Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Look Grandma, I dressed myself!

Rob playing the keyboard with Ethan watching

I have been so busy this time of year, I haven't been updating my website as often as I would like to! So updates on me for the last two weeks are that I celebrated my birthday with my loving husband and kids on my actual birthday, then just celebrated with my brother, sister, brother-in-law, mom, and dad with Chinese food, cake, presents, and games at my Dad's house last Saturday. It was the first time the entire family has been together for a special occasion in a LONG time! We also went to Rob's company Christmas party two weeks ago which was up in the mountains in Genesee with a beautiful view of the city. I also went to my good friend Karrie's annual Christmas brunch, two gift exchanges, and a cookie exchange (we're still working on those 9 dozen cookies!)

Ethan chipped his two front teeth last week slipping in the bathtub. They aren't too bad, but I still took him into the pediatric dentist who looked at them and filed the rough edges off. We've also been battling our share of flu and cold bugs this time of year, but it looks like everyone will be well for Christmas tomorrow (and the Christmas Eve service tonight)! I also just jumped on the Facebook bandwagon a few weeks ago, so if any of you reading this are on there and aren't yet on my friends list, please join it as I don't know who's on there yet and who isn't and don't have much time to search for people, although I have been able to update it pretty regularly. We'll see if I keep it up!

Show us those lovely chipped teeth!

Enjoy the very pregnant picture of me! Just 4 weeks to go until my due date and as of yesterday, I'm technically at full term, so it could be any day now! We can't wait to meet our new baby boy, and the kids are excited too. May the peace of Christ be with you during this Christmas season! We're celebrating the biggest gift ever given with God giving us his only son, the perfect sacrifice for our sins. What a joy it is to know we can't ever be perfect, but with Jesus as our Lord, that we are made perfect in his eyes and will spend eternity in heaven with Him.

Janice at 35 weeks along before Rob's company party

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What a Week!

Ethan and Ashleigh making a snowman on the deck

Putting on the finishing touches (mini-marshmallows!)

A little sibling rivalry in the snow

I can't believe it has only been a week since my last post. So much has happened and this time of year is crazy busy anyway. I'll start with the bad news. Someone tried to steal our truck while we were at breakfast a week ago, but luckily was unable to start it, probably because our keys have chips in them that the ignition has to detect before it starts. When we came out, the lock in the door had been busted out and the ignition was a mess so we couldn't even start it with the key and had to get the truck towed to the Ford dealership and a ride home. Good news is we have a low deductible and rental car coverage, so at least we aren't left with just one car for all this time! We think we'll get it back on Tuesday, fingers crossed! Also, the rental car place didn't have the car we had reserved and gave us a 2009 Chevy Silverado truck in the meantime for the car rate, so that's the silver lining in this lovely saga.

Not bad for a rental! (but I still miss our truck)

We've been Christmas shopping and working on Christmas cards this weekend. Ashleigh and I went to a Nutcracker performance on Friday with my friend Traci, her daughter Mackenzie, and new friends of ours, the Johnsons. It was pretty magical seeing the Nutcracker through Ashleigh's eyes and seeing how excited she was. It was her first time going to the Nutcracker and her first live performance of any kind.

Kenzie and Ashleigh before the show at our house

Ashleigh and I at the Aurora Dance Arts production of the Nutcracker

The kids and I have also been baking like crazy for a cookie exchange I have coming up on Thursday. When I signed up, I didn't realize the requirement would be 9 dozen cookies, or I probably would have said no. My friends think I'm crazy, being 8 mo pregnant and to inflict additional work on myself during this time of year, but I think it'll be really fun and nice to have a variety of cookies to share with friends, family, and neighbors. Here are some pictures from the kids and I baking fudge nut bars a few days ago. We're up to 70 bars - more than half-way there!

Ashleigh adding flour to the mixer

How does that flour taste, Ethan?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday at Rob's parents house and while I missed getting together with my family also, crazy as that is when we have two big dinners in one day, I don't think my brother-in-law and sister weren't too upset, as they were on their way to Hawaii for a vacation, with my brother meeting them there on Saturday. My mom was able to go with us to my in-laws as well and my dad wasn't feeling up to a large family get-together this year, so it worked out. Ashleigh helped me make a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake with caramel swirl to bring over that was a big hit and also our traditional pistachio salad. I love the wonderful foods that come with the holiday season. Can't wait to make my fudge nut bars next week! Joining us at Rob's parents' house were his grandma Ethel and his Aunt Penny, Uncle Rick, and cousins, Scott and Katie. So fun to see Katie, who's 9, playing great all day with Ashleigh and Ethan!

After not decorating last Christmas and realizing even though decorating is a lot of effort, it's well worth it, we got out all of our decorations this morning and were glad we did. Rob and I had a tradition of cutting our own Christmas tree in the mountains on the day after Thanksgiving for the first three years we were married, but with two little kids and me over 7 months pregnant, that's just not a feasible trip this year. So it was Ethan's first Christmas of decorating and he really got into hanging the ornaments and calling the glass balls 'Bubbles'. He has broken one of them already, but thankfully wasn't hurt.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Election

Other than being disappointed and discouraged this week about the election results, it's been a good week. I am so thankful that the traditional marriage amendments passed in the states where they were being voted upon. During my quiet time this morning, I read in 2 Timothy 3:1-5

3:1 But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 3:2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God. 3:5 They will maintain the outward appearance of religion but will have repudiated its power.

Being the non-English/engineering person I am, I had to look up repudiated and it means to reject as having no authority or binding force.
Sounds a lot like America today, but the fact that the majority still supports marriage in the traditional sense of God's definition for marriage give me hope for our nation. God's will happens through both godly and ungodly leaders alike and no powers of man or person will stand in the way of that!

Happy Halloween!

Ethan (16 mo) and Ashleigh (4 yrs) dressed up as Dragons for Halloween

For Halloween this year, both kids dressed up as dragons. It was fun seeing Ethan get excited about dressing up and the candy, his new favorite word. On Halloween, we went to the library for storytime and trick-or-treating and later went to our church's community harvest festival, which was huge! It's great to take the kids someplace safe and fun and safe with games, candy, food, jumpy castles, and a puppet show. We tried taking Ashleigh trick-or-treating when she was 1 around our neighborhood, but we don't know many of our neighbors and she doesn't do well with the scary decorations and costumes and I'm thankful our church offers an alternative to traditional Halloween activities. I left my camera in the car during the Harvest Festival, but luckily got a few pictures of the kids in costume at storytime with their friends.

Hanna (ballerina), Aurelia (Texas Cheerleeder), Tatum (poodle), Kenzie (princess), Ethan, and Ashleigh (both dragons)

Traditonally, Halloween in Colorado = snow, but this year, we had upper 70s for the high and a beautiful park day with friends after storytime. Ethan actually looks hot in shorts and a T-shirt!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ashleigh's Fourth Birthday Party

We celebrated Ashleigh's fourth birthday on Saturday with a fun party and lots of our friends and family came over to our house. The kids made party hats (and John too) out of construction paper, colored them, and put on stickers and ribbons. We also had a tacos and nachos for dinner and choice of chocolate cake or lemon cake with ice cream for dessert. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed on the day of the party and am so thankful for Rob's help with baking both cakes and making the glazes. He has quite a baking talent!

Ashleigh's friends Noah, Mackenzie, Savannah, (Ashleigh) and Brianna making party hats

The adults helping and watching the hat making

The kids having dinner

Yum! That's what I was waiting for!
Rob's chocolate cake with chocolate glaze and lemon cake with lemon glaze

Friends enjoying cake

Watching present opening

I realize I haven't blogged now in over a month and while not too much has happened in that month, I have gotten a little bit bigger. Here's a picture of me at 27 weeks (as some of you have been asking for one). I was so good about taking and posting pictures while I was pregnant with Ethan and however, with our new boy on the way and two little ones to take care of, I haven't had as much time, plus kids nap time almost always = my nap time too, so there isn't much free time in the day for blogging.

I also just had to post this video I took on September 18th, about 2 weeks after Ethan took his first step. He's 15 months old in this video. Can you imagine learning how to walk now as an adult? Looks pretty painful! But Ethan's having fun from the looks of it. He's gotten so much better over the past month and barely falls at all now, but I hope you're as amused as I was watching this!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Picking Berries

Last week, some moms and I got together at Berry Patch Farm in Brighton to pick strawberries and raspberries. The kids had a great time! They had some farm animals there (ducks, chickens, and a little pot-bellied pig who stole one of the kids' lunches!) We got to ride a little tractor pulled wagon out to the fields, which all the kids loved, except for Ethan in the backpack who was getting pretty scared. I wasn't doing much bending down and picking as I had Ethan on my back, but I would find them and Ashleigh would pick them and we had a good system going at that point. Being 5 months pregnant, I was quite tired at the end of the day and noticed I was a bit sore from all the walking with the backpack and the few squats I did attempt. The kids and I were able to make a berry cobbler from the raspberries we had picked and topped it with vanilla ice cream for a scrumptious dessert.

We've also been doing some swimming (indoor, of course), meeting with my MOPS group, going to the park and enjoying the warm weather we've been having. I know today is the official first day of fall, but with these 80+ degree days, it feels like fall is a long way off still! There's much to do still before our new little guy arrives, but for now, we've been out playing and enjoying the beautiful weather. I can't believe my due date is just four months away!

Kenzie, Ashleigh, and Noah petting the pig

Loaded up for our ride out to the strawberry fields

Hanna, Ashleigh, and Kenzie riding in the wagon

Christie, Felicity, me, and Ethan in the backpack

The girls picking (and eating) strawberries

Monday, September 15, 2008

Six wonderful years!

Rob and I just celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary this past weekend while Debbie and Terry took the kids for the night. I can't believe how quickly the time passes and just how different life is for us now than it was six years ago. We were reflecting on the past year during dinner together Saturday and God's tremendous faithfulness to us when we trust Him. A few years ago, I was terrified of staying home with Ashleigh and to live on one income, thinking about the sacrifices we'd have to make and lifestyle changes that would mean. Well, God has grown me to where I don't even miss most of those things (although an occasional week-long vacation to a warm beach would be nice, I guess we can settle for camping if that means me being able to stay home the rest of the year!) We truly are happy together and are blessed with two healthy, happy kids and another that will be here in just a few short months. We had a very happy anniversary close to home with dinner at Ted's Montana Grill and walking around our outdoor mall and finishing off a beautiful night watching the sunset while eating ice cream from Cold Stone.

Speaking of our wedding anniversary, on Monday night, a week ago, Ashleigh, Ethan, and I made the drive up to LaPorte, CO to go to my friend, Sara's wedding. It's just NW of Ft. Collins, but still a little under a two-hour drive. Rob has been working long days and getting home late, so he just came home and rested, rather than working a half day to make it to the wedding on time. What a great time with old friends from Action, a young-adult ministry group some friends and I started eight years ago in my living room Golden (and I'm glad to hear it's still going!). It morphed from a Bible study of new believers meeting on Friday nights instead of going to the bars (my old lifestyle), to the marriage hook-up group. I think we counted six couples over the years who met there and were later married. Rob and I met our freshman year of college at Mines, so we weren't one of the six, but he did drive up from the Springs every weekend while we were dating to come to Action. Fun memories and it was great seeing everyone again!

Friends Rachel and Brent

Friends from Action Ryan and Carrie (one of the six)

Dancing with Ashleigh and Ethan

Ashleigh and Rachel and Clint's son, Lucas (2 1/2 yrs) playing behind the curtains

My friend, Sara (what a gorgeous dress!!!)

The brick placement ceremony with Sara and Chris' names and wedding date

Took this one the next morning while doing laundry
(a little sleepy from the late night!)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

We're having a Boy!

I thought I should write a post for the curious who have been periodically checking my blog that we found out we are having another boy in January. It was definitely a boy and an active one at that as he started out on his back and was on his stomach by the end of the appointment! Everything on the ultrasound measured normal, which was a relief from my last pregnancy with Ethan where the kidneys measured small on this ultrasound and I ended up having 5 ultrasounds during my pregnancy. I'm now 20 weeks along and half-way there. Unbelievable how the time is flying!

Last week, I got to go to a fun place called Tiny Town in the mountains near Morrison with my dear friend Karrie, her mom, and her son, Rusty. There are over 100 buildings that are 1/6th the size of their actual scale and are based on the real buildings. Some of them have dollhouse furniture inside, consistent with the little store's theme, and some of them are open so that the kids can actually crawl inside them. Very fun!

Rusty, Ethan, and Ashleigh inside the Denver firehouse

Ethan outside of the Denver Mint building
He just loved looking into all the windows!

Ashleigh and Ethan outside of a windmill

We also have seen some friends this week for playdates and I had my first MOPS meeting this morning. I met several really nice moms and a surprisingly large number of pregnant women too. They meet twice a month and have a great kids program. Rob painted our downstairs bathroom too last weekend over Labor Day and we attended the first block party for our neighborhood Sunday afternoon. On Saturday, it was the reunion of my high school friends, including one person we hadn't seen in 8 years because we all lost touch with him. I suppose if I joined Facebook or one of those other networking sites, I could reconnect with lots of people I've lost touch with, but then I barely have enough time in the day for my family and the friends I do keep in touch with, so I think I'll just go on like I have been.

The high school crew - Me, Chris, Laurie, and Josh

The kids and I saw my Dad for lunch on Saturday while Rob was at work and the four of us went swimming at my mom's pool for one last swim before closing on Labor Day. Ethan is so close to walking now and walks holding one hand. Here are some picts from Monday.

Ashleigh floating and kicking with the noodles

Ethan and I at the pool

Rob and Ethan walking in the baby pool

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Cousin's Wedding in Omaha

We drove out to Omaha this past weekend for my cousin, Lisa's wedding. We weren't sure what to expect as the kids have never been on a road trip longer than the few hours it takes to drive to a campsite in the mountains, and this was 10 hours each way. Yes, some can do it in less time, but they don't have little ones with diaper changes and bathroom breaks and dinner stops that last an hour. We left on Friday afternoon and got to Kearney, NE for the night, stopping at 11:30 pm. It was very tempting to keep going once both kids were asleep, but we were glad we stopped when we did as Ethan was up at 6 the next morning.

We drove the last three hours on Saturday morning with plenty of time to check-in to our nice hotel and rest before changing for the wedding. It was held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Omaha and was very nice! They had a romantic carriage ride through the city after the ceremony and dinner was also wonderful. The dance was fun too, although you sure don't get much dancing in with your husband when you have two little ones! I did watch Ashleigh dance for the first time with a boy and it makes me think about how quickly she's growing up.

The best part of all though is seeing my extended family and catching up with all the family news. It was a quick trip, but we were glad we made it safely and even the trip back to Denver on Sunday was not bad either. I'm just glad I packed plenty of toys, coloring books, library books, and the Leap Pad to keep them entertained for hours, otherwise, it would have been a VERY long trip! We hardly ever travel and stay in hotels and the kids loved it. Ashleigh is still talking about it and pretending with her stuffed animals they're staying at the hotel.

Ethan riding in the car

Ashleigh riding in the car

Ethan, me, Rob, and Ashleigh at the wedding

My cousin, Lisa and Justin during the ceremony

Ashleigh watching the fish with her 2nd cousins, Garrison & Christian

Me, my Aunt Pat (and mother of the bride), and cousin Helen

My cousin with her son and ring-bearer Damien

My cousin Jay, on my right, and his kids, Cassie, Aaron, and wife Rosalyn

Ashleigh's first dance with a boy ever!