Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shhhhh.....It's a Surprise!

The kids and I went and had this picture taken Monday as a surprise for Daddy for Christmas!

I'm not sure if it (the surprise) will last that long!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breakfast with Santa

A couple weeks ago Kaden got to go to the local middle school for a "Breakfast with Santa" event. WOW! What an event it was! Crafts, games, breakfast, middle school musicians, face painting, Santa, cookie decorating, and a Santa Shoppe. It was 3 hours long, but Kaden wasn't interested in many of the crafts, so we didn't stay the entire time. Still totally worth the $8 per person ticket price for the amount of Christmas fun.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Focused. Centered. Grounded.

Those words describe what I desire Christmas to be in our family. Focused on the birth of our Savior King. Centered on the spiritual gift of Christmas. Grounded in Truth and void of greed.
How can I accomplish this goal? This goal which seems so unattainable and lofty in a world so full of self and stuff!
One step at a time. This is my only hope for change. One step at a time with a desire and commitment to continue taking steps on this journey. Even though I know it will be like running a race uphill (with a 50 pound backpack), my children's souls depend on my dedication to taking steps.
This year it is a chain. A count down to Christmas chain. Each day we focus on one part of the Christmas story, one Biblical Truth, or one song/hymn of hope. I am blown away by what Kaden comprehends and how much he can remember from day to day. It is amazing what 5-7 minutes a day can add up to over 20 days. My efforts are bearing fruit. do I put into practice what I'm teaching? How do we keep the chaos which surrounds December 25th focused, centered, and grounded? How do I show my children that Christmas is Jesus in the midst of a 24 hour (or longer) gift getting blizzard? How? Someone tell me how? My heart longs to change the past patterns and put in place meaningful, enjoyable, relaxed traditions that point away from self to the One in the manger.
Can I challenge you? (this IS my blog, so I guess I can)
What step are you making toward the manger and away from the mall this year?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pictures with Gramie

Mom got the kids all darling Christmas outfits, then had her picture taken with them to send out as her Christmas cards. It was quite an ordeal just to get two kids dressed up and smiling, so, at least for this year, I'm glad my sister and I didn't try to get one of all 4 of them together. The pictures did turn out cute though.
My sister's cuties. Brielle (almost 2) and Brayden (born Nov. 18th).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Santa Siblings

Thank you CVS for the fun, free Santa hats...I'm looking forward to many more years of pictures like this one!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eye Candy

Here's something to feast your eyes on until I get my act together and get another, more meaty post written!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Marin!

Marin turned one at the end of November! OH MY! How does time go so quickly? Well, we had her party all planned for the weekend before her actual birthday, since her birthday falls so close to Thanksgiving. We also had baby dedication at our church, so we figured why not roll it all into one big celebration. Yes, I was a bit over ambitious! Needless to say, things didn't turn out as planned...Kaden had some type of flu (4 day fever), so we rolled all the celebrating into one day, Sunday. It was fun and Marin LOVED every part of it.
Here are the pictures, again, better late than never (is this the new mantra for my life? I think from November-January it just may be!)

Marin and Gramie

Marin and Grandma Steckel before Baby Dedication (thanks Auntie for the cute dress!!!!)

Kaden and Grandpa Steckel

Marin in her new "car" from mommy and daddy

Marin in her new chair on her new phone

Getting ready for cake (she loved the hat!)

Cupcake was a HIT!

Mommy's birthday girl

Birthday girl with daddy and Grandpa Steckel

Getting snuggles from big brother

Friday, November 13, 2009

Purely Random Pictures

First pony tail

Outside in the November! Life is good!

Thinking about walking

This is what happens when your mom tries to make a knotted lovey without reading directions

"Beaver" teeth from Grandpa Mike: Scary, no. Hilarious, yes!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween 2009

We had a super fun Halloween weekend last weekend. Dad, Teri, and my Grandma came to visit. How fun it was to have family around to share the excitement! Kaden liked dressing up, LOVED having Grandpa Mike, Grandma Teri and Great Grandma around, and had fun trick or treating with his friends. Marin hung out in the stroller. She was tired, but didn't make a peep the entire hour we were out. Kaden was ready to quit after an hour (even though his friends kept going) because I told him he could eat a piece of candy when we got home and, well, he spotted the candy he wanted...a FULL SIZE Snickers bar! After that indulgence, he passed out candy, raked leaves off the front side walk and chatted to his friends.
What a great year of Halloween celebrating!

Marin with Great Grandma

Our sweet Bee

Buzz, the Firefighter and his trusty Dalmatian dog (baby brother)

The Neighborhood Gang

Trick or Treating (aka: racing to see who could ring the door bell)

Buzz retires early to enjoy his Snickers

Mommy's favorite super hero!

(Notice the pumpkins...we ended up with pumpkins decorated 4 different ways this year: painted, Mr. Potato Head-ised, carved, and poked with lite-brite type pins! We had fun for weeks ahead of time and what an eclectic display! Thanks to generous grandparents we had 8 pumpkins!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Sunday night we used some Halloween Mr. Potato Head pieces to make our own "Pumpkinstein". It was super easy, no mess, and a lot of fun. We all enjoyed the process and the final product is both silly and cute. We're hoping that it will also last longer than a carved pumpkin (which we also plan to do).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Marin's 11 months

I can't believe the next "chair" picture I'll be posting is on her 1st birthday. My baby is becoming a toddler right before my eyes! Thanks again "Miss" Sara for passing along another great outfit! She'll be wearing it from now until Halloween. The pumpkin lights up, which Kaden thinks is TOTALLY cool!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Breakfast with the Witches

Saturday we went with our neighbors to enjoy the annual Friendly Feast with Witches at our local Children's Museum. What a fun event! Kaden and I were able to go while Jason stayed with Marin. He got to wear his costume (well, one of them...he has several options for Halloween, but so far, this one is the front runner), eat breakfast (it was catered and really quite good...Kaden ate 6 sausage links! and a half of a chocolate muffin), get his face painted, see Ruditoonz in "concert" (it was actually a short, 20 minute show. He reminded me of Jim Gill . He sang and played his guitar, so Kaden was in heaven), and go through the haunted house during "friendly hours" (with the lights on and a staff member handing out goodies in each room). We left our house around 8:30am and didn't get home until close to noon. Whew, I was tired. Kaden loved that everyone said, "Hey, look, it's Buzz Lightyear" when they saw him and said his favorite part was the haunted house (he got stickers, tattoos, candy, and a florescent band-aide). It was a fun kick off to our Halloween festivities (and a good chance to get to dress up in his costume!).

Oh, and guess I should mention that there are no pictures with the witches because Kaden wouldn't take one with them. They were SO friendly and all had HOT pink hair. Even when his friend had his picture taken with 4 of them, Kaden didn't want to join him. So, no witch pictures. Maybe next year.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Go Buckeyes!

No, she is not wearing this outfit today. Yes, they are playing today. No, they are not playing well. Yes, she could make any team look good!

Friday, October 16, 2009

10 months

As promised, here they are (and even right-side-up!)...