Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

For the second year in a row, I was sick on my birthday! I have been to the doctor, but I am still not all the way recovered. Sunday was my actual birthday, but the boys were sick, too, so we decided to postpone the celebration to yesterday. I needed to return some stuff and hit some good sales yesterday, so Steve sent me shopping with a girlfriend as a birthday treat. How sweet of him! I felt bad about not being with my family, but I did need to get the shopping done and the boys and Steve would not have enjoyed it. My girlfriend and I enjoyed it a lot!

Today Steve is going to grill for me and I am going to make myself a sweet potato pie. He made me chocolate chip muffins yesterday for breakfast and I am enjoying them again today. Even though I am not 100 percent, Steve is making this a nice birthday celebration for me. Thanks, Steve! I love you!
Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Star Wars Kind of Christmas

Evan asked Santa for a Lego Star Wars Wii game and Joel asked Santa for a blue lightsaber. Steve and I could read the writing on the wall. Santa amazingly found a blue and red lightsaber packaged together, so now all three of the "boys" can lightsaber together. What joy!

Our Christmas started with a beautiful Christmas Eve service at our church. I couldn't sing very well, but I enjoyed trying. After we got home we ate a quick supper and the boys got to open a present. It was their Christmas Eve jammies. Then they set out the goodies for Santa and headed to bed. Evan was very ready for bed (and for us to go to bed) since he finally understood that Santa doesn't come until everyone in the house is asleep.
The next morning the boys got up at a reasonable time and the present frenzy began. We tried to cut back on the number of presents the boys received, and we did, but there was still a lot! At least we didn't have to take a break while opening like we did last year. Evan was ready from the get-go. He came in telling us about the "kitty" in his stocking, but to his credit, he did not get into the stocking until we told him he could.
The "kitty" is a Wildcat that Santa found for Evan since that is his school's new mascot.

Joel sat back while Evan opened his present from Santa and almost all of his stocking. After just a few minutes, Joel was into it as well. Notice that he is eating a sucker (a favorite present from Grandpa and Grandma) while opening another present.

The boys spent the morning playing with their toys, while their sick mom (me) took a nap. (I got sick on our trip to Chattanooga and am still recuperating.) Steve was gracious enough to grill burgers for dinner for me. Then we had a dessert of red velvet birthday cake for Jesus. I had wanted the boys to help make the cake, but Joel was sleeping and Evan didn't want to. After all of the presents this morning, I enjoyed making the cake and bringing the focus back around to the real reason that we were celebrating. (I can't write with those little writing tubes, but the boys got the point.)The day after Christmas was a day for more playing for the boys. For me, it was a time for going to the doctor and then shopping. I got some medicine, so I am hopeful that I will be much better tomorrow, especially since I am ushering at church. Today was more rest and more play. All in all, it has been a nice Christmas, even though we have missed all of our family. We pray that you are all having a nice season and reflecting in the peace and love that is God's gift to us, and the reason for this celebration.
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We have been having an exciting day here, but now we are winding down for rest time. During this time I thought I would share a few pictures of our trip to Chattanooga. While there we got to spend time with both of my brothers and their families. The boys had a lot of fun playing with their older cousins.

wrestle-time with Adam

They also had fun being the older cousins with their younger second cousins (my niece's children). In fact, Olivia declared on Sunday that she would rather play with "Jo-Joel" (which she used for both of the boys) than go to church.

tickle-time with Olivia and "Eban"

We mostly just hung out, but we did spend one night walking through the Enchanted Lights at Rock City. If you have ever driven through the southeastern US you have probably seen signs declaring your need to "See Rock City". We had been there before, but the boys hadn't, so they can now cross that off of their to-do list.

The boys got to see Santa at Rock City! They had gotten to see him earlier at Evan's school, but I didn't have any pictures of that. Since Evan had already seen Santa and asked for his Star Wars Wii game, he decided to ask for a toy gun this time. (He didn't get a toy gun.) You can tell that it is almost Christmas because Santa looks kind of sleepy.

You can see this star from below the city. As you drive up to Rock City you can also see a waterfall running behind the star. If you click on the picture you can see some of the lights from the city below and get an idea of where Rock City is on the mountain.

There are some tight spots in Rock City, and this was walking down into Fairy Tale Caverns.

Here we are walking across one of the stone bridges. I believe that this was the point in our tour where 7-year-old Luke declared that he had been walking so long "he felt like he was walking to Jesus." He had previously decided that a lighted stair step looked like a Stairway to Heaven. Later we were walking through a section dubbed "Candyland", and Luke exclaimed. "I'm in heaven!" Evan and Joel picked that phrase up as well.

We had a good trip, but we are glad to be home now. I will post more later on our Christmas Day back at home later. We hope and pray that you are all enjoying Christmas and are celebrating God's love for us through the gift of Jesus!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marriage requirements

Last night Evan told us that he wanted to marry a princess. I asked him which one and he answered, "One that's not already married." We tried to find out a little more about what he was wanting in his princess and this is what we found out.
1. Needs to be a girl
2. Needs to have been born on May 30, 2003
3. Needs to be five now (which would work out with the birthdate)
If you can help with this search, please let me know!

On a semi-related note, today Steve and I celebrate 8 years of wedded bliss! As I heard once in a movie, "It could have been worse!" But really, we have had an adventure during these 8 years, and today will be one more episode in the installment - as we drive the 12 hours home from Chattanooga, TN. After Christmas I will post some pictures of our fun family frolickings from Chattanooga, so stay tuned!
Friday, December 12, 2008

Lots of happenings!

Last night was Evan's school Christmas program. He got to dress up and sing with the other kids in his class. He was so cute, I mean handsome, even if I am a little biased. He did a good job singing and doing all of the motions. He was quite "amped up" before the program, so I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I was pleased with his ability to calm down and focus when it was time to perform. He seemed to enjoy it, too.

This morning I took the boys to the dentist for their check-ups. Evan was wonderful and got a great report on his teeth. He has been brushing them more himself, and he has been doing a good job. His teeth were nice and clean. We pulled his second tooth a couple of days ago, and the dentist said the top ones might be loose in the next 6 months.

Speaking of that pulled tooth ... He was complaining about it hurting and asking me to pull it, so I looked up a video online of a dad pulling his son's tooth with the string to the door routine. I let Evan watch the video and asked if he wanted me to do that. He assured me that he did. I tried thread first, but it wouldn't stay on the tooth and also broke when I pulled it with my hand. I then tried string, but again had problems getting it to stay on the tooth. All that messing with it got it looser, though, and I was able to pull it out with my fingers. Steve was just watching us and shaking his head.

Back to the dentist - Joel did great, too! The last time he went (a year ago) he barely let the dentist look at his teeth. Today he sat in the chair and went through the complete cleaning and exam! He never complained, whimpered, or looked scared once! He is making major progress! He also went to a new class at church last week. He looked a little scared at first, but he just walked right in and did his thing! I just looked over the paragraph and saw how many exclamation points there were, but he has been so "clingy" or "anxious", that this progress is very exciting.

After the dentist, we went to get haircuts. I know that it would have made more sense to get those before the program, but ... it worked out better this way for us.

So, the boys have fresh heads and teeth now, and it was a productive day. They were mostly behaved throughout it all, too!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cookies Galore

One of my friends wanted to have a cookie party, but it wasn't working with her schedule. I volunteered my house and kind of "took over", but she was okay with that and helped host it at my house. A couple of other friends were able to come, and we had a great time talking and sampling cookies while the kids played in the yard. Here are some pictures from the first cookie party at my house. I hope that you enjoy, but I know that eating the cookies is better. ;)

A 3-year-old speller!

Yes, my precious 3-year-old informed me the other day that he could spell! He said, "Hey, Mommy! I can spell 'mama'. See ... ma (pause) ma." (I know this loses something in written form, but basically he just says each syllable slowly with a big pause between syllables.)

He then proceeds to spell "Dada", "Evan", and "Joel". What a smart boy!

(BTW, the shirt says "Mommy's Favorite Present")
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes

So Joel and I were off to the gym this morning, finally. We got off to a rough start with many complaints about his clothing options. I thought that he would like the Batman outfit, but he thought he was getting to wear the Batman cape and hood (with the pointy things, as he put it). It appears that we were both wrong. He finally got dressed and was content with the Batman outfit. We were talking about him being Batman as we got in the van, and he asked who I was. I was wearing a red fleece pullover with white snowflakes, so I said, "I'm Snowflake Lady!" I then decided to make it more fun by saying, "I'm the Abominable Snowflake Lady!" He sweetly replied, "No, you're not abominable [but not with all of the syllables] ... you're just a flake!" I laughed and then he said I was just a snowflake, but some things just can't be taken back. ;)
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