Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I just wanted to post a few pics of the snow that we got here around our little castle in the woods. At it's deepest I measured 9 inches. There would have been more, but a little would melt and then it would snow all over again, so we don't really know how much we got total. It was so much fun while it lasted. The boys would have stayed outside all day if we let them. Chris got to be "snowed in" and stay home from work for almost a full 2 weeks. It was a nice vacation.

Our back deck and furniture

A frozen gutter spout

Icicles on the rosebush

The view of our house from the top of the yard. That's the widest shot I can get without doing a whole panoramic thing.

Our front steps. They're under there somewhere.

One of the deck chairs filled and overflowing with snow.

A Christmas Miracle!!

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted! There was tramatic event that took place around here on Christmas Eve that kind of threw a wrench into my blogging. I broke my camera.

Chris and the boys went to the store before I woke up in the morning and bought me the prettiest Christmas flowers to surprise me. I was so happy that I wanted to take a picture of them to post here, and as I was arranging the flowers, I knocked my camera off the top of the woodstove and onto the surrounding cement floor. My UV filter that was on the front of my lens shattered and I thought that was all that was wrong. Until I went to take a trial picture. My lens had jammed sideways into itself. It's kind of hard to explain, but the lens was done for. I freaked, of course, and cried and cried. I was so dissappointed that I wouldn't be able to take Christmas pictures. Chris reminded me that I DID have other cameras. But still, it wasn't the same. My camera is my baby! Well, my other baby.

So Christmas morning I took a few pictures with one of my other cameras, and continued to sob at the idea of spending another $400 on a new lens. With another child on the way, it could have been months and months before I would be able to replace it. All I could think about was the different photo shoots I had planned for the new baby and the boys and how now those probably wouldn't happen. But an angel was delivered to me later that evening.
Some friends of ours, David and Stephanie, came over for Christmas dinner and Stephanie asked me to take a couple of pictures for her for her new business website, and I told her the story of my disaster. I showed her the lens to give her the full scope of what happened. She asked for my permission to mess with it. I had already tried to wrench the poor thing back to the form it was supposed to be in. So I figured why not, how much more damage could she do to it. So after about 30 seconds there was a loud POP. Using all of her womanly strength, she managed to dislodge the inner part of the lens out of the jam it was in and pop it back into it's proper place. I couldn't believe it! I almost started crying all over again! She had fixed my camera and I could have kissed her. So with much enthusiasim I took her business photos shortly after that and I've been snapping pictures ever since. So back to blogging!!

Oh yeah, and here is the picture of the flowers from my boys that I took 10 seconds before I knocked the camera onto the floor :D

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowman Cookies

Brandon's Cub Scout Christmas party was scheduled for Saturday morning. We were supposed to bring cookies for the cookie exchange. So the boys decorated these adorable little snowman cookies to share with everyone. They were so proud. But after they went to bed for the night, the party got postponed due to the weather. When they woke up on Saturday and we told them that the party was going to be in January now, Brandon got this worried look on his face and said "But the cookies will be bad by then!" So we ended up taking them to dinner at Grandma Tami's house that night instead. They were totally ok with that. As long as their hardwork was appreciated. And they were. They got eaten up in no time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SNOW DAY!! Finally!

After days and days of weather predictions that were lies, we finally got a good snow day to go out and play. It's been snowing off and on since Saturday night here, but not anything worth getting all bundled up for. We were hopeful yesterday when we woke up to a couple of inches on the ground, but by late morning, the heat started to rise, and the rain started to sprinkle down and it turned all of our pretty snow into a slushy mess.

But waking up this morning, we knew we were going to have a chance. White, fluffy snow has filled our yard and we are enjoying it. It's pretty much been snowing all day and we don't want it to stop! We just came in from playing outside, well Mom and Dad anyway, the boys are still out there. Chris and the boys made a snowman and I took a million pictures. Hopefully we'll get a repeat next week and have a white Christmas.

Snow belly!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting Bigger Everyday!!

I can't believe how big I've gotten this pregnancy. With the other 2 boys it seemed to take forever before I showed at all. I'm 25 weeks and I've still got 15 more to go. I'm in that stage right now where I'm feeling pretty good. I'm not sick to my stomach all day, I'm not as tired or sore, and Sawyer's very active but not so much that it's causing me pain. Everything is going smoothly. I know in the next few weeks that's going to change, but right now I'm enjoying it. I LOVE being pregnant! (ask me again in another month if that's still true)

Logan's Debut Performance

Logan's very first school concert was last weekend. We were unsure if they would cancel it or not because of the snow and ice. We were glad to see that it was still on. All of the preschool classes lined up on the stage and sang traditional Christmas songs and a few that were new to us. It didn't last long, but it was very cute. Logan remembered all the words and actions to all of the songs and stayed focused the whole time. We were very proud of him. He did a great job. (sorry for the fuzzy pics, but we were kind of far back and I had to crop out most of the pic to get a few good ones of him)

Happy Birthday Chris!!

We celebrated Chris' 29th birthday on Saturday night. He got to pick what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he decided on belgium waffles, complete with strawberries and whipped cream. After dinner some of our friends came over and we played a little bit of Pictionary before the people started to head out to drive home in the falling snow. But the night wasn't complete until all the grown men went outside for a snowball fight. I guess age is just a number.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Boys

I just wanted to put up a couple pictures of the boys that I took in the fall. These were going to be our Christmas pictures, but everybody was asking for family pictures this year. I still want people to see their adorable photos though. Enjoy!

Our First Advent

We've been going to a new church for about 2 months now. We love it. The boys are getting so much more out of going now than they did at our old church. They've got tons of programs to get involved in, the pastor is great, and best of all, they've got a ton of service times to pick from! The flexibility in schedule is a major bonus for us.

They started their Christmas services last week at church. Something was brought to our attention that we didn't really have any idea about before: Advent. They passed out booklets explaining a little bit about the tradition of lighting weekly candles to symbolize the birth of Jesus. We've been struggling with the boys lately (especially Brandon) with the true meaning of Christmas. All we hear from him is "I can't wait to see what I get" or "I really hope Santa gets me ----". We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to help direct the boys to a deeper meaning of the holidays.

So we've made the plans for our first year of Advent. It's a little confusing trying to look information up on the subject. So many people honor it in different ways. Some do it once a week leading up to Christmas day, some celebrate it everyday with different activities and scripture readings. Since we've never done it before, we've gone with the once a week thing. So every Sunday night, we will gather together around the Advent wreath, light that weeks candles, and study scripture relating to the symbolization of the candle. Next year we are hoping to have more time to plan for it and get the boys more involved with weekly projects and things like that. But we're excited to be doing anything at all this year. We're hoping that this turns into a regular thing and that we can find the motivation to do a short study as a family every week, all year long.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas

This year has gone by so fast and I can't believe it's Christmas already. I feel like next year with the new baby is going to speed by even faster. These past few months we have slowed down our schedules a little bit. We've spent more lazy weekends together as a family and it's been very nice.

But alas, the Christmas season is upon us and we're getting full swing into it. Last weekend we had a full 3 days of Christmas festivities. On Friday night we took the boys to Zoolights at the Point Defiance Zoo. We go every year and decided to do it early this season since the weather was still pretty favorable. I decided against bringing my camera with us. I figured that I've got tons of pictures of the lights over the years, so why would I need more. Mistake. As soon as we got there, just as Chris predicted, I wanted my camera. So we might be making another trip to Zoolights this year, WITH the camera.

On Saturday afternoon Brandon's boy scout troop was in the Santa Parade again. It was a beautiful day to be in downtown Sumner. Chris, Logan, and I watched the parade while we waited for Brandon to come by.

His troop was the very last group to pass before Santa made his grand appearance. When they approached Brandon didn't look happy at all. We asked him when it was over why he looked so sad and he said that he was really bored. Last year the boys got to ride in the back of an old truck so it was a little more fun than this year when they just got to walk down the street. But as soon as he spotted us, he got a big grin on his face and started waving like crazy.

Then on Sunday morning, before heading to Church, we went down to the Christmas tree farm. We've been going to the same place for 5 years. They have the best trees and the greatest prices. I don't understand why people have fake trees. Part of the fun for us is getting to go down, pick out a tree, and watch as Daddy gets down on his hands and knees in the mud to cut it down. I didn't bring my camera this year to the tree farm either. It was POURING down rain that morning and I didn't want to risk anything happening to it. We picked a tree as fast as we could, cut it down, threw it in the back of the truck, and then headed off to Starbuck's before church started.

Later in the evening, we set the tree up. I put on the lights and gumdrop garland and then Chris and the boys put up the rest of the ornaments. Every year we try and buy a family ornament at the mall. Last years was my favorite yet.

I can't wait to go down and pick out our ornament for this year. It's was nice to finally have the tree up. This Christmas is going to be really hard for us, as I'm sure it's going to be for most people. Hard times make for a lack of spirit. I've been struggling to get into the "mood" this year. So having the tree finally put into place, the stockings hung, and the lights put up outside, is really helping.

We're trying to make this year's Christmas more about family time and celebrating together than about the "stuff". It's working out nicely for us so far. This will be our last Christmas with just the 4 of us, so we're trying to make it special for the boys. I just hope they remember it.

Our First Family Blog

So we each have a MySpace and Facebook account. I've got my own Blogspot for photography (that I haven't updated in a year). But we don't have any place on the internet as a family. I wanted to put together something that our extended family and friends could check out every once in awhile to see how we're doing. So here we go! I hope I can keep this updated on a regular basis and keep it interesting enough for you all to read. Maybe it will even inspire some of you to start your own family or personal blogs and share your lives with us.