Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

I have to say this was the most joyful Christmas we have had in a long time. All of the little ones made it so much fun. We stayed with my sister who cooked some amazing (sorry Karri, I just had to use your favorite word) meals. We also started some new traditions that created a sense of togetherness and memories.

Last year I took piano lessons so that I would be able to play music for my children. I just learned the basics and don't play for Anna nearly enough, but I was determined that we would sing Christmas carols as a family this year. I was on keyboard, Brad was on the trumpet, and Lucas was on the Jingle Bells. It wasn't pretty but it sure was fun!
As a family we put together a 500 piece puzzle within a two day period.

We got a new advent calendar and Brad and I decided on different verses in the Bible to read for each day and then found a little toy or trinket that went with the verses. (Maybe next year we will actually do the readings everyday!)
On Christmas day we read the Christmas story out of Luke together as a family taking turns. Luke 2:19 says Mary treasured up all these things in her heart and pondered them. That is how I felt this Christmas.
(I think they got a little overstimulated in the end :)

Pre-Christmas Celebrations

Our Christmas celebrations began at Robert and Sandy's house with Anna's four cousins on the Bruce side. With four kids, their house is always full of fun, energy, and activity. It gives me a picture of how our house will be one day when Anna is the oldest child and not the baby anymore. She loves to be around all of her cousins and observe them since she is used to just seeing me most of the time. We exchanged gifts and ate some yummy holiday snacks.

A couple days later, we went over to Grandy and Grandad's house so that Anna could add to her ever growing Christmas loot. All of the men in Brad's family play the trumpet and they have a tradition of going Christmas caroling. Brad is never very excited about this because it is the only day of the year they play their trumpets and he thinks they sound horrible. To the untrained ear (like mine) they sound great! We had to settle for an indoor show this year, but Anna enjoyed it and immediately tuned in once they started playing. We are looking forward to continuing the tradition next year, so if you are in the Dallas area be warned!

Austin Visitors

A few days before Christmas, the Garcia family was coming through Dallas on their way back to Austin so they stayed with us. You may remember their twin boys from a few months ago. Well, now they are crawling and always on the move. I was exhausted just watching Frank and Holly keep up with them as Anna sat in the same spot, still immobile. It was very entertaining.

Brian and Jean also happened to be in town so they came over for dinner. They gave Anna two precious children's books for Christmas - the bedtime classic, Goodnight Moon, and the bestseller, On the Night You Were Born. I cried when I read On the Night You Were Born to Anna for the first time. Jean is a Child Psychiatry Resident as well as a published children's author (sorry Jean...I had to brag on you for a second) so I knew books from her would be good ones!

We are so thankful for these friends and are glad to have remained close since we moved to Dallas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fun Weekend

This past weekend was full of so many fun things, I decided that I needed to blog about it. On Fri. we went with Billy and Courtney to the Behold the Lamb of God Christmas concert. I have had this CD for years and this is the second time I have attended the concert. I could go on and on about it, but I will try to keep it short. By far, this is the best concert I have ever been to. I forget about everything else going on and just get swept away by the heart of true worship to Christ. Andrew Peterson set out to make a Christmas CD that tells the story of the coming of Christ throughout the entire Bible. Each year, him and several of his friends tour the country performing the songs on the CD.

One of the songs is called Labor of Love and it is about the night that Mary gave birth to Jesus. One of the verses is “the baby in her womb, he was the maker of the moon, he was the author of the faith, that could make the mountains move”. It humbles me to think that Jesus left the splendor of heaven and being in the presence of the Father to become a little baby born to a peasant family and young mother. Evenmore, that He would later bear the sins of the sins...and hang upon a cross so that we can have a relationship with God.

If you are interested, you can watch a short documentary on the making of the CD/tour here.

On Sat. we had some good friends come to visit. It is so nice to get to spend time with a friend you have know for about 20 years (I can't believe it has been that long Vanessa)! I had hoped to take them to White Rock Lake or the Arboretum, but the weather was pretty cold, so we did what Dallasites do best...went to a mall. The best part of the visit was watching Parker and Anna play (as much as a 22 month old and a 7 month old can "play" together). John mentioned wanting to move to Dallas...we'll keep our fingers crossed.

Finally, on Sunday we attended Luke David Diehl's cowboy first birthday party. All of the cowboy decor was so cute including this little wagon to take pictures in and the stick horse party favors.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

7 Months!

Just a few of the little things I have noticed Anna doing this past month:

- when she sees herself in the mirror she flaps her arm like she is waving

- she gets so excited when she sees Kia (our 16 yr old partially blind and deaf Bichon Frise)...needless to say Kia does not share Anna's enthusiasm when she sees her

- she loves to eat and sometimes like to hold the spoon with me and brings it to her far peaches and yogurt has been her favorite meal

- she can transfer objects from one hand to another (doesn't sound like a big deal, but all the books and websites claim it is a developmental milestone)

- her face lights up when I walk in her room to get her from her crib in the morning or after face lights up in return

- she loves to sit up and will go from sitting to laying on her stomach but hasn't shown signs of crawling (this is fine with me!)

- she loves going to the grocery store or places like Target because of all the attention she gets...if I only had a dollar for everytime someone commented on her eyes, cheeks, or the dimple in her chin

- she babbles some, but she really likes to make silly screeching keeps us laughing

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Today was another first for Anna - her first time to see snow. It actually snowed enough to stick, so I bundled the kids up and had them outside just long enough to snap a few pictures. I didn't even try to get smiles. They weren't nearly as excited about the snow as I was so I had to be quick. I used the snow setting on the camera for the first time!

Well, looks like the little one might just take after her Mama when it comes to liking snow. My mom said that the first time I was in snow when I was 3, I looked down at my feet and started crying and screaming "Get it off, Mama!".

Checking it out...

Looks up at me with a furrowed brow...

Screaming ensues!