Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas (Eve)

We spent Chrismtas Eve at the Hilton's house. Grandma Heidi made a delicious feast, the uncles entertained my kids and Grandpa Steve planned a lovely devotional. After our tummies were stuffed and our spirits were lifted, we drove through a couple of neighborhoods to see Chrismtmas lights.

When we got home Carter helped me put out some cookies and egg nog for Santa, as well as a handful of carrot sticks for Rudolph. Carter was pretty excited for Santa to come...I am pretty sure he did't fall asleep until after 9:30 pm. He came out of his room at least twice to tell me that he was going listen for Santa so he could come down and say "hi". Here are a few pictures from the evening as well as a picture of Carter sitting on Santa's lap at our church Christmas party a couple of weeks previous.

Kirk playing some dinner prelude music, Grandpa Steve on the guitar during the Christmas devotional, and Carter playing with grandma's vacuum.

Little Tay getting into some mischief and here is a picture of Drew and I.

Carter on Santa's lap...asking for a sled & crane. Carter even brought Santa a "candy bar" (it was really a chocolate chip granola bar) but hey-the thought counts! Very thoughtful, Carter! We didn't push our luck with Tay this year. She wouldn't let us put her down any where Santa.

We hope your Christmas is wonderful! Drew took this entire week off....we can't wait to spend time with him and hopefully we'll be a little productive as well.

Christmas Pictures

Taking pictures of my kids can be very frustrating for me. Carter is easy...he always has a big happy smile ready for the camera. Taylor is a whole other story. It is nearly impossible for her to cooperate for pictures. Here's our attempt at Christmas pictures this year...

We're off to a terrible start...Tay is mad and I forgot to cut the tag off of Carter's new clothes!
The one and only real smile from Tay...she is actually saying "please" for a snack.

Here's our second attempt...after Tay's nap. I think she was even grouchier and here come the fireworks from Carter as well!

Poor Carter. He is always so good for pictures but this time Tay and I have worn him out.

As soon as I took her Christmas dress off and her blanky was in hand...she was a happy girl.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Going Green

Drew and I recycle. We could probably do better at it but I think we are making a good effort. I try to make a conscious effort to talk about taking care of the earth with Carter. I really want my kids to respect what Heavenly Father has given us- our beautiful earth is just one of those things. Setting the example through recycling is something really easy that we feel we can do. A few minutes ago Carter was playing with a large rubber band and it broke. I said "Oh dear. Throw it away." Carter then looked at me and said, "Let's recycle it! Let's turn it into something new....a motorcycle! Ya- I need a motorcycle!" Hmm. I guess I have some more teaching to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Carter & Tay at Play

Here is my sweet Tay with such a happy smile. I think she looks like Drew in this picture. She is talking more and more these days but her favorite things to say are "eeeee" (please) and "dah doo" (thank you). It is very cute! I am sure it is only time before she is saying "no" and "mine".

Carter is whipping up something delicious in our pretend kitchen area. It is fun to watch him play with his preschool buddies. The two older kids have really helped his imagination. Their favorite thing to do during play time is pretend they are animals....pets....usually puppies. Taylor even pretends to be a doggy from time to time.

Carter is acting silly (of course!) and Tay's giving him a "you're crazy" look. Hilarious! Most of the time they play together pretty well. I love walking in on Carter trying to "teach" her something. I am glad they are not closer in age...I would really be in trouble! Who knows what Carter would have her doing.

First Snow of the Winter

It finally snowed a couple of weeks ago. It only lasted a couple of days but it did stick! I think Carter was ready to shovel as soon as the sun rose. I promised him that we would go out and play in it as soon as preschool was over. He couldn't wait and put on his snow boots and coat, found a kitchen spoon and some little trucks and went to work on the balcony. Drew got a picture on his camera and I'll have him post it soon. Anyway, as soon as preschool was over we went out to shovel.

Carter would shovel all day if I let him!

Tay didn't last as long outside as Carter did.

But she did like watching the snow fall from inside!

November 2007

This is a little late but I guess that is the story of my life these days. November was a good month but it went very fast. Carter was able to get some good playing in with his friends before it got too cold (not that Virginia is ever too cold!). We spent a quiet Thanksgiving with Drew's parents and youngest brother, Jeff. I also attended two births in November. The first of which was at 3:35 am Thanksgiving morning. Here is a picture of the potato turkeys my preschoolers made.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Drew and 3 of his brothers. Very talented. Thanks Rob!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Carter

I can't believe my little guy is already 4 years old. The years have flown by!

Carter had a great day! We invited a few friends from church and a bunch of neighborhood kids over and had what we called a “play party”. No games, no gifts- just good old fashion play time! After an hour or so we had sang Happy Birthday, ate birthday cake and soon after everyone went home. It was great! Carter’s cake was a green frosted #4, with some of his favorite candy making it into a race track (Carter loves green and the movie Cars). Our good friend Perry was in town and joined us for dinner. After which I put Tay to bed and Carter opened his gifts. He had been patient all day but could no longer contain his excitement!

Carter is such a good little guy. We had such a tough time with him over the summer and first part of the fall. I guess he was trying to spread his wings a little. I think preschool has helped him simmer down quite a bit. At times he can be pretty naughty (he is a little boy after all) but overall, he is very very sweet. I love Carter’s laugh and that he laughs a lot. I love his smile and beautiful brown eyes. I love to listen to the funny things he says and to watch him be excited about the simple joys of life. The thought of Carter getting bigger makes me cry and smile at the same time. I am so grateful for him.

Carter’s favorite color is green, he loves to ride his bike, watch PBS kids, to “cook”, play with friends, go to the park, throw balls, and act silly. He is also a good big brother. He recently gave his little sister her first hair cut! Although Tay didn’t seem to mind, mommy wasn’t very happy about it! Here is a picture of Carter right before it was time to open presents. Can you feel his excitement? For more birthday pictures and a few others from November, go to

Carter is getting so big!

Carter all snuggly and sleeping, just a few days old.

What a sweet little face. Carter at 10 months old.

20 months old and as happy as ever!
Two and a half and sooo cute!

3 years old and silly as can be!
4 years old! Here's a preschool picture from yesterday!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Leaves Have Fallen

The weather has finally gotten chilly here in northern Virginia. I feel the end of fall has come and winter is beginning as Thanksgiving will be here in a few days. I feel like I haven't done our autumn season justice this year. We have enjoyed so many wonderful things! A few things I neglected to write about in the past few months was the fabulous Waterford Festival that I attended with my mother-in- law Heidi, the movie "Business of Being Born"- EVERYONE needs to see it!, the many wonderful walks we went on with my friend Kelly and her triplets, having neighbor kids for Carter to play with, and all of the blessings (and frustrations) of having a home preschool. I feel especially blessed and indeed thankful during this time of year. We look forward to Carter's birthday on Tuesday and stuffing ourselves silly on Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Swearing In Ceremony

Last week our family traveled to Richmond for a special session of the Virginia State Supreme Court. All new attorneys were sworn in before the Supreme Court Justices and Drew was one of them. Thank you to Drew's parents for joining us for the afternoon. Before they arrived I was wrestling two little monkeys by myself for the first part of the ceremony. There weren't very many children and I got a lot of dirty looks but Carter and Tay were an integral part of Drew's graduate school experience. . .so I just smiled and broke out snacks for everyone. Here's a picture of them being so good and patient. Don't you just love that Tay is looking at her shoes! She loves wearing shoes!

Although the ceremony itself was pretty dull, we were very happy to be there. When they read Drew's name I didn't know if I should jump for joy or ball my eyes out so I compromised and smiled like crazy. I am so proud of Drew. He studied so hard and for so long for the bar exam. I am so grateful for the sacrifices he makes each day for our family. Drew- we love you so much! Thank you for all you do for us.

Graduation Pictures

Drew graduated in May of 2006 with a law degree as well as a MBA. Way to go Drew!! The day was kind of crazy and we didn't get a chance to take graduation pictures. I have always felt terrible about that so while we were in Richmond for the swearing in ceremony, we stopped by U of R and snapped a few graduation pictures. Better late (even really late) than never!

These are the doors Drew entered every day for 3 years of law school. They are a symbol of his experience there. I think he is glad they are closed now :).

I wish we all had graduation hats to wear! Carter thought it
was pretty neat to wear his dad's special hat.

Fall Family Pictures

The University of Richmond campus is very beautiful. Being back last week brought back a flood of memories for me. When Carter was just a little guy I would take him for walks around the small lake on campus. He loved to feed the ducks and look for the snapping turtles that would swim up to the gazebo. We loved to meet Drew for lunch or dinner in the grassy area between the law school and the MBA building. Those were the days! While we were there to take "graduation" pictures we also snapped a few pictures of the kids.

Little Miss Tay

Don't you just love those big brown eyes!

Just the girls!

Trying to get the kids to smile got old so I thought I would
include a couple of "natural" smile pictures.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to each of you! Halloween at our house gets more fun each year as the kids get older. Carter was so cute running from house to house trick or treating. My friend Kelly and her triplets joined us too! The triplets were so cute- all bundled up in their Red Skins outfits. We pushed the four "babies" in joggers but by the end of the night big girl Tay insisted on walking like Carter.

I love this picture! Taylor didn't want Spiderman sitting next to her.
Carter showing me his spidy hands!
Our little bunny Taylor.

Our family of pumpkins.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Aldie Day

We spent yesterday morning at a local harvest festival. We ate kettle corn, fed woolly alpacas, walked through antique shops, jumped in a moon bounce, chatted with some fire fighters, watched a black smith demonstration, and toured the historic Aldie Mill. After the festival, we headed off for a beautiful fall drive through the Virginia countryside to a farm for pumpkin picking. Here are some pictures from Aldie Day.

Tay's first moon bounce experience. . .
after Carter climbed in she understood what it was all about.

Here is our wild boy coming down the moon bounce slide.

Historic Aldie Mill. The tour was very cool.

I think Carter liked the black smith demo a lot. Why do boys like fire so much?

Carter was feeling a little shy. . .

so we all had our picture taken!

Picking Pumpkins

Tay found her pumpkin (with just a little help from Daddy).

At first I thought Carter was curious about the pumpkin but it turns out he was just really checking out all of the bugs! What a boy!

So many to choose from!

Carter finally found "the one" after trapsing all over the pumpkin patch.

Tay didn't like the all of the prickles the patch gave her. If fact, she took several tumbles on the hilly pumkin patch that left her with a few bad scratches on her face. Poor baby!

Even though she kept falling on the bumpy ground, she would immediately get up and keep going. She was having so much fun!
We told Carter we would take him to the the bathroom as soon as we loaded the pumpkins in the trunk. . .but I guess he just couldn't wait!