Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful... To be able to Give

We have lots to be thankful for in our lives. We have two great kids, a good dog, a nice house and plenty to eat. We are thankful that I have a job and that God provided enough for us to get by when Joe was unemployed. Did you catch that? I said was. We are extra thankful this month that Joe found a job. I think a lot of people take for granted the things they have... us included. I didn't realize all the extra we were spending and the things we would buy just on a whim. It took Joe getting laid off to make us realize how much we had and that we could get by without all the extra stuff.

So for this Christmas we are doing things a little differently. We really want this Christmas to be about giving to those less fortunate than us. The people going through hard times... or they've always had hard time, but they are just taking it day by day by day... and it must be exhausting.  Elijah has reached an age where he is very aware for things and remembers a lot. I want to instill this need to give to others early in life, so as he gets older he will want to do it on his own.

He helped me pick out some things for an Angel Tree child and we have some other things lined up to do. I won't say what but here is a list of some things to do if you want to spread some holiday cheer too:

Pick a random table at a restaurant and pay their bill
Pay for the person behind you (it can be anywhere, a store, a fast food place, coffee bar, cafeteria, toll booth, etc.)
Give food to homeless people, either through a shelter, food pantry or buying a hamburger for the homeless guy on the street
Sponsor a family
Get an Angel Tree child
Bake cookies for neighbors
Give money to organizations to help the needy (we like to put money in the Salvation Army kettles)
Volunteer at an organization. It doesn't cost any money and the rewards are amazing.
Buy a present for Toys for Tots (or any of the other program like it)

That is all I can think of and I'm sure there are a ton more. Leave a comment and let me know how you spread holiday cheer by giving to others.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Caleb's Dedication

A dedication is an important step in our family. For non-denominational Christians it takes place of a baptism for infants. The parents get up in front of their friends and family to say they will raise this baby (or little child) to believe in Christ and God, take him or her to Sunday school and to lead them in a Godly walk. They ask the people that attend to help the parents on that journey, also.

On September 15 we dedicated Caleb. Elijah was dedicated in 2008. I never posted about it, but I made a layout  and my Mother-in-law blogged about it.

It was on a Saturday morning, so we got all dressed up and ready to head out. I don't know about you, but I love a little boy in a dress shirt and tie. Two of them makes me doubly happy, especially since they are my own.

Caleb is a ham. Pull out a camera and he loves it... He even loves to pose. This was while we were waiting for everything to start, at the church.

Then he realized he was sitting on stairs... It was over... stairs trump picture taking.

 It was a nice ceremony.

 This was only half of the parents that were dedicating that day. There were approximately 8 more families that went before our group.

After the dedication was over we headed to the Boulevard Diner for some lunch. All the food was so good.

What a great day filled with family and friends for a very special occasion.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Elijah adores Halloween and Charlie Brown, so when he found this book at the bookstore last month we had to buy it.
It is kind of like a sticker book, but not really. It comes with a few sheets of stickers and as you read along you put the stickers on the pages to complete the story.

He had fun figuring out where the stickers belonged. There are white outlines to help piece everything together.

This is Elijah's favorite page. He loves reciting the lines:
"I got a chocolate bar"
"I got a quarter"
"I got a rock"
Laughter ensues every time...

He couldn't figure out where some of the stickers went, so daddy came to the rescue.

This is a great Halloween present (cause apparently that is a new thing that people do) or a "just because" present for any little person you might know. Barnes and Noble was running a special when we bought it, buy two kids books you get this book for $3.99. Since we were already there to buy a birthday present and we were looking for another book as well, it worked in our favor. I found out this weekend that they are still running the sale this week. I have also seen it at Walmart for pretty cheap ($6 or $7), if you want to pick it up there instead.

Friday, October 5, 2012

State Fair 2012

As per our annual tradition we went to the Maryland State Fair this past August. We went three half days again this year. Because Joe was at home with the boys he would take them over around 3pm and I would meet them there about 6pm, since my job is only about 20 minutes away from the fairgrounds. We went one day, by ourselves, so Joe could go to a Newsboys concert they were having. My mom treated to admission for the other two days.

This year we visited and saw some different things than we usually do. That's what great about the fair, year to year they always have some new things to see and do.

This was the first day before I got there. They were tuckered out.

Once he woke up Elijah decided to get on some rides. He loved the fact that this year he could get on more by himself.

At that point, Joe went to the concert and the boys hung out with me for a few hours.

We ate dinner while we watched a guy carving a log with a chainsaw. It was pretty awesome, minus the gas fumes... Caleb didn't know how to feel about the whole situation.

Then more rides.

And a photo-op. Sorry for the blurriness  I was attempting to keep Caleb on the seat with one hand (cause he kept lunging at the camera) while taking the picture with the other.

We walked around a lot not really doing too much. We checked out the concert from afar. Not too long after that Joe joined us again and we headed home.

Thursday was the second day we went. Joe took them over again before I got off of work.

This was Elijah's favorite ride... He could have rode on it all day if we let him. It's the type of ride that goes fast in an oval and when you reach either end it pulls you back in your seat because of the force. Funny thing about this is that when I was pregnant with Elijah, Joe and I went to Hershey Park and the only ride I allowed myself to get on was the whip, which is the adult version of this ride. Too weird.

The fair would not be complete without eating. Mmmm fair food is so good. The corn especially. (By the way, in case you were wondering, that is my sister and my brother-in-law sitting with us.)

That evening we were treated to some random fireworks. They were planned, but they were random to us because we didn't know they were going to happen. When they first went off a lot of people thought it was gunshots. Fun times, fun times...

They were pretty good.
Caleb wasn't impressed. He's a very cautious child, unless it comes to climbing on something, then he has no fear.

Elijah, on the other hand, loved them.

After the fireworks the boys played the duck grabbing game. They won this giant banana (unfortunately... haha)

Then it was time to take the annual picture. We ended up asking some random guy with a tripod if he could take the picture. He did an awesome job!

We were walking towards the exit when Elijah (and Joe) spotted the bumper cars. They rode on it several times.

Then he took a ride with his Pop-pop.

This year Caleb was only able to get on the Merry-go-round, but next year, he should be able to get on some other rides.

We were kicked out of the fair that night. The first time that has ever happened.

The next day we went for the last time. Originally it was just suppose to be Joe and I, but my mom and dad had brought the boys just to walk around.

We started out in one of the pavilions looking at all the neat 4-H creations and projects. I think I might look into taking Elijah to 4-H starting next year. I think he would really like it.

This was his favorite display. He stood there for about 15 minutes examining everything on it.

This was another great one.

That evening in another pavilion they had a pumpkin carver. He does awesome work!

This girl photo-bombed this picture.... Don't know who she is. I had to laugh when I found it on the camera though.

There we go. Two sweet little boys.
They also had a fake horse you could pretend to ride. Elijah thought it was awesome.

Then there was a craft... Horseshoe decorating. Elijah decorated his all by himself.

Joe made Caleb's. I plan on hanging them up in Elijah's room or in the living room.

During "dessert" Caleb was eyeing up my ice cream, but didn't like it when he took a lick (weird child).

That was the end of our week of fair fun. There was tons more that we didn't take pictures of, like a caricature of the boys, Elijah and I playing bingo, Elijah, Joe and I going on the tilt-a-whirl together and so on and so forth. These are the best days of summer... It's always sad to see it go. But as we have Elijah say when leaving the fair, "Bye fair! See you again next year!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Caleb's First Birthday...

Since I updated about Caleb party I thought I would show a "few" photos from his actual birthday. In our house we always celebrate on the day in addition to any other celebration that happens. 

There are balloons... and food of course.

The birthday boy gets to pick the meal, for dinner, but for first (and sometimes second) birthdays the meal is picked for him. 

Caleb LOVES Papa John's pizza, so that was "his" pick. 

Next is dessert. Cake and ice cream... Smash cake for a first birthday.

He didn't want to touch it

He definitely doesn't like it.

He tried a little, but started to cry, so we went onto presents.

He wasn't too into the presents, cause it was past his bedtime

Mommy to the rescue to calm him down a bit.

He liked the chair Aunt Reach gave him. He looks so cute in it.

Not too impressed with the drum or the elephant ball...

Elijah decided that since Caleb wasn't into his toys that they were up for grabs... and so was his seat...

Elijah got some presents too, for being the big brother (also so he wouldn't feel left out)

This is a Mickey Mouse book and activity kit with little figurines and a "map". He loves this thing more than anything else. He plays with it every single day.

Caleb had enough of everything at this point and was ready to pass out.

So off to bed he went, so he could enjoy playing with his toys much more the next day.

Mr. Caleb-Caleb... What a sweetie pie.