Sunday, December 26, 2010

White Christmas!

There are too many Christmas Day pictures to sort through quickly, but here are pictures from our day today. We had a blast in the snow, but Aiden rarely showed any expression-good or bad. However, he didn't want to come inside and seemed content in the snow. His biggest smile came when he fell off the sled and his "boot shoe," as Anna refers to it, fell off. Anna on the other hand smiled the entire time. This year she was even able to carry her own sled back up the hill. She made snow angels and a huge snowman.
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Or as we like to say in our house, "Happy Birthday Jesus." All day there were reminders of Jesus and his birth. When Anna woke this morning she shared with me that she had slept for a long time and rattled off a few details for the morning and getting ready. Her last words were..."then we can get ready for Jesus' birthday cake, deal?!" Any time Anna was asked what she received today, she would respond..."I got ____ for Jesus' birthday." We started our morning unwrapping the very last ornament under our Jesse Tree and ended it singing "O Holy Night" in front of our lit Christmas tree. It was a celebration indeed! Happy Birthday Jesus!
Here is our Christmas card photo for this year.
And here is a picture from last night after the Christmas Eve service.
Merry Christmas!
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Friday, December 24, 2010

One last gift...

We are once again doing a Jesse Tree with Anna. It has surely been the highlight of each evening in our house for our sweet girl. Every night as Anna takes one of the ornaments from under the tree to unwrap, she sits with eyes glowing and says to both Kevin and myself..."you're going to be excited" as she bounces with joy. Each night those words are uttered and each night she is just as excited as the night before. We have been unwrapping His love for us each night as we have been reminded of God's faithfulness throughout time in the coming of a Savior. As I headed to bed tonight I couldn't help but notice only one ornament remained. Only one gift to be opened. It would be easy to forget this gift tomorrow with all the big packages under our "big tree" as Anna calls it, but this small package under our "little tree" is the most important gift of all. It is why we celebrate. Tomorrow's ornament is the baby Jesus. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 It is why we are getting excited in our house. We can't wait to celebrate Jesus' birth. Oh how easy it is to forget. Merry Christmas.
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Where is Aiden?

I can't find him anywhere.
Is that an arm and head I see peeking through?
Oh, there you are!
And all smiles too!
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Bathtime fun!

Aiden loves water just as much as Anna. All you have to say is "bath" and he makes his way to enjoy some water fun. He loves for you to pour cups of water over his head. The reaction is the same, always---"AHHH" and then a big grin. Kevin has been working with him to be cheerful when bathtime ends as it is hard for him to watch the water turn off and having to leave the cups behind. However, most nights now, he is all smiles when he is all clean.
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Sweet Girls...

Last Saturday the mommies in our small group took the "older" girls on a special date. All seven of us piled into one car, car seats and all, and headed to Lexington to see the Nutcracker performed by the High Point Ballet. They have a special performance for children known as the "Land of Sweets" that is a little bit shorter than the usual production and at an ideal time for little people. They have a time before the performance to meet and greet the characters. Anna was unsure of this at first but by the end was getting autographs. They also give away prizes at the end of the performance for the children in attendance. None of our girls won, but they can hardly wait to go next year in hopes to hear their names called.
Anna loves these two girls.
Here they are in their seats waiting for the performance to begin or as Anna describes it..."the show." Since being home, Anna has had her own shows. She will turn off the den lights because the lights were dimmed at the show and begin to dance. She definitely pays attention to the small details. When she reenacts church she will dim the lights during worship but will quickly turn them on when it is time to welcome everyone to her service and give the morning announcements. When performing the Nutcracker for daddy, she even had a time for daddy to get her autograph on her Doodle Pad.
Afterwards we took the girls to the Lexington Tea House for lunch. It was indeed a treat for Anna as she got to have the "princess plate" that included a strawberry/kiwi drink that was served in a tea pot that was then poured into her very own tea cup.
She was so excited and enjoyed every drop!

It was such a fun day, even up until the very end. On the way home the girls sang songs and played the game, "I spy with my little eye." We can't wait until next year!

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Brrrr Cold!

Over the last several weeks we have had some cold, cold weather. We have spent A LOT of time inside, even having all day pajama days (or "J's" as they are known in our house). These two have also spent A LOT of time on the floor---snuggling, tickling, rolling, flying on airplanes and wrestling. It is so fun to watch them play together and love on each other. Most nights daddy gets in on the action. We received crazy creeks as a gift this year from the YL committee. Who would have guessed that these chairs would have provided hours of entertainment for our children. They love to read in them, make homes for their babies and stuffed animals, but probably their favorite activity is rocking in them with mommy or daddy. They both pile on and it makes for a great workout for all. They are one of the first things that make their way out in the morning and Aiden is usually the one dragging them out, despite the fact they are as big as him.
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It is about time!

Poor Aiden rarely gets any blog love but he is surely loved by this momma! He is such a joy and all three of us-Daddy, Anna and I love him to pieces. Not only is he lovable but he keeps us busy, smiling and laughing. He can reach, climb, open and get into most anything. One of his favorite places to play is on the fireplace. He loves to stack things from cups, to blocks or even Anna's wooden pantry items. His favorite toys are balls, which also happens to be one of the first words he mastered. Other words include...mama, dada, sis sis for Anna, pees for please, me me for milk, baby, woof woof for dog, ba for bath, guh gob for good job, ight for light and shoes. He loves to imitate sounds. When we would sing to him as a baby he would hum along, now he tries to sing. He LOVES music. We have a Praise Baby DVD that was given to Anna when she was small. Aiden gets so excited when he hears the music play. He will make his way to a chair, only to begin tapping the seat, indicating he wants up so he can watch the DVD. He also loves to dance, which usually consists of bending his knees and bouncing up and down or stomping his foot. Other favorite toys include cars or anything that has wheels and can move. It amazes me how boys are drawn to balls and cars. There is rarely a time a ball is not in this little boy's hand. Even when he is playing with other toys he will at least have a small bouncy ball close by. Although he is all boy in so many ways, he still loves to play with his sister's baby dolls and loves to stroll them. He has such a tender heart. You will often catch him loving on a baby or a stuffed animal. He will sit with them on the floor and just hug and kiss on them. He also loves to play with the play kitchen and all the food. Stirring anything and everything is a favorite past time. Aiden grasps the concept of filling the grocery cart. He will fill it full and push it around. Anna has a wooden dollhouse and Aiden spends lots of time with the pieces of the dollhouse. He loves little things. He often carries two of the small dresser drawers from the dollhouse around with him from room to room. Anna spends a good bit of time during the day on her play phones talking away to just about anyone and everyone. Aiden will walk around with a phone as well but instead of it being put up to his ear he holds it behind the back of his head. He almost has it. When asked to clean-up, Aiden will help put away the toys. This is a must because he also knows how to pull out almost every toy in our house in a matter of minutes. He knows exactly where everything goes from the coins that go in the cash register to books (another favorite) on the book shelf to putting socks in his shoes at the front door to even trying to lift the heavy bins that store the toys back to their shelves. He is even known to find bits of trash on the floor and heads to the trashcan to throw it away. When he is all done with his sippy cup he will go to the fridge for you to put it up.

This sweet boy gives some of the best kisses.
Here he is with one of his many balls.
As I mentioned Aiden loves stuffed animals. He also loves this red car. He has watched Anna ride it up and down our halls and a while back mastered using his feet to push himself up and down the hall. He pays very close attention to Anna and learns a lot from watching her. It is because of this and wanting to imitate her, he is able to master many things that took Anna much longer to learn.
All bundled up to get our Christmas tree in the cold weather. Aiden gives very serious looks a lot of the time, especially when we are around new people or in a big crowd.

Just like his sister he loves to suck two fingers and rub on his sheet. He often will ask to go to bed in the evenings or down for a nap. Most mornings and afternoons he is awake before Anna. When he hears Anna's sound machine turn off through the monitor he will say, "sis sis, " squeal, head for the door and yes, he can open all of the doors in our house. He will then make his way to Anna's room giggling and grinning the whole way. He greets her with a BIG hug and kiss. It is probably one of my favorite times of the day. His excitement is always the same. You would think it had been days since he had seen her. My prayer is that they will always be that excited to see one another.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010


These two love each other a whole lot for only being one and three.

See what I mean....
(not sure if you can tell, but Elliot is beaming as he hugs Anna)

And all three of them LOVE the piano. They would sit there all afternoon, lined up on the one bench, if we would let them. The amazing thing is that no one even really bangs on the keys. It is actually a pleasant experience.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

The meal...

and all who partook!
Every year my mom spends her holidays in the kitchen serving her family. She has blessed us with many amazing meals. This Thanksgiving was a little different. We decided very last minute to bless her this year. Her children and their spouses spent Thanksgiving morning preparing the Thanksgiving meal. We still used her kitchen and many of her ingredients, but instead of one chef, the six of us had a fun morning playing in the kitchen together. It was an unbelievable meal with old and new recipes, but still a very traditional meal, which was the main criteria for each of us. We had so much fun together that it was quickly decided this would be a new tradition.
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To serve....

This Fall Anna has been a part of an AWANA program at a nearby church. It has been a blessing to Anna. She looks forward to going each Wednesday evening. She couldn't be more proud of her vest she wears each week that is slowly starting to accumulate patches from the bible verses she is memorizing. A few weeks before Thanksgiving her lesson was on serving. Often we use her AWANA lesson and expand on it during my teaching time with Anna throughout the week. In keeping with serving others we decided to make place mats for everyone to use over the Thanksgiving holiday. Anna worked hard over several days on her 9 place mats. They served us well over Thanksgiving and even held up over many, many meals together!

The artist with her place mat!
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Cascade Park

When her Uncle Todd and I were her age we spent many hours at this park. It was a blast from the past for her Uncle to spend the afternoon with her at the park. Although, most things have been replaced and updated, there are a few things that are still there from when we were little.

Sweet Anna was sick most of the Thanksgiving holiday. But she didn't want to miss out on her time with her uncles, aunts and cousin. She was a real trooper and was able to enjoy being with everyone despite not feeling so great.
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Happy Birthday!

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we headed to Grandover one day for their most delicious brunch. It was a celebration of the several birthdays our family has in November and the beginning of December. One of them happens to be today. Happy Birthday Uncle Todd! I am pretty sure we sat at the table and ate for a good two hours.

Anna was thrilled with her mickey mouse pancakes. Another highlight was tossing pennies into the fountain. Anna has spent a lot of time tossing pennies into fountains. She is a huge fan!

Anna and Aiden with the LA crew!

Tossing more pennies!
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