Tuesday, January 24, 2012

December Rewind - Part One

So, I'm a little bit behind but we really did have a lovely
December and I don't want to forget any of these fun
and precious memories. Here goes an attempt at catching
up on what we were doing last month!

First up, was Palmerston' Christmas Parade.
We got there a bit early to stake out a good spot and
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take some
quick family pics while we waited. Unfortunately, as with
99% of the shots we take of all 6 of us, we didn't get any
winners. But the outtakes are pretty funny (and
probably a better depiction of real life anyways - hee!)
(click on this photo to get a close-up of Pete's expression

Things quickly got underway and while the parade didn't
consist of much more than the fire department and some
blinged up transport trucks from local businesses, the
kids had a blast. Jude, especially, loved the lights and
sirens on all the emergency response vehicles.

Another big hit were the people throwing out handfuls
of candy canes. Kids everywhere were running out
into the street (completely blissful of the transport
trucks coming next in line) to stuff their pockets full.

Aunt Michelle was home for the weekend and surprised us
at the parade. The kiddies were so excited to have her there.
Thanks, Tante Mic!!

The following week we celebrated Sinterklaas with
Oma and Opa. We don't follow the exact Dutch
tradition of this holiday, but we've really enjoyed
separating presents from Christmas and teaching
the kids more about their Dutch heritage.
Opa and Jude get a little snuggle time in before breakfast.

Levi and Oma waiting for the present opening to start.

What is it, Dad???
We had lots of little helpers opening our gifts with us :)

Oma is the master thrift store shopper. She's always
finding the best treasures! We all agreed, this one
is going to be hard to beat - Jude LOVES his new
John Deere pedal tractor!

This was only the second time since we've been married
that we've had a Christmas tree - and a first for all our
boys. The kids loved having the tree in the house and
all the decorations we had made for it.

The kids also got lots of extra baking time in this month.
They really are becoming quite the pros!
(both in the baking AND eating department)

Lastly, here's the song the kids learned for Sinterklaas.
They had made some cards and decorations and we had
a lot of fun going around on the 5th sharing them and
singing to our neighbours, friends and family.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Year in Pictures: 2011

This boy started walking :)

And this boy turned 3!

We started a year-long love affair with homemade pizza.

Birthday flowers from our dearest friends

...was beautiful and COLD!!

A beautiful smile

Happy Valentines Day!

A little lovin' from the oven

Cutest patient Sick Kids has ever seen :)

A successful surgery, amputating Jude's hypoplastic thumb.

Quickly back to the regular shenanigans

Although there were some glitches with Jude's
recovery post-surgery, he really was such a
happy little trooper.

Daddy and his boys - a whole lotta love!

Gracie designs Lego 'for fashion'

Jude discovers how to climb

Lots of little helpers in the barn

Levi falls in love with puzzles (and all things superhero)

Fun on the trampoline no matter what the weather

Another move...back to where it all began

Best Mother's Day present ever!

Excited to help Daddy spread manure

Moving back to the home farm put us in a new school
district. Instead of switching schools at the end of the
year, we made the (terrifying) decision to finish the
school year at home...this opened a brand new door
for us and turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise!
Thank you, Lord!

Springtime = growing like weeds!

Planting starts late after a very wet April

We celebrated Grandpa's 80th birthday with family
from near and far. Here are Grandma and Grandpa
with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
(missing were Ken, Cam and his (and Sherry's) 3 children)

Best family picture ever?

While the 'West Coast' family was down, we got together
as much as possible and had some great visits.

Cousins playing croquet

Growin' up country

We almost didn't put in a garden this year...but our last
minute efforts ended up being surprisingly fruitful.
I guess you can't fight your genetics :)

Our first cut.
The harvests were great this year and nothing got rained on!

A special visit with Uncle Will and Aunt Katie.

The chicks are here!

Father's Day at the beach...a new tradition is started!

Lots of coffee times outside

Oma and Opa took the two oldest camping for the weekend.
We were able to go up with the little boys and spend a
super fun day with our Forestview friends.

Canola love

More camping with Oma and Opa for the big kids and
an awesome beach day on a Sunday afternoon off chores.

July was HOT! Lots of time in the sprinkler.
A wonderful raspberry crop made for delicious fun

Our precious girl turned 7!

Jude gets his first tractor ride...he is officially obsessed
with John Deere green. His second word is 'tractor'.

Keeping cool any way possible.
Lots of fun in the cow's water trough.

Our sweet Silas turns 5. He's becoming such a big boy.

A very special trip to visit Aunt Michelle at Camp Shalom

The soybeans are growing...and so is this little boy!

Butchering chickens while 9 weeks (secretly) pregnant,
was one of the worst/best memories of the summer!

We were able to watch the metamorphosis of all four
of our monarchs. Amazing!!

2 weeks of swimming lessons at the local pool meant
lots of play time in the splash pad for Levi and Jude...

...a timid Silas into a courageous water rat...

...and Gracie Jo's favorite class - with Dad on Family Day.

A trip to the Bruce County Museum to kick-start our
school year. The Grossology exhibit was a huge hit!

A peek inside our school room

The apple trees from 'The Pig Farm' had a great crop
and led to lots of delicious applesauce this year.

We are all SO excited to meet our new nephew/cousin!!

Horseback riding with friends - a first for the kids.
Gracie Jo was a natural and we're hoping to send her
here for lessons in the new year.

Emmanuel Joshua Koobs born September 17, 2011
Congratulations, Greg and Alex!!
Manny, we just love you to pieces!

The birthday boy!!
Praising God for this precious gift.
Happy 2nd birthday, Ju-Jube!
Grandpa (who you'll remember turned 80 this Spring)
drove the harvester for 12 hours straight during
the corn silage harvest. What a man!

Cousin love

Our first family vacation ever.
One week at a cottage in beautiful Bancroft.

Despite rain every day, we made lots of great memories
and were so thankful for the time away together.

We had a great time putting our shoe boxes together
for Operation Christmas Child this year.

First snow!!!

Country boys

Happy birthday, Mama-Mama!!

Sinterklaas fun.
Jude must have been good this year :)

We loved having a house big enough for a Christmas
tree this year. A first for all the boys.

Making this house our HOME.

There were always lots of helpers for all the
extra Christmas baking.

Another new tradition this year - Happy Birthday, Jesus!!

The Kingston 'cousins' come to the farm.
What a fun couple of days!

What a year this has been! Another move, farming at home full-time,
a new church, homeschooling, building relationships - old and new,
starting new traditions, and in between the work and play
lots of reasons for celebration with family. We were so blessed
to share parts of our testimony with our church family on
Thanksgiving Sunday. Looking back, we were overwhelmed
by God's goodness as He's guided us through so many
difficult seasons and unknowns.

For God has said,
“I will never fail you.

I will never abandon you."
6 So we can say with confidence,
“The L
ord is my helper,
so I will have no fear.
~Hebrews 13:5-6~

As we enter another new year, full of possibility, change and growth
-including the addition of another little Koobster in April :) -
we can't help but be overwhelmingly grateful for the
blessings He gives us every single day.

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us!
Just look at it!"
(1 John 3:1)

God's richest blessings to you and your families in 2010!
The Koobs Klan