Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas

Man, you wouldn't know that this season isn't all about getting gifts. We're just about gifted out. The gift exchanges started last Thursday when we exchanged gifts with Nana and PawPaw. Then on Saturday we packed up and headed north (the kids traveled very well). We stopped about half-way to exchange gifts with family in Springdale. We then loaded back up and finally made it to KC. Then today we determined that we were apparently on Santa's VERY good list as the living room filled up with gifts.

We all received everything we needed and more. Eli now has 3 sets of binoculars. PawPaw put a set in his stocking. A set came with the magazine subscription mom and dad got him. And the third came from Uncle Ben in his explorer kit.

It's hard to tell what Eli's favorite gift is. Oma and Opa got him a bouncy ball with a handle on it that he can hop around the basement on. Grandma Nickum got him a bicycle. Santa brought him a remote control car......

Emily's somewhat overwhelmed. Uncle Ben may win the prize with a musical octopus. Emily likes it and so do mom and dad (it's quiet). Aunt Erin gave her a bathtub zylaphone and drum set. She LOVES the drum stick, it's perfect to chew on.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the holidays. Opa and I were quite click happy with the cameras. Between the two of us we took about 160 pictures over the course of the day.

Grandma delivered the rest of Eli's birthday present when we arrived

Uncle Ben tried to tune Emily's bathtub zylaphone. It's missing a B bar and its WAY out of tune. Oh well it'll work

Eli and Oma made a gingerbread house

Emily loves chewing on the drumstick

Oma and Opa acquired an exersaucer in the form of a car. Emily enjoyed it. Notice we've started her early on the phone.

First we opened stockings, Eli found that Santa brought him blueberries again

And brought Emily a sweet-potato

Santa brought Eli a radio controlled car

And he brought Emily a pair of Mary Janes

Eli taking his new bike for a spin

Emily enjoyed the decorations as much as the gifts

Eli playing on his hop ball

A very happy Emily

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Letter

Seasons greetings to all!

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health and good spirits. Our family was blessed this year with the birth of Emily on May 16th. She’s had an exciting 7 months of life. She loves to sit up, giggles at her brother, and chews on everything. She’s not a big fan of baby food, but she loves Cheerios.

Eli started preschool two mornings a week at our church. His favorite things are painting and driving the toy police car. He’s also been going to Sunday school on his own this year since Alicia and Sam have been busy teaching elementary Sunday school and getting Emily home for a nap. (She’s made it clear that she has no intention of taking a nap in the nursery.) He turned four earlier this month and was excited to have a birthday party with his best friend from our street and his new friends from school. He wanted an art party, so the kids painted, sculpted, and decorated everything, including the cake.

We’ve had to start a banned book list in our house. It currently includes anything about Curious George. Apparently, George’s antics are irresistible to a 3 year old. Alicia went to check on Eli in the bathroom one evening and found him sitting naked in the sink slathered in toothpaste from head to toe. We had recently read about George making toothpaste pictures for the man with the yellow hat.

Eli enjoys using his tools to take things apart to discover how they work. He’s not so good at putting them back together though. Fortunately, Alicia’s around to help with that part. We had him take a tape measure to the Christmas tree farm this year. We discovered last year that they all look so small in the field. Our eyes were bigger than our living room.

Sam continues to work at Euronet Worldwide, where he was recently promoted to a senior programmer analyst. As he likes to say, same job, same desk, new title. He didn’t manage to travel to any exotic locations this year. His only trip was to scenic Rochester, Minnesota for a question and answer session with IBM.

Alicia still enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, though Sam questions her sanity on occasion. She even survived 4 days alone with the kids when Sam went on his business trip. In June, her duties as treasurer of the Little Rock MOM’S Club ended and she chose not to seek another term. She likes to work in the garden and scrapbook in her spare time, which is currently somewhat limited.

Sam, Alica, Eli, and Emily

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Finally, some pictures

Finally, I got around to putting pictures up. I love Google's new blogger picture upload thing. It handles rotating them for me. Anyway, here's the pics I promised.

First we have the preschool Christmas program. We'll play a little "where's waldo". Can you find Eli? Once you think you have look at the 2nd picture, he's circled.

She's a gift!

With Santa

Yum bananna

And now some rice cake.

Kids in front of the fire

Took 2 days of trying but we finally got the result we were looking for

Emily playing with a lamb. Eli took it from her shortly thereafter, she wasn't so pleased.

Hey, I'm 7 months old!!!

Eli helped me with the leaves (no he didn't get to use the leaf blower).

She enjoys the green fish too

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh me oh my

Yikes, realized I haven't posted anything in almost a month. Sorry, busy times. No pics tonight, I'll try to put some up soon.

So what all has happened since I last posted. We had Thanksgiving, we cut and decorated a Christmas tree, decorated the house, etc. We had Eli's birthday parties (yes that is a plural). First with his friends Rachel and Alex, then with Nana and PawPaw. We've had cake for an army. We helped decorate the church for Christmas.

So Emily has decided that she's not a big fan of baby food, she wants to jump straight to the good stuff. Couple of days ago, OK, more like a week and a half she was eying the Cheerios box while Eli was eating breakfast. Reaching for it reportedly (sorry, I was at work). Anyway, Alicia decided what the heck. She gave her a Cheerio. Emily gummed the heck out of it and yelled for more. So, who needs a spoon, we feed her via Cheerios.

She has also gnawed on a hunk of banana, a chunk of a sweet potato (cooked of course), and today a rice cake.

Speaking of rice cakes. It's funny how much is implied by the title. Eli was elated to be able to eat some rice cake during his snack. He thinks its really cake.

Anyway, that somewhat catches everyone up on our busy life. Pictures to follow soon I hope.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I've upgraded the blog

Well, I took the plunge. I upgraded the blog to the new beta (I'm a trend setter, what can I say).

On the family front things are going well. We tried an experiment with Emily to see what would happen with her sleeping in the port-a-crib. It worked ok. Some nights were better than others (we only tried it for a couple of hours each night. Last night we decided we'd just do the normal crib all night, she slept much better.

Eli and I got the Christmas lights up on the house yesterday afternoon (no he didn't get to get on the roof with me much to his chagrin).

We continued the seasonal activity of raking leaves.

Emily continues to work on sitting up (we have to help her get in position but she'll stay put long enough to take a picture). She's decided she prefers milk to solid food. We're still working on convincing her otherwise.

I'll try to get some pictures up tonight.


Edit: Yea for blogger, the beta publishes much better than the original one. Hopefully the same is true for photos, I've been having lots of problems with those lately.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


It's been a busy couple of weeks since my last post. Emily's turned 5 months, she's started on solid foods, and we've had Halloween. Enjoy.

If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I'd like to ask everyone reading this blog to log a comment. I'm just curious who's reading it.

And now for what you really want, the pictures.

Nap time

Look at me, I'm standing up

Digger man Eli. I went to grab a screwdriver from the garage. When I returned I found him dragging his digger over to the leaf pile. When I ran to get the camera I returned to find him with my gloves on digging in the leaves.

Two best friends, playing in the leaves

Playing in the pumpkins

Solid food, round two. It worked this time. She ate the entire bowl. Yummmm, rice.

Eli wanted a picture of himself eating too

Playing in the candy bowl

She even snagged one :)

Pumpkin Carving Time

Here's the costumes
Firefighter Eli

Firefighter Eli with Duck Emily

Mmmmmmm, this chair tastes good

Two friends sharing a "firetruck"
Rachel dressed up 50's style with a Poodle Skirt

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Can I borrow some toothpaste?

This is one of those moments that I really wish we had gotten a picture but we didn't. May the story begin.

Yesterday after we had finished playing outside before dinner we sent Eli upstairs to clean up. We called up to him a couple of times during the process of making dinner to make sure everything was OK. The report was always positive. Well, dinner was ready so Alicia went upstairs to check on him. And what a surprise she found.

Now close your eyes, well, that would make reading this difficult so imagine with your eyes open.

Imagine a 4 year old. Stark naked, sitting indian style in the bathroom sink covered from chin to toes in toothpaste. He was making a valiant effort to fix the mess he was in. He was quite distraught about how we were going to get the toothpaste off.

Well, Alicia extracted him from the sink and move him to the tub. A more appropriate location for bathing a 4 year old. Well, we told him to clean himself off, gave him his washcloth and drew up a bath.

Needless to say, he gets these ideas from Curious George who is now on the banned book list. Our list is a very short one, currently consisting of one item, Curious George. Now perhaps some background is needed. A few months back we checked out a book in which George counts from 1 to 100. Number 18 happens to be drawing 18 toothpaste pictures on the bathtub. Well, Eli didn't use the bathtub as his canvas, he used the mirror. The second time he deposited a fair amount of toothpaste into the soap dispenser. And now incident number 3.

So, toothpaste is now in our possesion to be doled out in pea sized quantities as it should.

He is still working on purchasing more paint so he can do more art. Last week's paint money went torwards new dishwashing soap (1/2 bottle makes lots of bubbles). This week's goes torwards more toothpaste. Perhaps next week he'll get his paint.

To be honest, we're chuckling while we write this. Last night, not so much.

Hope you got a good chuckle out of it, we sure did.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'm Back

Despite American Airlines best efforts I'm back from the much colder climate of Rochester, MN (it snowed every day I was there). For some reason mom thought I was going to Rochester, NY, perhaps I forgot to mention which state I was going to, oh well.

Alicia and the kids survived. I even managed to talk Alicia through lighting the pilot light for the heater remotely. Fortunately she's good at reading directions and is pretty smart to boot.

We decided to try solid foods with Emily today. She wasn't a big fan of it, somewhat reminiscent of her brother. Below are some pics.

Go Hogs, sounds like the 2nd team's going to play a good bit of the 2nd half (especially since they finished off the 1st half). Kind of feel sorry for SEMS, they did beat Rolla though.

And now the pics.