Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Wishes from the Wards

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

May that Word, Jesus, richly bless you this season.

Merry Christmas!
Jonathan, Kaethe, Amalia, & Brinnly

Monday, December 22, 2008

Birthday Preparations and Celebrations

We managed to recover from a quick-onset stomach flu in order to host a Christmas-birthday-belated housewarming party this past weekend. Jonathan and the girls whipped up a batch of double-chocolate cupcakes. Delish! Our dear families braved blizzard-like conditions to supply us with goodies and willing hands for the cleaning, cooking, and decorating that fell by the wayside this past week. And then we feasted and celebrated!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why we own a minivan

We expect our backseat to look like this in July--but one will be an infant seat!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fifteen Months Old

A long-overdue final shot with Pooh, but here is our littlest girl. Although she would be the first to note that she's not so little anymore. She is quite the walker and really hasn't sat down ever since her friends Jack and Gail Ryan left a few weeks ago. Jack definitely encouraged her to show off her moves. Her ideal method of transportation is pushing a grocery cart or stroller, preferably with a bag and purse around her shoulder. She doesn't seem to take offense when her daddy refers to her as the "bag lady". Just this week she picked up a few words including "please", "up", "hi", "Mali", "purple" and one specifically referring to potty-training that she loves to use for shock value. She is FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY sleeping until at least six a.m. at which time she demands her new favorite food--a bowl of cereal. Or five. She is now officially finished nursing and we're all proud to have made it this long. And she has high hopes of upstaging her sister in next year's Christmas program.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Amalia is an angel


Please tell me you appreciate the irony in that title. Actually, she did make her debut in the choir of heavenly hosts last night in our church's Sunday School program. She managed to keep her halo on and follow along to both the finger play and three verses of Away in a Manger. After that, she was pretty distracted by one of her favorite baby-sitters playing Mary and holding a Baby Jesus doll. And then she tried to climb down the stairs to see Daddy and Brinnly in the audience. But what else can you expet from a two-year-old?

The doctor's kit in the preschool room helped keep the little actors quiet before their time on stage.

(She's the shortest angel on the right in this picture)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Merry Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving-as-Christmas this past weekend with Jonathan's side of family, as is our tradition on the years that we don't spend Christmas Day together. The girls again loved playing the role of hostess and Mali had no idea she wasn't the same age as her "grown-up" cousins Trent and Lauren. We feasted and celebrated and reflected the many things for which we are thankful. And now we're sporting Ball State gear around here and finishing up the last of Grandma Deni's spinach balls. Let the holidays continue!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Reunited with "Our Ryans"

At least that's how Mali has been referring to them lately...they are otherwise known as Mike, Kellie, Jack and Abigail. They graciously drove out of their way to stop at our house for an overnight and what a time we had. I meant to beat Kellie to posting about their visit, but she won, so you can read more about our pumpkin-filled adventures here.
I mentioned to Jonathan how Kellie and I always seem to "mother" our little ones in a similar fashion. He agreed. Maybe it's because we basically learned how to be mothers together? Whatever the reason, it was refreshing to be with our play date buddies again.

Unfortunately these pictures don't capture any of the fun that us adults had together...or the stuffed Dalmatian that Mali insisted on buying for Kellie when I asked her to pick out Christmas presents for Jack and Abigail. I'm sure that was top on Kellie's Christmas list.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm not making this up!

Lately, Mali has taken to falling asleep with several stuffed animals. We're not sure where that comes from since she has never shown that much interest in them before. Maybe it's because The Ryans are coming for a visit tomorrow! Her buddy Jack was always up for a stuffed animal cuddle. But back to the subject, she now sleeps with her "Aunt Grace bear", a racoon, a sheep, a huge Winne the Pooh, and Brinn's Holly Hobby. She snuggles up with them on her pillow and then we hear her singing lullabies to them.

What did she sing yesterday at naptime? Roll Out the Barrel. Just in case anyone needed a quick polka in the crib.

A Night at the Gardens

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amalia, Brinnly, & Madeline

They may disagree on hockey teams (our girls favor the Penguins) but they are sure glad to live in the same city and state. Brinn was so excited to play with the bigger girls that she even attempted a few steps to join in the chase!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Even more fun now that we now that Mike, Kim and Adison taught us the additional verses:

I'm tapping on the floor, I'm tapping on the floor.
Everybody jump up when I count to 4.

I'm tapping on my knee, I'm tapping on my knee.
Everybody jump up when I count to 3

I'm tapping on my shoe, I'm tapping on my shoe.
Everbody jump up when I count to 2.

I'm tapping on my thumb, I'm tapping on my thumb.
Everybody jump up when I count to 1.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Prayer request

Please take time to check out the link on the right for the Maleski Family Fund. Anthony Maleski is a friend of ours from Pittsburgh who was struck by train two weeks ago. You can read more details about the accident as well updates on that site. Please remember his wife Anna and their three young children in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Just in time to try out that Halloween candy

Brinnly now has now has two teeth!

Two Elephants Went Out to Play

We really did up Halloween this year. First stop was the East Grand Rapids Library for our regular story time. This week, the kids came in costume and the kind librarians and city workers hosted our little parade. Here's Mali with her new hero, Miss Trish (aka the children's librarian)
And then we joined our neigbors for trick-or-treating on our block. As if candy wasn't enough, Mali also greatly enjoyed her first sip of orange soda.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seven Years of Wedded Bliss...

When most of our days look like this:(And yes, those are cloth napkins they are wearing on their heads. "Aprons" or "Aprils" as Mali calls them)

It is even more special to celebrate this:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Traditions with Grandma Deni

Zoo Boo, Pumpkin Patch, and Jack-O-Latern carving. Fall weekends don't come any better!