Monday, December 26, 2011

Glimpses of Christmas

Most years I am ready for Spring as soon as we have sung the last carol and opened the last gift.  This year I feel different.  The absence of snow made it hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit early enough to have my fix.  I plan to leave up the tree and the lights until I am sick and tired of them.  I am also going to keep reading our Christmas books and singing Christmas carols for a few more days (or weeks!). 

It's hard to believe that this little man has been with us for almost a year now...  He loved the train at Grandma and Grandpa's house and sat watching it for a long time.

These photos require a little explaination.  I saw this scene from inside and wanted to get a picture of the kids "sledding" in the "snow."  While it looks like Gwen is being the helpful big sister pulling Colin up the hill, she was actually playing the part of the Grinch.  In the second picture she is yelling "Go Colin!  Faster!" as Colin pulls her down the hill, eventually falling.  I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes when I heard what they were actually doing!

Merry Christmas to you all.

Just in case you need a smile for the day ...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Little Star

This is the ornament I got last year for the child we hadn't met yet, before we knew our Luke.

His eyes may twinkle with brushfield spots and he may always be little,
but he shines like a star to all who know him.
Some things just turn out right.


Luke takes New Mexico!

Yes.  These are old.  I apologize.  However; if I don't post them now, I never will!  This trip was at the end of October, so Luke was 9 months old.

As the plane landed in New Mexico I had an eerie feeling of arriving in "Holland".  I'm not exactly sure what I expected, but the brown barren landscape that I saw from the plane, was not what I had in mind for a week with my hubby and little man Luke.  In my head I recited the words "But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

It didn't take long to see that New Mexico was a special place.  One of the most amazing things about NM were the people.  They were friendly, and not just normal friendly, but Midwest friendly.  Random people would approach us and give restaurant advice, sightseeing tips and ask what we were in town for.  One woman actually offered to bring homemade green chile to our hotel!

While my first impressions of the landscape were brown and barren, I came to appreciate the diversity that NM had to offer.  One of the first days I went to the Georgia O'Keefe museum and watched a documentary about her life.  She made me start to see the beauty in the shapes and colors all around me.  And if you have never seen a sunset in New Mexico, well ... you haven't seen a sunset!  We quickly realized why all the cars had tinted windows, front and back.

Since Matt was attending a conference I had the days to explore Albuquerque and Santa Fe on my own. 

One of the first places I went was Old Town in Santa Fe. 
These pictures of Luke were taken in front of the San Felipe de Neri Church built in 1783.

The next day I took Luke hiking at Tent Rocks National Monument just west of Santa Fe.  We did a short 2 mile hike, but next time I'm going to the top and so is Luke!  In classic Luke fashion, he took these cute pictures next to a sign that said to stay on the trails (oops!) and then fell asleep for the rest of the hike.

One of the most amazing places we visited was Acoma Pueblo.  It was a 367 foot high mesa that is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States.

We spent our last day at Bandelier National Monument.  There had recently been both a forest fire and a flood at the mounment, so we had to take a shuttle to get there.  (By the way - did you know that the only difference between a National Park and National Monument is that it takes congressional approval to make a National Park and not to declare a National Monument?) While parts of the monument were still closed, we were able to see many of the ruins and petroglyphs.  Even though Luke was asleep, we can tell him he was in a cave dwelling before the age of 1!

I think my motto is going to be better late than never!
Have a wonderful week :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Smiles

Smile!  It's Friday!

This is going to be quick because I have only 2 hours to clean the house, get supper ready, write out babysitter notes for bedtime and look presentable for going to Christmas at Luther.  (And as you can see Luke hasn't even gotten out of the white onsie today!)

We are waiting for snow, patiently ... sort of.  I am ready to bake cookies and decorate the tree, but I have trouble getting in the Christmas spirit without snow. 

We have been sick.  For two weeks someone has been sick in this house and we are "sick" of it!  Today I turned on Kristin Chenawith (Christmas CD) and Luke and Gwen danced it up in the living room. 

Makes me smile every time!

On the move...  in reverse!

Luke is showing off a couple of his teeth and they make him look like a little boy instead of a baby. 

 Happy Friday Smiles to you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Goodbye Fall Colors...

An extra hour = An extra post

October was just beautiful, and we took full advantage by enjoying all that Decorah has to offer.

As much as I love Fall, I love the changing seasons even more. 



The kids were thrilled when I showed them that we still had something to harvest from the garden. 

Happy Fall!