Monday, December 31, 2007

Various Festivities

First of all, I kissed my 20's goodbye this month! And, to celebrate my 30th birthday, Mark took a day of vacation time from work and we spent the day together. He surprised me with a manicure/pedicure and lunch, and we were able to get a bunch of errands done too since Mark's parents were watching Noah...which was also a fun surprise. We certainly do love our almost-2-year-old bundle of energy, but I forget how little time I spend relaxing and chatting during a car ride or a meal until he's not around. Anyhow, a day with just the two of us (and a sleeping newborn) was so welcomed and refreshing - and then I was anxious to see our cute little toddler that night when he, and our families, surprised me by showing up at the Melting Pot! Yum! Is there anything better on the tastebuds than warm, melted chocolate all over a plate of tasty fruit & sweets?! Fondue is definitely one of my very favorite indulgences. My friend Claire made this adorable cake for me...and it was sooo yummy too!
Just for Christmastime fun - we decorated sugar cookies at my parents house with my brother and his family (who are in town from Boston). Noah wasn't sure that he was interested in the craft project until he tasted it, and then he took it quite seriously :)
And, of course it was fun to inroduce Lincoln to my brother, his wife & their little girl.
Now for Christmas Eve! We spent Christmas Eve with Mark's side of the family & had a great time. Here is a picture of the cousins (except Lincoln & Henry, who were sleeping) who dressed up to act out the Christmas story as we read Luke 2 aloud. Now, most of the little kids are a bit too young to fully grasp the scriptural Christmas story, but I thought it was really nice to include it in our celebrations since it is the real reason for the season. I have to admit though, that during this reading of the story, I shamefully got quite a kick out of my own son's naughtiness. Once the baby Jesus was introduced to the story (as a stuffed animal thankfully...) Noah grabbed him and tore off running. And kept running. Matt & Janelle's home has one of those open floor plans (no doors) with the kitchen behind the living room, so Noah just continued to run a circle from the living room to the kitchen, living room to the kitchen - all the while with the 'baby Jesus' tucked under his arm...and the Christmas story continued to be read from the Bible as if nothing out of the ordinary were happening. I decided that I could probably have come up with a rather amusing version of the story that included a rogue shepherd kidnapping the baby Jesus, but that perhaps that wouldn't be entirely appropriate. So, instead, I quietly chuckled at our little bandit and decided that before next year perhaps we'll need to work on explaining the proper version of the Christmas story to Noah well before Christmas Eve rolls around - instead of only preparing him for Santa's lap. (from left to right: Spencer, Zachary, Ava, Jacob & Noah)
Christmas morning! Noah LOVES the rocking horse that he got from his grandparents, as well as his new cowboy hat of course. Here he is yelling "aaawhoo!" (his version of yahoo!)
Little Lincoln, our most precious gift of the season, snoozed peacefully most of the morning.
Our first Christmas as a family of FOUR!
Mark was also able to give Lincoln his blessing at church. It was a lovely blessing, and Mark said that Lincoln was awake and looking around quietly during the whole blessing. He's such a sweet little guy & we feel so blessed to have him in our lives. It's been such a special time of year to enjoy welcoming a new baby into our family.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Prayers Needed...

Our good friends Levi & Amanda Hancock have a 3 year old son, Elijah, who was just diagnosed with leukemia on Christmas Eve. Our hearts have been breaking for them since we got their phone call on Monday, and we can't imagine how difficult this has been for them. However, they have been able to confirm that the type of leukemia he has is treatable (T-cell ALL)...so our thoughts and prayers are with them as they begin that part of this difficult journey. We are hopeful that, along with modern medicine, Elijah's strong-willed personality will be able to fight this cancer and win. I mentioned in an earlier post (on this blog last month) how grateful I am for modern medicine...my feelings on that matter have certainly grown stronger over the last few days, as have our feelings on faith. We wish there were something that our family could do for our friends right now, but we are so glad to know that they have a lot of great family and friends there in Iowa that are giving them all the help and support that they can. So, the only thing we have been able to do is to send prayers their way. If you know the Hancocks (or even if you don't!) please keep little Elijah in your prayers too. Here is a link to their blog if you would like more information or an update on Elijah. http://www.elijahhancock.blogspot.com/This is a picture at the park of Noah (left) and Elijah (right) from when we went back to Iowa this summer for Mark's graduation ceremony.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Some firsts...

Traditions. Mark & I were definitely more excited about the boys sitting on Santa's lap than they were. Lincoln met Santa for the first time & slept throught the whole ordeal...and although Noah was excited to see Santa this year, he was quite unsure about things once we got to the part about sitting on his lap. Noah didn't protest, but he wouldn't look at Santa, and was quite somber about the whole experience. Of course I loved it, and since the moment was photographed our mission was complete :)

Today was Lincoln's first Sunday going to church, so I had to snap a picture of him in his cute church clothes once we got home. Yes, he's sleeping in this picture too. Now if he could just figure out how to sleep that soundly at night...


Thursday, December 13, 2007

One Month Old Today

The last month has been a whirlwind. We sure do adore our new little guy. What a wonderful time of year to receive such a perfect gift. We love you so much, Lincoln!


Friday, December 7, 2007

Mmmmm...

video

...just push play to view Noah's cuteness.

Random Pictures

Just a random picture that I loved of Noah running through the snow in our front yard...

Now, this was creative parenting. Set stage (familiar to many)...dirty house, crying baby, and whiny toddler. So, Mark threw Noah up on his shoulders and started to vacuum. The result: a cleaner house, a happy toddler & a sleeping baby! Who knew?
Ride 'em cowboy! Noah (who acquired his obsession with cowboy hats and horses from whom?!) is convinced that the arm of our couch is a horse. Here he is with his tattered cowboy hat (rescued from my mom's D.I. box) that he wears all of the time. Yeehaw!
Grammy time! (Notice the ever present cowboy hat...) Grandma Mary reading books with Noah. He sure loves books - and his grandma!
Noah "helping" grandma work on a quilt for baby Lincoln - which Noah pronounces as "may-may". We don't know why..it doesn't exactly sound like "Lincoln", but at least he loves his brother!