Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Highlights of the Season!

We have spent the past week celebrating here in Greensboro. Here are just a few snapshots of our second Christmas with Anna Cate. Several of the highlights as seen above....
-Anna receiving her very own mailbox with actual mail addressed to her. She checks it several times a day.
-Playing the piano with grandmommy.
-Watching "Gen-Gen" (grandaddy) play baseball on the Wii. Hours were spent making each family member (even Anna) on the Wii.
-Quality time with "Bess," "Car," and "Ty" (Mary Beth, Carlos and Todd). Anna is missing her entourage that would push her in her new car only after asking once, initiating playing "Anna" and "Sit-Sit" (rules of these games will have to be explained in a later post) and taking her to see "P" (my parents cat) whenever asked.
-Warm weather that was perfect for walks, shades and even a trip to the park on Christmas Day.
-Loving on new baby dolls-giving them "mil-mil" (milk), putting them to bed in their very own crib and pushing them in their own "shroller" (stroller).
-Opening plenty of presents, even saving some for Anna's birthday.
-Eating too much food, especially yummy desserts.
-Staying up too late playing Apples to Apples

-But the best part was watching Anna's huge smile each time we held hands at a meal to pray and as we sang happy birthday to Jesus. Anna often asked "Gen-Gen" to pray "gin" (again), which he happily did.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas...

...the innocence of a child.

...the wonder of it all.


...the thrill of a Savior, born in Bethlehem.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a season filled with His presence.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The celebrating begins...


This past weekend we began our Christmas celebration as we headed to Virginia. We spent time in Lynchburg and Fredericksburg with family. It was a fun-filled few days as we filled our bellies, opened presents, and watched as family loved on Anna. The picture in the middle is of Anna and her only living great grandparent (Kevin's maternal grandmother). It was a blessing to be with her as well as everyone else.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Globe

Anna is fascinated with our snow globes throughout the house. She gets as close as she can and just stares at them as the snow falls. She can hardly believe too that they play music. She will ask over and over again, "shake."
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Unbelievable!


Here is Anna all ready for bed but moments before this picture was taken we had an unbelievable experience at Jason's Deli. One of those moments that leaves you speechless and one of those moments that you are so thankful someone else was there to witness what really took place. As I left the restaurant all I could say was, "wow." Let me set the stage, in case you have never been to Jason's Deli. It is a snug fit, the tables are very close together and customers are constantly getting up and down as there is a salad bar, "free" ice cream, muffins, etc. Needless to say it is one of those restaurants where you become friends with the people sitting next to you as you are practically sitting at their table and could easily join in on their conversation. It is a terrible restaurant for me to go to if my husband wants my attention as I can easily be distracted by others in hearing shot. We had several admirers of Anna and several people had stopped to speak to us. We had finished our meal and even had our "free" ice cream. We were packing up leftovers and wiping sticky hands when one of these admirers stooped down to greet Anna. In his hand was an uneaten ice cream cone. He was an older gentleman, very friendly, however, he only spoke to Anna and did not acknowledge Kevin nor me. The conversation went somewhat like this (it is all a bit fuzzy because I was so taken back by what transpired)....

Stranger: "Hey...I bet you would like some of this (putting the cone in front of Anna)."

Me: "Yes, she has already had some and enjoyed it."

Stranger: (Still only looking at Anna) "I haven't even had a lick (shoving the cone in Anna's face and encouraging her to take a bite), you can have some."

Yes, he then placed the cone in Anna's mouth and of course she took a bite.

Stranger: "You love it, here have more."

Again, Anna taking a second bite.

Me: "Thank you but she has had plenty."

Wow, and I thought strangers coming up and holding your babies small hand was a bit much but sharing your ice cream cone with a complete stranger. Again, wow!
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Friday, December 12, 2008

Taking it all in...

Anna is really taking in all of Christmas this year...well at least the sights and sounds. She is mesmerized by the lights that are inside and out. Here she is helping Grandaddy or "Gan, Gan" as she says, hang an ornament.

The ornaments that hang from the tree are many objects she recognizes...from balls, to a duck or as she says, "quack-quack" to lights to a picture of she and her friend Maddie as a ladybug and chicken (pictured below).
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Old Toy...

Yes, Anna still gets in her exersaucer. On mornings when I am running behind and have not had a shower before she wakes or Kevin leaves for work this is where Anna will hang out while I get ready. My top priority it accomplishes...it confines her and secondly it still entertains her. The first picture is of her in October 2007 (5 months old) and the second picture was taken today (19 months old). Kevin, sorry this huge contraption will be in our room a little longer. :)
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

New toy...

video

This weekend my Aunt and Uncle came into town. And of course they brought with them a 19- month-old present for Anna. Her present was her very own purse with pockets, buttons and the purse was even filled with various items. One of which was a present from my cousin and her family. Mind you this is a family with 8 children and almost every gift they have sent has always ended up being one of our favorite items as I am sure after 8 children you know what works and what doesn't. Well, when Anna unwrapped this musical instrument we thought for sure it would be a while before she would figure out how a harmonica works. She proved us wrong! All we had to say was, "blow, like it is hot." This is a common phrase around mealtime at our house and she knew exactly what to do.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What's for Dinner?!

In the midst of being sick, exhausted, trying to clean up our germs, disappointed our trip was needing to be canceled and trying to encourage one another to not get too upset there was still a little one who wanted to play and needed to eat, although her mommy and daddy were not too interested in food. We decided to combine the two. We spent many days in our PJs, Anna included. Here Anna is helping us to cook. One of her new favorite activities. Anytime I am at the stove or mixing anything in a bowl on the counter Anna will quickly push a chair to the counter and ask, "up please!"
Here she is stirring her dinner...well, water. A saucepan, spoon and a touch of water will go a long way in entertaining a one year old.
This little helper even wipes up her own mess. We must hear the word "wipe" a hundred times a day as anytime Anna sees a spot on the table, while she is eating, she says, "wipe please" or when she colors off the paper and onto the tile (don't worry they are washable crayons) or her hands or mouth need wiping because they have food on them those words are repeated over and over until the "mee" (mess) as she says is cleaned up.
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

SYTYCD

November 12th I was surprising Kevin with tickets to see the 11 finalists in this seasons So You Think You Can Dance. Instead Kevin was surprised with the stomach bug that I had the previous weekend. It was supposed to be the perfect beginning to our extended weekend away for our anniversary. Together we had planned a trip to Savannah. We were to leave Thursday morning. The SURPRISE was for us to head to Charlotte on that Wednesday for the show and then spend the night outside of Charlotte as we would be 2 hours closer to our destination on Thursday. We are new fans to SYTYCD but we were quickly hooked this summer. The show nor Savannah happened but a short trip to Charlotte to celebrate our anniversary did. Although it could not compare to SYTYCD or Savannah it was a treat to get away and to make some headway on our Christmas shopping. It has become a tradition for us to do the mass of our Christmas shopping on our Anniversary getaway. We have been successful all five years. This year we probably shopped more in our 48 hours away then we have in the past. We made a stop at Concord Mills on our way into Charlotte and then Monday we spent the better part of the day at The Southern Christmas Show. Wow, if you have never been, you should. It is huge.

The best part of our trip was just being together. Talking without being interrupted, eating our meals without feeding a little one and Kevin even let me sleep in as he delivered me breakfast in bed. We were definitely spoiled at the Hilton and our lodging was completely FREE. A couple of years ago we decided to get an American Express that earns points for Hilton Hotels (Hampton Inns, Doubletrees, Embassy Suites, etc.) We use our credit card as we would a debit card and only purchase what we can pay for and pay off the balance each month. However, we have racked up a stash of points and thus our lodging for Savannah was also going to be FREE. Not to mention we almost always get upgraded to a suite, breakfast is included and this time we had access to the club level where we were greeted with appetizers that easily could have sufficed for dinner and several hours later the room was full of an assortment of desserts to choose from. Although disappointed our original plans did not happen, our time away was exactly what we needed-a productive time yet relaxing and a time for us to connect as a couple. Below is a picture of us in the purple chase lounger that greeted us as we walked into our room.

Needless to say we were both excited to see the little girl we had left behind!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Still smiling...

...despite any recent posts. We are experiencing technical difficulty in our household and we have much to catch up on but I thought a few pictures of our sweet girl would suffice the phone calls, emails and comments we have received. Hopefully soon I will get to the happenings of the past two weeks. Here are several pictures from our Thanksgiving day walk.
Part way through Anna decided it would be fun to ride her tricycle. She was even able to keep her feet on the pedals at times, although they don't quite reach. She wanted nothing to do with you standing behind her and pushing the bike but do notice she wanted to hold grandmommy's hand while steering.
Silly daddy!
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

5 Years and 50 to go!

Happy 5th Anniversary! I am so thankful to be married to you. You are the love of my life and the most amazing woman. Thank you for the way you love and encourage our family. I hope you know how loved you are. I look forward to many more years together with you my beautiful bride.


I LOVE YOU!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad...

Birthday!

Yes, yesterday was my beloved's birthday. Instead of being celebrated, Kevin spent the day exhausted after taking care of his very sick wife throughout the night, waking up early with his fussy baby girl, who couldn't understand why mommy was off-limits, who went down for a nap only to be woken up by our young neighbor, who loves to ring the doorbell over and over. Yes, the birthday boy even made his own birthday dinner (did I mention he first had to go to the grocery store). Not to worry, we do have some celebrating in store...a SURPRISE for my man, who has waited on me all weekend, washed clothes, cooked, cleaned and even did yard work this afternoon with the help of Anna. I can hardly wait and the best part, he has no idea where we are off to!
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Look who voted....

and is off to get her hair dried (pictures of this to come soon).
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Surprise and Happy Halloween!

A little over a week ago, Anna sat in the den talking to her Aunt Mary Beth on the phone (pictured above). The day before, her Uncle Todd had called to talk to Anna as well and to say good-bye to his only niece as he headed out of the country for several weeks. After both of those conversations I shared with Kevin how I wished these two lived closer. Little did I know that Kevin knew I would be seeing one of them very soon.
Late Thursday night, Mary Beth and Carlos surprised me and showed up in our kitchen around 10pm. What a fun treat to have them with us for a couple of days. Anna of course loves the undivided attention she receives when these two are in town. They even ventured with us to our Halloween party where Anna was a ladybug. I wish we had a picture of all the children dressed up, but it was an impossible feat.
Here is our little ladybug on Mac's (the host) spider mobile. Her pigtails were a big hit.
Mary Beth and Carlos thanks for the surprise. A big thank you to Carlos for going in to work early, early for many days in order to take time off so they could be with us on Friday. We love you both.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Excited to see her friends...

video

Note: This video was taken right before small group. Our small group meets on Sunday afternoons because of all the babies and the need to have shared sitters. It is a blessing that all our children get to play while we are meeting. Anna is in her PJs because we took off her Sunday dress for her nap. She has just gotten up from her nap and is eating a quick snack before changing and heading out the door to meet the other families for small group. Since this video was taken another baby has joined our group. Anna already has a name for sweet baby Eli, "I." Notice before I can even get the word, "baby" out of my mouth Anna is saying, "shhh" as she associates being quiet with babies.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tattoo

The other day Kevin called me and said, "Anna has a surprise waiting for you," as he was the one to pick her up from preschool. The surprise is the marking you see on her left arm. As you will notice our little girl still sucks those two fingers but only when she is in her crib. You will also notice if you look closely how her fitted sheet is not so fitted. This is because Anna immediately pulls up the sheet when she is placed in her crib and holds it between the fingers of her right hand as she places her left fingers in her mouth. If a new sheet has been placed on her crib she will grunt and pull on the sheet until it is loose enough for her to place it between her fingers. Anna has never taken to a "woobie" or "lovey" like many of her friends but the sheet between her fingers is a must for falling asleep.
Back to the surprise...Here is a close-up of Anna's pumpkin tattoo. Throughout the day Anna would look down just to make sure it was still there.
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Monday, October 20, 2008

A new kind of ride...

Often the three of us take a stroll around our neighborhood after dinner and on the weekends we take many walks with Anna in the stroller or the backpack. Since daddy's foot has been hurt we have not been able to walk as a family. Kevin did suggest a double stroller but we couldn't find one big enough. This weekend we decided on another mode of transportation for both Kevin and Anna that did not hurt Kevin's foot. We all had a blast as Anna ventured on the back of Kevin's bike for the first time.

Getting ready. Safety a must.

A little unsure at first. We were afraid the bike seat would be too much like a swing and that Anna would not enjoy the ride.

But it did not take long for her to be all smiles.
See you around the block!
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Waaerin..

Now before getting the mail each day Anna will pick up the spray nozzle of the hose and go around and water each of our plants. One day the nozzle was just sitting on our porch and our little girl marched up, picked it up and went prancing into the flower beds to "waaer."

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Spoiled...

Mommy just isn't sure who this is a treat for more, Daddy or Anna? This is a rare, rare site in our house these days but is the peaceful picture I came home to on Sunday afternoon after being gone all day. I think daddy just wanted a chance to nap too and prop up his hurt toe, which by the way is a word Anna says over and over again as daddy bandages up his toe and puts it in his boot. When Kevin returned home after getting hurt, Anna pointed to Kevin's toe and said, "toe." We didn't even know this word was in her vocabulary! Other words this week..."gurt" (yogurt), "bus, " "pants, " "punes" (prunes), "go," "daaace" (dance), and "bag" (specifically for the bag we take to preschool. Anna will point to it and say "bag, bye-bye"). A few words she has been saying for awhile that I forgot to add on the last post are "wall" (waffle), "sear" (ears), "bu" (sand buckets), "gla" (sunglasses) and "saha" (it's hot) with her hand waving to cool it off and her lips puckered to blow on the piece of food that is placed before her.
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