where has November gone? It definitely got away from us and we've been major bums on blogging.  Here's a quick review of what happened this month!

Birthday Weekend With Best Friends!
A few of my beautiful girlfriends helped me celebrate my 32nd birthday by spending a night at the Inn at the Ballpark downtown Houston.

Shannon, Colleen, Mari & Jo Ann

We hit the Nutcracker Market for some holiday shopping,

Appropriately Posing In the Dog House 
as Our Hubbies Were Manning the Kids While We Shopped!

enjoyed a delicious dinner at Sambuca, then back to the hotel for some goofing off and lots of gab!  
What slumber party would be complete without a pillow fight?

Big Boy {and girl}  Beds!
Our little monkeys have been able to climb in and out of their cribs for months now. We were able to teach them to only climb in and out when we came in to get them and during the day when we'd let them play in their rooms. So the next step was to take the sides of the crib off.  Nervously we disassembled their beds and prayed they'd still nap!  It took about 3 days before we didn't have any midnight visitors in our room but they did it!  It's been great ever since and especially helpful to not have to travel with pack-n-plays!

Cohen Kicks Back in His Big Boy Bed

Traveling Light With Bedrolls Made by Grandma!

Back to the Beach

We spent a week at the beach for a Glass family Thanksgiving along Florida's Emerald Coast just outside of Destin. We packed the car to the brim, drove 9 hours overnight meeting up with my sister and her family of 5, my brother and his daughter and my parents; 15 of us in all.  The four bedroom beachfront condo fit us all comfortably and provided us with a week full of breathtaking ocean views from sunrise to sunset. 

Cohen, Noah, Sophia & Finn
Grandma & Cohen Make Sandcastles

Papa & Finn Talking Man to Man

Sophia Picnics on Her Bros Food as They're Busy Playing
Noah's Sandy Smile

Thanksgiving Lunch on the Beach

Bikes {with and without motors}

Florida's scenic Highway 30A hugs the Gulf of Mexico and has some beautiful paths for bicycling. All 15 of us spent Thanksgiving day enjoying the scenery on two wheels. 

Now That's a Pack of Bikes!

Our Very Own Thanksgiving Day Parade

Sophia & Noah As Close As They Can Get
Cohen & Finn As Far Apart As They Can Manage
For the more adventurous (Uncle Jim & Aunt Em) you can see a whole lot more of the coast with a lot less effort. Cohen and Noah were both up for this loud adventure around the parking lot but Finn & Sophia wouldn't have any part of it. Finn even tried to talk Cohen out of getting on the motorcycle at all. Thank goodness we have one little boy who's going to assess the potential risk for the group in any given situation. 

Uncle Jim, Aunt Em, & Noah

Cohen Gives It A Try
Boats {with and without paddles}

We had a few days of incredibly calm water and were able to take a kayak out from the beach outside our condo. Once again, Finn & Sophia were hesitant to try it out but we forced them on kicking and screaming and once they got out with us they were loving it. The water is so crystal clear you can see straight to the bottom. 

Finn, Mommy, Noah & Daddy Paddle In With Jakob's Help

Last year we rented a pontoon and were able to see dozens of dolphins out in the bay. We ventured out again with no luck on spotting any dolphins but did catch a really neat Sheep Fish!

Jakob's Catch of the Day

Papa, Cohen, Noah & Grandma Cuddle to Keep Warm

Finn Getting Sophia Pumped For a Day of Boating in the Cold Weather

Boogie Boarding

The big cousins loved to get the boogie boards out into the water and ride the waves.  

Makenna Rides the Waves

Even though we love our new Puddle Jumper life vests which are US Coastguard approved and kept our little non-swimmers afloat in the big heated pool, we thought it'd be best to have them stick to boogie boarding on dry land for now.

Boogie Boredom from Mari Goerlich on Vimeo.

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Grammie came to visit us and help to take the kids trick or treating. We dressed the kids up for the first time and paraded around the neighborhood. We had our own little zoo on the loose with Cohen & Sophia being monkeys, Noah as a tiger, Finn as a lion and Chris and I as animal attack victims.  It was a great time and we all wish we could do it over again! Next year can't come soon enough. 

Trick or Treat from Mari Goerlich on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Colors of Fall

Four eager artists, a handful of washable markers and four little pumpkins are the makings of fall colors around here. The best part is that the markers wash right off (the pumpkins and the artists) and we can color the same canvases all season.  I'm loving that!





Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday's Truth

Jesus replied, "What is impossible for men is possible with God." 
Luke 18:27

More Thursday's Truths

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Horsin' around with Daddy

With Mommy out of the house shopping with a friend, it was due time for a little mano y mano y mano y mano y chica time.  The absolutely perfect weather gave way to lots of outdoor activities.  After hanging out in the backyard re-organizing the "rock garden", we headed for the neighborhood park and trails.  After a few rounds on the slide, we decided to see if the horses were enjoying the fall temps as much as we were.  I guess they were feeling frisky too because they were all out in the pasture and right up to the fence.  Surprisingly, the kids were not at all frightened of these big, beautiful creatures.  Finn especially loved the horses and has to be the biggest animal lover of the crew.  They couldn't get enough of petting the horses and "neighing" at them.  After that we strolled down the dirt trail really just doing nothing.  I truly cherish these "one-on one" moments with the kids as they see the beauty in all the little and ordinary things around us.

Noah & Cohen
Finn, Noah, Sophia & Cohen

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday's Truth

It seems like my mind is constantly in a fog.  There are lots of distractions around here and I am constantly being pulled in many different ways.  

Sophia will follow me around saying "Mommy, hair?" "Mommy, hair?" "Mommy, hair?"  She'll persist for an hour just for me to look down to see that all she wants is for me to put her little pigtails back in for her.  

Cohen will walk around the house and request over and over "Up.....up.....up....up..." to see if I'll give in and finally pick him up. Which will then create a domino effect of three more little ones insisting, "Mommy, up..."  

Finn likes to ask to go outside and then once he's outside he likes to ask to come back inside. It's to see if I'll pay attention to him and open and shut the door for him for as long as he sees fit. 

Noah's new one is "Mommy, look! or "Mommy, watch!" No matter if he's just sitting on the couch or about to go down the slide - he wants to see if I'll look his way - all eyes on him.  

I've gotten really good at tuning out the requests so I don't start a domino effect and so I can try to stay on course and get my next task done.  The problem with this is that I've started to tune out that one clear voice who should be directing my path throughout the day.  God, the Holy Spirit, my BFF; I'm sad to say that voice has been giving very clear instructions lately and I've simply been ignoring it and going on to the next item on my checklist. 

The God who has given me the miracles that these four little ones are, the God who provides in abundance for our family of six on just one income, the same God who created this entire universe. How could I just ignore what He is asking of me? How did I make His plan so insignificant and my pursuit for order and pleasure so much better? I let my mind get clouded by everything around me.  I fill my schedule with meaningless tasks and activities that leave me too tired and worn out to do what He's asking. I get in a hurry and forget to really listen and I justify that there's always tomorrow. I don't want that to be my life. As our pastor often says, God's plan is not always easier but always so much better than our own plans. I've got to choose who it is I am living for and then learn to listen to that clear yet quiet voice in order to live it out.

You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. 
Deuteronomy 10:20 & 21

More Thursday's Truths

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Too Sweet!

With Texas's first cold front of the season, we were feeling frisky to check out the Scarecrow Festival in Chapell Hill.  We made so many memories today and are beginning to realize how grown up our babies are becoming.  We loaded them up in one wagon (yes, all four in one wagon) and navigated the crowds. Halfway through, we ditched the wagon next to a fence and were walking and holding hands with the kids wandering the festival grounds on foot. Not once did they try to bail on us, run or touch any of the tempting merchandise at just an arm's length from them. 

We hunted down the petting zoo which we were bummed to find was $3 per child to enter. With only $10 in cash on us, we ignored the dirty looks and let them pet all of the animals on the outside of the fence for free.  This included the sassy pony who must've been kicked out for bad behavior. We let the kids pet her during which she whinnied so loud it about knocked Sophia over!  That marked the end of the free exhibit for our little family.

After meandering through the fairgrounds with such a well behaved bunch we thought it was appropriate to reward them (and ourselves) with sugar. We had $10 burning a hole in our pocket. So we stood in a line one dozen deep for a Texas sized bag of some killer kettle corn - $7.  

Right next door they were dishing up some massive cotton candy cones - $3 - perfect! It was worth every penny as the crowd was entertained by the squealing delight of our four two year olds trying cotton candy for the first time. Finn, who is a little guy that likes to put everything in his mouth just to see what it tastes like, feels or does once it's in there was going crazy for it! It was too sweet for words - check it out yourself!