Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

Weather:  warm, nearly 70F, overcast and a bit rainy

Location:  the farm, western PA

From Santa:  Abigail got a tiny hedgehog stuffie, Joseph got a Blue Angel plane, and together they got a 4-person set of laser tag

Abigail's gifts: Legos, an MP3 player (which we loaded with a variety of music for her, yet she has gravitated towards the Broadway songs we put on it and has been walking around singing from Avenue Q and Book of Mormon), many Star Wars items (classic Han action figure and BB8 stuffie are favorites), t-ball set, Card and Go Seek game

Abigail got to go to a fairly new coffee shop in the town (there certainly was no coffee shop when my brothers and I were growing up there!) with her aunts and uncles, which was awesome to her.  She cherishes experiences with them so much more than gifts they give her.  The experiences (hot cocoa at the coffee shop, learning to play checkers, playing laser tag, watching her brother fall in the creek) are what she is still talking about several days later.  

Joseph's gifts:  Legos, a camera (it is SO adorable watching him taking pictures of everything), many Star Wars items, a kids' drum set (click here for a 30 second video), a lunch box (he has been so jealous of Abigail's), Good Night Construction Site PJs and Excavator stuffie 

My family put up with me trying to capture a new family picture to include Joseph.  The weather and lighting were weird and it was beyond muddy, but we did it.  

The Bittersweet:  My parents are saying this is the last Christmas at the farm.  I want them to live closer to me, closer to their 2 grandkids.  But I don't want to lose the farm. I cannot imagine Joseph never remembering it or Abigail pining for it.  I want the kids to grow up knowing the magic and beauty of that land, the woods, the creek, the quiet.  I wish we could just do a farm-transplant to Virginia.  

listening to music while waiting for everyone to
wake up and come downstairs 

taking 100 pictures while waiting for everyone to
wake up

hot cocoa at the coffee house

we were lucky to have such nice weather on Christmas
Day so Joseph could take tractor rides and Abigail
could play in the woods

Christmas #2 at our own home


Friday, December 11, 2015

Good-bye Terrible Twos

Happy Birthday, Little Guy!

As we finish your week-long birthday celebration, your Baba and I are amazed at your sudden on-set of a LOT of words being put together into LONG sentences.  You really have a lot to say and you desperately want us to understand you and we are absolutely trying!  Your mind is sharp and your problem-solving skills are great.  Right before your 3rd birthday you asked me for your toy broom.  I got it from the closet for you and you handed back the dustpan, saying that you didn't need it.  Then, I watched in amazement as you went beside the couch, laid on your belly, and stuck your broom under the couch to sweep out a toy you had lost under there!  Clever, clever little boy, we love you so much!

You are handsome and funny.  You still think your sister is the most amazing person in the world.  You asked for a birthday party with "candy, cake, ice cream and juice."  You picked out a box of Skittles at the store several weeks ago to be your birthday present and it stays in the closet and when you see it you point to it and say "my birthday" because you are demonstrating your first delayed satisfaction.  (You are sometimes mean to the dog: she is not a football.)  Your facial expressions while you tell a story are priceless.  You can never get enough YouTube.  For two weeks, you have slept until 5 in the morning.

The world can learn a lot from you.  Well, at least I certainly can.

Be silly. 
Be cuddly.
You don't always need to speak with words out loud to communicate.
Greet the people you love with abandon. 
Be empathetic.
Share your stuffies. 
Lavish your loved ones with tight hugs and sloppy kisses.
Read a lot of books.  
Use up all of your energy every day and collapse into bed knowing you had a full day.  (I do that too, buddy.)
Dream big: get big ideas and try to carry them out.

I hope the very best for your 4th year on this planet, that you are safe, healthy, and secure.  Many happy returns on your birthday, Joseph!