Monday, December 28, 2009

White Christmas 2009

To all of our surprise, it started SNOWING on Christmas Eve day. We were all at my dad's house celebrating our Christmas, opening presents and eating turkey and ham when we looked out the window and saw huge snowflakes falling. Luke, Niki, Linda, Leo...I'm not sure who was more excited. The kids, Leo and Niki all ran outside to catch snowflakes in their mouths! After dinner was over, we all came home to give the baby a nap. We couldn't believe that it kept snowing...all evening in fact! Even though the sun came out and it warmed up in the morning, the snow was the perfect ending to Christmas Eve and the perfect start to Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve at Dad's

This year since both Jeremy and I have kids, there was a lot more planning and sharing of our time between all the grandparents and in-law grandparents. We ended up deciding to spend Christmas Eve Day at Dad's opening presents and eating lunch. It was especially nice because Niki and Linda were there...extended family (to my dad) that are considered part of our immediate family.

Luke was very eager to be helpful in passing out the presents. Memaw read the names to him and he made sure they got to the right place. Noah even got in on the action, showing us how strong he was by carrying a gift or two.

Once the opening began it was a free-for-all with the boys. Luke's favorite presents, by far, were the toolbox with real tools and Buzz Lightyear action figure. Noah's favorite gift was definitely the "box of balls"...we're talking big balls, little balls, soccer balls, footballs, tennis balls and more!

My favorite part was getting to hold my new nephew. Graham is 7 months old and gets cuter and cuter everyday. He actually makes me want to have another baby!! I could just eat him up!

We ended our day eating a lunch of smoked turkey and ham. As usual, everyone ate so much we were miserable. Around 2:00 we left to come home, give Noah a nap and rest ourselves. It was a great day visiting with the family and celebrating the birth of Christ!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nice Sisters

Niki and I couldn't resist posing for a picture in our "nice" shirts over the Christmas holiday. I picked them up at Target a few weeks earlier and knew we'd have fun wearing them. Nana got one too, but she wasn't wearing it this day. So, Niki and I tease about being the "nice" sisters now. I love my little sister and miss her already! Can't wait for summer break when I'll see her again!!

Holiday Tea

On December 22, Niki and I went to Holiday Tea at the Dallas Arboretum. It's such a girlie thing to do and something we both enjoy...a's actually become kind of a tradition...something we do a couple of times a year when she is here. Fortunately, there is a "tea" almost all year round...Spring tea, Harvest tea, Holiday tea...we like them all! Mostly, I'm just grateful to see her. After growing up with her when she was a baby, then living in the same apartment complex, and then the same condo complex, I really miss her! I'm sad that the next time I'll get to see her will probably be six months from now. Until then, we have the memories of cramming everyday she was here with fun "sister" activities like Holiday tea.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best Buddies at Ms. Christy's

Ever since Luke was about 10 months old, he has been going to Ms. Chrity's house a couple of days each week so that I can get some work done for my job at Waterstreet. Her little boy, also named Luke, is one of our Luke's best buddies! They are affectionately known as Big Luke and Lil' Luke.

Now that Luke is in pre-K four days a week, he only gets to see Ms. Christy on Friday. However, she takes care of Noah for me in the mornings M-F. She also watching our dear friends and neighbor's kids from up the street, Emma and Cooper.

All and all it's a great group of kids that have know each other since they were born and have grown up together over these last 4-5 years. We all feel so blessed to have such a loving caregiver and support system in Ms. Christy.

These are a few pics of the "gang" at Ms. Christy's house this week.

Silly Pajamas

I know that Luke is WAY too big to be wearing PJ's with the feet in them, but believe it or not, they do make them in his size. A neighbor gave him a pair last year, but I could never bring myself to make him wear them...I don't know, I just envision that scene from A Christmas Story where messy Marvin comes out dressed in that horrible bunny costume!

Anyway, it's been really cold here and Noah has been wearing his zip up jammies and Luke wanted to wear his. So, I gave in and let him.

I couldn't resist taking some pictures!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Train Table from Granny & Gramps

The boys were pleasantly surprised to receive a Step Two train table from Granny and Gramps this week. The boys (and I mean all the boys, i.e., Leo) could hardly wait to put it together and have been having a BLAST playing with it!!!

As soon as it arrived all the boys had to "help" put it together. Then, they all had to take turns playing with it....but, that was only after Leo had to "show them how it works'...(that means playing with it first!) LOL!

Noah's favorite thing is that he can climb up on it and sit...or get to other higher surfaces. (Have I mentioned I have a climber on my hands!) Luke's favorite part is that he can use his existing Thomas the trains on it...and the fact that it has a hard surface table to put on top where he can build his own train track with his Thomas pieces. Hours of fun for everyone!

Thanks so much to Granny and Gramps for alwasy sending the BEST gifts!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

"O" is for Ocean

Luke is learning about the letter "O" this week at school. Yesterday, he brought home an art project that he was PSYCHED about!

You can see from the pictures that he is holding a bottle with blue water...and, if you look closely, you'll see sand, sea shells, and fish at the bottom. guessed's an ocean in a bottle!

Thankfully, the teachers thought to hot glue the lid because both Luke and Noah have been playing with it non-stop. Who would have thought some sand and water would be such a big hit!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reindeer Evangelists

Luke and I made the cutest little reindeer candy cane crafts to help share the Good News of Jesus with his friends. We used brown pipe cleaners to make the antlers, googly eyes, red pom poms for the noses and green ribbon in a bow around the neck. We're printing the "candy cane story" (see below)and attaching it to the candy canes.

The candy cane has come a long way since its days as a pacifier! It started out as a simple white stick of sugar that parents gave babies to suck on when they got fussy. Hundreds of years later a candy maker in Indiana decided to improve upon the idea by tying the treats to the real meaning of Christmas.

The large red stripe is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed on the cross. The smaller red stripe represents both the lashes from the soldiers whips across Jesus' back and the promise that "by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). The white color reminds us that Jesus lives a life completely without sin. Peppermint flavoring was added to call to mind hyssop, the Old Testament plant used in sacrifices, because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The candy's hardness declares that Jesus is the Rock of our salvation. The bent candy cane also reminds us of the shepherds of Judea - the first people to learn that the Savior had been born. And, if you turn the candy cane upside down it forms the letter "J" for Jesus.

What a simple way to share Jesus with our friends!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Putting up the Christmas Tree

Over Thanksgiving weekend our family put up the Christmas tree. Everyone got involved...even Noah sat right on Leo's back as he crawled under the tree to center it and plug it in. Although it took us two days to actually finish, the final outcome was worth it. Our tree is magnificent...with ornaments all the way through on the inside and out.

Now, the tricky part will be keeping the ornaments on the tree. Noah is 16 months and is SOOOOO tempted to take them off. I can understand why it's so's just hard to imagine why we would have something out that is so pretty, but not for play!!

Putting up the Christmas tree gives us the perfect opportunity to remind Luke about the meaning of Christmas. The evergreen tree symbolizes the everlasting life we have in Christ. The bows of the tree represent the outstretched arms of Jesus. The wood of the tree reminds us that Jesus died on a tree to take away our sins. The shape of the tree points us towards heaven. And the triangular shape represents the holy trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Christmastime gives us so many opportunities to teach the boys about Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins. There is nothing I want more in life than for my boys to accept Jesus as their savior at the earliest possible age.

Countdown to Christmas Advent Kiss Calendar

Yesterday Luke and I made a Countdown to Christmas Advent Kiss Calendar. The idea is simple: lay 25 Hershey Kisses on plastic wrap...fold the wrap over...tie with red and green curling ribbon. Each day Luke exhchanges a kiss to me for a Hershey kiss. When the kisses are all gone, it's Christmas!!! What a fun way to countdown to the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love Christmastime!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LAP Music Program

Last night we went to Luke's music program at the Learning Academy Preschool. What a fun show! It's so funny watching the little kids singing and dancing...well, some of them! We just sat there cracking up at the kids who really got "in" to their performances...and at the ones who just stood there like statues with stage freight. It really didn't matter what they were doing, they were just so stinkin' cute!

Luke was actually more subdued last night than in previous performances, although he did sing every word and do every motion. I think this was the first year he actually had some shy moments. My Luke, shy? Crazy, I know!!

What made the night even more special was that Memaw & Papaw and Don & Sherry were there too.

We went to Chili's to celebrate afterward. Luke had already eaten dinner at home, so he got the molten chocolate cake with ice cream. Man, that thing was big...and good!!! He ate almost the entire thing!

By the time we got home both boys were pretty tired. We gave them quick tubbies and then hopped in bed. Luke was asleep before I could turn off my computer and the TV.

Such a sweet boy watching him sleep. Seems like just yesterday he was in the youngest class on the stage...last night he was in the oldest class. Next year, he'll be in kindergarten. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze time and keep the boys right here the way they are. It's so bittersweet watching them grow!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween 2009 was SO MUCH FUN!!! The boys are really at a great age and enjoyed the holiday. This year they dressed up as Batman and Robin. It was the first time Luke really had an opinion on what he wanted to be, so I went with the flow and found a baby Robin costume for Noah. They were the cutest dynamic duo I've seen, if I do say so myself.

We started the festivities, as we always do, by making a trip to Papaw and Memaw's. They always have a special treat bag for Luke and Noah. One of the items that fascinated Luke was the eye ball candy...he grossed himself out eating it! He also liked Papaw's scary mask and thought it was funny when Papaw tried to scare him.

This year, in addition to trick-or-treating, several of the neighbors on our culdesak got together and decided to organize games for the kids to play. We hosted pumpkin bowling at our house. Chris and Pam came down and organized a bobbing for ducks treat bag game. Normalea, next door, had pumpkins for the kids to decorate. And, the Harker's, at the end of the street had a bean bag toss.

Once the games were over and it got dark, we all went trick or treating as a group. We had a great time knocking on doors on our street and the next street over. There was an almost full moon and the weather was perfect.

We had a great night!!!

Fall Fest at The Heights

On Wednesday, October 28th, we took Luke and Noah (a.k.a. Batman and Robin) to the Fall Fest at our church.

The theme this year was "board games" and each ABF hosted a game/booth. Luke played Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Ants in the Pants, Guess Who and many more.

There was also a petting zoo with chickens, rabbits, baby pigs, ducks, and even a llama! And several inflatable obstacle courses and bounce houses.

The best part was that our friends Josh, Amy and Aiden came out to play with us.

Everyone had a great time and we can't wait until Falls Fest next year!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Parade at LAP

Luke had a GREAT day at school today! He had a Halloween parade in the morning and his class Halloween party at noon!

As a parent, this is one of my favorite days of Luke's school year. The kids are so adorable and proud as they parade up and down the isles in the chapel.

Even though Luke is officially Batman for Halloween, he wanted to wear his Spiderman costume to school. So, that's my Spiderman in the can't see his face, but look close at those big brown eyes!

After the parade, he had a normal day at school until 12:30. That's when the class party started. One highlight was when we made scary monster hands out of a clear food prep glove by putting candy corns in the fingertips and caramel popcorn filling up the glove.

After the party, we headed home sugared-up and bouncing off the walls!! Good thing Ms. Sherry called and invited Luke down to her house for a while! Ha!!

Tonight is Fall Fest at church and Friday is BOO on Ballard. Saturday is, of course, Halloween! Stay tuned for more fun posts!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Luke and his buddy next door, Donovin, love dressing up as super-heroes. They are both so cute and funny. They actually refer to each other as "Batman" and "Spiderman" ...sometimes even when they are not dressed up!

Yesterday, Luke and Donovin were playing super-heroes in the backyard. They would jump across the trampoline, fly through the air and slide down the swing set slide.

Costumes are one of Luke's favorite things right now. He has such an active imagination and I just love watching him play!

No More Nursie

Well, it's official. Noah is weaned and is no longer nursing. I'm both happy and sad...proud and sentimental. Noah is 15 months, so we certainly had a good run. And, I feel very blessed to have nursed him so long. Still, there is something very sad closing the baby chapter.

We've been only feeding twice a day...morning and night..and mainly because I've continued to really encourage it. For the past two days, when I've woken him up and brought him right into the living room/kitchen area, he's pointed back to his room and whined. That part is hard. In the mornings, I'm always short on time. I would SO much rather nurse him at night, but at night he's not really interested. we are...36 hours and no nursing. {Tear.}

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Luke being Luke

Gosh, I thought that I would be so happy the day Luke learned to dress himself. And, don't get me wrong, I AM happy he can get dressed...what I didn't consider was his choice of clothing.

For example, recently he and Leo were running up to Chili's to pick up dinner and what did Luke decide to dress in....his Easter sweater vest, jeans and gold Mardi Gras beads. Ummmm...yeah...nice combination!

I've decided that clothes are one battle I will not fight over though, so whatever floats Luke's boat is fine with me...most days.

The following day, Luke got some vampire teeth in a goodie bag. Boy, did he think they were neat! He's been wearing them and pretending to bite "bad guys." He's such a silly boy and had a wild imagination. He makes me laugh every day.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Halloween Early from Nana

Luke was SO happy when he checked the mail today because Nana sent him an early Halloween surprise. Inside the package were party-favor type toys, Hallowen lights, and a card with $20 for a special trip to the toy store.

I was so touched and proud when Luke asked if he could take some of his Halloween toys to share with his friends today. We've been working so hard on being "thoughtful" and moments like that help reassure me that some things we're trying to teach are actually sinking in.

Thank you Nana for the Halloween package...the look on Luke's face says it all!!!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Treasure Chest of Rewards for Good Behavior

Oh my...another special package from Granny & Gramps and the Santa Clause in the brown van (UPS!) This time it was a big treasure chest of goodies for Mommy to use as rewards for good behavior. There was also a letter inside explaining that the treasure chest was only to be opened when Luke and Noah made "Mommy happy with their good behavior." I LOVE IT!!!!

So, to encourage the boys to be good, we allowed them to open the treasure chest and look at all the goodies inside. There were toys, decorations, bubbles, instruments, etc. After a short time, we put everything back in the treasure chest and it now sits in our kitchen as a reminder to the boys to be good!

Luke is already talking about how good he is going to be...he must have said "Yes Ma'am Mommy" ten times before we loaded up for school today. He also put up his shoes, picked up his toys, opened the garage door, and several other really nice things for me this morning...he was VERY helpful...and he pointed that out to me several times. LOL!

Now, lets see if he can speak nicely all day...he has a very bad habit of yelling when he gets mad. Self-control is definitely going to be a life-issue with Luke and something we work on a LOT!! I'm excited for him to begin receiving rewards and seeing how many wonderful things will come his way if he makes the right choices!

Thank you Granny and Gramps for this wonderful new tool!!!

We love you!!!