Sunday, January 25, 2009

happy b-day Dad!

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." --Abraham Lincoln

"I am thankful for 'tickle city'!"

"I am thankful Dad is my Dad because he's smart. And because sometimes he found my doll Emily in the car for me."

"I am thankful he plays football with me. And that I can play football with him."

"I am thankful he loves me and that he loves Jesus."

this is for the grandparents

I was experimenting with the video feature on our camera (the kids were expecting me to take a picture at any moment, so kept posing)...but the end of this video is so cute I knew a few people would enjoy it greatly. Isaac to Dad's rescue!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

really want to see

I made a new rule several years back of "no more war movies" together. I'm not anti-war...far from it...but simply found the gratuitous violence less than relaxing when we get the chance to watch something together. There's always exceptions to that rule and true stories always tip the scales for me to break "the rule." The movie Defiance that is just coming out is definitely one of those exceptions. We've been waiting and waiting for it to come out...and are both eager to go see it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

here we go!

Pittsburgh's going to Super Bowl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big Ben and Polamolu did us proud...

January 11th is my sister's b-day, so the boys were thrilled to celebrate at her house (and get to watch the Steelers game on the big screen). In classic aunt amy mode, she gifted (on her b-day) every member of our family with terrible towels! Maddie has got the twirl down...she watches every moment of the game (stopping to play little people with Isaac along the way) and then stands up and twirls a towel in each arm at all the right moments.

Our kids favorite teams are the Boise Broncos (where Tom grew up), the Pittsburgh Steelers (where I grew up), and the Green Bay Packers (where they are growing up), although we really miss Farve.

Monday, January 12, 2009

another free photobook....

details here

if noone else benefits, I still brought a laugh to my mom's face (she is highly amused by my efforts to share the bargains) and she deserves a laugh after watching my children for countless hours while she was with us last week!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas festivities

I love this picture that reminds me of the feeling of being surrounded by those I love. Thanks to all who made our Christmas so special!
Josiah in his prized Polamolu (am I even spelling that right?) jersey...clutching his Boise Broncos shirt and ball (and wearing the hat!)...priceless picture that summarizes his gift interests this year.
Maddie had twins! She's a really great mom and relishes her newfound authority in all the issues twins entail. She promptly named them "Ella" and "Ellen"...but later switched to "Ella" & "Gina."
Josiah and Cole with their b-b guns in the backyard. A classic coming of age Christmas moment.
Nana at "the" Taste of Home visitor's center. It was so exciting to take her there as she really loves their publications and is a superb cook. Any of you that have gotten recipes from me...chances are, they're from my mother-in-law!

Nobody reads stories like Nana!
A long-awaited moment...cousins sleeping out together under the Christmas tree!
A prettier pair of princesses you just won't find. Their evident love for each other in this picture is exactly how they are in real life. I just love watching them together. One time Jeff was painting (back in PA) and had Becca with him on a job. He called me asking if Becca could talk with Maddie a few minutes because she was losing interest and he was closing in on finish. They talked for 45 minutes!! About the most mundane details...the color of their fancy dresses, fancy shoes, the color of the walls of the rooms they happened to be standing in, and on and on and on. One of those conversations we will be telling them about for years to come I suspect.
Beautiful Aunt Krys with sweet twins Grant and Graham. They look so festive in their red shirts together. This trip, Grant was definitely the most social (but both of them easily make up to you). Our funniest story was how they both loved Gramps' cashews. They would find his can at all hours of the day and come up to him with a little shake of the can and a little grunt that they knew Gramps could never deny them. I think they cleaned out the whole can between the 3 of them!
Jeff celebrated a b-day at our house. What a treat to share it with him.
The gals escaped on Saturday to head to our favorite tea-room in Antioch (thanks Katie & Matt, we used your gift cert.!) and really enjoyed the ambience together.

  • Christmas dinner....we look like such a small crowd minus the kiddos. Early Christmas morning, we shared presents with both my sisters and mom who drove up from Chicago. It was really magnificent to have both sides (at least in part) of our family together. Our hearts are really full...and I know that sounds trite and cliched...but there's no other way to say it. We've been richly loved and blessed by the heritage we come from....and we are so blessed to be able to have the gift of loving all our family in return. That reality was so real and felt in our hearts this Christmas.
  • I did not have a digital camera that was working this Christmas, but was able to lift pics from Nana & Gramps camera before they left. So, I do not have pictures of my family that was here for Christmas or of the day we all went into Chicago to the Children's museum (batteries died that day). It was interesting to just enjoy the moments without concentrating so much on how to capture them on camera. I think there's a real lesson in there for me to truly live the moments, not just "preserve" them. This morning a friend was telling me about driving up the street in our town only to look up and see the moon gigantic as it rose. She said her first thought was to look and see if she had her camera or phone to take a picture, upon realizing she did not quickly came to the conclusion that a camera could not even come close to catching the majestic quality of the moon at that moment. I think parenthood/family is like the moon...sometimes such a part of our life we take this incredible gift and take it as commonplace...or we carefully preserve pictures, maybe even diaries, when in reality these moments are indefinable yet totally livable. There is something in these relations, these connections that has written in their very core who we are, who we are meant to be, and what we are created for. Oh sure, we botch things up all the time, we live very imperfectly...but the whispers of a deep longing, of a fulfillment and a calling onward, outward and upward is nontheless there.
  • Enough run-on sentences...but enough to say I am grateful and at rest as 2009 has quietly swept us into it's presence.