Monday, December 07, 2009

before Thanksgiving, Hannah and I did alot of prep work together. the first of many, i hope!

this little guy is enjoying his tummy time more. he's so much more content that he isn't that motivated to go anywhere, like hannah was. he'll just sit in his swing forever or lay on a blanket not really moving. but he is holding his head up better.

helping decorate, of course.

yes, what you saw on the news was correct. we had snow last week. very strange. seeing as how this was charlie's first snowfall, i wanted to commemorate it.

salon a la daddy. i'm not sure why Hannah was getting star treatment, but they both seem to be having fun :-)

now don't laugh mom! we really have been having some cold days. below freezing, no. but cold to us. and we've had alot of outdoor activities. that i neglected to take pictures of. i know. i'm sorry. we had a great time at our sunday school christmas party on friday (sans kiddos). it's been just over a year that we've been here, and we really feel connected and at home now. then we went to the children's parade in downtown, like last year.

Hannah's been having a wonderful time with her advent presents from my mom, she opens one every sunday of advent so she can start learning now why we're celebrating. she knows quite a bit of the story now. I feel like i've made up my own little catechism, i seem to ask her the same questions each time we talk about it. like why did Jesus come? she asks me "why" all the time now. "why is charlie hungry" "why is it cold" why are you washing that" why why why!

she talks SO much. it still kind of baffles me, the things she says and how much she picks up and remembers. i was sorting through our winter gear and came across a few hats meghan let me borrow, a few years ago, i think :-). she picked up one and said, "this hat is so pretty. i look cute in it. this hat will keep me warm!"

patrick planned a special night for two people (hint: it wasn't the above two people), of watching White Christmas, drinking mulled cider he made and eating kettle corn. alas, who comes waltzing out of her bedroom but our wide awake little munchkin? so patrick let her stay up for a little while and participate. who knows, it may be her first memory :-)

You see our whole family in church together for a very special occasion: our baby dedication. baby and toddler, i guess. we did them together. we had a special baby dedication/children's baptism service sunday night, and i was holding back tears from start to finish. If i get that emotional when someone else's kid gets baptized, what am i going to do when it's my own?

I would say mine are the cutest ones, but those are my friends' babies up there too :-)

We keenly felt the absence of our families. Sometimes living so far away is harder than others.
He prayed a blessing over each child.
Our senior pastor is in green, and children's pastor in red. (for those of you who notice small details, i realize Charlie's bottom half doesn't match. he doesn't have black pants, sorry!)

As those of you who have been blessed with children know, words cannot begin to express what my babies mean to me. to us. (sorry patrick :-). I don't want to assume that everyone is familiar with the whole baby dedication thing, so i'll give you a rundown.
Patrick and I were both blessed to grow up in homes where we always attended church and the Bible was taught and we were encouraged to follow in our parents' footsteps. But when it came right down to it, the decision was ours to make. Our parents' influence over us was great, to be sure, but our backgrounds, our physical presence on Sundays, our own dedications when we were children, even having a pastor for a father, none of that remotely affects our personal relationships with God. We each had to make our own commitment, which we did as children. So the baby dedication wasn't deciding anything for Hannah or Charlie, it was more about us as parents. An opportunity for us to make a public covenant between us parents and God, primarily, and also with the church body and our extended family, who all play a role in our children's development. An opportunity for us to surrender our children to God, acknowledge them as His, and commit to raising them as such. It is our profound hope that they will follow in our footsteps and both decide to accept Jesus Christ as their own Saviour and Lord when they are old enough to understand that they need a Saviour. We are completely dependent on God's wisdom to raise them up in a way that honours Him, and hopefully prepare them to be used by Him to change the world and further the Kingdom.
Then after that time, we had a special celebratory family dinner at macaroni grill! and we did really miss our families. :-(

Saturday, November 28, 2009

so, we had a wonderful week, and now we're all alone again and much less skinny. not that we were skinny before, but you know what i mean! grandma jan almost didn't get to come, but we are so glad that she made it. she is looking wonderful, now all done with her radiation!

Hannah "helped" me decorate and set the table. i kept fighting back tears thinking of when she wouldn't come home for thanksgiving.

me and my precious baby girl, proud of the table

this is the closest we came to a group picture. i made half of the food ahead of time, and Gma Jan did the turkey, so the day wasn't even stressful. we had turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, horseradish carrots, baked mac'n'cheese, and rolls. Then we had mulled cider, and Patrick made a pumpkin-pecan pie for dessert. I was somewhat nervous about hosting my first big holiday, my mom having set such high standards, but it turned out great i think. paper plates and all!

patrick and hannah digging in. really all she liked was macncheese and rolls.

charlie charmed everyone! nana got all kinds of smiles and laughs out of him.

daddy has big shoes to fill

we went to the dallas arboretum, and had a wonderful time. all kinds of pictures. it was such a gorgeous day, and my children were so sweet and beautiful.

a little blurry, but still one of my favourites

nana practiced silly smile/sweet smile with hannah, so she'd be ready for pictures

hannah and i have enjoyed playing in the leaves this fall. i love to see her face light up and hear her laugh, just enjoying life. i know this is cliche, but i will treasure those moments forever.

we are so thankful to God for our family. My children teach me so much, and I am blessed beyond what I could ever deserve to call my husband and children my own.

Monday, November 16, 2009

we're back!

i'm just going to do basic captions here, and you all can fill in the blanks with the details of our lives. it's taken me too long just to upload these things! this is hannah and brody, who we babysit. they love playing together and i love watching them. i think they could be twins.

painting a pumpkin (with a sharpie. i guess you can't call that painting). she scribbled "hair" on one side, and patrick did the face.

our pumpkin family. patrick did everybody's faces, being the artistic one in the family. he did me a glamour shots one :-)

we are so in love with this boy. he is the absolute sweetest thing. he is so mellow, i worry about neglecting him. he does spend a significant amount of time in the snugli with me, so i guess he's ok. only waking up once at night! he loves interacting with you, and sometimes he just sits there and talks to himself. i could just eat him! he's started focusing on things really well, like his bunny or the rings i put on his carseat. he is the baby everybody wants and i didn't think existed.
now this is true love, for hannah to give charlie her babou. on R, you can see how she's dying to have someone to play with! i think it'll be a few years, though.

i know it looks like he lives in the swing, but i can't very well take pictures of him when i'm holding him, so this is the only time i do it. and i'm the only one who does it :-)

so we went to our church's fall festival, which was a big outing for me by myself with them. she was too scared to do any of the little bounce house things, and i wouldn't let her eat the candy, so it was kind of pointless to go. but she did, however, have a blast taking these ducks in and out of the baby pool. not sure what the game was supposed to be, but i have to confess i was somewhat worried about her intelligence as i watched her do that over and over again. good thing i know she's a genius ;-)

yes, this is the same strawberry from last year. and charlie spent the whole time in the snugli, so nobody saw how cute he was. my niece kennedy went through this smile stage that Hannah is in now. when you tell her to smile for pictures, it's kind of scary!

we went to a huge airshow a few weeks ago that had, among many other things, that blue angels. i would never have believed it if i hadn't seen it myself. unbelievable what these guys do. crazy, in my opinion. Hannah loved it until she got too tired.

F 18s are loud! I hadn't even thought about ear protection, never having been to an airshow before. I was so worried about their ears, but they seem to be doing ok since.

the scary smile again. and thanks grandma jan, for the stickers!

good lookin' boy, all ready for church!!! (then he peed through his snazzy outfit and i put him back in pjs :-).
so there are good things and bad things about hannah being potty trained. she can go by herself but you never know what you're going to find. later in the day patrick yelled that she'd done it all again. i was confused how she'd done that when i'd never put it back. then i had to tell patrick that actually i just never cleaned it up. i guess i'm out of the running for america's next top homemaker :-). i never did, either. it stayed in a big pile until it was gone. those kind of things are just not priorities right now!
he's such a big boy. here he's smiling at daddy. i do think they look alike.
so we went to beavers bend state park in broken bow, oklahoma this weekend. stayed in a beautiful cabin with a porch swing. we had a great time mostly, except i woke up with a horrific case of pink eye on saturday. oh, i was so angry at the timing. i was hoping i could wait, but by saturday afternoon i was begging patrick to take me to the doctor. it was 30 min away, and meant we had to waste our precious time there and miss our scheduled hayride. but it was terrible. i never thought pinkeye was that bad, but i wanted to claw it out. it swelled nearly shut. and i was trying to hike, with charlie in the snugli. i was actually in tears it hurt so bad. i looked like a bad halloween leftover. the antibiotics kicked in about 12 hrs after i started, and it's definitely improved. I remember how many kids had conjunctivitis in senegal, and now i want to send over cases of medicine. we take so much for granted, that we just run to the doctor, pick up our prescription, and get better within a few days. most of the world just suffers through it.

the folk festival and craft show was this weekend, which was really neat. i love that kind of thing! they had all kind of period demonstrations (candles, soap, woodworking, etc), all kinds of different musical groups, food of course. and a petting zoo. we've been reading "is your mama a llama?", and then hannah got to see one.

yes, she's trying to smile.

sometimes i get so frustrated with her 2yr old ness that i don't notice her cuteness that also comes from being two. she loved these bears, and was standing in front of them saying "daddy bear, baby bear." i wasn't really paying attention until i heard someone else saying something to her about how sweet she was. and she is. she really is. we just have to remind ourselves sometimes!

he's such an albino. i guess that's what happens when you spend the summer months in utero :-)

it is so beautiful there. we would often just stop and look around, or listen to the water.

i felt so bad for making us miss the hayride, but we caught a trainride the next day. i love this picture. i think she had a fun weekend. patrick mentioned that she's going to start remembering things now. that's scary and exciting at the same time.

patrick went fishing once by himself, and then we all went together. mellowman just hung out in his carseat for a while by himself, and i tried unsuccessfully to keep hannah out of the water. she was having a blast, getting dirty and finding bugs.

i want to print out this picture and put it on patrick's desk so he can look at it when he gets really stressed!

so we survived our first time away with both of them. hannah slept in a big bed, and she did fine except waking up super super early. like 6. not cool. especially on vacation! charlie slept in a little travel bed and did great. he always does great :-)

peace and privacy. it was wonderful (other than the eye thing) and too short. next time we want to stay a whole week. and not be on a diet!