Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Things

I am really enjoying something new that I got for Christmas.  My mom and dad got me a DSLR camera.  I was really surprised and overwhelmed when I got it.  I certainly wasn't expecting it and I was overwhelmed because I had never taken pictures with anything but a point and shoot before.  I spent a lot of time on Christmas trying to figure out how to take pictures in the manual setting.  I certainly have a lot to learn, but I've had fun practicing on stuff around my house.

This moment with Jack was really great.  He set up this little vignette with Rita and told me, "Mommy, take a picture."  I told him I needed to get my phone.  He said, "No, no, no, your real camera."

I thought Rita was really cute in this picture.

The next new thing that I am really excited about is my new niece, Georgia James.  She weighed 5 lbs.,  10 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long.  She was born December 28th, 2012.  Doug and Vanessa are thrilled, especially that she is healthy and doing well.  Vanessa has also shown some improvement today.  She is doing physical therapy and speech therapy.  The speech therapy is more difficult, but she is progressing with the physical therapy.  The goal is to get her strong enough to sit so that she can go to the NICU to spend time with Georgia.  Our family really appreciates your prayers for Doug, Vanessa, Georgia, and Carolina.  

The third new thing is Georgia's quilt that I am working on sewing.  I thought that I had more time, but Georgia decided to come a little earlier than anticipated.  The quilt is made from the pattern, Fussy Fairytales. 

I used Heather Ross's Far Far Away fabric collections from lines 1,2, and 3.  I love how imaginative and whimsical the prints are.  I'm sorry that these pictures are so dark, but I'm still learning.  

I imagine this little girl to be lost in her imagination while playing with her ponies.  All the other prints depict a fairy tale.

The owl and the pussy cat.

Sleeping Beauty

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves laundry.  The owl is my favorite part.

The Princess and the Pea

Snow White

The quilt top is finished and now I need to work on the back and figure out how I am going to quilt it.  I hope to get this quilt finished before too long.  Doug tells me I have 2 and a half weeks to get it to Georgia before she is home from the NICU.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  We've had some great celebration over the last few days.  We've also had some sadness that I'll share later.  

On to the celebration!  We started at Phil's mom's house with the Anderson clan.  Sadly, I did not think to take my camera out so no pictures.  Our next celebration was with the Fast side of the family at Grandma Net's house.  We spent time with all my cousins, aunts, uncles, and all the little kids.  It was a lot of fun to watch all the five of the little boys run around.  Again, no pictures because I forgot.  

Last night, we went to church for our Christmas Eve service and watch our boys sing a few Christmas songs.  It was very cute.  We next went to my mom and dad's house for Christmas.  The first gift I opened was a new camera so yay!  There are pictures!

My sister's gift

Ryan got the Lego Mine, that he has been dying for.  I took the opportunity to snap a picture of his toothless happy grin as soon as he opened it.

Jack was an expert un-wrapper and helped everyone.

My mom for some reason has been wanting a sundial forever, so she was super happy with this gift.

Jack decided to help Aunt Julie.

My Grandmas

After helping Aunt Julie unwrap her gifts, Jack became "Jack in the box."

We haven't celebrated Santa with our family.  Ryan has not been a great pretender.  We also wanted him to learn to think the people that gave him the gifts instead of thanking Santa.  

This year, Jack and Ryan watched the Polar Express and Jack started to say, "I be-weeb, I be-weeb! (I believe)."  Ryan thought it was really cute and wanted Jack to keep believing in Santa.  Jack's preschool has also been really into Santa, sending them home with reindeer food and having a Santa visit the preschool.  I thought it was so cute that Ryan wanted to do this for his brother, that we just went with it.  We sprinkled the reindeer food outside, and hung our Santa key on the front door, since we don't have a chimney.  Here is what Santa left for the boys.  

Next, we opened stockings.  One of my favorite finds for the stockings this year were light up light saber tooth brushes.

I love Jack's face in this picture.

Ryan squealed when he opened these Star Wars Legos.

Jack is also way into Star Wars.  I think he wears the glasses well.

We're really enjoying our day.  

Sadly, we are missing our family in Portland.  

Last week, our sister in law Vanessa started behaving strangely.  She stopped being able to recognize people, became non responsive, and was unable to care for herself or Carolina.  Doug made many trips back and forth to the doctors without really determining what was wrong.  Saturday morning before we left for our Anderson Christmas, Doug's friend Geoff called and informed us that Vanessa was worse and they were back in the ER.  The doctors finally ordered an MRI and discovered that over the course of 3-4 days, Vanessa had had 60-70 mini strokes as a strange complication to her pregnancy (She is around 32 weeks along).  They started her on a course of blood thinners and we waited to see what would happen.  The next day Vanessa was responsive and recognized the people around her.  Yesterday, she was able to write, but she is still unable to speak.  This has been so scary for our family, particularly her husband Doug.  Phil's mom and dad, along with Doug and Vanessa's best friends, Geoff and Shanna, and Vanessa's family have been with them, which we are so thankful for since we cannot be there too.  Please keep them in our family.  We are praying for the safety and health of the baby and a full recovery for Vanessa.

May you have a Merry Christmas with all your family and loved ones today!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Madelyn and Ryan

I was working in the church nursery the first time Madelyn came to church.  I talked with her mom and dad a bit and found out it was their first Sunday visiting our church after moving here from Washington.  Madelyn was beside herself when her family left and cried most of the time.  Ryan tried to comfort her and kept saying, "It OK, Madle."  She responded to Ryan and Ryan talked about her everyday after he met her.  After a few Sundays, they were best friends, and we had made good friends with Julie, Jeramie, and the rest of the kids.  

After a while, our extended family welcomed the Vosses into our family and we began to celebrate holidays with them.  Ryan loved having kids to play with at family gatherings and we loved having our friends with us too.

We would babysit the kids for Julie and Jeramie and they would return the favor for us.  Sometimes Madelyn and the kids would join us for sleepovers.

Every Sunday, Ryan was excited to go to church so he could see Madelyn.  

After Ryan turned three, he asked us what "married" meant.  We explained it to him.  He asked if he could marry his brother and we said, "no."  He said, "Well, if I can't marry Jack, I'm going to marry Madelyn."  

Our families have done so many things together over the past four years.  We've welcomed Jack into the family, we've celebrated birthdays and holidays, we've had days at the beach together, we've gone to the pumpkin patch, and had many meals together.  

Last night, we went to CALM together.  It was so fun to see the kids together.  We rode the carousel, looked at reptiles and lights, and rode the train.   Every time I looked over at Ryan and Madelyn, I had to choke back the tears.  

Our friends are moving away in nine days.  I know its best for their family, so that they are closer to their own family, but it breaks my heart to see them go.  To know that they won't be at church each Sunday and sharing a meal with our family on Mondays.  To know that we won't hunt Easter eggs together next year or celebrate each others birthdays.  To know that we won't have our friends living on our side of town with us anymore.  

And to know that this sweet friendship that has blossomed over the last four years is going to change.

Friends, we will miss you deeply and we wish you all the best.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Preschool has already proven to be a time of tremendous growth for Jack.  Jack has learned:

  • When pretending to be a puppy, you may not also pretend to drink from the toilet at school.
  • Peeing on the playground is not socially acceptable.
  • When the teacher asks you to practice writing your name, you should not draw "Dark Mater" (Darth Vader) instead.
  • Being a "good sharer" does not include letting all your friends use your Chapstick at recess.

I can't wait to see what he learns next!