Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Got It!

We discovered that a $1 bribe per child makes a huge difference in what they are willing to do (dress up) and how they go about doing it (with a smile and giggly!)!!! The above picture is the one I ordered for our Christmas cards. I pick them up on Friday...and hopefully get them mailed shortly thereafter!
I love this picture of the two kids, in matching outfits, in front of our Christmas tree. Aaaahhh, that's the coordinated look I wanted!

Another cute pic of Josiah and Mackenzie together. Robee even made the picture. Ha.

A rare picture of David and me together! The kids really are pretty good with the camera. ;)
Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Week in Pictures

We have had a week full of activities, so to catch up I'm beginning with the most recent pictures first, and ending with the ones from this past Saturday night. I finally got a good picture of both kids in front of our tree. Too bad they're just in pajamas instead of their Christmas outfits! That's alright, though. I'm just happy to have the picture!
This picture is going to be our Christmas card for this year. I was pretty excited about how it turned out for a random moment of photo op with the tripod and timer! The kids cooperated so well because by doing so they were delaying their bedtime. ;) Though our outfits are not coordinated, we're at least all smiling and looking at the camera! He, he.

The kids totally enjoyed the camera on the tripod. Our two photographers, one age 3 1/2 and the other 5, did a terrific job of taking a picture of David and me together!

I think Josiah took this one! I thought it was pretty cute of Mackenzie with me.

Mackenzie took this one of Josiah and me, together with his new toy robot, too! It's name is Robee, in case you were wondering. :)

We gave in to the begging and let each child open one present early. Josiah opened his new robot, which he named Robee. It really walks and its arms move and everything! He has not turned loose of it yet. It slept near him, played Mario Kart with him, and even went to school with him today! He is one proud little boy.

Mackenzie opened her new backpack. Bless her heart, she needed a new one. She had been asking for a new one for months now, and I made sure that was the one she opened early so that she can use it these last few days of school before Christmas break begins. Her criteria for a backpack: purple or pink, strap in front to hold backpack on better, and mesh pocket for her water. I found this one on Land's End and it seems perfect for her. :)

Josiah fell asleep in the van as we picked Mackenzie up from school yesterday. When he finally woke up, he simply climbed into David's arms and promptly fell back asleep! What I love about this picture is the multi-tasking that David is doing: holding Josiah and cooking, too! Don't worry, I took Josiah to free David's hands up...after I got the picture!

Yesterday, I was blessed to be able to go to lunch with Mackenzie and then watch as her class dressed up to be the nativity, if you will. Thanks to Cindy M. for keeping Josiah so that I could be there for Mackenzie. Mackenzie is an angel standing in the back row, second child from the right. Cute kids!

My little angel, just about to get out of her costume as I snapped this picture!

Last Saturday night we hosted our H2H Bible Study group's Christmas Party. This is a picture off of Matt and Holly's camera--thanks, guys--of most of our group. We were missing a family or two, but surely made a great group picture with the 12 adults and 12 children present! We had a traditional Christmas meal and it was fun to enjoy each other's yummy dishes. The gift exchange was fun, and the kids enjoyed a craft and story time, too.
How's that for catching up?! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Sweet Kids

On Monday morning while I was helping Mackenzie get up, dressed, and ready for school, Josiah came up the stairs with a half opened package from under our Christmas tree. He had spent several days asking to open that one package early. I kept telling him that we should wait until closer to Christmas. I guess he just couldn't wait any longer, but in the middle of opening the present (without permission) he decided maybe he should ask! So, in the dark of the early morning, Josiah came upstairs with the half opened package to ask if he was allowed to open it now. Ha! I asked him if he had already started opening it, to which he replied an honest, "yes." Then I asked him if the package was to him. He said with excitement, "It says, To Josiah From Mackenzie!" I told him since it was from Mackenzie, he needed to go ask her if he could open it early. "Hooray!" he yelled as he ran passed me and into Mackenzie's room. He used his best manners and sweetest voice to ask permission from Mackenzie, who was even more excited than he was! She answered yes and watched eagerly with a huge smile on her face while he opened his package. He tore the paper off and then took the lid off of the shoe box. Peering down inside he saw a toy gun with a target. He was thrilled and she was so pleased! As I watched from the other side of the room, I could not have been a prouder Momma! Josiah belted out a huge, "Thanks, Kenzie!" and Mackenzie just beamed.

Josiah is one of the few people that Mackenzie asked to buy a Christmas present for this year. She even used her own money. I took her to the Dollar Tree, as she requested, and she found the perfect toy gun gift for Josiah. I was quite impressed that she was able to pick a gift for him that HE would like, instead of what she liked! I didn't even have to guide her towards any item; she picked completely by herself. Once home from the Dollar Tree, she just could not wait to get his present wrapped and under our tree. She hand wrote the "To Josiah From Mackenzie" all by herself. She was proud of the gift she gave, and he was delighted to receive it. Out of all the packages under the tree, he has not asked to open ANY of the others. The only one he was interested in was the one from his sister. How funny and how precious!

I pray that the kids are able to learn the true joy found in giving. I believe Mackenzie felt that joy while watching Josiah open his package in those early morning hours. I pray that they learn the art of giving and an attitude of gratitude.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our Weekend

Mackenzie's Christmas musical was this past Thursday night and again on Friday morning. Friday was Grandparent's Day at her school, and I was delighted that my dad and Lisa were able to attend for Mackenzie. The above picture is of Mackenzie's Thursday night performance. Getting there 30 minutes early was certainly not early enough for a seat with a good view! Live and learn. On Friday morning we were there in time for front row seats. :) Mackenzie is on the second row from the top, second child from the edge. Her dear friend, Avery, is standing right beside her on the very edge.
This picture is of the Friday morning performance. We had better seats, as you can tell from the proximity of the picture! Again, Mackenzie is on the second row down, second from the edge. The musical performance was fantastic and quite impressive, too.

As soon as the performance was over on Friday, we headed up to Gatlinburg's Aquarium for the afternoon. This was Dad and Lisa's first time at an aquarium, so it was a neat experience for us all.
My dad and Mackenzie in front of a school of fish.

Mackenzie with Lili at the aquarium.
Mackenzie and me, enjoying the colorful fish in the huge tank.

Papa, or Poppie as the kids often call him, and Josiah exploring at the aquarium.
Josiah in the cave area at the aquarium.
Mackenzie and me in the interactive area.
Mackenzie and Josiah checking out the jelly fish.

My dad, me, Josiah, and Mackenzie in front of a beautiful Christmas tree in Gatlinburg.

Dad and Lisa, or Poppie and Lili

Papa and Lili with Mackenzie and Josiah. I love this picture!

Friday night, though we were all exhausted, we had a surprise party for Lili. Her birthday is this week, so we celebrated a few days early. I'm no cake decorator, but I had fun making a cake for her birthday. I was stunned and pleased when I found out that no one had ever made her a cake before! We all enjoyed the party. :)
Then we woke up Saturday morning to find snowing pouring from the sky. How beautiful is God's creation?! Josiah loved the snow. He had been talking about making snow balls all week, since we first found out that a chance of snow was in the forecast.

Poppie pulling Mackenzie on the sled in our yard. I bet we got a couple of inches of gorgeous snow. By lunchtime it was all gone, but we certainly enjoyed it while it lasted! We had a great weekend and made some wonderful memories. Thanks to Dad and Lisa for taking the time off work to come our way for a visit.
(Side note: David's Grandma had major abdominal surgery Thursday night and is in ICU. She is 95 1/2 years old. Please say a prayer for her and all involved in her care.)