Making Donuts

Our traditional "fall/winter donut making party" was very fun and yummy, as always.:)  This year, we planned the party for a day when everyone was off work for the whole day.  I mixed up the donuts in the morning, we fried them in the forenoon, and we played games and consumed a rather vast amount of donuts in the afternoon.:)
Apple cider and milk are our beverages of choice to enjoy with our donuts.
Everyone took turns frying, glazing, or sugaring the donuts.
golden loveliness in the oil!
Donuts are best shared!  
"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me bless His holy Name.  Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things." Psalm 103: 1 & 5b
Fresh donuts rolled in plenty of powdered sugar.....oh so good!!!
Taylor and Chelsy 
Here is Denver taking a turn at frying.  He didn't burn too many.:)  No seriously, the guys all did a great job helping fry!
This was supposed to be a nice little shot of siblings + donuts, but Denver, ever the photo bomb, added an unexpected twist to the photo.:)
We were just talking recently about being close as a family and what builds that closeness, and one thing we decided has been invaluable in drawing us together is doing things together.  If you want to build a relationship with someone, you must spend time with them.  I'm thankful for all the memories we have made and all the moments that have brought us closer together.  We continue to desire to spend more time together than ever to have the best relationships possible!

-posted by Allison


Merry Christmas!!

A very merry Christmas from the Bontrager family!!!  
We have been enjoying a quiet Christmas season- savoring the blessings of family, home, food, and, most of all, our precious Savior, Jesus.  He is what we celebrate.
"For unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called 
the Mighty God
  the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."  (Isaiah 9:6)
We are so thankful for Jesus coming.  Because He came, we have abundant life and perfect peace.  In a world of sorrow and sin, He is the only reason for living.  Without Him where would be purpose, direction, a vision for something greater than ourselves?  His salvation is an unspeakable gift! 
-posted by Allison


Gingerbread Houses

Mother decided to have a gingerbread house making party with the littles this year!  We had a lovely time structuring and decorating the little houses.
The crew (sans Mother + me)
candy galore!!!  
Hudson, Javan, and I built a snowy little cabin-with a mint chimney!
Taylor and Liz were having a bit of trouble with their house collapsing, so they called in Carson the architect, and he helped them build a beautiful, sturdy gingerbread mansion.:)
Mother + Rebecca's little cottage
putting on the finishing touches


Thanksgiving with the Bontrager Side

Thanksgiving Day 2014 was spent with our wonderful and loud Bontrager relatives.:)  We missed the ones who couldn't make it, but the 40-something of us who were there had a blast!  
Before we ate dinner, my uncle asked the oldest child in each family to share something they were thankful for.  Guess what this little guy's family said they were thankful for?  A new little one on the way!!!  We love babies and children, and I am so grateful that my grandparents welcomed each little one as a gift.  Because they are gifts, and if my grandparents had "stopped" after six children, which is a "large" family by the world's standards....well, there would have been 11 less people (plus the baby on the way) at our family gathering.  And our family would be short one wonderful set of twins (my dad's two youngest siblings) and two equally wonderful in laws, as well as 7 adorable little cousins with another one on the way.
My grandmother loves her grandbabies!  Above, she is holding her 8th and newest great-grandchild, Asher.
Conversation around the table is always a highlight.  
Grandma's custard pie.....now that's a major highlight!!!
Cousins are the best.  Our cousins are the best.
This is "storytime with the newlyweds"!  (Plus the new Grandpa (Uncle Merle) and grandbaby and Uncle Leon.)  Our good friend, Jacob, recently married our cousin, Dorcas, and they are so sweet together!
We have a big dinner, of course, but in the evening (since we are so full from dinner:) everyone makes their yummiest snack recipes.  By the way, if you have never had ham wrapped pickles, you must try them.
Scattergories, Dutch Blitz, and Take One are favorite Bontrager games.
Oh, and Rook!
It looks like Take One has everyone a little intense here.
"Give thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:20)

-posted by Allison