And boy was it crazy. The photos say it all:
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We had fun decorating for Christmas this year. If you’re on Facebook, you’ve already seen these, but I wanted it documented on our blog as well. Here are our outdoor lights:
I think my favorite part is having a house where our Christmas tree can be seen through the window. That’s fun.
And here are some of the indoor highlights:
We have carried on my parents tradition with the nativity, and when we get it out James will read the Christmas story straight from Luke 2. When a character or animal is mentioned, the girls (well, Ellie so far) will find the character in the box and go place it in the nativity. Ellie LOVED it this year.
Counting down.. Ellie loves changing the location of the candy cane each day, and Emma loves pulling it out. :)
The Christmas tree, and some garland with lights on top of the tv.
Our new AV cabinet that James built (along with his favorite Santa).
This is at the back of the room behind the sofa since we don’t have a fireplace or a mantle. I love their new stockings.
The stairwell lined with garland, ribbon and lights
The dining room table
Christmas card display on the kitchen cabinets.
Here are the curtains I made for the toy cabinet (one more to go on the bottom) and a cute fibre optic Christmas tree for up there.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
As most of our regular readers know, we lost my sweet mother-in-law to cancer 3 years ago. I miss her often, but there are times when I feel her closer than others.
I decided last week to make some curtains to cover the toys in the toy cabinet in the playroom. (See post above about our Christmas decor to see said curtains.) While I was waiting in line to pay for the fabric at Hobby Lobby, the woman in front of me had found some Christmas fabric that was a soft book pattern. The pages were all laid out, and you were supposed to simply cut them, sew some batting in between, and you had little soft books. What a cute idea! I thought…I could do that! So, I got two of them as well.
As I sewed them this last weekend, I thought, “This is something Jean would do.” Now, she would probably do it more professionally than me, but I smiled to think that this was a little project that would be totally up her alley. So, in a way, I view these little books as gifts from Mama Jean to my sweet girls. I hope they love them for a long time.
Here’s an update all on our sweet girls and what they’ve been up to lately. Firstborn first:
Ellie is 3 1/2 and is as tall as a 5 year old. Her curly hair continues to be her signature, and it fits her personality perfectly. She’s outgoing and full of energy. She does have a shy side (note previous Santa post), but she’s mostly friends with anyone. She LOVES preschool and hasn’t cried when we drop her off yet. She adores her teachers and friends in class and has been doing great learning her letters and coming home with new songs.
This girl is a singer! She loves to sing and often makes up songs when she can’t thing of the one she wants. Just last night at Hobby Lobby, she proudly told the lady who was cutting our fabric that she likes two songs: Single Ladies (Beyonce) and Party in the USA (Miley Cyrus). I commented how inappropriate that was – where is this girl’s mom? lol She then went on to tell the lady that she also liked the ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Whew, that’s better.
Ellie would watch TV all day long if we let her. I know – awful. And fortunately we don’t let her. She loves Dora the Explorer and has gotten really good with some of her Spanish from that show. Sadly, she seems to have graduated from Sesame Street, but Emma is still a fan.
On her Christmas wish list this year is a conglomeration of odd unrelated requests: a tutu, a camera, a horn, chalk (sidewalk chalk which we already have in a closet upstairs but will definitely wrap it up and make it a present – cheating? i think not), and wings (like a fairy – part of a dress up kit we found).
She continues to be really affectionate and will pass out hugs and kisses easily. She LOVES babies and will sit and hold one for a LONG time if someone will let her. She’s also really doing a great job with her manners. I think that’s being reinforced with school, but she has always done a good job of saying please and thank you. She of course has her 3 year old moments, but she tends to correct a bad choice quickly and responds to discipline well.
As far as activities go, she loves playing with others, coloring, and she’s learning to use scissors so she loves practicing with that, too. She’s a HUGE fan of swimming still, but we haven’t made it over to our gym with the indoor pool lately. Hopefully over the Christmas break we can. There’s your Ellie update. Now for Emma:
How sweet is that face?!?! Emerson (who is known at home by Emma as well) is such a fun little kid. Her personality is just starting to emerge, and it’s fun to watch it come out.
Emma is also pretty affectionate. She’s more of a cuddler than Ellie is/was, and she gives very sweet kisses. She’s doing great with her baby sign language and can do “more”, “eat”, “please”, “thank you”, and “all done”. She can point to most of her body parts, and from my earlier video post, you know she loves to sing.
She continues to ADORE her big sister. They laugh and play and run around together all the time. She’s also very social and loves going to her class at church and is generally pretty agreeable. She definitely knows how to express her displeasure when Ellie isn’t treating her right, but I suppose that’s a typical second child thing.
Considering how petite she is for her age, this child can EAT! She will down a sippy cup of juice in 2 minutes, and she eats almost anything we give her really well. It’s so nice not to have to struggle to get food in our kids. (Now, I can’t say either of them eats many vegetables, but they get some good protein and calcium in there, and plenty of fruit)…
I had a rough day with them yesterday – just one of those days where they were both whiny and not obeying and fighting all the time. I decided to think about something amazing about them instead of dwell on that, though, and here’s what I’ll leave you with. When James and I put our Christmas tree up, we joked about making bets about how many ornaments we’d lose this year with two kids under 4. Our amazing sweet little angels have not played around the tree AT ALL this year, and to date we have not lost a single ornament (knocking on the proverbial wood). I think that’s amazing. They are both precious little gifts and we cherish them – even on the hard days.
So, we decided to spend a couple hours of our Saturday last weekend to take the girls to the Galleria and see Santa. Ellie was SOOOO excited and was talking about what she’d say and everything. We waited in line for 20 minutes or so, and she was still excited. Then….this:
I can’t help but laugh every time I see this photo. I think my favorite part is how Santa looks all jolly like “Hey, this is great!”
Ever since, Ellie has been saying that she’s ok with not getting any presents from Santa as long as it means she doesn’t have to sit on his lap and tell him what she wants. Ha! We don’t have the heart, so one of my high school friends posted a cute little link on Facebook and we did this:
She talks back to him when we play it and everything – just adorable. So, when we don’t want to go to Santa, the wonderful world of technology brings Santa to us! How convenient.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
So, you recently saw photos from my friend Margie’s baby shower. Her babies are about 6 weeks old and about 34 gestational weeks. They’ve been in the ICU with very limited visitors until recently, and I finally got to go meet them today! It was so fun! I wasn’t able to hold them, but I got to touch their sweet little hands and ooh and aah over them. I also got a precious little video of them. Enjoy!
Someone at the hospital knits those precious little hats for them to wear. They’re stylin’! (Kendall Grace is on the left and Emery Lynn is on the right.)
Sorry this is blurry. I was trying to keep the light out of her face.
Kendall up close. They’re both up over 4 lbs. now! They’re gaining about an ounce a day, which is awesome!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
So, my sweet friend Margie found out last spring right before the annual women’s retreat that she was expecting twins!! She and I were carpooling to the retreat, so I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to find out, and I was SO excited. We got to then share with all the girls at the retreat and talk babies and twins much of the weekend. She later learned that they were both girls and gave them the precious names of Kendall and Emery.
Unfortunately, Margie went into pre-term labor at a very early 25 weeks. We were all praying that those precious angels would stay safe with their momma for many more weeks to come. Margie made it two weeks on hospitalized bed rest before those babies would wait no longer. They were born in an excellent hospital with a very strong NICU until and weighed in at around 2 pounds and change. Pretty big for 27-weekers but still a big uphill battle.
Aside from a couple of scares along the way, both girls have done brilliantly! They’re both off of their oxygen and Kendall is off of her breathing tube. Emery wasn’t as of Sunday but will likely be soon if not already. Both girls will start working on drinking out of a bottle this week which is exciting. That’s a major milestone in the path to get those sweet babies home to Momma! They’re hopeful for a mid-December go-home date. Additional prayers are always welcome!
All that to say that we finally had Margie’s shower at my house on Sunday! We had originally planned to have it in October, but those babies had other plans. We did a “Thing 1 and Thing 2” theme from Cat in the Hat, and the decorations (that I can’t even begin to take credit for) were precious. My friend Libby and I did the little cake balls for a whimsical alternative to a traditional cake or cupcakes, and they were a big hit. I myself actually get to go meet those sweet babies in the NICU next week and I am SOOOO excited!! They’re one of many many things we have to be thankful for this year.
Sweet babies recently moved to a crib where they can be together. I bet they missed each other and are so glad to be reunited!
The beautiful table
My friend Brittney had the cute idea of having the movie on hand and we froze it on that fun Thing 1 and Thing 2 photo. :)
The hostesses (minus Carrie who had a sickly child) with proud Momma Margie in the middle
So, James and I went to hear Rob Bell live on Saturday night. It’s the closest thing we’ve had to a date night in ages, so we were excited. His Dropping Like Stars tour is a two hour discussion of how creativity and life can come out of suffering. He’s a great communicator, and I highly recommend you go if he comes anywhere near where you live.
And, not that he’s a celebrity or anything, but he made an entrance from the back of the theater, and he came right down the aisle where James and I were sitting. He literally stopped RIGHT in front of James to stop and turn around and just take in the audience. We could have tripped him…or grabbed his leg…he was that close. Given that there were thousands of people in the room, we thought that was pretty cool.
He has a great heart for Scripture and for earnestly seeking God, and he’s refreshing because he asks the tough questions and lets them hang. Thanks, Mr. Bell, for coming to Dallas. We enjoyed it and will think about life with fresh eyes as we approach our future.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Emerson and I have been having some great time for a couple of hours on Monday and Tuesday after James leaves for work and before I pick up Ellie from school. She did this hilarious singing thing for me at lunch today, and I decided to see if I could capture it on video. She then showed off all her other tricks. So, if you’re an Emerson fan, it’s worth the 3 minutes of your life to check out this video. There’s a part in the singing where she goes all opera-like that’s hilarious.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
So, our girls are little fishies. They both LOVE to swim. Emerson was born thinking she could swim. She goes underwater like it’s nothing and doesn’t hardly ever cry. She just assumes one of us will come rescue her if she can’t get back up. Keeps us on our toes for sure!! Ellie started swim lessons this summer. We need to do another round or two before she can swim on her own, but she’s very comfortable in the water as well.
So, we were really happy to learn that the Frisco Athletic Center existed and has very reasonable prices for residents. It’s a nice big gym with racquetball courts and everything. My favorite feature, though, is the huge indoor pool area. There’s a toddler playscape, a warm water pool, a large lap pool, a lazy river area with a whirlpool, and a large body slide – ALL INSIDE! There’s even more outside, but we signed up after Labor Day and haven’t gotten to experience that yet.
We’ve started a Saturday family tradition of us dropping the girls off in the complementary and very nice child care center while we work out. Then we go get them and we all get in our suits and do some swimming before coming back for lunch and naptime. The gym is only 5 minutes from our house, so we’re very blessed. Here are some photos from this past Saturday.
That’s the lazy river and whirlpool area
This is the warm water pool. It’s just shy of being a hot tub, and I love it. :)
And the big slide.
Monday, November 2, 2009
For a fun trip down memory lane, here’s a reminder of our first few Halloweens with the girls:
Little Hershey’s Kiss in 2007
The cheerleader and the football player in 2008
And then here are some highlights from Halloween 2009. We had a great time. We had a party with some friends in the morning, and then we went to our church Trunk or Treat festivities followed by some Trick or Treating in our neighborhood.
James and I were farmers with our little pig and cow. :)
The cow wouldn’t cooperate on this one, so I just took the photo anyway. We went around our neighborhood with our friends the Alemans.
Check Emerson out. She wanted to hold her bucket and walk up to the doors just like big sister.
Pondering which house we would hit up next.
Ellie summed it up by saying “We had a good candy day, Mom!”