Thursday, December 30, 2010

Visiting Family

During the holidays we had a couple of day road trips to visit Neil's Maw Maw's and his aunt, Mary Ellen. Claire and Eden had a great time visiting! Claire was such a sweetheart climbing right next to them and soaking in some cuddle time. Their presence can brighten anyone's day!

Our first stop was George West - about 2 hours south. Here is Claire with Maw Maw and the necklace Claire made her!
Claire and Mary Ellen
The best group shot we could get with Eden =)
Neil's mom and dad went with us so Mimi took the girls to the field next door to investigate the hay rolls!

So cute!
Mimi and Claire using their muscles!
Couldn't resist these two pics of our cutie pa-tootie!
A few days later it was off to Kerrville for lunch with Maw Maw Springer! We went to eat some Chinese cuisine, visited the art museum and strolled a bit downtown. Can't wait to go picnic by the river when the weather gets nicer in the spring!
We are so blessed to have family live so close. Being a military family growing up, we ended up far from our extended family so I didn't even know what it was like to be around my grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins - I don't ever want to take for granted what a blessing it is to be just a drive away. We need to make the commitment to visit them more often!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

You're such a big girl

(catching up on December posts!! Check them out below if you want to see how busy and fun our month was!)

Claire - Sometimes I just can't believe how big you are getting. You have such a sweet, loving, nurturing heart that is beyond your years. Right now I'm listening to you encourage your sister to pretend to go ice skating with your baby dolls in the foyer. The best big sister around for sure!
Although you're getting older, there are still times when I get a glimpse of my baby girl. I will be sad when they go. You still say some of the cutest things! Here are a few I'm holding onto these days:
"stunk" = skunk - too cute!
"Jofes" = Joseph - I thought this would be gone this year but nope! Makes me smile every.single.time.
"strange cheese" = string cheese - one of your favor tie snacks

You are also still completely attached to your baby pillow. It's getting pretty worn as you've slept with it every night since you were about 18 months.

Ever so often I like to ask you "Will you always be my baby?" and you always say yes but about 5-6 months ago you said "I'll be your baby even when I'm 5 and 16" - you will forever be my baby.
One of my favorite times with you is our drive to church on Wed. nights. You and I go together while daddy has been staying home with Eden (won't be too long before she comes with us!) It's amazing how often times a song on the radio will spur on the most wonderful conversations. Usually about God, heaven, what a song means, etc. There have been SO many I can't write them all but one in particular was you trying to understand heaven. It wasn't your typical "Are there going to be toys in heaven?" or "Can people in heaven hear us?" - you like to ask this a lot - but it was you asking me about someone on the radio who was talking about having cancer. You said (paraphrasing):
c: "What's cancer?"
m: "It's when your body gets really sick"
c: "Do you die from it?"
m: "Sometimes - if your body gets sick enough"
c: "That means Mikey had cancer?"
m: "No - she died in a car accident."
c: "So you have to die in a car accident to go to heaven?"
m: "No - you have to believe in Jesus to go to heaven and accept His dying on the cross for our sins. His grace is what gets us to heaven. That's why we need to tell everyone we know about Jesus."
c: "There are people who don't believe in Jesus?!" (such shock in your voice)

WOW - didn't know I'd be having this conversation with you when you were 4 1/2! I pray you will always ask us questions and we will always do the best we can to answer.

Just the other night while I was getting your bed ready you asked out of the blue "When you die can I have a picture of you to remember?" (you meant to remember me by) That just about put me into tears. I told you that daddy would have a lot of pictures of me and talk about me a lot - tell her stories of me,etc. So you asked "What if Daddy dies too?" so I told you Grandma and Grandpa would have them for her. You seemed content with that answer.

One more serious one =) Around Halloween time you took my face in your hands, I love it when you do that, and you told me so seriously "Always remember this (long dramatic pause)... I will always love you." I will ALWAYS remember =)
(You are becoming quite the photographer these days! You took this picture of yourself while we were in Wisconsin)
Oh you say the funniest, cutest things right now! Not sure where you come up with them at times =) Here are some we always want to remember!

About a month ago you were walking hand in hand with Kendrit at church. He said he was going to walk you to the car - he's a sweetie! You turned to him and said "If you were a sandwich, I'd eat you!" Oh, we lost it! We thought it was more than hilarious and still wondering where you got that one =)

The other week you were climbing on the rope ladder on our playscape in the back yard. You lost your footing and fell a bit but caught yourself with your legs on the ladder rungs. You said "Oh, I'm glad God caught me!" and a little later "Glad He wasn't talking to anyone so He caught me." With a little chuckle and wide eyes - as serious as you could be!
My baby girl - we love you so much! I want to always remember you at this age and just soak up every God given moment we have with you.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Praying you all have a blessed Christmas from our family to yours! We opted not to send out any letters and pictures this year. For those who know me, you know this hasn't been easy =) Still wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas!

Just the two of us!
And keeping it real - nothing like taking a bite out of your sister for Christmas! Praying that she'll have a brother around next year to goof around with!
Love to you all!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

14th annual Christmas party

Did I just write that?! I can't believe it's been 14 years since we started this Christmas party - well, technically we've only had 12 because we didn't have one in '98 and we didn't do it in '08 (when Eden was born!) Well, the years have changed our party. It now starts early and we have pitter-patter of little feet running around =) We have had early endings but this year we had some later guests so it was a late one!! Unfortunately we didn't get a group shot and I didn't even get pics of Danny, Jenny, Philip, Kristi and Jeff! SO much fun catching up with everyone!

Yes - the party certainly has changed! Here is Kate and Tracy with the girls!
Crystal, Richard, Eric and Erin (and baby Schmidt due August 4th!! CAN'T WAIT!)
Our cookie monster had so much fun running around with the big girls!
My mom and dad stopped by to say hello to the old gang and see the girls!
The girls played so well together! 6 girls - we gotta get some boys in the mix! HA!
J.J., Claire, Andy and Lyla
Aubrey and Andy
Didn't even get one picture of Neil and I! I think this is the first year I didn't take a lot of pictures but just enjoyed our time together. We LOVE hosting the Christmas party every year and can't wait to see what changes this year will bring to our old group of friends. Hard to believe - although we don't talk all the time or see each other every week, we will forever be friends!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Program

This is the first year that the girls have been in a Christmas program together and it was adorable! Claire was a village person who got to take gifts to the manger. Her class then sang "Silent Night" and she did beautifully! Eden's class was first on the program and came in ringing their bells while singing "Jingle Bells". She then came to sit with us, Grandma and Grandpa to watch the big kids.

Eden running to us after her bell ringing - she sang and rang those bells like a pro!
Eden, Grandma and Grandpa watching the show!
Claire waiting to take her gift to the manger
Claire after she sang with her group

Great job girls!! We're so proud of you!
Eden and her teacher Ms. "La La" (Laura) - She LOVES Ms. Laura!
We have been MORE than excited about their school this year and can't wait to see how much they learn in the spring!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December #

Got our official email today with our December number:

Not much movement from November's 51 but that's part of the waiting game! Some months there are a lot of referrals and some there aren't. They are waiting for families to bring their kiddos home before they can bring more kids into Hannah's Hope (AGCI's transitioanl home). We thought we were #49 but found out a family already on the girls list was added to the boys list and they had their dossier approved before us so they bumped us up by one.

We are waiting patiently but I will say this is the first month I've really thought about this waiting game and where it will put us when we get to bring our little guy home. From the beginning I was praying that he would be home by next Christmas - a year away - but I'm not sure if that is realistic. We'll see... I'll keep praying and trusting that God's timing is perfect. Anything is possible with Him and His plan is better than we could ever imagine.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Breakfast with Santa

Our annual Breakfast with Santa at church was so much fun! This is the first year Eden knows who Santa is so she couldn't wait - of course the minute she laid eyes on him she was terrified but it never stopped her from talking about him constantly (all month and more!)

Here are Leyna and Claire this year - I take a pic of them together every year and can't believe how much they've changed.
Claire especially loved the addition of the build-your-own-pancake-with-candy! This girl loves her sweets =)
Sister forever
This is what I get these days when I say "show me your teeth!"
Waiting to see Santa and checking out the reindeer food
Claire was more than ready and eager to see Santa this year! Eden - not so much =) Claire told Santa she wants a craft box which actually sounds like "crap" box so we had to translate for her. This cracks us up every time she tells someone when they ask "what did you ask Santa for?" The four of us with Santa - the closest we could get Eden to the bearded guy. Claire tried to tell Santa what Eden wants and we finally got from her that she wants a "turtle".
The loves of my life
Just the four of us - Neil and I are SO blessed! Praying that next year it will be the five of us =)
Grandma stopped by towards the end to catch a glimpse of the girls in their matching pj's. Eden was loving her candy cane and sitting on Grandma's lap!
The day after Breakfast with Santa, I took Claire to the neighborhood Christmas party. I couldn't pass this picture up when posting - isn't that a great Santa and the cutest 4 year old? This meeting brought up a lot of questions about Santa =) "Why does he look different?" Apparently, Santa is a busy man and has helpers!