Friday, December 25, 2009

Getting ready for Santa

Violet made some delicious sugar cookies, then had Jake help put the sprinkles on them to get ready for Santa's snack.

Puttin' on the sprinkles

Finger lickin' good

Checking out the NORAD Santa Tracker. Hey look, he's flying over the Great Wall of China!

First the cookies ...

... then the milk

After three trips to the bathroom ... Jake was nestled, all snug in his bed

Merry Christmas everyone! May you enjoy the true blessings of the season.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Deck the halls ...

Today we tackled the tree and had a lot of fun in the process. Jake was pretty bored with constructing the tree, though he did help, and with hanging the lights, but he got more involved when hanging decorations. Last year, he didn't know about Christmas. This year he understands a little more about what's happening, and he wants to be more involved.
Every year is different, and that makes them all special.
We took a break to eat supper and watch "Frosty," and he was riveted to the screen as a snowman came to life.
Afterward we finished the tree, as Jake was determined to "help" with it all. He did, too.

Here is the traditional reindeer antlers shot

We call this our zombie reindeer

The whole family

Daddy and Jake hanging the ornaments Jake made this year

Then Jake hung the regular ornaments

He likes his ornaments on one branch, it seems

Our favorite ornament

Admiring our efforts

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Breakfast with Santa

Despite the title, we did not have breakfast with Santa, we were too late for breakfast and were having so much fun we waited to have lunch, too.
Every year there is a local Breakfast with Santa event to raise money for March of Dimes. There are photos with Santa, lots of games and fun craft booths and food. It was a good time, but boy was it packed.
Here are a few things Jake did today:

With all the holiday hustle and bustle of last year, Jake's first year home, he never got a picture with Santa. So, without further ado, here is Jake's first picture with Santa Claus.

We did it at the first and we don't think he quite knew what to think about it all (it was really packed). He didn't cry, though, even if he didn't smile. We call this the "I'm only sitting on this man's knee because Mommy and Daddy are really smiling goofy" look.

Next was the Moonwalk, an inflatable game he has been watching for quite some time. It's always been a little crowded, so we've told him, "Next time." Well, next time finally came today, and he had a ball.

Look at that kicking form in the soccer ball game. The object was to knock down a little player and win a prize. While Jake's form is perfect, he needs a little work on his aim. He eventually got it and got his prize.

Jake's fascinated. What could it be?

A tall cowboy making a reindeer antler hat out of balloons ...

for Jake!

Here's the proper way to wear the hat ...

Here's Jake's way

Then he made some ornaments, a snowman and a tree ornament:

The last thing Jake did was get his picture with some pilots from the nearby Air Force base.

It was a good day and a nice holiday outing for our family.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bringing in the Christmas season

The city where we live has a unique event to ring in the Christmas season. On Friday, hundreds of people showed up downtown to see Santa, eat and drink, ride in a carriage then watch a fireworks display.

It's a good time. Violet helped man our church's booth selling hot chocolate and coffee. Kevin and Jake showed up after a day at the park. We didn't help sell anything, but we did eat hot dogs and nachos and drink a cup of hot chocolate. :)

Posing by some lights

Oooooooooohhhhhh (also the best seat in the house)

Here's a look at what got him so excited

After the fireworks we stood in line to ride not in the carriage but in the stagecoach. It was a long wait, so we had to entertain an antsy 3-year-old. Doing some flips in Kevin's arms did the trick for awhile. At one point the people around us started clapping for Jake everytime he executed a perfect flip. And how did the ham take that? He wanted to flip again, so before he did he looked out and said, "Watch me guys." Oh yeah, he doesn't like to perform. LOL
Soon he saw people getting in and out of the coach and kept saying, "C'mon Mommy, Daddy," and we had to explain the reality of a long line (something many of us adopting from China know about. ;)

Eventually, though, it was our turn. We know the people who were operating the carriage and stagecoach rides, so while Kevin was paying, Jake excitedly pulled Violet into the coach. The woman taking the money asked, "Do you think he will like it?" I guess Kevin was taking too long, because Jake kept saying,"C'Mon Daddy! C'Mon Daddy!" and looking out the door to wave Kevin in. No worries there about him liking it.

He spent almost the whole ride with his head out the window and Kevin's arm tight around his waist. As we pulled away he waved and shouted "Bye guys!" to the others waiting in line. It was a moment of joy we never will forget.


We spent Thanksgiving Day with Violet's mother.

We had a good time and ate a lot. We also had time to reflect on all the good things we have.

Pardon the use of hands, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We are thankful ...

... for all that God has given us.
... for our families.
... for our health.
... for each other.

And mostly we are thankful for our little man.

OK, so he has his mouth full of marshmallow, but he's still our man.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

All fired up

Violet came up with a great idea Sunday, so that night we decided we would head outside to roast hot dogs over an open fire for supper. And, we had toasted marshmallows and smores for dessert.

While Mommy put away our groceries, Jake and Daddy headed outside to gather fire wood for the fire. With all the trees on our property there was no shortage of wood. Jake's a pretty good gatherer, too.

Once Daddy got the fire going, it was time for our feast.

Cookin' up a dog

Double dog cookin'

Taking a bite

Family portrait (the fire was dying down by then)

Fire, a great invention

On Daddy's back

MMMMMM, toasted marshmallows

MMMMMMM, smores

Let the wild rumpus start!