Saturday, January 13, 2018

Our First Family Thanksgiving

For the past several years, I have wanted to have a little Poole Party Thanksgiving!!

  I don't really know why, other than I want to see myself with an apron on, pulling a gorgeous turkey on a big white platter out of the oven and set it in the middle of the table with a dining room table full of my people.  Orrrr at least some version of that, haha!!  Somehow it always ends up on the back-burner because we have too many other things planned.  Last year, I actually bought all the things we would need and STILL wasn't able to pull it all together for one big Thanksgiving meal.  

SO.  This year, I told Wade about my desire for us to really do this.. and HE MADE IT HAPPEN!!  We sat down with the kids and asked them to each pick one thing they'd like at our family meal.  We created our menu, Wade and the big kids went grocery shopping, and we got ready for our first ever family Thanksgiving meal!!

For some reason, crescent rolls are always on our list for Thanksgiving.  It is such a treat!!

I gave the options of apple, sweet potato, pecan, or pumpkin pie.  And it was unanimous - Pumpkin Pie for the win!!  I had to laugh, because I caught Samuel sneaking off parts of the crust and dipping his fingers into the pie.. because that is so something his daddy would have done, ha!

Andddd another crust bites the dust.  Just look at that mischievous little mouth!!

Vannie girl made the rolls..

And I will gladly pass my apron onto Wadie if he can make turkeys like THIS:

Perfect turkey.  Oh, and the one on the board looks pretty good, too. ;)

A little of everyone's favorites: crescent rolls, buttery carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans with bacon, smoked turkey, and pumpkin pie!

Our Thanksgiving feast!!

Thank you, my Wadie, for making this happen.  It was the best first family Thanksgiving meal of my life.

Is it shameful to admit that we finished off this entire pie that night???  Hey, at least we shared a few slices with the neighbors!!  After all, isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about?!  ;)

It was a perfect way to end our night.

This was the best family shot I could get, ha!! Baby Rhett slept through his first Thanksgiving meal, but we so enjoyed sitting and eating and visiting with our oldest four babies!!
It's so easy to be thankful.  God has given us so much.  And when I count my blessings, these Poole children and that Poole man are at the very top of my list. I am praying our home is always a happy one, filled with love and laughter, pretty plates and delicious food, crust-snatchers and crescent rolls.  Happy Thanksgiving from our party to yours!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Exploring France

After a week in Norway, we moved to France for 2 weeks!!  We are using My Father's World: Exploring Countries and Cultures and it has been SO. MUCH. FUN.  We grabbed our weekly haul from the library and the kids wanted to pose with them, ha!!

Whoops, we forgot a Norwegian book, ha!  Although we didn't make any of the recipes, it was interesting to look through..  Savannah would read the recipes and compare them to some of our American dishes.  I am hoping she is learning lots of cooking tricks and techniques reading through these cookbooks!!  Can't wait to watch her cooking some of these meals by herself in a few years!

Without a doubt, the library is my greatest homeschool resource.  I took a break when I was super pregnant with Rhett and am only now getting back into the swing of things.. but going to the library has become one of the highlights of our week.  Based on MFW's recommendations for each country, I request specific books ahead of time and the librarians pull them, so that all I have to do is show up with my library card and a treasure trove of knowledge is hand-delivered to me.  The books are fresh and shiny and new (to us), which I love.  And they are filled with pictures, fun facts, and interesting stories, which the kids love.  It makes schooling a breeze, a natural part of our day, a time to stop and snuggle and submerge ourselves in an adventure.  And that is something we ALL love.

One day in the life of my little French people: smelling the fields of lavender, studying Parisian art, reading all about what makes France unique..

..and eating the French way, ha!  That afternoon, we had un sandwich au fromage, our fancy way of saying a grilled cheese, ha!!  The kids talked about this for days afterwards!

Fromaaaaage.

Grant's a big fan, haha!!

Also during this week, I heard lots of yelling and squealing outside.. and looked out to see this!!

Everyone was out in the yard, jumping and throwing and playing in all of the fallen leaves!!

Stop it right now.  Sweetest little face ever!!

All the boys were ganging up on Savannah..

..but I don't think she minded. :)

I know this one is blurry, but it makes me so happy.  Because they are so happy.
Je t'aime, mon petit enfants.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Fall Family Fun

After about 4 months, we finally took a family picture of all seven of us together, ha!  It becomes more and more difficult to set aside time to take them, and honestly, it was sweltering hot and we we were all starving after church when we took this one.. BUT family pictures are my favorite pictures and I'm always appreciative when Wade tells everyone to get on the deck and smile for Mommy. :)

Our Fall 2017 Poole Party!

Oh my goodness, my cup (and my couch) overflows.

Four brothers, one sister, and two incredibly thankful parents.

I am often asked how I homeschool with 5 kids.  Amazingly, I feel like we have really hit our stride this year.  My curriculum gives a list of suggested books for each week's unit study and we have had THE BEST TIME exploring new places through literature. 
For two weeks, we studied Norway.. and here is a quick picture that shows a few things we did!! We listened to music from Edvard Grieg, one of Norway most famous composers, read Norwegian folktales, studied paintings from Norway artists (Girl With A Pearl Earring, anyone??) and learned all sorts of neat facts.  Just ask Andrew about the sharks that swim around Norway, it's his favorite. ;)  More on this soon!
I'm hoping to keep just a little scrapbook of our school year on here with little snippets of what we study.  I am enjoying it so much and fully taking advantage of our amazing local library. (I was just apologizing to our librarian today for how I am working her to death, haha!! My 50 books on hold cannot make her life easy!)  Good books, faraway places, adventuring together.. goodness, is there anything better?!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Jenny + Hezzy

Sisters are forever best friends.  

Through thick and thin, from little to big, they are the ones that share the memories, the funny stories, the hard conversations, the inside jokes with you.  There is an invisible bond there, so strong and deep and tightly woven.  It started with our shared history, but continues today, I think, because of our life-giving friendship. 

We've had our share of pulling hair and fussing over clothes and telling Mom that Heather was the one that hid the watch and will Jen really have to graduate in the laundry room?! We haven't been perfect and things are certainly different than when we all lived at home together. But even with Kurt, there is something so sweet and special about our sibling relationship.  There is such love and admiration there, a constant joviality when we are together.

We share recipes and party ideas, can burst into song from any Rogers and Hammerstein musical, and are all bosom friends with Anne of Green Gables.  We can talk about make-up and theology in the same conversation.  Being known and understood on some of the deepest levels is truly a gift. Ahhh, I love them each so much.

This year, Jen would turn 36 and Heather would be 29!!  We planned a little party for Jen at the house and here she is, walking in to balloons and burgers and games, all to celebrate her!!

Yaaayyyy!!

We love our Aunt Jenny!!

Just because it's your birthday doesn't mean you can get out of work, haha!!  Feeding Baby Adam!

I made Pumpkin Crumble Cake.. and my note on this recipe says, "Make this every first day of fall."  It was so, so good!!

And just like she did when we were growing up, Mom made Jen a Cherry Cheesecake Pie!!

We played a little game called 1981 where everyone had to answer questions about that year.  Lo and behold, Jenny WON!!!!

After Wadie grilled and we ate lunch, I insisted that Jen have all 36 candles put in her pie, ha!!  Look how pretty!!

Singing Happy Birthday!!

Can the balloon garland stay all year round?!  I just love how bright and colorful it was!!

Hahaha, we were CRYING from laughing so hard at Heather's joke!!  She asked the kids if anyone wanted a bite of the cream cheese pie off her spoon.. except that it was really MAYONNAISE!!!!!!!!  Ahhhh, Grant fell for it and ate a big bite.. and I don't think he ever realized it wasn't pie, either!!  We were all dying!!

Thanks, Mom, for always making us birthday cakes!! (And pies!!)

And then it was Pictionary time.. all words describing Jenny!!

The kids were screaming out answers with us!!

The girls ended up winning the game!!!!  Because, duh. Ha!!

Happy birthday to our beautiful Jenny!!

Two months later and it was Heather's birthday!! We brought dishes out to the property and enjoyed a picnic lunch all together!!

Mom made her perfect Carrot Cake..

..and we sang to our Hezzy!!

Happy last year of your 20s, Hezzy!! 
We ate and then sat in rocking chairs, discussing mom life and homeschooling and plans for the future. We listened to the kids play and visited until it got dark, when we slowly packed everything up and gave our last rounds of hugs and laughs. You know those "soul moments" that fill your heart up and leave you feeling inspired and satisfied with life?? That was Hezzy's birthday this year, full of sweet memories, encouraging conversation, and an afternoon of peaceful rest.

Happy birthdayyyy, Jenny and Hezzy!! 
I love you both, oh, so much!!

About Me

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From childhood friends to high school sweethearts, and now newlyweds and brand-new parents, Wade and I can only thank Jesus for His incredible blessings. Our three children are the ULTIMATE gifts from God and we pray that our lives glorify Him. He is our everything.