Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Zachary

My second son, Zachary, turned 18 yesterday, December 28th. I can hardly believe he is 18. In honor of his birthday, here are 18 things about Zack... 1. He and his cousin Jacob were born on the same day, in the same hospital and delivered by the same doctor. It was an amazing day for both of our families.
2. Zack has always been musically inclined, even as a little child. He plays the piano and guitar beautifully and dabbles in the violin and cello.
3. He had his own vocabulary when he was smaller. Examples: beeba- bird fritafer-refrigerator raytel- hotel one maldation mal one- one hundred and one dalmations
4. He was 10 pounds 6.7 ounces when he was born and held the record for the biggest baby in our family until this summer when Emma was born weighing 10 pounds 8 ounces.
5. Ben reminds us so much of Zack when Zack was younger. Ben, however, is much more aggressive than Zack was.
6. When Sam was younger, Zack gave himself the nickname "Bubba" and ever since then, the little children have called him that. And so have Paul and I at times. And it fits him well!
7. Zack reminds me so much of my Dad in looks and in piano playing. When Zack sits down and plays the piano, he even has the same mannerisms that my Dad has.
8. Zack is currently living with my parents in his own apartment. It is the first time in his life he has had his own room, and he is loving it.
9. Zack had some unreasonable fears as a child that are now quite humorous. Once he thought he was going deaf because he had stopped up his ears by sniffing too hard. He was quite shaken up by that. Now we laugh when we remember it.
10. He has never wanted a real cake for his birthday- it is always brownie or cookie cake.
11. He was always the cutest little boy and the older women loved him wherever we went.
12. He loved to wander the house at night and made frequent stops in the kitchen to get a snack.
13. One night he ended up in our bed with a hot dog and bologna and cheese. I found out he was there by hearing him chewing.
14. He has been taking 2 piano lessons a week since he moved to KS 3 months ago. He played for us in church on Sunday and everyone was amazed at how much he has learned in such a short time.
15. For a while, when he was 3 or 4, his favorite song was "Sentimental Journey". He and Paul would accompany their dad when he would sing at the nursing home and then learned all the old songs. The older people loved to hear those boys sing.
16. He is currently studying for the SAT and has plans to attend college next Fall.
17. On the last day of our mammoth 3 week cross country vacation a few years ago, Zack wore a pair of cut off pajama pants on the ride home because it was the only clean thing he had left to wear. Not even a shirt.
18. Zack has made me very proud these past few months that he has been gone. But I am very glad he was able to come home for a few weeks.

Eighteen years gone in the blink of an eye. Happy Birthday Zack. May this year be your best yet.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas, 2010


Dad's "Savory French Toast" he made us for breakfast.
A little boy's dinosaurs.
Look at that dirty face!
His building blocks that his dad made him. He loves them!

Christmas Eve, 2010

Our Christmas Ornament for 2010. I LOVE IT!! I think it's my new favorite. Our new baby for 2010. I LOVE HER! Seriously, now, look at that face!! What's not to love?
Look at that cute, cute Christmas outfit!
What a face! What a baby!!
Poor Ben. He would not go to sleep during his nap today, so during the Christmas Eve candlelight service he was a, um, grump. He misbehaved the whole service, but clutched his candle the entire night because he wanted to light it. He fell asleep during the last prayer before the candles and missed the whole candle lighting segment. See his candle still clutched in his hand?
I was relieved he had fallen asleep, finally!
Why looky there! Santa Claus has already been to my house and it's only Christmas Eve!
It looks like he brought alot of presents!
The children were nestled all snug in their beds...
while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads...
Ok, maybe not sugarplums.

May you have a very merry Christmas tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve. I might even like it a bit more than Christmas Day. You can almost feel the anticipation in the air, and as a child, it felt like magic.
I remember one Christmas Eve when Zack was about 6. He woke up and ran into my room. "MOM! DAD! IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE!" he yelled excitedly. Paul and I were a bit puzzled about all this excitement about Christmas Eve, so we asked him a few questions and it turned out he thought we opened all the presents on Christmas Eve. Let me tell you, you have never seen such disappointment when he realized Christmas Eve was the day BEFORE you opened all the presents. I think there even may have been a few tears. His brother Paul, in an attempt to console Zack, told him that maybe Christmas Eve meant Christmas eventually. We laughed a long time about poor Zack, and every Christmas Eve it seems someone brings this story up.
My favorite Christmas Eve happened about 13 or 14 years ago. We were living in Florida at the time. My parents had moved to Kansas earlier that year, so it was our first Christmas without them. My brother and his wife decided to spend Christmas in Kansas that year which meant we were on our own. We had lots of friends, but most were busy with their own families Christmas Eve.
I wanted to do something special and God gave me a wonderful idea. He placed on my heart 3 older ladies who were alone that Christmas Eve: Sue, Sandy and Helen. We invited these ladies over to spend the evening with us. The kids and I cooked and cleaned all day in preparation of our company. I was able to put together gift baskets for each one. We were all excited and had a wonderful time. We sat and talked and ate and laughed. It meant so much to the ladies that we had reached out to them and made them feel special.
It was not a big thing to do. We enjoyed it as much if not more than those ladies. Today, 2 of them are in heaven. I have lost touch with the third. I am so thankful that God nudged our family to open our home to others who were alone that Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Samuel, Benjamin and Emma

These were taken Sunday morning before church. I think I took over 100 pictures, trying to get a great one. This one was the best of the three of the them. I love it. They are all smiling and the picture just makes me smile. Benjamin was in some kind of a silly mood! Here's another good one, except for Emma stuffing her hands in her mouth.
And here is a silly one. Ben was getting sillier and sillier.
Emma's new thing is sticking her tongue out. She did this in quite a few of the pictures.
And in this one she just looks mad (or like she's doing something else...)
But the pictures of Ben were the funniest. I laughed out loud several times as I looked through them. Here's some of the best. (And there were several more I didn't post!)

Silly, silly boy!