Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, 2009...Hello, 2010!

This past year has just flown by in our household. As I reflect back, I'm grateful for the busyness, as it has caused time to go by quickly, but I'm also sad that the time has gone by so quickly...does that make sense? With going back to work this fall, this blog has not had the attention I would have liked, and I am long overdue on lots of photos, but I will try better in 2010. As we anticipate a new year, I'm excited about what it might hold for our family (maybe we'll meet our daughter Sophia this year?!), and yet a little hesitant about what the future might reveal. But through it all, my God is in control, and in Him I can trust and rest. So, may God bless you and yours in 2010, and...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Overdue Vacation Pics - Part Two

After visiting the Lego store and other fun places at Downtown Disney, we decided to find somewhere to eat dinner. We headed over to Pleasure Island, another section of Downtown Disney, which has a variety of restaurants and shops. (Interestingly, it used to have nightclubs, but they are all closed down and they are making it all more family friendly!) We ate at a new restaurant there called Paradiso 37. It was by far our priciest meal of the week, but we enjoyed the interesting flavors of the Americas! After dinner, one vehicle loaded up with the men and half the children, while my mom, sister, Jonathan (our bodyguard who always stayed half a block away to make sure we didn't dampen his style!), and I stayed to shop around a bit with the toddler duo of Nathaniel (age 2) and Juliana (age 3). We had a lot of fun...enjoy the pics!

Nathaniel and I enjoying dinner

my sister and her clan at dinner

the toddler duo contained...for the moment!

my sister, my mom, and I having a little fun
(photo courtesy of Jonathan!)

grandmom and Nathaniel riding the "choo-choo"

my all time favs...Pooh and friends!

the toddler at last!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Overdue Vacation Pics - Part One

A few weeks ago (although it seems like a lifetime ago now!) our family, my sister's family, and our parents took a week long trip to Orlando, Florida, for a mini family vacation. We rented a beautiful house with a pool that more than accommodated all 14 of us (that would be six adults and eight kids!) and ventured out and about each day to various area attractions. The first night we were there we went over to one of my favorite places in Orlando, Downtown Disney. The following pictures are from the Lego Imagination Center there...more pics will follow from other things we did that night and later that week, but I have so many pics, I need to chunk them into groups to keep the posts semi-manageable! Enjoy!

the wall of single Lego bricks you can buy by the pound

I love the sky behind these two pics of the boys!

my happy two year old!

attempting to climb a mini climbing wall

cousins working together on a Lego creation

one of the few decent pics my teen allowed...and he's actually helping his brother!

Benjamin's finished product...he wanted a picture to remember!

Dave and the younger boys enjoying the beautiful scenery and weather!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Advent Tree

A few years ago I expanded on the tradition of an advent calendar by creating an advent tree for our boys. I found these ornament boxes and immediately thought that they would be great for hiding little goodies for the boys as we counted down to December 25. The boys take turns opening one box each night to find the treat inside. From our almost 15-year old to our 2-year old, each of the boys enjoys this tradition. When I have something that doesn't fit in the box, I put a paper with a clue to the item in the box, or, this year, just a number that clues me in to my "master list" of items. They wait expectantly as I go to our "back room" and rummage around to find the item that the number indicates. Usually I have four of an item so that each child gets something, but sometimes, the treat is for the entire family (e.g., a new DVD). This tree is in addition to our regular tree and sits in our dining room. It's a lot of fun and something I look forward to planning each year for that little something extra that makes the Christmas season fun and memorable!

our advent tree