Jan 27, 2008

Current Events

A few fun things that have happened this month: I took Eli shopping to spend some of his Christmas money. He was so happy to pick out two new pairs of shoes and a pair of pants. He is getting too tall for the pants he has in the closet, so it was time to get some new ones. I actually let him pick out he own shoes! It was a little tough for me to relinquish that power but he made good choices and looks stylish. He also went shopping at Toys R Us and picked out a skateboard. I chipped in a little extra money to make sure he had all the appropriate safety gear to go with it. Eli is doing great in school. He did so well on his reading test that his teacher made it a point to call me in and tell me about it. She said that they want kindergarteners to be at a reading level 2 by the end of the year, Eli is already at a level 4 or 5 and he still has four more months to learn! We are also really proud of some choices Eli has recently made. A very good friend of his was coming home crying because Eli was not choosing her to be his partner in PE. When Eli was asked why he answered that if he chooses her as his partner he talks to much to her and they both get in trouble. He said he is still her friends but just can't be her PE partner. I'm so proud of the maturity he displayed in this situation.
Gabriel is also doing well in school and has a lot of fun with his friends and especially likes his music class. He had a big decision to make this week. Nana Syl made Gabriel a beautiful, soft and cuddly blue blankie when he was born. It lasted about 2 years and then had to find a home on the shelf due to becoming a safety hazard with all the loose strings Gabriel managed to create. The back up blankie was holding up well until recently when I realized it too has become a danger. Gabriel picked out a new blankie at the store (no more hand knit ones) and then threw away his old one. He did really well with the process and hasn't asked for it once.
Eli and Gabriel both applied for a passport this month, Eli has no idea what it is or what it means but he was really excited when we got his in the mail!

Jan 23, 2008

Step One . . . .

I have a final list of New Year's resolutions.
One of my big ones is to finish Eli's baby album (I like saying "finish", it makes it sound more possible even though I barely started). Last night I took my first step. I took out all of his first year photos, gathered all of the papers and stickers, and brought them to my new "crafting area" - my closet. If it is all in my way maybe I'll get to it faster. My next step is buying a ton of adhesive of some sort to stick all of the pictures, "enhancement" papers, and journaling papers down. Once I have that key ingredient, I should be set to go.
It doesn't help that in Eli's first year of life we went home for Christmas, Matt deployed, I took him to Washington for Easter, we took a vacation to Yellowstone, and hung out in California for a good bit of the summer. In the few months following his birthday he escorted me and my gal pals to DC for a weekend and a few weeks later we welcomed Matt home from Iraq. That is a lot of big things in just a matter of 15 months.
I'm also planning to make an album for Gabriel's first year. That one should be easy because I am going to do a shutterfly album for him, however I am not allowing myself to start on his until I finish Eli's. I have just over 11 months to accomplish these two goals . . . along with too many others.

Jan 19, 2008

Who knew?

Matt and I don't usually exchange anniversary gifts but this year he had a special little gift for me. He did some research and found that the 11th anniversary gift is "steel". In a moment of creativity and gift giving ingenuity he bought me a stainless steel fondue pot for our anniversary. How fun is that? I've been wanting one every since I bought one for Mika for Christmas. He remembered and it fit perfectly with our 11th anniversary gift!
We didn't have a babysitter for last night, which worked out really well. Matt gave me the gift in the morning, so I had time to grocery shop and pick up some tasty items for a cheese fondue appetizer and a chocolate fondue dessert. Mmmm. It was really good. It turns out the boys prefer the bread and apples plain, instead of dipped in the cheese - so much for the idea of fondue, and Matt and I quickly realized that chocolate is really sensitive and the people at Melting Pot just make it look easy. In the end we dipped pound cake, brownies, bananas and strawberries into a chocolate caramel mix that was delicious.
I'm sure my biggest losers competitors are really happy with this little gift! I've never actually given a gift to someone on their anniversary that was a specific year's "gift". Who knew it could be so creative and fun?

Jan 15, 2008

11 Years

Matt and I will celebrate our 11th anniversary this week. 11 years. Some interesting facts:
5 States
7 addresses
2 children
6 cars and a motorcycle
1 10 month Iraq deployment
1 year long hardship tour to Korea
1 cat that has moved with us through 4 of those states
About 100 weekend getaways or vacations
Dozens of friends that we have met along the way
A bunch of fights eventually resolved
Thousands of great memories
and there is still much more to come.

Jan 9, 2008

Resolutions and Blessings

2008 is here and the family is settling into it quite well. The boys are back in school, Matt is getting ready to train and test to fly the shiny helicopter, and I'm starting to accept that I'm no longer on vacation and need to get busy with many of the tasks at hand.
Right now I'm working on my New Year's resolutions. By the time I get them written down January will be over. That only gives me 11 months to accomplish them, but I'll take that into consideration while making my list. Obviously, based on the "Loser Family" post, weight loss is the first of the resolutions (but not the most important one). My second is to read some of those classic literary works that I "skimmed" in high school and college. I'm going for 6 books this year. My plan is to alternate a modern fun read with one of those books from the required reading list about 15 years ago. I'm hoping that I'll fall in love with the classics or at least learn something along the way. I want to get my digital photos organized and the last one that I've come up with so far is to do a little clean sweeping around the house. The idea of moving half of the junk we have that we never use makes me crazy. I figure if I work on it all this year, I'll have less of a headache when it comes time to move.
So as I was looking back on 2007 and trying to think of things I wanted to do different in 2008, I couldn't help but just feel overwhelmingly blessed. Truly blessed. We had such a fun year. There was a lot of beach time, travel - near and far, family time, and just so much laughter and fun. I was really blessed by friends this year too. We spent a good chunk of time with Tom and Mika which is amazing considering we leave on opposite sides of the country and Matt and I were blessed with a whole new group of friends here in Northern Virginia. I would have never guessed that 4 other families could become so special to me in such a short amount of time. Our lives were truly changed when we started attending a bible study once a week with our friends. Matt and I have never committed to any group of people like we have here. They have become part of our celebrations, our trials, and our everyday life. I always figured Matt and I would just have each other as we passed through each of our duty stations. Sure there would be great friends that we would meet along the way and cherish for the long haul, but our "home" would always be somewhere other than where we currently lived. Not true anymore. This is our home. We have established . . . . ROOTS. As exciting as it is to really have a sense of home and community here, it is also so scary. Leaving is hard enough when you merely like where you live and like the people that surround you, but leaving someplace that you actually feel like you belong and leaving people you love that is a different story. Thankfully, not a story I have to live quite yet!
I'm excited about 2008 because I am excited about what is in store for my family. I see so much growth in Matt and I as individuals, as a couple, and as parents and I can't even imagine what the kids are going to learn and do this year! And I'm so excited about all of the great things that we will experience this year and all of the many blessings that I'll be able to look back on when the year comes to an end.
I also resolve to write shorter blogs. I just looked over this one and realized that I ramble too much!
Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve with our small group. We hosted an 80's Murder Mystery Party complete with a murder, dancing, 80's trivia, 80's charades, a champagne toast at midnight and lots of laughs!

Jan 1, 2008

Loser Family

Today my family began our "biggest loser" competition. We'll all work our abs off until April 1st to see who can lose the greatest percentage of body weight. The entry fee was $10 and the winner or shall I say loser takes all.
After my weigh-in and "before" photo (in a less than attractive sports bra and gym shorts) I went downstairs and grabbed a bowl of 1/2 the fat ice cream and topped it with no fat caramel sauce. Ohh it was tasty! I sure hope everyone else enjoyed a little treat tonight!! To make up for all the sugar and other bad stuff that I consumed at 8pm, I RAN up the stairs. Since I paid my gym dues in Nov and Dec but never stepped foot in the door, I'm going to have to go double over the next 3 months to get my money's worth.
I'm hoping to go from "flabulous" to fabulous in 3 months!