Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 Goals

Richard and I don't always make New Year's resolutions. This year, however we have made a list of goals. Call them resolutions if you wish. We have put a lot of effort into each goal so we can hit the ground running come January 1.

Our 2013 goals fall into various categories: kids, finances, personal growth and our marriage. Some of the goals are things we just need to do, even though they aren't fun (potty training, keeping a budget, etc). But some of the goals have me really excited! Here are some of my favorites.

Purposeful learning time for Gabriel:
Although Gabriel is still very young, I want to put more effort and thought behind some learning activities. This can be anything from finger painting to trips to the zoo or a Smithsonian museum. Since we have worked out our budget for next year, I even have money each month to spend on these activities, and trust me, I plan to spend every penny each month! I already have fun things planned, like a local coffee house that has a live music time for toddlers, and purchasing many of the books off Gabriel's wish list.

Read through the New Testament in the ESV (English Standard Version) as a couple:
Richard and I haven't been reading the ESV version of the Bible for long, but it has a more literal interpretation of the word than other versions. We are excited to read the Bible from a new perspective.

Consistent work out time:
Well, isn't this the stereotypical resolution? It may be cliche, but working out regularly really makes you feel good. That's what we're looking forward to. Being healthy and feeling good. Oh, and looking good too ;)

Consistent date nights:
I think I may be able to count on the fingers of both hands the number of times we have gone out for dates in the past 2 years. When there's no family nearby and babysitters are expensive, that's just what happens. But that's really not an excuse. We want to make our marriage a priority. So maybe we'll be asking our friends for a few babysitting nights. However it happens, I am excited to spend time with my hubby!

I am looking forward to 2013. I think it's going to be a great year!

2012 Books

I've enjoyed keeping track of the books we read throughout the year, because it's neat to go back and see your accomplishments. It also makes me realize we read more than I think we do. I always feel like we, as a family, don't have enough reading time. Even though this year's list isn't as long as last year's, I think it's just as good. We learned a lot from parenting books and theology, as well as got some good entertainment from some easy reading. If you're interested in our thoughts/recommendations regarding any of the below, just let us know.

When The Church Was A Family - Richard and Sarah
Redeeming Love - Sarah
Pilgrim's Progress - Sarah
The Sovereignty of God - Sarah
What Is Reformed Theology - Sarah
Martin Luther - Sarah
Through My Eyes - Richard
On Becoming Pre-Toddler Wise - Richard and Sarah
On Becoming Toddler Wise - Richard and Sarah
The New Dare to Discipline - Richard and Sarah
The Hunger Games - Sarah
Encountering the Book of Genesis - Richard and Sarah
The Reversal - Richard
The Drop - Richard
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches - Sarah

Gabriel's Books:
We decided to not list the endless children's books that have been read to Gabriel. Instead, we will post his books when he starts reading on his own.

Currently Reading:
1776 - Sarah
The Good Book Guide to Ephesians - Sarah

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mandi's Visit

Our friend Mandi and her baby girl, Charlotte, were able to come visit us for a long weekend. We had fun at Hope's baby shower and also squeezed in some Christmas activities.

We went to the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel, where there was a Christmas tree lighting show. The tree lights and fountains danced to music and "snow" was released from the top of the hotel. The kids loved it. The hotel was nice too, since it sits right on the Potomac River. Here are Mandi, Charlotte, Richard and Gabriel watching the show.

We also went to the National Zoo for their night time Zoo Lights. We got to see a few animals and walk around looking at the lights while drinking hot chocolate.

Gabriel loved having Charlotte around. He held her hand at Target (without being asked) and wouldn't let go the whole time. He also pushed her around in the stroller outside. Such a gentleman.

Gabriel even tried to Charlotte a kiss!

 And of course we shared our favorite time: we read books together before bed.

Thanks for coming Mandi and Charlotte!

2012 Ornament

Each year we add a new ornament to our tree that represents something that happened that year. This year, we added an M&M ornament from M&M World in Las Vegas. We took a trip there with Grandpa and Gram Gram in May.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hope's Baby Shower

I am so blessed to have friends (old and new) who are willing to go out of their way to throw me a shower. It was very cute with lots of pink/frilly stuff. Thanks guys for putting it all together! I am truly blessed to have great friends who care and want to celebrate together.

I must say, I am happy I had a boy for my first child, because I have been nervous about having a girl. I'm not sure I know how to coordinate colors and dress her up. I grew up being a big tom-boy. I dressed in boy clothing and played football/basketball with the guys after school and during the summer. But now that I'm having girl I am getting excited about having dresses and bows and flowers. I think Richard is actually the one who may be scared of all the pink. When I came home from the shower and showed him all the cute stuff I got he said, "I expected some pink stuff, but this is a LOT of pink stuff! I don't know if I can handle this much pink!"

So without further ado, here are some pictures from the shower...

 And coming home to this cute little guy was a definite highlight to the day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Visiting The Touchstone Family

It's taken me a month, but I am finally posting these cute pictures of our visit with the Touchstones in November. Baby Titus was two weeks old when we visited (he's how over double that!) and we loved snuggling with him every chance we got.

Tabor and Gabriel were finally reunited and it took a day or two for them to figure each other out again. But soon they were back to being best buds and did everything together. It's so funny to see the personality differences between them. Tabor is very energetic and loves making music and noise. Gabriel is more sensitive and thoughtful. At the beginning, Tabor would scare Gabriel with his loud noises, and make him cry. Good thing we stayed long enough for Gabriel to toughen up a bit. We love these boys!


 I realize as I'm posting this that all the pictures are of kids. I guess that's all you think about when you have little ones running around. I'll have to fix that next time and get plenty of pictures of everyone.

We love you Touchstone gang! Some day we hope to live close together again so we can see each other more often. Gabriel and Tabor definitely need each other!