Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mason!

It's Mason's special day today! I can hardly believe he is two already! He told me a couple weeks ago that he wanted to go to Happy Joe's for his birthday, so we planned to go there today. But due to the blizzard we're having, we opted for a McDonald's supper last night instead. He loved it as always, and he even got to get ice cream since it was his birthday celebration.

Greasy yumminess with a side of chocolate milk. Happy Birthday!

The ice cream lid was actually better than the ice cream itself!

Although it has been a day of being indoors at home, we've done our best to make it special. Mason and I started our day with muffins and birthday candles. He blew out the candles many times! I made his fave, mac 'n' cheese, for lunch, and we're having another favorite, meatballs, for supper tonight. He also had his fill of his favorite movies and TV today (Bad Mom Award!). He opened his presents from Mommy & Daddy after Brent got home, and Daddy and Mason are currently playing a combination of Thomas trains and MegaBloks!

"Cheese!" Love those birthday muffins!

Aunt Tiff and his cousins called on Skype this morning to sing Happy Birthday. He loved that! He did his classic act of repeatedly yelling, "Hello!" into the camera, even long after we were disconnected. He also talked to Grandma Nikkel and Grandpa & Grandma Gaulke on the phone. He told Grandma Gaulke happy birthday. :)

He was also thrilled to hear them say "Happy Birthday, Mason!" several times over the radio today. Brent's parents sponsored a day of broadcasting on 107.1 in honor of Mason's birthday, so they announced it throughout the day. He thought that was way cool!

Like any good mother would, I tend to get a bit nostalgic on days like these. I've remembered several times the day we brought Mason home from the hospital. It was an ice storm that day, by the way! I remember just being overwhelmed by all that had happened in the previous 48 hours but thrilled to be the mommy of my Mason. And from the moment I met him, I couldn't imagine my life without him. No one can tell you how it feels to delight in your child until you have one. And Mason, you are my delight! I am in awe of all you learn each day, entertained by the funny things you say, and so proud of you! You are an amazing kid, full of life and joy! You make every day new for Mommy & Daddy, and we are so thankful for the life you bring to our home and our lives! Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Choo! Choo! Mason's 2! (Almost...)

Sporadic blog lady is back! Maybe with Mason's birthday and Christmas this month I can manage to complete a couple posts...

Hard to believe, but Mason turns two this week! We celebrated him Friday night with family and friends. Of course, Mason opted not to take a nap on Friday, which made for some interesting moments by the end of the evening. He was deliriously tired by the time the party ended, so he topped off the night with a couple good 2-year-old fits. The poor kid was so exhausted!

All week poor Mason heard, "That's for the birthday party." He really was incredibly patient for an almost 2-year-old. At one point on Friday he ran into the kitchen and said both excitedly and matter-of-factly, "It's time for my birthday cake!" He had to wait a few more hours, and when the time came, he was too excited about all the action to eat much of anything. So much for having his favorite foods--noodles, strawberries, jello, cake and more. Hopefully the other guests enjoyed it all!

Mason got lots of great toys for his birthday. His favorite on Friday night was his new Mighty Machines Diggers & Dozers DVD. Once he opened that, he wouldn't put it down! He could watch Mighty Machines all day. But since that night I can honestly say that he has played with every single toy--they are all a big hit! Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Children's Books=Weird

Mason LOVES books. We probably read at least 8-10 books a day. Sometimes the same book a few times, but I still love it that he loves books. He's just starting to pretend a little, and I know that books can only grow his already active imagination.

But some of these children's books are just a bit strange. Can any other parent out there relate?

For example, I was reading Corduroy Goes to the Fire Station for the 8th time the other day, and it dawned on me that I was reading about a teddybear who was visiting the fire station with his class, comprised of a stuffed pink gingham bunny, a couple bears who are blue and purple, a doll and a bear teacher. On top of that, the firemen at the firestation were a mixture of animals and people. In one picture a human woman is sitting at the table playing cards with a dog, an alligator is cooking spaghetti, a monkey is lifting weights and a bear is sitting on the couch reading the paper. Mason thinks nothing of this. He loves this book with its fire engines and flaps to lift, but I must say I find the concept strange.

Then there's I'll Love You Forever. I know many are familiar with this book. It's a classic children's book about how a mother's love never ceases through her child's whole life. But honestly it creeps me out a little. I mean, this mother is sneaking into her adult son's house in the middle of the night using a ladder at his window! It started to get a little weird for me when she was sneaking into her teenage son's room and rocking him "back and forth and back and forth and back and forth," but when she drove across town with her ladder, I got a little chill. I know, I know, I'm completely missing the sentiment of the book. Rather than noting the blessing of being a mom for life, I'm tucking away the lesson, "Keep appropriate boundaries with your children!"

Well, those are just two examples, but I know there are many more out there! The world of children's literature is a fascinating and fun and sometimes strange place. I have moments that I really hope Mason won't pick a certain book because it just doesn't make sense to me. Thankfully it's not about me... :)

If you've got any other weird chidren's book examples, I'd love to hear them! Happy Friday!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thomas is a hit!

Due to Mason's current love for Thomas, Grandpa & Grandma Nikkel took us to spend the "Day Out with Thomas" at the Scenic Valley Railroad in Boone on Sunday. I'd heard mixed reviews of the event, including several people that said the train ride wasn't too cool, so I just wasn't sure what to expect--especially from a 1-year-old boy. Thankfully Mason loved it and had a great time!

We left from church and drove through Arby's for a bite on our way to Boone. Just as I'd hoped, Mason quickly zonked out for a nap. Although it was only about 45 minutes of sleep, I know it saved us from some ugly fit-throwing!

We got there in time to peruse the activities a little, see Thomas and snap a few pictures, watch Sir Topham Hatt from a distance (Mason was just fine keeping his distance!), and hop aboard the train that Thomas was "pulling." I must agree with the reviews: the train ride was definitely the dumbest part of the whole event! Mason was actually pretty bored; we had to get out the snacks. It felt like we were barely moving, and aside from some Thomas music playing overhead, there was nothing at all fun going on in that train! Hopefully older kids thought it was cool to be on the train because it was definitely lost on us! Mason acted fine and sat nicely, but he was simply not enthused (none of us could blame him).

After the train ride, Mason played in the straw maze a couple times, wandered through the petting zoo, played with trains and tracks in the Imagination Station for long time, got a James tattoo, jumped through the blow-up train tunnel, jammed and danced with the railroad singers, and rode a trolley car (which was equally as boring as the Thomas train but thankfully much shorter and with more leg room!). There were only a couple things we didn't do. I was impressed with the range of activities and thankful that so many were age-appropriate for Mason as well as for older kids. Mason really had a great time!

Mason was really into the music. He even skipped the limbo to keep on drumming! :) Here's a little video...

We made a final quick stop at the gift shop where Grandpa & Grandma bought Mason a Thomas train whistle. I thought the whistle was a fine idea because Mason really couldn't blow it very loud. Well, that was yesterday--today he has practiced enough to learn to blow it loud and clear!

After a stop at DQ, we were headed home from our day with Thomas. Mason told us several times on the way home that he was "all done" with being in his carseat, so my mom and I ended up doing a quite impressive Sunday school song sing-a-long to entertain him. Mason was asking for encore performances right and left! If you'd like to book us for your next birthday party, let me know!

When we got home last night, we got Mason bathed, being careful not to wash off his James tattoo, dressed him in his Thomas PJ's, and realized that in the excitement of Thomas, he'd barely eaten a thing all day. Two hot dogs, half a banana and some cottage cheese later he was off to bed! But wait...I'd left the Thomas whistle downstairs, and that just wouldn't do. So, after retrieving the whistle and practicing with it a few times, Mason was finally off to bed! This morning when I went to get him out of bed, he already had his sleeve pushed up. He immediately pointed to his arm and yelled, "James!" then followed it with, "I go whistle too!" We had to immediately leave his room to find the train whistle, which he can now blow like a champ LOUDLY. Thankfully he has an extremely tolerant and patient mother that can handle such things (or just hide them!). :)

A tip to parents: If we had it to do over again, we'd only buy tickets for a couple people instead of all 5 of us. You only need your ticket for the train ride, and at $18 a piece, it's not worth it! You can enter and do the other activities without a ticket. I would have been content to let Mason and Brent or Mason and Grandpa & Grandma ride the train while the rest of us waited.

As adults, we did brainstorm a few ways they could make the event better while we were there, including spicing up the train ride,but overall it was a fun place for kids, especially those who love Really Useful engines. :) Thanks to Grandpa & Grandma Nikkel for a fun day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Summer Favorite

Well, without warning I took a summer break from our blog. In fact, I didn't really even know I was going to do it myself! But when life feels full, there are certain things that must go away. Since Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, I thought I'd jump back in--though I just can't promise how consistent I'll be. Still, it's such a fun way to record life and share with friends and family.

I'm starting simple to ease myself back in. :) This is my current favorite picture from the summer. I tend to just look at it and chuckle. After babysitting Mason for us, Brent's parents stayed over one Friday night because we were headed to a family reunion together the next day. As Grandpa Gaulke got ready for the day, he did his usual spikey hair routine, and Mason thought it was something he needed as well. They are quite a pair! Mason's facial expression just cracks me up!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mr. Sandman

Brent used his afternoon off today to do something very exciting--especially if you're Mason. We now have a sandbox! We already had to hose Mason off, empty sand out of his pockets and realize we didn't get it all as sand trickled out of his diaper when we changed it. I'm sure most days this summer will include a similar rundown of activities. Baths before bedtime are no longer optional. Welcome to summer...welcome to the world of little boys! Will & Natalie, Mason's cousins, were at our house to share in the inauguration of the sandbox. All were filthy, all were joyous. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tough Decisions

Mason's toughest decision of the day was which lawn mower to play with! We brought both of his mowers out from the basement today, and he was pretty excited. It's tough when your birthday is in December, and you have to wait 5 months before you can play outside with your cool toys! He really loves to see a real lawn mower, but if it gets too close, it becomes somewhat like the vacuum in his eyes--slightly too loud and scary.
As he played, I heard Mason say "lawn more" about 500 times today, and I loved it every time. Here's a little video so you can hear it too! (You may have to turn up the volume--sadly, my voice is loud and clear, but Mason's is not!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Momentous Day for Brentous!

It has been well over a month since I got this thing updated due to my inability to manage all that's going on in life! But today requires that I get back on track because it is a BIG day for my hubby. It's Brent's 29th birthday AND first day at his new job at Marion County Bank! Happy Birthday and Congratulations, Honey! From the report at lunch, the first day was off to a great start. Hopefully we can end it well with our birthday celebration dinner and some yummy cake!

Here are some birthday pictures from our celebration with Brent's parents and sister on Saturday night as well as a "first day of work" photo. :)

Who wouldn't be this excited about an ice cream cake?!
Look at that spiffy guy in a shirt and tie!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nickels for Nikkels & Hotcakes for Haiti

Okay, so I promise not to use my blog solely for information about my brother and his upcoming move to Haiti with his family. But since it's pretty HUGE stuff with so many implications, spiritual, emotional and financial, I think it's worth sharing when I can. If you ever have any questions, want more information or would even want Jared & Stacey to come speak to a group you're involved with, please let me know! Soon Stacey, Tiff and I will have this kind of info up on a blog specifically for Many Hands for Haiti. I'll let you know when that happens!

Fundraising is in full swing for the Nikkels as they prepare for their June move to Haiti. Through the Nickels for Nikkels campaign, we are currently trying to raise $30,000 so they can purchase a new truck, appropriate for the Third World conditions. We are asking those at our church and in our community to bring their spare change each week to help us make this goal. (Cash and checks are also being accepted.)

We have been asked some excellent questions about this $30,000 truck Jared & Stacey need. The truck is a Toyota Hilux, a model that is actually not even available in the United States and is designed for the poor conditions and rough terrain of the Third World. I want to take a minute and answer a couple of these questions because they are valid questions that I, too, might be asking if I didn't know the situation.

Why does it need to be a new truck? After all, many of us aren't driving around in new trucks, and $30,000 is a lot of money!

A key to understanding the need for this truck is to realize how awful the roads are in Haiti. It can literally take hours just to go 10 or 20 miles, and you may even have to stop and move a tree out of the way or ford a stream on the way if it has rained a lot! For this reason a truck takes a beating! They looked into the option of buying a used vehicle, but after being driven in these conditions, a used vehicle isn't worth much. Jared & Stacey need a reliable vehicle as they will likely be offering transportation to mission teams and Haitians as well as making trips for supplies, etc.

But why a Toyota? How about a Ford or something less expensive? The American car industry sure could use a boost!

There is a Toyota dealership in Port-au-Prince, so they can purchase the vehicle right there in Haiti as well as get parts when needed (and they will likely be needed!). To buy another model would require shipping a car to Haiti, which would be very expensive, and maintenance would be more difficult as well.

In Haiti, when you ask how many people fit into someone's truck, the answer is always "one more!" So picture this truck with the bed full of people! Having a reliable truck will allow Jared & Stacey to help many people out with transportation and be better equipped for their mission.

If you would like to give to this cause, collection containers are at Third Reformed Church and Gosselink's Christian Book Store, or you can bring your donation to Marion County Bank. If you feel led to donate and just want to mail a donation, checks can be made payable to Community Coalition for Haiti (CCH), the non-profit organization the Nikkels are working closely with, and mailed to Many Hands for Haiti, PO Box 204, Pella IA 50219. Please put "Nikkels in Haiti" in the memo line. Otherwise, I am happy to collect your donations and route them to the right spot as well. So, redeem those pop cans or empty that change jar! :) With just three weeks to go, we're only at about $5,000, so there is much work left to be done!

As a celebration of what God is doing through Nickels for Nikkels, we are holding Hotcakes for Haiti, a celebration breakfast, on Sunday, March 29, at Third Reformed Church. Pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee will be served from 7:30am-12:30pm. We will be taking freewill donations to be added to the Nickels for Nikkels total.

A Hotcakes for Haiti breakfast is also being organized in Sully in early April. It will likely be Saturday, April 4, so watch for details.

Thanks for considering this cause!

Monday, March 9, 2009


It's an interesting concept that has a completely different connotation for me than it used to: being a missionary. Growing up, most of the missionaries I encountered were ones that visited our church when they were on furlough, and, to be frank, I found them to be different, disconnected, even odd. I had little understanding then and never got to know any of them well, but my guess is that those were actually probably pretty accurate descriptions. I mean, don't you have to be uniquely different to heed the call to move to a different country, give your life to people very different than yourself? You would get disconnected from your "homeland" in many ways--you'd have to.

I'm not claiming to really know what it's like to be a missionary at all. I've just been faced with thinking about it because my brother and his wife, Jared & Stacey Nikkel, are about to become missionaries in Haiti. Lord willing, they'll move in June 2009 with their two children (ages 6 & 4). I never thought I'd know and love missionaries so much and be connected so closely to these "odd ducks" willing to exchange one culture for another very different one. God is surprising, isn't He?

The journey in receiving and discerning this call has been one I've had the immense privilege of being part of, from intentional times of listening and discerning prayer together more than a year ago to creating brochures, logos and t-shirts for the cause of fundraising and launching them on this new path. I have been significantly touched by the work God has done in the heart of my brother Jared. I wish you could all hear his testimony, but the fact is that none of you would hear it like I do, like his little sister who has known him almost 30 years, fought with him, laughed with him, been tortured by him, ignored him--you get the idea. The change is deep, lasting. I know that because it's not just words; his actions are following. You don't move to Haiti with your wife and 2 young children on a whim. I'm so proud of him. So thankful to God. So sad to see them go.

So I'm not sure if any of this is making sense, but I hope you're starting to see the mixed bag of emotions this is for me and for our whole family. This process that started nearly 2 years ago for Jared & Stacey has drawn us so much closer, and I'm so thankful for that. Yet now they will physically be far away. I see the vision God has given them, the passion they have for Haiti. That makes me so excited to be part of the campaign to get them there. I love working with Stacey on projects, getting to talk with her often, using my gifts in communication to play my small part in this Kingdom advancement. But in the end I will say goodbye to my family, who are also my friends. I will miss a sweet and hilarious niece and nephew.

Don't get me wrong. This is the right thing. They've heard clearly, and they are obeying God's call. Other family members and I have been there to hear with them. We know they're called to this. And in all honesty, I never would have thought of it, but they are the perfect people. Only God has such an imagination. He sees that Jared & Stacey are his "secret weapons." He knows that they are willing to take risks, they have a crazy variety of skills, they both are great at filling in wherever there's a need, they don't have a lot of preconceived notions. (He knows more than that, but I'm not Him...) Is there sacrifice? You bet there is! But when God is driving, you know you're on the right road. And thankfully He's right there in the car to work through the pain of the sacrifice. And amazingly enough, He is also right here at home to work through it with those left behind.

This is a long post. I'm sure I've lost a few along the way. I wanted you to have some background because we are right in the middle of fundraising and preparing to send them off in June, so I will likely be using my blog to tell about those opportunities as well. Their ministry is called Many Hands for Haiti. God certainly works in mysterious ways, and I would love to get Jared & Stacey's story out to as many as will hear it. Watch for more information!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mr. Clean

Feather duster: $.97
Windshield squeegee: $2.50
The sheer joy of a "dusting" 1-year-old: priceless

Mason has a new favorite pasttime, and last night it reached a new level. He has loved to watch me sweep and mop for a long time, but now he is taking matters into his own hands. A couple weeks ago I bought him a windshield squeegee at Walmart, which just happens to look exactly like a miniature mop--the perfect size for Mason! He has been doing his share of mopping. In the middle of all this, he also developed an affection for washing things in the sink, especially if he gets to use the dish wand. Well, we were back at Walmart yesterday and needed a bit of a distraction, so I let him carry around a cheap feather duster. It was less than a dollar, so I figured I could splurge on that one. Last night Brent swept up the floor after supper with the mini broom and dustpan, and Mason couldn't wait to get his hands on it. So he walked around the whole evening with the feather duster in one hand and the little broom or dustpan in the other. And I mean the WHOLE evening. We couldn't even pry them out of his little hands at bedtime, so we gave up...see slideshow. :) He's for hire if anyone needs a little tidying up! (Just don't ask him to use the vacuum...)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thank you for...

As winter rears its ugly head again today, I'm trying to be grateful that we had such gorgeous weather rather than lament that it has to go away. After all, spring in February is an unexpected gift!

We're thankful, Lord, for days that give us hope that spring is coming again!

Thank you that we only had to wait until February to take a first ride in Mason's birthday wagon...and for a daddy willing to pull.

Thank you for a neighborhood full of kids out to play.

Thank you for a day to wear no winter coats, hats or mittens.

Thank you for melting the snow so that Mason could find sticks again (and try to eat them)!

Thank you for a new patio to play ball on.

Thank you that when we fall, You always help us up!

Thank you for keeping our camera safe when I left it outside on the patio all night...and it rained.

Thank you for the gift of time to play outside and for the way it refreshed us all.

Thank you for giving us the variety of four seasons.

Thank you, Lord, that, summer or winter, your mercies are new every morning! Oh how I need that!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dear Mason...

Hi, my buddy boy! I have to be honest--Mommy is feeling tired and overwhelmed after a long week. I've loved being with you, but it's hard when Daddy isn't home! That's why I'm so thankful that last week I started writing some things down to remind me how special our times are together.

It's not your birthday or any special occasion. It's just that several times in the past couple weeks I've thought about how pleased I am with just absolutely tickled to death I am with who you completely overjoyed I am to be your mama. So, I decided I wanted to tell you about it.

I love it that...

  • Last Sunday at lunch you reached out to hold Mommy's hand when we prayed, even though it was short-lived. I want you to be a man of prayer someday and to know that you can always be in conversation with God.
  • When we picked you up at Grandpa & Grandma G's last Saturday, you ran over just to give me a kiss. It was such a sweet surprise.
  • You sometimes bend down to see eye-to-eye with something or to look under a chair or table for a toy. It's just adorable to see your little body squatting down like that.
  • You say "wow!" and "whoa!" over and over again each day because it reminds me that the world is an amazing place to discover, full of good gifts.
  • You do funny things that simply make me laugh, like suck on your paci upside down, try to sit on your cousin Tori like a riding toy, always choose the smallest space to squeeze through, fake burp, make tons of faces, always want to see yourself on the camera after I take your picture...I'm sure there are more!
  • You say "ball" hundreds of times each day because I always want to know what your favorite things are.
  • Your feet make that pitter-patter sound on the floor as you are busy, busy, busy. Sometimes I can't believe how fast it is--like a machine gun! Not only is it just plain funny, but it makes me thankful that you are a healthy, active boy.
  • You serve as the "welcoming committee" at the dr. office, library or the grocery store, saying "hi" to everyone or standing as close as you can to them and smiling until they notice you. I pray you'll always make people feel comfortable and bring joy to those around you.
  • Every day you learn new things and say new words. I have a front row seat to your discovery of the world. For example, I love it that the other day you said, "Turtle!" and Mommy didn't even know you knew that word. Life with you is full of good surprises.
  • You always notice when Mommy is wearing earrings and say "pretty, pretty" (ti,ti).
  • You love books and music. You've got great dance moves; Daddy loves the "Sumo Stomp" best. You're such a curious guy and a fast learner! I'm proud of you.
  • You're my "right-hand man" when it comes to sweeping the floor (but NOT vacuuming!). The way you always end up in my dirt pile helps me keep perspective and remember that the floor is clean enough for now. There will be lots of years to clean the house (too many!) but only a few that you'll want to be by my side while I sweep.
  • You are determined and can tell me what you want. Oh, I know it will bring its challenges, but I love seeing new parts of who you are.
  • You still have your "pigeon coo" laugh when you're in awe of something--and I love it that you're in awe of so many things!
  • My hug, or just my presence, brings you comfort. Wow. What an honor that is.

Buddy, I'm not joking around when I tell you that being your mom is a dream come true for me. It's not always an easy life, but you bring me such joy! Even on the hard days, this is the journey I want to be on. Sometimes I can't believe that I'm actually at the point in my life where I have a "you"! God has granted my heart's desire, first through Daddy and now through you, Precious Peanut. I thought someday the newness of all this might wear off, but my heart still skips a beat to be reunited with you after a day apart...or even just after your nap! My mouth will always turn up with a grin for you and your antics, even on the worst day. Your little voice is a treat to my ears. I'm so excited to be your mom!

I love you so much, Mason! Just thought you should know that I'm still in awe of you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Missing Daddy!

Daddy, we're missing you while you're gone this week! We're glad you're having a good business trip but can't wait to get you back! Mason wanted to tell you all about his Wednesday...hopefully you've got Wi-Fi again! We love you!

Click to play Mason's Day
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Good deals for kids' clothes!

Just a quick note for other moms on a couple good end-of-winter deals I've come across...

Target: I was there on Saturday, and they had tons of kids' shoes on clearance for less than $5/pair! I got Mason a pair for right now and three more pairs for later on, plus I got a pair for my niece, all for $20!

Children's Place: I just got some things online for next winter for Mason on clearance, and now they've marked things down even more. Some sizes are scarce, but there are great deals to be found if you can find your size.

*Update: Check Tiff's comment for an additional 15% off code at CP.

I'm sure there are many other deals right now as winter clothes are cleared out for spring, but these are the ones that I've been excited to discover. I love a bargain!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fun with Cousins!

My nieces, Natalie and Tori, have been over to play a few times lately, and I got a few good shots of their sweet smiling faces. I have always loved my role as Aunt Bethy and still love it when I get to have some "aunty time" with any of my nieces or nephews!

Tori is almost 8 months old and on the verge of crawling. She is so sweet and smiley I just want to eat her up! Mason likes her too, still calling her "baby" even though soon the 5 months that separate them in age will seem like nothing at all. He also likes her pacifier and can often be found trying to steal it or with it in his own mouth if Mommy or Aunt Tiff is not paying enough attention. He better watch it because one day soon she'll be able to get him back!

How can you not love this little face?!

Natalie is four and a bundle of energy. She is such a smart little girl with an amazing imagination. Her current favorite name is Teresa if what she names her dolls and other toys is any indication. She loves to tell me what Mason is saying when she's here. Oddly enough, it's often what she is thinking and sounds very little like what Mason actually said. :) She is also the queen of getting song lyrics just a little bit wrong, which provides many great stories and laughs. (And don't try to convince her that she's wrong either--it makes sense to her!) For example, this Christmas she asked her mom what "tar" is; when her mom asked why she wanted to know, she explained that it was from the song, "We three kings of orien tar." And it's "Don't tell it on the mountain," contrary to what you might have thought before. She kills me.

Lots of static electricity in the ball pit!

Christmas 2008

It has been so long since I posted, I'm having trouble deciding what to choose to post about. Is it too late for a Christmas post? Nah! I want to at least give a glimpse of our Christmas fun, even though it is behind us now. (And, by the way, I can't believe it has already come and gone!)

The weather took its toll on our Christmas plans a few times this year, rescheduling two of our events and giving us a surprise overnighter at my parents' house in Sully on a very, very foggy night. We finally finished celebrating on January 3 with the Nikkel clan (my dad's side). We really had a great Christmas. All of us stayed healthy, we enjoyed time with our families, Mason was so much fun to watch, and we thoroughly enjoyed having Deb & Lisa, two of my college friends, stay for a couple days. We're thankful for health, safe travel, many thoughtful gifts, and the love of family and friends!

I decided a slide show was the best way to sum it all up. Enjoy!

Click to play Christmas 2008 in Review
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