Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Favourite Things

This year has been fantastic.  I thought I'd share some of my favourite things about 2010!!

***on a side note, allow me to vent for a moment...I am STILL waiting for my Christmas card order to come.  We are going on 3 weeks now.  I tried a new service, took a chance.  Will NOT do that again.  In my need to send out something before the new year but being too stubborn to go buy a replacement card, I am writing this list and asking that you all consider this your card from the Banmans.  Check out the adorable photos along the side to see our cute kids and know that my intentions were good, my choice in printing companies, NOT SO GREAT.

NOW, back to the list:
2010 Favourite Things

-Kids + chores assigned for 2 months at a time = GOOD THING

-New baby on the way!  Coming in March 2011.  *Kinda* hoping we can provide Caleb with a brother..wouldn't that be nice?  Will be completely thankful either way of course!

-Awesome trip to Dallas just Mike and me.  I am so thankful that we were able to leave 5 kiddos behind and feel at complete peace that they would all be fine with Tammy.  What a gift!

-Maddie learned to read.  She is helpful and eager and does everything with full gusto!

-Kids switched to school at home.  We are learning as we go.  I love that the big kids are home and that I can play a bigger role in their education, the building of their character, watching as they are strengthening their relationships with God, and so many more important elements.

-Fig & Ruby (hair bow business) has been a steady income and FUN for me.  I did a lot of events and met a lot of new people this year.  I am torn between this enjoyable "side job" and my fulfilling "real job" {mommy/teacher to 5}  I imagine as long as my family has grace for snips of ribbon on the floor, I will continue to enjoy pretty-ing up Kelowna!

-Survived a night alone on the Coquihalla (dark mountain pass between Kelowna and Vancouver) just me and the kids thanks to a dead transmission in our Odessey... got a new vehicle out of the experience:)

-Mailee got her ears pierced!  She has grown in her confidence so much.  This girl knows who she is and what she likes.

-Amazing trip to California, got to see MOST of my family.  SO great!

-2 of my best friends had babies

-Mike is more on purpose and excited about work than ever, it's so fun to see him have a passion to help people and to share his message of HOPE with people in our town.

-Caitlyn's presence in our home has gotten bigger, cuter, stronger.  She has been so much fun for all of us!

-We are TV-free...we still have one, but we don't have channels.  We enjoy downloading one or two shows and renting movies here and there.  This is such a great thing!

-Mikayla is not a little girl anymore.  She is growing more beautiful and graceful everyday.  I am realizing how imperative encouragement, guidance, hugs and a strong foundation will be as we steer toward the next 5 years with our first born.

-I got a MAC...a has lots of storage for my is pretty....I am not very good at sharing it:)

-We had visitors. There is something satisfying about having MY people, from where I came from, come HERE to our home.  Not sure how to explain it but it means a lot to have visitors:)  Court, Dad, Mom...we loved having you here!

-Colorado: just me and Mike and Cait, 3 uninterrupted crafting/shopping days with Gretch, my best friend in the whole world, and our girls (who are 1 day apart in age) not much could be better!  Also visiting the Rolfe family of 9, being encouraged by their closeness and forming a new friendship with Laurie whom I can already tell will be a source for wisdom and encouragement in the years to come!

-Caleb turned 4.  Our boy is sweet and excitable and mastering the ropes of being the only boy in a home full of girls.  He loves the WII, puzzles and is really interested in learning his letters.

-Help with cleaning.  Mike has blessed me with a little angel named Patricia who comes once a week and whips this place into shape.  This is such a relief for me.  YAY!

-We still happily have NO PETS.

-The girls changed rooms, Maddie (6) chose to share with Caitlyn(1 1/2) and Mikayla(11) chose to give up having her own room to share with Mailee(9).  I love that they like to share rooms{most of the time}!

-Family photos in SF.  We love that City; we got engaged there, we spent 3 years there when the girls were babies, it was so fun to go back and get family photos with my sweet friend Jaime this November.

-A Praying House.  We stepped up the prayer time in our home.  What a difference it makes to come together at the feet of our Father and cast all our cares on HIM!

Praying your 2011 will be full of fun memories, meaningful relationships, and a deeper knowledge and understanding of Christ's love for you and your family!

***and here comes the close of my "Christmas Card" ****

Love, The Banmans
Mike & Colleen
Mikayla, Mailee, Maddie, Caleb, Caitlyn and Baby "C"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Colorful Life

When we were in SF getting photos with Jaime we stopped at Ghirardelli Square for a "family sized"  ice cream sundae.  
Unfortunately, a whole memory card got damaged and a lot of the photos were lost BUT, here are the fun ones we have!

Mailee was warning Jaime not to put anymore ice cream on her nose...She's got ammo on her finger prepped for retaliation.

Cait was beyond done at this point:)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschool and This Season Mixed With A Few Photos

Hi!  Welcome to the "new blog look"!  It was time for a change and I have all these fantastic pictures to work with from our photo shoot with my friend Jaime so it was really fun to switch it up.

More of the pictures in a minute but first, a few thoughts if you don't mind...

This week was packed with finishing up school, a visit from Amber (our supervising teacher),  a *few* shopping trips to get Christmas gifts, enjoying the KCS Christmas concert and a couple other fun events.  I am thankful for a few weeks to rest, hang out and celebrate with our family.

I have to be honest, homeschooling is much more difficult than I had anticipated.  Completing the schoolwork is just a tiny piece of the puzzle that makes up a successful home school.  Juggling the home life and the school life, dealing with attitudes, looking at the strengths, the weaknesses, the character growth of each child and addressing each of those while managing the others' needs AND having 3 meals and a few snacks on the table, it's just a lot to fit in.

We are driving less.
We are rushing less.
I didn't have to bring 3 fruit platters to 3 Christmas parties today. 
I didn't have to cringe at the amount of junk my kids were allowed to eat.
We didn't change out of our jammies until well after 9am.

There are a lot of perks to our new circumstances for sure and I am so thankful.
When I look at the big picture I see an opportunity to embrace this life that we have been blessed with; the big family, the God who loves us and has a purpose for each one of our children. I have an opportunity to turn the rat-race induced auto pilot off and dig deep: invest in their precious hearts, their keen and curious minds... to make sure that HIS words are written on their hearts and that they feel secure in who they are in HIM. 

Wow!  What a big task but so worth it!
How can I not give these sweet kiddos my very best?  
They will be grown before I know it.
THIS is the time.
This is my season!

If I begin to lose heart or start to sound whiny, can you please just link me back to this post so I can have a friendly reminder of which direction the ship is supposed to be sailing? 
Ya? K, 

Now, on to the photos!!
 5 girls = one serious collection of nail polish, an abundance of PINK, GLITTER and DRAMA!

The three M's.


 I look at these 4 girls, each created completely unique regardless of their similar upbringing.  They have the same two parents, many of the same experiences, yet they have been fearfully and wonderfully made to be individually perfect just as they are.  What a miracle!

I pray this Christmas is an opportunity for you to love the people in your life, to find meaning in the lights, the carols, the original and most significant gift that we could have ever received, Christ Jesus, sent to earth to save YOU and ME!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Little Taste

A few photos from our shoot with my friend Jaime in November.  The disc finally arrived today!  Yay!  Lots more to share but I have to save the best ones to quickly do up a Christmas card:)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Tree!

 All the trees I saw at Macy's this year had fun things exploding out of the top.  I liked it!

We all love this "believe" sign.

 My favourite wrapping paper purchased this year...It's textured!!

 The girls' favourite wrapping paper.

 Wishing I had purchased a bunch of these letters @ Pottery Barn to spell something fabulous like "peace".  I grabbed this one to top one of Mikayla's birthday packages.  
Wasn't thinking about Christmas yet!!

 My Mom gets each of the kids one of these fantastic ornaments every year.  One year each girl got a light bulb like this with their middle names (Grace, Joy, Faith, Hope) and the year on it.  I think they are some of my favourites.

 Another fun ornament from Scribbles in California.  
Mailee got this the year she had a cheerleading birthday party.

 Miss piggy was given to me by my Grandma when I was little.  My mom and I disagreed every year over her placement.  I thought she deserved a place front and center, Mom did not share that opinion.  I still think she is beautiful but now I have my own tree and she gets a place of importance:)

 A newly acquired ornament from this year's ornament exchange.  I think she's cute!

 More personalized ornaments.  Love them!

 My treasure from the Macy's baking tree in Dallas!

Lots of girly ornaments on our tree!!

Let's see your tree!  
Do you have a kid tree with lots of fun and crazy ornaments like us or a picture perfect pretty tree?
Share a link!!