Monday, December 29, 2008

Pray for Mel!

Well today is Mel's big day. Today is the day that Melody has her breasts reconstruction surgery. Today marks the end of long journey. June 12th 2008 was a nightmare day for Mel...the day she found out she had breast cancer. The past six and a half months have been full of doctors visits, surgeries, chemotherapy, a lot of tears, stress, hair loss, pain, and fear. Today, December 29th marks the end of all of it.

We all know that God healed Mel of the cancer. He took away the cancer cells, He provided her with the best of the best physicians and nurses, He eased her mind that she beat this awful disease, He provided a wonderful husband, parents, in-laws, and numerous friends that have helped Mel fight and win this battle. GOD IS SO GOOD! I thank God daily for healing and taking care of my best friend. Today is just a bump in the road compared to what Mel has already been though. However I believe that with your prayers she can have a speedy recovery and be back to "normal" very soon. Please say a prayer for Mel's surgery today and all of the other men, women, and children that are fighting cancer. I can't wait to have my best friend back!

Mel, we love you, we are praying for you, and we are SO proud of you.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Today I wanted to wish my sweet husband a very Happy 31st Birthday! Kevin you make each day better and I am so proud of everything you have accomplished. You always work super hard to make Zachary and I feel like we are the most important people in your life. Thank you for being so kind, loving, and tenderhearted. You always know the right words to say to make me feel like the queen of the house. I love you and am so blessed to have you as my husband. I thank God for your love and friendship each and every day!

Zachary wants a turn..."Daddy I wuv you and I want to sing Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Party Cake time? Candles?"

We love you Kevin and hope you have a wonderful day filled with all of your favorite things.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Memories by Zachary

For those reading this blog its sole purpose is so that I remember the little things about this wonderful Christmas time. I know that next year I will not remember the cute sayings or the comments Zachary said in 2008 so I am blogging them on here so that I have it. Being that I am our family historian I try to capture each memory, saying, or comment. So here are the facts about our 2008 Christmas.

Santa: Zachary is scared to death of Santa and dislikes Santa. Zachary is so scared of him that he shakes, cries, and begs "No Santa...Go Home." Zachary knows that Santa comes on Christmas Eve through our Chimney. If you even mention it he says, "No Christmas mom". We had to stop talking about Santa coming into our home because Z gets so scared. Poor guy. One of these days he will be begging for Santa to visit. Our nephew Elliott uber loves Santa!

Songs: Zachary's favorite Christmas Songs are Jingle Bells, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, and Frosty the Snowman. Zachary can sing each of these songs in their entirety without missing a word...the only flub is Corncob pipe..Zachary says "Cob pipe button".

Zachary's Favorite things: Seeing the lights with Grams, Pops, and Elliott
Baby Jesus and "Aunt" Mary...seeing nativities all over
Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus
Frosty the Snowman
Choo Choo train under Grams & Poppy's tree
Working Shop ornament and train ornament at PaPaw & MaMaws

Zachary's wish list for Santa: Tractor Books

Common sayings from Zachary:
  • Yes, I did....he says this if you ask him if he wants something. Example: Daddy says, "Zachary, do you want to eat dinner". Zachary responds, "Yes I did".
  • Take it on. When Zachary wants you to put on his clothes or coat he says, "Take it on" Similary to Take it off.
  • No touchin': Zachary has started to use the potty. So that he does not reach into the potty I always say don't reach in there...he says, "No touchin' mom".
Daily Events in December: Advent book reading from Grams, Opening the Advent door, and tour of lights after dinner. We know where all the houses are whose lights are the best.

Tender heart story of Zachary: One day after Sunday School & Church we asked Zachary what his lesson was about. He spoke up from his car seat, " Baby Jesus and Aunt Mary". I said who? He said "Aunt Mary" and Baby Jesus. I quickly realized that he thought my Aunt Mary was Jesus' mommy. Now my Aunt Mary is a wonderful lady, wonderful mom, and a Godly Christian woman, but if she was Jesus' mom she got a huge promotion. The next day when I picked Z up at preschool his teacher asked me if Zachary had an Aunt Mary. I guess when they were talking about the Christmas Story he tried to convince his classmates and teacher that Jesus' moms name was not Mary but AUNT MARY. Later that night I called my Aunt Mary to tell her that Zachary thinks she is Jesus' mom. It melted Aunt Mary's heart.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday MaMaw!


The entire family..Jeff, Kathy, Hilary, Kevin, Brynn, Karen, Marvin, Karsen, Zachary & Elliott
Grandma Karen with the grandkids

Zachary picked out Karen's cake...Frosty!

Today we celebrated Karen's (aka MaMaw's) birthday. Our day started when we joined them at their church. This was a first to have both of their sons and families with them at church. After church we stopped by our house to pick up the lunch I had baking during church. Thank God for pre-set timers that work. My parents, Rachel, Matt, & Elliott joined us at my in-laws house to celebrate Karen's big day. I think the best present that Karen received was having us ALL together. I don't think Kevin and his brother have been together on Karen's birthday since Jeff was in this was a huge day.

The boys helping MaMaw open presents

Zachary in Heaven with Brynn & Karsen
Cousins! Zachary, Karsen, Brynn, and Elliott
Karen with her boys...Zachary & Elliott

Happy Birthday MaMaw! We are blessed to have you as a mom, mother-in-law, and grandma! We love you!

A family first

On Saturday Kevin's brother, Jeff and his family, Kathy, Brynn, & Karsen flew in from the South to celebrate Christmas with our family. This is the first time since I have been a part of the family that we have celebrated the holidays together. Kevin's parents have been planning, decorating, and on cloud nine ever since they announced they were coming back in April. Zachary was so excited to see his cousins again. To say that he adores them and is being spoiled is a total understatement. After they arrived from the airport we went over to have dinner and visit.

Zachary loves his cousin Karsen.
PaPaw and the grandkids

I can't wait to see what the rest of the week holds. But I know it will hold lots of memories and pictures.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gingerbread House

Because Zachary is SO excited about Christmas I have tried to do all sorts of different activities that revolve around Christmas. Some nights we hop in the car to look at lights, some nights we watch a Christmas Special on t.v., every night and day we listen to Christmas Carols, and enjoy all the sights and sounds of Christmas. A couple of friends (Kim & Kylie) of mine gave the the idea of decorating a Gingerbread House. I found a kit at Wal-mart one day and decided that was the easy route and the way to do it with a two year old. So after dinner we set up to decorate this pre-made house. I think Kevin & I were more excited but Zachary enjoyed it. In the middle of decorating my mom stopped by to pick something up. The cute part of this story is what happened next. Immediately Zachary jumped up, yelled "Grammy lets look lights". So my mom loaded Z up in her van and took him on a light tour. This allowed Kevin and I to finish decorating the house. It was a lot of fun and it was very rewarding to see the excitement on Z's face when he returned. He loved his personal date with Grams and he loved the finished house.

If you could only see our gingerbread house is missing several pieces of candy because a two year old has removed them. Guess Who?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unexpected package

Yesterday when I went out to get the mail there was an unexpected package on the porch. It was a box sent from my cousin, Jennifer & Jack in Pennsylvania. Jen sent presents for Zachary, Elliott, Rachel & Matt, and us. So unexpected and sweet. Because we wanted the boys to open them at the same time we waited until this morning. Rachel & I met at the Mall Play Place to get the boys together. After playing we surprised them with Jen & Jacks gifts. They were so excited.

Here are the pictures waiting to open the gifts...ignore Z's tears he just got scolded for misbehaving.

Here are the pictures of the ADORABLE Elmo shirts. Jen had each of them personalized for the boys. Immediately the boys wanted to wear their shirts over their clothes. Thank you Jen, Jack, Bubba, & Rose for the wonderful presents. You did not have to do that but we love them. You made the boys day. They will enjoy every second wearing them.

THANK YOU Jen, Jack, Bubba, & Rose! We love you!YIPPEE... I love my new ELMO shirt!

Z is for Zachary!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A work of ART

Zachary and Daddy at the kitchen table working on some "craft projects".

Our little work of art is our son Zachary. He is VERY 2. He loves to help me and he loves to get into things. This past week I have had my hands in many projects around the house. In order to keep Zachary out of the breakable Christmas items or to keep him occupied I have set up an art table in our kitchen. He loves it. He colors with crayons, stamps with my scrapbooking stamps, and he.....makes a huge mess. I guess I let him do too much himself. I was in the same room but I turned my back to hang some ornaments. When I looked up at him this is what I saw....stamping ink in his hair.

Different day similar situation. I was in the living room wrapping Christmas presents on the floor while Z was playing with his tractors. I had a black sharpie marker besides me to write names on the gift tags. I looked up from wrapping a gift and see Zachary holding the marker in one hand and the lid to the marker in the other. Immediately I took it away and thought boy that was a close one. In less than 25 seconds he looked up at me and I was startled. This is what I saw. I scolded him and he said "chapstick, Mom".
I guess I have learned my lesson. Do not leave markers or ink pads within Zachary's reach. It was so hard not to laugh but when I took Zachary into the bathroom to wash his lips off he said, "SCARY". He was scared. He cried the entire time I rubbed the marker off but once he saw himself back to normal he said, "Again mom". Zachary is truly a work of art.

Also an FYI to wipes work wonders for removing ink and Sharpie Markers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's being to look a lot like Christmas

Welcome to our home at Christmas time. I will take you on a little tour.

First you have our entry way table with our Willow Tree Nativity. This Nativity is very special to me because my mom gave us pieces of the set since we got engaged. Each year she adds on to it. When I put it up I think back to our first Christmas in Iowa. This was our only decoration in our apartment.

Next is our tree. Our tree is draped in ribbon, Gold, Green, and Red Bulbs, and of course keepsake/homemade ornaments. All of my ornaments have some special memory. When I decorate the tree I also have to have a kleneex box near by because I think about who gave it to me or what the ornament represented. On the floor is Zachary's Fisher Price Little People Nativity. He loves playing with it. I have to laugh because some days there are tractors, cars, and Bob the Builder toys displayed next to Baby Jesus.
This next photos is of a niche that I decorated. Usually I hang our stockings on the mantle but last year when I was putting away our decorations we had an accident. Zachary was right by my feet. He tripped me. I reached for something to give me balance and I pulled a stocking for support. When I pulled the stocking the Letter E from the PEACE fell and hit Zachary in the forehead. We were so lucky that he did not die or get seriously injured. I will never forget that moment. So this year all the PEACE holders and stockings got put up super high so they would not fall. I have a feeling Santa can get in those stockings.

Next is our mantle. Again no stockings but I think it is better safe than sorry. I learned my lesson.

This little miniature tree was a gift from my best friends, Megs & Julie. They gave this snowman tree to me for my 22nd birthday. At one time this was my tree. Again it holds so many wonderful memories that I will display it every year. Julie, Megs, & I loved Christmas and made numerous Christmas traditions together. All the ornaments are snowmen.

Next is Zachary's tree. His nursery/bedroom was decorated in a farm animal motif. It suites him to a tee. He loves animals and farm equipment. So when I decided he needed a tree I looked all over for farm ornaments that were safe for toddlers. I could not find any so I went to my favorite store Hobby Lobby. I found wooden, pre-painted farm animals. I glue-gunned ribbon on them and TA-DA...the perfect ornament for a 2 year old. Remarkably Zachary does not even attempt to touch them. However he loves to look at them and make the noise that animal makes.

Last but not least these are some floating ornaments that hang in an open space in front of our basement stairs. I used vinyl rub-ons to create ornaments that say, Peace, Joy, Hope, Love, Faith, and Christ. Unfortunately, I could not get a picture with all the ornaments showing the words. So you just have to come see them.

So there you have it...our home at Christmas time. Come over and eat some Christmas cookies and have some coffee with me. I would love to have you over.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A present to myself

Last week Kevin and I, along with my sister & brother-in-law went to a Christmas concert. This was not just any Christmas Concert. It was Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, Avalon, Denver & the Mile High Orchestra, Michael English, and PurNRG. WOAH what a concert! We had the best evening enjoying a little gift from God. Let me tell you Natalie Grant can sing, Avalon sounded just like their cd, and Casting Crowns has a true gift. Before this concert I liked a couple Casting Crown songs such as East to West, and Praise You In This Storm.

After the concert I LOVE ALL of their songs. Do yourself a favor and buy yourself their Christmas CD, Peace on Earth. The day after I hit a discount store here in town and got it for $9.99. It was a little present to myself. I could not wait for Christmas day to open it. If you dislike Christmas music or feel a little bah humbug put this CD in your car and within minutes you will realize the real reason we celebrate the season. Your mood will instantly change. Now when I get frustrated at the holiday traffic I have a smile on my face because I get to listen to my c.d. a little longer. Here are some photos from our evening.

A little foggy but here is everyone that was in concert that night. Rachel & Matthew
Kevin & Hilary

Natalie Grant singing BELIEVE...amazing!

P.S. I know I sound like I work for Casting Crowns but I promise I don't. I just really enjoy good inspirational music.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Fill out the questions below
3. Tag 5-7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag. Have FUN!!

1.Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?'s too many calories for the Weight Watcher so I prefer regular coffee with sugarfree Hazelnut creamer and 2 splendas.

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? This is funny.....we have white lights on the tree. I love the traditional classic look. However when I was a kid I LOVED multi-colored lights. Now that I have a two year old he prefers the colored ones. So we might have to make a change next year.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? ABSOLUTELY! My mother-in-law gave some faux mistletoe for our first Christmas. I hang it every year. I love any excuse to kiss my boys (aka Kevin & Zachary).

5. When do you put your decorations up? The week of Thanksgiving...usually the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Peel & Eat Shrimp on Christmas Eve

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: I loved getting my cabbage patch doll from Santa.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What there is no Santa? I guess Alysia Butrick just told me.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes we always open up pajamas from my mom on Christmas eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? We have 3 trees. Our family tree is in the living room. It has white lights and all kinds of keepsake ornaments. We have a mini snowman tree with white lights. I love it because my best friends, Megs & Julie gave it to me for my birthday one year. Then Zachary has a 4 ft tree in his room decorated with farm animals and white lights.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Dread it...I don't like to be cold

12. Can you ice skate? Yes but I chose not too. I have too much invested in my hands to have a broken arm.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Yes, it was a personalized stamp that my mom special ordered. It was a custom stamp with my name on it.

14. What is the most important thing about the Holidays for you? My faith and family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? COOKIES....any kind.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I have a lot of them....Christmas Eve with the Lemons, driving around looking at Christmas lights, Rudolph gifts, and time with my family.

17. What tops your tree? A star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving of course....I love shopping for the perfect present.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Oh Holy Night, if I had to pick just one.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? YUM!

21. What do you want for Christmas? It is a gift that can not be purchased...I want my friends and family to have Jesus' salvation.

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas Party? Yes, we attend several. I love them!

23. Do you dress up on Christmas or wear PJs? Dress up on Christmas eve. PJs Christmas morning and casual clothes in the afternoon.

24. Do you own a santa hat? No...I look silly in hats.

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? My family.

I tag...Mel, Kelly M., Kim, Cindy, & Julie Anne

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday PawPa Marv!

Zachary, Kevin, and I wanted to wish Pawpa Marv a very Happy Birthday! Last night we celebrated Pawpa's 63rd birthday at our house. We had a yummy steak dinner or as Zachary would say a "snake" dinner. Unfortunately, Kevin's mom was unable to attend the dinner because she is taking care of her mother in West Virginia. Here are the photos from our evening together. Pawpa thank you for all you do for us. We love you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not a lot going on but I wanted to share!

So I am doing about 80% better than I was on Monday. I am anxious to go to my doctors for follow up care and to see what I am going to do about the existing conditions inside my body. Until then not too much is going on here. So I thought I would post a picture to brighten your day and to say get ready for TURKEY DAY! Enjoy!