Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Recap

We had such a wonderful Christmas/several days with our families. I cannot possibly talk about
everything nor do you want me to:) so I have chosen several snapshots that wrap up our holiday!

The Carpenter's Christmas Morning

Here are the kids in their Christmas jammies. Lauren wouldn't ever let us get a great picture with her.

His newest thing is to put his hands in mouth when I ask him for a picture....so we get a shot like this...

Love this sweet face

We didn't get the kids much for Christmas this year and it's a good thing because this photo book was the biggest hit with James. He LOVED it and we figured he would because he enjoys looking through his scrapbooks. He asked to read it after opening up each gift and we have read it many, many times since then. The title is Who Loves You James?

We made these cute, little reindeer candy canes for all of James' cousins. He enjoyed making them and passing them out and I'm pretty sure the kids all enjoyed them too!

I finally got him smiling...

Here is the best shot I was able to get of Lauren. I know...terrible isn't it? She was all over the place!!! This is the octopus James picked out all by himself to give Lauren for Christmas. He even helped wrap it and was very proud and excited when she opened it up. She enjoyed it too!

Look at this insane amount of gifts!!! We put several of them away and we will pull them out
when he gets bored....and to think he has a birthday in 3 weeks!!!

This was one of his favorite gifts. It's a firefighter gas mask and he loves it! He got an entire
box of equipment. My favorite thing is when he walks around with this on while carrying his sword. Don't you know...firefighters need a sword to chop down the doors!!!

And this is one of Lauren's favorite gifts. I had never seen it before. It is a caterpillar rocker and it plays music and does shapes and colors when you push its buttons. She loves to sit on things so this was an immediate hit for her.

Another favorite gift for James was his scooter...we have been letting him ride it around the house since it's too cold to go outside. I'm sure he is going to get lots of use out of it this summer!

We have SO much to be grateful for and we really used this Christmas time to reflect on all God has blessed us with this year. We are so thankful for our families and the role they play in our lives!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Didn't see this one coming...

So....to add a little bit of holiday cheer to our family...I arrived to my car last night after
tutoring (like I do every Wednesday night) at the public library in Goshen to this. No, you are not seeing ice on my window like James thought (bless his heart) What you are seeing is my ENTIRE back window smashed out. The "ice" you see is all that was left of it. Someone stole the kids' DVD players and dvds. Somehow they missed the Garmin....Jerks...
Maybe a good Samaritan walked by and spotted them...yeah right? Who didn't see this going on? How exactly does someone smash a window and manage to steal everything inside in the parking lot of a busy public library at key hours?
Unbelievable!!! I know it didn't matter to the thief, but it kills me that they stole the kids' dvd players. I mean come on....And that they left glass covering their seats and all of Lauren's toys.
I hid my purse under the seat, but yes, they found that too. Luckily I had my wallet with me because it had my library card in it....but....I had an envelope with my much of my tutoring cash/Christmas money that I have been saving religiously! :( I don't usually keep in in my purse but had it in there while doing someone Christmas shopping. THIS STINKS!!!! My very hard earned money. I was so irate last night you can't even imagine. I'm usually pretty easy going. I think even the librarians were a bit nervous last night... I was a crazy lady....
We are going to have to replace Lauren's car seat because of the amount of glass that is in it. I'm just not sure we can get it all!!!

Lots of shattered glass....as I was driving it home last night....FREEZING because there was no back window and having everyone staring....I had to listen to glass continue to fall and shift around at every bump I hit....terrible reminder all the way home of the reality of wicked people!

Another look at all of the glass.
So as I worked hard tutoring to make money in these difficult times and give back to kids in our community , someone was stealing everything I have worked so hard far. I understand these are tough times for everyone, but come on folks! It just makes me sick. The insurance will cover everything, including the cash, which is great but our deductible is pretty hefty, so we'll still just about break even....NOT a fun price to pay EVER and for sure not the week before Christmas and a few days before Luke's birthday. And yes, I know it could have been worse and property can be replaced...but....guess what....it still stinks! My heart is heavy today. I was hoping to feel better about it all this morning when I woke up, but that hasn't been the case. I am still very angry and emotional. And guess what I get to do this weekend
while fighting the Christmas shopping madness??? Shop for a new car seat, dvd player, dvds, and purse. You may think fun...but for me...not so much!!! Anyway....MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! oh and don't keep ANYTHING OF VALUE VISIBLE IN YOUR VEHICLES!!! The police officer said they've had several of these break ins and again in daylight in the middle of parking lots. We called the pawn shops and reported the dvd players right away but haven't heard anything. Maybe some little kids will get dvd players with Monsters Inc. and Baby da Vinci....sad, sad, sad...if they only knew...
Oh, and James is very distraught and confused as to why anyone would break our window and take his dvd player and his favorite movie, Monsters' Inc. He keeps saying, "Why'd that man DO that?" and "Well, ask him..." Bless his heart. We also had to explain to him that it didn't happen at our house because he was asking a lot about that too. Oh, the joys of life....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Spirit...

...is filling our house right now...We went and picked out our Christmas tree on Sunday evening. This is one of my favorite parts about Christmas... picking out the tree. I have been going to get a real tree ever since I was a little girl and have such great memories of finding the "perfect" one and then trying to get it home and set up while making a mess with pine needles and such. It is SO worth it though simply for the smell of fresh pine and sap. I LOVE IT!!!
James enjoyed helping us pick out the tree. He was so excited and kept running up and down the aisles of trees.
My big, burly man getting our tree...hehe...
You can see how pitiful and cold their little faces look and Lauren wouldn't keep her mittens on. I really am a good mom! :)

Our tradition with the kids to to get them a Christmas ornament that represents what their interests are at that time. I couldn't decide between a cow, motorcycle or this John Deere. I went with the John Deere and it was a hit. He loves it! I just got Lauren the Year 2 ornament since
I'm not exactly sure what her interests are yet...food maybe? :)
James putting his personal touch on the tree!

Lauren loved looking at the lights. She hasn't touched everything as much as I though she would but when she has tried to touch the ornaments the Ornament Police (aka James) is there to quickly reprimand her!
James was filled with excitement as we started unpacking the lights and bulbs. We quickly took this bulb away as they are glass! :/
James was fascinated with putting the lights up to his skin and watching it glow. The Finished Tree...it doesn't look as pretty because I took the pic during they day so it was hard to see it all lit up. It's beautiful though. Each morning James rushes out to turn on the Christmas lights.Lauren has a cute little festive shirt she got for her birthday! Even she's in the spirit!
James' version of the Nativity Scene
Here is James' own version of the Nativity. Didn't you know that there were kangaroos as well as elephants and hippos at the birth of Christ? :) So sweet. There's an entire zoo surrounding baby Jesus! Unfortunately baby Jesus didn't rank too high because if you look closely he didn't even make it in the stable. He's on the ground next to the kangaroos. My sweetie and his animals!!!

On Saturday evening we took James to the live Nativity at a local church (minus the safari animals). I have to be honest, we took him mainly to see all of the live animals because he was a bit too young to understand the entire Christmas story, but he keeps telling me he saw baby Jesus. Sweet boy. It was SOOO COLD and SNOWY on Saturday night....if he hadn't been looking forward to going so much I don't think we would have gone. It was worth it though...we saw a big camel, donkeys, goats, sheep, chickens, pigeons, baby llamas, and a cow. James was in heaven!!!! By the end he was crying to go home because it was so cold!!! We all warmed ourselves up with some burgers and fries from McD's! MMMM.......As we continue the business that comes along with this Christmas season, I want to remind James what the importance of this great holiday is...the birth of Christ.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Birthday Girl

Lauren's birthday party was everything and more than I had anticipated. It was so fantastic
to be surrounded by our families and share this special day. I have lots of pictures to share and am going to go in somewhat of an order of events. Enjoy! Our house was full of family
and yummy food. We had a spread of chimichangas, guacamole, yummy dips and salsas, rice, and of course lots of cake and ice cream! (I tried to steer clear of Thanksgiving type food!)
I saw a pattern for a bib similar to this on a friend's friend's blog...anyway...I looked up the website, wrote down the instructions and attempted sewing for the first time since I was in
4-H at the age of 14. I was happy with the way it turned out and thank you to my
mother who helped me!!! :) I wanted something cute and fun for her to wear while eating her cake and also to fold and put in her baby box. And I loved the print so much I got enough to make her a sundress for next summer. I will probably need to practice before that!
Party Favors These are the party favors...white chocolate covered pretzel rods. You probably can't see it but the mold is flowers. I wanted to stick with the whole daisy theme!

The CakeAgain, I went out on a limb here for this party and attempted my first birthday cake.
I mean actually making and decorating. I was pleased with the outcome although I thought
my grass looked a bit more like stalactites or are they stalagmites...anyway...the fondant flowers
took quite a bit of time and I learned a lot along that way that no one tells you about...like how the color will stain your counters :) So....here's the cake. It was fun to put in that much
work and effort in making the cake. I really enjoyed it although I am a real perfectionist and had to let some of that perfection go...
The Gifts
Lauren really enjoyed tearing the paper off her gifts and examining the bows. She also enjoyed looking at the boxes of the gifts she got. It was pretty fun to watch. She got some really fun gifts! James was even more excited than she was about all of them! Another perk to having
multiple kids. She got lot of fun girlie gifts!
James loved helping
Lauren got many exciting gifts, but this has to be one of her favorites so far. It is a very
large stuffed dog. It looks like a husky and both James and Lauren LOVE it! James
has been asking for another dog and they both love animals, so G & G Carpenter thought
this would give them their "dog fix" for a bit. She lays her head on it and snuggles it. It's very cute. James named it Harley because it looks like our neighbors dog. I need to get a picture of
them both laying on it.

Eating of the Cake....
Well...not exactly....the difference between a boy and girl. James ate the cake....the ENTIRE cake. He even started eating it without hands. Miss Lauren simply stuck her fingers in the frosting and modestly licked them off. She never did dig in which I always think is fun to watch, but she seemed to enjoy it. There was much less mess to clean up with her.
The Love from Family
Grandma & Grandpa Bogue

Grandma & Grandpa Carpenter
(this is where Lauren gets her blue eyes)

Mommy, Daddy and Birthday Girl
this is one of the only pictures of just the 3 of us...

Luke and I snuck in a quick picture since we did play a little part in creating this little girl's life :)

What a great night we had filled with laughter and memories. Luke worked hard to put together a slide show ofLauren's first year and it turned out beautifully. It made me tear up looking back at the course of the last year. What an amazing year it has been. If one year can be filled with so much emotion and memories, I anticipate what the years ahead of us will bring.
Thank you for sharing this special day with us! We love you!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lauren's ONE!!!!!!!

WOW!!!! My baby girl is 1 today!!!! A year ago Luke and I were staring at each other in amazement at the birth of our beautiful 7 lb. girl-Lauren Michelle. I remember the first time James met her I just looked at them both in utter amazement at how richly we had been blessed. Here we are a year later and I feel that same sense of blessing and amazement but so much more and so much deeper. It has been an phenomenal year. One filled with tears, disbelief, frustration, lack of sleep (lots of lack of sleep), and yet so much love, joy, and gratitude. Those of you who journeyed with me the first 6 months of Lauren's difficult little life know how far we've come! :) Thankfully too...otherwise I may not be blogging about her journey :)
9:30 a.m.
My dad has been bringing James a donut every Friday for the past several months. James loves it and looks forward to them each week. Well, my dad was laid off a few weeks ago so he has been stopping by the house more frequently which means....more donut days. Lauren has gotten in on the fun now too and she LOVES them (just like her mommy). We figured since today was her birthday we would put a candle in it and sing to her. It was lots of fun...probably more for my dad, James and I than for her. She looked a little confused! :) Of course James loved blowing out the candle!

We ended her birthday night with a trip to Target to buy her kitchen (bday gift) and we stopped for ice cream at Dairy Queen. As you can tell by the pictures, she loved every bite. She would have eaten much more, but we cut her off. This girl LOVES food and sweets....We think she eats more than James! :) She squeals as soon as she swallows what's in her mouth. This is one happy girl!

She is such a fun and happy little girl and such a stark contrast to the first half of her life. We are so thankful for her and are so excited to watch her grow into the girl and woman God has for her. Here are some pictures of little ways we celebrated Lauren's birthday today! Her party is on Saturday and I have been very busy at work and will be sure to blog all about it....so....stay tuned!
And a few facts about Lauren at 1 Year:
-she has a "blankie" she sleeps with and loves to lay on and cuddle when she's tired
-she LOVES whole milk (thank the Lord too...SO much cheaper than formula!)
-she loves to put things in various places and especially the animals in James' barn
-she has a little temper. I have seen more anger from her than I ever have from James!
-she loves to open and close EVERYTHING! and has found the only few door and drawers that didn't have latches on them from James
-she responds easily from just a look
-she loves taking baths
-she loves chasing James and being chased
-she loves food of all kind
-she has a really sweet nature
-she will dance to anything that has a beat
-she hates being left...and loves to be included in everything
***So I lied when I said I just a few things....hey, I could go on!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tagged A to Z

This is for you Sara! :) I hope you all learn a few new things about me!!!

A. Attached or single? Attached but I also like to be single (I'm very independent)
B. Best friend? Luke...really... I have a couple close girl friends and of course my mom and sisters
C. Cake or pie? pie for sure (peach if you want me to be specific)
D. Day of choice? Saturday
E. Essential item? lipstick (always wear it) mainly because my lips are chapped and sensitive to many lip products...even carmex! It's not all vanity! :)
F. Favorite color? red and yellow
G. Gummy bears or worms? aren't they the same??? Give me both :)
H. Home town? Elkhart
I. Favorite indulgence? ohhh..I could have a lot but don't on 1 income...so, a Starbucks Caramel Frappacino will have to do
J. January or July? Toss up-January because it's James' bday month but July because it's our anniversary
K. Kids? two- James (3 in January) and Lauren (1 on Tuesday)
M. Marriage date? 07/20/2002
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2 brother and 2 sisters. I'm a middle child!
O. Oranges or Apples? Apples
P. Phobias? snakes and large bodies of water ( I have a great fear of drowning)
Q. Quotes? "There's no pillow as soft as a clear conscience."
R. Reasons to smile? LIFE- I love watching my kiddos play and laugh together, I have an amazing husband, fantastic friends, AND an amazing family!
S. Season of choice? Fall
T. Tag 5 people: I don't know anyone who blogs that hastn't done this one...so if you haven't done it and you are reading this...YOU'RE TAGGED!!!
U. Unknown fact about me? I was a camp couselor (3 weeks) and a master puppeteer every summer from 8th-12 grade and LOVED it!
V. Vegetable? A good salad...does that count?
W. Worst Habit? bite my nails when I'm anxious
X. Xray or ultrasound? Ultrasound for sure!!! Love seeing those itty bitty babies!
Y. Your favorite food? tough one...I like food...maybe taco salad...
Z. Zodiac sign? Taurus (I think)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Best Buds

So over the course of the last several weeks, James and Lauren have become inseparable.
Really...it is really the sweetest and most enjoyable part of motherhood so far. I really mean that.
To watch and listen to your kids play together is just amazing. They are SO bored when the
other is sleeping or away. In fact, Lauren has started crawling back to his door and pounding on it when he is taking his nap.
In fact, she has managed to push it open a few times. We have to really watch her. She just
can't wait for him to get up and James is the same way waiting for her to get up each morning.
He often times will say, "Lauren's awake!" She almost never is the first few times he
says she is, but it is incredibly sweet. As soon as he hears her make the smallest peep, he barges in her room saying, "Morning Wauren." (he can't say his "L")
He then talks to her in just the sweetest voice. Then he climbs in her crib and loves on her. Oh it melts my heart just thinking about it. They are playing nicely together and James
is learning to share his things with Lauren. He's not perfect by any means, but he is
learning and today was a pretty fantastic day!
So this is their latest thing...James and Lauren wrestle. Lauren thinks it's hilarious. They just laugh and laugh. James tosses Lauren every which way and in spite of the way the pictures look, he is usually pretty gentle with her. It is so much fun to watch and listen to!
Going in for the kill!
This looked a bit uncomfortable for her...but again...she didn't seem to mind.

She laughs pretty much the entire time!

I LOVE this picture! I am not sure if she was kissing him or biting him! Hey...the girl has
to defend herself somehow! :)

So happy!
This has been one reason we have enjoyed their closeness in age (despite what the observers at the dermatologist office thought). They really seem to get along well! Luke informed me tonight he is ready for baby #3. I think watching your kids interact like this
does something to you...maybe tomorrow they'll be little terrors and he'll change his mind! :)