Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve

BB invited Jack over today to make Christmas cookies. It was so precious to watch him participate in a tradition that he and his BB will probably share for years and years to come. This year, Christmas seems even more special than usual because Jack is finally at that age where he truly understands what is going on and is just filled with joy and anticipation. What a blessing to be able to see Christmas through the eyes of a child again. Children have a way of reminding you to stop and appreciate the small things in life, and the every day moments that make your life what it is.

Jack has literally been counting down the days until Christmas since December 1st and was thrilled that today was finally "Christmas Eve Eve!" Randy and I are planning on making "Christmas Eve Eve" a very special day for our family. We have extended family plans every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so the 23rd will be the day that we spend together (for the most part) just the four of us. This year began many traditions that we hope to continue for years to come!

Here are some pictures. Do they look different to you, other than the fact that there are a million of them, I mean?...we got a little carried away! We got a new camera as an early Christmas present from my parents! I am so excited and can't wait to learn all of the features!














Small Group

Here is a picture of our new small group. They have been such a blessing to us! This picture was taken at a Christmas party that we all attended. It was a wonderful night spent with great friends!

Eleven Months



Graham Arthur is eleven months old, as of yesterday! I remember this time last year all too well. By Christmas time, I was so ready to meet our little baby and find out whether he was a boy or a girl. I fully expected Graham to come early. Little did I know he would be 8 days late and I still had quite awhile to go!

These past eleven months have been a true joy getting to know this precious little boy. Seeing him grow and change every day is so exciting and watching him interact with his brother just makes everything more special. Sometimes it seems that you don't pay as much attention to milestones with the second child, because it's not so new and exciting anymore. There is some truth to that. However, having your second child is so much more special in some ways because you can see the love that each of your children now have for each other. There is just nothing like it!

Jack and Graham's interactions this month have suddenly become much more entertaining. Graham is finally skilled enough at walking to really follow Jack around and Jack is realizing that he can actually be "in charge" of Graham and Graham will play along. It is so fun to watch them play together. However Jack has taken to "tackling" Graham and wrestling him to the ground. We're having to work with him on being gentle (although I bet Graham will be able to take him in a few more months!)

Graham's walking is now so fast that I would almost call it running! He is still a big eater, probably because he's so busy and walks miles around this house every day. He is still an easy going little guy who just loves attention and praise. His favorite games are- How big is Graham? SO BIG!, peek-a-boo, and "Where is Thumbkin?"

He has added a couple of new words to his vocabulary: Dada and bye-bye!

New Stockings!

Jack's "Happy Birthday, Jesus" Party

On December 16th, Jack's pre-school class celebrated Jesus' birthday with a big party! They got to make an ornament and eat some yummy treats. Moms and Dads were invited, so Randy and I joined in on the fun. It is always exciting to see how Jack interacts with his friends and to see what he is doing and learning while he's at school. We were impressed as always with Crossings and with Ms. Darcy. She is just wonderful with children, we feel very blessed to have her as an influence in Jack's life.





Crossings' Live Nativity

On December 2nd, our church presented a live nativity for the kids. The boys got dressed in their Christmas pajamas and we sat in the gym surrounded by hay and watched the entire scene take place. It was very sweet and even though we couldn't hear everything, I know it helps the kids to comprehend the account of the first Christmas and why it is that we celebrate each year. After the performance, the kids participated in activities, such as decorating cookies and making ornaments. They had a great time! I had fun too, although I was finding hay in my house and my car for several days...





Friday, December 10, 2010

Graham Walking

I finally took a moment to video Graham walking! He's getting faster every day!

video

Monday, November 29, 2010

Trimming the Tree

Well, we didn't accomplish much with the children helping, but it was fun and they looked cute!








Being Three

I miss being three, when just being under a table was enough to make the day fun!



The Train

My parents surprised the boys this weekend by setting up my brother's old train out in the cabana. They loved it! Jack liked to figure out all the controls while Graham just squealed with joy!



Thanksgiving in Wetumpka

We spent Thanksgiving in Wetumpka, Oklahoma at my aunt and uncle's ranch this year, for what I think was our third year in a row. I can't even tell you how much Jack looks forward to this day each year. In fact, he refers to it not as Thanksgiving, but as "Collin and Cody Day!" Actually, Jack does lots of thinking about what he is thankful for (namely Graham this year) and who he is thankful to for all of his blessings, but he also just so enjoys seeing the animals and riding Trigger. This year was no exception!

Graham enjoyed his first Thanksgiving experience as well! He loves being around family and just thrives on all of the attention. He rode Trigger himself, even if only for a minute. He doesn't like to be left out of anything!

Randy and I have so much to be thankful for. I think we were just overwhelmed this year more than ever by how God has blessed us, not just with the material things we have, but with His grace and mercy in our lives. We are so grateful for His love and simply for the truth of who He is and therefore who we are. This year has been very eventful in wonderful and terrible ways and we are just thankful for a God who is in control of all circumstances, forever working in us, helping us grow to be more like Him.












Graham vs. The Penguin

Applause, Please!

Graham is loving to clap lately...all the time...for everything! He also likes climbing into plastic tubs...