Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just some Pictures



Lately, I have not had any words or inspiration to write.  But I do have hope that this continual nausea will pass one day and I will not feel like I am dying a slow painful death.  Funny how a little growing baby can cause life altering effects!  I guess I find joy in watching Ethan play and grow... lately all he has wanted to do is play outside in the snow, and we have LOTS of it!  Happy New Year to all of you!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas





Merry Christmas to you all!  We had a very Merry Christmas!!!  It was a beautiful day and so fun to watch Ethan enjoy his FIRST present... after that he was not too interested in his presents... and just look at the picture of the Christmas tree... all those presents were for Ethan.  We had to prod and encourage him to

 tear open the pretty boxes.  We figured we should have just let him open one and then leave the rest for next year, but we endured and around 7:00 pm we finally opened the last present!!  We are so thankful for the time we could spend together playing with new puzzles, stuffed animals and books!  It was great.  (We even took a mid day break and went outside to play in the snow for a couple hours).  Micah's mom, Rose is here with us for a few days and so Ethan has been really enjoying playing with his "Nana".  

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day too... we are so thankful that God sent His Son so many years ago.  What a perfect gift... much better than toys or other things that were wrapped under the tree!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Visit to the Big Apple

I have always dreamed of going to NY city... and why not?  All the romantic movies have scenes in the city and it just seems to be so alive and fun.  Well since I am on the east coast visiting a friend - we decided to make the short trip up to the BIG CITY.  I had no idea!!!!  We walked 100s of miles (or so it seemed) and barely saw the city!  I guess I have always had a romantic view of the city - so it was different than I imagined, but still very fun.  Micah was glad that I got to experience one of those "I want to to before I die" kind of things without him.  I think he has always dreamed of making it through life without having to go to NY city... I still wished he could be there.  It was noisy, busy and crowded (but like I said... I enjoyed the experience!!!).
Here are the major highlights:

Here we are - two pregnant ladies with our tea and hot chocolate in Time Square.

Central Park... or at least a tiny corner of that massive park... it was hard to walk around in because of all the snow and ice... I wish we could have seen more.

Rockefeller Center and the big Christmas (Holiday) tree.  This place really surprised me.  I expected it to be open, but it is just shoved between all the giant buildings around it!

(in the picture: Aybars and Kelly)
After walking hundreds of blocks (we were going to get a metro pass, but couldn't find where to buy one... and also we left the map of the metro system at home.... so it never happened), we stopped at John's Pizza to fill our hungry bellies and to rest our throbbing feet.  I just had to have pizza in NY city... so I was not disappointed it was the best pizza I had eaten in a while!  On the way back to the train we walked through Macy's .... IT IS HUGE!  Then we ran to catch our train and then just collapsed and sat quietly all the way back home.  I would have loved to see ground zero, the statue of liberty, and more of Central park - but overall it was a wonderful trip and I enjoyed that first visit... maybe I can convince Micah to come back with me.... hum... on second thought... maybe not!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

East Coast Wedding




I have been absent from blogging for a while. I am on the east coast helping Krystal (a former student from the class of 05) with her wedding. It has been a fun/extremely busy trip. Today I am visiting with a dear college friend and we are headed to NY city... I am sure I will share pictures. It is a fun birthday present for me.... Ethan and Micah are ruffing it at home without me... and I SURE MISS THEM!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Cookie Tradition... Past Down



Yesterday and today.... the oven has been busy... it is Christmas cookie baking time.  I love Christmas cookie baking.  I think I inherited it from my Grandma and Aunt... who every year would get together and bake trays of beautiful cookies.  I remember as a kid looking at those trays in awe!  How did they make so many different kinds and how did they get them to look so beautiful?  Since that time I guess I dreamed of the day when I could give beautiful trays of cookies away.  Every year I venture out and make one new Christmas treat... just for fun.  This year I chose a Peppermint Melt-a-way...  I wish I could tell you how it tasted, but since the little baby is not really into food lately - I could only smell the pepperminty treats!  While I have been baking Ethan has been right beside me (although I had to admit the second he was down for a nap I zapped into action and got AS MUCH DONE AS POSSIBLE without his help)... when he was not right beside he has been redecorating the tree.  He figures that "climbing" the tree is the best way to re-arrange the ornaments... how I have to watch that little guy! 

*** A little action based story... this morning our power went off early... at 6:00 the house was freezing cold!  In fact I felt like the fridge was warmer than our house.  We lit candles and build large fires in the upstairs and downstairs fireplaces.  I really thought that I wasn't going to be able to finish all of my cookies, but thankfully the power came back on at 9:00... I immediately turned on the oven..... hoping for extra heat in the house.  Not sure why is was so cold... it is only -17 degrees right now???

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Wreath.....


While Ethan played outside (something he would do all day if he could)... I gathered branches to make a wreath.  I figured I could work on my Christmas decorations and stay warm in the 32 degree weather.  I took a picture of the finished work, but it hardly does it justice.  This wreath is huge (probably 3 ft by 3 ft...) and in the picture it looks slightly odd (truly it looks round to me... maybe it is because I took the picture at an angle), but on the fireplace I think it looks magical.  I just love getting ready for Christmas.  Tonight we are decorating the tree.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our Christmas Tree



Today we hiked up our mountain and found a Christmas tree.    It took a lot of looking and some debate, but finally we both agreed on "the" tree.  I think mainly because Ethan was getting heavy and we had a pizza cooking in the oven that we knew we needed to get back home for!  It was fun to be able to be together as a family and to enjoy this brief moment in the day. Ethan had so much fun playing in the snow - he found that his snowsuit is slippery so if he laid down on a hill he could slide down... it was hilarious!  When he saw dad climbing through the branches of the tree to cut it down - he found a small "tree" (aka bush) and climbed up onto it.  He is so entertaining... such a boy!
Well, it is beginning to look more and more like Christmas around our home and that is a good thing!  Sometime this week we will dig out the ornaments and lights and decorate the tree, but for now we are enjoying it natural - it is beautiful!  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winter Clothes


I love hand-me-downs!!!!  I love friends who send them to me!!!  Thank you Jessica and Stephanie for the boxes of winter clothes!  Ethan is set for winter weather!  And boy does he like to play in the snow.... I am thinking I might go look for a snowsuit for me so I don't freeze while playing with him.  Again, thanks so much... I so appreciate both of your thoughtfulness!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanksgiving in Reno...


Finally, I am sitting down to tell about our trip West.  It was a great time with family and friends.  Some of the highlights are as follows:

Ethan had a ton of time to play with his cousins.  Since we live out in the wilderness it has been hard to find buddies to play with.  Ethan soaked up the attention and the chance to push and torture Seth.  Poor Seth... the last evening my sister-in-law asked Seth if he would like to go play with Ethan and Seth said, "No!"  I am sure Seth is enjoying life again without Ethan!

Another highlight was meeting up an old friend of mine.  Andy was one of my best friends throughout Jr High and High school.  Over the years contact was lost and just this past fall we have been able to get back in touch.  It was so great to be able to visit him and his family.  His wife is amazing and has become a dear friend - and just look at his two boys... they are adorable.  (they are pictured above and Andy is picture below with Ethan).



Another highlight for me was just being able to be with my boys on this trip.  Micah and I were able to spend moments talking and just enjoying each other.  Ethan is always a joy - he makes us laugh continually.  Over the holiday we were able to share with the family that he is now a big brother... wow did I say it?  Yep... so now you know too!






Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home Again.. home again... YEAH!


We are home!  After 12 hours of traveling we arrived home to our home sweet home...... and it is covered in snow... completely beautiful.  We traveled to Reno, NV to spend Thanksgiving with the Weller side of the family.  It was a fun/busy time.  We are so glad we got to spend time with the parents, brothers, sister-in-laws, and the nephew/nieces!  It was a blast.  I will write more about some of the fun factors, but for now we are off to find the rest/sleep we "seem" to have left behind!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Banquet




The end of the semester is here.  We celebrated with the students at the Christmas Banquet.  It was beautifully decorated with delicious food.  It was fun to see the students laughing and having a good time together - there is such a difference from when they first arrive on campus all shy and reserved to this night when they act like family. It has been a wonderful semester.  We have witnessed lives completely changed, attitudes altered, and hearts receptive to the things of God.  We always pray for the students as they leave this place and go back into hard environments, difficult situations.... their "old" lives.  This break allows them to really discover what has happened in their lives so far... many fail and come back with a deeper desire to seek God - so it won't happen when they leave again.   We love working here (have I mentioned that before?).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Already?


It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around our campus -  There is now a Christmas tree in the dining hall decked with lights, homemade ornaments, and a chain of popcorn.  Snowflakes are hanging in all the windows and Christmas music is floating in the air.  Seems early?  It is!  But we celebrate Christmas a little bit early around here - so that we can celebrate with all the students before they head home for Thanksgiving. We have a longer break at this school - due to the distances the students have to travel and it is not practical for them to come back after Thanksgiving - so we just give them a long break.  That long break is essential to our program.  It gives them time to see what has been built in them over the past semester and what hasn't been.  They usually "fail" - but come back HUNGRY and with a real desire to grow and learn - it is good!  So... for us... it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thrift Store Deal

I have been looking for second hand shoes, boots, anything that would work as shoes... for Ethan.  I have found that there is not much of a selection in Montana... unless you want to pay ridiculous prices for brand new shoes.  After weeks and months of shopping every single thrift store in Great Falls...I finally found a pair of winter boots (kinda hard to see in the picture) for only $3.  I was amazed.. and very happy.  I know that since Ethan is such an outdoor boy... they will be used extensively this winter.  So now we can say we are almost set for snow... almost!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

All In a Day

Today, Ethan and I had a fun day.  After the large dinner last night, I had piles of dishes to put away... so Ethan helped... I had to laugh.. he removed the bottom rack of the dishwasher so that he could CLIMB into the dishwasher and spin the twirly thing - he makes my chores fun.

Then after his nap we 
built a rad fort.  We had fun hiding from each other and Ethan just loved peeking out from underneath.  When I would smile at him he would just laugh and run away.  It was a good day for staying inside because all day long snow swirled from the sky and at times it was a complete white-out.  This evening on the way to dinner we let Ethan run around in the snow.  He loved it.  

It is amazing how full and rich are days are... especially when I just sit and reflect back on them.  I am thankful for each day.

Ps.. I think I can officially say that Ethan's first words beyond Mamma and Dadda... is fire and hot.  Every morning - the first thing Ethan wants to do is build a fire... So he and I do.  He brings me the wood and the paper and then he puts his hand straight up in the air and goes hummmm (that means... hey Mom the matches are up there... let's use um).  Then I light the fire and he blows on it and goes hot, hot.  Not sure if I am the wisest person for teaching him how to build a fire, but it is good bonding time!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The End of a Long Day

Tonight we hosted our bi-annual Bible Study dinner... our last Bible study of the semester!  Time has gone quickly..... It was a busy day getting ready for the dinner - cooking for around 20 people takes planning and thinking ahead... just a little bit. We had a turkey and all the trimmings... with a scope of apple crisp and vanilla ice cream to wash it down...  There was enough food... with some to spare and it was a great time.  Lots of laughs, lots of noise, lots of lots!  I had several of my Bible Study girls come up to help cook the meal and they were a complete delight... so helpful!  They even took the time to wash all the dishes.  Ethan had a delightful time and is sleeping peacefully as I type... completely worn out from all his showing off... believe me he is learning how to work a crowd!  Just look at the picture below... a total ham... a friend once said... "God will not call you to a ministry and not call your children..." Ethan has definitely been called... he is a blessing and just a whole lot of fun... too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Who Does Ethan Look Like?

Here is a picture of Micah as a baby.

Christa...

Ethan Cade.... (So Diane... what do you think?)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time Marches On...




There are only a couple more weeks of school... and then the Christmas Vacation!  Micah and I are looking forward to that!  We had our one weekend off of the month this weekend and so we have all been enjoying each other and being outside... Ethan is convinced that he should be allowed to live outside... I try to convince him that it is cold, but he is not sure about that!

Here are some fun pictures of Ethan that Micah took today.  I think he is such a handsome boy!  I love him!  Hard to believe he is already 14 months... he is so fun to be around.  No words yet (besides Mama and Dada), but he signs for just about everything and it is fun to watch him pick up new signs everyday.  I am sure the words will come before we know it! 
So time marches on... and I am just thankful for life and freedom... today!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The View out my Window... and my Daily Reminder!


I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip - He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD watches over you - the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The LORD will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Ps 121)

Getting to Be Mom


Working full-time, but getting to be mom full-time can make for a very busy life!  I am thankful for my job... thankful I can work from home... thankful I can spend my days watching my little boy grow up - I truly would not want to do it any other way!  I am thankful... but I do get tired... like all moms... I am sure.  I have been trying to schedule all my one-on-ones and meetings in one week so that the next week will be lighter... so I can be JUST mom!  I can tell sometimes that he gets jealous of the computer or of my divided attention!  So this week - I am his!  It has been fun (so far and it is only Tuesday).   

When he wakes up from his morning nap, we are headed to the doctors - to check out his ear.  I am pretty sure it is not infected, but the "helpful" nurse told me there was NOTHING I could do at home, but I HAD to bring him in.  What happened to the good ole days where there was NO doctor... hum.  Seems kinda weird that there is NOTHING I can do to prevent my son from getting an ear infection, but you know... nurses know all.. I guess.  We will make it a fun day together.. the park? lunch out? and just some little shopping... I love my son and it will be fun!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Harvest Party....





Last night we joined the student body for a rip-roaring Harvest party...  They all came dressed hill-billy/redneck - it was too funny!  I will post some pics of the students next time (I don't have very good pics of them, but I am sure Micah does).  We dressed Ethan up (and Micah dressed up too... take note of the cute pic of him) - Ethan was having a hard time walking in his too large cowboy boots ... hence the sad face (I just had to include it!).  For dinner we had roasted pig, cold slaw,  creamed corn, baked beans and pie.. yum! We had crazy  games, an egg toss, pumpkin carving, and bobbing for apples.  We carved a pig.. in honor of Lula-Belle... the pig who ... well.. you know.  Lots of laughs and good times!  Happy Fall time!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Loveliness...





After our winter-like weather, I was nervous that fall had come and gone... and I have not even gotten to enjoy it's beauty!  But the last few days have satisfied my fall love... Ethan and I have spent every waking hour outside... throwing rocks, playing in the creek, jumping on crisp leaves, and eating anything (well... Ethan is eating anything... I am constantly pulling out the REALLY gross objects... ie.. deer poop) I am amazed how he can chew up a deer poop pellet... as though it is the most amazing substance he has ever come across - yet he spits out his cheerios as though they were poison!  Not sure about that boy???  

Tonight we have a huge harvest party with the school... it should be fun... the theme is redneck... not sure how to dress up for that one - but maybe I will find some inspiration in the next few hours?  The venture students stayed up all last night watching the pig cook in the spit... making sure that the fire was hot enough and that a bear or mountain lion did not come by to enjoy a few nibbles... it should be amazing (plus I saw at least 12 pies... who can pass up a piece of pie?)  

I just LOVE this time of year... everything about it... the smells, the sounds, the cool evening air, the beautiful sunsets, the big full harvest moon (earlier this month)., etc!  I think when we get to heaven it will be fall all year round..... at least in my corner of heaven ;o)