Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Celebrations!

Well, I'm a month behind on my blogging once again. December was a full month with all the associated Christmas activities. While December is the month we celebrate the birth of our beloved Savior, it is also the birth month of my beloved husband. Since another in our group also has a December birthday, we enjoyed a lovely combination Christmas/birthday dinner celebration with our church fellowship.

Elisabeth's first taste of eggnog - she loved it!

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The kids in their Christmas attire.

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Sheila made a gourmet birthday cake - delicious!

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The kids love singing Christmas Carols; Jonah sang to the top of his lungs despite not knowing the words to all of them.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brotherly Love....

is sometime hard on the body, especially when he's an older brother who's only three and nearly twice your size. All in all, Elisabeth handles Jonah's rough housing fairly well. And for the most part, they really do seem to like each other and enjoy having the other around. Thus, it's not too hard to capture moments like this.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Just Because....

I think these pictures are cool. My hubby took these. No photoshop needed here. Each candid pose really captures some aspect of that child's personality.

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

A New Visitor

Our friends Tom and Amy, who recently had a baby girl came over for a visit. Here is Jonah playing with little Lydia - with lots of reminders from me to be gentle.
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Here's some cute pictures of Lydia with her mom and dad.
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tis the Season

When you have children, you are motivated to do things at Christmas time that you have never done before. I heard some ladies at my MOPs group talk about putting together gingerbread houses with their kids. I thought I'd investigate it but had my doubts. I assumed such a thing would be insanely hard to do. However, I was glad to find out you can buy these easy to put together kits that include everything you need - woohoo! One of the perks of living in the 21st century! I found two different ones at Target for about $10 each: (Option 1) included everything you need and you put the house together (Option 2) the gingerbread house is already constructed you just decorate it (candy and icing again included.) Well, I felt like I would be a total wimp to go with the the pre-fab gingerbread house, so I purchased Option 1.

During Elisabeth's afternoon nap, I focused Jonah on the task at hand and set about putting it together. I finally got the structure of the house put together despite Jonah's "help." He was in a hurry to decorate with (a.k.a eat) the candy. I found that decorating the house prettily like the picture on the box, was not going to happen - I cut the hole in the icing bag too big for one thing. Jonah's desire to get to the candy part of this production prompted me to stick the roof on and add icing before the suggested wait time was over. When we got the house nearly finished, I noticed the roof pieces were beginning to slide down. At that point I had three thoughts (1) I guess I should have waited the extra few minutes for the roof joints to dry (2) now I know why I heard some ladies say they used super glue on their gingerbread houses and (3) next time maybe I should go with the prefab gingerbread house.

Here's a picture of Jonah with our creation. Note the cups propping the roof up.

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The next day we didn't need the cups once the icing hardened.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Decorations with a Real Tree

I traditionally decorate for Christmas on the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Although, last year I started even earlier. We got out our old fake Christmas tree that consists of two pieces that you pop together. I set it up and started trying to straighten the fake wire stems and make it look somewhat presentable. Mind you I paid like 10 bucks at a Target clearance sell 12 or more years ago - so it was looking pretty bad. I call it the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. But like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, once you decorate it, it doesn't look half bad - after all it's the one we used last year. My husband is observing my activities and says, "Do you want to go get a real one?"

So off we went to get a real tree. We ended up buying a 5-6 ft Frasure Fir from Home Depot for $25. I thought that was pretty reasonable. Jonah helped put the ornaments on the tree. Elisabeth likes to take them off!



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Day at Home


Despite the fact we had just experienced a very full month, I found the thought of cooking a big Thanksgiving meal for the just the four of us a bit depressing. I have realized recently that I really enjoy setting a table and sitting down with friends and family at a dinner table. There is something divine in the act of eating and communing together. So, we invited some friends over to join us who are also with out family in the area. Zeynep and Serdar graciously accepted our invitation and hung out for the better part of the afternoon. Jonah and Serra had a great time playing together.



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Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Trip to Tennessee

The last 6 weeks have been very busy - thus the lack of posts. My husband got back from an overseas trip and was sick for two weeks during which time we also went on a trip to Tennessee to meet my family and have some fun. Kelly was still fevering at times so he would be good one day and down for the count the next. We did manage to squeeze in some fun in between. Here are some highlights:

The first day there Kelly was in bed all day recovering from the eight hour drive the previous day, so I took Jonah down the street to the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. Here he is next to statue of the tallest man ever documented. David & Goliath?
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Tuesday afternoon we all went to the Ripley's Aquarium in downtown Gatlinburg. Everyone really enjoyed it, even Elisabeth.


Wednesday, we went up in the skylift to Ober Gatlinburg and went ice skating. It was mine and Jonah's first time. Jonah had a hard time staying on his feet. We also saw a mommy bear and two cubs in a tree from the skylift.




This day was also my mom's 55th birthday. So we ate an ice cream cake and took pictures of her being silly. Happy Birthday Mom! It's good to have a mom who doesn't always act her age nor look it.



Thursday, we took the windy road out to Cades Cove.



And of course it was fun watching the kids and grandparents connect.


Also, there was a big black bear that would visit the dumpster fairly regularly. One night we were getting ready to bring the kids and a pizza into the hotel from the car when the door we had been using was obstructed so we had to get in the front door quick before the bear came for our pizza. It was very exciting!


This is Elisabeth and I at a stop near the Clingman's Dome turnoff in Great Smoky Mountain National Park on the drive home.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Successful Haircut

We have a fairly dramatic history when it comes to cutting Jonah's hair. Check out these posts if you need a reminder. We have been commenting to each other that he needed a haircut for maybe 2 months. When I noticed that Jonah was tilting his head up to see me, I was determined that it must be done - no matter how much we all dreaded it. So Tuesday evening after our return from TN, I put him in the high chair (which he is too big for) and turned on some dinosaur documentary on Netflix. Then I laid out a candy bar and told him that after we were done cutting his hair he could have it. And what do you know, he tolerated it all very well. I used both the scissors and the electric clippers. He hated the feel of the cut hair all over him so he chose to get a quick bath and then have his candy bar and finish his show.

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I really like seeing his face. I forgot how handsome he is!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Jonah & Toby Singing


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Jonah singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with Toby on backup vocals. :-)
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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Quiet Time

I've been cooking almost all day. I'm discovering that I actually like to cook. I've been kind of in a bad mood today - still not over this cold and just mentally weird. Anyway, after I put Elisabeth down for a nap around 1:30 pm, I turned the TV off despite my being preoccupied with cooking and just let Jonah play. He played forever in the living room going back and forth to his room getting more toys (of course I did just clean the living room this morning!). The last few minutes he was just lying in the floor playing with two airplanes entertaining himself. At some point I noticed that I didn't hear any of his normal sound affects and this is what I found.


So now both kids are sleeping - woohoo! Jonah rarely takes a nap, and usually that means he will be up later into the night. But tonight we are going over to a friends house for dinner so that's probably a good thing. It will help him keep a good attitude - I hope.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Trips and Treats

Yesterday was a big day! Kelly left early on a trip to Turkey. So I began day one of my week without my parental partner. This is only the second time he's been away since we've had two kids and the last time it was only for 3 nights. It truly is amazing to me how single mom's handle the endless routine of the everyday - while I find one week more than a little daunting. Perhaps its even more dramatic of a change for someone like me who has such a great helper in her husband. When he's home, the load is truly halved for me, so I notice when he is gone. His being away would be a challenge anyway, but I have been battling a cold for a better part of the week. Jonah has it too, but it doesn't make him desire quiet and rest as it does me (Sigh). Fortunately, yesterday, I rallied and felt more energetic and more positive about the upcoming week. I even managed a trip to the store and took the kids out in the evening for a little Halloween action at the local mall.

This was Jonah's first year to show interest in the whole Trick or Treat thing - he's watched, "The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" enough to know what it's all about and want to participate. While I'm not big on all the emphasis on death and gore, I do think it's fun to dress up; and who doesn't like candy. The Safe N Sane Halloween at the mall was supposed to be kid friendly, nevertheless there were a handful Grim Reapers, monsters and blood laden costumes. I avoided those folks as much as possible. One guy had a monster mask on that really got Jonah's attention and scared Elisabeth enough to make her pout and whine. But then later, she really got freaked out by a kid in a Transformers Costume - go figure!

Here is my Storm Trooper (a.k.a Clone Trooper) from Star Wars and my little pink poodle:
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Elisabeth's outfit I picked up at a consignment sale thinking it would double as a snow suit of sorts. Of course, it was a balmy 80 degrees yesterday, so I was concerned about her getting over heated. I wish I would have gotten a better picture of the back - you should see the poodle tail. Oh well, looks like all the pictures have a glow anyway - no doubt a small finger print on the lens.

Here is Jonah getting candy. I would instruct him to go up and say, "Trick-r-Treat", to which they would reply, "Happy Halloween." Then I would remind him to say, "Thank you." Sometimes, he'd forget and would just say, "Happy Halloween" in response to their, "Happy Halloween."
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He was really quite overwhelmed with it all. He was walking really slowly and rubbing his eyes very soon into the walk around the mall.

As you can see, the mask part of the costume stayed on for all of a minute. Although, I can't say I blame him. I wouldn't want to be walking around a crowded mall with a mask obstructing my view either.

After walking the entire mall, we stopped at the play area. Jonah was energized by this and ran around playing for probably 30 minutes or more. Elisabeth got into some of the action too.

We got home past their bed times which turned out to be a good thing - I had forgotten about the time change. And I didn't have to deal with 'trick or treaters' disturbing the bedtime routine. Jonah and Elisabeth went to sleep quickly, while I was up past midnight.
So this was my day. If your interested in how Kelly's day went you can check out his travel blog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

That a Boy!

One day last week, I went to pick Jonah up at preschool and as I was walking down the hall heard the teacher call his name and tell him to come sit down along with another child. When I got to the window I could see him sitting in a chair in "time out" along with another little boy while the rest of the class was sitting in the floor listening to a story. I asked the assistant what he was doing and she said that he wouldn't sit down and listen but was running around and went up behind the other teachers chair. I thought that sounded like typical Jonah stuff. The next time I picked him up though, I was glad to see him sitting and listening to the teacher.

Well yesterday I picked him up and found a handmade BUG certificate in his bag. BUG stands for Being Unusually Good. When I read the little certificate it said, "Jonah was extra nice to Jack today when Jack was sad." Awww..... I was so proud. He had a little reward in his bag too. We have been trying to teach him to be sensitive to his sisters feelings - especially when he has done something to hurt her - and it's nice to know he is learning to be sympathetic to others outside of our home environment. We asked him a couple of times what happened with Jack today and finally he told us that Jack was crying and missed his mommy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Day at the North Carolina State Fair

Last Sunday we decided if we were going to go to the State Fair, that would be the best day to go, crowd-wise, as it was kind of dreary and cold and historically that first Sunday wasn't a big attendance day. I guess we prefer a little drizzle to dealing with a big crowd. On our approach to the fairgrounds you can see several ferris wheels and this inspired Jonah right away. "I want to go there and ride that," he kept saying as we circled the fairgrounds in search of a place to park.
Once inside, we passed the Turkey shoot which was upsetting Elisabeth greatly - that whole loud noise thing - and went in search of the animals. On the way we found the UNC-TV tent that had various plywood creatures propped up out front - many that Jonah was familiar with from his PBS cartoons. This is the one that really got his attention.

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Inside the tent were people in Character costumes - all the Super Why characters and Curious George. But when we went to get in line to meet them, Jonah was afraid. A little too life-like and adult sized. On the way out of the tent he stopped to sort food into their food groups - super boring for mom and dad, but Jonah really got into it, although he was putting the face pretzels into the vegetable bin - only if!
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We went over to the poultry tent from there. They had an area where kids could pet baby chicks and ducklings.
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Jonah made the height requirement for several of the kiddie rides so we got some ride tickets.

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Jonah finally got to go up in the Ferris Wheel.
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Here you can see Jonah waving at Daddy and Daddy waving back from below.
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There were some photo props around that made for some of the funniest pictures.
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Jonah loves to get his picture taken. He's such a ham! Reminds me of his Papaw (smile).

For more pictures and video from our day at the fair go here