Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Program at Church

I have to say, this was my favorite Christmas program. It was taken from the book, "What God Wants for Christmas."

Sierra was a 'modern day' girl on Christmas morning...

All of the preschool through elementary kids were dressed as village kids from Bible times. They were sitting and listening to Darrin (our church's worship minister) read them a story, and sang Christmas songs.

As Darrin read the story to the village kids, Sierra & Jakin opened the gifts. The first one was an angel, and then an angel came to the nativity (pics of that later, but there were other gifts like a hammer for Joseph, a shepherd's crook for the shepherds, etc.).

Baby Jesus was one of the gifts...

The last gift was a mirror. What does God want for Christmas?


Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Kids' School Christmas Programs

Sierra & Abby weren't quite up to par the night of the elementary school's program, so they stayed home. Sierra goes to the middle school, so it was only Abby who had to miss out on performing. And Robert, since he was in Chicago.

Elise's letter to Santa...

Elise with her friend from class...

Sierra had two performances. One for choir, and one for band.

This is Sierra's second year playing the clarinet in band...

Sierra & her friend before the vocal concert, scoping out the crowd from the balcony...

I love watching the kids perform! I also can't wait to hear Sierra in the 7th & 8th grade choir next year. They do more harmonizing & such, and it sounds so beautiful. But the 5th & 6th graders did great - I especially liked their rendition of 'You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." So fun!

I do have videos to upload of these performances, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe next year. ;)

Robert's Homecoming (12/10)

Robert went to Chicago for five days at the beginning of the month to meet the guy who made a computer program for research tractors. He is going to learn how to install them & train those using the program. I have no idea what Harvest Master is, but apparently, this program is way better.

So, while Robert was up in a nice hotel room with a beautiful view...

...I was home with sick kids, a school Christmas program, and a visit to the hospital... that was the first half! But we survived the busy week, and were happy to have him home again.

Trevor had the idea to make a computer cake. With fondant. Too much Cake Boss (via instant watch on Netflix). So we gave it a shot:

I usually use my cake decorating bag/tips for cakes, but didn't have black food coloring, and wasn't about to make the trip to Carroll to buy some. So I used the good ol' Cake Mate icing tubes that the local market sells. :)

Now, the following pictures make it seem as though Robert came home and was immediately bombarded with kids seeking treats, but I can assure you, he was bombarded with hugs and kisses by kids who had no thought of getting a present other than having their daddy home.

Robert was very gracious not to point out all discrepancies of our computer cake. :)

I'm still holding fast to the idea that if Robert does have to go to Germany for this program, I am going with him. Even if it requires me to hide away in his suitcase.

Schuenie Christmas Card for 2010

This year has been a crazy, but exciting, ride for our family, and it’s awesome to see how God has been right there, in the midst of all the changes. Words can’t express the peace that comes from knowing that He has it all under control!
Here’s a rundown on what we’ve been up to:

Sierra is 11, and in 6th grade. She continues to do well in school, and she loves learning! She has really grown up a lot this year. She played her 3rd season of volleyball, and is still playing the clarinet in band at school. Sierra started youth group this fall, and loves it. She likes to wear lip gloss & mascara, and is currently working toward earning her first cell phone.

Caitlin is 9¾, and in 4th grade. She is still our funky cowgirl, and we love her for it! She plans on playing soccer again in the spring; though we found out she has quite the talent with basketball! Caitlin just had oral surgery to remove 6 baby teeth, and will go back in a couple weeks to have spacers placed in her mouth. She goes to Awana every week, and loves it.

Trevor is 8, and in 2nd grade. He has developed a love of cooking, and is always checking out cookbooks from the library, and finding new recipes he wants to try. He loves playing Wii games with Daddy, and even with his sisters, it they’re in the mood. Trevor also loves a good Nerf gun war. He also goes to Awana every week – sometimes, I think it’s because they serve cookies.

Abby is 6, and in 1st grade. She got her ears pierced over the summer, and still likes to tuck her hair behind her ears to show them off. Abby has lost 3 teeth so far, and has another wiggly top tooth. Abby loves a good cuddling, and she is becoming quite the reader now, which is great! She, too, goes to Awana, and that’s where we realized what a super-fast runner she is!

Elise is 4, and in Begindergarten. We are amazed at the maturity that has taken place in her since school started! She absolutely loves going to school, and recognizes so much of the alphabet now. It’s so much fun to hear her talk about her day and all her little friends. Elise can still be quite the handful at home, though! But Elise wouldn’t be Elise if she were a quiet and mellow girl.

Robert has gone through the biggest changes this year. Through a series of amazingly orchestrated events, his company, Iowa Computer Depot (ICD,) is doing well and he is now in his own building – no longer working at the biodiesel plant! There was a setback in the beginning, but again, God used it for good. Robert took a trip to Chicago to learn a computer program for tractors, and if all works out, he will be the go-to guy for installation and training of the computer systems in the US. He also enjoys meeting with a couple guys every other week for Bible study.

Stacey is still a stay-at-home-mom, but without the stay-at-home part most days. She started up her own little photography business, SLSphotos, and really has fun with it. Stacey also still facilitates an evening women’s Bible study, and actually gets home before midnight now! She goes to the store to answer phones for Robert from time to time, too.

This summer, we added a new member to our family – Sniper the cat. He really is great… for a cat. He is so mellow, and just goes with the flow when the kids are lovin’ on him.

Highlights of our year included a major ice storm (OK, so that’s not a highlight, but it sure made for some memories!), a Taylor Swift concert, going to California for Stacey’s sister’s graduation, getting Sniper, going to Adventureland, and Robert opening the new store. Overall, it was a fun, blessing-packed year, and we are looking forward to what the New Year has in store!

The Schuenemans
Robert, Stacey, Sierra, Caitlin, Trevor, Abby, & Elise

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Robert's 2nd Annual Sled Hill

Now that the snow is mostly melted (for now, anyway) I'm actually in the mood to post some snow pictures! Though, I do feel badly for Robert. All that hard work is melted away. For now. I hear snow is coming tomorrow.


Last year, Robert made a sled-track on our hill. He even poured water on it to make it nice and fast. It was such a hit, he did it again this year! And I'm sure he'll continue to do it as long as we live where there is snow.

(You'll have to excuse a lot of blurry photos. I took a most of them from inside the house, and every window has fingerprints. :P)

Another snow came, and he kept at it; making it it even better...

The girls helped form the track...

The finished product:

Even a second track!
(Those two boys are my cousins who came to play every day during their visit to Iowa.)

 Trevor & Elise went down with Flat Stanley...

Don't you love Trevor's helmet? Safety first!

If it wasn't so cold out, I'd be sledding all day with the kiddos. Instead, I've been a spectator, only going down once so far this winter. It really is a fun sled hill. Unfortunately, now that the weather is warm today, and I would love to go down the hill, there's no snow.

Maybe I'll be back later on with another post. After all, I've got a deadline to beat! ;)


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