Sunday, November 22, 2009

15 months

Our little boy is growing up sooo fast. Here are some of the things he has been doing at fifteen months.

*Casey loves to stick out his tongue and loves it even more if we mimic him.

*He just learned how to drink out of a straw.

*His first sentence was "Hi dada!" as he twisted his little hand left and right to wave at him.

*When Casey gets full or chooses not to eat something, he puts it in the cup holder of his highchair tray. I guess this is his way of telling us he doesn't like something. ;) If he really doesn't like something (like the asparagus we had for dinner), he will immediately drop it out of his mouth and use his fingers to get the taste off his tongue. That is a pretty funny sight to see.

*Casey's personality is starting to come out more and more. It especially stands out when we go to the Little Gym because there are so many other toddlers his age. Some of them are clinging to their mommies with every ounce of energy, some like to play by themselves, some are scared to try new things. Casey has a strong sense of independence, and won't even look back to see if his mommy is nearby. He will take every opportunity to practice skills in front of everyone and loves to go around the circle, smiling and making eye contact with each adult.

*Casey is really beginning to love playing with his big brothers. He watches in awe to see how they interact with toys and immediately mimics them. He will laugh if Jacob and Gavin are doing something silly, which they totally eat up and act silly all the more.

*He just learned how to open doors and is so super proud of this feat.

*Casey will not let me do dishes without climbing inside and pulling everything out, so I usually try to unload and load the dishwasher when he is sleeping.

*He is soooo boy and even grunts... which cracks me up.

*I think we have another talker on our hands, as Casey will babble up a storm all day long. We have no idea what he is saying, but he does for sure! He will even match what he is babbling about with adorable facial expressions.

We are enjoying and soaking up every second of watching our little boy grow up!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas is in the air

I know, I know... it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Adam is scheduled to leave for a ten day trip on Thanksgiving morning though, so we are pulling out the Christmas bins. That way, when he gets back, the only thing we'll need to make our home complete is our Christmas tree. ;)

Gavin found this bear in our Christmas bin this year and they have been inseparable ever since!

Adam was working hard last night to get up our Christmas lights.

Jacob decided to write out a letter to Santa for himself, Gavin and Casey. I love that he thought of his brothers and was worried that they weren't able to write yet. Then we plugged all of the information into a website and here was Santa's reply!

Merry Christmas Jacob!

Thank you for sending me your email all the way from Puyallup! Did you know that Puyallup is one of Mrs. Claus' favourite places? The other thing she really likes is to read all your wonderful emails. As a matter of fact, she was just asking if I had heard from you lately!

Oh! Oh! I think Santa forgot his hat in your letter (*wink*)!My goodness, Jacob! Are you really and truly 5 years old already?!? I'll bet you're really excited about Christmas! Everyone at the North Pole sure is! Are you looking forward to Santa Claus visiting your home? Rudolph said he's really excited about visiting your home! I also hear you've been a REALLY REALLY good boy. (Of course, you won't mind if I do a little checking, will you? HO!! Ho!! ho!!). I'm glad you mentioned the reindeer because they're all outside playing reindeer games right now. Did you know you can even vote for which reindeer will guide my sleigh this Christmas?

Let's see what you put in your letter for Christmas wishes: 1. monsters vs. aliens movie; 2. 550 piece penguin puzzle and; 3. mario brothers wii game. May all your Christmas wishes come true! Well, I have something to tell you about your Christmas presents. An elf is working hard on them right now! The elf's name is Clumsy. We really do love Clumsy (he really does make the best presents!) -- I just wish he'd be a little more, well, careful sometimes. I hope you won't be sad Jacob if I can't bring you everything you want because Clumsy the Elf really wants you to have a very Merry Christmas!

Oh! oh! The Grinch is trying to steal some of Mrs. Claus' cookies! That Grinch sure is funny. He may not like Christmas, but he sure likes those cookies! Well, I better go stop him before he snitches them all. Take care Jacob and don't forget to come back and visit me here at on Christmas Eve!! And remember... only 42 more sleeps until Christmas!!

With All My Heart,
Santa Claus

P.S. The reindeer say "Thank You!" for the nice treats! I hope you don't mind, but I had a bit of carrot and celery too. After all, even Santa eats his veggies!
What a nice surprise Gavin!

Thank you for sending me your email all the way from Puyallup! The Net sure is wonderful because now I can get emails from Puyallup and around the world in the blink of an eye. Even Rudolph gets emails... from pets! Why, here's Rudolph right now! HO!! Ho!! ho!! He just asked me to say 'Hi!' to you!

Oh! Oh! I think Santa forgot his hat in your letter (*wink*)!Well bless my whiskers, Gavin! I still remember bringing you your very first Christmas present and here you are 3 years old already! I hope you are getting excited about Christmas because I am really looking forward to visiting your home! Rudolph said he's really excited about visiting your home too! I also hear you've been a really good boy. (Of course, you won't mind if I do a little checking, will you? HO!! Ho!! ho!!).

Let's see what you put in your letter for Christmas wishes: 1. slinky dog; 2. scooby doo puzzle and; 3. toy story wii game. May all your Christmas wishes come true!Can I tell you a little secret? I love playing games on my Nintendo Wii -- reindeer games that is! HO!! Ho!! ho!! They are a lot of fun aren't they! I guess that's why so many good little boys and girls asked for the same thing as you! I just wish there was room in my sleigh to give everyone one.

Oops! I guess I shouldn't have had that last cookie because a button just popped right off my suit. I better go see if Mrs. Claus has any thread left! ho!! Ho!! HO!! Take care Gavin and don't forget to come back and visit me here at on Christmas Eve!! And remember... only 42 more sleeps until Christmas!!

BFF (Best Friends Forever :),

Santa Claus

***I'm glad Jacob didn't happen to notice the BFF part. ;-)***

Even though Casey wasn't able to express it, Jacob was pretty sure what he wanted for Christmas...
I also thought I would share this really cute book someone told me about. It has a story, verse, and craft idea for each day in December until Christmas. Love it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

We participated in Operation Christmas Child with our church last night. I love doing activities like this with our boys. It's so important to us that we instill the true Christmas story into their growing little hearts. Instead of focusing on themselves and the presents on Christmas morning, we want to show them how much fun it can be to give.

Admittedly, Gavin was a little too young to understand it all. As we were shopping, he grabbed all of the toys and hoarded as many as he could inside of his arms. When we were packing the boxes, he packed his box with everything he could find on the table (including the scissors and tape that were laid out to wrap the boxes ;). I loved watching him participate though, even if he doesn't really get it yet.

At first, Jacob really wanted one of everything we had chosen for himself too. However, it wasn't long before he would catch himself and say, "I know. I know. We aren't here to buy things for me." At the end of the night, they showed a video of the kids in Africa as they were receiving boxes like we had made. The pure joy that lit up in their faces was indescribable. For many of them, this was the only Christmas gift they had ever gotten. They were dancing and singing praises to God with their boxes held high. So I think Jacob gets it now... that the toothbrushes, play dough, band aids, cards, flashlights, and candy that he carefully picked out will be treasured more than he will ever know.

There was a little activity sheet to share all about themselves and where they live...
The boys loved that their Daddy was there to help.
Packing the boxes...
and carefully carrying them to be delivered.
Casey joined in the fun as well.

Oh how many happy kids there will be!
Matthew 25:40 ~ The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did for me."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you.

To our Daddy and everyone else who has sacrificed to make this world a better place. Thank you.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Random Thoughts

*On Saturday, I felt like the Christmas season officially started for our family. We played our first Christmas CD in the car, bought our first eggnog latte poured into that snowflake red Christmas cup, and even did a little Christmas shopping for our boys. (This was pretty entertaining as I would distract the boys in another aisle while Adam hid presents in our cart. ;)

*I watched Casey and Gavin playing together for the first time yesterday. They were quietly sitting side by side in our room full of toys. Casey's big eyes were watching Gavin to see how he would interact with the animals. It was really sweet to watch, especially when I usually feel more like a referee in this house.

*I was holding Casey the other day and Adam leaned over to kiss me. At the exact moment that we kissed, we heard little Casey say, "Mmmmwaah." We both looked at each other, starting cracking up, and of course did it again. To which Casey happily said, "Mmmwaah." Every time.

*I have been asking Adam to burn our home videos onto DVDs so our family can watch them together. He was working on it today and we watched a video from Gavin's first birthday. I haven't ever gone back to watch the videos I've taken, so it was really fun to see Jacob at Gavin's age and Gavin at Casey's age. There were a few friends at this party that have moved away and I really miss them.

*We were able to fit our boat into the garage for the winter. Barely. We tried to maneuver it in when we first got it last June, but it was about two inches too tall. Seriously. So we let some air out of the tires and just barely squeezed it under the garage door. It was then that we noticed not only was it tight in the height, but the width and length were inches away from the wall and Adam's motorcycles. We made it though. Phew. Now Adam thinks we need a storage shed. ;)

*Adam is flying the C-17 for the Air Force for the next few months. This changes his (and our) life from being constantly on-call to ten day trips, followed by two to three weeks at home. Although we never look forward to the time Adam is away from our family, we appreciate the time when he is home that much more. It looks like he is going to be home for Thanksgiving as well, which I am super excited about.

*Everyone seems to ask how it is going and if I miss teaching. I do like teaching, but I feel blessed to be staying at home. There are different days of the week when I get to spend individual time with each of my boys, which I really love. Volunteering in Jacob's class has been so much fun and makes it easier to be away from my own classroom. It's also nice that I don't have to stress when one of my kids is sick... because I won't miss getting up in the middle of the night to call in a sub and write out lesson plans for sure. As of now, I don't see myself going back to work until Casey is in school.

*Even though staying at home with three boys is definitely busy, I have recently made spending time with God a priority again. Adam and I have always made going to church on Sunday and attending our small group a priority... but are discovering that if we desire a relationship with God, we need to spend more time praying and studying the Bible. A huge part of this realization is due to our small group reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This book teaches the importance of passionately loving God and for Adam and I... our life is changing because of it.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pumpkin carving and Halloween night

We carved pumpkins the night before Halloween this year, because the boys were waiting for their Daddy to come home. Since we knew Jacob and Gavin would need help carving their faces, we had them draw a picture of what they wanted their jack o' lantern to look like... so we could help them get it just right. ;)

They thought it would be fun to try out the pumpkin stems for a hat
After Gavin was done with his jack o' lantern, he decided to feed back the pumpkin seeds he had just scooped out.
The finished products... (in case you can't tell, Casey's pumpkin has a binky ;)

On Halloween night, we went over to my friend's house so our kids could all trick-or-treat together. Here they are getting ready! How impressed are you that a Daddy is curling hair?!

My handsome prince with his beautiful princess.
Our little monkey!
My friend has a really decked out, fun neighborhood for trick-or-treating.
The boys had a great night running from house to house with their buddies.
Casey spent most of the night on Daddy's shoulders...
... but he made it to a few doors to trick-or-treat.