Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas and Chicago


It has been a busy, but very fun, few days!

Christmas:



We celebrated Christmas, and the days surrounding it, in Roscoe. It was a full house at my parents'. Kirsten and Jon are in town from Arizona...and, it has been great to spend time with them.....though Caleb does not get to see them all that often, he quickly warmed up to them and has loved being with them both.

We had a wonderful Christmas.....it was great to be with family, and to relax. We decorated the tree together on Christmas Eve and had our traditional egg strata and monkey bread on Christmas morning. We had lots of cozy fires, ate (way too much) good food, and as always, had a great time just being with family. We are very blessed and are thankful for all that God has provided for us.

Although these past days have been wonderful, we have missed Kris's parents and siblings. Heidi went to visit Mom and Dad Johnson in Florida, and Kyle is in Idaho. We miss them, and hope to see them soon.

Here are "a few" photos from Christmas Eve and Christmas morning....if you would like to see the slideshow in a larger format, click on it and it will be enlarged for you. **Note to self...next time we have a family get together, we have to take some photos so that my dad can actually end up in some of the pictures!



Chicago - Happy 30th Birthday, Jon!



Yesterday (the 27th) was Jon's 30th birthday...we celebrated by spending the night downtown Chicago. Caleb took his first Metra ride, as well as his first cab ride! We had a great dinner at Sullivan's, and of course, played a game of Celebrity. It was fun to be able to be with Jon on his special day!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day!




Grandma and Grandpa took Caleb for a walk today after all of the snow had fallen. He had a great time being pulled on the sled!

Look at all this snow! We got about 10 inches out here...


Faster, Grandma!


Grandpa's Turn...


Close Up...

This is so much fun!


Next time, can we please go down some hills?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Kris's 31st Birthday


Yesterday (12/12) was Kris's birthday....I am very thankful for him...he is a wonderful husband and a wonderful father, and I am looking forward to another year of doing life with him!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"What's With All the White Stuff?"



I have been wanting to take Caleb out in the snow, but was waiting for a sunny day...and, today was beautiful!

It was an interesting experience. It took about 15 minutes for me to get all of his "gear" on....more time than we probably spent outside! That's okay.....my goal was to get him used to walking in his boots, wearing his mittens, and just being in the snow.

He did have a bit of trouble walking (think of Ralphie in The Christmas Story) and was frustrated about the limitations his mittens placed on his fingers!

I wouldn't say that he is ready to go snowboarding, but, I am confident that the next time we go out to play (hopefully a sled will be involved) he'll be a little more sure of himself and all of the white stuff surrounding him!

"relearning" how to walk in the big boots...


checking out the white stuff on his mittens...



the honest truth about this picture?
he fell, and couldn't get back up.
yes, of course, i helped him...


"warming up" to this whole idea...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Deck the Halls



This afternoon, we decorated the Christmas tree! Last year, Caleb was only 3 months old, and he wasn't all that interested in the process. This year, on the other hand, he was much more "involved". Hot chocolate, Christmas music, and the snow outside added to the fun! Highlights for Caleb were sorting out the lights, dancing to the music, watching the candle flame, and throwing the ornaments that looked like balls (we kept the glass ones packed away). We had fun watching Caleb enjoy himself, as well as remembering where and when we received some of the special ornaments we have. This is the last year for our little tree....it is on its "last limb" and will most likely be sent to tree heaven after this Christmas.....Kris has promised that next year we will get a REAL tree!

Caleb loved the lights (no surprise there) and loved having the Christmas music on so that he could dance. Dancing is one of Caleb's favorite hobbies. Music in the car, at church, on our cell phones, or from the T.V. really get him in a groove. Although this video only depicts a limited range of his skills, he has in fact mastered "the bounce" (bouncing up and down...this move is shown below), "the shake" (twisting his hips from side to side) and "the conductor" (waving his hands as if directing an orchestra). Sometimes he also "sings". He definitely gets his dancing skills from Daddy.

video

Here are some snapshots of the evening...


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkeys and Trees


The past few days have been very busy...and a lot of fun! We spent the holiday in Roscoe and had a wonderful time with family. We have included 2 slideshows in this post....the 1st reflects pictures from Thanksgiving Day. The 2nd is compiled of pictures from our annual trip to William's Tree Farm to help my parents pick out and cut down their christmas tree!

Thanksgiving:
**note: any pictures of us acting crazy are of when
we played the game Celebrity...don't judge us. =)




William's Tree Farm:

**note: Santa didn't really fall asleep...



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Why we are thankful...


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Although we could probably list many more,
here are just some of the things that we, as a family, are thankful for...
Jesus and His sacrifice. This alone is enough, but He has blessed us with so much more...
Our families...
Our friends...
Our church and our Small Group....
A nice home that is perfect for our little family and is just big enough to provide a bed for someone in need...

Some other things that Kris is thankful for:
"a hot mama for my sweet son"
"my sweet son"
"a fun job"
"baseball (and that Albert is a St. Louis Cardinal)"
"books"

Some other things that Meghan is thankful for:
"a great husband and a wonderful little boy"
"God's provision and grace"
"hot drinks.....ie: coffee...=)
"laundry machines"

Some other things that Caleb is thankful for:
"my mommy and daddy"
"my blankie"
"animals"
"bathtime"
"my warm winter coat and hat"
"grandmas and grandpas"
"the play area at the mall"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!



Today, November 25th is my Dad's birthday. I am very thankful for him. He is one of the most caring, hard-working, generous, intelligent, dedicated, and inspiring people I know. He has taught me so much and I am extremely grateful for him.

I always like to share the story about how once, when he had to be in Chicago for a couple days for work, he drove ALL the way to Roscoe from Chicago (a good hour and a half - at least), just to watch my game, only to drive ALL the way back downtown that same night. For a high-schooler who was all about her basketball games, this type of thing meant the world. I honestly can't remember a game he missed. This is just one of many stories I could share.

He has set such a great example for me of the importance of family....something that we hope to exemplify in our home as well.

Happy Birthday, Dad and Grandpa....we love you!

Hugs and Kisses from Caleb....he'll have some real ones for you on Thursday!
s

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Buddies

Caleb and Jackson


Our friends, Paul and Natalie, have a little boy - Jack. He is 7 months (he'll turn 8 months just 2 days after Caleb turns 15 months later on this week). Last night, they invited us over for dinner, so the boys got a chance to "play"...they see each other pretty regularly, at playgroup and at church. Although 7 months seems like a big difference now, soon it will not seem like much at all! It is a blessing to have friends in the beginning stages of parenthood as we are. And, it is wonderful to give Caleb the opportunity to spend time with his friends! Thanks, Paul and Natalie, for having us over for dinner! And, thanks Jack, for being a good little buddy to Caleb!

"jumping" on the ottomans...




playing with pots and pans...



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blocks


Caleb loves blocks. When he was younger (as if he is so old now), he loved to knock down the towers that we built. A few months ago, he learned to build the towers himself, and this has become one of his favorite activities. He also loves to throw the blocks, "hide" them under furniture just so he can get on his belly to find them, and use them as a "telephone". They are quite versatile and keep him very busy. It is so fun to watch him build and to wonder what is going on in his brain. It's exciting to see him make choices about which blocks should fit where, based on size and shape. It is so great to see him learning. In case you are wondering, he has not completely abandoned the fun of knocking towers over after they are built. He still takes great pleasure in hearing and seeing his creations tumble to the ground and crash onto the floor!

Getting his supplies...


Just starting out...


Getting bigger...


The final touches...
...he did, in fact, stop here and decide it was time to demolish what he had made!


So proud...

Monday, November 10, 2008

"...with thanksgiving..."

A bit more intense than my usual "look at Caleb!" postings....an honest look into my heart.

When going through a difficult time, as I am now, it is often hard for me to remember all I have to be thankful for.

God's word, in Philippians, tells us to "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-6)

While I claim these to be favorite verses of mine, I stand challenged with how often I put them into practice. It is nice to think about....and an encouragement in difficult times..."do not be anxious about anything...". The segment that follows is just as important, yet often overlooked, at least in my own life...."but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God..."

How often do I feel anxious? A lot. How often do I make my requests be known to God through prayer WITH Thanksgiving? Not a lot. Do I pray? Yes. Do I pray fervently? Probably not as fervently as I should.

For me, when I am anxious about something, it is so hard to just relax and be thankful. There. I said it. I am not so good at relaxing. Surprise, surprise. But, whether I am good at it or not is not the issue. The issue is that God's Word commands me to do something, and I don't do it nearly as often as I should.

So, today, I am going to be thankful...I am going to meditate on how God has blessed me, even though I am sad and hurt and discouraged. When I get that pang of hurt, or that twinge of sadness, or even that stabbing doubt that maybe God has forgotten about me, I am going to look up, give those cares to the One who created me, and THANK HIM for something...anything. He has blessed me in so many ways. His gift of life in Jesus is more than enough.....but He didn't stop there. I am a blessed woman. It's just that sometimes I get caught up in forgetting that. Feel free to hold me accountable to my attempts.

The best part? God promises that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Peace. That sounds really good to me right now.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time to Color!

Concentrating
not sure what his left hand is doing....
maybe he is saying:
"back off, i need my space. i am working on my 1st masterpiece."
or,
"i'll be famous by the time i am 4 years old."
Having Fun
don't mind the food on his face....we had just eaten lunch, and i hadn't wiped it off yet.
The Result
maybe he'll be joining Seurat and others in the art of "pointilism"...notice all of the dots!
The Display
i told him to put it on the fridge, and he went right over and put it up there. i did have to help with the magnets.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crunchy Leaves




Fall is my favorite season. And, like many people, I LOVE leaves...especially the ones that crunch when you walk over them. The only trees in front of and behind our house have very small leaves (not so crunchy) that have already fallen and been raked away. Thus, with the focused desire to give Caleb the experience of playing in some crunchy leaves, I roamed the neighborhood. Thankfully, we did not have to go far...we soon found a beautiful tree with a beautiful pool of big, red, crunchy leaves beneath it for him (and me, I will admit) to play in.





Sunday, November 2, 2008

"2 to 1" Reunion

Our church has a wonderful ministry called "2 to 1". It is a Small Group/Bible Study designed for newly married couples. From the Fall of 2006 until the Summer of 2007, we were part of one of these groups.. We were really blessed with wonderful leaders who helped to show us a Godly, yet realistic example of Christian marriage. We also got to build friendships with other fantastic couples. It was a great time of learning and growth for us.
Today, Brian and Leslie (some of the most hospitable people ever) hosted a "2 to 1 reunion" for all of the groups they have led....they are in their 4th year, and almost everyone from all four years was able to stop by at some point.
It was fun to catch up with friends whom we don't see on a regular basis. I am so thankful for these people. During some of the first months of our marriage, these are some of the people we got to "do life" with. Great memories!!!
Here we are (I have included 2 pictures......Caleb and Maddie wouldn't both look at the camera at the same time!)
Left to Right: Shauna, Maddie and Peter, Kris, Caleb and Me, Brian and Leslie (our leaders), Cami and Mark (Jerry, Katie and Sophia...we missed you guys!)

Maddie and Caleb (Maddie is just 3 weeks younger than Caleb)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

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We had a fun time trick-or-treating tonight. The weather was uncharacteristically warm, so it was nice to just walk around the neighborhood. Caleb was a very cute bumblebee, although he was a little frustrated with his lack of peripheral vision, due to the antennae hood! He loved walking around, carrying his pumpkin, and watching as other kids in their costumes went by. He did not quite catch onto the idea of collecting candy; in fact, he often tried to put the candy from his own pumpkin into the bowls of people whose houses we visited. He is just so generous! Sometimes, he would reach into his pumpkin and grab a piece to throw across the sidewalk. He must have his daddy's lack-of a sweet tooth. He has yet to actually taste candy, and we'll probably keep it that way for a while. In the meantime, I will be enjoying his loot. Is that against the rules? His favorite moments were, of course, when we went to houses with dogs. That really got him smiling. He also liked playing in the leaves of a beautiful tree we went by. It was a fun evening. Thanks, Becky and Nick for the CUTE costume!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

ISU Game

Yesterday, we drove down to Bloomington to watch Warren's football game at ISU. It was great to see Warren and spend some time with him. Although the Redbirds lost, it was a fun afternoon. The weather stayed nice, and Caleb did a great job sitting through the game. His favorite part of the day was watching the marching band. Everytime they played music, Caleb clapped and danced. He was also on the look-out for Reggie, the Redbird, throughout the entire game. He met Reggie before the game started, and was a bit unsure about what to think of him, but got excited every time he spotted him dancing around during the game.

So, Caleb got a little cranky by the end of game time....he didn't get his afternoon nap, and was not in the mood to be held!


Not the greatest picture of any of us, but at least we are all looking, sort of....


Go Redbirds!


Meeting Reggie...


Playing on the field after the game...


"I'm going long!"


Excited to be heading out for dinner...

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