Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Snow Day!

Gabriel finally got to play in the snow for the first time. I have been getting him excited about snow by reading books and talking about it. So by the time we got to play in it, he already knew what a snow man and snow angel were.

FYI, when you don't have snow boots for your child, zip lock bags with rubber bands around the ankle work great!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Someday we will be neighbors...

We have really missed our friends, Ty and Danielle since both families moved away from California. And there's no doubt that Tabor and Gabriel really are best buds (more on that). We always joke that someday we will be neighbors again and raise our kids together. Oh, how I wish that would come true! Until then, we see each other from time to time, and cram as much fun as we can into our short vacations, to hopefully hold us over till next time.

For this visit, I will have to hit the highlights. I think the week passed so quickly, and we did so much, I wouldn't have enough time (being a mommy of two little ones) to write about it all. So without further ado...

We went to the National Zoo. It was chilly, so we only dared to take our pictures indoors, when we could take off our gloves. Here we are inside the monkey house. The boys loved seeing animals in real life. Hope loved it too, can't you tell?

We celebrated Ty and Danielle's 30th birthdays with chocolate cake.

Oh, and Danielle and I (Sarah) started nicknaming pairs of people that are most often together. It's just easier, and of course more fun, than saying everyone's names. Gabriel and Tabor are The Boys, Titus and Hope are The Betrothed, Ty and Richard are The Men, and Danielle and Sarah are... wait did we ever name ourselves? Maybe that's a task for the next visit.

We introduced Titus and Hope, aka The Betrothed. Despite our efforts to start their courting relationship now, they tended to stare at the loud toddlers running around rather than gazing into each other's beautiful baby eyes.

The Boys, as we call them, became inseparable. In the morning, the first one to wake up would call to the other, and start a back and forth yelling of their names. "Tabor!...Gabriel!...Tabor!...Gabriel!..." And so on. But since they're both so young, and still learning to say each other's names properly, it sounded like "Tay-boo!" and "Gay-bull!"

We took The Boys to the mall to ride the train around the food court.

And Danielle was determined to finish Hope's room before she left. Without her, it would still be incomplete, I'm sure.

And those are the highlights. I wish we could already schedule our next visit. But one day we will be neighbors and see each other all the time...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bless The Lord, O My Soul

One of the sweetest things we have heard recently is the sound of our 2 year old singing "Bless The Lord, O My Soul". He has been singing it quietly as he plays.

A couple weeks ago, he also started praying. We have never asked him to pray, but now he does it from time to time. His first prayer was a little hard to understand, but we picked out bits and pieces. We were sitting down for dinner and were about to bless the food, when we heard him. It went something like "... pray Tabor ... pray Daddy ... pray Uncle Ty ... pray baby Hope ...". His eyes were shut as tight as he could manage, and his hands were folded together and squeezing each other. Yes, our good friends were visiting that week, and he wanted to pray for their family and his own family. What a sweet boy. If you could see my heart, you would see a smile on it :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Gabriel's First Bike

The new thing these days is to give kids a balance bike instead of a bike with training wheels. A balance bike doesn't have pedals. So the child just pushes off with his feet, eventually going fast enough to pick his feet up. The point is that they learn balance, before having to learn to pedal. We got Gabriel a balance bike for his 2nd birthday and he loves it! He is just walking along with it right now, but soon he'll be gliding around. Check out this video we took of his first bike ride.

Gabriel's 2nd Birthday - Construction Party

It's hard to believe Gabriel is 2 years old! We celebrated his birthday just three short weeks after Hope was born. With a newborn in the house, it seemed a good idea to keep things simple. I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I was having so much fun with the kids that I forgot to take more pictures!

We invited a few of Gabriel's friends over for a construction themed party.

It was the perfect theme, since there has been construction going on around our house. Gabriel loves to go for walks and watch the big trucks move around. He is now learning the names of all the different trucks (crane truck, excavator, dump truck...).

Each kid received a hard hat and apron with their name on it, as well as a plastic hammer. We had a couple different activities for the kids. First, we let them use their hammers to nail golf tees into floral foam. They loved this! Although they got smart and figured out it was easier to just push the tees in with their hands.

We also put out coloring pages of trucks and tools. Gabriel stayed at this station for most of the party. Hmmm, future artist maybe?

Baby Hope joined the party in between naps. She was dressed up in her classy party attire... pink camo with bows :)

Gabriel's cake was made to look like a construction site. Everyone loved it, and I think the kids believed me when I told them I got the rocks from outside. :) They were actually chocolate candies.

We love chocolate cake!

Our gift to Gabriel was his very own bicycle! We gave him his helmet first, and took him for a ride later, when the weather warmed up. He walked around for a few days with his helmet on.

The party was a success, and my favorite part was watching Gabriel as we sang to him and he blew out his candles. Lots of fun!

Things to note for Gabriel at 2 years old:
- 75th percentile for height and weight, and is quickly outgrowing his size 2T shirts, but the pants are still big in the waist
- Loves puzzles, letters, numbers, and coloring
- Is now learning what sound each letter makes
- Favorite veggie is peas, and gets excited to eat them. Sometimes we have to say "you can have more peas after you eat your meat"
- Doesn't know the difference between "up" and "down", so when he wants to be held, he holds his hands out and says "up, please, down, please, up, please, down, please!"
- Loves his little sister and likes to hold her and kiss her head
- When he tries to jump, he squats, then stands up quickly and throws his arms in the air. The momentum doesn't quite get his feet off the ground, but it sure is cute :)
- Likes having family dance parties. We put on his favorite music (the Raffi children's music station on Pandora) and dance all around the room.