Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Izzy is in the house!

We are smitten.

I had no idea I could watch a dog chew a bone for so long and be completely entertained.

izzy dark edit

joey and izzy-edit

Christmas 2009

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching my kids give the gifts that they have chosen to one another. Usually, this happens early on the 24th because they just can't wait until Christmas Eve! This year, Joey and Sammy picked out the same gift for each other (on different days).

kids christmas

A little Christmas morning frustration....I snapped about 30 pictures at church and sadly, this is the best of the bunch!

kids church

lily and daddy
lilys kitties
lily tree

Friday, December 18, 2009

Joey's 2009 in pictures


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sam's year...

sam collage

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday Sam!

Do you remember what it felt like to get THE present you dreamed of for more than 4 months?

This may help you remember...

Happy Birthday Sam! We love you!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Seriously? How can we not be excited about having this little face join our family?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lily's Year in Review!

12 months.

12 months of talking, walking, running, laughing, playing, sunning, kissing, hugging, loving...

lilys year

Friday, December 4, 2009

We've decided to adopt again!

We are so excited! We have decided to adopt another little girl.

She is 4 weeks old.

She is perfectly healthy!

She is blondish (right now) even though her dad has jet black curly hair.

This will be a domestic adoption, we don't have to travel far.

And here she is!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Family game night is every night

Game night is now EVERY night in our home. We have become obsessed with this game:

If you're looking for a great family game, this is it.

My 6 year old loves it.

My 9 year old loves it.

My mother loves it.

I love it.

We can't get enough.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

The other day, I was talking to Sam about Christmas. We had a real heart-to-heart about giving, receiving, being kind and spreading Christmas spirit. After our talk, he looked up at me with his big, blue innocent eyes and said "Wow, and I thought Christmas was all about presents."

While I know that Sam is 6 (a somewhat greedy age) and always good for a laugh, it bothered me that he seemed to have no idea about the true meaning of Christmas. I decided it was time for a Christmas intervention.

As a child, I always had an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. That tradition has been passed on to my children by my mother, who gives them an advent calendar each year at Thanksgiving.

This year, in addition to the advent calendar, my kids will be counting down to Christmas with a "giving tree."

On the tree are 24 paper bags filled with pieces of paper that describe small ways my boys can take part in the spirit of the season by giving or sharing with others. I tried to make this fun while also focusing on doing for others.

Today, the boys opened bag #1 and were given gratitude journals. On each day of advent (and hopefully thereafter), they will jot down 3 - 5 things each day that they are thankful for. I was surprised when they ran to write in their journals immediately after getting them! Filling in the journal is their "ticket" to take a bag off of the tree.

Each day's "task" is simple, but meaningful. For example, on Day 2 each boy gets a candy cane and one for each of them to share with a friend at school.

Later this month, they will have a chance to order a "cup of joe" for a soldier overseas, make a bird feeder, send a surprise gift to a far-off relative, make a thank you card for the crossing guard, take cookies to the fire station, etc.

There are only 1 or 2 bags that have a little piece of Christmas candy inside--mostly because I was running out of ideas! I really hope my boys enjoy preparing for Christmas as much as I enjoyed preparing for Advent!