Tuesday, December 27, 2011


It was so good. I thought Kevin was going to cry every time I turned around, he kept saying what a great day it was. I think it was a sort of coming of age for us as a family. Last year we didn't go home because we couldn't, but this year we could have gone but chose not to. I feel like we are kind of sinking into ourselves as a family, I mean in a good way. Instead of being an appendage to our extended family, we are becoming more and more that separate family unit everyone talks about. I feel ok about this, in ways that I didn't think I would. Maybe it has something to do with the kids, or maybe I'm finally maturing in this area. I suspect it's the former, though. Instead of making decisions the way that I am used to, based on how i feel or what I want, I find myself making them using this more complex equation that involves three other people. It's good. It's good for me. In the great and lengthy history of parenting this is common, I'm just catching up.

My birthday was a week before Christmas, it was a really nice thirty-third. I came downstairs that morning to "Birthday" by the Beatles (they say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too) playing on my new iPad! These are the only pictures I got, Sunday morning during our home fellowship. Evelyn made cupcakes and here is Jude surprised to find icing all over his hand after petting one.

This is a picture of that very brief time of all our lives when paper and ribbon are exceedingly more satisfying than what it contains.

I just love this little face.

When we decided to stay here for Christmas, Evelyn decided to come up and spend it with us. We were so excited and grateful that she would do this. It definitely took the edge off our lonely little Christmas. She spent lots of time holding Wren and watched the kids several times while Kevin and I went out, it was so great. She was here for two weeks and when I told Jude that she was leaving and that we were sad, he said, "we are sad, we will cry."

A lot of excitement about this nice bag Aunt Bek got for Jude and Wren.

I think Kevin got something he likes here.

Big boy watch.

I failed to get a great picture of the presents under the tree. This is the best I've got. Check out that sled! Too bad we haven't had snow to use it in yet. Here are the present highlights: Mimi and Papa gave Jude a cool sled and Wren some pretty clothes. Oma and Opa gave Jude perhaps his favorite Christmas toy, these cool cars called Automoblox that he can take apart and put back together. And they gave Wren this neat walker that converts into a riding toy and a shopping cart as she grows. Grandmom gave Jude and Wren some nice clothes and books. Kevin and I gave him a structure for his wooden train set, the sheds for the trains to "sleep" in.

Oh yeah, baby doll! So excited about baby dolls.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Oh, This and That

The weather was so great last week, we took some nice walks down by the lake. They are always happy to be outside. Oh man, what am I going to do with these kids this winter???

We did have one day of snow recently and then it went away. But not before this masterful wonder of wonders was built. With a corncob (omitted) pipe, and a button (carrot) nose, and two eyes made out of coal (rocks).

We did our Christmas decorating early, the week before Thanksgiving. Since we are staying here again this year I just felt like getting an early start.


Ok, that was a short jog.

This picture is over a month old, but it's a cute dress our friend, Glorianne, made for Wren. I get lots of compliments when she wears it.

Daddy Duck, Mommy Duck, Jude Duck, and Wren Duck. And also a 5th random duck. Please don't give Jude any more ducks, he has enough.

One of Jude's favorite activities is greeting Wren when she wakes up from naps by snuggling up in bed with her. But he has to have covers and he just can't fathom why she doesn't sleep with them.

Three in a chair.

Burlington has lots of parades. You would think that the day after Thanksgiving's parade, where Santa enthrones himself at the mall, would be a good one. 1 firetruck, 1 police car, 1 utility vehicle, 6 old men with tubas and french horns, and Santa on a poney = the world's lamest parade. Suckers...

This was fun, though. The pre-parade lineup had the kids swarming to see the firetruck.

We love going downtown in the evenings, there is usually some sort of spectacle. I really can't imagine what it must be like to do a handstand on top of 4 stacked chairs and a table. Over concrete.

Ok, here we are about to enter Ben & Jerry's.

Here he is after the first bite.

Big bite.

And here we are after consumption.

I don't have too many Halloween pictures, but here is one that I thought was funny. We went over to Jude's best buddy, Augustina's neighborhood to trick or treat. Don't my kids look really into this?