Friday, December 30, 2011

Only One Good Day of Snow... but No Complaints

It wasn't much snow, but it was enough to get decked out in snow gear, make angels, throw snowballs, and use our front hill for some wonderful sledding!  Bring on more snow!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Morning

Grace and Grant had a blast over Christmas.  They were able to see family, to open presents, and to grasp--a little bit more--the amazing power of God at work!

Here are some picture highlights...

Opening stockings in Mommy and Daddy's bed... a new tradition.

Stair pictures before going downstairs (in their new jammies)... a yearly tradition.

Gifts from Santa (Grant received a Skylander video game thingy, and Grace received a baby deer).   Guess they were both on the nice list! (And, yes, before you get on my case, our kids only receive one present from Santa!)

Random presents from grandparents...

Bret's most unusual gift...

Thank you all who participated to help make this Christmas so very special!!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Pre-Christmas Water Fun

For Grant's birthday, he wanted to go to an indoor water park. And even though his birthday is still three weeks away, we scored a great deal on the day before Christmas Eve, and we headed to southern Indiana for some 83 degree fun on the big slides (Grant was finally tall enough!).

Simply put, we had a blast!! Grant and Grace spent more time on the lily pads than they did the slides... just watching them jump and swim for hours made us tired! The place was empty (hence, the good deal), and we might just have to make this a yearly tradition!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jolly Fun

Yesterday, we headed to the Children's Museum for our last trip in 2012, and even though we had just been there the week prior, we didn't have a chance to visit Santa or any of the Jolly Day exhibits. So, the kids and Mommy had some morning fun!

At the top of the Yule Slide!

Grace helped with Santa's reindeer! That's a PERFECT Grace activity! She asked for a baby (stuffed) deer (not to big, she tells me) from Santa for Christmas.

Grant was WAY in to the snowball fight!

Meeting Santa (thank you Children's Museum for letting us take pictures without buying a package!)

Merry Christmas, all! We hope you have a blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo Girl

Grace wants to take pictures constantly. Had I known this would have become such a fascination, I might have planned Christmas differently.

But, she uses our old camera and takes picture after picture after picture. Here are some recent shots (just a few; the girl is prolific, to say the least). And, don't bother suggesting one of those kid friendly cameras. I have one in my goodwill box if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Name Game

Grace loves to sing, so you can imagine how much she loves Christmas time. Grace's favorite carol is "Joy to the World." It took me a second, but I realized it is her favorite because the second verse starts out with "He rules the world with Truth and Grace." I'm pretty sure--based on recent bossy behavior--that she thinks she is ruling he world with Christ and some unmet girl named Truth. Not joking.

Grant, on the other hand, thinks he is responsible for the show Curious George being on PBS. If you listen closely, it says that the show is brought to you by "a ready-to-learn Grant and from viewers like you." Grant considers himself quite "ready-to-learn," so he's pretty sure that he is the sole reason Curious George comes on day after day.

Pretty cute.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Time

It's hard to believe that Christmas day is two short weeks away! We are so jazzed here, and we have many a tradition to fulfill!

First on our agenda: baking (cookies, pies and a few quiche) and homemade hot chocolate!

Friday, December 09, 2011

My Little Sponges

Grant has always been a quick learner. Because he has always been super verbal, he was quick to pick up letters and sounds and reading. Don't misunderstand this post to think that I think Grant is super special for being an early reader; I believe that most kids catch up somewhere around the second grade, leveling the field. So, Grant's just early.

But, his reading skills are out of control; he's reading words like "balloon," "paralyzed," and "their"--complete sentences (if he wants to do so; he's often reluctant to sit down and to work on reading--there won't be any homeschooling going on here!). But, Gracie. Well, she was a bit of a different story. I remember thinking (several times over several months) that she was going to be the only kid who entered kindergarten not knowing her colors. We'd walk around the house finding everything red, and then, a minute later, after pulling out an apple, I'd ask for the color, and she'd tell me yellow. Same with shapes. Letters. You name it.

But, then, in the last few months, something has happened. The colors and shapes were first. Then counting... she's up to 50. Then, letters: The Letter Factory strikes again (thank you, Kathy--those DVDs are amazing!). And, then this week, she read her first word: BED! I couldn't believe it!

In the end, I don't put much stock in any of this early adoption of letters and numbers. Like I said, they all (for the most part) catch up in the early grades. But, it's so amazing to watch as a parent, especially when little Gracie struggled so much to get it all nailed down!

I would love it if my kids were successful in school; it sure opens up a lot of possibilities, but--ultimately--I want to make sure that I raise kids of faith and sincerity and generosity. Now, does anyone have a DVD I can use for those?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

You've got to be kidding me...

Orthodontia is supposed to be reserved for puberty-ridden middle schoolers. Even adults.

But, while we've long been told that little Gracie will most definitely need braces (and, yes, we've already started saving for that--kind of [as long as we don't need a new car in the next ten years] :)), we were always told that Grant's mouth, being so large, would probably be able to bypass those nasty braces.

But, while that is still true, no one mentioned (until yesterday) that Grant has a life long (started day 1) swallow reflex that leads to incorrect swallowing... that leads to him pushing out his front teeth (potentially forever) with his tongue. Needless to say, we are seeing an orthodontist this afternoon. So, while he might not need braces, he might need a plate placed in the top of his mouth. Poor guy!

I just didn't think we'd have to cross this bridge for at least 10 more years!!

We promise more regular posts, even heading in to the holidays. Thanks for your patience in the season of blog slow down, but we're gearing back up to make 2012 (and the last few weeks of 2011) the best blog season yet!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Nice boots...

Grace preparing for an illegal street race...