Friday, December 31, 2010

My Sweet Angels,

As I think about the great anticipation of meeting our newest family member in just a few short days, I want to try and get down some thoughts about how special you both are to me.

Sydney-I could not imagine having a more precious daughter than you. Your daddy and I have so many moments that we just look at each other as we marvel at how loving and sweet you are. I get the sweet privelege of hearing "Mommy, I love you so much" so many times in a day. You are thoughtful, smart, considerate and fun. Even at the age of 3, you love Jesus, and are always so anxious to learn more about his life. You love your family, church, school and gymnastics. You are, and have been so excited about meeting your baby brother Luke. You talk about him, and to him, all the time. I know that he will adore you.

Lately, one of my favorite times of the day is your bedtime, since after prayers and book time with Daddy, I stay with you for a while to just talk, sing or tell stories to you. Sometimes you tell me stories. You are, and always have been, such a good sleeper. Lately, you have been coming to wake up your daddy and me at least a good hour before your brother decides to rise & shine for the day. We call you our "sunshine girl." This nickname is very fitting for you. You are my sunshine.

JJ-You are the son we both always dreamed of having. Your daddy and I love watching you develop and learn more about your world. You know exactly how to show us what you want, and are learning more and more how to verbalize those thoughts into words. I will admit that much of the time you are daddy's boy...I don't blame you. There are definitely times, though, when you want just "Mama."

Your hugs and kisses are so sweet. You love Mickey Mouse, balls and books. One of my favorite things about you is your smile. It is absolutely contagious. Big sister calls you her "charming," and she couldn't be more right about that. You are the main reason that we are having Luke when you, my sweet baby boy, are only 20 months old yourself. Anyone who has the privilege of knowing you, raves about how sweet and content you are. I am not so sure what you will think about Luke at first, but I'm prayerful that he will be a sweet playmate and friend for you the rest of your life. We will all be so lucky if he inherits your disposition and health.

And so, my sweet angels, our prince and princess, there you have it.

My selfish prayer every day is that I get to be here every second and watch you as you grow up. I want so much to be able to have more fun with you and your sweet Daddy than any of us could ever imagine.

One of my favorite things in life is just sitting and watching you all play together and enjoy each other. I can't believe that we will soon have another sweet face in our midst.

Tomorrow is New Year's Day and we are so looking forward to spending the next year(s) with you. You have made 2010 the best year of our lives, and in that way, it is a little sad to see it go. Here's to many, many more "best years" sweet babies.

I will never understand why God has given me the honor of being your mother. I would do anything for either of you and love you both more than you will ever know.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cinderella and "charming"

Here is Cinderella and her "charming" dancing tonight.  :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010 was a special Christmas indeed! We always are extremely thankful, but this year has most certainly been a special one for our family.

Our Christmas travels were sooner than usual this year with the clock ticking on Luke's impending arrival, so we got to enjoy several days at home before the big weekend.

We had a great weekend at home, with the only hiccup being a nasty virus for JJ on Christmas Eve. Thank goodness we got him in the doctor and our strong little boy fought it off right at about 24 hours. He was almost entirely back to normal and able to really enjoy Christmas morning/day!

On Christmas Eve, we celebrated Jesus' birthday with a party in his honor. Here, Sydney enjoys the party food:

On Christmas morning, we opened our gifts. The big hits turned out to be JJ's ride on train set with tracks, Sydney's princess costumes and the ball pit that we got for both of them. Here they are enjoying:


(He really is not asleep, but loves to cover himself up in the balls...400 of them !)

Hope your Christmas was a wonderful one too!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Polar Express, Pony Express

Last Monday night, Sydney and JJ put on their pj's and we headed to board the "Polar Express" at the old train depot. The event included hot chocolate and cookies (thumbs up from JJ), boarding an old train to hear the reading of the story, and even a visit with Santa (for those who wanted to visit with Santa-we wouldn't really know about that).

Enjoying the preboard snack of cookies!

Snuggling with Daddy during the reading of the story. He was so good. She loved it too, but was not in a picture taking mood.

Daddy was happy to pose with Santa on the way off the train. JJ was scared to death. (And his reaction was the milder of our two kids). Oh well, they both still received a bell.


After leaving the Polar Express, Daddy surprised us and took us downtown on the square to a special carriage ride overlooking all the beautiful lights and decorations in our downtown. We all enjoyed the Polar Express, but this was the favorite stop of the night.


After the ride, we walked around to check out the lights and decorations at a closer distance. Sydney did not want to leave. I can certainly relate-I don't want moments like that to pass by so quickly either.

Special night, special memories for just the four of us.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from two (of our three) indescribable blessings.


At Christmas, we have the privilege of celebrating HIS amazing birth and life with our sweet babies. HE has given us so much, when we all have so little to offer.

Merry Christmas everyone. Happy Birthday sweet Jesus.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Preparations


This afternoon I made Christmas cookies with my daughter. Her favorite part was using the cookie cutters to make shapes and shaking on the sprinkles :) We are getting ready for a special birthday party at our house tomorrow night.

Our family is establishing a new tradition this year and having a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve night after we get home from church. She picked the menu...cookies and ice cream.

Seriously, Jeff and I are trying to make sure we have lots of fun while also being very intentional in our Christmas planning, celebrating, traditions and gifts. We can always do so much better, but I'm proud of the steps we've made this December/Christmas season.

As far as the party tomorrow night goes, we want our kids to head into Christmas morning excitedly anticipating the birthday of our savior. JJ is not old enough yet, but she will be so excited to awaken and see baby Jesus finally appear in the nativity set (on our kitchen table) we've been watching and talking about all month long.

And that is what the celebrating is all about.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Keeping Pace

I have been enjoying my sweet kids, getting ready for & celebrating Christmas with friends and family, wrapping up the semester and completing projects that need to attention before Luke arrives. We have all been so busy.

After 7 years of working at a great place (but in Nashville), Jeff is in his fourth week of working as Controller at our church with a group of wonderful people we have so much respect for. JJ is growing, changing and learning more every day. And, our sweet Sydney ...who is always busy...continues to enjoy all of her activities at school, church and gymnastics. She LOVES going to school two days a week, and her preschool has been such an answer to our prayers. We are so blessed to be partnering with a wonderful church and school who are also tranining her in God's word and the life of our sweet savior Jesus.

In the past month, I have gotten to help plan & enjoy two classroom parties with her. Our whole family enjoyed attending their fall festival, where we also watched her sing. Here are some photos of her enjoying special times at school.

Here she is enjoying cupcakes at our "Happy Birthday Jesus" party last week:

A few weeks ago, we also celebrated Thanksgiving in her classroom:


Below, she sings and dances with her class at the fall festival. She was so proud of herself (and we were too).


May it be HIS will that we can always enjoy classroom parties and school events with our three kids.

Luke and I had our 37 week checkup today and everything is going well on that front. January 7th is only 16 days away!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Big Boy

We went to the mall last Saturday to complete a few "to do's" on the ole' Christmas list. Sydney begged us to take her in Chuck E Cheese to ride a couple rides (we keep a few tokens on hand). We went...she chose a ride...she got scared and got off the ride (twice)...but guess who didn't?!

Later, he enjoyed some custard at one of our favorite stops, Culver's. AND, it was even in his OWN bowl!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Luke, we are counting days!

Luke,

Four weeks from tomorrow (unless you decide sooner), we will be holding you!

Daddy and I are getting very excited. I am still feeling selfish at this point, and the truth is, I'm not ready for this to be over OR to share you. Your Daddy is still amazed and full of thankfulness that you are a part of our lives. Your big sister talks about you all the time. She makes sure you are included in all family discussions and she loves to talk to you. Your big brother has not a clue but you will likely be his best friend for life :) soon enough.

At first, I was apprehensive about being pregnant at this time of the year, but I have realized how special it is to be so excited and expectant during the Christmas season. I am so thankful that I have gotten to experience these late days of pregnancy during the days leading up to Jesus' birthday.

The other day, your sister asked when the angel told us you were coming. We explained that we did not get the message from an angel like sweet Mary, but you are indeed a gift from God this Christmas. He has provided for our family in unimaginable ways again and again.

From what I've been reading today, you probably weigh at least 6 pounds and are close to 20 inches long. It feels like you are bigger than that! I am cherishing every movement because I sense that you are getting more and more crowded. Actually your gymnastics at night have slowed down enough to let me sleep better!

Weeks are moving as fast as days...days as fast as hours. It is inevitable that the moment will be here faster than I can imagine, so I will just embrace that and enjoy the rest of this precious ride. I can't wait to hear your cry, see your sweet face and hold you...

Mommy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sydney's Tree of Thanks

Sydney always brings us the best crafts after her time in Sunday School on Sunday. Yesterday's craft was my favorite of all time.

I hope you can see the words that she asked her teachers to fill in on the leaves of her "tree of thanks."

Oh, sweet & precious child, we are so thankful for you too!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In the event...

that you see our Christmas tree this year, and wonder:

Do they realize that some of their ornaments are backwards? Why are most all of the ornaments on the bottom 3 feet of the tree?

I'll go ahead and let you know that the sweetest little elf you'll ever meet is responsible for how beautiful it is.

She decorated over 90 percent of it herself while we had the joy of watching.

I will not change a thing about it. It is the most beautiful tree indeed!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

JJ's 18 Month Checkup


Today, the kids had Christmas photos taken and this is one of my sweet JJ. It was very strange to take them dressed in their snowman sweaters when it was so warm & beautiful outside :)

This afternoon, JJ had his 18 month checkup, which went very well. He is 34.25 inches tall (95th percentile), 29 lbs (85th percentile in weight) and head at top of charts as always. His health report was very good, and Dr Chris was so glad that he had not seen us (besides at church) since JJ's one year visit. JJ hated his shots, and the scales, and the doctor checking his everything. :) Sydney was along for the ride and they both were able to get their flu shots for this year. We are so thankful for our healthy children.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Luke's "Party"

Last Monday, my friend Dwan hosted a baby shower in honor of sweet Luke!

Sydney was confused by the "shower" term, so we called it a party! It was a very special time for us to take time to celebrate the miracle Luke! One of the best parts of the "party" for me was having my sweet girl there alongside me to enjoy the cupcakes, help me open the gifts and everything else. The big sister had a big time!

Big sister Sydney and I were surrounded by our sweet family and some special friends who really fixed up our Luke!


Luke Asher will be in our arms 9 short weeks from today!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mickey & Minnie (part 2)


Mickey and Minnie tackled the streets of our neighborhood last night to do some serious trick or treating! Minnie walked, while Mickey rode and walked. Mickey had his first ever lollipop! Minnie was so excited and had so much fun. Mommy and Daddy just had fun being a part of their special night. Halloween has never been so much fun:


It is such a blessing to enjoy life with these sweet faces...



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mickey & Minnie...



love football games!

Today's game was especially neat for our sweet pair since Daddy snagged us tickets in the "Topper Club," or luxury area at the stadium.

They were only told about a thousand times how cute they were...especially Minnie, since Mickey got tired of his costume after an hour or so.

Looking forward to trick or treat adventures with Mickey and Minnie tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Race Day


Saturday, we participated in the BG Medical Center 10K Classic. We walked (and they rode) in the 5K. We had really nice weather and all enjoyed. JJ's favorite part of the weekend was the pasta party Friday night!

This is a family tradition, and our 8th time (we think), Sydney's 4th and JJ's 2nd year to participate. Luke, you'll be rolling along with us next year, and your Nana and Buddy have purchased you a sweet new ride!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jackson's


Over fall break, we took the kids to Jackson's Orchard. This was JJ's first trip to Jackson's... we missed last fall due to rainy weather and traveling away from home a lot on weekends, as we were living in a hotel room.

Jeff found the biggest slide, called the "Cider Slider" and took JJ so they could experience together. Sydney did not want any part of this slide!

JJ really had a fun time walking around, playing, feeding goats, eating ice cream and more. Sydney enjoyed those things too, as well as picking out our pumpkins and a yummy apple slush!

This is a really fun fall-time tradition that we always look forward to. Next year Luke, our 9/10 month old!!!!, will be enjoying with us as well.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sweet JJ at 18 months


Today, our sweet JJ turns 18 months old. We can hardly believe it. We are having more and more fun with him all the time. His sweet disposition is amazing and we pretty much never hear him cry unless big sister does something to provoke him :)

Some of his favorite things are cows, Sydney, mickey mouse, shoes, carrying around our shoes, giving hugs, books (carrying them around and reading them), dumbo, balls, and doggies. He loves most foods but some of his favorites are grapes, pizza, little white powdered donuts, apples, fruit snacks, mac n cheese and spaghetti. His favorite restaurant is Fazoli's. He hates haircuts and the dentist.

JJ is less verbal than his big sister was at 18 months, but his vocabulary is developing well. He really understands things well that we are talking about or asking him to do, and most :) of the time follows directions well. So far, in their short lives, Sydney is the champion talker, and he is the champion listener.

I couldn't really say for sure if he is a mommy's boy or daddy's because really he is both. For the last several weeks, he comes up multiple times in a day out of the blue and gives us the best hugs.


He loves to be outside, and play with Sydney. He thinks she hung the moon, and as of late, he has managed to win big sister over with his charm too. (She often tells me that JJ is her best friend.)

Jeff and I are having so much fun watching them play together and they get along so well about 95% of the time. This has been going on for about the last month and is such great timing since baby Luke will demand quite a bit of attention here in less than 12 weeks.

We love you so much JJ and are so proud of you, our sweet son. We can't imagine a family without you in it. You and your big sister are truly the joys of our lives.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kentucky Down Under

Last week was Fall Break for Sydney and me, and on Friday we made the short trip to Cave City and Kentucky Down Under.

We had great weather and a fun time checking out the animals, including kangaroos, sheep, birds, cows, turtles and even snakes.

Sydney's favorite part of the day was the "Walkabout," where she got to pet a kangaroo and even see a joey (baby) in Mommy's pouch.

Her least favorite part of the day was feeding the birds (or being held by me while I did and another landed on her head)

JJ enjoyed the entire day, but his highlight was seeing a cow being milked. Anyone who is around JJ much knows that he has become a bit obsessed with cows :) If you can't tell...he had a front row seat to see this one...after Jeff and I "shooed" away a couple of older kids that were standing in front of him, that is!

You know, you really can see everything better when you have a great seat like this one...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Special Name

He will be here in less than 3 months, and now he has a name! We are very excited about his name...

Luke Asher

"Luke" derives from the first century Christian, "the beloved physician," who authored the gospel of Luke and also the book of Acts.

Luke's Gospel focuses on Christ's teachings about salvation and his fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah. It includes the complete story and history of Jesus from His birth and ministry to his crucifixion and resurrection. It also includes the beautiful birth story of the baby Jesus and the miracle conception by God.

Luke tells the most beautiful story that will ever be known.

There is nothing more important and relevant in all the history of the world than the words shared in the gospel of Luke.

"Asher" means happy, fortunate & blessed!

In the Old Testament, Asher was Jacob's 8th son.

We are getting more and more excited every day about this special new life that God has created! We have fallen in love with him and his name.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Toy Story On Ice


Last Thursday, we took the kids to opening night of Toy Story 3 on Ice in Nashville. It was a really cute show. All of us really enjoyed, but it was my sweet little boy who seemed to have the most fun of all. He was all smiles and laughs as he sat with Daddy. Sydney really enjoyed it too, but at intermission she she turned and asked us if it was dark yet. (We knew exactly what that meant.) So, we asked her if she was having fun. Her answer was that she was having fun, and she liked the show a lot, but she was tired and wanted to go home and go to bed :) This is my child who has always been more than serious about getting her rest !

We ended up staying for all but the last few minutes, when JJ also got restless. It was a special memory with "just" the four of us.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chaney's in the Fall


This Saturday, we took the kids to Chaney's Dairy Barn. Sydney talked the whole week leading up to this visit about riding a pony! When we arrived, she quickly decided that the ponies (really horses) were "too big" and she did not want to ride them :)

We did enjoy the beautiful weather, ice cream, the duck pond, and Sydney loved painting her own pumpkin. JJ even found a slide "his size." Here they are enjoying our outing:

She got to pick a yoyo!

My proud and cute boy

Showing off her painted pumpkin at home on the porch!