Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas

I have been so excited about writing this post and I have had ideas pouring into my mind constantly of what I will write about. Then every time I sit down to write I can never get it all done. I have more pictures I want to add and more I want to write about. I suppose all that matters is I finally finished my Christmas post for 2010.


Christmas is one of my favorite holidays but honestly, there isn't a holiday that I don't enjoy. I absolutely love holidays. With Christmas there are specific things I love, however. While I was sitting down thinking about all the things I love about Christmas I realized that I have a really long list. I then realized I am not going to be able to write about everything I love so I narrowed it down to less than a hundred things. Well, I better get started.

You can't have Christmas without Jesus which means a Nativity Christmas play is a must. I love our annual Christmas play at church, and I am so blessed to be able to be the one who is in charge of running the play and getting all these cute kids to do silly things on stage. It is an amazing feeling to watch lil ones put on a play about Jesus' birth and for them to understand a little better just how important His birth was. I wish I had a picture to show you from that night, but honestly I was just trying to survive. With being in charge of the play, the stress of hoping it all goes well, morning sickness, and extreme fatigue I didn't even think to snap a picture.


Now, if you were to ask Mr. G what my favorite thing about Christmas is, he would probably tell you....traffic. Now I don't know if it is my favorite thing, but I do love the traffic on Christmas.




This picture was taken December 23 and you can see the line of traffic in the left lane. (Sorry the picture is so dark - I tried to take a picture earlier in the day but I was driving then and it didn't work out very well. This picture was taken while Mr. G was driving and it turned out much better) You can tell by the picture that it was madness. People getting last minute gifts, trying to get all the groceries they would need for the next few days, and traveling to family's. The roads were a mess.




This picture was taken December 25 on our way home from all our Christmas festivities. Not a car in sight. I absolutely LOVE driving through town and only seeing a handful of cars knowing that everyone is at home with there families enjoying Christmas Day. It reminds me of what our country probably looked like every Sunday afternoon decades ago when restaurants and stores were closed for church. I wish Sundays still looked like this but I am very thankful that at least I can count on Christmas to bring me this joy.

Not every year we are blessed with a beautiful Christmas snow, but thankfully this year we were.


Again, this picture was taken in the car. I wasn't about to walk out in the snow and take a picture of our house just for my blog. So I waited until we drove past but unfortunately you see the water from our windshield in the picture.



This picture I took looking out our back door. You can kind of see that it was still snowing at this point and we ended up getting probably 2 to 3 inches in all. It was gorgeous.

Apparently, along with snow comes neighborly love. This man you see in the picture is our neighbor to the left of us and he takes care of us year round. I still found it amazing to see him out on Christmas morning clearing EVERYBODY'S drive way on our road. What a wonderful Christmas present to his neighbors and what a wonderful blessing he is to us. When Mr. G went over to tell him thank you for clearing our drive way, our neighbor said he didn't know what Mr. G was talking about. He went on to tell a story about seeing sleigh marks on his roof and that Santa must of cleared our driveway after he delivered all the presents. What a sweet man.

Now, as everybody knows, Christmas day would not be complete without the Christmas Story and I don't just mean the story of Jesus' birth. I am talking about the movie...does that make me a heathen? I hope not.





At my mom and dads house The Christmas Story will be played over and over again on Christmas Day. Mr. G knows every line by heart, which is not annoying at all. For me, I love this movie because it reminds me of what my dad was probably like at that age. It is a classic and will always be a family favorite at Christmas time.

Another joy of Christmas is making Christmas cookies for others. We have started the tradition of making Christmas cookies for our neighbors and this year we decided to make sugar cookies. I don't know why I keep writing "we" when Mr. G had no part in this except delivering, but I guess that was a hard job considering all the snow we had Christmas morning.

I used my mother-in-laws recipe which is absolutely delicious, but I realized at this point that I must've made the cookies a little thicker than I should have. Her cookies are never this thick....whoopsie! All that matters is that I am trying....right? Maybe if I had a little help.
Of course, Marley is too busy chasing his food around the house to help. Maybe it's not that I need help but that I am distracted by how cute Marley looks. Yep - that's gotta be it.


Well, now it is time to do the icing which is another favorite part of Christmas except this year I won't be sampling any. Usually I find an excuse to sample the icing but ever since I got pregnant I can't eat anything sweet because it will make me sick. There's always next year.

Mmmm....it does look yummy though and very festive. The only problem is I forgot to take a picture of the cookies when I was all done icing them. I wonder if that is because they actually didn't look all that good once I decorated them and I was a bit embarrassed. Nah, I'll just say it is because I forgot to take the picture.

And then there is the food and fellowship around the dinner table on Christmas.

Lucky for Mr. G and I we got to enjoy two Christmas meals. One meal took place on Christmas Eve at Mr. G's parent's house. We always go up to his parent's house on Christmas Eve to open presents, eat, and play games. A neat thing about Christmas next year at Mr. G's parents house is that there will be two lil ones crawling around. Mr. G's sister is also pregnant and is due just 6 weeks before me so next Christmas there will be a lot of pictures and a lot of spoiling since these will be the first Christmas with grand babies in the family.

In my family we always have a Christmas morning brunch. This usually happens around 11:00 and we will have an assortment of breakfast foods from french toast, to homemade cinnamon rolls, bacon, eggs, hash browns, pancakes, and more. It is amazing! This year while the grown ups were enjoying the meal one of my lil nieces continued to ask, "When are we going to open presents?" Everyone at the table took turns telling her, "Soon! We will open presents SOON." This wasn't setting well with the lil girl so I eventually sat her down and explained to her that this meal is like the grown up's present on Christmas morning. We like food that much. I thought I had gotten through to her just how important spending time eating this wonderful meal was when she turned and asked me, "Okay, but when are we going to open presents?"
I laughed and said, "Soon."




Now I must admit that I think one of the joys of Christmas is opening presents, but don't judge me just yet. I have always enjoyed getting new things and when I was a lil girl I couldn't wait to open presents on Christmas morning. Now days the joy comes from seeing others open presents on Christmas. I try so hard to find just the right gift for everyone and I get really excited to see if the others will be as excited about the gift as I hope they will be. It really is more about giving than receiving.




For example, Mr. G and I were excited to give his parents this Grandchildren picture frame because we know how pumped they are about being Grandparents for the first time. I have a feeling she will have those pictures filled up in no time once the grand babies start coming.


Now I must admit it was really neat to get presents that were going to be for our baby. Everything had to be either green or yellow since we still don't know the gender just yet, but it was still special.



Now, watching this lil guy on his first Christmas open presents was priceless. Wrapped up in his Nana's arms he was nothing but smiles especially when he got his hands on some wrapping paper. I know it made Nana's Christmas special too. It has been a lil while since she had a lil one that age and I know how much she enjoys being around her grandchildren and how much happiness she gets from seeing the joy on their face come Christmas morning. Maybe next year she will have our baby sitting in her arms opening presents. I can't wait to get a picture of that.
Young and old Christmas is always special. For my grandma Christmas is still bitter-sweet because grandpa isn't here to spend it with her. However, I don't think she thought about that much being completed surrounded by family all day. Thank God for family.

Now, here is the lil girl who kept asking, "When are we going to open presents." I was lucky to get her to pose for a picture in the middle of her unwrapping. I think she could've unwrapped presents all day long if we let her.


This sweet girl was just as excited, but she did have a bit of a problem this Christmas. You see, she lost her two front teeth just before Christmas which made her look even more cute, especially when she sang the song, "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth." The only problem was she didn't know how to smile without those two teeth. Gotta love it.


I think at Christmas time everyone should receive some kind of a gift, including the dogs. Last year we had Mickey at home and he absolutely loved Christmas. In fact, he even got a lil psycho about it, but this year we had Marley and he actually acted scared of Christmas.





Mr. G's mom and dad had gotten Marley a lil present so Mr. G opened it for him Christmas morning. Apparently, it has been a tradition for Mr. G's family.

This is Chloe down below, Mr. G's mom and dad's dog. This dog loves Christmas and knows that she will be getting a Christmas present. I think she sniffs all the presents under the Christmas tree to see which one is hers while nobody is looking. Her gift was a big tire for her to chew on, but unfortunately, Chloe isn't very lady like and had that toy chewed up in no time.

So I thought Marley would be the same way with Christmas as Mickey and Chloe.


I had gotten Marley a few treats that I thought he might like. It was very exciting as we both were waiting to see how Marley would react.


And it was not good at all. Marley wanted nothing to do with his gift, his treats, or any of the wrapping paper laying on the ground. Poor guy was scared to death.

At least he looked festive with his red and green handkerchief on. It took Marley 3 days to start eating his treats so apparently he liked them, he's just paranoid about Christmas. Weird.

Yogi, my mom and dad's dog is one who always loves Christmas, but not so much for the presents. He usually gets more table scraps after our big Christmas brunch, and this boy loves pancakes. If you look back at the picture of my family sitting around the dinner table for our Christmas brunch you will see Yogi about to get a hold of Dad's plate on the table. Luckily, Dad sat back down before Yogi could take a bite.



Here is Yogi with out two excited lil girls anxiously waiting to open their presents.


Christmas is also about having fun and enjoying the day, and there is nobody who does that better than my in-laws. One minute they may be sitting and opening presents like everyone else....




And the next minute.....well....



What can I say....


I was sad to see Christmas end but it was a wonderful day filled with all of the things that make it special. It starts with Jesus, my Savior, who was born so that eternity can be spent with Him in Heaven. But until that day when we are all in Heaven God has blessed me with a wonderful family to spend my life with and to spend special days like Christmas with.






Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marley's First Snow

It is always exciting to see someone experience snow for the first time. I think it is just as fun to watch an animal experience snow when they have never seen it before. Now, I won't lie - Marley saw a bit of snow on Thanksgiving, but it was just a little and it was gone rather quickly. Even with that snow, though, he was intrigued. He wouldn't go to the bathroom for us outside because he wanted to eat the snow.


Well, this morning I woke up before my alarm and looked out the window to find a winter wonderland. I turned over and told Mr. G that there was snow on the ground and he said, "That's cool, honey." I found out later that he didn't remember that conversation happening so he has actually learned to pacify me in his sleep. Not a good thing.


Well, Marley and I got up and made breakfast. We sat in the living room watching the snow fall when I decided that I would call Mr. G to see if he would like to enjoy this beautiful morning with us. So I dialed his number and after about the 4th ring he picked up - "Yeah," he said.


"Wouldn't you rather sit in the living room with me and watching the snow fall while we listen to Christmas music than stay in bed and sleep?"


"I'll be right there," he told me in his morning voice.



Well he did mosey on in to the living room and we did enjoy the morning together. Then it was time for Mr. G to take Marley out to the bathroom and Mr. G was not happy about it. He spent 20 minutes trying to get around it, but I explained that Marley had to go out. So Mr. G bundled up and called for Marley.


Apparently, Mr. G did not want his picture taken while he was taking Marley out. Does he not realize that I must blog about such a big moment in Marley's life? Oh well....he can't run from me forever.

Now I got you! You might run through the house acting like you are dodging tacklers on a football field to get away from my camera - but it won't work buddy. I caught you!!!


Well, Marley looks ready to go - hope Mr. G is. It is coming down pretty hard out there and I hear the wind is just terrible.


Whoops - Marley took off and Mr. G wasn't ready and accidentally dropped the leash. So Mr. G had to go scrambling after the leash - it was quite a site.

At this point Marley is sniffing around trying to figure out what the brown things were that were still sticking out of the ground.




For some reason Marley kept holding his bottom funny while he was out there. I guess it was just cold.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weoEO_xWlDw



The good news is that both Marley and Mr. G survived. And when it was all said in done Marley could sit and enjoy his biscuit on his favorite chair while he warmed up. What a life!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has become our day to put up Christmas decor. We both have been looking forward to having the Christmas tree up in our house for weeks. We have been playing Christmas music since right after Halloween so you can imagine the excitement when we finally were able to put the tree up.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving morning Mr. G pulled a muscle in his back working out so he wasn't feeling very good all day today. And I have been dealing with a bad case of morning sickness yesterday and today so I wasn't feeling great either. In fact, I took a nap from 11 to 3 in the afternoon and I woke up still tired and feeling nauseous. Mr. G and I then played a game of rummy and he killed me, which didn't make me feel any better.

Then I made supper. I made myself a healthy veggie omelet with all organic vegetables and eggs. Then I made Mr. G an egg burrito with his cheese, jalapenos, and sour cream. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the sour cream expired in June of 2010, but I told him it should be okay. I guess it tasted pretty sour so that didn't make him feel much better.

But then the big moment came after supper. We put on "Polar Express" and started assembling the Christmas tree.

After the tree we put out all our Christmas decor. There is something about a house filled with Christmas stuff. It just feels more homey. It was especially exciting putting the Christmas stuff up this year since this is our first Christmas without the wall in the center of our house. Plus, this is our first Christmas with Marley. He walked around while we were putting everything up investigating everything. Then he turned and looked at us as if to say, "You guys are crazy." But I am sure he will love Christmas when he gets his special Christmas bone Christmas morning.

Well, now that our house screams Christmas I have sat down to blog about it and Mr. G is lying on the couch with a heating pad on his back. Every now and again I will hear him moan and I will realize that the heating pad has fallen off, so I will go and reposition it for him. It is amazing how old we are already getting.

One more exciting thing about this Christmas is thinking about next Christmas when our lil one is here, God willing. Oh what a wonderful Christmas that will be. Until then Mr. G and Marley and I .....and Mickey when he gets the chance to come over....will enjoy this wonderful time of the year.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby on the Way!!!

The day has finally come when I can tell you that Mr. G and I are expecting our first child. I can't tell you what joy it gives me to be able to say that. I have waited for this day for so long and finally the day is here and Mr. G and I could not be happier.

Back in August Mr. G and I decided to start trying for children. September I took a pregnancy test at 4:00 in the morning and it came back positive. I had a feeling that I was pregnant but I didn't know if my mind was playing with me or if it was for real, so once I saw the positive test I knew I was right. I am pregnant. I waited to tell Mr. G until after he got off work that day. We went for a picnic at our favorite spot on the shores of Rend Lake. It was the same spot that Mr. G first said he loved me and where he proposed to me. We sat on the back of his truck talking and eating our lunch when I turned to him and said, "This place is where you first said you loved me, where you proposed to me, and where I told you that you are going to be a daddy."

At first Mr. G just smiled and then he looked at me confused and said, "What did you said." I then I told him that I am pregnant. He was so happy. He hugged me so tight with tears in his eyes and then kissed me ever so gently. It was the perfect moment. We spent the rest of the day telling family.

Now that I am 11 weeks and 1 day along I believe that it is time to finally tell you guys. In fact, today I went to the doctor and we were able to hear the heartbeat for the first time. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had. To hear a living being inside of me brought tears to my eyes. I will never forget that sound.



"Thank you, Lord, for this precious gift that you gave us. We know that this is a blessing straight from you and we will do our best to honor you with this child every day of our lives. We know that you have a purpose for this child and we look forward to being a part of your wonderful plan. I pray you bless the remainder of this pregnancy and bless this child as he/she grows into who you want them to be."



Mr. G took a short video of us at the doctor today. It isn't very long but in the background you can hear the faint sounds of a lil heartbeat.....our lil baby's heartbeat.





video

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Youth Soccer

These pictures were taken back during the end of summer when youth soccer was still going on for the YMCA. Now I must say that there were a lot of really cute kids and they were fun to watch, but there was one person who really stood out more than all the others. Doesn't my hubby look cute out there playing? He was the MVP of youth soccer!!! Actually he was the ref and the director of the whole soccer program, but he had just as much fun as those kids.
At this point he still doesn't notice that I am there watching him and so I can't get him to look my way. He is just too focused on his job, I guess that is why he is the best. But it sure would make me feel special if he would just throw a smile my direction.

One thing that is amazing about all these programs that Mr. G puts together for the YMCA is the turn out. There are so many kids that play and many families that come to watch. You always love the times when you see a kid stop during the game and turn toward the crowd and say, "Hi mom." Or when a team gets a goal because the goalie gets caught picking his nose. Or when you have a pile up and 10 kids go home crying from a scratched knee.
Of course the best would be if my husband would finally turn and notice that I am here. What ever happened to having that sixth sense when you are married that tells you to turn around and look at your spouse?
Oh well....I guess I see him enough at home.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cleaning the Gutters

I have a quick question for everyone. Nothing hard....I just want you to think back to what your husband looked like after he cleaned the gutters.
I remember my husband cleaning the gutters last year. I remember him climbing up on the roof with gloves on and taking all the gunk out of the gutters by hand and throwing it on the ground. I remember it was kind of messy but nothing terrible. But this time my husband asked to borrow something from our neighbors to clean our gutters. It made it so my husband didn't have to use a ladder or get on the roof. But it sure did cause a mess. He realized afterwards that he probably shouldn't of used the machine right after it rained, but he noticed our neighbor watching him so he felt like he should keep going despite the mud spraying falling all over him.
One amazing thing about this hubby of mine is he can still smile even when something doesn't quite go his way. He makes life so much fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Little House on the Prairie

Is anybody else a huge "Little House on the Prairie" fan like me? I have always enjoyed watching and reading all about Laura Ingalls Wilder and my interest in the show has grown with age. I love the simple life style and the strong family bonds. Everybody has a faith in God to some degree and they all work together. It is like a little piece of heaven. Well, Mr. G and I were blessed to have a chance to visit the real little house on the prairie and all the buildings that Laura lived near. My brother who just moved to Kansas was our tour guide. The bad part was we went on a Sunday so all the buildings were closed but we still enjoyed what we saw.

This is Sunny Side School house and what was used for the church building on Sundays. Unfortunately, the front door was locked so we were unable to see inside.
But my crafty husband found that the back door was unlocked so we slipped inside and took a few pictures. I know what your thinking......first you go to church in the morning and then commit a crime in the afternoon. I admit we are hypocrites but I am glad we did it. The school room was absolutely amazing.


This was the post office. We couldn't find any unlocked doors to it, so we just took a quick picture and moved on. One thing that was really neat about the area was the open plains. There was one hill off in the distance but other than that it was pretty flat. And my brother reminded me that we are seeing the exact same landscape that Laura saw growing up. How neat is that?

Now, I am not for sure if this is the real wagon that Charles Ingalls rode on, but it was similar. I can't imagine the aches and pains you would get from riding on one of these for a couple hours. But, it was fun to look at.



I found it important to take a picture of the outhouse. What you can't see in this picture is the brand new bathrooms in the brick building right next to it.





This well is very special because it is the actual well that Charles Ingalls built and almost died while building when Laura was a lil girl. It talks about this well in one of her books.





This was a house but I don't know what it was from or who lived there. I am thinking it is the house for the people who own the land now and work it.





This was where Laura Ingalls lived. This was the house that Charles Ingalls built for his family. I would've loved to seen inside.




And here is the person that caused the whole trip, my brother. This was Sunday morning after he finished preaching. We chose to go visit him this particular weekend so we could hear him preach and he did a great job. There was actually a line waiting to talk to him after he spoke, but I got a picture of the last couple. Unfortunately, the picture was blurry.







Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Wanna Go Home

I remember when this man in the picture up above was sitting with me in the back of a mini van on the way back from vacation. The funny thing is I don't remember much about the vacation or what we did but I do remember that ride home and the phrase that my brother kept saying over and over again.

"I wanna go home"

Now my oldest brother usually tuned us out at that time because I am sure we were pretty annoying. I can't blame him there. For at least 10 minutes my brother continued to say, "I wanna go home," and I followed every time by saying, "We ARE going home."

"I wanna go home"
"We ARE going home."
"I wanna go home."
"We ARE going home."

It didn't take us long to find our little game funny and we both couldn't help smiling every time we said it.
Well I can't help but think of that memory now that my brother has moved to Kansas, around 8 hours away from "home." I didn't think I would ever see the day. Our whole family has always stayed close together. Nobody went far away to college and we get together often for a dinner and evening together. I just never imagined anyone moving away, especially the one who couldn't stop saying, "I wanna go home."
I must admit, though, he had no other choice. The Lord was obviously pulling him to Tyro to preach and since he has been there he has already done amazing things. The Lord is working through him and my brother is enjoying every minute of it.
Each time we talk or text I can tell that he is happy doing the Lord's work right where the Lord has called him. I do hope that every now and again he will still feel the pull in his heart to "wanna come home," because we sure do miss him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Special Lil Boy


Meet my first nephew...which makes him my favorite and number 1 nephew. He has already won over my heart. Isn't it amazing how you can love someone before you even meet them. Once my sister-in-law's belly started growing I was already in love with this lil boy.

His Nana and Gampa were the same way. Nana was busy around the house but I was able to snap a few photos with Gampa and his lil man.


Um....I know this thing I keep flashing in your face is a bit weird but you will get used to it....you are just too cute not to take pictures. Look at those big confused blue eyes....Precious.

Aw....now you are happy. It is probably that prickly feeling you are getting on your face from Gampa's beard. The kiddos always love that beard.



Uh...Aunt RoRo...would you mind leaving me and Gampa alone...we are trying to talk baseball here.




And here is Grandma with her great grandson. You can tell she has raised 5 kids because he was perfectly content in her arms.


There is something special about a great grandma...and I think this lil guy is learning that early on. If this lil guy gets any bigger he might be too much for grandma to hold. Before we know it he will be graduating high school and going off to college. That is 18 years away and my eyes are already watering just from the thought of it.




Hey....it's the lil man here....before you go I just wanted to make a silly face to make you laugh...I have been practicing this face since this morning, which is basically most of my life.
Have I said lately just how much I love being an aunt......God is good!!!