Wednesday, December 29, 2010

20 Weeks!

Today I am 20 weeks pregnant.  That means I have 20 more to go.  Halfway!!  Ila is kicking and moving.  Mark felt Ila kick for the first time on Christmas Eve.  That was so exciting.  I have been feeling her for a while now but being able to feel her on the outside is really fun for everyone else.  I'm feeling great and have a good amount of energy still.   

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Love

I just love these guys so much.  I can't wait for Ila to join her sister and brother.  My heart is full of joy with these two.  I can only imagine how much more it will be once Ila is here!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

 We had a really nice Christmas.  We saw all our family and it was nice to have Mark home for and extended weekend.  This first picture is Lulu Christmas Eve right before she headed to bed in her new pajamas that Grammie-Goo made for her.  Levi was already asleep. 
 Christmas morning my parents came over before the kids were up so they could be there to see the excitement of them opening up gifts.  Here is Lulu running out to the living room.
 Levi's being shy.
 Here is Lulu digging through her goodie-bag.  We were going to use stockings but these bags worked so much better.  Levi's in the background inspecting his new Tonka dump truck.  Mark had the same exact one growing up.
 Mark and I both agree that Lulu is looking too old.  We can't believe how fast they grow.  People tell us all the time that it goes fast but pictures just seem to prove it. 
 Here is Levi opening up his Matchbox cars that Mark picked for him.  I think Mark wanted them so he could play with them too.
 Here's Lulu giving me a hug after I opened up her gift to me.  A beautiful necklace that she picked out herself.  When Mark took the kids out Christmas shopping one Saturday they came home and Lulu told me she couldn't tell me what she got me.  But she did tell me that I could sell the necklace I had on....lol.  She picked out a little sliver heart with rhinestones in it.  I love it and haven't taken it off yet. 
 Mark's office just moved to a new building and Mark's new desk has an entire wall of windows.  He's been saying how he needs a plant for his desk with all the light he gets.  So Lulu got him a cactus and Levi gave him a really neat curly leaf plant....don't know the name.  He loved them!
 Here is Levi playing with his new dump truck.  He's got his own way of making the truck dump. 
 For Christmas we got Lulu her own jewelry box.  I found this tool box and filled it with hair things, beads, necklaces and some other fun trinkets.  She loves going through my jewelry box, so now she can organize her own. 
And here is Levi sporting his new pajama bottoms that Grammie-Goo made him.  They have little VW beetles and buses on them.  We ask him where the beetle is and he bends over and points to his pants with both pointer fingers while saying "beetle." 

Later that day we headed over to my parents house.  I didn't get ANY pictures over there.  We were having too much fun.  My mom made a wonderful assortment of food that we nibbled on all afternoon while we visited with family.  I hope that I can be as hospitable as my mom someday. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

1 John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

Prophecies foretold about the coming Messiah:

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Micah 5:2-5 "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for me to be ruler in Israel, His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity," therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child.  Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel.  And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.  And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth.  This One will be our peace.

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas focused on the Gift God sent us, His Son Jesus Christ.  

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snowflake Lane 2010

 This evening we went to Snowflake Lane.  We have done this for a few years now and it is so much fun for the kids (and us). At 7pm the streets are lit up in the city and the music starts playing and the drummers come out drumming to their spots.  Then they perform a few Christmas songs and it starts snowing (bubbles) all over.  Lulu has been so excited to go and see the Snow Princess.  Well this year they added a Snow Queen and King in blue and a Snow Fairy in purple along with the Snow Princess in white.  This was our second attempt at coming to Snow Flake Lane this year.  We tried about two weeks ago on a Friday and drove around trying to find a parking spot and missed the entire thing.  So we decided to surprise Lulu and Levi and take them on a Wednesday evening.
 Levi's eyes were HUGE the entire night.  Once the music started he actually started dancing a bit. 
 Here we are after waiting for the crowd to die down a bit.
 Then we found a ledge and the kids sat there and danced a bit more to the music.  Below is a short video of Levi bopping his head to the music.  And below that one is a bit of what Snow Flake Lane is like....VERY LOUD!
 

video
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On our way home we drove around looking at Christmas Lights.  This house was so fun and very colorful just like last year.
videoThis last video is just funny.  This house was not only lit up but lit up to music.  We stayed and heard about 6 different songs.  The kids were amazed. 

The First Noel

 This is how we are celebrating the First Noel in our home this year.  It's been so fun to be surrounded by our nativity scenes and Lulu has been acting out the birth of Jesus quit a bit. 
 I love this Mary and baby Jesus because she's holding her new born baby.
This is the town of Bethlehem.  Mark's mom bought it for him when he was in high school for his home someday.  It's now in our kitchen on display.
 Here is our Jesse Tree that Mark made us this year.  We don't have all the correct ornaments yet but we are slowly collecting them.  We have some "regular" ornaments hanging on there too.
 Here is our basket of Christmas cards.  Lulu loves digging through this and looking at all the pictures and fun cards.   And the picture below is the "fun" nativity scene that the kids can play with.  Under that table is where we are keeping all the presents. 
And here is our little Mary.  She loves acting out the story of Jesus being born.  I have to play Joseph and knock on all the doors looking for a room for her to give birth in.  But of course no one had room for us so we have to go to the stable in the living room amongst the cows and sheep.  It's very entertaining in our home right now.  Come on by and we will put on a show for you!

Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Drive Home

 After our fun weekend away we had about a 6 hour drive home.  On our drive we saw 3 Bald Eagles!  Here's one that we saw heading up a mountain.
 About an hour or two into our trip we came to a river where the highway ended and the only away across was this ferry.  We took one last year but in a different spot.  It was about a ten minute trip across the river.
 Mark getting some fresh air and chatting with the ferry driver.
 After we crossed the river we had to drive out of a valley and up these mountains and this picture is when we reached the top.  Isn't that just beautiful?  God's creation is amazing.  This was really breathtaking. 
 This could be a post card. 
 Miles and miles of snow.  Normally this would be miles and miles of wheat or whatever they grow out here.
Then about 3 hours from home we stopped to have burgers at a local burger joint that we found and the kids got to burn some energy.  Yes they are on the table.  Normally we don't let them climb on tables especially in a restaurant but we were on vacation and they needed to move. video

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Party 2010

This past weekend we went to Mark's company's Christmas party.  This was our second time attending and it was better than last years, and lasts years party was very nice.  His company put all the families up in this beautiful lodge for the weekend.  The picture above is of the lodge and I took that as we were leaving.  The party was Saturday night at the lodge and they had a nice breakfast for everyone Sunday morning.  They catered a wonderful dinner at the party and had dancing and a fun gift exchange for the adults.  Santa and Mrs. Clause showed up after dinner to hand out presents to all the children.  Lulu remembered this part from last years party and she was so excited when they arrived.  She asked us if Mrs. Clause rode in the sleigh with Santa or if she drove her own car.  Where do these questions come from?  We told her they came together.
 Here is a picture of our room.  We were up stairs in a corner room.  We had two windows with beautiful views of the snowy mountains surrounding the lodge.
Here we are in the lodge right before all the fun started.  All the families that work for this company are so kind and we had such a great time catching up with them again.  The company that Mark works for has two offices.  Most of the families live on the other side of the state from us so we traveled about 6 hours to get to the lodge. 
 Here is Lulu getting ready for the party!  She was so excited to get dressed up in her new Christmas dress.  The main part of the lodge had two fire places with comfy couches and stuffed chairs to relax by the fire in.  In the middle of the main room between the two sitting areas was where they set up the tables for dining and dancing.
 Here is Lulu waiting to see Santa and Mrs. Clause.  They called out each kids name and they would go visit with them and get their gift.  There were about 45 adults at this party and 55 kids.  The kids outnumbered the adults and there were 3 of us who are pregnant.  So next year there will be even more.  This company is very family focused. 
 Lulu kept telling us that she only wanted to sit on Mrs. Clause's lap and that's what she did.  I don't even think she looked at Santa. 
 Santa actually handed Lulu her gift.  Lulu said "thank you" without even looking at him and here she is beelining it for us. 
 Once the kids get their gift they get to open it with their families watching.  So there are kids all over opening gifts.  Lulu got a darling doll and book to go with her doll.  She was thrilled! 
 A bit later they called out Levi's name.  He was not enjoying this at all.  So it was a quick on the lap and off again.  I needed my picture.  Mrs. Clause was so cute and leaned over to me and said "bring him back after all the kids are gone" so we did and Levi did much better.  I got video of that visit. 
 Once Mark got Levi quickly off of Santa's lap Lulu helped Levi open his gift they gave him.
 Both Lulu and Levi were excited about getting a Mega Bloks pirate ship. 
 Once the dancing started it quickly turned into all the kids dancing and the adults taking pictures and watching.  Here they are doing the limbo.  Levi loved watching everyone and he would try to go in going the wrong way.  Finally Lulu took his had and they went around and under together.  Levi is a dancer and was loving the music.
 Here are the guys and just moments later here they are again......
 Levi dance his little heart out and was soon out himself.  Mark carried him around the rest of the night like this.  And we all headed up the stairs and went to bed when all the fun was over.  It was so nice not having to drive anywhere after, just going up to our room and crashing.
The next morning I found Lulu sitting in bed reading her new book with her new doll.  She actually slept with both.  We had a great mini get away and the company really made it special for all the families.