Monday, December 26, 2011

the play kitchen

I got a *good idea this year to make a play kitchen for Leah and Ian. I saw some really cute pictures online and decided to take it on about 2 weeks before Christmas. I had an old toy chest that we had acquired (this is just a fancy word for me seeing a craigslist ad for free and running out to pick it up before Michael could get home from work and tell me to stop bringing junk into the house. I might be a hoarder) and I decided this was the perfect project for it. It took lots of work and only a handful of trips to the hardware store. In the end, I'm trying to embrace the imperfections and I hope it will be something the kids will get lots of playtime out of. It was fun to do. Maybe next year I can start a little earlier than 2 weeks before Christmas. (Of course, next year, I'm sure I'll just hire someone else to fill my Santa's workshop with goodies since we'll be in China. Should be interesting...)

We wrapped it up in a blanket and the kids pretty much ignored it until I pointed it out as the last present to Leah and then she went at it.

They both started playing immediately.

It has only caused about 63 fights between these two since Christmas morning. I thought new toys for Christmas were supposed to help keep the kids happy longer. Not so much here. Maybe when we get them off the sugar they will be better.

some random christmas part 1

Working on getting all of our pictures from Christmas posted for all of you who want to feel like you spent Christmas morning with us. Enjoy.

christmas eve

I am posting all of the pictures we took on Christmas Eve. We had a great time celebrating with an old friend we know from Corpus and her sweet family, who allowed us to crash their party. It was so nice to be able to see Diane and her family (here in the unfriendly northeast, where we don't have many friends : ) and have a fun celebration. Everyone was so nice and the food was amazing. The kids had a great time playing with all of the visiting grandchildren and we may have met a future babysitter for us here in Alexandria. Bonus.

After a family wide talent show (which was great) and acting out the nativity, where Leah was quite an inspired angel, we headed home and everyone received their matching pj's.

I'm not sure how much Ian realized about Christmas, but Leah was super excited. It's really fun to be a parent for Christmas. I was almost too excited to sleep as we went to bed that night.

Leah was funny on the way home from our Christmas Eve party. I asked her if Santa was going to come bring her presents. She said yes. Then I asked her what he would bring. She said "Toys, musics, and boxes." I think she may have watched one too many Christmas movies this year. Michael is pretty determined to introduce her to all of the claymation Christmas movies, even the creepy ones.

The kids ended up not getting up Christmas morning until 8am, which made for a pretty hectic day for us. Church was at 11, so we hurried through opening gifts, then rushed to get ready for church, suffered through an insane Ian at church, and ran home so I could get the ham into the oven in time for dinner. Busy day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

our October snow

We were surprised to get a flew snow flurries on our way home from shopping on Saturday afternoon. It was so cold and I just wanted to run inside, but the kids clearly wanted to enjoy the winter weather. Makes me wonder what we might be in store for in a few months. Might need to invest in a windshield scraper (sure didn't need one of those for the past 4 years in Corpus!).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

our fam

Michael is working on his camera skills so he took a few snapshots of us a few days ago. I can't seem to find the time (or motivation!) to learn how to use our fancy camera, so I'm glad he is. Does anyone out there think Ian needs a haircut?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

keep the pictures coming

Keyla emailed me all the pictures she has taken of our family outings the last month or so and so I'm just going to post them all here. Most of these are from Leah's birthday party. The only oddball one is the one of Ian below which was taken at the National Harbor on Labor Day. These kids just keep getting bigger with every passing day!

more pictures

Keyla and I went on a field trip to Old Town Alexandria with the kids to get some shots of Leah and Isaac. Leah wasn't in a very cooperative mood and the pictures show it. She ended up getting sick later, so I think she just wasn't feeling up to it.

our trip to the zoo

In an answer to all of the requests to update the blog with new pictures, here are a bunch from our trip the zoo back when my family was visiting for Leah's b day. It's kind of crazy to go to the zoo with that many people, but it was fun. All of these pictures were taken by Keyla.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

alright, alright, some new pictures already

I've gotten some complaints that although some people were sick of looking at Bernice, they were now tired of looking at the old pictures of Leah too. So, without further ado, here are some new pictures from just last weekend.

Leah turned 3 a few days ago and we had a small birthday party. My family came from North Carolina and we had a great time.

Ian was pretty excited about all of the festivities.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

anyone else tired of looking at Bernice yet?

Welcome back to our world friends. We're finally starting to get settled in here in Virginia. Not settled enough to have taken any recent pictures of the kids, but I just had to move the Bernice post down from the top of the page. When I put that one in, I certainly didn't mean for it to be our defining blog post for about 4 months (that was a complete guess - I don't know how long it's been). Anyway, we've just gotten internet access here at home this week and my iphone broke last week, so I don't have any fresh pictures to post but I do have a connected computer.

These pictures are from our trip to Honduras back when Leah was about 9 months old. It seems fitting to be posting these pictures because Mark and Keyla and Isaac moved to the area the same time we did (randomly) and so we've been spending lots of time with them. In fact, I'm pretty sure Ian prefers his Aunt Keyla to me. What can I say? I'm not used to being so close to family. I like it, but I think it might make our move to Beijing even harder next year. We'll see about that.

I can hardly remember when Leah was that small. And now Ian is older than Leah was here. I'll try to get some newer pictures posted soon. Ian is starting to look way too grown up, if you ask me. And although he still doesn't say much (except an enthusiastic "Da-da" when I ask him to say "Mama") he can roar like a dinosaur. I guess boys are boys, even when they're little. Stay tuned for our next post, hopefully soon....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bernice, oh Bernice...

For those who may be wondering, yes, Bernice used to be a lovely shade of pink. She used to be just as fluffy and full as the new Bernice pictured here. She is so loved. Leah needs her everywhere. Leah will hug her tight and announce, "hug Bernice" as she's doing it. If she drops Bernice, she'll quickly pick her up and say "I sorry Bernice. You okay Bernice? You okay?"

I was naturally excited when we found a "new" Bernice at the mall a couple of weeks ago. Without even thinking about the cost, I snatched up two new Bernices and promptly hid one away when we got home. I was kind of hoping we could retire the old Bernice and bring the new one on as her replacement. I mean, it's embarrassing to carry the old dingy one around. Gross. Unfortunately, Leah now wants the old Bernice and sometimes the new Bernice at the same time. Leah is not being fooled. She's just a companion Bernice, not a replacement. Oh well. I guess I tried.