Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grandpa and Gram Gram

Gabriel finally met his Grandpa and Gram Gram (love the nick name). They came to visit and see their little Grandson. Gabriel shared many happy moments with them.

Here Grandpa was showing Gabriel what a computer is. Gabriel is, of course, fascinated!

Gram Gram read Dr Seuss to Gabriel, and he loved to listen to her voice.

We went to the Huntington Gardens too. We saw a lot of pretty plants and wildlife. Here I am with Gabriel. He seems pretty happy to be there.

Of course he had to get in his famous finger sucking. Just like his daddy...

Cute little ducks!

Awwww. I love my hubby!

I also managed to get a good picture of the three men. Grandpa, Daddy and Gabe.

See you next time Grandpa and Gram Gram. We love you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Seeing God's Work

I remember the first time I told someone I wanted to be a stay at home mom. They looked confused and said "But why would you waste all your talent and hard work?" At the time I didn't really have an answer. Recently, however, God has shown me that I'm not wasting any of my talents and efforts. In fact, I can see how He has given me my talents for use in my current stay at home mom situation.

1. The thing people most often point out is my degree. Granted, I did pay a hefty sum, plus many a sleepless night, for that degree. However, I see now how it has come into play. My degree is in Electrical Engineering, and now I'm married to an Electrical Engineer. I can see how helpful it is to understand his mind at times. Our relationship has benefited from the common ways we communicate. We also like to manage our household the same way. On top of that, since I worked for the same company as him, I can really understand what he's talking about when he comes home and tells me about his day. These are things that I can't put a price on. Now that we've decided to Homeschool (more on that in another post). My degree will give me a big leg up in the areas of math and science when I teach my children.

2. My cooking. From the time I was old enough to do it safely, my mom had me helping her in the kitchen. When I got older, she asked me to start making family meals at least once a week. She made sure I learned the important talent of cooking. Now I feel confident in the kitchen. Not only that, but I really enjoy being in the kitchen. I can tell you my husband enjoys my meals just as much!

3. My sewing. I recently hemmed some fabric to make table cloths for a party. I've done various tasks like buttons, fixing ripped hems, etc. This is a good way I've been able to save money (thanks mom!)

4. My piano playing talent (if you can call it a talent since I'm not that good). Richard and I have recently started doing what we call "Family Worship". Basically, it's a time where we worship God together as a family. This includes some readings from the Bible as well as singing together. Richard asked me to learn how to play some worship songs on the piano. I have always been intimidated by playing while people sing along, because I feel like I'm not good enough. But, to honor his request, I went out and bought a book for "easy piano". The other day, we sang together while I played for the first time. Richard couldn't see since he and Gabriel were behind me, but my eyes were watering up as we sang. I realized that all the lessons my parents paid for all those years ago, and even the piano they invested in, is such a blessing to our family now! Even though I hit the wrong notes sometimes or paused because I didn't know the beat, I know God is smiling down on us, because we are singing something beautiful to his ears.

There are many things I would have thought were a lost talent or possibly a bad decision, but God knows the plans he has in mind for us. It's amazing to see all the pieces come together.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby's First Boo Boo

I am amazed at how fast Gabriel's little fingernails grow. It seems like I am always cutting them so he doesn't end up clawing anyone. Last time I cut his nails, I accidentally got some of the skin on his thumb. I felt SO bad!! It drew blood and was getting on his clothes too. Fortunately, he only cried for a few seconds, then went back to his normal, happy self. It probably hurt me more than it hurt him. Richard helped me put a bandaid on his thumb, but because he's so small, the bandaid didn't work too well and fell off within a minute. Here he is with his bandaid, all smiley and happy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Camping Trip

This summer we're taking Gabriel on his first camping trip. We'll be going up a mountain with some friends, and their kids. Hopefully all the kids will enjoy it. We're very excited. To prepare, we practiced setting up our new tent. We bought a 6 person tent (big enough for future little Sanders kiddos ;0) ). The tent was so big it took up our entire living room.

Daddy's Day

Since Sarah had her pic with Gabriel for Mother's Day I thought I'd do the same. Can you tell he has gotten bigger in the last month? The two men had a good day together just hanging out and watching baseball on TV. I love being a daddy... and looking forward to being called "daddy" next Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Four Little Buddies

We know three other couples that have had children all within a year of each other. We finally got everyone together to take some picture. The oldest one, Evelyn, just celebrated her first birthday. Next comes Liam at 9 months. Third is Gabriel who is 4 months, and little Tabor is now 2 months old. Aren't they all adorable? I'm sure you can tell, but just in case... from left to right: Evelyn, Tabor, Gabriel, Liam.

I love these little guys and their parents too!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Paris Nights Wedding Shower

Last weekend I had the pleasure of helping host a wedding shower for our friends, Veronica and Jordan. The theme was Paris Nights, and it was a cocktail party. Check out some of the cool decorations.

One of the funnest parts of this party was the photo station we had set up. It had various props and a couple picture frames. The guests could be creative and artistic in their photos. We took a lot of these. Click HERE to see all the photos.

Congratulations to Jordan and Veronica, the soon to be wed couple. We love you guys!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gabriel's 4.5 Month checkup

Gabriel is now 19 weeks old. He weighs 14 pounds and 6 ounces, and is 25 inches long. That is the 25th percentile for weight and the 50th percentile for height. I talked to the doctor about my concerns with Gabriel's slower weight gain, but he is not worried at all. Gabriel is healthy is all areas and really has no problems.

New things...
- As I write this, Gabe is squealing and waving his arms. He's such a happy baby. In fact, he has recently started doing the "happy baby" yoga pose. That's where you lie on your back and grab your feet with your hands.
- He can put all his weight on his legs for a short time. Every morning, I sit on the floor and hold him steady while he dances around on his legs.
- He reaches up to grab our face and/or toys. He's been doing this for a while, but with more precision now.
- He continues to hold his head up well during tummy time, and can now squirm in a circle in order to look at a toy.
- He just started eating rice cereal for his first solid food. Although he made some funny faces at first, he seems to really enjoy it now.

He seems so active now, but the doctor made a point to tell me how much more he'll move around once he starts to crawl and walk. I honestly can't even picture him doing that. Right now, he's still a little baby that needs to be carried everywhere.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Starting Solids

Gabriel has been acting extra hungry lately, and interested in what I have been eating. The recommended starting age for solids is between 4 and 6 months, and Gabriel is just over 4 months. So I decided it might be time to start feeding him solids. He had such a funny reaction when he first tasted rice cereal! Check out the video. (Warning: It's a little long. The funny faces are toward the end of the video)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Topsy Turvy Disaster

I have always wanted to make a topsy turvy cake. That is a cake that has multiple layers that are each slanted and look as if they're going to fall over. Here is an example. I decided to make this type of cake for a wedding shower for my friends Veronica and Jordan. With my cake decorating partner, Danielle, I figured it would be a piece of cake! ;0)

We started by making the bottom tier with three layers. The bottom layer was a little smaller than the rest, because the sides would later be tapered in. This would give it  more "topsy turvy" look.

I then tapered the sides and cut a flat surface in the middle for the second tier to stack on.

The next step was covering the cake with fondant and decorating it. After this was done, we moved on to the middle tier, and stacked them together. In this picture, the cake has two of it's three tiers.

This was hard work, but we were still having so much fun! Danielle must have been the class clown growing up, and she still is!

At this point it was late at night, so we decided to put the cakes in a safe place and finish the rest in the morning.

The next morning I went to check on the cakes and I was horrified! The cakes had completely fallen apart! I have since thought of multiple reasons why this happened. The cake was too moist (even though it sure tasted good), the frosting too thick, the sides tapered in too much.... I could keep going. Let's just say I'll do it differently next time.

So here we were, the day of the party, and we had to go back to the drawing board! I decided to whip together a more simple two-tiered cake. I don't think I've ever made a cake so fast. Here is the final product.

I'm not going to give up on the topsy turvy cake. I just need another excuse to give it a try. I may have lost this battle, but I have not lost the war!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beer Babies

Richard and I just went on our first date since having Gabriel. Our good friends, Ty and Danielle (and their baby Tabor) watched Gabriel for us while we went to a movie. Ty and Danielle sent us this picture of Gabriel and Tabor hanging out. It was titled "Beer Babies". As you can see, they prefer Fat Tire beer.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Farewell to Good Friends

I am very sad to say our friends, Ty and Danielle, are moving to Texas. To send them off right, we surprised them with a party. One of the things we did for their party was take pictures with farewell signs using Texas slang. The pictures can all be made into a keepsake book.

Some more snap shots from the party...

Veronica and Gabriel

Erin, Mandi and Gabriel

Here I am with my partners in crime, Danielle and Marlene in front of the Texas cake.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Texas Cake

I made a Texas cake for our friend's going away party. They're moving to Texas, where everything is bigger. This cake is representative of that. It's a cream cheese pound cake with fluffy chocolate frosting. We took pictures of the making of the cake so you could see how I put it together.

I baked a square cake, then carved it into the shape I wanted, using frosting to "glue" together any extra pieces.

I then frosted the whole cake. It was so big, I had to stand on my tippy toes to take this picture.

For the final step, I added the fondant, and a flag to represent the town they are moving to.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gabriel's Story

Gabriel was telling his toy a story...

Thursday, June 2, 2011