Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Ten Photos in 2008

Jules at The Roost had the idea to post our top-ten favorite photos from 2008. I was immediately interested because a) I always enjoy taking a look back and b) I'm up for anything that involves photos.

I knew before I began that it would be hard, and I can't say on a different day I wouldn't choose a whole new batch of 10, but this is a pretty good representation, in no particular order.

Cute, cute and it was taken during our beloved spring trip to Florida.

Me and my man. I'm so thankful for the gift God gave me in him and for our love that grows stronger with each year.

Cheap summer fun out in the yard.

Softball season is a highlight every year for our family. This year the team won the championship and Shaun won Coach of the Year.

My family. This picture represents all the trips and get-togethers we had and the support and love we have from them. The same can be said for Shaun's side, I just didn't have a big group shot. So thankful for a big family.

Classic Amanda! No way to tell who is having more fun.

Avery's first recital.
Amanda's dance class.

LOVE this picture. The pride in Shaun's eyes and the love Avery shows is just so indicitive of their relationship on a daily basis. Plus this was at Shaun's sister's wedding, which was so much fun to be a part of for the better part of the year.

Classic Avery.
I realized that my very favorite pictures are not of our vacations and special days, but of everyday living, everyday life. God has been especially good to us!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And Baby Makes Five

Sometime in July we'll get to meet our newest blessing. The girls, particularly Avery, are so excited. She immediately fired off several rounds of questions, mostly just repeating and clarifying what we had told her.

After a while I said, "Avery this baby isn't going to come for a long, LONG time. It won't be until after your birthday." Amanda, who up to this point had let her sister do most of the talking, piped up and said, "She not eat my birthday cake!" Uh, we'll see what we can do.

When we asked them if they wanted a brother or sister, Avery said, "It's a girl for me and a boy for Amanda." Since we haven't yet heard a heartbeat or had an ultrasound we are hoping its not some sort of child's intuition going on. One will be quite enough.

When Amanda was born Avery was barely 17 months old so it will be fun this time to have both girls old enough to share in the excitement and anticipation.

Answers to common questions, yes we will be finding out the gender and yes, I am feeling good.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas, Part II

Ahhh. Another wonderful Christmas season is over. On Christmas Eve we hung out as a family (of four). I cooked and baked like crazy and Shaun worked around the house getting things ready and taking care of the girls.

We let them open presents that had arrived in the mail from their Grandpa, then we went to the Christmas Eve service at the church where both my sisters attend. Its a long-standing tradition and one of my favorite parts of Christmas.

After church, about 30 of us were treated to a delicious dinner at my sister Amy's house. We enjoyed the company of her in-laws, who we've become close to over the years. After, it was back to my house to stuff stocking and put on last minute bows.

Here is Amanda coming down the stairs Christmas morning.

Another favorite part of Christmas for me...stockings. All but two cousins pictured here

Amanda stopped at the first candy cane she came across, and then the second...
My brother and his wife and two girls came out from Colorado.

My Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Lee and adult cousins Melody and Johnny came from New York and Pennsylvania. My memories of Christmases with them are very sweet and go WAY back.

Avery trying out dance moves in her new "weeolard". Amanda is in the background thinking its not fair that Avery got one and she didn't.

My sister Bethany painted this rocking chair to match Avery's room.

My mom, "Grammy and Bobbi"

My dad, "Kiki and Pop"

We were also joined by my two sisters, their husbands and children and later most of Shaun's family. It was a full, relaxing, blessed day. We have an incredible family and I'm so grateful we were able to be together for another year...Good stuff!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas, Part I

The later part of Sunday was spent at Shaun's sister Sarah's house. She and her husband Tony did an amazing job hosting. We got to be the first ones to use the china they recieved from their wedding and Sarah had the table set immaculately.

My nephew Jared, the only cousin on this side. He did a great job playing with the girls and being patient.
Auntie Sarah and Avery
Amanda was thrilled with her princess plate!
Enny and Uncle Micah
Shaun's grandmother always ships up her presents from Florida, so here we are modeling our new attire so we can send her pictures. (By chance, each half of the couples is standing in the same position, in case you were wondering)

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Star-Studded Weekend

Let's see if I can re-cap some of our weekend in 250 words or less. :) This is what we woke up to on Saturday morning, after all Friday night activities were cancelled, including Avery's dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker.

The girls were so anxious to get out in the snow, or "no", depending on which one was talking, so I bundled them up and took them out. Avery sat right down and got to business eating as much snow as she could. (Yes, I explained the whole yellow-snow thing.)

Didn't take long for Amanda to take her queue

Uncle Nathan joined us shortly with a sled, which worked well in the neighbor's yard.

Avery had to come in early because her fingers were cold, but Nathan said Amanda would have kept going if he'd stayed out.

Instead he brought her in and taught them about the joys of snow and syrup together. The three of them huddled around the bowl, each holding a spoon.

At 9:30 that morning, I had gotten a call saying that the Sunday matinee performance had been moved to Saturday, because of more snow fore-casted for Sunday. So we had to be there at 12:00 for costume and make-up. Avery was in ACT II and my eyes were brimming as she entered the stage. She did such a good job and looked so little up there! (The little Flower Fairy on the right)

This is during curtain call when she spotted all of us watching. She had the support of nearly all of her local family between the two shows. THANK YOU all for coming!!
This may have been her biggest fan. Amanda sat on her daddy's lap, watched intently, clapped when appropriate and softly hummed along with the music. Maybe next year for her. :)

Sunday morning Avery "starred" in the kids choir at our church. They sang several songs and all the letters said a little piece of a poem.
After she said her line and had passed the mic, she whispered to me in the front row, "Mom, I said it slow!"

I was in the adult choir (last one on the right).

Couldn't resist taking a picture of the girls in their Christmas dresses after church. Oh, what an incredible time of year!