Monday, December 26, 2011

More Christmas Fun

Since we were all sick to some varying degree on Christmas day, we did not get to attend the church service that they had that morning, so Naomi had to wait another week to wear this cute little dress. We have determined she looks very much like Cindy Lou Who from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." This outfit seals the deal for sure!

Mommy posed with Miss Cindy Lou here as well.

Daniel paused briefly while he was playing with Woody on Christmas day and it was too cute not to post.

Caleb had just about as much fun with Naomi's toys as she did! He played tea party with her and here is serving her some cakes to go with her tea.

Princess Naomi is sitting in her new chair with her tiara and Caleb is bringing her some cakes to go with her tea. I am glad I got a shot of the tiara as it broke pretty much the same day. It came with a little skirt and some play shoes in the princess castle toy.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day--Part 1

Soon after the kids were in bed on Christmas Eve, David and I set to work and got everything set up for the following day. Thankfully because most of the kids were sick on Christmas Eve, they were very subdued and fell asleep right away and did not come upstairs too early! And yes, you heard that right, the kids were sick. Caleb threw up early on Christmas Eve, Josiah came down with a fever and runny nose and Naomi had the tail end of a cold and was coughing with a runny nose also. Meanwhile, I went to the Christmas Eve service to play my flute and felt well enough to do so (though recovering from a cold myself) only later to discover that I too fell ill with Caleb's version of sickness. Ugh. Merry Christmas to me? Not so much! Anyway, I went to bed early on Christmas Eve, but suffered through that night and then all Christmas day as well. After the kids opened their presents, I fell asleep on the couch and then David told me to just go lay down in bed for a bit and so I did.

So enough of all the bad news about this Christmas and on to the good news! We actually had to wake up the kids on Christmas morning, which I found rather ironic since usually they wake us up! David said though they were stirring really early and he went down to settle them and told them to go back to sleep. This was Josiah's reaction as he came up the stairs in his new Lego Star Wars pajamas from Grandma Walker.

And this is the twins' reaction as they came up in their new Lightning McQueen jammies from Grandma & Grandpa Carpenter. When Caleb saw the castle he said, "Whoah!" and went right over to play!

Naomi was really sleepy when Daddy brought her up. When we asked her if she wanted to get down and look at things she said, "No," but then when he put her down she promptly went over the pink house and flopped on her big pink doggie. This Christmas day was definitely Naomi pink approved!

Christmas Day--Part 2

Daddy was in charge of handing out the gifts and I did my best to take pictures and enjoy even though I was feel blah!
Josiah is showing me his new Star Wars Leapster game here. He was really excited about this and also his new Cars Lego set that he got to build with Daddy a little later. Thanks Grandma Walker!

Josiah is posing here with his latest Lego creation in the new clothes that Grandma Walker sent. He also got a Toy Story alien camera as well from Grandma & Grandpa Carpenter that he used to take pictures of lots of things. After he built this set, he took a picture with it, but because it didn't have a flash we used the photo from my camera for the blog instead. Thanks Grandma & Grandpa Carpenter!

Daniel is smiling really big here to see Woody! Thanks to Grandparents Walker! Naomi heard Woody being played with the day after Christmas and she said, "Yee Haw!" Woody says that when you pull his string.

Daniel's favorite gifts were the Leapster games (from Mommy & Daddy and Grandparents Walker) he got though and while he was playing one of the games, he was holding the other cartridge firmly in his other free hand. He was shaking he was so excited to get them!

Christmas Day--Part 3

Caleb was very excited to see Rex given by Grandma & Grandpa Walker. When you squeeze him he "roars" but it sounds more like a squeak and it is louder if you squeeze harder. It sounds pretty funny actually and is characteristic of the Toy Story character in that he is not that scary of a dinosaur really.

Caleb has really been enjoying the castle given by Grandparents Carpenter! He and Daniel both have had fun with the knights and horses that came with it and have had lots of pretend play with them! The horses drop knight bombs down into the castle courtyard and the drawbridge lets people and toys in and out. The castle has also been destroyed a few times and so Mommy has to be the "carpenter" to rebuild. Ahhh...the irony. Anyway, fun times!

Naomi was having great fun going in and out of her playhouse that Grandparents Walker gave and was playing Peek-a-Boo here with me.

She also enjoyed the tea set that we got her as well as her purse that Grandparents Walker gave as well. The teapot makes sounds/music when you have it on various settings and she has had great fun serving us tea and cakes. Her purse also makes sounds/music on various settings and there are many items to "use" in it. There is pretend lipstick, a small hand mirror, a bracelet, a set of keys (plastic of course), & a piece of play money to take in and out of the purse. She just loves it!

Overall the kids had a great day and played with their toys all day without stopping. We had planned to go to church originally since there was a service that day, but because we were all sick to some varying degree, we decided to stay home. However, we did talk about coming up to Christmas and during the day about why we give gifts and why we celebrate. Jesus is the reason for the season and we are thankful that He came to Earth that we may all have eternal life with him should we choose to follow Him. Thank you Jesus for your precious gift to us all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Josiah has adjusted well to his new Do Jang here in Spokane. He still misses Master Kim, but he also loves to study under Master Justin and enjoys his Taekwondo classes. This picture is of Josiah and Master Justin after he received his orange belt. Because we moved, he took a bit of a step back with the belts and also they have a different belt system (here it is yellow then orange and there it was orange then yellow) but it was good for him to learn the new routines and ways of doing things here.

This is a picture of Josiah receiving his orange belt. He is the one looking back toward the camera with the yellow belt on standing in the front. Daddy was the one who got to go to his actual test, since I needed to stay home with the other kids and I got to go to the belt ceremony, which was two weeks later. We decided that since these tests were so frequent (one every 2 months) that we would do it this way to save on babysitting costs.

And then on December 22nd, I got to see Josiah test for his green belt. This will be his very first green belt that he has earned, so that is pretty cool. In this picture, you can see Josiah in the front with his orange belt and then Josiah's friend Reid in the back with a white belt. His friends (who live right near us) Cole and Reid and their sister Allison started at the same Do Jang a while back and now will have their yellow belts.

I think Josiah was a little distracted to have his buddies there as his focus was really low. Master Justin had him do his Poomseh (phonetic spelling) twice and after he finished he told him he did not pass his test and would have to do it again.

However, when he did his Sabancheck (also phonetic), he did just fine and also was able to recite the 11 commandments of Taekwondo. Master Justin told him he only had to say 5 of them, but he knew all 11. It is funny that people think that 1st graders can't memorize much because I think it is just because people don't require them to do it! I suppose though because Josiah has been doing Awana that the memorization isn't as hard for him.

Here he is doing his Poomseh for his test. After all the tests were completed, Master Justin had Josiah do his Poomseh again for him with him standing near him and Josiah was much more focused and was able to do it right. Josiah came running up to me and said, "I passed my test," and I said I didn't think so because I didn't hear what Master Justin had said to him. Apparently, Master Justin told me that what he did afterward was sufficient and that he would get his green belt after all. It was very kind of him to have mercy on Josiah and allow him to try again I thought! I also found out that they only have to break a board every other test! That was a relief also!

I really think Josiah's way of showing nervousness is to be unfocused. He was like this sometimes at the old Do Jang too. Taekwondo has been really good for him though, I think and will continue to be a good outlet for him to express himself and work through some of these things! I am very proud of his work and progress, he has come a long way!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Grandma's Christmas Visit

Grandma Walker came over as "a Christmas present to herself" from the 17th through the 21st of December and it was really fun to have her with us. She came also to hear me sing in the choir cantata called "Jesus No Other Name" of which I have no pictures of since I did not bring my camera, but later I hope to get a DVD recording of it that I will post some of on YouTube to share at some point. I sang a gospel/ad lib sort of solo (channeling my inner black woman) called "What Did You Say Was the Baby's Name?" It was stepping out of my comfort zone a little to not have a written out plan for what I was going to sing, but it worked out well despite that.

Miss Naomi is flashing a big smile here as she plays piano with Grandma!

On Sunday morning, I posed with my two four year olds and miraculously they sat still long enough to get a good picture!

The girls of the family posed too and Miss Naomi is wearing her "Mommy's Lil' Christmas Present" shirt and red tu-tu. My mom and I went shopping on Saturday and I was able to pick up this new purple sweater and black skirt as well as another red top and black and white (pretty design) skirt for the concert the next day. I also got some new black and brown flat shoes to wear for regular use. Thanks Mom!

Daddy and Daniel were cuddling in the chair and it was a perfect time to capture two of the men of the family before church as well.

On Monday, Josiah had to take the M.A.P. test for his schooling (a standardized test to see where is his level-wise) and so Grandma took the other children out to buy small presents for David and I and for each other and later after Josiah finished his test, she took him out to do the same and to take him for ice cream to reward him for doing a good job on his test. Later that night he told me, "Guess what Momma? I learned that it is Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself third and that spells JOY! Grandma taught me that, did you learn that?" It was so cute! I was recovering from a bad cold (yes I sang through a cold on Sunday too) and so I rested a bit on Monday and Grandma picked up the slack for me. Thanks again Mom!

Tuesday, we went to the Care Center in Cheney to visit Great Grandma Betty (in another post), but on Wednesday before Grandma left, we went to the NorthTown mall to play in the play area and discovered they have a "pay to play" kind of place right next to the free one that was relatively inexpensive to play in and so we took the kids there instead as it had many more options for them. It also has the option to drop them off there hourly as well, so that it is good to know for future reference! It is a bit more expensive than to hire a babysitter here if you do it for very long, so it would be only used in a pinch! The kids had a blast there though!

Before we moved over to the other place though, I got a good shot of Naomi coming down the slide! At the other place she got to playing with this little boy who we found out was six, and I told my mom that the age gap between them is about the same as it is between me and David. It is funny to think that long ago if David and I had known each other that he could have been pushing me around in a little play car like this little boy did for Naomi. It was cute to watch them together.

Caleb also posed on the lion before we moved. It was really nice to have my mom here especially when I was feeling very sub par on the health scale! She had fun interacting with the kids too and made lots of fun memories. The kids really enjoyed buying and wrapping the gifts for us too and each time they got one wrapped Grandma sent them upstairs with the wrapped gifts to give to me. They were so proud! Daniel even wrote all the letters on the gifts himself and of course so did Josiah!

We were sad to see her go and as we left the airport Caleb cried and when we got home Josiah said, "I'm really going to miss Grandma." Thanks for the nice Christmas gift of your presence Grandma, we love you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Pictures

And this was the result of the "picture day" that we had at Sears. Oh boy, they were just "thrilled" to be there as you can see. As I mentioned in a previous post, I guess this is a reflection of life right now. It is difficult to get these kiddos to perform on cue to put it mildly! Naomi was deathly afraid to get in the photos, but took more kindly to it after I found her this princess chair to sit in and a special teddy bear to hold. However, as you can see she wasn't keen on sitting still too much or smiling! The twins were determined to be super grumpy and only Josiah was willing to smile!

Josiah was a champ and gave us a nice gap toothy grin right off for his picture.

Daniel finally consented to give me a squinty, squishy Daniel smile, but I will take it!

After some Mommy tickling under the camera's flashing lens, I managed to get Caleb to smile also!

This is a classic shy Naomi look and it was such a sweet picture that we had to get this one too.

This was our favorite of Naomi though with her sweet little smile!

This turned out pretty funny too with the three boys. I would like to introduce you to Sleepy, Squinty, and Grumpy respectively. Anyway, it was rather funny overall to see these photos afterward. My Mom and I had a good laugh for sure!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Caleb & Daniel's 4-year-old Check-up

It has been a while since the twins have been in for a well child visit because we were late with their 2 year old visit and then rather than a 3 year old visit, we just brought them in when they were four. They both willingly got up to be examined by the nurse and the doctor. While we waited, they explored everywhere looking in every drawer and cupboard of course! Before the doctor came in, Caleb had to go potty, so I directed him to the bathroom kitty corner to our room. I had to kind of monitor both rooms as I had all the kids with me, so that was interesting. I got Caleb in the bathroom and closed the door figuring he knew what to do there and stood in the hallway. The doctor came in our examining room when Caleb was still in the bathroom and I got to talking to him when I heard this loud beeping sound and heard a nurse knocking on the bathroom door saying, "Are you OK?" It turns out Caleb had pulled that string that hangs from the bar for those that are very ill that calls for a nurse in an emergency in the bathroom.

Dr. Moon was checking to see that Caleb's legs were working properly here and of course they were. He was very gentle and kind with the kids and they liked him. Caleb weighed in at 32 pounds (16th percentile) and was 38 inches tall (8th percentile), so he is still a petite little guy, but he is very strong! When he doesn't want to do something, look out! Later when it was time for their shots, Caleb was hiding under the table because he saw the suffering poor Daniel went through and I had to pretty much drag him up to the table then. He got his shots in his legs cause it was easier to hold him down that way. The nurse held his legs and I held his arms and chest. Sadly, he was the one that cried most of the way home saying it hurt really bad. Poor little guy! He got over it though! Walk it off buddy!

Daniel was very intrigued with the doctor and when Dr. Moon sat down at the desk with his laptop, straight away Daniel was breathing down his neck to look at the technology and then asked, "Where is your mouse?" The doctor didn't have a mouse, but a pen he used to touch the screen. Dr. Moon said that the mouse doesn't work very well with this computer. Daniel also was interested in all the instruments and things the doctor was using as well. He weighed in at 38 pounds (69th percentile) and was 42 inches tall (85th percentile) and so is our heftier one of the two still.

When it was time for the shots, the nurse asked who would go first and Daniel volunteered, but I am positive he didn't know what he was volunteering for! When she asked if he wanted "arms or legs" he said "arms" and then next thing he knew he had 2 pokes in either arm. When we went to the 2nd arm he was very squirmy of course and crying, so that was hard. He fussed for a while afterward, but as we were walking out of the office he says to me, "It doesn't hurt now!" He was totally fine after that, but Caleb played it up for all it was worth!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Decking the Halls

It is always fun when it is the season to put up our Christmas tree again and the kids always enjoy watching Daddy put the tree together. We bought an artificial tree a few years ago and we are glad to not have loads of pine needles on the floor and worry about watering the tree and/or worrying about children playing with the water. Naomi got to get in on the action this year and she got right down there with the boys to see what was happening.

As Daddy put up the lights, he had the kids watch from the couch and so they cuddled up with the Christmas blankets and enjoyed from there. When it was time to, they got to decorate the tree with all of our ornaments. Caleb and Daniel were very excited to participate and Naomi would not be left out either and so the bottom of the tree was very loaded with ornaments! Josiah got to take the "glass ornaments" and put them up a bit higher on the tree for me.

That night before bed, Daddy read the boys the Christmas story (Naomi was in bed by then) and afterward he was going to help Josiah put the angel on the tree. We read from the new Bible storybook we got from Grandma Carpenter called "The Jesus Storybook Bible." It is a really GREAT book for kids I have found and I really like how each story makes a tie in to how the story relates to Jesus and His ultimate story. The pictures are very beautiful also and very artistic. The actual text is fun to read also (very animated) and isn't so dry and/or hard for them to understand like some of the kid's Bible stories are at times.

Josiah really enjoyed being able to put the angel on the tree. Daddy says if he gets much bigger he won't be able to lift him! He is such a big boy now!!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Christmas Dessert

This year our church hosted their annual Christmas Dessert function and I was honored to be asked to sing for it! It also happened to be on my birthday, so it was a fun treat to go out and hang with some girlfriends on my birthday! I sang "Welcome to Our World" and "Blessings." I shared a little bit about why the song "Blessings" means so much to me because of what I went through this last fall with the miscarriage. They had lots of other speakers and entertainment also, so it was fun to hear them all and fellowship with the ladies at our table.

I got to sit with my friend Kim, who I invited to the dessert and then discovered that we were assigned to my friend Liz and her family's table as well, so that was fun! Liz used to host a small group at her house that both Kim and I and a few other families attended back when we lived in Liberty Lake.

This is a picture of the decorations that were on our table. Jan (Liz's mom) did the honors. Everyone was really impressed with her center piece, which was two knitting needles and some ornaments that she threaded onto them to make them stand up with the toppers on top to hide the needles. She did a great job with the decorations for sure, it looked very nice! Each table host brought their own style to each table, so it was fun to see all the different tables set up at the dessert.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Journey to Bethlehem

A couple of my new friends, Aimee and Bridget, both separately invited me to go to this event at their church called "Journey to Bethlehem." It is an outdoor walk through of what it might have been like to be in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. First, you enter the church and take tickets that have a "family name" on them. Our family name was "Zechariah" this year. Then you wait in the sanctuary where they have special music going on and watch for your family name on the big screen. When it comes up, you go back and line up to take the tour. You are assigned a guide (ours was named Josiah) and they take you through the tour as if you were characters in the story.

They had live actors playing various parts throughout the journey and then at one point you see Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus as you see here. They had lots of animals there too including geese, ducks, sheep, goats, donkeys, and even a camel at the end! It was quite cold that night, I think in the low 40's? And in that temp you can last for a little while, but with the little ones and walking for a bit it got pretty cold! They had fire pits along the way which helped somewhat and at the end they had a tent with warming lamps and warm apple cider.

The camel was in a cage at the end of the journey and she walked around showing off for us when we got there. The kids thought the camel was pretty cool! It was a neat way to hear the Christmas story and I think the kids enjoyed it. It was a little hard keeping them corralled as we were walking, but it worked out. I had to laugh when we went into the "tax collector's" tent and were supposed to be "quiet and respectful" to the man in charge. Daniel meanwhile "stole" a coin off of his table to look at it and interestingly the Roman guard there did not put him in chains as he should have. Perhaps he didn't notice? Anyhow, I was wondering how the actor did not laugh at this and I managed to pry the coin from his hand and put it back on the table.

Thanks to my friends for inviting us to this fun event. It was a neat experience for sure!