We had a congregation play party gathering in early November. Our family did a play of Noah's ark. We all had a blast and loved seeing other's plays. (To respect other's privacy, we are only showing some photos of our family there.)

The kids had fun dressing up in the different props everyone brought. Here's Rosa being silly:

Rosa with a wig and umbrella

Corbin tried out some ancient Roman garb.

Corbin in costume

Ella wasn't sure about dressing up, but she found a froggy to snuggle with.

Lee and Ella with a stuffed frog

Here's Anna as a Caesar.

Anna in costume

We enjoyed the food and fellowship; and hope to do it again next year. Here's a final photo of Caleb and a sleeping Ella.

Caleb holding a sleeping Ella

We hadn't had a nice family professional portrait done in several years, so we went to Target and got some nice family shots done in mid-November. Here are some of the results:

the boys

the girls

the kids

the kids again

the whole family

By 10 months Ella decided baby food was no good; big people food was where it's at! Here she is scarfing down some mashed potatoes.

Ella eating

Ella eating again

Our bath-loving baby also quickly figured out if she put said potatoes in her hair, she would be rewarded with a bath! Talk about a win-win situation for her.

Ella taking a bath

Corbin was excited to be assigned his first number 3 talk in the Theocratic Ministry School.

Corbin with the talk slip

The girls also went to Disney On Ice again this year. Corbin also tagged along to see what a live show was like. My camera was too low on batteries to take many pictures, but I got this one of them eagerly awaiting it to start.

the girls waiting

As the winter dragged on with nary a snowflake, the girls became more and more creative with playtime. One afternoon they decided to lay out all their stuffed animals. The following pictures are the result:

Here's Rosa:

Rosa amongst animals

Nora, Ella, and Anna:

The girls with their animals

One last shot of the four:

the 4 girls

Here's some shots of Ella at 11 months old.


She had a silly way of scrunching up her nose, snorting in and out, and dancing back and forth. Big brother Alex was so proud!

Ella scrunching up her nose

Proud of what? Ella's favorite music cd that would get her dancing and scrunching up her nose happened to also be Alex's favorite: Caramelldansen. Here's the two of them with the cd.

Alex and Ella

We ended the year with a trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota. We all were amazed by the natural disasters exhibit. The kids each built their own digital volcano. Anna evidently thought Rosa's volcano looked pretty scary.

Rosa and Anna

Our family is all familiar with Tim Samaras' work as a tornado chaser, so we thought it was cool to see one of his probes that captured data from inside a tornado.

the probe

At the body exhibit, we discovered fun facts about our own human bodies. Here's Rosa seeing about how much blood is in her body.

Rosa at the display

at the Human Behavior exhibit, we explored different personalities and what makes us unique. Rosa and Nora had fun getting in others space bubbles in an interactive display.

Rosa and Nora

Did you know that how tall you are is usually how far apart your arms can stretch from your sides? Here Corbin shows proof of concept:


No museum visit would be complete without seeing the dinosaurs. The girls were aastonished at how tall some of them were.

the girls pose with dino bones

Caleb found a bird-like one, of course.

Caleb and giant bird bones

Corbin thought an ancient crocodile was awesome.

Corbin and a chompawhat

We finally got some snow! The kids ran out in full gear, even though plenty of grass could still be seen. Ella wasn't sure what to think of her snowsuit.

Ella in her suit

Nora managed to make a small snowcat.

Nora and her creation

Ella loved being pulled around in the sled. (Especially since she could hardly move in that snowsuit!)

Lee pulling Ella on a sled

Anna helped Corbin round up snow.

Corbin and Anna

The snow was gone within a couple days, but the happy memories lasted much longer.

Anna and Elaa on a sled

Here are some more around the house shots. Ella at almost one:


Ella again

We busted some after school boredom by making sugar cookies one afternoon. Nora made a Hello Kitty one.

Nora with her cookie

Finally, we got some real snow at the end of January. We left the books on the desks and had a blast outside. Rosa made a snowman walking a snowdog.

Rosa with her creation

Anna made a snow-Ella.

Anna with her creation

Nora helped Anna make a snowstitch, too. (As in Stitch, from Lilo and Stitch fame.)

Nora, Anna, and Stitch

Nora made a snowcat she could ride. It has one ear down, just like our cat, Luigi.

Nora on her cat

Alex made a snow-Sonic.

Alex and Sonic

Alex with his creation again.

Caleb made one of his comic characters, Jay.

Caleb and Jay

Caleb and Jay again

Here are some shots of Ella at age one.






By mid-Febuary Anna was begging me to put some snow in the freezer to save it.

Anna with some snow

A friend cut Rosa's hair. Rosa loves it! Here she is post-cut.

Rosa with her new haircut

Rosa again

On leap-year day we had enough snow to build a sledding hill in the backyard. Here's Anna trying out the hill:

Anna sledding

Even the kids' ol' Mom gave it a try.

Shannon sledding

Here's Anna again.

Anna sledding

Crazy Corbin is always fun to watch in action.

Corbin sledding

Nora is getting quite good on the snowboard.

Nora snowboarding

A Mom always lets the kids get a headstart when racing, right?

Shannon and Corbin

Little did we know this would be the last of the snow! Spring was right at the door. We will leave winter behind with one last picture of the happy sledders.

Anna and Corbin sledding

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