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!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The games we play

Jake already is a computer whiz, and many times we can just set him up on one of his sites and let him go. Here are a few of his favorite places to surf:

I think this was one of the first sites we found for Jake. It has some classic songs we sang when we were kids, albeit with a British accent. Jake loves his music and always asks for incy spider. It was a good tool to get him to talk.


This site is pretty much how Jake has learned his colors and shapes. We stopped at a Love's convenience store on the highway once and he pointed out the hearts on the building.


Starfall is the best in our book. Jake can identify all of his letters and still loves to go through these,


We haven't gone to this one as much, but we do every once in a while. I wish our printer worked. I would love the coloring pages.


Jake is a matching fool!


A good counting game.


This is a good site I found for speech therapy. Again, a printer would be nice. Remember to make sure they say the words the right way.


Here is another letters page that focuses on the sounds of the letters.


And finally, if you type your name in on this site and listen to the audio sample, you're child might get a kick out of hearing his or her name in the song snippet. Jake loves it.


And now, a picture. Just because. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Look, it's an elephant!

This has nothing to do with Jake, but last night in the city near where we live (and where we both work), an elephant escaped from a circus and ended up getting in a traffic accident.

It certainly isn't something that happens every day here. LOL

Here's a screen shot of the newspaper's Web page:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween fun

Jake had a great time celebrating Halloween.
Last year, he was sick and missed out. This year, he was a Wild West sheriff and did his part to round up his share of the candy.
First, we went to visit Violet's mom so she could see the little man, and he got to do a little trick-or-treating there and at Violet's sister's house. Then, he visited Kevin's mom who was a little under the weather.
Finally, we all went to church for some fun and games at the annual Family Fun Night.

Sheriff Jake rides his two horses in search of bad guys and goodies.

Crawling through the tunnel set up at church. It's amazing what fun kids can have with just a few cardboard boxes.

There was a long tube set up where the kids could roll small pumpkins and then look in and watch them roll down. Jake loved it.

Getting ready to roll.

Watching them roll.

Picking up the pumpkins again.

The real Wild Bunch.