Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Part II

Here is our Thanksgiving, Cour-style. Shaun's grandparents came up from Florida, braving the fierce New England elements to be with us. Avery loves having Nana around...there's nothing Nana won't do with stories, do crafts, etc and she talks to Avery as if she is a very grown-up person. Here they are the night before putting a jello salad together.

This was my 8th time straight running the Manchester Road Race. Here we are, obviously pre-race, because the grins are so big. I'm in the back middle and was joined by my sister, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and his fiance and several other friends.

The race is 4.75 miles and I did a 9.12 minute pace, my best ever. There was a 92 year-old woman who entered and finished the race...that's what I have my sights set on! :)

We came back to a warm house that smelled like turkey. Shaun and his mom were hard at work in the kitchen. Yes, I would agree I am totally spoiled!

Avery and Amanda thought they should pick up my slack in the kitchen, so they jumped in to help Sienna and Uncle Micah make an apple pie.

The Cour version of the kid table...this side has some work to do. :) Neary 10 year-old Jared is a good sport.

So very thankful for our family and the blessings in our lives. What a special day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Amanda is 2!

I always secretly judged people who had children on or around important holidays. Why would they do that to the poor kid, I asked myself. So that is why I ended up with a baby due on December 6, right in between the craziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and since we welcomed her nine days early, it only took two years for Amanda's birthday to land right on Thanksgiving. (God is constantly working on that judging thing with me...when, when will I get it?!)

So many things have changed this year Amanda, as you've gone from one to two. You are walking. You are talking is complete sentences, using words like "actually" and "probably". You are more potty trained than not, although its been a long road. You and Avery spend every waking moment together and you do an incredible job keeping up with her. One of my favorite things to do is to overhear your conversations in the monitor while you play together.

We're so thankful you joined our family. All at the same time it seems like you just arrived and like you've been with us forever. You have such a big heart! No one goes the day without getting several big hugs from you and you are quick to forgive.

You love to pray and talk to Jesus. Last night when you were praying over dinner we couldn't make out any of it except a "twinkle, twinkle little star" in the middle and "a-men!" at the end, but going to the throne is very serious to you.

When I scolded you about going in you pants, saying "Amanda, its your birthday, you are a big two-year old now" you answered with light in your eyes, "I eat birday cake!" We'll get you some birthday cake tomorrow, babe...but today know that you have a whole big family who loves you and is here to support you, especially Momma, Daddy and Avery. We love you! Happy Birthday, Baby.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Purple (Dune) Buggies

Shaun almost never has the Play Station on, but Avery had found one of our two games and starting asking him if they could play. Shaun promised her they could and this is what I overheard that had me smiling and shaking my head:

Daddy: Ok, Avery. What vehicle do you want to be? You can do a motorcycle, or an ATV or a buggy or a...

Avery: Yeah, I want to be a buggy.

Daddy: Ok, a buggy (as in dune). Now, you get to pick a color.

Avery: Do they have pink or purple?

Daddy: Hmm...let's see. Oh! Here's a purple's that?

Avery: That's good!

Shaun is definately a good girl-daddy. No black pick-up trucks to race in the mud here in this house. Nope, purple buggies! :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Part I

This past weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving for my side of the family. We all brought food and my sister and her husband (pictured below) hosted at their new house. It was a relaxing, easy day and I was reminded what a blessing family is.

You know there are a lot of kids when you have a big-kids table and a little-kids table. I think it suited everyone just fine.


After dinner, we set up some Christmas crafts for the kids. Plenty of glue and glitter for all.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Parent Day at Dance

Today the parents were invited to watch dance class. I was astounded at the progress Avery has made since I last saw her dance. I thought I'd give her a moment in the dance spotlight:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas is Coming

Last night we had our first choir practice for the small Christmas program we will be doing at church. The very first song we sang was "O, Holy Night", my all-time favorite. I tried to hold it in, but I was so giddy. About the song and about Christmas coming.

In high school, my friend Mandy and I would start our Christmas countdown at 100+ days. We had most classes together so it was easy to mark off each day and to feed off each other's excitement. We are true kindred spirits in the Christmas department.

Well, since I've gotten older and matured (uh-hem) I've tried to tone down my anticipation just a little. Also Shaun does not allow Christmas music to be played until Thanksgiving. Plus I love Thanksgiving and want to give it what is due, but...

Well, last night just got me in the mood! And incidentally, Mandy sent me a Facebook message a while ago telling me there were 82 days left! :) Now there are 35, in case you are counting.

This was our Christmas card picture in 2005, our first year with Avery. She turned 5 months old on this day (Thanksgiving) and we had never tried to sit her up on her own. Well, we set her on this sled and she never fell off. From that time on she sat great all by herself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whirly Twirly Wednesday

Please note the succession of wardrobe changes during these 45 minutes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kiss It?

Shaun's hands are often banged up from the work that he does. The girls are always very observant of and concerned about all his scrapes, cuts and nicks. Avery likes to put medicine and a band-aid on it and Amanda does the cutest little thing.

She looks up at him and says, "Kis-sit, Daddy? Kis-sit?" Usually, he is a willing participant, but this night at the dinner table as he was about to say "sure", he did a double-take at the food and snots on her face and said, "Uh, maybe later. But thank you."

She didn't seem too offended. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Photo Contest

5 Minutes For Mom is having a photo contest...Having Fun With Food.

What could be more fun than cousins sharing a candied apple??

The Vacuum Truck

Given the fact we live on a city lot, it is amazing how many leaves accumulate in our yard each fall. Up until yesterday, the only raking I'd done was to make a pile for the girls to jump in. (I'd rake for hours and hours to hear those delighted squeals!)

However, when I was outside early in the morning, I was pretty sure I heard the "vacuum truck" a couple streets over. The town goes through the streets and literally vacuums up the leaves that are piled onto the sidewalk and street side.

Hearing the truck, I thought it would be wise to start raking! As I began though, I started thinking If only I knew exactly when the truck would be coming. Then I could procrastinate a little longer, and do the things that had been on MY list for the day. If I knew what day and time they would be coming by, I could calculate precisely when I should start getting prepared.

And then I thought, how many people are treating their salvation like that? They plan on getting prepared for Jesus' coming when they are not so busy with the things on their list or when they are older and their time is clearly drawing near or when...

You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up. Matthew 24:44

I raked quite a bit yesterday and the truck never came, but I don't regret the time I spent getting my yard cleaned up. I have nice patches of green grass that I can sit back and enjoy and now I'm not quite so worried when the town guys will come because I am prepared. In fact, I am anxious for them to come and take all those dirty leaves away.

Are you prepared?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Friends

My friend Shelva was home visiting for a couple days, so the girls and I went to see her. This is the last time we were together, in May.
And this is her little guy now. Oh, how he has grown!

We had a nice visit and I actually had the extra special privilege of seeing her entire immediate family...what a treat. This family has been so dear to me since Shelva and I first became inseparable about 18 years ago...yikes!

In some regards we are similar, but in most ways we are very different yet somehow we've found a way to (somewhat effortlessly) be the best of friends. Although distance and time constraints make it difficult to stay in contact, we always seem to pick up where we left off. That is one of the many things I treasure about our friendship.

Until about...oh, four years ago, we both swore we didn't want children but God, in His infinite wisdom blessed us anyway and its so fun learning about each other in our new roles. Today I'm so thankful for true friendships, for Shelva and for her dear family.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whirly Twirly Wednesday

I was so busy working this afternoon, I almost forgot to post pictures. Where are my priorities??

Amazingly, these next two look like part of the class is in sync!