Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CAMP TRUE BIRTHDAY PARTY

We drove to Siloam Springs, AR just in time for my nephew True's 2nd birthday party.  We knew that our crew would not exactly be helpful for the setup, so I just brought cookies and tried not to arrive too early.  Ellen has quite the knack for party throwing (you can see True's Milk and Cookie themed 1st birthday party here), and everything turned out so cute.  I love to see details come together, and this one was camping perfection.  Here's the main food table.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

These acorns were a major hit with both John and Lily (and everybody else).  While True was blowing out the candles, I had to have Lily put the bucket back on the table.

Untitled

Ellen also made this super cute and tasty cake.

Untitled

The camping fabric under everything really helped tie it all together.

Untitled

Outdoors, there was a tent, hammock and swinging chair for kiddos to play on, as well as bubbles and sidewalk chalk.  Because the weather was so beautiful, it turned out to be a lovely day relaxing outside.  So many of their friends came to celebrate True.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

The birthday boy seemed thrilled with everything and enjoyed having everyone sing Happy Birthday as he tried to blow out the candles.  After several tries and some help, they were extinguished.  I love two year olds.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

It was so fun to have so much of my family there.  Gotta love sisters and mom, and I always had someone to help hold a baby.

Untitled
Untitled

On their way out, people were asked to sign True's Curious George Goes Camping book and grab a treat bag.

Untitled
Untitled

I'm always ready for S'more fun - how bout you?  After the party, True's most ardent admirers stayed around to see him open presents with help from his older cousins.

Afterlight

Happy 2nd Birthday, True - you are one loved little man. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, WILLIAM & VIOLET!

Today I have two one year olds!  It's been quite the year - here's a quick look back at monthly pictures.

IMG_3475IMG_4104IMG_4385
IMG_4810IMG_5301IMG_5826
IMG_6116IMG_6383IMG_6753
IMG_7179Untitled

And here we are at 12 months old!

Untitled
Untitled

On her birthday, Miss Violet is almost able to crawl.  She can sort of inch to get places, and she is definitely making progress!  She loves people and being in on the action.  In the last couple of weeks, she has really started noticing our cats and other animals.  She does this precious little giggle of excitement and often will eventually shriek with pleasure.  It is as cute as it sounds.  She has become an awesome sleeper and napper, thankyouverymuch.  She has three teeth and more on the way.

Untitled

On his birthday, Mr. William is able to spin himself in a circle while sitting still and does manage to grab toys anywhere near to him.  He can feed himself finger foods (praise King Jesus), and he will eat just about anything set before him.  He loves to be thrown in the air, and he is especially entertained by his big sisters - Bella in particular.  She can get him to chuckle so quickly.  He is also a good sleeper, and having our sleep woes mostly behind us has been a huge win.  He has one tooth that has come through the bottom and more on the way.

Untitled

William is in three kinds of therapy four times a week, and Violet has two types, three times a week.  Both are progressing well, and we love all of their therapists.  All of their thin liquids (water, juice, formula, milk) have to be thickened to a "stiff nectar" consistency, so we are working on figuring out all of that.  We are transitioning a lot with foods and formulas and thickeners, which feels a bit high maintenance, but they should grow out of it all by the time they are two.  And, it looks as if they both have a bit of allergy-induced asthma.  So, they are fairly high maintenance little people right now, but nothing is long-term or major for the time being.  And they are such happy, sweet babies so much of the time.  We feel enormously blessed.

When I look back at last year, I am still amazed that God saw fit to put them into our family.  Last week I read through some of the roller coaster that was this time last year, and I am so very grateful for the way it turned out.  I can't say it enough.  Today, we went to a park, and I spent some time pushing them on swings, thanking God for their precious lives while they squealed and giggled with delight.

Afterlight
Afterlight

William and Violet - we love you so very much.  You bring so much joy and fullness that we cannot imagine living without.  We thank the Lord when we look at your lives.  Happy birthday!

If you want to read some of the posts from their birth week last year-
{The Call:  Babies Were Born}
{Roller Coaster: Amazing Baby News!}
{Day One with Babies}
{The Eye of the Storm}
{Camp NICU}
{Introducing Our Babies!}

Monday, April 21, 2014

EASTER 2014

We are currently up in NW Arkansas with a lot of my family taking in lots of fun activities, so I am going to keep this post short on words and heavy on pics.  Especially because there are some super cute ones.  We got ready for church and met up to caravan together.  Uncle Luke was on hand to get this picture of our family which felt like an Easter miracle.

Untitled

Gran-Gran got the kiddos Easter clothes, and they turned out so cute.  I didn't get a picture of everyone there, but I did get this classic of my bro and sis-in-law and their son, Max.  Max was not interested in getting pictures made in the slightest.

Untitled

We tried for a cousin picture and did get them all in one picture.  Some of them are even smiling.

Untitled

This was William and Violet's very first Easter.  Sweet babies.

Untitled

That afternoon, after naps, we had egg dying and egg hunting.  Ellen brought over shaving cream and food dye to rolls eggs around in, and I must say, it worked quite well and was not messy.  Especially since we had a lot of adult oversight.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

The girls were by far the most intent eggs hunters in the group, but they made sure to try to help both boys in their search, so everyone ended up with eggs in the end.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

Mom brought eggs from our childhood, and we stumbled upon this "Bones Egg".  That is certainly an extra special kind of bonus.

Untitled

When I think about what Easter means to me and the facts about Jesus' life and death, I come up short of gratitude.  It is too good.  He rose from the dead, and I am so thankful that we get new life and love forever.

I hope your Easter was good and full of meaning.