Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good-bye 2011

I am sad to see 2011 go in some ways.  We had so much fun this year!  I started this post as a short good-bye to 2011, but really felt I should review with some pictures of all the great fun we had.  So far this Dec. 31 is much better than last.  And I know 2012 is promising some fabulous greatness!
Let's check out LOTS of pictures from 2011!!

Colton started 2011 with having his tonsils and adnoids removed.  What a blessing to finally have this done.

And I finally met Rhonda in person! YAY!!!  We had so much fun that weekend and I am so grateful of the light that was sparked in me that weekend.  Oh the changes I have undergone inside and out this year!

In February, it snowed 14+ inches!  Here is a collection of pictures I took every hour that day. 

In March we rescued Snickers. I cannot describe how important this dog has been to me and our family.

In April, Colton turned 5.  He was no longer a preschooler, but a big kid.  WOW!

In May, my Grandma paid us a visit on her way to Branson.  I love spending time with her!  And for 87, she looks FABULOUS!!!!

May also brought the F5 tornado that devastated Joplin.  My hearts still go out to everyone affected.  That same storm brought me a double rainbow.

 And Colton graduated from Pre-K in May.  What a teary day for me.

 June started with Lucas and Caleb's first heavenly birthday.  Oh the mixture of emotions.  They are loved and missed so much.  They have changed my life and so many others. Love you, sweet boys!

Colton had his first t-ball game in June...

Plus we road tripped it to Columbus, OH to visit my grandma June and Sofia.

In July, we were outside all the time.  Colton climbed his first tree!!

August brought my 30th birthday!  We had so much fun celebrating with friends and family.  I am often reminded how very blessed I am.

 August also found us with our first round of stitches.  Colton was a trooper.

Then there was Colton' s first day of Kindergarten.  A difficult day for me, a great day for him.

September started with Ethan's first day of preschool.  I cried so much for a few weeks with this one. 

Colton also started football in September. Loved it!!

October brought the birth of my niece, Emily.  This was an emotional roller coaster, but I learned knew strength through it.  Love her so much!!

The PTA fall festival was also in October. I worked so hard on the planning and organizing.  It was a huge success and I am so grateful for everyone who helped.

We can't forget Halloween.

In November, Colton went deer hunting for the first time.

And Willy shot his first deer!

And Ethan turned 4.

 In December, Ethan finally sat on Santa's lap.

The holiday season was busy and fun this year.  I am sort of sad to see it over, but excited to see what the next year will bring.

So here's to a great end to 2011 and a fabulous beginning to 2012!
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas sweet babies!  I know it's really the day after, but I stayed completely off our computer yesterday.  There always seems to be something I will find on here to tip the scales towards grief on days like yesterday.  I thought of the two of you often.  I was often aware of how quiet it was when Colton and Ethan were playing, and how quiet it should not have been.  And Colton asked me to wear your necklace on Christmas Even and Christmas Day.  Everytime I miss you I touch it, and everytime I touch it, I send you love.

We love you, Lucas and Caleb!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Careful steps...

I have to say this holiday season is flying by with more cheerfullness than last.  Our family is really having such a great time with all the different holiday activities and parties.  But I feel like I am stepping carefully every day. I know grief is right around the corner, waiting to catch me off guard.  I wonder if I will wake up Christmas morning and the floor will fall out from beneath me?

Well, I have to try and stay positive, so here are some pictures of the many, many things we've done the past few weeks.

Ethan riding the carasoul at Bass Pro.  Love this kid's expressions!

Both boys on Santa's lap.  The first year they have both been willing to visit Santa.  Love the look on both boys' faces.

Ethan making cookies at his Christmas party at school. (Colton's is in an hour)

The boys making a tower with the ingredients for the snack mix for their teachers' Christmas baskets.

12 adults in my dining room.  Our first annual Parents Only Christmas party.  Had a blast!

Thank you, Peter, for reminding us of the child in all of us!

Emily loving her gift!!

More laughter!!

My boys giving the lego firestation a second try.

Ethan and Snickers enjoying Christmas vacation down time.

Playing with gingerbread zombies. (Ethan's zombie at Willy's brains)

We gave Aunt Doris and Dru a gag gift that took them back a few decades (or more).  This picture makes it all worth it!

Hope you enjoyed these pictures.  I am hoping the good feelings keep coming.  I know many of you are having a tough time this holiday season, and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers daily.  

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Touching Hearts

Dear Precious Boys,

The two of you touch so many hearts in this world.  I never could have imagined how two very special boys with such short earthly lives could do the things the two of you have done.  Just as my world revolves around Colton and Ethan, it also does the two of you.

One of Ethan's teachers, Ms. G gave me this today.

Last Friday when I was missing you ever so much, she saw me when I dropped Ethan off.  It was the first time I've really lost it in front of his teachers.  I struggled quite a bit during the beginning of the year about when and how to talk to them about the two of you.  Boys, there was a conversation about a month ago with Ms. M. (Ethan's teacher also) when I felt it was time.  It's hard to share you with people I don't know very well, face-to-face..  Your memory is so precious and I feel very protective of the two of you.  Also, it is just really hard to make someone sad.  And it is very sad that the two of you aren't here, running around. 

You have touched a lot of new lives and hearts this past month.  With Christmas coming up, I feel it is your gift to me.  I love you, sweet babies.  And I carry you with me every day, hour, and minute.  The way you have transformed my life is incredible. And watching as you touch others makes me a proud mommy.  Thank you, my loves!

And thank you, Ms. G.  Your heart is so kind.
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Week of Pickles

Pickles is the family shelf elf.  He arrived on November 25th this year.  He always arrives after Thanksgiving some time.  The boys LOVE him.  They often tell him what they would like for Christmas and how good they have been during the day.  They also let him know if their brother hasn't been very well behaved during the day.  Cracks me up!

Here are the pictures of how he has been found during the first week.  He really is a creative, playful, and comical little guy.

November 26th morning he was found with the boys' toothbrushes and a welcome note.

 November 27th, he had decided to play some Wii.

We decorated the tree on the evening of the 27th, so on the 28th he was found hanging upside down, a little tangled in the lights and frootloops.

He loves to play with the kids' toys.  Ethan was excited to wake up on the 29th and see he had been playing with the trashpack stuff.

Colton left his shoes out and still tied that night, so on the 30th, he woke to find Pickles had tied his shoes together.

Pickles likes to hang with friends also.  He invited some penguins over to play cards and this is how we found him on the 1st.

Not sure why we found him here on the 2nd.  But the boys were quite concerned about getting him down safely.

Pickles is adding some fun to this holiday season.  We are all enjoying his presence.  I am looking forward to sharing more of his antics through Christmas.

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