Monday, December 29, 2008

Two Cuties Singing Just For You Mom!

It is my mom's birthday on December 30th and I was delighted with how sweetly Tobiah and Asher sang her the birthday song in the following clip.

Mom, you are very loved in this household! I hope you have a fantastic day. Wish we could be with you, but we will be celebrating you and your wonderfulness across the miles!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008 - Packed with SNOW and FUN!!

Can't you just see all the excitement of Christmas in their eyes?

We had a fun adventure driving (two days each way!) to Camas, Washington to spend Christmas with Tim's parents, grandma, and aunt and uncle. What made it extra special was all the snow!!

To see more pictures: or click for direct link on the left. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Fun?

It can be tricky trying to get Christmas shopping done with kids in tow. I seem to be a glutton for punishment because I took both boys with me to Target this morning. Granted, it is a store where they usually do okay, but Toby has a cold and needed a tissue every few minutes, and Asher was especially impatient and fussy. I made the mistake of putting a bag of gummy bears for a certain someone in my cart. The boys immediately coveted them. Asher wanted to hold them and them and kept asking, "Mommy, this mine?" Even though I told him several times, "No, they are for Debbie ," he kept begging for them. So, feeling badly that I drug them along on my shopping expedition, I thought I could open the bag and let them have a few as a treat for having to be at the store with mom. Little that I know that Asher would continue to ask for "more please!!" and that to save my sanity and try to plow through everything on my list the boys would end of eating almost the entire bag! Toby kept guiltily asking if I was going to buy another bag for Debbie's stocking, but that didn't stop him from enjoying them. Between my sneezing five-year-old (I kept stashing away used tissues in the diaper bag because I had no where else to put them - he must of gone through at least 10! Then I would bring out the Purell - we went through a lot of that too!) and my two-year-old gorging on gummy bears, I was feeling a bit self-conscious and kept telling myself that at least I would never see any of these people again anyway. In the middle of all this, Toby managed to knock quite a few clothes off of hangers, among other things, and was up to his usual mischievous antics. It was just one of those shopping trips...but we survived! And on the way home we sang silly songs about our shopping trip starring Asher as a fussy bear and Toby as a tiger with a runny nose and it helped lighten the mood. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

After Thanksgiving Christmas Ornaments

After enjoying a relaxing and blessed Thanksgiving, it was time to decorate for Christmas! We have a small decorative Christmas tree that works perfectly for putting up in the playroom so the boys have their own tree to decorate, redecorate, and decorate again. They have such a good time with it! One of my favorite things about their little disheveled tree is that Toby and Asher leave "mommy's tree" in the living room alone because they know they can play all they want with theirs. The small tree was already loaded with ornaments, but Toby wanted more! We often do crafts and activities at the table in the afternoons, so I went to (great magazine and website!) to find an idea for an easy homemade Christmas ornament.

I chose "Pie Plate Ornaments". The idea behind them is to use the leftover pie tins from Thanksgiving to made pretty ornaments. I happened to have a tin roasting pan, so I used the flat lid. The first step was to trace a cookie cutter on to the tin and cut out the shape (I did that part). Then we embellished them with a chopstick - swirls and such. We used buttons and regular craft glue to decorate them, since that is what I had on hand. The finishing touch was a hole-punch at the top and ribbon threaded through as a hanger. They turned out so beautifully that we will be sending some along to the grandmas!

Asher did well decorating at least one star ornament, then he proceeded to put glue all over one arm and adhere buttons to himself! I didn't think to get a picture. :)

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Asher Saying Happy Thanksgiving

Thankful for...

Boys who help in the kitchen!


Lindsey, Debbie's roommate

Family near and far.

These two!

Red and Yellow and Orange and Brown...

Enjoy a video clip of Toby (front row in yellow) singing with his classmates during their preschool Thanksgiving program. It was extra special for us because last year he developed a terrible fear of the stage and church sanctuary at the preschool. He had a really hard time during practices and bravely survived the program. So this year it was fun to have him in the front row, singing and enjoying himself!! We had not talked about his fears last year because I didn't want to put any ideas in his head but this morning he brought it up. I asked him why he was afraid last year and not this year and he chalked it up to the fact that he is now 5, and that was long, long ago when he was only 4. Kids are unpredictable!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Toby!!

Hard to believe our firstborn son is a 5-year-old!! We planned a "bring your own bike" party for Toby at a local park. The invitation read: Grab Your Bike and Head This Way! We're Celebrating Toby's 5th Birthday!! The party registered high on the fun scale for the kids - Toby had the time of his life! The kids made name plates for their bikes and scooters and, after having snacks and cake, formed a bike parade with Toby as the leader.
Here we are trying to protect the candles from being blown out by the wind! :)

Happy Birthday to You!!

Ready to lead the bike parade!

What a great bunch of friends!

Toby, we feel so privileged to be your parents! You fill our lives with so much joy, fun, and adventure. We love you so much!

More pictures posted on our web album! or click the link that says "WEB ALBUM" to the right.
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Toby has had a blast playing AYSO soccer (American Youth Soccer Organization?) this Fall! Although the games and practices are not highly structured for this age group, they do scrimmage against another team every week. There is the typical amusement of watching young kids play the sport: stealing the ball from their own teammates, falling dramatically in to the goal after scoring (just for the fun of it), easily distracted by other things while the ball is rolling right past them...there have been a lot of shared laughs among the parents.

It has been fun watching Toby make new friends, learn new skills, score goals, celebrate, and enjoy himself so much. We are proud of our little soccer star!

All the kids received trophies, which was SO SUPER, DUPER exciting for Toby. He talked about it constantly for a couple days.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October Recap

October 1 Tim broke his thumb. I guess he wanted to have something scary looking to flash about for Halloween. He had surgery on it on October 10 and the cast the doctor put on made him look like he was missing a fingers! He was happy when he got the cast off on October 29 and is pleased with his cool scar. (Sorry the pictures aren't better.)

Tim, Debbie, and the boys spoiled me on my birthday with dinner, cake and gifts. Tim had his surgery earlier that day, but he was still able to participate in the celebrating.

Silly Shot - Asher is copying what Debbie is telling him to do. :)

October 19-21 Sara and Matt visited! We were thrilled to have them down here from Vernon, BC and to get them all to ourselves for a few fun days!

At the Arboretum.

And, of course, Toby was SUPER EXCITED about Halloween. Super Man + Peter Pan = Super Pan!
Showing his powerful muscles!

To see more pictures of the kids enjoying Fall activities visit our web album: or click on "WEB ALBUM" to the right.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Nana and Papa's Visit

We had a great visit from Craig and Mora in September that I want to mention before updating the blog on all our October activities. The boys' Nana and Papa spoiled them with lots of love and attention, and gifts - a late birthday present for Asher (a very cool racetrack!) and a contribution to an early present for Toby (a bicycle!). They also allowed Tim and I to go away for a night to relax and enjoy 24 hours sans kids - that was an early birthday present for me!

Toby on his new bike!

While they were here it was fun to go with them to our family's favorite restaurant: Islands! The kids love the tropical atmosphere and surfing videos they play and we all love the food. We are there enough that one of the waitresses, named Debbie, knows us! We try to request her as our server when we are there.

Mora planned some fun activities for the kids and Craig kept busy fixing things around the house and with Tim's truck. They hardly sat still while they were here!
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy 65th Birthday Dad!

My dad happens to be in Brazil today, on his birthday. We were thinking about him and celebrating his life, which in turn gave me life, and now Tim and I have two boys to show for it! Speaking of those two boys, here they are below sending Grandpa their birthday wishes. Asher was a bit camera shy. We love you dad!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Proud Moment

It really made me smile today when Toby said to Asher, "Race ya!" as they ran down the hall in to the playroom. The best part was that Toby (who is very competitive and hates to lose) let Asher get there first saying, "You won!"

Goodbye Paci

Asher has officially sworn off pacifier use! (It's bittersweet.) I had cut a small piece off of one pacifier and, as it turned out, the other one got wedged between the crib and mattress and it took us a whole day to find it. So we told Asher that one pacifier was broken and that the other was lost (because it was - he just doesn't know that we eventually found it!) There were a couple rough spots of grieving for him - one bedtime and one nap time in particular - but all in all he was a trooper and dealt with the loss well. This is amazing considering how much he loved his pacis. Today - day 4 - he napped and went down for the night with no issues, except that he is a bit more wound up while before the pacifier used to calm him right down. (I miss that.)

He did bring up the subject once today:

Asher: "Mommy, one paci broke and one paci lost?"
Me: "Yes, one paci broke and one was lost."
Asher: "Oh."

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Asher is SO cute these days, as he is talking more and more. His body language and two-year-old way of speaking keep us smiling all day. I had to hold him longer and give him an extra squeeze before putting him down for his nap today because there is no doubt that my baby is on his way to becoming a big boy.

That said, he has some major transitions coming up soon: saying goodbye to pacifier use, moving to a big boy bed, and potty training.

So we are tackling the first hurdle. He is still using a pacifier to sleep. He likes one in his mouth and holds one in his hand. These two remaining beloved pacis are getting grungy and I don't think we will buy him new ones. We are pretty confident he can get to sleep without them and this is a good time to wean him off of them since he is healthy, happy, not teething, and we are not traveling or hosting company or any of the other excuses we've used to let him keep using them this long. So...I cut a small hole in one of the pacifiers, which renders it useless and tomorrow night I will do the same to the other.

He was pretty concerned about the hole in his pacifier, and I was very sympathic. We bemoaned the fate of his dear object. He still held on to it when I put him down for the night, but I don't think he'll put it in his mouth. I'll let you know how tomorrow night goes...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Back to School!

We really had a GREAT summer, and I've enjoyed reflecting on it:

ONE wonderful pool which Toby learned to swim across
TWO dear parents (my mom and dad) who we so enjoyed having here
THREE trips: Minnesota, Mammoth Lakes, and back to the family farm in New York

But it also feels GREAT to get back in to a routine! Toby had his first day back at preschool Friday. We like his new teacher, Miss Diane, very much already. Our kiddo was happy to be reunited with old friends and excited to make new ones!

Nervous excitement as he stands outside his classroom door ready to go in!

No problem settling in. Can I get a "Bye Mom?"

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Love and War

Overheard in our living room recently:

T: I love you Asher.
A: I love you, too.

Not only is it fun that Asher can say, "I love you, too" but it is a nice respite from the opposite type of brotherly interaction that is often blaring from the living room. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our New York Trip

Being back in Upstate New York was almost surreal for me! So beautiful and green. So many loved ones. And it holds my favorite place on earth: THE POND.

But first I had to survive the flight! Unfortunately Tim didn't get to join us on this trip, so I flew alone with the boys. It was a LONG day, with a few hectic moments, but the kids did great and God gave me grace in the little (but big) ways, like Asher taking a nap on the flight and Toby entertaining himself splendidly.

We started the fun by spending a few days with my college friend Jamie and her family in Ellicotville, NY. Watching our offspring play together was so special! Jamie has a fun home well equipped for active children. I enjoyed getting to know Jamie's husband Chris better and her two boys, Sam and Ben, were delightful. The boys played in the rocks, sprayed the hose, discovered a (harmless) snake, picked (and promptly ate) blueberries, played ball, ran around and were basically "all boy". One of the highlights for Toby was seeing the herd of buffalo that graze at a ranch up the road from Jamie's home!

Next we were off to Castile, NY! To see my Grandma DeGolyer, my very loved aunts and uncles, my cousins, and my cousin's children, including some little cuties I had never met before was WONDERFUL. And I couldn't hold back the tears when I saw Daniel and Giovy and my two beautiful nieces, Mia and Nai who arrived from Florida for the reunion. My family rented a six-bedroom farm just minutes from the family farm and pond. Being all together again was awesome.

It was a busy, but very special and fun time! Especially for Toby, ever the enthusiastic one, every day was an adventure. Playing with cousins upon cousins he didn't know he had, digging and splashing in the pond, riding the ferris wheel at the county fair, watching cows being milked, climbing up in to enormous tractors, picking sweet corn, seeing waterfalls at Letchworth State Park, playing miniature golf followed by a large ice-cream cone...he never wanted the trip to end and was a bit bummed to be back. Asher loved his baby cousin Nai, and also had a good time, but he was happiest when he was finally back to his dad and his home. What two different personalities these boys have!

Cousins! Asher, Nai, Tobiah, and Mia at Letchworth State Park.

Just missing Tim.

My Uncle Willard - Toby's new hero - and his oh-so-cool tractors. Toby was invited to help cut the hay!