Friday, November 28, 2008

Eating, Urr... Making A Gingerbread House

Can I have a big Shout Out for Costco?!?!
Costco... You have the coolest Gingerbread House kits ever. And, it is cheaper than getting the stuff separately to make my own. Thanks for being a household tradition for three years now.
(Okay, I gotta say, though, that they are super gross to actually eat. But my guess is that regardless of the means of materials, if little kids are gumming on everything, licking hands, dipping back into candy, etc. it's gonna be gross to eat.) But you can't beat the fun. And to my boys, it's the perfect kick-off to the Christmas Season...

This years final Project
Noah, patiently placing each piece of candy. Then, he methodically took each piece off to eat it.

Jonah didn't get very far before he realized it was more fun to put in his mouth than on the cookie.
Gingerbread Making ~ 2008


We were blessed to spend Thanksgiving with Bob's parents and family. Many of them are members of our church family, so it was fun to share the holiday with them. Bob's mom, Cathy, had no shortage of toys at her house! So, the boys had a BLAST! Caleb looked at me and said,
"Mama, it's Thanksgiving time, AND Christmas time!"
It was great... And to the Wicks/Cannon Family, we give a big 'Mahalo' to you for sharing your family with us this holiday...
After we stuffed ourselves, we went down to the Valley's Annual Festival of Trees. It is a fundraiser for a local hospital. Businesses from around the valley decorate trees in a certain theme, and create a little 'room' of goodies that goes with the theme of the tree... Some trees came with kids furniture, others flat screen T.V.'s. People then attend the auction, and purchase the trees and their goodies for crazy amounts of money... all donated to the hospital. The trees go anywhere from $1500 - $5000 But I hear last year one went for $12,500! Some tree!
Before the auction they have an open house for the community to go and view all the beautiful creations! We took the boys this year, and it was a hit!
Playing at Steve and Cathy's
YUMMY! (Notice Caleb's PB&J? Hey, we are all thankful for different things, ya?)

Out and About with Mr. Giraffe

Even Mr. Giraffe Loved The Festival of Trees!
Emily and Bob are always a big help with the boys!
Daddy and the boys enjoying the trees

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just Veggin'

Knowing how to take it easy is an important life skill...


When Daddy and Caleb went to Horse Therapy, the Little Boys and I went on a walk. Actually, it was more of an exploration. ;o) I thought they would tire out pretty quickly, since it was close to nap time, but these little troopers hoofed it around the neighborhood for over an hour! It started to get pretty cold, so we came in and enjoyed some hot chocolate. (The Hot Chocolate pictures should be at the end... but you get the idea...)
Noah and his coca mustache
Takin' some sips...
Jonah LOVED it, too!
Exploring the leaves
"Look Mama, a LEAF!!!"
(Christmas will be easy this year...) ;o)
Learning about a fire hydrant
Here we go!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Noah's

This is something we hear often:

Jonah: Here you go, Noah!

Noah: Thank you, Noah!

The twins are super verbal. They chitter chatter back and forth all day long, and talk with us about anything and everything. Interestingly, Noah has always been the very clear speaker. Everything he says is clear enough, for even those who are not around them a lot, to totally understand. But the one thing he won't say, is Jonah. His brothers name. In fact, when looking at a picture of the two of them, Noah once said:
"It's the Noah's!"
"No," I say "It's Noah and Jonah... say 'JO-NAH'"
Noah, with a giant smile, "NOAH!"
Recently, however, he has started to have a little more fun, and experiment with his brothers name... Yesterday I heard:
"Jonut" and "JaNoah" (I think that second one may catch on sometime)
But even that didn't have a long stay. Shortly after the name game, Jonah, once again, became Noah.
So, sweet Jonah... I am sorry. I want you to know that although your brother does not see you apart from himself, I know you are your own man. And one of these days... he will too.
Twins. They are so much fun.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I began walking at the two week mark from my surgery... just a little. Once again, I have enjoyed slowing my pace down a bit. As it was when I fractured my back in June (did I mention that 2008 is now known not as the year of the Dog, or the Ram, but the year of the Doctor?) Anyway, I have been reminded that it is always nice to just slow down. If you are like me, you rarely choose to slow down. It is something that, all too often, the Lord must impress on me by necessity. But you know, amazing thing happens when you slow down... You see things that you never saw before. Houses that I have ran by a hundred times look different. I notice the details in landscapes, I see the river in clearer view. Even that house that has always looked vacant, shows signs of it being a not just a house, but someones home. But the thing that has struck me the most has been the imprints left on the sidewalks. You see, the beautiful leaves have turned their shades of Fall, and, as the seasons name prophecies, have fallen to the ground. As they lay, through the chilly mornings and warm afternoons, and even the pounding rain, the cement begins to take on the full impression of the leaf. Then the winds (or the leaf blower, depending on how poetic you want it to sound...) come, and the leaves are removed from the cement. Leaving their imprint. Not surprisingly, the longer the leaf has been on the sidewalk, the more detail of the leaf is left on the cement. I have been slow enough these days to see some brilliant impressions of the leaves on our ever busy sidewalks. The detail has astounded me. And I began to think how much I am like the cement. And how much my Savior, is like the leaf. The longer I allow Him to rest in me, to saturate my spirit, the more He leaves His impression, and hopefully, the more like Him I become. As I allow Him to be my covering, the more people around me will not see me, but see Him, in me. His imprint on my life.
Now, unlike the leaves, the Lord is not whisked away by the storms and rains of life. It is I who move from Him. Yet, I pray that even as I face the trials and triumphs of life, I would allow the Lord to remain my ever constant covering. Leaving His impression on my spirit, so that I may become less... and He might become more.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Jonah, You're a Rock Star

And you even make this look cool.
Maracas and Head Banging
It's not a dog bone. It's a microphone.

The Lion is there for Back-Up.

The Talk of the Nurses Station

So this is how it went down...

Nurse, comes in to check my vitals for the ten thousandth time:
So, your husband really is a pastor?

Christine: Yep.

Nurse: Wow... cause, you like have your belly button pierced, and some tattoos and stuff.

Christine *snickers*: Yep.

Nurse: So, your husband. Really. He's a pastor?

Christine, thoroughly enjoying the moment: He sure is.

This conversation continued with me sharing the love of Jesus with her, and thankful that my "art"challenged her view of Christianity, and opened the door for me to have a meaningful conversation with her about the Lord, and His great work in my life.

FYI: I do know her name, but wanted her to remain anonymous.
Check out my adoption blog for more info on my surgery.

For The Love Of It...

Emily and I are runners. We love it. Our husbands think we're crazy, and have even called us addicts. ;o) And really... it's hard to explain.
It's about the quiet rhythm of my very own feet carrying me to different patches of earth. It's about moving forward...regardless of what is happening in my day, my life. It's about celebrating the fact that I have some control over my health. My heart.
It's about starting something. And finishing.
It's about strength, and weakness, and journeying on through both.
And it's so fun to share it with one of my closest friends.
2009 is a big year for us. Emily and I both turn 30 this spring, and Matt and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary this summer. It is a year of milestones. Celebrating life, and running strong through it.
I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to run a marathon with one of my closest friends.
Emily... God willing, our feet will carry us through the beautiful city of Missoula this July. I look forward to celebrating milestones with you as we train to cross 26.2 miles together.
Oh my gosh. I am so freaked out... ;o)

In Which Pooh, Tigger, the Bumble Bee and Tree find candy...

On October 1st, I pulled out all of my Fall/Harvest decorations, and the boys and I had lots of fun decorating our house for Fall. Caleb, especially, loved getting all of our pumpkin decorations out, and was elated the whole day, as he knew it was the beginning of a fun packed holiday season. That night, as the sun went down and we sat together eating dinner, Caleb gasped "Mama! The sun is going down! It's Halloween time!!! Please find my costume, FAST!!!"
My heart sank.
He knows the order of events now. Being a big five year old boy. But the concept of having to wait, is still a bit beyond him. Okay, and me too sometimes. When I explained that we were only decorating, and showed him the calender of when Halloween actually was, giant tears rolled down his cheeks. He didn't whine. He didn't argue. His heart was just broken. I explained that we had lots of other fun things to do before trick-or-treating, like going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, playing in the leaves, etc. And so began the count down. Every morning during our calendar time, we would count down how many days until Halloween. It made it extra special when the day finally came!
My mom came out to help with the boys as I had surgery on November 3, but she decided to come out a few days early to join in the Halloween fun! Caleb really wanted to be a Bumble Bee, we already had a Tigger costume, and so I found a Winnie the Pooh costume to go with the theme. Grammy decided to be a tree from the Hundred Acre Wood, to complete our cast.

NOTE: See Emily's Blog for the Adorable pictures of Baby Etta. We Trick-or-Treated with her, too!

Getting Ready

Here we go!
In search of sweet things

Pumpkin Carving

We had SO much fun carving our pumpkins this year! The boys were super excited to have Mommy and Daddy help make their pumpkins silly. I thought that they would love playing in the gunk, but surprisingly, they didn't think that was too great. But each one got to sit with Mommy and tell me how they wanted their faces. They got to choose which shape they wanted the eyes, and nose, and then Mommy had fun making each pumpkin unique.

Jorgens Jack-o-Lanterns

Jonah and his pumpkin share the same hair style.

Noah gave his pumpkin lots of kisses.

Caleb and his pumpkin are BFF's.

Carving away...
Not so interested in playing in the gunk...

Caleb is my Punkin Head, too... ;o)

Fall Fun

Playing in the leaves is SO MUCH FUN!!!

All Aboard!

Noah LOVES trains. Really, all the boys do. But Noah seems to have a special passion for them. He loves to see how big he can make the train, and then drives it ever. so. carefully. through the house. He gets really upset when it comes apart, and labors patiently to make his train journey along. Here are a couple pictures, and a video clip of our Little Engineer.