Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

For those of our loved ones who weren't with us this morning, here are a few pictures/videos of the kids this morning with their Christmas goodies.

AJ's "haul" - don't worry - he's sitting down!

AJ opening a gift

"Nooooooooo! Don't make me show off my new duds!"

Learning to unwrap

Learning to unwrap some more!

Not quite sure what it is

"Where's the baby?"

Cutest picture of all time


video
AJ opening a gift. One of these days I'll learn not to turn the camera. Or they'll build a camera that automatically adjusts or something.


video
Joanna opening a gift

Joanna's pretty bow

video
Tidmouth Sheds


video
AJ "driving" a MarioKart on Auntie's Wii

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends and Family,

This year for Christmas, we decided that instead of more "stuff" for each of you who, like us, are insanely blessed, we'd use that money to bless someone who would otherwise not have anything by giving them an animal through Heifer, International.

Here's AJ to tell you which one we picked:




And here's Heifer's description of what a water buffalo will do for the family that is chosen:

Water Buffalo
Helping Hooves

A water buffalo can lead a hungry family out of poverty and give them a chance for a bright future filled with hope and free from hunger.

In poor Filipino villages, water buffalo from Heifer provide draft power for planting rice and potatoes, milk for protein and manure for fertilizer and fuel. A farmer can plant four times more rice with a buffalo than by hand.

Water buffalo haul heavy loads to the market, where the sale of extra produce brings in vital income for clothing, medicine and school. By renting their buffalo to neighbors, Heifer partner families can earn money for home improvements. And one day, those same neighbors might receive a water buffalo of their own as recipients pass on the gifts of animals and training.

Protein-rich milk, strength to till soil, manure to enrich the land ... so many benefits. And, in turn, water buffalo are happy just to graze on coarse grasses and other plants not suitable for harvesting.

My favorite thing about Heifer, International is that the gift is given with the stipulation that they then give _their_ first born female to another family, so this gift could potentially take not just a single family from poverty to being self-supporting, but an entire community!

We love you all and wish you the merriest of Christmases!

Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace, goodwill to men!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MythBusters

So ever since I saw the MythBusters where they tested various objects to see how germy they were compared to a toilet seat, I've had a _REALLY_ hard time touching my dish sponge.  When I clean my fork at work now, I wash it and my hands off with their antibacterial soap after "washing" the fork with dish soap and the sponge.  And I'm not a fan of the anti-bacterial (you know - super germs and such).

Am I the only one who's crazy?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

While You Wait

I'm not usually one for pimping other people's blogs, but this post by Shaun Groves is awesome.  Great perspective.  Great hope.  Possibly even "good news of great joy!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Successes and Random Animalia

So last night, our little ones gave me two blessings:
1) Joanna slept until 5:30!!!!!!  I got like SIX hours of uninterrupted sleep!!!
B) While his timing was impeccable (he woke up at 6:30 to tell me this, so I'd been back asleep for less than an hour), AJ _woke_up_ to tell me that he needed to go potty.  Then he got up, sat on the potty, peed (in a timely fashion), got re-dressed, got back in bed, and went back to sleep!  Not without help, but still.  He might not be in pull-ups forever after all!

Then, after I got them into the car to go pick up CaptainConundrum and get to work, I brought the trash out to the dumpster.  The sides were closed, so I opened one of them and got the scare of my life.  Immediately, a squirrel (who'd apparently been trapped) tried to jump out of the opening.  But then saw me and freaked out and jumped back _into_ the dumpster while I screamed and jumped back.  But then he was scared to come out and I was scared to throw my trash in, so (after I re-collected my senses), I pounded on the outside of the dumpster enough that the squirrel made his escape (angrily chattering at me the whole time - like _I_ was the one who'd trapped him in the dumpster) and I was free to dump my trash.

It was quite exciting.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Getting Bolder

Apologies for any spelling mistakes.  Blogger used to have a spell-checker....it doesn't seem to anymore, for some reason.

Anyway....

Joanna's still not really "walking" yet (although she took her first steps a week or so ago), but she _is_ getting far more confident in letting go of things and standing without support.  She'll pull up on the coffee table, let go, twist her body around, and grab onto the couch.  Not far enough to require a step, but definitely a "step" in the right direction!

She's also hilarious when she's trying to reach something.  She'll pull up on the coffee table, then try to get to the entertainment center, but it's too far to reach, so she'll stretch out from the table as far as she can - arms fully extended, legs spread wide, reaching just as far as she can.  When she still can't reach, she'll usually let go of the table, stand there for a few seconds pondering her next move...........then squat down and finish with a crawl.  The pondering takes longer and longer as she gets more confident though, so I'm sure that any day now, she'll start trying more often to make it without crawling.  She _has_ tried once or twice, but that typically ends up with her on the floor anyway.

(AJ's sitting at his train table having a pretend conversation - it includes our typical him: "but I _want_ to" me: "but you still can't" and several "please"s and "thank you"s....in addition to the occasional "I _said_ please.")

I know some moms fear each new stage (crawling, walking, etc.), but these kids of mine have been so wonderful and wondrous in each new stage that even while I miss them being little, I can't help but look forward to each new day with them - seeing them learn new things and grow into actual little people!

Plus, when they learn to walk, there's less for me to carry!