Thursday, December 29, 2005

Got one!!!

Yippee!!! Aidan was semi-cooperative for me when I did a second photo shoot with him the day before yesterday. This was definitely the cutest picture of the bunch as a whole; however, he did give a couple of great smiles on ones where you couldn't really see the Santa hat. Rob and I tried to cut the smiling face from one picture to plant it on another...unfortunately we only have PhotoShop Elements, and the functions we needed to blend the photos, etc. are only on the full version of PhotoShop. Oh well--it was fun experimenting.

The Day of the Laundry...

Hopefully not coming to a home near you. Yesterday ended up being quite interesting to say the least. David woke up in my bed and puked on me and my sheets. NOT fun. :-( I felt so bad for him yesterday because you could totally tell that he wasn't feeling well. He didn't hold anything down in the morning, and in the afternoon he started getting color back into his face, etc. so we thought that maybe the bug had passed. Plus, he got his appetite back, so we had let him eat a few things that we didn't think would be too bad on his system. Yeah, right. We fell asleep together in his bed. I woke up and came to my own room to sleep and he woke up and came to lay down in my bed with me within an hour. Then...he vominated (that's his word for it) ALL OVER my bed!!! So, we ended up washing both sets of our sheets yesterday, and I had to wash the duvet cover, our duvet and I'll get the mattress pad in today. Ugh. So glad that he's doing so much better today. The only plus of him getting sick is that he's my ultra-cuddle bug. Have to take those cuddles when I can get them. :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Just thought that I'd share some photos that Rob retouched for me from the Christmas card photo shoot I did the other day. I am so pleased with how well these ones turned out. It's fun seeing my vision for the pictures come to fruition. Hope y'all have a very Merry Christmas! **Another photo shoot is in the works within the next two days. The picture I posted of Aidan is the only one I was even remotely happy with the way it turned out...I plan to get more of him that I like, plus, I need to get some of my two cuties together!

Christmastime is here.

Lots of holiday cheer to go around. The boys had so much fun opening presents last night. Aidan and David opened their joint presents and seemed a little bit excited over what they got (especially the Polar Express engine--too bad that is the one particular toy that came broken that we have to exchange in the next few days). Aidan loved his Little People farm and the nativity scene that they both got. David saw the diaper box that his present from Aidan was wrapped in and he laughed saying, "Brother got me diapers?!?!" Rob helped him actually open the box to see what treasure was hidden inside, and the look on that boy's face was of pure bliss. He got a vintage Star Wars Millenium Falcon. Yeah, that boy was stoked! He got a bunch of Star Wars action figures from us and a couple of Star Wars books. Star Wars for David all around. Can you say boy heaven?

I took all of Aidan's present items out of their respective boxes and assembled them where needed. Didn't realize that I'd have to assemble Fisher Price Little People things (namely the barn). Ended up being more difficult than expected, with a 19-month-old trying to play with it while his mama was putting it together. :)

We left bright and early for church this morning (well, 8 is bright and early for me since I had a bit of a difficult time trying to fall asleep last night). The boys went in their jammies--fit in with quite a few people who were there in their jammies as well. :) Rob started making coffee at the espresso bar when we got there, then I took over so he could eat breakfast. I couldn't find my glasses this morning, so I was walking fairly blind. I think Pastor Kim got a kick out of it when I'd have to find her (I knew what she was wearing, so I could at least find her easily) so she could point out where my kids or hubby were. Found those elusive glasses after church though. They were in our suitcase from our Williamsburg trip last weekend. We had a big pancake and ham breakfast at church this morning, then sat around our big round tables to sing Christmas carols and listen to Nick's sermon: Wise Men Still Seek Him. So wonderful being surrounded by our church family to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. Truly felt like we were among family. Totally cool. Awesome.

I need to grab David so we can start making the birthday cake for Jesus. We're going to have a mini-party here this afternoon! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

First Christmas Photo Shoot.

Yesterday I did my first Christmas photo shoot of the boys. Definitely an interesting experience to say the least. My backdrop kept coming off the wall when the boys would start playing rough on it and Aidan wouldn't keep the hat on his head. :-( I ended up getting a few really cute ones of David (this particular photo is one of my favorites). Unfortunately, I have to try to do another session with Aidan today because I wasn't very happy with the lighting and expression on his photos. Maybe I'll even be able to get a few pictures taken of both boys together too since they weren't that cooperative about it yesterday.

I can hardly believe that today is Christmas Eve. The rib roast is sitting on the counter warming up to room temperature. David and I watched an episode on the Food Network where the host was making prime rib, so I decided that I'd try her recipe this year. (yes, my almost 4-year-old likes watching cooking shows with his mama, then helps me out tons in the kitchen) We started a tradition of having prime rib on Christmas Eve a few years ago, and I have used a different recipe every year. If I don't like how this one turns out, I may go back to the recipe I used last year for when I make prime rib in the future.

David woke up this morning stoked that today is Christmas Eve! He has probably asked Rob or myself at least 10 times if Santa is coming today. Yeah...gotta love the excitement. This holiday has truly become magical for that boy. When he hasn't been asking me if today is the day he gets to open presents and when he gets to open them, he and Aidan have been playing with their wooden Thomas and Friends train set. David got many of the pieces for his 2nd birthday, with small additions here and there--we just got the mine quarry tunnel, the gold cars and a caboose with their Christmas money from their Papa Don and Gramma Debbie Crossler. Yeah...those definitely were a hit around here. We decided to give those items to the boys yesterday morning, and they have already provided them with hours of entertainment. Aidan likes to put the train cars down the tunnel one at a time. David likes to build really long tracks on the living room floor so his train has a place to go after it gets through the tunnel. Unfortunately, the caboose is the "favorite" car right now, and there is only one of them. Guess that this is a really good practical lesson in sharing--even if lots of screaming, pushing, crying, etc. happens in the process.

Rob and David are at the grocery store (poor Rob, this is the 4th time he has run to Kroger today for one thing or another since I wasn't awake enough to dictate what I needed for dinner tonight when he first went this morning, but he had to go shopping for the coffee bar at church this morning too--we just need to work on planning our trips better). They are going to the local toy store to play for awhile too since Aidan is down for his nap. This way I can clean up downstairs. So...for productivity's sake, I should get going. I'll write more and post more pictures of our festivities later.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Taking a journey back in time.

That's what you do when you go to Colonial Williamsburg. You leave the 21st century, and venture back into the 18th century. Horse-drawn carriages go up and down the streets. A team of oxen pull a cart, making deliveries of firewood to the local taverns. Men in cocked/tricorn hats, clocked stockings, frock coats and cloaks. Women in mob caps, and traditional dress. Colonial Williamsburg is being reconstructed to what it would have looked like in the 1700s. Buildings had been torn down where empty lots would have been. Houses and taverns restored to their original state. Even the governor's palace, a place where Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, two of Virginia's first elected governors lived has been rebuilt (apparently it burned down sometime in the 1800s, if I remember correctly what our guide told us when we stood in front of the palace). It was so awesome learning more of our nation's history. More about my new state of residence's history.

Our trip to Williamsburg was awesome, in spite of having 2 tired kids who wore on Mama and Daddy. :-) The sites were incredible. Both boys had fun getting to explore. Both loved the horses and other animals we saw while walking through the town. Aidan was especially fond of the horses. Rob let him pet one of the horses the first day we were there. Talk about sure joy from a certain 19-month-old! He was laughing, talking to the horses and getting really excited. You could see that he was a little bit in awe of the size of the horse, but so excited at being able to touch and experience one close up. David thought the horses were really neat too, although he didn't get as excited about them as Aidan did. He actually got a little more excited at listening to the cows moo, and seeing the sheep in one of the pastures.

Both boys ended up getting wooden toy pistols (if anyone has seen the pictures I posted on Snapfish, you would have seen what I am talking about). David got his on Monday, and every time Aidan wanted to play with it, big brother didn't like ended up getting Aidan one of his own when we went back Tuesday morning. David carries his around everywhere. Occasionally he'll even put on his tricorn hat and walk around the house on the lookout for some "red coats." David even got to touch a bayonet and a real military rifle when we looked inside the Magazine, and talked to the man in costume who was telling visitors about different weapons and their functions. I definitely have two very BOY boys. :-) The other thing that they got really excited about was watching the blacksmith make nails. Aidan was enthralled with the fire and would watch intently what the blacksmith was doing. David was our question-asker. "What's he doing?" "What happens when he pulls on that string?" "Why does he pull on that string?" "Look--he's hammering!" The nails that the blacksmiths make are used for different projects around Colonial Williamsburg. If people in costume are building things, they are more than likely using the handmade nails.

Part of our trip involved driving to Costco about 16 miles away from Williamsburg in Newport News, VA. Had to get diapers, and we really like the ones from Costco (plus, you get such a good deal on them!). Ended up buying jeans for us all too which ended up being great for when we went to Virginia Beach to play after leaving Costco.

I have finally seen and touched the Atlantic Ocean. It was so crazy to think that less than 6 months ago, the boys and I were playing in the Pacific Ocean on a trip over to Heceta Head with my dad. The water was cold, but that didn't stop us crazy people! David decided to stand in the water with his socks and shoes, then after it registered that they were wet, he had to take them off. Aidan didn't want to physically touch the water, but he did enjoy watching the waves lap up on the shore. The sunset was pretty, but definitely different from watching the sunset on the Oregon coast when it looks like it's going into the ocean. It's backwards over here. :-) hehe We ate dinner at Mahi Mah's just off the boardwalk. We ended up getting a window seat, so we were able to watch all the Christmas lights turn on--they were very pretty. It was fun to walk around by the lights on the way back to our car. David liked to point out different things that he saw (and wanted to get out and touch them, but we didn't think that would be a very good idea).

Oh, on the drive from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach and back, we drove through a tunnel under water. I didn't much care for it. Truthfully, I was gripping the door handle pretty hard and was praying that I would not start getting clausterphobic and that there wouldn't be any accidents in the tunnel. I survived though. :-) It really wasn't so bad either.

We're definitely glad to be home. Glad to start getting back into somewhat of a routine. Glad to be sleeping in our own beds again (although David and Sydney are sleeping in my bed with Rob right now...very sweet). Rob and I will be going back to Williamsburg sometime within the next year for a couple of days by ourselves--then, we'll get to tour the museums and listen to the different talks that they have throughout the day.

Guess that it's time to take Sydney downstairs so she can go "night night" and then I can catch some shut-eye as well. I have a few things that I need to do tomorrow yet in preparation for Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's looking (and feeling) like Christmas around here.

My tree. My glass hurricane filled with gold colored ball-ornaments. David wearing the Santa hat that we bought the Christmas right before we got married. Every decoration I put out for Christmas carries with it some sort of story. When I take ornaments out of their boxes, I smile and remember Christmases past...when the ornament was received. What happened that year. Some of the ornaments on my tree are ones my mom made when I was in elementary school, some are ones I received when I was in my single-digit years. The big cross stitch ones I labored over the winter I was pregnant with David, my hands going numb while working on each one. There are ornaments that Rob had since he was a child. Ones that his Grandma Dorothy gave to us. Yet, other ornaments symbolize our Christmases and years together. One tradition we have is that everyone gets a new ornament on Christmas Day in his or her stocking. Rob typically always gets some sort of a Santa-themed one, the boys get one that symbolizes an interest of theirs that particular year, or a character trait. Mine are definitely a bit more obscure. :-)

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. A time to remember Christ's coming to earth as a baby, having set aside his glory in heaven for a time to live as one of us. A time to reflect on the hope that his birth brought and still brings for all of us. A time to reflect on his death and resurrection and atonement for our sin. A time to remember the gift of eternal life that we have because of his sacrifice for us. Yeah, I find that I often get wrapped up in the business of the holiday season, but now that I have young children, it is so comforting to be able to read the Christmas stories. To be sharing memories together. To teach them what the true meaning of this holiday really is. Creating new traditions as a family. Celebrating some of the old. Yet, always trying to keep in perspective the true meaning of the season--Jesus.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Cookies Galore

Almost done with all of my holiday cookie baking. Ginger Molasses cookies, gingerbread boys, old fashioned sour cream (like sugar cookies, only softer) and snickerdoodles. We've done gingerbread houses too--David was high on sugar after we decorated his. Guess I should have remembered that he'd want to eat more frosting and candy than what he was going to put on his house. :-) Tomorrow, I have to bake the snickerdoodles. I would do it this evening; however, I didn't realize how late it was until right now. Don't think that starting those at 11:05 p.m. EST would be the best idea when I have to get to church fairly early tomorrow.

This week has been interesting. Rob finished class last week, so he's been around almost all the time this week. I love having him around, but it's definitely a new experience for all of us. Something we all have to start getting used to. One thing we've found out, however, is that our days need to be more structured. Something I've known for awhile, just glad that the entire family is on the same page about it now. Totally looking forward to our trip to Colonial Williamsburg this weekend. We leave Sunday morning--yahoo!!!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Love at 3?

The funniest thing happened this afternoon at our house. Our pastor's youngest daughter, Victoria, was over playing with David for the afternoon. After popcorn was made for a snack, they sat down on the floor in front of the TV watching The Polar Express when out of the blue David says, "Victoria (pause) I love you." Rob and I just about died with laughter (although we did make sure to keep our peels of laughter silent so we wouldn't make either child self-conscious). Truthfully, I think this little expression of emotion took its recipient a little off guard. She had to think for a little while before replying, quietly, "I love you too." Then, David went on telling Victoria that he liked her pants, and that her shirt looked really nice, and so on and so forth. Have NO idea where he comes up with this stuff. It was precious though. Something I'm going to carry with me for a very long time.

On another note. I've been in the creative flow for the last couple of days. Actually have almost 2 full scrapbook layouts complete. Amazing for me. I still have ones of Aidan that I started last year and have yet to journal. It feels so good letting this side of me come out again. The process of creating the pages is very laborious for me--looking over various design elements and color combinations in other people's layouts, and then having to actually choose what pictures I'm going to use--yikes! I wanted to scan in and submit the Trick-or-Treat layout I did of the boys yesterday, but seeing how I'm a bit technically challenged, I think I'll have Rob try to figure out how to scan in the pages, stitch them together, then he can walk me through the process.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Oh what a wonderful morning...

My Bible study this morning was so incredibly awesome! We were all sharing openly. Being transparent. Learning from one another. Gleaning from the scripture. Building one another up. Growing closer to one another. Growing closer to Christ. Laughing--LOTS!!! Then again, we did go over the topic of sex and God's standpoint on it for a heafty portion of today's lesson. :)

I know that I have said this before, but I will say it yet again. I feel extremely blessed to be a part of my MOPS group and the MOPS Bible study that I am a part of. The women are all amazing, and we can learn so much from one another. There are so many different emotions and things that I feel when I think of my MOPS group--safety, love, laugther, genuine, friendship, fun...the list can go on. God brought me to this group for a special reason (I had actually been introduced to another one shortly after we moved out here, but something just didn't feel quite *right*). The upcoming days, weeks, months and years will only show what He has in store. It's so exciting to think about.

Each day that I am out here in Virginia, I am realizing what a God-move it has been. The relationships that are forming. The church we have found. Everything. It's so awesome that we have walked in obedience to leave the west coast and to move out to the other side of the country so Rob could go to school. We're experiencing growth in our relationships with our maker as well as growth in our family relationships. So incredibly cool and awesome!

Oh...after rambling on about my messy bedroom/office the other day, I took matters into my own hands yesterday and worked like mad to create some sort of haven for Rob and myself. I hung pictures/college diplomas, put things away, threw things away, organized, etc. I even vacuumed the floor!!! (let's just say that Rob was a bit shocked and pretty pleased by the whole venture). Once I get candles to put on my sconces and in my big candleabra, it will be even more wonderful and relaxing. I even cleaned out our downstairs coat closet. Unfortunately, after all that work, I still am no closer to finding the glue gun. :( Oh well. The cleaned areas are more than worth the effort it took to get it done!

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad today! Psalm 118:24 (NCV)