Sunday, January 29, 2012

Circus & Randomness

Last weekend, Daddy took Sydney went on an afternoon date and to the WKU game.  She came home with a toy from Walmart that I had said "no" to at least five times.  I couldn't help but smile (and laugh)....after all, that's what happens when you go out with your Daddy :)


I returned to campus on for work on Tuesday, so we are readjusting to our modified routine.

We tried out our "new toy" on Wednesday night...fun & yummy too!

We'll be eating more of these on our trip to WDW in a few weeks....only I won't be the one cooking them :)

Thursday we took the kids to the circus in Nashville.  It was so good and Sydney and JJ really loved it.  We kept it a surprise until we actually got to the arena.  Jeff only gave them one clue-elephant.  Sydney was confused because she didn't think it was a good night to go to the zoo (it was pouring rain). 


During the show, they were pretty much mesmorized.  Sydney's favorite thing was the "parade" which included all of the animals and performers.  JJ loved the elephants ("elfants") and every few minutes would ask me "where elphants?"  (there were 7!)  We thought they would be scared of the clowns but they loved them too!  Luke seemed to enjoy and stayed awake until about the last 30 minutes.

I look forward to taking them to the circus again next year or sometime soon when baby brother can enjoy even more!

Friday at speech therapy, Miss Lauren told me that JJ was scoring between 80-100% on each of the initial goals she set for him starting back in September!  She is amazed at how well he is progressing and responding and we are too.  Last week, he put a seven word sentence together very clearly!!!!  She plans to reassess him this week to see how much progress he has made in the last 5 months, so I am excited about that.

Friday night I took Sydney and Luke on a dinner/grocery shopping date :) while Daddy took JJ to a birthday party for one of his school friends. 

Yesterday, we spent the day in Louisville with Jeff's family watching our niece Makayla play with her select volleyball team in a tournament.  It was a great day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Snow

We got a small amount of snow (maybe 1/2 inch) on Thurs night/Fri morning.

It was enough snow that Sydney & JJ were both running into our room before 7 am Friday wanting to build a snowman. :)  When I got up and looked outside and broke the news to them that we didn't have enough snow for that, Sydney said "but can we just run around making footprints and playing?  please, mommy, please."

So, before breakfast and before Lukey was even awake, we got them bundled up to play in the snow.  JJ did not like the snow last year, so this was really a first for him.  They had fun running, trying to make snowballs, & going down the snow-covered slide, but hope for more next time! 

They both want to build a big snowman with Daddy and Sydney wants to go to Craig & Krista's to sled.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Resolutions for 2012

I want to play pretend princess and school more.  Crafts and games (also things she loves) will also be a priority for me and my girl.  I want to spend just a few more moments talking Jesus and life with her at bedtime. 

I want to play trains and read books more with my big boy.  Puzzles and letters (things that have become big interests recently) will also be an emphasis for the two of us.  I want to scratch his back just a little longer when he lays down for naps and at night.     

I want to spend more time playing on the floor & holding my baby boy (when he will let me).  Longer baths with more splashing (which consistenly bring BIG smiles) will be another priority.  I want to be there when he first walks on his own, runs outside and (hopefully) happily plays in the sand. 

These are all things I look forward to in 2012.  I really can't believe how fast they are all three growing and changing. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

1st Birthday Party

Luke's 1st birthday was also the day of his party!


We all had such a great time at his party!  Unfortunately, some of Luke's biggest fans were unable to attend due to sickness & schedules.  It was great to have Granny & Papaw and our special friends the Hastes, Richeys & Jennettes alongside us for his fun celebration!   We are incredibly blessed with a supportive family and Christian family friends to raise our kids alongside!

We enjoyed lunch, visiting with everyone, reliving moments from Luke's first year & opening some special gifts...but (without a doubt!) the best part was watching our sweet boy with his special mini-cake!  If he could tell me what he enjoyed most, I'm certain what his answer would be.  Here's a look of how the event unfolded:


Let the fun begin!

....


Oh my!  My friend Stacy says this is the best first birthday picture ever....I agree!

I don't have a picture of him after I took the cake away-let's just say he 
wasn't too happy with Mommy, and didn't recover even to open his presents!

                                  So glad you had a special first birthday celebration Lukey-love you!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One Year Checkup



Luke went to his doctor for his one year checkup yesterday and measured at 23 lb, 12 ounces and 30 inches. This puts him between the 75th and 90th percentile for weight, height & head size as well. He had three shots but handled them like a champ. Now that he is one, all specific food restrictions are gone....I'll be getting this sweet boy some peanut butter soon!

More coming on his 1st birthday party...love this smiling face!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Luke!!!!


Somehow(?!?!) tomorrow is January 7th, 2012...and my baby boy will be one in just a few hours!

How blessed we are to have our sweet Lukey as a part of this family. Before Luke was born we wondered how we would manage life with three little ones. Now, it is so hard to imagine our life without the happiness that this little boy has brought to all of us.

At one year, Luke has eight teeth, crawls fast! and is pretty much into everything. If we tell him "No!", he looks at us and laughs or smiles really big. He is pulling up, but not taking any steps yet. Luke is eating all "real food" and enjoys eating almost anything. However, in recent days, he has become a bit more picky and enjoys throwing (some things like) bananas and peaches on the floor in favor of things like pasta and crackers :)

The "words" he uses most often are DaDa, Mama, ByeBye (will wave) and Yhea! (claps when he says this). He is the last one to wake up at our house every single day and most mornings we wake him up at 9:00. I know I've said this before, but he truly has been the easiest baby ever.

From Google...The word "JOY" is defined as "A feeling of great pleasure and happiness" or "A thing that causes joy." Synonyms listed are delight, gladness, rejoicing, pleasure. That is my word for sweet Luke-joy!

Lukey-We love you so much! It is such a JOY for us to be your family and to celebrate your 1st birthday with you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011

2011 was a great year for our family and before we move more into 2012, I wanted to take a moment to look back at a few of the highligts from the year we just finished! The first week of January provided the biggest highlight of our 2011, as we welcomed Luke Asher to our family on January 7th! Now we find ourselves days away from his 1st birthday!
We spent the rest of January adjusting to life as a family of 5.
February brought Luke's first smiles, Valentine's Day, and a bit of snow, which Sydney really enjoyed. JJ-not so much! I continued to take some time "off," just enjoying hanging out at home with the kids.
In March, I returned to work two afternoon/evenings per week, we watched a lot of basketball :) and Sydney attended a special princess party at her school.
April brought warmer weather & playing outside, the start of Sydney's swim lessons, egg hunts and Easter. JJ celebrated his 2nd birthday at church with his family and a few friends, who had the honor of "breaking in" the new bouncy house at church!
We celebrated Mother's Day and Luke's Baby Dedication on the same day in May. Sydney finished up gymnastics for the year and later in the summer decided to retire the leotard for some soccer cleats. We also visited the zoo, picked a ton of strawberries and celebrated Sydney's 4th birthday with friends at school and at home with family-princess style!
In June, we took our first trip as 5 & visited our families, saw Luke's first teeth, enjoyed the pool & played volleyball in a league at church. Sydney attended VBS at Holy Trinity.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, Jeff attended a national conference for work in D.C. and took Sydney, Luke & me along. It was a great trip!
JJ spent some quality time with his Nana & Buddy and Granny & Papaw for the 6 days we were gone. We had Backyard Bible at church, celebrated my 33rd birthday, spent a weekend in Louisville with friends and enjoyed our pool membership more!
In August, Jeff and I took a weekend trip to Ohio to a PGA tournament, while the kids stayed with Nana & Buddy. We went to Holiday World. Sydney started preschool at ELC and JJ started at BGCA. Luke started going to our friend Sarah's two days a week. Our family returned to a more normal schedule as I returned to work at WKU and even took on an extra class at a local high school two mornings a week. The five of us took a trip to Lebanon to pick fresh peaches and blueberries. It was Jeff's turn to be 33 and he also started playing in a basketball league at church. I was "initiated" as a Starbucks sister. JJ transitioned to sleeping in his toddler bed, and actually stayed in it!
September was the beginning of soccer for Sydney and also the month JJ started his weekly speech therapy at the Medical Center.
Jeff also made his debut as coach.
Luke became much more mobile as he learned to scoot and "army crawl" all over the place. We visited Thomas the Train in Nashville over Labor Day weekend. Our friend Emily took Sydney on her first field trip (Chaney's) with her classmates. WKU's football season kicked off, and we always enjoy attending the home games. Also in September, all three of our kids were sick at the same time. For nine straight days, at least one of them ran a temperature. Thankfully, besides JJ having pink eye in December, they have not been sick again.
October was big. We started the month at the beach, and continued with soccer practices and games all month. We went to Jackson's Orchard, took a day to travel back and forth to Powell Co for a special birthday, participated in the Medical Center 5K classic, and enjoyed several Halloween parties, trick or treat events, etc.
Halloween was a lot of fun with a princess, a choo choo and a worm :)
This year, October was also Homecoming for us and the kids favorite was the parade!
November was the end of soccer season. Our "star" scored 7 goals in her last game! Jeff and John surprised the girls with trophies.
We enjoyed Lukey's first Thanksgiving, time with our families and of course, Mommy enjoyed Black Friday.
December is time to celebrate the birth of Jesus! We began preparing by celebrating Advent with the kids beginning in late November and their favorite part was hearing the stories we read each day and singing "Let it Shine" while holding their flashlights up in the air. We celebrated Christmas at various gathering and parties with coworkers, friends, and family. Sydney's Christmas program at school was one of the major highlights of the entire year for us. We visited Santa Cow at Chickfila, "rode" on the Polar Express, and visited the "real Santa" at a friend's party. Jeff and I (um, I mean Santa) spent 10 hours building a train table :) This is the first year Sydney made a list for Santa and he delivered! December is also the month that JJ's speech really took off! We traveled mid month, but had a fun birthday party for Jesus and wonderful Christmas at home with the kids. Then we brought in the New Year with a visit from Jeff's sister and her family and hosted a party for close friends from church and their kids.
And now...it's January! We have a big birthday coming up in 3 days and the kids want snow! We are unbelievably thankful for all the memories and special times God has given us and we're ready for more adventures, milestones and excitement in 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dressing Up (and Speaking Up)!!

We had a great weekend leading into 2012, starting off with an overnight visit from Sydney, JJ and Luke's aunt and uncle & three cousins.

We shopped, ate, laughed, and just enjoyed fun times together. Sydney and her cousin Lilly are very good friends...they are so lucky to be just a little over 3 months apart. They played everything, but their favorite thing to do is dress up like their favorite princesses. The would dress up and change costumes over and over again. The princesses danced and sang for us...it was so much fun to just watch them in action together :)


Princesses Belle & Ariel

Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty sporting their shades

The next day after their visit, JJ decided he wanted to join in on the dress up fun. He said "wear my Thomas, Thomas choo choo train."

Princess Rapunzel with Thomas

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In other JJ news...his speech has SO taken off over the past 2-3 weeks...it is really amazing! We are having so many moments now that we look at each other like "I can't believe he just said that!" And almost all of these new words (and old words) he is using are now so clear as he is stressing the ending sounds of them. This is great news because it means he is learning his "new" words correctly and correcting "old" words that he was inaccurate with before.

At his speech session last Friday (he had missed 2 weeks due to Christmas travels), his teacher/speech therapist came out of their session so excited. She could not believe how much he was saying! She even told me that she was going to have to work on setting some new goals for him because he has now met or exceeded most all the goals she set when he began going in September. This afternoon, when Jeff picked him up from school (his first day back in three weeks), they were immediately bragging on him and said he was talking so much at school today :) We are so happy about his progress!