Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Play-date...

One reason that Christmas is so much fun is that it gives us a wonderful opportunity to plan little parties and spend time with our friends! I htought since I've been actually able to function some what normal again (being that I'm now 18 weeks preggo) that it would be fun to have a Christmas play-date with Bella's friends! So we invited everyone over to spend the morning with us!

I made a few simple "toddler" snacks...fruit, reindeer peanut butter sandwiches and cheese cut into Christmas shapes.


We enjoyed reading about baby Jesus, coloring a picture of the nativity and creating glitter angel ornaments!


The nativity sets were definitely a play-date favorite!

Veggie Tales...


Willow Tree...

It's quite challenging to get a decent posed picture of 9 babies all under the age of 3...but I did manage to capture a few action shots. (although the best shot only captured 7 babies!)





We are very thankful for our friends...celebrating baby Jesus' birthday is so much fun! =)

And now it's nap time for this sleepy girl!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas 2012!

During this Christmas season, we have so enjoyed teaching Isabella all about baby Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas! We have little nativity sets, Christmas books and have loved doing various activities together. I've also become really excited about Christmas in the future as she gets a little older and she is able to really understand more and more! I came across my friend from college, Erica Foken's, blog last night and am totally in love with this Advent idea! So, Pensacola friends.......we are TOTALLY doing this together next year and I can't wait! Pretty much we will gather 24 families who want to participate, order our devotional books/kit! Then plan a night where we all come together and have an "ornament swap." Each family is responsible for creating 24 of one type of ornament - thus we leave with 24 different ornaments which correspond to the daily devotionals! We can save the devotionals and ornaments to use every year!

Here is the blog of the family who we can order from...
http://thepoefam.blogspot.com

Here are some pictures I copied from my friend Erica's blog...how cute is this! Something meaningful for our family and fun to do with a group of friends! I love the idea of us all "helping" each other create such memorable December days with our families! =)



Friday, December 9, 2011

20 months!


Only 4 more months til we have a 2 year old! I feel like a 2 year old means "I'm officially a toddler." And, honestly...that makes this mamma a little teary! I wish I could just keep her this age forever - it's just soo soo much fun! Until we have our next little one in May...little Miss Bella will be my baby! I think the Lord allowed her to be bald an extra few months so I could savor every little bit of her "baby" that she has left! =)
But, no matter how hard I try to deny it....she is becoming quite the sweet - tender hearted little toddler more and more every day! I joke with Jeremy that from the moment she wakes up until she dozes off to sleep.....she talks non-stop! I think she feels her job is to tell us every single word she knows each day and I love it! She has started putting 2 and 3 words together. For example, "clean-up"..."all done"..."i yuv you"..."night - night"..."hey dadda"..."oh boy"..."ready - set - go!" and so on! She is so good at her abc's too! She pretty much says them with us and most of the time says the letter that follows. For example if we say, "A"...she'll say, "B" and so on!
I've begun using an online resource I found for curriculum...(www.abcjesuslovesme.com). It's my favorite that I've come across so far! It integrates a theme each week, scripture, Bible story, and academics (colors, shapes, numbers, motor skills etc.). For now, I just print off each weeks plans and the resources I want to use.
This week we talked about Christmas....baby Jesus and the nativity! One of the academic objectives was counting 1-5. Here is Isabella practicing! =)

video

I look forward to being able to do more and more with her! The teacher in me just goes crazy at the thought of really teaching her letters, numbers, colors and all as we integrate them into various themes for various seasons and months! We are even planning a little Christmas play-date next week with some of our friends to read some books together and do a little Christmas activity! I will definitely try and post some pics!

Here's her typical schedule these days...

7 Wake (she will even play for a while if mamma is moving slow and having a rough morning)
9:30 Nap (transitioning to just a rest-time most days)
11 Wake/Lunch/playdate/errands/"school"
2 Nap
6 Dinner
8 Bath/Bed


Her stats:
Head 19.5 inches 95%
Weight 28.5 lbs. 85%
Height 33 inches 70%

'Tis the Season...

Last weekend, we transformed our house from "Turkey" decorations to "Christmas" decorations! I just love, love, love this time of year......cooler weather, twinkling lights, spending time with family.......
We decided to get a head start while Isabella was down for her morning nap...and when she woke up...she was beyond excited! She carefully tip-toed around the corner...

And the expression on her face says it all! (The tree wasn't even decorated yet....just a bare tree!)

Then, we showed her the nativity scene and of course, she went straight to baby Jesus and gave him a kiss. =)

Isabella had the privilege of helping dadda put the star on the tree!

On Sunday we wore our first "Christmas" outfit....loving every minute of it! We did a quick little photo shoot in front of the tree before heading out the door! (And might I mention that we made it to Sunday School, Worship and lunch with friends! The best Sunday I've had in a long while...Merry Christmas to me...I think my morning sickness aka "all day sickness" is slowly...slowly fading away!)





We snapped a quick picture of Isabella and her friend Charleigh in their Christmas attire....they were full of giggles and smiles until all eyes were on them with a camera! =)


This week we've ventured out to see Christmas lights two nights! Isabella LOVES the "lights".....she constantly is saying..."wow!...oh boy!...lights!...more!" And when there are...should I say "unfestive houses"...she begins to cry and call for "lights"!

We are enjoying sharing the true meaning of Christmas with Isabella this year.....it's so fun because she recognizes and can name all the characters of our nativity sets! We have been doing fun little activities together as we learn all about baby Jesus! The highlight of her week was getting to hold the baby Jesus doll from the manger in the big nativity scene at church! I wish I had my camera with me to capture that sweet moment.......total awe on her little face! =)
Through all the christmas card writing, baking, parties, concerts, lights, decorations, traveling and Christmas outfits......I pray that as a family we can continue to put Christ first and not allow ourselves to get so busy that we forget to make time to reflect on the true reason for the season.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving


We spent Thanksgiving week in Panama City with Jeremy's family. It was such a sweet time together as we made many memories! The week was full of many emotions which I believe is only to be expected. There were past memories shared as we laughed and cried......and there were new memories made! Isabella and Maddy bring us all so much joy and they definitely help in making new memories together as a family. =)

Early Thanksgiving morning, about 3am.......Jer, Bella and I all found ourselves huddled in the bathroom together! Bella and I must have caught a little bug or eaten something bad because we both woke up sick to our stomachs! It lasted for about 3 hours and then was gone! Answer to our prayers.....we were all able to enjoy Thanksgiving! =)

For lunch, we went to Mamma Lloyd's sister's house, Aunt Kathy's, and spent the afternoon with lots of cousins! We had a blast enjoying all the delicious food and good company! After, we finished eating all of us ventured outside to enjoy the beautiful day.


Isabella enjoyed showing all of us her "running" moves that Pappa had shown her recently. Ready...Set...GO!

She also loved being the "big cousin" and pushing Maddy around on the little bike.

They tried riding together...but that didn't last too long...

After enjoying the pretty day, we all headed back inside for our "Thanksgiving" craft! We made turkeys together...(with just a little help from dadda).


After a wonderful afternoon, we headed over to spend the evening with the Lloyd family. Sweet cousin, Hannah, had organized a basket full of toys for Maddy and Isabella!


Isabella loves her "Pappa Lloyd."


It was such a sweet day just being together as a family.

Here are a few other photos from the week....

Eating out together (not sure if this pictures was taken before or after Maddy barked at the lady sitting near us and kept saying, "no....no" as if she was a dog OR maybe after Bella kept saying, "hi....hi...HI!" to the water near us until he finally said hi back).....=)

Trying on She-She's glasses...

Now, I'm one of those that LOVES Christmas.....but I don't want to start listening to Christmas music and decorating until I've fully enjoyed Thanksgiving! =) So, now that Thanksgiving has passed......we will pull out our Christmas decorations and begin celebrating Christmas! I am somewhat pleased because all of our Christmas shopping is officially complete!!! Due to my preggo self, I did all my shopping online this year......and I feel that it was very successful and I got tons of great deals and free shipping! =) My goal is to have presents wrapped, cards sent, Christmas outfits sewn 2 weeks before Christmas so that we can fully absorb the true joy of Christmas! It's always great to have goals....right!? =) We are planning to spend Christmas with my family up in Tennessee as well as spend some time with Mamma Lloyd, Jordan, Ellen and Maddy too! Hopefully, I'll have some "Christmasy" updates soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

19 months...


Well 11 days late is better than no post at all....right!?? =) Isabella is such a delight these days. I keep saying every month she grows older is my absolute favorite, but this stage has got to be the best!!! She's so entertaining, independent, fun-loving, loves learning new things.....she is like a little sponge! Every day it seems like she surprises us with something new she's learned! The other day she was walking around the house talking....as she does most of the day.....and I caught her saying "one.....two....fwee....four!" We hadn't even been practicing numbers or counting! Sometimes, I will hear her in her crib while humming herself to sleep and she's trying to say her abc's....I'm not even kidding. She has the tune but just mixes up whatever letters come to mind! =) She loves playing outside....running (which usually involves falling)....and especially loves when we get to go for a "wok" (walk). I was telling a friend today how I couldn't even imagine going through my first trimester and all that entails for me.....if I didn't have such a little angel. Even though she is only 19 months, she is such a little helper! I'm so thankful she enjoys playing independently and doesn't mind if mommy lays on the couch and we play puzzles and read books for hours! She is such a good sleeper too! She'll usually lay and hum/play for 15 minutes until she dozes off! And she's still a very good eater.........we found out last night how much she loves corn on the cob! =)

She loves people and seems to bring a smile to just about anyone's face. =) As we were walking into church this morning, I felt as though I had a little "show dog" with me. She just waved and smiled and said, "hi!" to every person we passed....and I mean every person we passed! I can't help but to chuckle as we walk.......it's just so funny! Come to think of it, she may just be so excited to see people and get out of the house since the first trimester has kept us staying close to home!

Here are her stats (just my measurements so may not be 100% accurate).....

Head 19.5 inches 100% (hehe off the charts!)
Height 33 inches 75%
Weight 28 lbs. 85%

Schedule....
7 Wake/Breakfast
9:30 Nap (some days this is just rest time other days she'll sleep 2 hours!)
12 Lunch
2 Nap
6 Dinner
8 Bath/Bed

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Iron"pappa"...

This past weekend, we stayed with my parents in Panama City Beach where my dad competed in Ironman Florida. We had such precious time with him as we relaxed together before and after the race.

Here's my dad giving Isabella a ride on his bike! Go Bella Go!


And then teaching her how to run......proper form is always important for a future triathlete! =)

Now all we have to work on is swimming!

Early Saturday morning, we bundled up for the start of the race.......2.4 mile swim in the Gulf.

We always get excited when he comes out of the water! Isabella is anxiously awaiting his arrival......

Off the bike and now for the marathon! Run Pappa Run! (She wasn't quite sure why he kept running past her......she wanted him to stop and play!)

Cheering for all the finishers as they passed us.......especially for Pappa!!!

Great finish....we are so proud of him! Isabella had the honors of wearing the medal!


Fall Festivities...

I have to be honest, as I sit down to finally update the blog......it's very difficult for me. The past few weeks have just been a whirlwind of emotions. As we've walked through the passing of Pappa Chip......it just really makes all the "pumpkin patches" and "costumes" seem so trivial and unimportant. It's just hard to get really excited about all of the "holiday" stuff when our hearts are still so very sad and broken. But, I know that Pappa Chip would want little Isabella to be enjoying all the fall activities and we know that He is in heaven with our Jesus with no more pain or suffering. It doesn't make us miss him any less but somehow the Lord has continued to give us a peace that surpasses all our understanding to move through each day without him here with us on earth. There are tears that come and go and emotions that rise and fall......but with the strength of the Lord and the love of our family and friends we will be able to move forward.

So.....here are some pictures of the fall activities that we have experienced the past few weeks.....

We went to a fall park with some friends....enjoyed the hay maze, hay ride and running around with friends! (I did manage to sew a little pumpkin dress for Isabella.......even while being so nauseated & on the couch most days! Let's just say it was a huge accomplishment for this preggo mother of a toddler!)

Quite challenging to get a decent pic of babies & toddlers!

As I mentioned above, I'm still experiencing lots of nausea, fatigue and migraines.....so I really am not able to venture out too far from the house. But, we did enjoy taking Isabella to a little pumpkin patch! She loved browsing through all the pumpkins and choosing her favorite! =)


The perfect "punkin" =)...

Here's our classic pumpkin patch family pic...

We also enjoyed the Fall Festival that our church puts on each year. Isabella wore her little "scarecrow" outfit and loved every minute of exploring the festival! Thank goodness for such a sweet and patient daddy who walked her around while mamma sat in the shade (after sitting for a few minutes and eating my snack - I realized I was in the "medical tent"...ha! classic)

We spent that evening with a group of friends celebrating the "Reformation"....I didn't manage to take any pictures but Isabella enjoyed all the fun activities there as well! She also somehow talked daddy into giving her a cupcake for dinner!!! Oh well.....one night of sugar won't hurt anyone! =)

Monday, Oct. 31st, we actually decided last minute to drive over to Panama City and surprise She-She! We dressed Isabella up in her little scarecrow outfit and showed up at their church's fall festival.


Isabella loved running across the parking lot to surprise her She-She!

Nothing sweeter than Bella sugar to brighten up your day! =)
She loved everything......especially the "big kid" music (or "mica" as Bella calls it).

We are all thankful for this little bundle of joy....always full of smiles!

We spent the week with She-She and enjoyed loving on her and spending time with her each day. =)