Week In Review ~ February 8

So, yes, I realize it’s actually February 18th, not February 8th, but alas, it is only February and I’m behind on my goal for 2015. So, humor me as I backtrack to a review of a couple weeks ago…


On February 2nd, I began a part-time job, of sorts, to earn money toward our adoption. I’m super excited about this and thankful for a way to earn some extra money!


We played store for math this week. Shhh…don’t tell her it was for math. πŸ™‚


We got 12 inches of snow overnight!


She just couldn’t make it through bedtime stories…


For date day, Ethan helped me make popcorn…


…then we played a game of his choice, Scrambled States of America. He’s better at Geography than I am.


Just reading to Pippy.


This little lady was SO sick all day Wednesday, then woke up Thursday completely fine. It was heartbreaking but I enjoyed the snuggles while they lasted!


This kid. He has so much energy. Sometimes getting schoolwork done looks like this.


Buddies. Sometimes it’s fun to break out a toy you haven’t used in awhile.


Breakfast for dinner. You may think this plate belonged to one of our children. Nope. It’s daddy’s.


He begged me to let him take her out in the snow to play. These two adore each other. I’m so thankful.


On Friday night, my parents had us over for dinner. My mom made my favorite dessert…Chocolate Eclair! Yum!


Sleepover at Grandpa’s!


We rode snowmobiles for a few hours on Saturday with Grandpa and the cousins. So much fun!! Lillyanna spent the day with Grandpa and Neena so we could take the older ones. Allie was super scared to go at first, but once she got on, she loved it!


It was fun to check out the ice sculptures by the lake!


Pedal tractor races happened in Grandpa’s loft with the cousins Saturday night including helmets, gloves and the man waving the checkered flag. There was even a cooler with refreshments for the audience! Bottled water and apples…all FREE! I love seeing their imaginations!


Cards with the family! Euchre tournament. Bring it on!


You’re looking at the reigning Euchre Champs!


Sunday snow fort building with daddy. They made a cave that all three of them could fit it! I was impressed.


Meanwhile, inside, a game of Memory with Grandpa. Allie is a super poor sport. We’re working on it.


Week In Review ~ February 1


The weather was really mild at the beginning of the week so Ben and the boys worked on their backyardΒ  fort. A friend of ours generously gave the boys several boards to use and they were thrilled!


Lately this girl has been LOVING listening to her Beginner’s Bible on CD. Since she can’t read very well yet, she spends a lot of time just sitting on her bed, looking at the pictures and listening.


My sweet husband has worked very diligently on adoption paperwork this week. Things are progressing faster than we thought and we should be able to submit our dossier VERY soon! Praise God!


Cody wanted to make pumpkin bread this week. He did and it was delicious!


For date day, these two went ice skating. I’m not sure who loved it more. πŸ™‚


I think her love language is “Reading Aloud” and I think Cody is her favorite. πŸ™‚


Hehe! Farm animal sounds. πŸ™‚


It takes a lot to get this guy down. He’s fighting a bad cold.


Daddy and the girls stayed home from church Wednesday night. The boys were excited to visit the James General Store where Mr. Stache gave them mustaches!


Ugh. This was taken early Thursday morning after I found her in her bed with her diaper off. I’ll spare you the details. She sure does make it pretty difficult to stay mad at her though. πŸ™‚


Since we were all tired from rough nights of sleep and fighting colds, we took Thursday off school and spent time with stickers, baby dolls and our new game, Bohnanza. We’ve borrowed it, and it’s a family favorite, so we were excited to get our own!


Her other favorite thing to play with besides books. πŸ™‚ She LOVES her babies!


They discovered the concordance!


Science was taught by my lovely sister this week. Our experiment had us measuring lung capacity.


The experiment turned out to be a disaster and quite soggy. 😦 We had some good laughs though!


On Saturday, our kids spent the day with my sister’s family so we could take an all-day membership class at our church. We LOVED the class and are so thankful for our church! We got to go grocery shopping and have dinner together before picking the kids up for bed. It was a wonderful date day!


On Sunday we woke up to quite a bit of snow and it kept coming!


The weather didn’t stop us from going to a super bowl party!


This is what the Super Bowl is all about, right?!?!


It’s such a joy to have my oldest sister living close by these days. We enjoyed chatting (even though with 8 kids there are LOTS of interruptions), playing Bananagrams and she spoiled me with this delicious latte. So thankful for her!

Week In Review ~ January 25


On Monday, my sister and I drove up to spend the day with some of my family. My grandma hasn’t been doing very good and we wanted to spend some time visiting with her. It was a joy to visit with her and grandpa!


This girl is a little bookworm just like her siblings! I adore that she is regularly found engrossed in a pile of books!


We have been struggling with her taking her clothes off, including her diaper! This happens all around the house but especially in her bed. The results are usually far less than awesome. After much trial and error, this is the best solution we’ve come up with: jammies backward with a shirt over top. She hasn’t figured out how to take a shirt off over her head. Yet. This pictures proves, she’s still trying to outsmart us, but so far this has kept her from taking her clothes and diaper off completely!


We worked on colors this week!


This guy is a reading machine! This week he finished his book list for first grade and is begging for another list.


Tuesday’s date day was for me and Allie. She requested that we play nail salon and we did her toenails, complete with a Strawberry Shortcake lotion foot massage. πŸ™‚


Neena came to visit on Wednesday. She brought lunch and a Neena Box! We’re spoiled!


Allie and I rowed Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey this week. From this sweet book: “Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were bursting with pride. It was a great responsibility taking care of so many ducklings, and it kept them very busy.” I love Robert McCloskey and this is one of my favorites.


We spent Wednesday afternoon exploring the trails at a local nature center. It was a beautiful day and fun to be outside as a family!


Four of my favorite people.


Lillyanna ate snow for the first time thanks to daddy teaching her. πŸ™‚


The whole family ventured to the police station on Friday afternoon so Ben and I could get some fingerprinting done for our dossier. Yay! One step closer!


I got to spend Friday evening with this precious guy and his older siblings. It was fun to spend time with them without my kids there hogging them! πŸ˜‰


Saturday morning we did some cleaning as a family. It was nice to have happy, enthusiastic helpers! The kids love using this child-size Norwex dusting mitt and I love that they don’t have to spray anything! πŸ™‚


Daddy took the older kids outside to help them build a snow fort. They worked hard and had so much fun!


Here, he’s planning to throw those snow balls at me!


Handsome hubby, great daddy.


My goofy girl eating “snow dogs”.


Layer 1 of the snow “bricks”, complete.


While the big kids played outside, little miss and I played inside. Love this picture of her and her baby!


Sunday we spent the day with my family. It was a wonderful celebration of my grandma’s 83rd birthday and a bit of a family reunion. This is a picture of my grandma (my dad’s mom) with all of her great-grandchildren. Precious moments!

Week In Review ~ January 18


Our dear friends had dinner with us Monday night after we hadn’t seen them for a long time! It was so good to see them and their sweet baby! “Awww! Mom! She’s holding my finger!”


The three oldest had dentist appointments Tuesday morning. We LOVE our dentist! They do such a great job with the kids and the kids seriously love going.


Cody grew a mustache! He kept telling me, “Mom! I’m too old for school!”


Aunt Sherri and Allie after Allie’s belated birthday shopping trip. Her favorite finds: dress up clothes, a microphone that plays Frozen songs she can sing along with and salon tools. This is one happy girl with one of our favorite ladies.


This week for Five in a Row we read Katy and the Big Snow. I love this time with my girl!


A dress-up dress and beauty tools. Although these are Allie’s new toys, Lillyanna has pretty much taken over.


Cody wanted to learn how to make coffee this week. He made coffee for me one morning and for Ben one morning. I could get used to this!


The girls are getting a lesson in playing checkers. This is one of Ethan’s favorites right now. Although, he’s pretty happy playing any game and he’s always looking for someone to play one with him.


This was our science experiment crew on Friday afternoon. We’re loving going through Apologia’s Young Explorer Series on Human Anatomy and Physiology. This week’s experiment had us testing for Vitamin C in fruits and vegetables.


Buddies! Our Community Group met at our house Friday night. We love these people God has placed us with and enjoyed a great discussion on the importance of a community of faith surrounding us as we venture on this journey of faith. We need each other for accountability and encouragement and so much more. What a blessing to be a part of the body of Christ!


My brother’s daughter got to spend the day with us on Saturday! What a little sweetie. She’s super laid back, serious and mature and I loved that she took her nap on my lap. When I took this picture, she kept telling Lillyanna not to put things in her mouth. Ha! I don’t think Lilly took her very seriously!


Owning a home is the American Dream…until a water leak happens. Ben cut into the ceiling on Saturday afternoon to access some pipes. Let’s just say, the project is still in progress but at least we can use our water now! So thankful for a handy hubby!


Ben was able to go to Arenacross dirt bike racing on Saturday night. He loves this kind of thing! Good times with a good friend.


With Ben gone on Saturday night, I was happy to have quiet, alone time at the end of the day for a mini pedicure and an episode of Call the Midwife.

Week In Review ~ January 11

This past week we dove back into school after three weeks off for the holidays. Whew! I was ready. My kids, however, weren’t as ready. By God’s grace, we survived. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise to have the van in the shop all week because it saved us from exposing our family to the flu epidemic forced us to stay home and get back into school wholeheartedly. We’ve had some crazy cold temperatures and lots of snow here, so it’s been a week of good, old fashioned family time, learning and fun.


Monday morning and we’re back to our school routine, Diet Coke and all.


Guy time.


Some of the books I’m working my way through.


We have more than our fair share of static around here! Ugh.


Bummer for her, even princesses have to learn how to read.

Back to the books. So proud of him! He’s motivated, responsible, smart, deep thinking, enthusiastic about learning and more serious than any 8-year-old should be. This kid is going places!


This week for Five In A Row we read The Adventures of Peter Rabbit.


She tells me her favorite thing to do is play salon. Love!


Keeping indoor fun interesting on a day too cold to go outside.


Allie’s five-year-old well visit went well after much dread and drama! Praise God she is healthy and growing!


We have been working on adoption training and paperwork quite a bit this week! Thankful for bonding time and progress!


Imaginations have been in full swing as these three have played, shoveled trails and constructed snow forts. So nice to see them get fresh air, work together and get along!


So thankful for the big caramel corn order I made this week!


Ben and the older kids cleaned snow a couple times this week for ourselves and our neighbor across the street. The rest of us watched. πŸ™‚


This is how I wish I spent the whole week!


Ben has been battling the elements this week and even picked up an extra shift on Saturday morning! Praise God, he stayed safe and that he’s willing to work extra hours even when it’s crazy cold and snowy!


Baby friends!


Big kid friends!


A fun night (Adults only! Yay!) with our Sunday School class for our annual white elephant Christmas party. Lots of laughter and good conversation. We are so thankful for this group of people!

Week In Review ~ January 4


Monday night date night! We had Olive Garden thanks to a Christmas gift card and my sister’s family hanging out with our kids!


On Tuesday, Jen and I drove up North to help pack Grandpa and Grandma’s apartment up for their move to a new apartment! This is what the rag tag team looked like at the end of the day.


We spent New Year’s Eve with friends and learned a new card game called Wizard.


Ringing in the New Year with a kiss!


Happy 2015 from the Hodgson Family!


We took the kids shopping with their Christmas gift cards to Five Below. We had never shopped there before and they loved it!


On our way to church today, our van started acting up. A belt broke and we tried to turn around and head home, but we ended up broke down on the side of the road. Here’s to hoping for a cheap and easy fix!


After we were rescued from the side of the road by our sweet brother-in-law, we cuddled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and some books. If you read them a book called Pinkalicious, they’ll want to bake cupcakes when you’re done…



Ben and Cody went to Cody’s first concert this evening! Here they are at Winter Jam!