Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Merry Christmas Weekend

AJ had Thursday off work and was extremely productive playing handyman all day. He fixed our dresser drawer, our clogged sink, and even helped me bake and cook (not that that needed any fixing at all!) :)

Ari was also a huge help. After mixing the ingredients for quite some time, he was ready to play in some bubbles.

Friday was extremely busy with getting things together for Christmas. AJ got off work early which inevitably saved me from forgetting to make potatoes for Christmas...just in time to make it to the Christmas Eve service at our church.

AJ's mom was the insurance policy for the baby in the manger...

And AJ's dad "was reading a book" according to Ari.

Ari on the other hand was playing with candles (not lit!) and clapped after every performance.

We then headed downtown for some dinner with AJ's family and my mom. We took a carriage ride then walked around the circle while it flurried.

Saturday morning we spent just the three (or four if you count baby) of us and then headed over to AJ's parents house.

We had to get a family photo of us in front of the Christmas tree. What? That's not a Christmas tree? Well it was for Pat and Jim. This plant has been overtaking this room for a while and there was no place for the normal tree. So Jim set out to get some decorations that would not weigh down the limbs. And successful he was. It was the best looking Christmas tree I had seen in a while.

This was an attempt at the end of a long Christmas day for AJ and I to finally get a picture of just us together. I thought our red walls were fitting.

Sunday evening we went to my mom's house and had another Christmas with my siblings and their family. I had to include this picture...that smile pretty much sums him up.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Using our most recent flex spending purchase...he is practicing some building skills. And yes, he is sitting on our counter and frequents that spot daily.

Cheese-heads sitting around the Christmas tree. I love them so much.

He loves getting his picture taken and will happily pose every time. He then quickly requests "I see? I see?"

I will be sad when this has to come down and the radio doesn't play Christmas music anymore. It has been fun seeing Ari so excited about the little things in life. He calls the manger a house and when I ask him who is in there he innocently replies "Jesus". Oh yeah, and he still thinks that a cross is "Praise the Lord".

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

air guitar

This is a frequent occurrence around our house, or even in public for that matter. The other day we were out to dinner and he wanted AJ and I to participate in air guitaring as well. Well apparently I wasn't doing it correctly because he kept placing my hands in a different spot and saying "tar tar!" He is serious about his music!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wintery Weekend Events

We started off the weekend with an early celebration of my niece's 1 year birthday.

Ari had lots of fun with daddy assembling one of her gifts using his Handy Manny tools.

He was so helpful that he managed to stick some toys in the holes that were not plugged up yet, resulting in a somewhat longer (and slightly more difficult) assembly.

Then Saturday we ran and did lots of errands, took a nice (and much needed!) nap, then came out to play in the snow. Last year Ari did not like it at all and only lasted about 10 minutes.

He couldn't get enough of it this year, and kept telling us he wasn't ready to go in (despite the red, glowing cheeks that said otherwise).

He attempted to throw some snowballs, but it was just too fluffy and wouldn't pack at all. We will have to attempt a snowman another time. He was already requesting to put gloves on the snowman.

Sunday we were greeted by this reindeer at the Zoo. Ari instantly wanted to give it a hug...but as he got closer he decided that a high-five would be good enough.

We stopped by the splash park, which was a light show with music, in order for him to bust out his air guitar. I will have to get a video of it because pictures just don't do it justice.

He was excited about all the lights and was happy to pose for a picture by the peacock. Sometimes he sees wild peacocks at his nanee and papaw's house when they go for walks.

We did see other animals besides the sharks, but those pictures did not turn out very well. The polar bear was very active and we also heard the seals "barking" from their cave.

We had such a fulfilling weekend that I will be spending all of tonight getting our house back in order. We came and went so often that I didn't touch a dish or pick up our snow clothes yet. Ah! I guess a little hot chocolate and Christmas music are in order to make it more enjoyable. Mmm...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a silly video

Ari has been learning his abc's and frequently starts saying them randomly. He was very distracted in this video and did not say them as well as he normally does. I just like this because he gets so cheesy in pictures and always wants to see them right after we take it. Please ignore the scattered toys...and the fact that my child was videoed once again in just his diaper...I promise this isn't the only thing he wears around our house. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ari's Antics

Ari has been saying the most funny things lately. I wish I could remember them all, but within the last week here is what I can recall. These probably won't be as funny since you can't hear his little voice, but I at least wanted to note them before I forget them all.

He is constantly putting his face in dark places and saying "It's dark in here". The other night we ran a few errands and he insisted on wearing his sunglasses. Since the sun had already gone down, it was obviously dark out. But since he had to wear his sunglasses into Hobby Lobby and Bed, Bath, and Beyond, he noted every time we got outside and every time we went in the store that it was "dark in here". He got a few compliments on his glasses.

When he hears a noise that he does't know the name for, he simply states "noise". This ranges from sounds he hears outside, to sounds that come from bodily functions. He is so serious when he says it, it's like he wants you to recognize that he heard it.

He doesn't know who santa is, so when he first saw decorations in a store he would just say "a man", now he has somehow turned into a snowman and that's what he calls him. I don't have any plans to correct him.

We were eating noodles the other night and all of a sudden he bursts out saying "Praise the Lord!". AJ and I look over and his noodles are in the shape of a cross. We just looked at each other and were completely speechless. We have never explained what a cross stands for so it was amazing to see him associate praising the Lord with a cross.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Party's

The holiday party that AJ's bank hosts is the most fun outing of the year. Our first date (seven years ago) was to such party and so it holds a special part in our heart of remembering where we were sevens years ago to where we have come today.

The night started off better than usual-our waiter asked me if I was old enough to drink in which I smiled and said "yes I am but I am pregnant and will have to pass" (although I would have passed on that anyway!). I don't know if it was because I looked younger or because he didn't notice I was 19 weeks pregnant. Then we had a delicious dinner, had our caricature done, then off to play some black jack (with fake money). The fake money is cashed in at the end and turned in to the appropriate amount of raffle tickets in which you can choose from a hundred gifts to win. We ended up winning a membership to the zoo with 2 additional guests! I was astounded and so glad we were able to come home with a such a nice gift.

AJ has worked there nine years and they have always treated their employees great. They like to show appreciation to the employees and make that night so special for everyone. When we left it had already started to snow and our view from the top of the parking garage was just breath-taking.

Then Saturday morning came and it was time to bake all day long. AJ and Ari went to breakfast with Jim at Denny's and had a great bonding time.

Cookie Day is something my aunt started with us cousins when we were young. Now that we are starting families and having kids, we thought it would be fun to continue the tradition with them. We seriously baked cookies from 9:30 am until 7pm.

Ari had a blast helping and of course sneaking a cookie here and there off of our table.

This picture does not do it justice (maybe a picture of my hips would) the amount of cookies we made, consumed, and still have left lingering for us to finish off. We usually make these right before Christmas so we have them for Christmas Day, but since we all have very busy schedules we had to fit it in when we could.

I had to throw in this picture of my sister-in-law and her daughter Lynlee who will be celebrating the big 1 in just a few short weeks!

Monday, December 6, 2010

more from Thanksgiving

I am behind on my pictures so I figured I would throw in a few from Thanksgiving weekend.

My brother had the honor of cutting the turkey.

Then shortly after we couldn't resist all the delicious food just staring at us. We enjoyed this day with my brothers family, my mom, sister and her fiance, and my cousins from my moms side. Then that evening we went to a family-friend's house who we usually see on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Then the next day was filled with lots of Christmas decorating.

We are not ones to procrastinate on the decorating and I was itching to put it up before Thanksgiving, but we just didn't have any time.

Ari was having a blast putting stuff on the tree. Now he requests for all the lights to be turned on every morning.

We have been extremely busy since then with AJ's holiday party at his bank, cookie day/Christmas with my mom's family, Pacer's game for AJ's work, and so on. Even though we have been so busy this year, it has made this pregnancy go much quicker. I can officially say that there is a little bump becoming more noticeable and I have been feeling REALLY good since Thanksgiving. More on that to come soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

organizational skills

This child has been known, on a regular basis, to organize his toys into some kind of order. He has never been shown how to do any of this, so I find it intriguing that he naturally wants to keep his things in line.

Here you can see his animals in a row. He also lines up his Lego blocks, cars, and piggy banks- all in which are lined up nicely by size, largest to smallest. I hope this is a glimpse of how he will like to keep his things when he is older. We might have to work on different organizational techniques seeing that this isn't the best space-saver. However, this is a good start!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Cards and more!

Every year we send out Christmas cards to family and friends. We have always had the greatest experience with Shutterfly and wouldn't think to use any other company. They have such a large selection of cards it is hard to choose a favorite because they are all so great. Shutterfly is also known for their other products as well, such as invitations, stationery, mugs, and calendars. What makes this company so special is that you get to customize your products with as little or as many pictures as you want.

Here is the picture from the first card we sent out a few years ago. Not bad for a self-timed picture! This year we will be using professional pictures we had taken in the fall. You will just have to wait and see those!

Here is where you can find the Christmas cards. Trust me, you will have a hard time choosing your favorite because they have such a great selection.

We have also used Shutterfly for photo books. This is the easiest way for us to organize pictures from the last year. Since all of our pictures are kept on the computer, it is easy to upload them to Shutterfly and have them put into a book. Shutterfly makes it so easy to share our memories with other family and friends.

Shutterfly also offers discounts throughout the year. For example, just for blogging about the experience I have had with them, they will give me 50 free cards to use this Holiday season. If you would like to get in on this deal as well, go here. Happy Shutterfly-ing!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

so thankful

So thankful for these two...

they bring much joy to my life...

and many smiles to my face.

Happy Thanksgiving to my loves!

Monday, November 22, 2010

tis the season

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is just a few short days away! I can't wait to have some of my moms pumpkin pie and lemon meringue pie. These are the only pies I like so I will indulge my self a few times a year when they are available to me. Despite the fact that Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, I am itching to put up our Christmas decorations. It will just have to wait until Friday. However, we (or should I say AJ) managed to put up our lights outside on the house this past weekend. It was literally a few degrees above freezing and we somehow survived. (I survived the cold weather but AJ survived climbing a two-story ladder. Ah!) But somehow this crazy Indiana weather has already warmed up and will nearly hit 70 degrees today despite the clouds and passing showers from this morning.

Since it is Thanksgiving season for a few more days, I might as well list some things I am thankful for (not in any particular order).

-an extremely healthy child (there are many families who can not say this and I do not take it for granted)
-being pregnant (I thought this would have been on our list last year, but I am even more thankful that it is this year!)
-of course, my husband (he is perfect in every way!)
-our jobs (that provide us with necessary things and unnecessary things)
-close friends that encourage me every week (especially Gretchen)
-knowing that Jesus is my Savior (and I am just thrilled to know that my holiday season will be nothing short of reflecting His birth and what he has done for us)

Obviously this list has been simplified and there are many more things I could go on about. However, I will spare you and end this post without any pictures, again. Hopefully I will get some up soon!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Mayonnaise Jar and Coffee

My mother-in-law passed this little blurb on to me this morning. I thought it was a good example of prioritizing our life-and if we do it correctly we will even have some time to spend with a friend. I believe this came from

"A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes'.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided. 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things-God, family, children, health, friends and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else-the small stuff.'

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the tings that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'"

I do think it's important to realize that some of the small things can just wait. But at a certain time you can't always go out to dinner, or play another round of 18. Sometimes the time to clean the house and fix the disposal is now. Or in my case to fix the dryer. (Yes, it's been nearly 3 weeks since it first broke.) But I suppose we managed this long without it and I could really go for some hot chocolate or coffee...anyone care to join me? Anyone? Bueller?

Monday, November 8, 2010

random update

This post doesn't really have a purpose, except to entertain you daily blog readers who have noticed it's been a week since I last posted.

Nothing new or exciting has really happened. AJ has been working hard on replacing our mulched landscaping with rock instead. We also added a fire pit in our back yard so hopefully we will get to enjoy that soon. Pictures to come when it is all complete!

I always love the holiday season but for some reason I am looking forward to it more this year. I just want to eat or buy anything with pumpkin or peppermint. I think this year will be a lot of fun with Ari. He gets so excited about the little things. I know he will go nuts over Christmas lights, the decorated tree, all the baked goods, and even snowmen. And maybe by then I will have a little baby bump to get excited about. For now it looks like nothing (to most) but to me it just looks like fat. (I know, I know). But just to make you feel better, I am pretty confident I will be wearing maternity jeans this pregnancy.

I am really excited now because I can feel the baby move already. But at 15-16ish weeks, that is much earlier than what I remember with Ari. I was at least 20 weeks when I first noticed some action with him. This makes me less worried. We really don't know a due date, but the least I can say is that it is due towards the end of April. Since Ari came 11 days late, I will just assume this one will be late too. So we might end up with a May baby. As of right now, we are not planning on finding out the gender. We should have an ultrasound some time in December just to make sure all is going well. We are not sharing any potential names at this point, but are very interested in suggestions. We are in need of a girl name, so please share if you have an idea!

Monday, November 1, 2010

a party to remember

This little guy enjoyed his birthday very much. It started out with dress up, like Mr. Potato Head.

And then his very own cupcake.

I think he was in a sugar coma by the end, he couldn't even finish it.

Being a cheese-head, which we often call him because of this cheesy smile he likes to give.

Sometimes he will even call himself a cheese-head.

Oh, deliciousness.

This little one also got to enjoy a new gift from grandma, even though her birthday isn't until Christmas Eve.

Signing "thank you" to everyone for the awesome gifts. You can never have too many guitars!

This is his buddy, Wil. Ari just LOVES him and can't wait to play with him during our Bible study on Thursday nights.

And this...this is my brother.

He's hilarious and enjoys entertaining everyone. Especially Ari.

The night ended with a nice cold, glass of milk. Mmmm. Ok, not for many of us, but for this sweet little cousin that Ari just adores. He often talks about Lynlee throughout the day and will sometimes carry her picture around off of the fridge. I think he is preparing himself to be a big brother.

And what a good one he will be!