Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Snow 2007!

The quiet before the storm and frenzy of Christmas morning. I love this time just as much as when the kids coming running out. The kids got up between 6:45 and 7:15. Noah would have slept in until 8:00 if we let him, even though he is usually the first one up in the morning.

All of the kids had to come into our room first until we got everything set up in the morning. When I was little, we did the same thing in our house. We would all get up and stay in my parents room while the got he fire going and coffee made. It has always been a great memory to wait for the go ahead. We would all run down the stairs and see the tree and the gifts from Santa. We did the same things this year. The kids waited until we said it was time and they came running.

They all opened stockings first and then we break for breakfast (Scotch eggs and coffee cake). It is tradition. Any of you who don't know what Scotch eggs are, you are missing out--just email me and ask me. We were on our way to the table when they saw the gifts from Santa that had been hidden in he other room. They all came running with Noah yelling for his brothers, "There are Santa gifts over here". They were all so excited to get their bikes from Santa.

Kids on their bikes. We let them ride them inside since it was too early and too cold outside. They thought that was great. We made sure they knew this wasn't a normal activity.

Aunt Hannah loves her nephews and she had a great time giving gifts this year. She always nails the gifts perfectly for each child. She got Noah a shopping cart which he thought was very cool. He then put all of his Christmas gifts into it throughout the morning.

Jonah received roller blades from Aunt Hannah which he said he had always wanted. He was very happy and also put them on right away and skated through the house. We are push over for parents. Letting the kids ride bikes and roller blades in the house. It is all down hill from here I am afraid.

Noah, being very content listening to his story reader on the couch. One of those quiet moments on Christmas morning where you see the exhaustion catch up to each child.

Opening gifts on Christmas morning. Noah has a great look on his face......and so does Sue.

Rebecca, always looking beautiful, even when I try to get a picture of her in order to black mail her with at a later date. Does Reba take a bad picture? Don't answer that. You're beautiful honey, especially with the Santa hat on.

At around 11:00, it started to snow, which was great in and of itself. It was so beautiful to see the snow on Christmas morning. Until we remembered we were driving to Bainbridge Island in the white stuff. We left and it was really coming down hard. It was beautiful, so Rebecca took pictures from the car. You would think we have lived our whole life in Arizona or something. We did make it to Bainbridge safely though. What a great gift.

We went over to my parents home and all nine cousins got to be together to open gifts and play together. They all had a great time with each other. Opening gifts was incredible to watch. So much excitement and noise. Jacob and Jonah got pogo sticks, which they think is awesome. So do their parents. Anything to suck the energy from them is always a great gift.

Grandma Karen with Jacob helping him open a gift. Jacob actually had an ear infection that seemed to peak right when we arrived at their house. While he was opening gifts, Rebecca was on the phone with the on-call doctor getting a prescription for Jacob. She called around to many different pharmacies until she found one that was open on Christmas--Thank God.

It was scary and exciting all at the same time to see Nolan and Noah get launching planes on Christmas. They looked like they were a force to be reckoned with that day. They had so much fun with them, shooting them up into the fan and their grandparents home.

All of the kids, with Dana's help (age 15) recreated the story of Christmas from the Bible. To put is lightly, it was so funny. It was mass chaos on top of mass chaos. If you look closely, Nolan has a pink too too on. Dana tried hard to make the costume work for this Bible story, but it was a stretch. The baby Jesus was man handled by the sheep and cattle. Mary fell off the donkey she was riding which pushed her into an early term labor. They ended up using Nolan as the angel (as he wore his pink outfit). The manger gave way and baby Jesus rolled across the floor. By most accounts, it was a traumatic event for most, but especially, Jesus. We had a great time watching the whole thing.

Here is the cast and crew for the Christmas story that was performed on Bainbridge Island in 2007. God loves all of these children.

We had a great Day with a lot of great memories. Each year it just keeps getting better and better. God bless everyone.

Christmas Eve is finally here!

Christmas Eve....a time of reflection and relaxation, or wen you have young children, a time of supreme excitement. We had Rebecca's sister Sarah and her husband, Josh, over along with Hannaha (Reba's sister), Mark and Sue, and GG (Great Grandma Elaine-91 year old). We had everyone over for food, making gingerbread houses, and presents. We weren't going to see Sarah and Josh for Christmas, so we decided to do Christmas Eve. It worked out great. The kids got to start on their gingerbread houses. Jacob took it on as a task with help from Josh.

Sarah stepped up to the challenge and helped Noah construct something that they could probably live in once it was done and dry. While they helped, I was in charge of helping Jonah. Not a good match. Arts and crafts aren't my thing. It made me anxious to glue the thing together with frosting. The walls fell and I couldn't get it to stay up. I had to pay for a contractor to come in and finish the work--sound familiar?

We all brought food tonight and it was very good. We had ham and lots of extras. The food prep always seems to take precedence on the evening, but not tonight. Most of our time was spent spending time together instead of cooking. It was great.

It is always a surprise to see Noah sitting on Josh's lap. It seems like the moment Josh walks in the door, Noah is velcrowed to his side. He can't get away from him. Noah loves his new uncle Josh. So when it was time to open gifts from Sarah and Josh, Noah flew across the room towards Josh.

Jacob got his travel battleship game that he has wanted since playing it at his cousin's house in Spokane. Rebecca looks a little too relaxed in this picture for having Christmas eve at the house. That's our Reba. Coffee cup in hand, and wearing more clothes than humanly possibly and still a bit chilly.

This year, Sarah and Josh got all three boys their own laptop computers from a company called "One laptop per child" They had a special deal that if you bought one laptop for a child in Africa, they gave you a second one for "free". So they bought three of them and they gave the children the extra ones. They are incredible computers. You can see in the picture that they are durable and easy for kids to use. They have a built in modem so they get Internet connection even in Africa. The hope is that children in these countries can have their own computers that are easy to use. It is a great program.

So as you can imagine, the boys were overwhelmed at getting their own computer, as were their parents. They have had a great time on them the past two days. They are easy to use and they all talk to one another. In this picture, Josh was trying to get the computer set up for Jacob. Jacob thinks Josh can do anything that has to do with computers, and he would probably be right. A big thank you goes out to Sarah and Josh.

Sarah sits on the couch with Jonah as they both figure out how to use the computers.

For more information on the computers, you can go to

GG was able to come and spend the evening with us and it was great to have her. We all love having her around. Jonah was a big help as she opened some gifts from the family. Santa's little helper.

A cute picture to see all of the children playing on their laptops. The rests of the Christmas gifts were trash compared to the computers--just kidding. They had a great time videotaping themselves and recording their voices on the computer. It is amazing what these computers can do.

We had a fun Christmas eve together as a family. Tomorrow we will be here at the house and then off to my parents home on Bainbridge in the afternoon. RnR

Who's the man with the bow in his hair?

What a good question. No, he didn't have too much eggnog, he just seems to get a little goofy at family gatherings. You always have to watch out for uncle Mike. The LeRoy's and Bowman's gathered for our annual Christmas party with Santa in tow. We always have a great time and eat a lot of incredible food made by all of the family. We have started the tradition of a white elephant gift exchange, which always turns out to be a big laugh. There was the 185 ounce can of tomato sauce, the homemade alcohol from some European country, smuggled into the country-don't ask, a bloody mary kit, and a Christmas pig piggy bank. Those are just a few of the gifts

It was amazing to get all the kids on the couch for a picture at the same time. They all had a good time seeing Santa. There were a few of the kids who have been wondering about the existence of Santa Clause, but seeing him in person squashed those thoughts. They all thought it was great, even grandma Karen who sat on his lap and got goosed by the guy in the red suit. Sophia warmed right up to Santa. You never know what the little ones think.

Noah cautiously jumped up onto Santa's lap and made sure he had the year, make and model number of the bike he wanted. Better watch out Santa if you get him the wrong gift this year. Noah will send his army after you in a loving way of course.

Jacob still thinks that Santa can do no wrong. It is a great time to be a kid. You never want them to lose their enthusiasm for Christmas.

Jonah was the one we were most worried about. We thought he may rip off Santa's beard and show the world the horror of all that is being hidden from children everywhere. We were glad that he was amazed at Santa and that he took time out of his busy schedule to come and see him. Now he is his biggest supporter. It is only a matter of time.

A picture of "the crowd" watching Santa do his magic and work the room.

Dana (15) and Jonah (6) had to take come time away from the crowd and get in some heavy duty pillow fighting before dinner. Dana is always so good with all of the younger kids. He has definitely earned the respect of all of the young cousins. Dana is king among the clan.

Grandpa Doug helping Santa out near the tree. There are so many kids, he needed some extra help calling out some of the names. That Santa suit can get awful hot, so hot that it can even fog your glasses.

Mark, Marcy, and Kristyn watching Santa give out the gifts. Marcy seems to have had an extra glass of wine prior to Santa coming.

Just a picture of more of the adults which looks really boring, I know. Jonah is giving uncle Mike a bear hug. He reminds him of Papa Mark with the beard.

We had a great time and the kids ran the whole time. Tradition is nice. It really got us in the Christmas mood for more festivities. Merry Christmas to all.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Giving back

We have been trying to think of something we could do this month to give back. It is a drop in the bucket, but we decided to give food this month to the local food bank for Central kitsap. The kids kicked their own money in and so did we. We first called the food bank and asked them what they wanted so that we could buy things that are helpful instead of just canned goods. Jacob and Noah and I went to the store today and bought what we had decided upon. We all drove down to the food bank and dropped off the food. All the kids helped bring in the food and then they weighed it. We gave 83 pounds worth of food, which didn't mean much to the kids until we said it was more than the kids weighed individually. It was great to do, but we know that they need food all year long. We talked about picking something as a family that we can all do each month to help out. This is one thing that we could do each month as a family, not just in December. We have asked the kids to pray about this and come up with any other ideas they can think of and then we can decide starting in January. You never know what God may put on their heart for the next year. Merry Christmas everyone.
The LeRoy Clan

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jacob sporting his new glasses!

Well, Jacob came home from school two weeks ago saying that they checked his eyes and he probably needed glasses. We were caught off guard, so we made the appointment with an optometrist and just like they said, his vision was 20/70 He was so excited to go and pick out glasses with Rebecca. Rebecca and I were glad that he was excited, because he needed them anyway. So, today, we got the call that they had come in and were ready. They went and picked them up and he was amazed at the things he could see now. He said that our television looked like a new flat screen. He is easy to please. He kept saying that people will look at him and wonder, "what did you do with my Jacob?" It will take some getting used to as he learns how to take care of his glasses and keep them on all day. The last thing we need is a lost pair of glasses within the first week. He is so excited and proud to be wearing them. We are just glad that we found out he needed them. Now at least he can see the board in school.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas events all month long

Reindeer in the headlights. I caught Jacob during one of his 30 minute gameboy sessions. I don't even think he knew where he was when I called his name.

A RARE moment when I found Jonah reading to Noah. It is the kind of moment you hope for your children to have more than once a year. Jonah loves reading and Noah loves when his big brother reads to him. I am sure that when I left the room, the tackling and beatings began again, but for one moment in time, it was peaceful.

Brownsville Elementarys' music teacher was brave enough to work with 50 first graders and put on a Wintertime Holiday play-trying to be politically correct. Jonah got the part of Papa Snowman, which he was thrilled about. He practiced his lines with Rebecca and while at school and he ended doing an incredible job. He was stoned faced through the entire performance, but he never missed a beat with his lines. Afterwards he said, boy was that stressful. He is the one near the piano with Mama snowman.

When I was sitting there and the curtain went up, I busted up laughing at the glasses and the hat. It was perfect for Jonah. He wouldn't look at me for fear of losing control. He told me afterwards that at future performances, I would have to sit to the side so he couldn't see me.

He started looking a little bit bored and tired towards the end. It was his second performance of the day and he was just waiting for the cast party afterwards--he wishes!
It concerned me a little bit for him to have the microphone with a large audience, but it all went just fine.

Cool Mr. Jonah with the hot, sticky, Snowman suit on.

Rebecca had been at the school helping the kids with their lines and getting some of the props for the stage. You all know how much Rebecca loves getting up in front of a room full of people at a school event. She was able to get all of the Christmas trees donated. I think it is safe to say that she was also glad that the play was over even though she had a great time helping out.

On Saturday, December, 16th, we went over to Southcenter area for a family reunion of sorts with Rebecca's side of the family. This allows us to see Mark's side of the family at least twice a year, which is great. Jonah was first in line with Great Grandma as she cut the first piece of pie. We all love her pies and of course the conversation too. We always have a great time connecting with the family and finding out what everyone is up to. As we grow, more are getting married and hopefully, having children too.

Rebecca and I went shopping all day on Friday and stayed up until midnight that night wrapping gifts. On Saturday morning, I found the kids all around the tree sifting through the gifts, talking about what they thought we had gotten them. It was very fun to sit back and watch who took the lead and who followed along cautiously. Jonah was right in there yelling out names on the tags. It was fun to watch. By the way, they have no idea what they are getting because Santa hasn't delivered all of the gifts yet.

Tonight, on Monday, we went to the last of the Christmas school events at Noah Preschool, Creative Connection. Noah was in front of the line, which we all thought was great. I ran up to take a picture and this is the face he shows me. This picture fits Noah perfectly. He had his rubber band, red tie on, his paper candle, and his tongue hanging out for all to see. That's my boy!

He did such a good job singing and remembering to do the hand motions. We have all been to a lot of these events over the years with all the boys. Even though we have memorized the songs and schedule of the performance, it is still so fun to see Noah getting to do this now. For years, he went to the church watching Jacob and Jonah, always so excited for them. It was fun to see him up there this year.

In this picture, it seems like he is done. All of the excitement leading up to the finale was probably just too much for him to deal with. The boys with the candles, and the girls with their angel wings. There is bound to be a catastrophe.
Now, just a week away from Christmas eve, we can enjoy this reason for this season, Jesus Christ. Looking back over these pictures, I can see God in each one of them smiling down on us from above. We are His children.
Merry Christmas! The LeRoy Family 2007

More updated pictures of the road washed out

As a quick outing, we decided to go down the road and actually look at the sink hole or the washed out road, whatever you want to call it. It was amazing to actually see it in person. It is enormous. It is not surprising that they say it will take 6 months to repair because it look like they are going to have to put a bridge in. The kids, of course, wanted to go right to the edge. This was the closest way for us and they buses to get to school, about 5 minutes. Now, they are busing around a different way which does take a lot longer.

Of course on this day, the sun was shining brightly and it had warmed up. The calm after the storm.

You can see all of the trees that fell over straight to the bottom. Well, that seems to be enough excitement for this year. I hope the rest of the winter calms down a bit.