Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years' (set up)






We have spent the morning and afternoon getting ready to celebrate the arrival of a new year. The cookies are baked. The girls have been thinking of all the fun things we have done, the miracles God has done for us, and the memories we have made this year, and now it is time to get the house cleaned up again, the games out and set the table for a party!

2010 was a great year, and we are looking forward to what God has for us in 2011!

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Pences!

All About Me

I am looking for some accountability. I really need to be much healthier, and at this point, that means losing some (ok, LOTS) of weight.

In December, I have lost 17 lbs. Bringing my total weight loss to 47 lbs. I am happy with that weight loss after all the Christmas time goodies that have been out and around all month! Here's hoping for at least another 15 lbs in January!

If I fail to do an all about me post on January 31st, please remind me as I am using this as a way of keeping me accountable!

It's been a relaxing week!

We have been able to stay home all week! No errands, not bustling about, just staying home enjoying each other, and the snow that fell a couple days ago!

The girls have had a great time playing with their new things from Christmas. We also had a play date with friends. And I have done a date night in with each of the older 4 girls. I always find it interesting what they like to do!

Anna really wanted to play the New Super Mario Bros with me for the wii. (It is a new game they just got for Christmas, and admittedly, it is pretty fun!)
Bailey and I worked on some Origami, then played video games!
Ashley and I played pretend.
Brianna and I played a couple board games.

And with each of them, we enjoyed brownies a la mode!

Serenity is becoming more and more interactive each day, and everyone is having fun trying to get her to smile at them!

Justice is loving his new cars and trucks that he got for Christmas! I think his favorite is a CAT flashlight that makes sounds.

It is a welcome down time, especially looking ahead to next week and realizing that we will be out of the house every day...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Serenity's Eyes




I know that I tend to be a bit paranoid when it comes to development...at least after Callie I am!

As Serenity is getting more and more alert and interactive during her awake periods, it seems that her eyes are working together less. I am sure that at least part of this is still normal development of her learning to use her eyes, but at 2 months old, it is certainly something I am keeping a very close eye on! I even called the pediatrician's office today to see if I could get her in to be checked and ask about it...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Serenity is 2 months old already!






Time goes by so fast! I have days that seem long, but the weeks and months go by very quickly!

My sweet baby is already 2 months old today! We are already 1/6 of the way through her first year! She is changing so fast - almost by the day!

She is holding her head up more, and is more alert. She is tracking things as they move around. She is pushing up beyond a 45 degree angle when laying on her tummy. She is getting a full feeding in faster now (about 15-20 minutes instead of 30-45 minutes). She is also sleeping better the last few nights! I have only been up twice a night for the last 4 nights instead of 3-4, and she is going right back to sleep after those feedings!

Outside of me, Serenity's favorite person is probably her grandpa. She will sit with him for hours and be so content, and sleep...even when she is fussy for everyone else!

Everyone still loves her so much and enjoys holding her. She is such a welcome addition to our family and a joy!

Christmas Morning






Everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I think everyone was excited for what they got (I for one was amazed by what I got - but my favorite came from God, Baby Serenity!).

Everyone came to show me their favorite present...I am often surprised by what they choose as their favorites!







The rest of Christmas setup



I finished up getting the food to the table right at 8 am - for the very first time, I actually got everything ready 'on time!'

DH and his parents stayed up until after 2 am blowing up balloons, so I was on my own for the morning set up. I was glad his parents, especially got to sleep in as they were out trucking last year and didn't really get a Christmas! They came into the house right about 8 am, just as we were ready to get started!

This year, we did a cupcake decorating contest for Jesus' birthday cake - it was a lot of fun! Here is what everyone had to work with.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Setting the Stage



I turned in a little after 11 last night, with a fussy baby. I have no idea when Chris or his parents went to bed after setting up all the balloons...but I am now up, getting the table all ready with our traditional Christmas morning goodies.

The girls got up at about 5 this morning (actually Justice was the first one up!) I lay in bed for about 1/2 hour listening to their excitement as they got dressed quickly, trying to be ready for whenever we might come to get them.

Here are a couple pics from our set up last night and this morning!

I have Mini Pigs In a Blanket in the oven now. The cinnemon rolls are waiting to go in, as is the mexi dip. I am guessing that this will be the first year that I have everything ready to go on time, by 8 am!

Wonderful Christmas Eve Service



The anticipation builds



This picture of Brianna, is worth of thousand words! She is so excited she can hardly contain herself! As we start to get things ready for Christmas morning, she is about to burst - especially when we let her help with something, like the chocolate here and making cupcakes!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Miracle on 34th Street

We watched the movie Miracle on 34th Street, the new one, yesterday. At one point in the movie, a Mom with a deaf girl come up to Santa. The mom explains that her child is hear impaired, and while they couldn't talk, she just wanted to sit on Santa's knee. But Santa is able to talk with her in sign language, and takes the time to sign a song with her.

I hadn't ever thought much about this part, at least not as singling it out...but now, as the mom of a disabled child, and knowing just how special it is for a disabled child to have or do 'normal' things, just like everyone else...like the roller rink allowing Callie to skate with her walker...this scene has new meaning for me!

And isn't that exactly what God does for us? He meets us where we are, no matter where that might be and brings us closer to him.

Lights of Christmas!















We had such a fun time last night at the Lights of Christmas! I love to see the excitement on my children's faces as they see all the lights, the full sized nativity scene, talk to Bruce the Christmas Spruce, ride the train, pet the animals at the petting farm, listen to the Victorian Carolers, eat fresh made mini donuts, and so much more!

For anyone who is Western WA, I highly recommend checking out the Lights of Christmas in Stanwood!

This is just one of our many Christmas traditions. To read more about them click here to read last year's post about our traditions.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Callie's 1st gait training




Callie had the opportunity to use a gait trainer today. She did a really nice job. Here are some pictures from the appointment.

The idea behind gait training is to give them the neurological input of what walking normally feels like while taking the fear of falling away, so they are able to try more on their own without having to keep their balance at the same time. Callie was able to work on taking bigger, more normal sized steps. She could also watch herself walk in the mirror, which also helps to give her clues as to what her body is doing, and how to change it.

She walked for 10 minutes on the treadmill today, then did other walking/gait activities off of it. She is absolutely exhausted tonight!