Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

What a Day!

I could not end the day without blogging about what happened around 4:30pm at our house. Caleb had just gone outside to play while I was finishing up icing some cookies when I heard a thud at our sliding glass door (which was right behind me). I turned around to the glass door shattering to pieces. Fortunately, the glass didn't not fall on the ground. Caleb explained that it was an accident, that he didn't mean for the small rock to hit the glass. He was aiming at Bailey's doghouse. So, on Christmas Eve, we had to call someone out to our house ($$$) to fix the glass. I was glad to find out that it was a double glass, one for the inside and one for the outside. Only the outside one broke. It is fixed as best as possible until we get back from traveling.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve Morning

Since we will be headed to Texas tomorrow afternoon, we opened presents with the four of us this morning. Caleb was so excited! He went straight to his stocking and then helped Josiah with his. This year Caleb decided to pass the presents out one a a time. He would check the name and then let that person open it with his help. I have to say that I got a really cool present today, a KitchenAid artisan stand mixer. I have wanted one for several years and I am already spoiled. I tried it out this morning and it was so easy! I don't know who was more excited with their presents this year. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Disneyland Adventure

Today we went to Disneyland with some of the people Kerry works with and their families. We all had a great time. The kids had a blast riding all of their favorite rides. It was pretty crowded at the park though. One of Caleb's favorite rides this time was Buzz Lightyear. I enjoyed any of the rides that Josiah could ride which meant I could ride as well. Josiah's favorite ride was It's a Small World, which was decorated for Christmas. He loved all of the lights and he would follow certain lights until they were out of sight. Caleb was ready to leave the park around 6pm. I suggested he might want to ride Buzz Lightyear before we left and he was all for that. By then I was getting my second wind and wanted to stay for the parade. Caleb wasn't that excited about staying, but was pacified when Daddy presented him with a new snake which he had bought at the Rainforest Cafe when Caleb wasn't looking. The parade was fun and even though I wanted to stay for the fireworks, I was worn out as were Kerry, Caleb, and Josiah. We headed home as soon as the parade was over. It was a great way to end a fun day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gingerbread House

Last night, Caleb decorated his first gingerbread house. I made sure the house was together and Caleb made the rest. I was very, very tempted to help direct where various pieces of candy should go, but I refrained and let him do it all by himself. He is very proud of his accomplishment. I learned that gingerbread houses are messy, hard to make them look like the pictures, but perfect for a 5 year old little boy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Five More Sleeps!

When a big event gets close, time at our house is measured by sleeps. Life for our household is going to be pretty busy and fun over the next few days. I have to admit I'm pretty excited about it all. In two more sleeps, Caleb knows he is receiving a surprise from Daddy. We will be going with some of the people Kerry works with and their families to Disney Land. Caleb will find out when we get there if Kerry can keep it a surprise (Kerry's really excited and probably would have already told him). I'll let you know. Then, in four more sleeps, we are celebrating Christmas here in California on Christmas Eve. In the past, we have always opened gifts on Christmas morning, but since Sunday will be busy and we want to have a relaxing gift time, we switched days. Then on Christmas Day we will be flying to Texas. I think I'm most excited about getting to see all of my family and then the following weekend seeing Kerry's side of the family. My parents plan to be at the airport even though we will have a rental car, since they have the carseats. I love watching Caleb's face as he runs and hugs whoever is there to meet us. It is priceless. We will be in Texas for 12 or 13 days. Yeah! And we have someone coming to stay at our house at night to take good care of Bailey, our big golden retriever. I am so bad about leaving our dog, we almost packed him up and flew him with us. But God sent this nice young man to us who will take good care of Bailey. In between all of this, Kerry will be at about 12 Christmas services at church. The services start Wednesday and go through Christmas morning. The boys and I will make it to one of them, just haven't decided which one yet. I guess I should get busy packing since it takes me days to pack!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Memories -- Part 3

The days to Christmas are fast approaching and our days are about to get pretty busy. So, instead of spreading Christmas memories out over the next few days, I will condense them into one entry. I have already mentioned a few of my favorite memories of the past, so here are the last few.

1. Decorating the Tree -- Growing up, decorating the Christmas tree was very special to me. My Dad was always in charge of the lights. Once he got the lights put on the tree, we would all come together usually after dinner one night and hang the ornaments. I always enjoyed taking out each ornament of mine and remembering why I had chosen each specific one.

2. Ornament Hunting -- Every year, my Dad usually would take my sister and I out to pick out a new ornament. RyAnn usually chose hers quickly, but I always had to make sure it was just perfect. Most years up until about college, I was adament that mine had to be a round ornament. That got somewhat harder over the years to find, but I always looked forward each year to searching for the perfect ornament. I would post a few pics, but all of our ornaments still hang on our parents' tree. It is fun to go to there house and see them up on their tree and I like pointing them out to Caleb (I'm sure he'll get tired of it one of these days).

3. Hanging Christmas Lights -- When I got into high school I think (not sure of the year), I started helping my Dad hang Christmas lights outside. Definitely a bonding experience getting up on the roof together. It was a lot of fun. I helped him up until Kerry and I were married.

4. Stocking Stuffers -- When RyAnn and I got old enough, my Mom suggested we fill my Dad's stocking one year with her help. A few years later, we decided to surprise both of them with stocking stuffers. That first year a friend of the family took us shopping for them. We were very proud of our finds using our own money. One year after the tradition was in place, we ended up at 7-eleven buying stocking stuffers on Christmas Eve (only thing open) and spent a fortune. The tradition is still in place today.

5. Falling Down -- On Christmas Eve of my sophomore year in college, we were at the Christmas Eve service at church. Since it was crowded, some of us sat in the choir loft. When we went to stand for the ending prayer, my ankle gave out on me and I fell down. My foot had fallen asleep. Very embarassing since my Mom and the cute guy next to me couldn't help me stand up since I couldn't feel my foot. Shorly after, my ankle started swelling and I ended up on the couch that night with a swollen ankle.

6. Singing -- I have to admit that this was one of my favorite traditions growing up. Before the festivities would begin on Christmas Eve, RyAnn and I would be dressed up in our Christmas dresses and we would sing songs in front of the video camera. Dad would ask us the day, year and what grade we were in. Some of the years we were pretty funny. We loved singing songs from our Christmas programs at church. One year we sang this song about the wisemen with back up music and pretended we were playing guitars. I laugh everytime I watch the video.

7. Christmas Dresses -- Each year my Mom would take us shopping for Christmas dresses. Just like the ornaments, it didn't take RyAnn long to find a dress. But for me, it could mean many shopping trips. I'm sure my Mom dreaded those trips and said a prayer that the first store would have the perfect dress. In my early years, I was very into twirl dresses. They had to be very poofy (spelling?) and I had to be able to twirl in them. Knee socks were a must as well. Over time, my preferences changed, but I will always remember the dresses I could twirl in. I've tried to attach a picture my Mom sent me, but I can't seem to get it uploaded right now.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Light Fairies continued

I just noticed that our Christmas Light Fairies have been reading our blog. Kerry and I had a good laugh over the comment made. Thank you for fixing up our house. Maybe one of these days we will find out who you are!

A Visit from the Light Fairies!

As you may recall from my previous post, our one Christmas decoration consisted of one lit deer. Well, today while Kerry was at church and I was folding clothes, we were visited by two Christmas Light Fairies. Now I'm sure you might be wondering how I knew there were two. It just so happens that when I was taking a load of clothes upstairs, I noticed that there were 2 men wrapping Christmas lights on our porch. Since I was wearing pajamas, I opted not to go outside, so there identities remain a mystery. We now have lights on our house and Kerry is completing the task this afternoon. When Kerry got home from church, we found out that one of our neighbors approached the two men and asked if they were from a light company and their only response was that they were from the home owners association. So thanks to the two Light Fairies we now have lights on our house!

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Lonely Deer

I have to admit that life has not slowed down much since we moved to California. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with having two children now, one still a baby. I never seem to be able to stay caught up on everything. The upstairs might be completely clean but then the downstairs would look like a tornado had hit it. In the midst of putting up the Christmas tree, wrapping presents, continuing homeschooling, and caring for Josiah, the house seems to be thought of less and less. Which brings us to the story of the lonely deer.

As of a few days ago, the Christmas tree, Fontanini, and churches were all in their places, but decorations outside did not exist. Typically this is Kerry's job, even though I know he doesn't really enjoy it. One of these days I'm sure Caleb and I will take over this job. Anyway, since we have all been sick with a bad cold, I knew I could not pester Kerry to put the lights up. I felt as bad as he did. But, I thought that at least we could buy one of those blow up decorations for the front yard which would probably take up our entire front yard. Caleb wanted to go with me to pick it out. Caleb and I shopping together and agreeing on an item seems to always take a very very long time these days. When we got to the store, we found what we wanted until Caleb spotted the lighted deer. Caleb just knew it was perfect for our yard. Keep in mind, we have no other decorations in our yard. After many minutes of each of us debating our choice, we came home with one lonely deer. Our neighborhood is very festive with lots of lights on the majority of the houses. And then you come to our house where out front we have one deer eating all by herself. Oh well. Maybe next year there will be two and a few lights added as well.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Memories: Part 2

When I was in 6th grade and my sister was in 2nd grade, we began a new tradition at our house on Christmas Eve. RyAnn and I would plan a "Christmas Service." It always started with a prelude, either me playing the piano or RyAnn on her recorder or very small keyboard. Typically, it would move into singing, welcoming guests, offering, special music, sermon, invitation, and closing. Our offering always consisted of passing around a gold trash can that my parents had received as a gift one year. The goal was always to see how much noise we could make putting coins in it. Special music involved us normally singing a song with RyAnn's microphones. I don't know if we ever made it through a special music without laughing. RyAnn and I would switch roles of preaching and singing from year to year. During the invitation time, we were very creative in having new members added to our small congregation. One year our new dog Lizzie "joined" our church. Another year, we had our dolls join the church. At the end of the service, we always shared favorite Bible verses and we loved getting Mom and Dad to contribute as well. Our Christmas Eve service was never complete unless we had a bulletin and it was video taped. So even today we can go back and enjoy some of the laughter and warm memories. I just wish I had saved one of the bulletins for this blog, but I do have a picture!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Remembering Christmases of Past: Part 1

As Christmas gets near, I always enjoy reflecting on past Christmases and the memories that came with each one. So, over the next few days until Christmas, I'd like to share a few of those memories. Since I am a visual learner, I will try to post a picture with each memory (embarassing or not).

The first Christmas that came into my mind today was the first Christmas Kerry and I shared together which was before we were married. Newly engaged, I rarely wanted to spend a waking moment away from Kerry when I was in town (I was attending Baylor at the time while Kerry was at seminary in Fort Worth). We spent Christmas Eve with his family in East Texas and then came back to the Fort Worth area to celebrate with my family. Even though Kerry had his own place, I could not imagine him having to go back to his place and sleep there on Christmas Eve. It just seemed so lonely to me. So, my parents agreed that he could sleep on our couch. I know Kerry was trying to be sensitive to my parents and the last Christmas with me without being married, but I'm so thankful they included Kerry. I have to admit that from the picture, I'm amazed at how much make up I used to wear. And this is one of maybe five pictures of Kerry wearing a suit. We look so young and in love with no sleep deprivation due to young kids, not that I would trade our life now for the past. Love ya honey!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Breath of Heaven"

Dedicated to my sister, RyAnn

With the Christmas season in full swing, I have to admit that I have started getting homesick for my family back in Texas. It hasn't been much fun shopping alone this year for Christmas gifts, although Caleb has really tried to help. Today was one such day. Both the boys did great. However, I'm sure Caleb looked a site sitting in the stroller with a blanket over his head as I was picking up Christmas gifts for him. I think he enjoyed knowing I was buying his gifts because he didn't want me to wait until tomorrow so Kerry could watch him.

As I was driving home from church tonight, I think God must have known I needed something to laugh about. That's when the song, "Breath of Heaven" came on the radio. Now I know people must be wondering how one song could be so funny, especially that song, but smile and laugh I did. It all started my first year of college. It was Christmas Eve and in a moment of sisterly love, my sister and I sat next to each other during the church service. During the service, a couple got up during the "special music" time. At first I assumed they were going to sing, but then it turned out that they were signing to the song "Breath of Heaven." Still not very funny, just a normal part of church. However, during the song, the sign for breath of heaven is used quite a bit and my sister and I started to get tickled about the sign for breath of heaven (ask either of us and we still know the sign). As the song progressed, our laughing got worse. We were trying not to make a sound which didn't help. And those of you who know my dad can just imagine some of the looks we were getting from him. It was a very very long song that night. But it doesn't stop there. Over the next couple of years, we were not allowed to sit next to each other if that song was in the program. As you can imagine, the giggles would always start again. I have come to enjoy the song, but could probably guarantee that if my sister and I were sitting next to each other again and someone signed the song, we would be in stitches all over again.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Baby Blessing

This morning we woke up bright and early at 7am (early for me) in order to be at church by 8:30am. Today during staff meeting at church, all of the pastors' families whose babies were born during this year were honored/blessed/dedicated. It was pretty neat. The children's minister got up and said a few words and showed two videos. I almost got teary eyed on the one about boys since I can relate. Then they had us all come up front and introduce our little ones. After that, the pastor prayed for the babies and families. In addition we were each given a baby Bible (Josiah's third), a neat looking time capsule, and a gift certificate to Babies R Us (I'm ready to go shopping!). I'm glad we chose to participate but I wish I had taken more than one picture. Oh well.

My plan was to take pictures immediately following of the boys for Christmas cards. However, Caleb woke up sick with a cold, the one our family is passing around. Triaminic had made him pretty sleepy and Josiah was sound alseep. So, the pictures will have to wait for another day.

Since Caleb wasn't feeling very well, our day was pretty laid back. We didn't do school today, just like if he had been in a school setting I would not have sent him, since he didn't feel well. He laid on the couch pretty much all day which showed me how sick he felt. Since Kerry was at the Narnia preview tonight, our dinner was very simple. After I fixed Caleb a peanut butter sandwich I asked him if there was anything else he wanted. At first he said no, but then said that he needed a card. I was somewhat confused at first, but then realized he wanted a get well card. After dinner, I made him a card, and he thought it was great. Caleb always amazes me with the things he thinks of. That pretty much sums up our day. I'm praying that our family will all be completely healthy again soon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

4 Month Pics Turn Out Great

Josiah's 4 month pictures turned out great as well as the ones with Caleb, despite the horrible time we had at JCPenneys. Our appointment was scheduled for 11:30am and we got their a few minutes early. At 12:15pm, we still had not had the boys' pictures taken and Josiah was getting tired and about to be hungry. I finally went up to the front desk and told them how long we had been waiting and they got us in right away, but they looked annoyed that I would even come up and ask. Needless to say, we got out of there close to 1pm and none of us had had lunch. The studio had been short staffed which they did not mention until the end. They have assured me that it normally is not that bad. And did I mention the boys were wonderful the entire time? They were!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Do they look alike?

Josiah at 6 weeks (9/6/05)

Caleb at 8 weeks (6/22/00)

I wanted to put a couple of pictures of the boys up to compare how they looked at pretty much the same age. In these pictures, Josiah is six weeks old and Caleb is 8 weeks old. Josiah still looks bigger in the pictures even though there is a 2 week difference.

6 Week Pics Finally Arrive!!

Josiah at 6 weeks old, taken on September 6, 2005

A few days before we moved to California, we had a company come out to have Josiah's picture taken with the understanding that it would be quite simple to have the proofs sent out to California. Unfortunately, the process has been slow with several phone calls to keep the ball rolling. Josiah is a little over 4 months old and we finally received his 6 week pictures. I was not extremely pleased with the overall quality, but he did have an adorable face with bright eyes.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Boy's Paradise

Caleb is getting the hang of it

Caleb stops and lets Kerry take a picture of him

This sums up how Caleb felt about the weekend

This weekend, Kerry and Caleb were in a boy's paradise. Saturday morning at 6am, the boys loaded up in the car and headed to Ocotilla Wells, CA to ride dirt bikes and 4 wheelers with In the Dirt Ministries. According to Kerry, Ocotilla Wells is located south of Palm Spring, CA in the desert, about a 3 hour drive from where we live. They were able to ride off and on all day Saturday and Sunday morning. Caleb also got to experience sleeping in a camper and he found that to be pretty exciting as well. They had a blast!

Caleb talked nonstop about everything they did when they got home. For added information, the dirt bike that Caleb is on in the pictures is a Yamaha PW50 with training wheels.

While Caleb and Kerry were enjoying their weekend of excitement, Josiah and I enjoyed one entire day of nothing on Saturday. That is my idea of a fun day after having a busy week. I layed on the couch and cuddled with Josiah and watched movies. In between movies, I tried to clean some and do laundry. Having caught the boys' colds, I didn't have much energy to do alot of cleaning. And Josiah didn't seem to mind the extra attention.

Today, Josiah and I attended the Staff Wives Christmas Party. I enjoyed meeting some of the 50 (+/-) staff wives that were present (about 30 were not there). Everyone was very welcoming and enjoyed meeting Josiah as well. I planned to do some Christmas shopping afterwards but had missed my boys too much, and I was ready to see them. So, I met them at church. I enjoyed the break, but I am glad to have them back home safe and sound.