With mixed feelings I am taking our Christmas letter digital this year. Hopefully it's reach is broadened and it's message echoed as I send it deep into the depths of cyberspace. We send it with the warmest possible wishes and all the love we can muster to our dear family and friends.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
2014 has been a wonderful year, just like all the ones before it. It started out with three family weddings (Byron, Paige, Curtis) in three months. We had a whirlwind spring traveling back and forth to be present at each, but we are super excited to have two new aunts and a new uncle!
Logan celebrated a landmark birthday, accompanied by a baptism and confirmation. It was an incredible experience as a parent to witness our child make a major decision and be so proud of the young man he is becoming. He now is a Wolf Scout and loves attending scouts every week. He continues to progress on the piano and has dabbled in soccer and basketball this year.
Savannah turned 6 and started 1st grade. She loves school, especially her friends and teachers. She participated in her first book group this summer, played soccer in the fall, and started taking dance lessons. When asked, she can't tell you which she loves most. She is a great cook and is our mom-in-training around the house. She even mastered diaper changes this year!
Isabelle (3) is the spice of our family. She brings out the best (and sometimes worst) of all of us, but we sure love her feisty temperament! She is a little sponge and is learning faster than we can keep up with. I am pretty sure she is smarter than I am, since she always seems to get what she wants! Like her sister, she loves soccer and dance.
Sawyer grew from baby to toddler in 2014. He turned 1, started walking, and discovered his personality. It turns out he loves remote controls so now we have to hide them while watching TV or he will randomly change the channel or increase the volume.
As a family, we took a few noteworthy vacations to Branson and Arches. Jeff and I also took some kid-free trips to the Bahamas and New York City. We celebrated 10 years of marital bliss, and enjoyed the peace and calm that comes from going an entire year without moving! We are still happily settled in northwest Arkansas, and look forward to another year here.
Above all, we have felt the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in our lives this year. He has blessed us tremendously and we strive to serve Him in all that we do. We hope all is well with you and yours, and wish you a very merry Christmas!
Love, the Pendletons
Friday, November 21, 2014
Soccer season is over. It was one of the least painful sports seasons I've experienced as a parent, but I was still plenty happy to see it end. Logan's coach was terrific. Their team was the "Wizards," so on the last game of the season he dressed up in Medieval attire.
Savannah had great coaches, too. (Nice work, Dad and Bryson!) She came a long way over the course of the season. Ultimately, though, the best lesson came after the season ended. I heard some advice about the feedback you should give your kids on the sports field. All they ever need to hear is this phrase: "I love watching you play." The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was true. As much as I like or dislike different elements of being a soccer mom, the thing that always remains the same is how much I enjoy watching them do something they love. Logan, Savannah, and Izzy had so much fun playing soccer this year. And THAT makes it a winning season.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
I found myself uncharacteristically excited about Halloween this year. We live in an obscure cul-de-sac that didn't see a lot of trick-or-treaters last year, so my neighbor and I decorated a spook alley to try and lure people back to our waiting doors. It turned out super cute and looked great, especially at night.
Costumes were another area of unusual effort on my part. I "helped" my kids pick out their costumes, then went to town bringing them to life.
Isabelle wanted to be a princess. I wanted to get away from frilly dresses. The compromise: pre-Fairy Godmother Cinderella. I couldn't find a pattern so I just made it up as I went along. I'm pretty proud of it.
Savannah went as Pinkalicious, one of her favorite book characters. This costume was great because we had everything on hand except for the wings and wand. Easiest costume ever!
Logan was Ash, the Pokemon trainer. This was the one costume I had no say over. But I did my best to make it as true to character as possible.
As for Sawyer, I had this vision of a cute little old man with a walker. I searched long and hard for the perfect suspenders and glasses, made him a bow tie, and put Jeff on walker duty. It was perfect. Priceless.
The only thing we forgot was that the walker wasn't entirely stable. We set Sawyer up for a group picture and before I could a single shot...
BAM! Faceplant into the concrete! Needless to say, Sawyer didn't enjoy Halloween all that much. It didn't help that October 31 was the first really cold day we had all year. Trick-or-treating was chilly.
We joined up with some neighbors to go door to door. Isabelle immediately adopted our neighbor's aunt (that she had never met) and attached herself for the rest of the night. Never a dull moment with that kid!
And finally, after 2 years of jack-o-lantern-less Halloweens, we finally carved pumpkins! It was surprisingly easy. Savannah and Logan did a lot of their own carving, and Isabelle even helped with hers. I love seeing their toothy pumpkin faces and knowing one of my cute faces is behind each of these.
I know most holidays aren't exactly as you plan them to be, but this one was pretty darn close.
Confession: I get a little giddy when it comes time to google my assigned letter for preschool. In October, I got to host the Halloween-themed week. I knew I was going to love this week when I found the idea for these mummy applesauces.
We made some handprint spiders and then laced webs around them. The girls did a great job lacing and I love their googly eyed spiders.
Of course, we had to make it a costume day since Halloween was that week. Could these girls be any cuter? Preschool is the best.
We tried to time a fall drive to see the leaves at their peak colors, but I question whether there really was a peak in fall color this year. This week turned out to be too early, but a few days later everything was brown and on the ground. Bummer.
As a silver lining, we found a beautiful little park while on our drive that was the perfect break from sitting in seat belts for too long. It may not have been what we set out to do, but it was exactly what we needed. Kind of like life sometimes.
One weekend in October, northwest Arkansas sets up a gajillion craft fairs that pull everything strange and artsy out of the woodworks. I had been wanting to go to one ever since I missed them the year before. Of course, I hadn't planned on the school holiday the same weekend...
So I modified my plans and met Meg and company at the Spanker Creek craft fair. Eight kids at a crazy country craft fair was probably not the brightest idea, especially when we spent $40 feeding them greasy deep-fried everything and they were still crying they were hungry. But then we found out the water barrel train had an open donation fee. Sure, I'll donate $1 for all my kids to ride the train. Best dollar I ever spent.
They also had some unique tractors and other farm equipment to climb all over.
It may have been a wild, crazy, afternoon, but these smiles say it all. Craft fair 2014: check!
As part of one of our monthly science kits, we had the supplies to create a pretty sweet volcano. Logan built the volcano out of paper mache on a sick day, then we set it off a few weeks later. I can't explain it, but a little baking soda and vinegar reaction gets me a little giddy no matter how many times I've done it.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
A few weeks ago Savannah was nominated as a "Superhero" at school. Her teacher presented her with an award for some outstanding behavior (that I can't recall at the moment) and then all the kids scream at the top of their voices like groupies at a concert. It's pretty deafening!
A week or two later, Logan got his turn in the spotlight, too. Sure love these cute superheroes!
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Since we didn't actually pick pumpkins during our first round at the pumpkin patch (and we were missing half the kids), we took another trip as a family to a different pumpkin patch. It was a beautiful early autumn evening and even though we had to rush a bit to pick pumpkins before
the patch closed, we still managed to scour the entire patch and find our perfect picks.
I have nothing more to say about that so here are an obnoxious amount of photos.