Thursday, February 23, 2012

All things Valentine

I find it humorous that I started my last post with "I love being busy"  LOL . . . that was the kind of busy where you have something fun to do a few nights a week and are not bored.  NOW we are the kind of busy where survival until bedtime is considered a successful day and the less places to go and things to do the better.  :-)  I suppose adding a newborn will do that to you!  (another post on Baby K to come).

Andrew had his valentine party at school this past week.  He was so excited to give his friends their valentines and to get valentines from them.  He didn't even argue when we had to write his name on 20 valentines.  :-)  Here they are making their valentine bags.

Then, the finished product and the snacks.  I think it is super strange that they do everything on the floor.  Maybe because they have such a big class?  Anyway, he had a great time and is STILL enjoying going through his valentines and seeing all the pictures.  One little thing though

BEGIN SOAPBOX HERE . . . parents, don't make your kids grow up too early . . . especially girls!!  THREE different girls gave Justin Bieber Valentines . . . these kids are 4 and 5 years old!!!  I don't know, it just rubbed me the wrong way--let them be little for a while.  Barbies, Disney princesses, hearts, cats, dogs . . . so many other options for little girls.  There is plenty of time to grow up later.  END SOAPBOX HERE

So, for weeks Tim and I have been planning a trip to Columbus to celebrate Valentines Day.  The hotel room, fancy dinner reservations, hotel next to one of my favorite shopping destinations . . . it was all going to be perfect . . . and then our little house guest arrived.  We honestly were not sure what to do.  We don't want to cancel our plans every time a foster situation comes up . . . otherwise we may put a lot of our lives on hold for a while and we don't want that . . . after much deliberation, we decided to go on with our plans and just take our little newborn with us.  Andrew still wanted to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for the night and we already had our reservations . . . so off we went!

We were so glad we decided to go ahead and go.  It wasn't the romance and relaxation we had originally planned but it was still a great getaway and offered us some time together to process the week we had just had.  We tried out a new restaurant that Tim had been wanting to try for over a year.  The Melting Pot . . . it's a fondue restaurant where you have 4 courses of fondue (cheese, salad, meat and dessert).  It's quite the experience (3 1/2 hours worth of experience).  We had a good time trying it and Baby K slept the ENTIRE meal so we were able to enjoy that portion of our "date" just as planned.  :-)  I forgot to get out my camera until the last (and best I might add) course.  :-)  Chocolate and chunky peanut butter . . . mmmmmmm

 Because we were there for our first time, they even brought us this beautiful arrangement of strawberries as well.  (sign up for the fondue club before you go to get them) I may, or may not, have eaten them on the way home the next day . . . :-)  YUMMY

View from the hotel overlooking my favorite scrapbooking store!!  :-)  Although not the romance we thought we were signing up for since at least every four hours a little one needed our attention . . . but, a wonderful time to reconnect and enjoy each other and enjoy trying new things none the less. 
Happy Valentines Day to my one and only!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

I LOVE to be busy, and BUSY we have been!  Busy with Swimming lessons . . .

Babysitting . . . my neice and nephew in these photos.  With the birthday balloons from Chris and Lia still hanging around and Toddler music on Pandora . . . we had ourselves a regular dance party going on!! 

Then today we FINALLY had the first snow big enough to shovel at our house!  We have waited ALL WINTER for this!!! 

 Andrew's favorite part of snow isn't the hot cocolate . . . it's the snow "cream" we make when we get inside.  Snow + flavoring = homemade snowcones!!!  :-)

Then today some co-workers of Tim's planned a "valentine skating playdate" with many of the families with kids ages 2-4 that they work with, and some neighbors, friends . . . it was a HUGE event and let me tell you . . . when these ladies plan a playdate . . . they plan a PLAYDATE!!!  WOWZERS!!  Valentine skewers for the kids complete with heart shaped strawberries . . . treat bags for everyone . . . it was quite the shindig!!!

Hopefully someone else got a better group shot than me . . . I got stuck in a horrible spot.  So proud of my little man though, he only knew one kid here but he got along great and made lots of new friends. :-) 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Loving God with all your Mind by Elizabeth George

Loving God with all your Mind by Elizabeth George has been my most recent devotional book-I went through it personally and then discussed the workbook material with the ladies in my Bible Study at church. I highly recommend this book to any woman who has ever struggled with low self image, worry, depression or just not understanding Gods plan in their lives.  I love ALL of Elizabeth George books, but this one has been the most life changing for me so far.  She goes through her five favorite verses in the Bible and digs deep into each one and how it should change our thinking about our heavenly father.  I LOVE how rather than focus on specific issues, she focuses our attention on the heavenly Father who is bigger than all those issues. 

I HIGHLY recommend this book and the study guide that goes with it.  Together, they will guide you through a new way of thinking about your God and therefore a new way of thinking about yourself.  You can read an excerpt from the book here.  I give it two thumbs WAY up for a devotional (with the workbook) or just a helpful read without the workbook.  Probably the best devotional I have ever used.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wheeling Nailers Hockey

So, we went to our first Hockey game last weekend.  My brother in law got us all tickets through his work so it was a free, new experience for our entire family . . . can't beat that!!  We had great center ice tickets too so we were really excited.  Except for during the Olympics, I don't even watch Hockey on TV so this was quite the adventure for me.  The rules seem to be . . .

1. Hit a puck around and try to get it in the other teams goal.  Passing behind your back is encouraged but not necessary.
2. Slam people into the walls as hard as possible.  If two of you can slam one guy at the same time the reaction from the crowd is doubled.
3. Fighting is not only permitted but ENCOURAGED by the crowd.  Bigger cheers at a fight than a score--so strange.  Sportsmanship certainly isn't celebrated in Hockey.
4. Refs are only there to wear black and white striped shirts and seemingly at random put people in a penalty box.  They do NOT break up fights or even discourage them.  Why exactly are they there?
5.  There are two "halftimes" called "intermissions" that are horribly long and give you a false sense that the game is close to being over.  :-)

I wasn't a big fan (sorry hockey lovers).  It just seems like it is teaching our children so many bad things about playing sports and sportsmanship.  (clearly I'm not a big fan of boxing or WWF style wrestling either)  It was also just so long . . . Granted, our first game was a long one . . . went to overtime and then a shootout (now THAT part I did like) so I was exposed to the longest possible game as my first time . . . perhaps I should build up to that long a game.  :-)  ALSO, I was sitting with a 4 year old with NO interest in the game after the first 20 minutes and a husband who was desperately trying to explain the true rules of the game to me.  (none of which were the things mentioned above) Clearly I was on information overload.  :-)  We did have a good time though and I LOVE trying new things, so for that reason, we were excited to go and really did enjoy the time at the game with my sister and her family (although it isn't something I want to do every Friday night).

Andrew LOVED the time with his cousin.  The game he could take or leave but the time with Daniel was priceless to him.

The best part of the game . . . snuggling with my niece Cherith.  Andrew is just getting too big to want to snuggle so having this little one willing to indulge me for a few minutes was priceless!  :-) 

 I have no idea what Daniel and Andrew are doing in this picture . . . it was supposed to be a picture of Stephanie, Zach and Cherith . . . but I just couldn't crop out the two boys . . . what on earth are they thinking?  LOL

Thanks again for the tickets Stephanie and Zach.  We had a great time and really would do it again . . . I'll be more prepared next time . . . :-)   

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Long overdue visitors . . .

Last weekend we had our friends Chris and Lia down for the weekend for a very overdue visit.  It had been almost 6 months since they had been to our house so we were super excited to have them over for a visit.  Unfortunately, after taking many adorable pictures of Emma and Andrew and two sweet videos of them . . . my camera accidentally got dropped and broke into an unusable condition.  Strangely, some of the photos and all the videos will not transfer to my hard drive without the camera (which is COMPLETELY dead) . . . SOOOO, these pictures are all the ones I have from the weekend.  :-(  Maybe I can bum some off of Lia later.  Emma has grown so big and changed so much-LOVE seeing her little personality start to show.  Andrew was THRILLED that Lia and Emma wanted to ride the train at the mall with him and was just as excited as the first time.  It really is fun to see him get so excited over something like this!

Sunday morning was Tim's birthday.  In the morning, we left for church and left Chris and Lia at the house to finish packing up their car so they could make it to their church in time for their AWANA program.  We came home to this . . .

And yellow streamers all over the entire house!!!   Even better?  My kitchen and the playroom were spotless!!!  They had cleaned and decorated the entire thing for Tim's birthday.  I tell you what, we have the best friends in the world hands down!!!  Thanks Chris and Lia-you guys are awesome!!!!

Happy Birthday Tim!!!