Sunday, November 30, 2008

And -poof!- It's Christmas...

Okay, within a 36-hour period a family reallly can transition from Fall and turkey eatin' to Winter and ornaments and angels! Yup, that's just what we did. The pumpkins in our front porch---gone within a flash. In fact Lauren asked me yesterday (amongst all the boxes and chaos on our floor) if Santa was coming TOMORROW. Oh and she said it with such bright-eyed sincerity and excitement- like it was really happening!

We were so excited to put up the Christmas tree from our dear friends who recently moved to Ecuador. (We thought about and talked about you ALL day, Bryans family!) The tree is just lovely. And big! I think a Christmas tree can never be too large. Missing you so much!

Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving day seemed to come and go quickly in our house. Josh grilled a 14-pounder and we just had a simple meal with my Mom. We decided to keep it really easy and have fun.

Traditions are so great to keep and we are intending to keep them! The girls have always had fun decorating our Thanksgiving table somehow each year. Whether its from nature or cute name signs, etc. This year we made a Thanksgiving tree (thanks to Kalen's great idea!). We cut the branch, found old special stones from the Wa. beach when we lived there, and everyone put their own gratitude on the leaves. Loved it! We ended the night with swollen bellies and some new card games to play.

Some of Lauren and Hannah's thankful leaves-
~God! (with exclamation indeed, L!!)
~sistr's (sisters)
~the erth (the earth)
~totol's (our hamster buddy Tootle's)
~flowr's (flowers)
~freedom (amen, girl!)
~peace (amen. amen.)

Some more-
~God's comfort, grace and promise
~All of you
~Memories of the past
~My four ladies (a.k.a. the girls, Stacey, my Mom)
~Joy of two beautiful daughters and 20 years with an amazing man

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We're off the see the wizard...

Every Halloween the girls always have "coordinating" costumes. In the years past they have been dressed up as the princess and the pea (when L was itty bitty!), hula girls, cheerleaders, kitty cats, and fairies. Well, this year they have watched and watched (and fascinated with) the Wizard of Oz! So- here is Dorothy and Toto!

I always had "handmade" costumes as a girl- and love that. Thank you Marla for letting us use the dress your Mom made- and thanks to Nana for the Toto costume. (You never lose your touch!) Nana made her famous Halloween chili- like she has done ever since I was a kid- and came over in a witch hat. I was going to pull out my pink puffy prom dress and be the good witch...but it is a bit hard to zip!! Anyway- we had fun going to our old neighborhood trick-or-treating. We lit our pumpkins. Oh yes you can see in the picture that Daddy got out his saw for carving! The girls spread out (and organized of course) all their goodies and they were all sugared up ready for bed!

It's such a joy that some things never change and that as parents we get the gift of re-living and reminiscing all the childhood wonders of the seasons/holiday's all over again!

A grandparents love-

Okay everybody- I am on post 4 or something. Nothing like doing the entire blog for October in one swoop! Hang in there with me! I wanted to put a couple cute pictures of the Foster's on here. They stayed with us this month and enjoyed being able to spend some time being a part of the girls days. Hannah and Lauren are spoiled rotten by them (of which they should!) and loved lunch with them at school, a movie date, G'pa's blueberry pancakes, soccer playing, smore's, puzzles, reading, lots of icecream, tubing, and just being there. I think the incredible love of a grandparent is so treasured and important. Some of my sweetest, most precious memories of my childhood were spent with my grandparents. I looove that my kids have this! Lauren has teary eyes about my Dad every other night saying "I miss Papa, Mommy". We cry together missing him often- but are always so very thankful that they have Grandma's and Grandpa in their lives to love them!

In loving remembrance

It seems beyond me that it has been a year since Dad's passing. I felt like I needed to post this picture of him and his three "butterflies" on here for October. It is the one picture that I have looked at every single day- several times a day- this past year and remembered him. I cannot even remotely begin to post all of the emotions and zig-zagged pattern of the indescribable aches, cries, questions, and wonder. But- I can look at this picture and remember all the the precious memories and amazing love that I will forever carry with me and cannot be taken away. I am so graciously thankful for all of them that I have.

I know that God will continue to heal us and be with us while we are missing Dad here. We get our strength, hope and love from the Lord in so many ways. A huge heartfelt thank you to all of you- dear family and friends- that have been there for all of us this past year. You have made all of the days a bit easier. Your prayers, tears along with us, listening ears, all the right words, or just a hug when needed have been so comforting and encouraging. The love and compassion never goes unnoticed.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our little furry friend-

The girls excitedly welcomed "Tootles" about a month ago. They finally spent some of their birthday and Christmas (I know!!!) money on her! She is this very easy to take care of little siberian dwarf hamster. She looks like a large fluffy cotton ball with a grey stripe on her back and loves her hot pink cage. She goes a mile a minute on the little wheel inside of it ALL NIGHT! The girls love something to take care of and Mommy loves not hearing "oooh, Mommy- can we get a kitty, puppy, !"

October creativity at the Foster's-

An extra special something for Daddy in our mudroom... it is so great to have a space for our "stuff", and places for sweet notes! ("Have a good day at wroke daddy!")

Here are some crazy little pumpkins we had fun with-

A few favorite art pieces from Hannah put upstairs in the art/play den!

A few creations from Lauren (oh, yes- we have alot more where these come from!)

And hey- a space on the wall to pin up Mommy's!
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