1 down, 19 to go…

Note the gap on the bottom row of that beautiful smile!
Note the gap in that beautiful smile!

Well, the day finally arrived. After about a month of “working” on the tooth, it finally came out. Everyone was excited, jumping up and down. Our little girl is certainly not a baby anymore. The first loss of her baby teeth is not the first sign that our little girl is growing up, but it is certainly the latest. We were moving it around with a tissue and then I barely pulled on it and it came right out. When I would have loose teeth, my dad would tie a piece of dental floss around the tooth and either yank it out by hand or by the shutting of a door (with floss attached to door knob). This was quick and painless, but Rylee was not thinking it was such a great idea. How do you typically get your kiddos teeth out, or how did your folks get your teeth out?

-Chris

Christmas Creativity

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I am so excited for Christmas! Why you ask? For a number of reasons, but right now, I can ‘t wait to exchange gifts with Todd, Danielle, Stephanie and Karissa. This was the first year that we decided to to the old draw name trick. I was not too excited about it, because who doesn’t like opening up two gifts instead of one…but it made sense to save some dinero as well as continue our pattern of trying to make Christmas not all about the indulgence of stuff.  However, when Danielle suggested that we do something creative for our drawn name, I began to get really excited.  What a potentially (I’ll let you know for sure in about a month) great tradition…to give a gift as well as some creative expression.  This could be a poem, dramatic re-enactment, song, sculpture, carving, skit, story, painting, pantomime, etc.  Not only am I looking forward to sharing my creativity with the person who’s name I drew, but I can not wait to see what everyone comes up with.  It is all going to be a surprise, so it should prove to be quite enjoyable.  

Karissa and I are continually trying to solidify our family traditions and have been pretty dilligent in thinking through how we want to experience the Christmas season as a family.  I am sure we will share about those in the days to come.  Until then, what are your favorite Christmas Traditions?

-Chris

Confessions

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On my late night run to the fabric store for a few things I forgot that were still on sale today, I killed a bunny rabbit. I couldn’t stop in time and ran right over it. Rylee was with me. She kept saying surely it got to the side, it wouldn’t go under my car, asking why I was so sad. It was too much, I was sad. Two minutes of quiet and I felt better, nothing I could have done I know. If only my list had been more organized and I could have gotten everything this morning I wouldn’t have gone back tonight, thus not running over the grey bunny.

Just 45 minutes later on my short excursion, I was done dropping off library books and movies to Blockbuster and was headed home. Talking to Christopher on my cell phone (no hands free device mind you), I was tootling (if that’s a word) down the road home. He was funny, I needed to pee, I was laughing and driving and talking on my phone. Too much. Flashing lights caught my attention in the rear view mirror.

30 years. That’s how long I’ve gone never even being pulled over by a police officer. Until today.

Flashing lights…me thinking, those lights must not be for me, they never are, I’ll just get out of his way and get off my phone……yeah, not so much.

“I clocked you going 48 in a 35 there. Are you in a hurry m’am?”

I was talking on my cell phone and my husband is so funny and-“No, yes, I mean I need to go to the bathroom.” Did I really just say that?

Okay. Well can I have your license and proof of insurance?”

Christopher is going to have my head, he always tells me I drive too fast. And I always remind him I’ve never been pulled over. “Um, yes here is my license (mumbling about my tabs, are they current? like he needs another reason to give me a ticket) and some expired proof of insurance. Does it need to be current?”

“Yes m’am, otherwise it wouldn’t be proof of insurance.” Of course, I am a complete moron…who has been awake since 4:00 this morning…

“Oh, yes, okay. I’ll look for it. I’m so sorry I’m so flustered, I’ve never been pulled over before and I am just so flustered and …” You look like you’re 23, are you sure you’re old enough to even give me a ticket?

It’s okay. Just relax. Let me know when you find the proof of insurance.”

I finally find it, give it to him, he runs my license while I wait and try to explain to Rylee, oh yes, I still had her with me, why I just broke the law and drove too fast. That there are always consequences to bad choices and my consequence is getting pulled over. You know the line.

He comes back “I’m just going to give you a warning tonight, can you please slow down?”

No way, am I seriously not getting a ticket for this? If this were Christopher he would have been busted for using his cell phone, not using his turn signal and for going barely over the speed limit. He will not believe this just happened. I don’t believe it.

Now I get to explain to Rylee about second chances instead of punishment, how much more fun is that?

Operation Christmas Child

We have talked a great deal this fall about how to build tradition and memories into our Christmas season that are our own. One way we thought would be fun and help focus outward was to compile shoeboxes with gifts for children around the world living in poverty who would likely not receive anything for Christmas. Children who hope to have enough to eat. Not children whose Christmas list includes an iPod, designer clothes and expensive toys. Samaritan’s Purse has been facilitating this idea for years. So after discovering it last week online, I sent out a last minute Evite then immediately after that Audrey was admitted to the hospital.

Thanks to my sister Danielle for hosting on short notice and my friend Kristin who is always up for something new, we still managed to throw six boxes together today and will plan ahead more next year. The 8 kids watched a little DVD of kids across the globe opening their boxes, it made me cry. They were so happy with so little. Then we went to work decorating boxes, writing notes to the kids who would open them, placing all the gifts into the boxes then we prayed for the kids who would receive our boxes. It was a little chaotic and crazy but it was a great start! As we work to reject the materialism and consumer-driven aspects of our culture and seek simplicity and gratefulness, it is baby steps for sure. But baby steps are better than no steps…

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On target?

Have you ever sat together with your spouse to dream/envision what your home would be like?  I can recall many conversations that Karissa and I have had over the years about what type of home we want to have.  One of the consistent desires of ours would be having the home that our kids like to hang out in with their friends.  Usually when thinking about this, it involved thoughts of teenagers, movie nights, and coming to our place after prom, etc.  [On a side note, I just about died when I thought about either of my sweet little

Our two beautiful princesses!

girls going to prom.  Yikes.]  With the completion of our sideyard, we are beginning to see this desire of ours become a reality.  Everyday since it has been completed, our yard has been full of neighborhood kids either roasting marshmallows, running around with noodles, or playing in the pool, big toy, sandbox, or the grass.  I guess we have about 6 years to budget for the big screen TV…Enjoy the Rylee and Audrey picture taken this morning!  By the way, the only way they’re going to prom is if I am their date.

-Chris

Binkie laughs

We recently traded in our old Mam (Sassy) brand binkies for Gerber Nuk ones that are made without BPA as we’ve read too many reports and stories and articles about it’s questionable safety lately.  I explained to the kids what BPA was and why it was bad.  I gave one old BPA-laden binkie to Rylee for her baby.  Today this is what I heard on that note:

Caleb – “Yay! I found the BPA binkie”

Rylee – “Mama, Kyler took my baby’s binkie earlier and it has BPP in it, he might be sick.” (I assured her he would be just fine, thinking it will take much more than BPA binkie to bring that boy down)

My mother (slightly confused and not in-the-know about our recent binkie change) – “Rylee said Kyler can’t have this binkie (he’s sucking on it as she talks), something about it having BPP?”

So we are doing our best to raise earth-aware, eco-friendly, green children, even if they are a little foggy still on all the details and acronyms.

Karissa

 

Projects for Everyone

If you have young kids you need to know about the kids programs that they have at Home Depot. I have been truly impressed each week at the Everett location. Each Saturday morning from 8-9 the store provides an employee (a wonderful lady named Chris in Everett) and free material to build a project. The first Saturday of each month they provide a new project. I am not sure that every store does this, but the one in Everett allows you to come and bring the kids every week and work on a project that they have done in the past if you have already built the current month’s project. Here is the catamaran they built Saturday. In addition they have also built planter box’s, pencil holders, football stools, Nascar racing cars and a castle. So far I just take Rylee and Caleb, however last week we brought two of our neighbors. The kids get their own personalized Home Depot apron to wear and receive a coordinating pin for each project they complete. We usually finish up around 8:40 and head off to our favorite coffee shop – The Spotted Cow – for some hot cocoa. This is becoming a wonderful Saturday morning tradition. 

Daddy’s project this last weekend was fencing in our side yard. Thanks to Nana and Papa, our friends Erik and Kris, and my neighbor Brian, here is what went up on Saturday. I still need to finish off the top of the lattice with a decorative arbor.  The project continues as we are hoping to put down weed barrier and pea gravel and finally finish the play fort with slide and climbing wall. Ambitious, but necessary for our sanity this summer.

Our school project involves teaching Rylee to read. She is chomping at the bit and last night was demanding to read some books by sounding the letters out. She did great. She is a great learner and excited to be able to read. She is doing great already reading 3 or 4 four pages of “mat sat.” and “sam sat.”

On the Audrey front we have two more members of the AFC: our friends Kris and Bekki.  It was so great to see you guys on Saturday!  By the way, make sure you note the big smile Kris is getting from Audrey. All in all it was a great weekend.

-Chris

Audrey’s Firsts

Isn’t it fun to keep track of all those wonderful milestones for our children?  I will be the first to admit that I have a hard time remembering what month this or that happened in the life of our children.  Luckily, I have a beautiful wife who has a steel trap for that type of information.

Audrey experienced a few firsts this week.  We are not talking about the first smile, step, word, or even the first rollover.  I wish we would be celebrating the first night she slept all the way through.  Unfortunately, none of those milestones have been reached.  We will keep you posted on all of that.

This week Audrey outgrew her newborn diapers, got her first stuffy nose, and recieved her first boo-boo.  Who do you think was responsible for giving Audrey her first owie?  It was…(insert drum roll here)…me.  I know, very sad…how coudl you do this Dad?.  I got home from work and saw that she had made some red spots on her face from her fingernails getting a bit long so I thought it was time for another manly moment for Daddy – a little trim for her nails.  So I began to trim her nails as she was sleeping peacefully in my arms.  The next thing I know I hear a little whimper and my heart sank…sure enough there was the tiniest bit of blood as I had just barely got her skin.  I am sure that in our large family of six this will not ber her last boo-boo, but I also know that those boo boos are going to be inconsequential to the amount of love she gets from her Daddy, Mommy, brothers, and sister.

Audrey is growing up and we are cherishing each moment along the way…even the little boo-boos.  I am enjoying the use of this blog to celebrate these little moments in our kids lives.  Those of you with kids, have you discovered a good way to cherish and remember all of the precious moments you share with your children? 

-Chris