Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving in Norfolk!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving week in Norfolk, Virginia with all of my family (minus Mom and Dad in Costa Rica who were greatly missed)!  The festivities began Monday evening when my little brother Andrew arrived at our house on his motorcycle.  He decided he would ride to us from Florida, and then head up in our van the rest of the way.  We then got a few hours of sleep and woke up at 3:30am to start our trek.  I know that might sound crazy, but it actually worked out perfectly because the girls slept until around 7 or 8am and then we only had another hour or two to go.  And Andrew and I were able to sleep almost the whole way to, thanks to Luke who did all the driving!

When we arrived we spent all of Tuesday just relaxing with Stephen, Rachael and Leah, and then we were joined on Wednesday by Sarah, Dustin, Wesley and Cooper!  Our days were filled with lots of snuggles, trips to the playground, civil war museum tours, strolls around the mall, late night board games, and of course, a great Thanksgiving feast!  We spent a lot of time running around and chasing children, so I really didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, but here are a few cute ones!

 Sweet Anna Kate wanted to help with the Thanksgiving dinner, so we had her wash the potatoes!

The kids table...with Sarah...appropriate?
(Leah and Caroline got to sit at the grown-up table!)

The whole crew!


My sweet little turkeys


These two curly-headed girls really love each other.  Leah loves Caroline's little baby voice.  She just giggles whenever Caroline babbles!

The day after Thanksgiving we went to the mall (long after all the crazy shoppers had already gone home and gone back to bed) and it was so fun!  The kids LOVED the winter wonderland at the North Pole!

Anna Kate and Wesley and Cooper also enjoyed a little train ride!

I also just have to post this picture of my beautiful sister-in-law and sister and their sweet babies due in January and March, respectively.  We are so excited to have two more babies join our family!

We had a great time, but as always, all good things must come to an end.  We sneaked out super early on Saturday morning so that we could get back to Camden in time for Andrew to watch the Florida/Florida State game.  Let's just say that he was an extremely happy house guest that night!  He played celebratory music with the girls after the game!

We had such a wonderful week and we are truly thankful for the many blessings God has given to us - a wonderful family, two precious little girls, provision of our every need day in and day out, and salvation through his son Jesus Christ.  We are blessed!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Small Group Friends

We just love our church small group!  We meet each week with four families and share a meal and share God's Word and share life together.  It is so good to go through life with other couples who are in the same stage of life as you.  And by same stage of life, I truly mean the exact same stage of life.  Between the four couples, we have 7 little girls all two and under!  No boys, just girls!  Anyway, the week before Thanksgiving, we got all the little girls together for a princess tea party.  No big occasion, just a fun thing to do.  And the girls LOVED it!  6 out of the 7 girls were able to attend.  Here they are in their pretty outfits enjoying their tea.

Clockwise around the table (starting at the bottom left), we have Nora, Alice, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Annie.  And of course Ava is the baby in the bouncy seat!

After the tea party, we had the girls pack their shoeboxes together to send off to Operation Christmas Child.  Unfortunately, I was too busy sorting and packing (and keeping little hands off the candy!) to take any pictures.  But I did take a couple on Sunday morning when we dedicated and prayed over the boxes.  It was so neat to involve our little ones in making a difference in other children's lives...not just by giving them a material gift, but because every child who receives an OCC shoebox is given the gift of the gospel.  Our church packed and sent 185 boxes...more than double what we've ever collected before!

Alice and AK with their shoeboxes

Caroline, Anna Kate, and Alice with ALL the boxes!

On a bittersweet note, we are a little sad this week because one of the families in our small group is going to be moving a few hours away.  Anna Kate's "Friend Alice" as she calls her (as if it's a title!) and her baby sister Heidi, will be moving to where their daddy just got a new job.  We are excited that God has provided a great job for him, but we are so sad to see them go! 

Anna Kate and Alice have been friends for a long time.  Here they are at AK's first birthday party.  Sweet baby girls!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Saturdays at the Market

This month has been filled with some very fun days with our sweet girls!  One of our very favorite activities here in Camden is going to our Farmers' Market every Saturday morning.  It runs from April through November, but the excitement really picks up during the fall harvest season.  One morning in October, one of the farmers did a special story time about cows for the little ones.

Afterward they got to try some yummy chocolate milk!  Funny story...Anna Kate had never tried chocolate milk before, so when the story teller joked with the kids about whether chocolate milk came from chocolate cows, Anna Kate said, "There's no such thing as chocolate milk!"  She was pleasantly surprised when she was given a cup to drink!

The following weekend, I was invited, along with another violinist friend in town, to serenade the market shoppers for the morning.  We had done this once before and had such a great time that we decided to share the experience with some of our students.  Here we are playing through Suzuki book 1 and 2 along with a couple fiddle tunes!


This past Saturday was the final market day of the season.  As a last hurrah, they had various activities for the little ones:  gourd painting, pony rides, and animals to pet, among others.  Here are Anna Kate and Alice - miniature Picassos right here, let me tell you!

Caroline enjoyed talking with the chickens while the big girls painted.  She really does know that a chicken says "cluck cluck", but when she sees any live animal, she thinks it's a dog.  Hence the barking =)

As for the pony rides, Anna Kate was content to just pet them.  Maybe she'll get up the courage to ride them next time!  As for Caroline, she thought they were dogs too.

We love our Farmers' Market and can't wait for spring!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pajama Time!

My girls love their jammies. Especially their footed pajamas. Anna Kate calls them her "suits". She has a monkey suit, a horsey suit, a fairy suit, etc. She really loves it when she and Caroline have matching suits! And on those days she would want to stay in them all day long. So, sometimes I let least until we leave the house! Here are a couple of pictures in their beloved matching horsey suits (which Mimi and Papa gave them for Caroline's birthday!).

Playing together in their suits... 

Having Bible time with Daddy in their suits...

Really, is there anything cuter or more snuggly than babies in their jammies?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Baby Steps and Curls!

Caroline has big news here lately!  She is officially walking!  She took her first baby steps right after her birthday party on October 13, but she decided to wait another few weeks before really taking off.  Her first purposeful walking steps were taken on November 1, and now she is walking all over the place!  It's still slow and wobbly, but she is definitely going places.  Here is a little video =)

Also, I thought I would just post this picture I took this morning to prove that Caroline really does have curly hair!  I've always wanted a little girl with curly hair, but I thought there would be no chance since Luke and I both have VERY straight hair, but somehow Caroline really does have curls!  I hope they stay as her hair starts to grow longer! (Click on the picture and make it bigger to get the full effect!)

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012

If these two girls don't inspire you to get out and vote, I don't know what will! 

After a breakfast table discussion with Daddy about Presidents and candidates and voting and the democratic process, I decided we needed to dress in full patriotic garb for our trip to the polls.  Luke had a meeting at work, so he had to leave ahead of us, leaving me to take both girls to the polls by myself.  I was a little nervous, but apparently it pays to live in a small town!  Our polling location is our neighborhood clubhouse (within walking distance) and there are only 400 people total registered to vote in our precinct.  So...absolutely no line!  Anna Kate thought the whole process was pretty cool and really wanted to participate (she made sure she handed her fake credit card to the poll worker when I handed them my ID).  She also proudly wore her "I Voted" sticker all day!  And Caroline did a great job looking patriotic!

And now we wait and watch!  I'm not going to lie, I may have to go to bed soon, but I'll be up a couple times during the night with Caroline anyway, so I can just check then!