Friday, December 17, 2010

A 3 year old???

All week before Izzy's third birthday, I couldn't quite grasp that my oldest was going to be three. God has blessed me beyond measure with the family he's given me with Justin, Izzy, and Clara. I cannot, cannot, cannot imagine life without them, and every single day life just gets better with them. I can't wait to see what new thing she is going to say each day. I love to hear the sisters eating breakfast and saying "thank you" and "you're welcome" to each other. My heart warms when Izzy runs over to Clara with out-stretched lips and plants a wet one on Clara's head. Hearing Izzy reciting Catechism questions and answers on her own makes me happy. Listening to Izzy pray before our meal in Chick-fil-a loud enough for EVERYONE to hear brings a grin to my face. Hearing that I'm a "cool Mommy" is pretty cool itself. I really cannot believe that I have the life I live. To see my firstborn growing in the Lord each day is a great gift.
Justin is not usually home very much in the morning, but he was able to stay a little longer on Izzy's birthday to make us oatmeal and watch Izzy open a few small presents. Later, we were treated to lunch by our friends, the Surratts.

In the evening, we had our neighbors over for cupcakes and presents.

On Saturday morning, we cooked up a Dr. Seuss themed brunch party for Izzy.
Justin made green (scrambled) eggs:

And I made ham biscuits to go along with the green eggs and ham... we had a great spread of food. Izzy was so excited for her little party! She loved the pin-the-green-egg-on-the-ham-platter game. ;)
What a great time celebrating God's gift of life. I love my Izzy Eliya.

Reindeer and Poppy

Clara and Izzy had a blast decorating sugar cookies to look like reindeer with Naphtali and Ella Grace after lunch. Naph cut our sandwiches with Christmas cookie cutters... Izzy loved it!

Watching the reindeer bake:

We made a quick stop to visit Daddy and Poppy at their office on the way home. Izzy loved Poppy's desk:

Building a house

We had a fun time building our gingerbread house. I couldn't believe that Izzy remembered building one with Nanna last year. Clara just wanted to eat the M&Ms. :) Christmastime activities are so much fun with the girls.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm SO HAPPY I saw Santa!

Justin worked most of this past weekend downtown. I went to a brunch Saturday morning, and then afterwards I picked the girls up from a friend's house. On our way home, I remembered the library was offering a free Santa visit. After cookies and juice, we waited in a long line ALL for Izzy. I was surprised when she remembered that a lady (elf) held her next to Santa last year while she cried. This year, she ran up to Santa and jumped into his arms! On the other hand, Clara screamed bloody murder... in the public library.

Izzy has NO idea who Santa is or anything about him, but she thinks he's "awesome." It's so funny, cause I haven't explained anything Santa to her, but sitting on his lap was a highlight of the day. She didn't know what he meant about bringing her gifts, but it didn't matter. As we were walking to the car, she said, "Mom, I'm SO HAPPY I saw Santa." I prefer to teach her about the real reason for Christmas at this point in her early years, as I'm sure there will be plenty of time to learn about other legends and traditions surrounding the 25th of December. ;)

Pictured above:
Not-so-happy with Mrs. Claus and Happy-as-can-be with Santa Claus
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Trimmin' the tree!

Justin and I shared a laugh this year with the tree. We've bought a tree three times before this year, and we NEVER thought to keep the netting on the tree until after it was set up in the stand. Each year, we had pine needles covering the floor from the front door, and then sticking the tree in the stand was a big ordeal. Well, this year we found the ease of keeping the netting on until the tree was set up! Aha!!! :)

Izzy thought drinking hot chocolate together was the BEST!

So happy together:

Izzy found the ornaments to be difficult to hang, but hanging candy canes was her fav part of trimmin' the tree!
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Pickin' the tree!

The girls were so excited when we told them we were going to get a Christmas tree. Clara gets a lot of her enthusiam from Izzy's cue, and I'm finding that that I'm REALLY enjoying their shared happiness. The girls ran around all the trees touching each one amidst many giggles.

Aren't they cute in their new coats, a very special gift from Aunt Pammy?

Making memories is sooo much fun!
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Thousands of blessings

We had a really fun Thanksgiving day as a family. There are so many people who don't have what we have. When I lived with a host family in Nepal, there was no such thing as a shower. I get a hot shower everyday. My host family there went out to buy the day's food each day, and here I get to open our chest freezer and plan my meals for a whole week. Those are just two blessings, and there are thousands more...

I'm extremely thankful for days when Justin gets to be with the three of us and not think about any of his work. Oh, but I'm grateful that he HAS that work.

In the morning, we bundled up and braved the rain to support Justin's sister and bro-in-law in their 8k Turkey Trot. Justin held little Joel while I desperately tried to get a picture of Jennifer and Calvin, although the race was PACKED with people. Jennifer is in the white top and black cropped pants in this pic:

After the race, they all came over to our house for a late eggs and carmel apple oatmeal breakfast! I love family time.
In the afternoon, we spent time with Justin's parents, bro, and his bro's girlfriend while the turkeys fried and smoked.
In the evening, the LaPlant family joined us for a feast! Jennifer, Calvin, and Joel spent dinner with some good friends, and then joined us for the rest of the night.

Leftovers were delicious today. :)
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Roanoke visit

Aunt Jennifer, Joel, Grammy, Izzy, Clara, and I drove in Grammy's car up to Roanoke, VA to visit with family for the weekend after Tess visited us in Charlotte. Grandma and Aunt Pam were great hostesses, and we were thankful for all their work. Time with family is a blessing!

We celebrated Jennifer's 25th:
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Come South!

We LOVE when family and friends visit! Skyping with my family has been a great tool for keeping the girls in touch with their grandparents and aunts. Come back soon, Auntie!!!
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First Discovery experience

I haven't been back to Discovery Place since I was a teacher, but we had a fun afternoon playing there!
They built a small aquarium:

This water area was a great ending:

All 5 of us were worn out when we got home!!!
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Goin' to the city ;)

We don't live far from downtown, but I still felt like country bumpkins goin' to the city when we stopped by the fountain for a picnic lunch. We did have fun, though. ;)

Look who we ran into. ;) He was busy, busy in meetings and on the phone, but he still took a few minutes out of his schedule to see his bumpkins in his work territory.

And Daddy took a pic of us for memory's sake:
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Ridin' downtown!

We took the girls and Izzy's friend, Maggie, on the light rail from South Blvd. to the very last stop downtown. The girls loved the ride! (I loved that it was cheaper for us to ride than to park my car down there.)

So happy together:

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