Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

We are so excited for the Christmas season! I am proud to show you that Greg and I were able to fully decorate our house this season - in spite of Greg being gone so much of December. Anyway, I thought you would enjoy seeing the fruits of our labor! :)
Michael and I sure have enjoyed it! Merry Christmas!

Little Man ready for Church
Merry Christmas!

"Mom keeps telling me not to touch the tree, but it is so hard to resist!"

Thankgiving in Bama!

Well, once again, I am behind on updating the blog. But I think I have a good being the Christmas season and all! :)
This year we spent our Thanksgiving in Alabama with all of my family. It was a blast to go see where Kit, Lib and the boys live. Everyone in my family had already visited, so we were excited to see what all of the fuss was about! :) Well, we were not disappointed! We had so much fun and let me tell you - the South really knows how to eat! We went to Lamberts - Home of the Throwed Rolls for Josiah's birthday! There you eat until you can't move! They actually throw rolls at you, the size of a LARGE grapefruit - so watch out! Then there are people coming around with pots of food - mac and cheese, fried okra, fried potatoes, and more... I can't even remember all that was passed around. And all of that was on top of your entree! I had chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans. When I was finished, you could hardly tell I had even touched it. That is how much food there was! But it was so good! While we were there, they announced that is was Jos' birthday and a few people came by and gave him some money. I think he got about $3 worth. He was thrilled and so cute! It was just like the South to be so gracious and help make a sweet little boy's birthday even better!

At Lamberts - check out the size of the rolls!
(Mack, Gunner, Liberty, Sydnee)

The rest of the gang at Lamberts

Jos opening his birthday presents

We were also treated to a low-land boil by Kit, Lib, and Mack (Liberty's brother). We had shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, and green beans. All you can eat shrimp - that's what I am talking about! YUMMY! Then Kit also deep fried our Thanksgiving Turkey! So good! It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Kit and Mack deep frying the Thanksgiving Turkey
**They look like a couple of good ole' boys throwing back a few ;)**

Our Thanksgiving table

While we were there, we rented a house on the beach. The water was too cold for my liking, but the kids didn't seem to mind! We even rented some kayaks so the "boys" could go out and get a closer look at the dolphins. It worked, Parker, Mack and Jos were able to get within a couple of feet of some dolphins! Greg was so jealous!

Our house was the blue one

Mack and Ellee

Michael sitting on Greg's sand castle

Parker, Jos and Mack getting the kayaks ready

Greg out on a solo voyage

The boys!

Michael showing us his golf swing while on a walk along the beach.

Ellee and Michael

In deep thought - perhaps he will be able to solve the healthcare problem?

Another cute picture!

The best part of the whole trip was being able to spend time together. Michael loves his cousins! It was so fun to watch him jump in and wrestle with the boys! He already knew Parker and Ellee very well and loves to visit and play with them. But this was the first time he had seen Kit and Liberty's kids since he was 9 months old. Greg and I laugh that Michael and Gunner had a love/hate relationship! They were so intrigued by eachother, but were quick to squeal if either of them did something they didn't like. But, they proved to be great buddies and Michael is still talking about Gunner! :)

Little Buddies
(Gunner and Michael)

Wrestling with the boys!

Me reading Thanksgiving stories during Family Home Evening

Parker and Michael wrestling

(Parker was great with the little boys!)

All and all, we had a great time together as a family. We have so much to be grateful for! The Lord has blessed our family beyond what we deserve. I am so grateful for this Holiday Season when the world stops to remember the birth and life of our Savior. May we all strive to carry that spirit in our hearts all year long.

All of the Grandchildren
(Michael, Parker, Ellee, Gunnison, Gavin, Jos)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busy Fall

****Well, I started this post before I left for vacation and just finished it now. It is a little outdated, but here you go. New posts to follow soon! ****

A couple of weeks ago, we drove to Columbus, OH to celebrate Parker's birthday. He turned 12 and in our church, boys receive the Priesthood at this time. So, we had lots of family there. It was so fun to see Grammy and Papa, Dale's parents Tom and Marlene, and my sister and her family.

For Parker's birthday, we went to dinner at Kobe Steakhouse. It is a Japanese steakhouse, where they cook the food in front of you. Not only was the steak AMAZING, it was so fun to watch the chef entertain us with his slicing and dicing. Michael was particularly impressed and applauded him whenever he did something amazing. Then all of a sudden, we heard some drums and it was two Chinese dragons putting on a show. At first, I thought Michael would be scared, but of course he wasn't, he loved it!
Michael and Ellee at Kobe's

Michael and Ellee with the Chinese dragon

Watching the dragon

(Michael, Ellee, Marlene, Tom)

Fascinated by the chef

Before we left Sydnee's, we went to church and we took a picture of Michael dressed in his Sunday best! He is pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

I also had to add these pictures taken at Michael's doctor's office. This time they gave us a hospital gown to dress him in while he waited for the doctor. I guess it was because it was so cold that day. Anyway, I thought he looked adorable, so Greg took a couple pictures!

Do you feel a breeze?

Then this past weekend, we went to the Purdue/Michigan State football game. Michael really likes football and enjoyed every aspect of the game (see pictures and video below).

With Greg before the game

Watching the pre-game warm-up.

(when you go to the game with Greg, you take in the whole event!)

Future football star!

Tackled for a loss

Boiler Up!

Taking it all in....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trick or Treat

Even though I love Halloween, I have been a really loser the past few years and have not really gotten into the Halloween spirit. I didn't even carve a pumpkin the past two years. (Don't worry, we did have a pumpkin out each year, thanks to Greg - He is the master of pumpkin carving! or at least he thinks so) This year, I decided that I would dive into the festivities so Michael would enjoy it and start those fun traditions that you remember forever.

Here are some pictures of our pumpkins! Greg carved his and Michael's, I carved my own. Unlike Liberty, I insist that someone else gut the pumpkin and I just do the carving. Luckily, Greg agreed to clean mine out (after much complaining from me!)
Greg's, Ashlee's, and Michael's
(Greg carved Michael's, but I designed it!)

I guess the nice thing about Michael being two is that I still get to decide what he will be for Halloween. I am not looking forward to the days where he comes up with an idea for a costume and I have to figure out how to pull it off. I am not very creative and I'm jealous of those that are (like Liberty's eyeball and mosquito costumes for Jos!) Anyway, he went as a little monkey. He was so cute and didn't mind wearing the hat/hood all night. Michael enjoyed trick or treating, but he was a little confused. He would knock on the door and when they opened the door, Michael tried to go in the house every time! :) I guess he thought, "Hey they are opening the door for me, aren't they?"

Trick or Treat

Back with all of the loot!

Helping himself to a little more candy!

His daycare didn't have a Halloween parade this year, which was disappointing. I guess parents couldn't follow the rules and leave masks and swords at home (what parent would think it was okay to bring toy swords to a daycare! They should have to be locked in a room with 10 3 year-olds running around with swords! That would be a nightmare!) So, I guess I can't blame the daycare for not wanting to submit themselves to that. Instead they had a pajama party. The kids were invited to wear their PJ's to school. It was so cute to see all of the kids in their PJ's. You just wanted to give all of them a squeeze! They also made the cutest little bat hats. Michael loves to wear his!

Michael ready for school in his Halloween PJ's

His Bat hat

Even though he is rubbing his eyes, I liked this picture because you can really see his hat.

Now on to Thanksgiving and Christmas! Yahoo!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday to you...

**Warning, this post is long and detailed. But if you make it to the end, there are LOTS of pictures.***

Michael turned two on Oct 21! He had such a fun day! He loved singing Happy Birthday to you followed by the sound of a noise maker. Greg taught him this and I still hear him doing it from time to time.

So he started the day with Mommy and Daddy singing him Happy Birthday. He had the cutest smile as he listened and tried to open his sleepy eyes. Greg had bought some noise makers and Michael thought they were the greatest things ever!

Then he went to his daycare, where everyone greeted him with "Happy Birthday Michael". I could tell by the smile on his face, he was loving the attention and knew this was going to be a fun day. We brought in some cupcakes so he could celebrate with his friends and teachers.

I picked up Michael after work and we met Daddy at Chuck-E-Cheese! What a fun place for little kids. They gave us some tokens because it was his birthday and then we got some based on our food order. So we didn't have to pay for any of the rides! Anyway, Michael loved the little show put on by the Chuck-E-Cheese band and clapped after each song. Then he went on to ride many of the rides.

Then it was time to head home for presents and birthday cake. He loved opening everything and wanted to play with them right away. He was excited about the Play dough from Uncle Kit, Aunt Liberty, Jos, Gavin, and Gunner. The books from Aunt Sydnee, Uncle Dale, Parker and Ellee were also a hit. The remote controlled car from Grandma and Grandpa scared him a little at first!. It was funny to watch him with it. He would cover his eyes and then peek out to see it. He is over that now loves to run it over my feet or step in the way when I am driving it so it runs over his feet. He thinks that is soooooooo funny! He also loves his basketball goal from Grammy and Papa. Greg has taught him to slam dunk and he wants to do that all of the time. He likes Greg to hold him up and do the Michael Jordan leap dunk! (Greg likes this too!). He also got some Elmo hands from Grammy and Papa and is now obsessed with Elmo. It is pretty cute and Greg and I go around singing the song, Tickle and Groove, ALL of the time. We can't get it out of our heads. Good thing it is a cute song or it would be driving me nuts! :) He also got some fun bowling pins from Aunt JoJo and Uncle John. Thanks to everyone for all of the fun gifts! He is having so much fun playing with his new toys!

After the gifts, we sang Happy Birthday again and had some cake. But by that time, Michael was worn out and ready for bed. He talked to both sets of grandparents on the web cam and then went to bed. What a fun day!

We are so grateful to have Michael in our family. He is like our little ray of sunshine! He is always smiling and ready for some fun! He has such a sweet spirit and I know that he is going to be a great Big Brother!

We love you Michael!!

The Birthday Boy in the car on the way to Chuck-E-Cheese

Michael applauding the Chuck-E-Cheese Band

Riding in the Jeep

More rides - but this one was too big for him, so he just pretended to play

This one with Barney

and the Tractor

With Daddy and all of the loot!


Yes, he still does hands - this was spontaneous
(probably brought on by the sugar and excitement!)

Reading his birthday cards with Mommy

Slam Dunk!
(proving that white boys can't jump)

Elmo Hands