Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Come

Is it just me or did Christmas just fly by us? Not exactly the speed I like for Christmas...I like to soak it in more than watch it whiz by and leave a pile of recycling. Not that it wasn't good, it was!

Weston and I got the chance to go see the musical "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with some friends at the Peabody Opera House . Very fun and Weston even took to the scary Grinch saying, "He's just wearing a costume, right?"

We decided to have a "hands on" tree this year and allow the kids to play with the (non-breakable) ornaments at the bottom of the tree. I'm not sure it was a great idea...our tree took quite a beating and was a bit saggy by Christmas. I'm thinking next year we'll have a special "kid tree"!

I've been working part-time at Williams-Sonoma this holiday season which has been a nice outlet for me away from home, but perhaps added a little to the craziness of the season.

Weston, however, picked up a full time job. Crafting. I've never seen a kid who wanted to endlessly craft reindeer and snowmen as this child. I think he's picked it up from Mother's Day Out and lucky for us Nana provided plenty of crafting materials to sustain us through Christmas. One day, 15 minutes into the morning, as I rubbed my eyes and poured my first cup of coffee, Weston jumps up and down, "Can we do a craft? Can we do a craft?!" I just don't have as much enthusiasm for glue and glitter at 6:30 a.m., but it's been fun to watch him figure out directions and create interesting little projects!

We typically (and intentionally) get the kids three gifts each at Christmas. Lily's gifts included a tunnel to crawl through, a shopping cart and books.

Weston got a basketball hoop, a magnetic fishing set and books.

Merry Christmas! We enjoy celebrating the birth of a Savior, God with us, and savoring the innumerable blessings we have have in family and friends! Peace and hope to you blog readers!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Tree

Remember this post and this post? Well here we are for year three at Heritage Valley Tree Farm with the annual and promised cookies...

Check Spelling
Even though we're living at my parents this Christmas I had to have a tree and get out my decorations because, well, just because.

This year some great friends joined us last minute and made our morning and lunch even sweeter. Wanna come next year? Here's your formal invitation: 10:00 a.m. day after Thanksgiving 2012. Much fun to be had!

There were so many pictures I loved and want to remember, so it will just have to be a picture heavy post...

Now my husband is always a handsome fellow, but he always looks exceptionally good looking a the tree farm...maybe it's that smell of pine he loves so much :)

And don't even get me started on the cuteness of this little sassafrass...

...or this one. Even though he pulled the tongue off of this giraffe like a year and half ago, he was particularly sorrowful of the giraffe's loss the whole way there and he had to come cut down the tree with us.

He also insisted on pulling the tree. He made it about 50 feet.

Happy Christmas season to you from us!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Aging

Four alarming and hilarious things have occurred in the short span of a few days that have sealed the deal that I am no longer a spring chicken:

1. I did a somersault for the first time in awhile and almost threw up I was so dizzy and nauseous .

2. Upon trying to get dressed one morning this EXACT thought came across my mind, "I really need more elastic pants."

3. The NEXT day, I purchased a PURPLE sweatsuit (now to my defense, it's "heather" purple and it was the only color left in my size and it's Eddie Bauer brand and they're REALLY comfortable...justified yet? I hope so because I would like three more pair.)

4. My older sister, whom I am like in many ways, has joined my parents in forsaking all family heritage and Christmas spirit for the ease of an ARTIFICIAL tree. This is where I'm headed people.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cardinals Win the World Series!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're well aware that St. Louis was/is much aflutter after our post-season comeback to win the World Series. Obviously, a lot of baseball was viewed in our household during that time period and Weston finally took to his tee ball after owning it approximately 2 years.

He had to do everything just like the baseball players...from waving the bat behind his head, tapping the tip of the bat on the ground, wiping his feet on the ground, throwing the bat after he hit it and then running the bases (which was really to a bush and back). Lily helpfully shagged his balls. It was all pretty entertaining.

He called Albert Pujols "Robert" throughout the entire series and much to Daddy's delight called a catch by Jon Jay in the outfield.

Yay Cardinals!

Grateful for...

#77 Pudgy feet on the pooldeck

#78 Singing and rocking babies for naps each day

#79 A God who makes beauty from ashes

#80 A moment of silence watching a bird peck around for food outside the window and remembering this verse.

#81 When little boy smiles so big that his cheeks make little balls and dimples form on the sides of his face

#82 the smell of freshly grated nutmeg

Friday, November 4, 2011

Not So Spooky Halloween

Given my love affair with the season of Fall, I'm much less enthusiastic about Halloween. It's just whatever. Weston, however, was really excited to dress up this year. Lucky for us, we have a lot of great hand -me -down costumes from cousins Blake and Brooke and Weston took to the spider costume. I bought Lily a lobster costume 2 days before Halloween at a resale shop for 68 cents. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Lily loved playing in this bucket that my dad found from days of old...

We finally carved our pumpkin the day of Halloween. I teased Weston that we should make a grumpy faced one since we were all crabby that morning. Not looking crabby here though...

Happy Jack-o-lantern...

Lily was not thrilled with her costume to say the very least. But she was terribly cute...

Kurt took the kids around the block for trick-or-treating and I stayed back and handed out candy.

Don't tell Weston, but I put him in girl stretch pants for his costume. I think that's okay when you're three.

The best part of Halloween for me is that you see neighbors and meet new ones. My parents were out of town, but we went to a little neighborhood party where the kids jumped in a big bounce house while Kurt and I met people we've only kind of waved at thus far.

Now, how to get rid of all that candy before Thanksgiving...

Monday, October 31, 2011


Ever since we moved in with my parents I've been dying to use the wood burning stove on their deck to make S'mores. At last the weather, a good nap and time to make some homemade marshmallows that I've been wanting to make all came together...

The marshmallows were a bit of a flop, but melted with chocolate on graham cracker they were delicious!

Not pictured is Lily. She is sleeping. Sorry lady, you around a fire is enough anxiety to put me in my grave right now. Maybe next year!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apple Pickin'

I've never been apple picking in my thirty-one years of life until a few weeks ago when we went with some dear friends. Friends whose daughter happens to be Weston's Prom Date 2024. Here they are holding hands within seconds of greeting one another...

As it turns out, apple picking is pretty Lily friendly. There's just not much trouble you can get into in an apple orchard!

The group consensus ranked Golden Delicious as the favorite.

Sweetest. Face. Ever. Don't lie, you want to scrunch those cheeks right through your computer screen...

Happy husband and wife. I may or may not have had a hand in getting us turned around in East St. Louis on the way there. He was not a happy husband then...

Much to my surprise, Weston followed Sophie on a first ever pony ride adventure.

He did great! Didn't even want me walking beside the pony.

Later he told me he wanted to ride a horse because ponies can't run and he wants to ride a running horse. We'll see about that Mr. Serious Cowboy...

Apple picking is definitely a do again for next year! Thanks friends for a great time!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stats on a Random Thursday

It's 10:45 a.m. on a simple Thursday and I'm a bit impressed with the stats so far:

Awake for almost 6 hours

Off to a nutritionally healthy start already having consumed 2 cups of coffee, 2 cupcakes, 2 pieces of pizza and 1/2 a beer

Lily is on her 3rd outfit of the day

1 trip to the Sprint store (1 more left for the day)

1 Child to Mother's Day Out, 1 child already napping

At this rate everyone will be in bed about 4 p.m and we'll call it a day :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blog to Book

I started this blog a little over two years ago with the purpose of documenting our days and making this into a book each year (in lieu of my nonexistent scrap booking skills). Well, I finally got the kick in the rump I needed to do it when I found a Groupon to Blurb, one of a few companies who "slurps" your blog into a book (still leaving much of the work to you to my dismay!). It's not always easy to find time to blog, but after making this...

...I'm so glad I've disciplined myself to update this regularly. I learned a lot making this book and I'll do it differently next year (including not cramming the creation into the 3 days prior to the coupon expiring). I also learned how I can blog better so it will fit more easily into a book format.

Someday I'd like to move up from point and shoot land to a nicer SLR camera...and learn how to actually take pictures (can you tell I'm not getting tutorials from my best friend?!). But I think this little place will grow in many ways through the years and for now I'm doing the best I can with the time and resources given to me in this season.

Grateful for...

#74 A family to create a blog/book about

#75 The sanctification of parenting

#76 Sunny, wind blowing leaves everywhere day

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And I Quote...A Catch Up on Weston

Lucky for Weston, he has said some pretty great things in his third year that have made us at least smile if not belly laugh. If he weren't so funny, I might just pop him in the mail to Alaska some days. Or perhaps Africa, he'd like the animals better.

Just kidding, you're a great kid Westie...

...I mean who can resist that face? Not me, and I frequently kiss his cheeks repetitively until he pushes my head away.

I digress, here are some funny things he's said recently before I forget:

(In response to whether he would ever like another brother or sister): "Yes! But I want a grown-up sister who can talk to me...not like Lily."

W: "Mom, is there grass in my heart?"
M: "Why would there be grass in your heart?"
W: "For Jesus to stand on. Doesn't he need something to stand on?"

(Driving down the highway, he spots a motorcycle): "Mom! Look! That guy's not pedaling!"

(He has a bull bouncy jump ball toy that sits high up on a hutch waiting for him to wear underwear. This comment came as I'm cleaning his massive out diaper poop explosion): "We're not going to get a bull like this are we?"

(After Lily had just torn up our favorite Jesus Storybook Bible, Weston brings in a different Children's Bible): "Lily, you canNOT tear up this book because THIS is the Holy Spirit of Jesus."

"Last night when I was sleeping with Noni, I thought I heard a lion roaring...but it was just Noni snoring."

I'm sure I'll remember more later and have to post again. Meanwhile, it feels like Lily has a new word everyday and is starting to put two words together. Can't wait to hear what's going on in that little mind!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crib Schmib

This little bit is crawling out of her crib already.

Are we surprised? Not. One. Bit. Third percentile for size? Not a problem when you're part monkey. I wouldn't quite call it a habit yet and she stays once we put her back. I'm partially in denial and praying she just forgets this little trick. But we also don't want her to get hurt. Although I think she's managing fine... one morning she quietly marched herself right upstairs...didn't even bother to stop in our bedroom to say "good morning". Luckily, Noni was already awake upstairs and took care of her until I had that freak out moment when you go to get your child and she's not in her crib.

Oh, my sweet, sweet Lily. Never a dull moment with you. We're thinking of legally changing your middle name to Sass. And I couldn't be more proud of you.

Grateful for...

#72 finding a dinosaur on my nightstand before bed

#73 beautiful, crisp Autumn weather so many days in a row

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Weston has been drawing animals for several months, but he recently drew his first portrait of a person.

It is his Mommy and really...

I think I've never looked so good.

Grateful for...

#66 Little toes peeking under the bathroom door

#67 So many words from Lulu...especially "hug"

#68 Laughing until my belly hurt

#69 Dinner out on a beautiful Fall weekday with Kurt

#70 BSF starting again and already loving the study of Acts.

#71 Pumpkin pancakes

Monday, September 12, 2011

To the Cards Game: One Sticker at a Time

This summer has been an interesting season of parenting (read difficult). Not that our kids aren't the love of our lives, they are just small, not sleeping well and we uprooted them from their home and placed them in a new household. So I get it. And we're coming up out of it and seeing some refreshment and praying for wisdom and perspective and patience and grace to be extended to everyone (momma needing most of it) in this little family unit.

Subsequently, early in the summer I made a positive reinforcement sticker chart for Weston. It's a tough life being 3, so we needed a little pick-me-up. The reward for filling it was Daddy taking him to the Cardinal game. It was a bit of a journey, but here he is putting his last sticker on...

Whew! And Yay! And so proud of you buddy!

Let's just say that as stickers increased on "rest time" and "bed time", the other two increased accordingly. I'm pretty convinced that 75% of behavior issues are due to lack of sleep.

So off they went, Weston hopping and skipping and so excited to go see Fredbird.

If you ask Weston what his favorite part of the game was, he'll say it was when he saw Fredbird on the big screen doing silly tricks and water skiing. Kurt said Weston made a lot of friends in the bleachers...he's a pretty funny kid.

This picture cracks me up because it is such a testimony of Dad-ness. No mom would let a 3 year old loose in his car seat with a dripping ice cream cone. I asked Kurt how he kept it from getting everywhere and he said he just took the cone at every stoplight and licked the edges so it wouldn't drip down his arm. Easy enough. And pretty awesome. I think I'll stick to raisins and crackers.

Grateful for...

#62 The difficulty of age 3 being paired with the hilarious things he says

#63 Homemade ice cream

#64 The smell of Autumn coming

#65 God answering long awaited prayers in His own, perfect timing

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Long Dress

On the way home from the store today, Weston asked, "Mom, where's your long dress?"

"What long dress buddy?"
"The one you wore when you got married."
"It's at home in the closet."
"Can I see it."
"Sure...what made you think about mommy's wedding dress?"
"Because, when you were getting married, I was at home waiting for you."

I love the complete, yet confident, irrationality of a three year old.

So we got home and I dug into the closet and showed him a peek of the dress through the bag.

Here it was 6 years ago...

I showed him my veil and, of course, he wanted to know how you wear a veil and I put it on. He asked if I would wear it for lunch... and I said, "Why not?!"

Things like this make me smile and cherish the days where he wonders about such random things and gets a kick out of me cooking up lunch in a veil. I can't imagine when he's sixteen that he'll think this is so cool!