Wednesday, December 31, 2008


This morning, Nate asked me if I thought of the New Year as a new start. I laughed and said, "No. I look at it as half way until Summer Break." Today we spent my birthday, like we have done for the past few years, cleaning up the Christmas decorations, running errands, and buying lobsters for dinner. I guess we like to start the New Year clean. :) Tomorrow is Nate's birthday. He did his usual digging in about how for one day I am two calendar years older than him. I am looking forward tomorrow to calling him OLD-like me. We had a duel birthday cake tonight. It was the first cake in five years that was not from the Cakery. Boy, do we miss that cake!
My New Years resolution is to get an external drive that will hold ALL of my pictures. I spent almost an hour between THREE computers getting all these pictures. They chronicle the past four Christmas' with Ethan and the little tree at Bob and Marsha's. He has turned into such a "boy." He was so lovey today. He told me a dozen times Happy Birthday! I hope you all have HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We were in Steelers Country

This was the first visit to PA that everyone arrived about the same time and left about the same time. It was lunch time when we arrived. Ethan could barely eat because the presents were calling his name.
Lincoln started off a little shy, but finally came around to Memaw and Pappy.
Saturday the family headed to Missy's to see the Lynch's. The boys received even more presents there. They showed off for the girls and ran like wildmen in their house. Sunday was filled with football. Everyone dressed in their jerseys.
On Monday, the family headed over to a little place in Somerset where some men in the community put their model trains out. There were over 20 displays. The boys loved it!
Lincoln dozed off on Uncle Ryan. The trip went too fast. Everyone had a great time!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What a Happy Merry Christmas

Those words were spoke minutes after seeing Santa's gifts! Nate and I actually woke up before the kids this morning. I think we were as excited as the kids! Once the boys woke up, we rushed downstairs to look at all the presents. The best line of they day was when Ethan was looking at the train. He said, "It's not the one I asked for, but I like it." In Santa's defense, the train he wanted got horrible reviews and was MUCH cheaper. His is a lot nicer!
Lincoln loved, loved, loved every minute today. He was hysterical. He ran from toy to toy and laughed. Here he is kissing his cookie monster.
The train table was a huge hit. They kept coming back to it over and over.
One of the best moments of the day was when Ethan gave Nate his gifts that he picked out. He got him tools because every daddy needs tools. He also got him bungee cords. I loved the look on Ethan's face when he helped Nate open them. He is beginning to understand the true meaning of Christmas. It was such a WONDERFUL Christmas. Nate and I couldn't have asked for a better day. We hope that you all had a Happy Merry Christmas. Tomorrow we are off to PA. There is no internet access there so I am sure I will have tons to post when we get back!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Ethan was getting us all in the Christmas spirit this morning by singing his Christmas carols. Now we're all ready for Jesus to come...and Santa.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ring around the Rosy

Ethan taught Lincoln, Ring around the Rosy.

Lincoln could see himself on the camera.

Monday, December 22, 2008

There's nothing better than....

THREE boys (and a dog) in the kitchen. I had to take Hunter to the vet today and when I got back Nate was in the kitchen cooking pasta with meatballs.
The boys were "helping."
**Hunter update: He has had more labored breathing. We took him to the vet today and she gave him a good exam. She asked that we leave him for x-rays. When I picked him up, she told me that he has a partially paralyzed larynx. We just need to make sure he doesn't exert himself. The rest of him looks great. She said for a 12 1/2 year old he is pretty darn healthy. As Nate said today, "Josh picked a winner." He keeps on a ticking!**

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Popcorn Party

Today was my day to work in Ethan's Sunday School class. He was super excited. They have so many parent volunteers that each parent only has to work one Sunday every three or four months. He has a great class. After church and lunch, we busted out the popcorn tin that Marilyn sent. It is one of my FAVORITE holiday treats. This year I decided I would share with the boys. It worked out in my favor. I love the cheese, Lincoln loves the butter, and Ethan loves the caramel. They ate, and ate, and ate until I finally said, we'll have more later. At dinner, we heated up some frozen pizza. The boy's cheese pizza cooked too long. About three bites in, Ethan runs to the bathroom. Nate says, "what's wrong Ethan?" He says, "I'm just gonna throw up so I can have another popcorn party after dinner. That pizza is really yucky." We cracked up and told him he didn't have to eat the bad pizza.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Party Day

The boys had their Christmas Parties at school today! They were super excited this morning. Each of them ate a wonderful breakfast and got dressed without a fuss! Ethan had a gift exchange at school today. When I picked him up, he had his own gift. I guess there was a mixup with his gift. They didn't know who it was from (probably because we didn't put his name on it). So, he picked it. Lucky for us, he loved his gift. I love his teacher. He told us that she told the class if they didn't eat their lunch they wouldn't get their present. :) Their lunch was waffles, sausage, and ice cream. The poor kiddies.
Tonight we drove into DC to look at the Christmas lights. It is sooo nice knowing we have two weeks off together. The boys are so excited about the holidays. Ethan is sitting in his jammies watching Olive the other reindeer. He is grinning from ear to ear genuinely happy! I hope that the next two weeks are filled with happiness for you all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BDay/Holiday Party

Today was our SST party (I still have no clue what SST stands for now that I think of it.) It included a bunch of SLPs, an audiologist, a psychologist, and a social worker. We have been doing secret Santa all week and today was the big reveal. Kathleen's bday was also today. By request, Sharla got a Cosco cake. Kathleen makes a WONDERFUL spice cake, but we figured it wouldn't be right to ask her to make her own bday cake! We had a Cosco cake a few months back and I thought to myself that this cake was really, really, close to the Cakery Cake in Dayton. I told Nate this and he said we should try it. I don't think anyone can "try" a Cosco cake. Those things are HUGE. So, today he asked if I would "sneak" him a piece. There was so much cake left I brought a rather large chunk with the roses home for him. The boys got a small piece after dinner. Notice how little icing Ethan has. While I was cutting it Nate said, "leave the icing for me." When I asked him to compare the cake to Cakery he responded, "Cakery is a 10. Cosco is a 7." He's such the cake aficionado.
BTW....I know you are all thinking what the heck is that ear doing in there. Apparently, sometime before I started here, someone actually stole Kathleen's ear that was hanging on the wall. She received a new ear for her b/day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Construction Zone

I know I have mentioned it several times, but these boys are playing so well together lately.
After school today, the boys pulled the construction vehicles out and started playing. Ethan had the bulldozer and Link had the dumptruck. They played a while and Link decided he wanted the bulldozer. As you can see in the picture, I showed him how to say "My turn." However, Ethan wasn't ready to give his toy up.
Lincoln threw his hands up in the air, did a little scream, and went to the toyroom.
He quickly came out with the biggest construction vehicle imaginable to show Ethan...HA...mine is bigger.
Then he proceeded to sit on it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa....where's your reindeer?

After asking for a train and a ball (BIG SHOCKER), he asked Santa where he kept his reindeer. Santa showed him the skylight in the mall and told him that the reindeer were waiting for him on the roof. Yesterday, he picked out the wrapping paper he wants his gifts wrapped in. Today he asked the question...oh you know the one...."Can I open just one?" Only 10 more days of that question. :)
I am super happy that he is enjoying the season!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wind down before nap

Don't you just love the holidays?!?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Santa Baby

This morning was a shopping frenzy for us. With our credit cards being cancelled, due to the lost wallet, we haven't done any shopping. We have two malls within five miles of us. Each one has different stores, so we needed to go to both. We were second in line for Santa at the first mall.
Ethan did GREAT. He told him everything thing he wanted and what Link wanted. He even asked where he kept his reindeer while he was at the mall. Link is not feeling well again. It looks like another cold. He didn't mind looking at Santa, but did not want to sit on his lap.
Both boys were tuckered out after lunch. All the Texas people are finished. The Pennsylvania people are half done. If anyone has ideas for a Father-in-law that has everything, they would be appreciated.
There was a message on our phone after work yesterday from the Police Department. My wallet was found at the Springfield Mall. I thought everything would definitely be gone, but only my cash was gone. When I asked the officer when I could pick it up, he smugly said, "Ms we are open 24/7." So, I told him I would be there in 10 minutes. The entire family goes with me. We get there and somehow he forgot to tell me that they took my wallet to a holding room in Fairfax, VA. They are only open M-F 8-4. LOVELY! wallet is there and I have a feeling my pictures, including Donald, are in there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

it's the holiday season!

So, many of you know that I lost my wallet last Thursday on the Metro. Credits cards were reissued. My debit card is in the mail. I only need a new Driver's License and Military ID. Tonight, Nate went to put something in his wallet and found my Driver's license in his wallet. I have no clue when I put it in there....but a crisis has be averted. You can only imagine the lines at the DMV here. Last week I looked online to see if you could request a new ID online and the answer was YES. I was so excited. I clicked on the link and it asked for your b/day and customer number. If you were unsure what your customer number was you could click on a link and it explained it. Sure enough, the customer ID # could be found on your's lost!!!! But, now I don't have to go through that!
Nate's baby picture and Donald's picture were in my wallet. That makes me sad. Plus it was my COACH wallet...that makes me even sadder. :(

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How to know if you say NO too much...

Baby Centers nineteen month advice this week was:
Parent Tip: How to Avoid "No" "Instead of telling my son no all the time, which can lead to power struggles, try saying things like, "Let's try eating with our fork," "Let's not play with the lamp cord right now — let's color instead." You'll find that giving your child a way out that facilitates communication and listening really pays off."
Sometimes I think Babycenter has cameras in my house. How do they know that my kid is a picky eater? How do they know that my 50 month old is back talking? Today's advice was spot on. This afternoon on the way home, I gave both kids Tortilla chips. We were half way home and Lincoln started pointing at Ethan saying, "NO-NO." I guess he didn't want him to have chips? At dinner if he couldn't reach his drink, he banged the table and said, "NO-NO." If he couldn't get the door on his animal hospital open, he banged it and yelled, "NO-NO." Do you see a theme? I think we've been saying, "NO-NO" too much.
You may wonder what the above photo has to do with "NO-NO." Ethan had a balloon today and decided to LOCK it in his room so it wouldn't blow away. Daddy had to tell Ethan, "NO-NO."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

just some morning videos.

This morning was heavenly. Nate took the boys to school and picked them up because I had morning and afternoon meetings. I was able to take some quick video of the boys this morning. The first one is of Ethan telling me what he wants from Santa.

I was trying to capture Lincoln saying, "GO" to Hunter. Instead, Hunter ate his bacon and he was pretty sad about it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Living Bethlehem

Our new church, Aldersgate, does a living Bethlehem each year. King Herrod greated Ethan at the entrance and asked him to come and tell him when he found Baby Jesus. The poor fella agreed to do it. Luckily, he met a wise townsman that told him not to tell him.
We waited at the gate for a dreadful ten minutes before we learned that there were not enough prophets to take us on the tour. We were on our own. This witty gaurd let us through. As we entered the town, Ethan gave the Census taker his name and how many people he was bringing with him. In the town we met potters, farmers, and a pesky rug seller. A woman with goats and sheep let us all pet her animals.
After visiting with the towns people, we finally arrived at a manger with a bright star above. Angels were guarding the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes! He needed those swaddling clothes tonight because it was a frigid 32 degrees.
At the end of our visit, we made it into the church for cookies! I am not sure how we managed to find the homemade chocolate chip cookies that were still warm, but boy were we lucky!
On the way home, we asked Ethan if he had a good time. He answered yes and he would like to go back. When we asked what he would like to see again, he said, "the Oreo cookies next time." It was a magical night, but not for the reason you are probably thinking. In the car, Ethan said, "I am so tired. I want to sleep for a long time." Then, when we got home, he went to bed without one little fuss!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Reindeer Games

Today was tree decorating day! After church and lunch, we drug up the Christmas boxes and got to work. The first things that the boys found were Hunter's reindeer ears from 10 years ago. I still have them. Everyone took turns wearing them! In fact, as I write this blog, Ethan is sitting on the couch watching a movie with them on.

(when E put this shirt on today he said, "Look, it's America."
Ethan took his decorating serious this year. He wanted to put the star on. After the star and lights, he started on the ornaments. With the exception of the really high ones, he decorated the tree.
Lincoln on the other hand had more important things to do....such as golf with the ball ornaments. Thank goodness they were not glass. He was interested in the basketball ornaments and the ones with his pictures on them. He's such a man!
Ethan found the long, skinny, twirly ornaments. He called them carrots and put them all in a row. He's once again lining everything up!
It was really fun decorating the new house. I love where we put the tree. It's at the top of the landing when you come upstairs. The smell of the tree hits you as soon as you walk in the door. It's also the first thing you see when you come in. We don't have a mantel, so we had to hang the stockings over the armoire. Poor Hunter's stocking didn't fit, so we moved his over to the toyroom door. I don't think he really minded! We all hope you enjoyed putting your Christmas tree up as much as we did!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The weekends are not long enough!

So, I thought we were pretty darn acclimated to the area. I felt like we could get around well, until today! We went to the post office to send some packages off today. We used the GPS to get us to a post office that was close to the tree lot. The post office took just a few minutes and it was close to lunch time so we used the GPS and looked for a Mexican place to eat. I noticed that the GPS said that Baja Taco was just 3.2 miles away. So, off we went! FORTY-FIVE minutes later we found the place. At 12:10 we were finished eating and left to go the 3.2 miles back to the tree lot. At 1:26 (with a Starbucks stop in there) we were back to our original starting point. The GPS was spot on...the traffic and lights were just horrific. A really nice guy from the Boys and Girls club helped us get our tree. Ethan had his first Starbucks experience today. Of course, he waited about 30 minutes to drink the Hot Chocolate because he thought it was "too hot."
We put the boys down for nap very soon after we got home and put the tree up. Our plan is to decorate it after church tomorrow. Once naps were finished, we decided to go to Union Station and see their Norwegian tree and toy train.

The boys LOVED every minute of it. This station has a mall with tons of restaurants in it. We ate at Uno Pizza because we could sit by the ledge and watch the toy train while we ate. Ethan ate two pieces of pizza with his back to us staring at the train.
Dinner was so peaceful! If any of you have ever eaten with us you know how wonderful this was! We decided to drive into DC instead of taking the train. It was such big payoff for us (so maybe we were a little more acclimated than I thought). It took about 20 minutes versus a 50 minute train ride! I have a list of things I want to do this holiday season. We were able to mark two things off the list today. I just hope we have enough time to get it all in!