Elisabeth, Christopher, Carlee and Kayden patiently waiting to begin.
Kayden cutting the dough.
The "clean" Elisabeth before the decorating really begins!
Kayden, Christopher and Elisabeth ready in their pj's to go see the lights
This year Tammy and I decided we wanted to do something fun with the kids to celebrate the holidays. Tammy was so awesome and took some time the day before and make sugar cookies from scratch. The next night, on December 7th, Elisabeth and I went to Ben and Tammy's to cut the cookies into shapes and then cook and bake them. The activity was such a hit with the kids! Christopher seemed to have a better grasp at how to decorate the cookies with the sprinkles. Kayden and Elisabeth just loved to dump all of the sprinkles onto one cookie so that it was more of a creation of the saying, "Would you like a cookie with your sprinkles?". They made such a mess and had such a great time doing it. I remember baking and decorating cookies and candies as a child with mom and those are some of my favorite memories that I have of her. It was fun to be able to start doing some of those things with Elisabeth this year.
After we baked somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-7 dozen cookies, we had the kids get into their pj's and we all piled into the suburban to go see the Christmas lights at the Canyon View park in Spanish Fork. Elisabeth, Kayden, and Carlee were especially enthralled with the lights and they loved seeing the Lockness Monster and the frogs jumping. We then drove to Salem to see the lights at "Pond Town", which the kids also enjoyed.
I love this time of the year! It is nice to have good friends to be able to do things with and to share in the spirit of the Christmas season.
Ok - I know as a mom that I am my child's biggest fan. I also love having professional pictures taken of her because I feel like that since I have to work full time that I sometimes miss the subtle changes in her and professional photographers seem to (for the most part) catch her in a better setting than I do with my own camera. I wish that I had a digital SLR (I think that's the right initials) camera where I could change the f-stop setting to better catch the movements of a busy toddler. Hopefully my dear husband will read this post someday and will figure out what I would like for Christmas next year! I also want to take a photography class to really learn the proper way to take a picture. So until then, I will rely on my no-sitting fee coupons from JCPenny where the package is $7.99.
Although as a side note here - I have a love/hate relationship with JCPenny. I like that I usually get pretty good pictures from them at a good price, but I really hate that the people who work there have no idea how to work with kids. I'm lucky that Elisabeth is fairly photogenic and at an age where I can start to bribe her with a treat of some sort to get her to smile. I really disliked that at this last photo shoot where this picture was taken, that although I had the first appointment of the day (at 8:00 a.m.) on December 1st (the Saturday where it DUMPED snow in the morning), that the photographer was getting angry with Elisabeth and telling her that she was in a big hurry to get done. She was incredibly impatient with my child. What really bothered me was that she was talking to Elisabeth like she was a 4 or 5 year old who might actually understand her, instead of being 2, and also that there was no other people in the studio when we went in for the shoot. Calli - have you ever had this problem at JCPenny? It was really frustrating for me. I wish that I could afford to go to Kiddie Kandids more and have people take Elisabeth's picture that actually try to take the time to make my child at ease with them and so the pictures turn out better. I'm glad that Kiddie Kandids has their birthday portrait club where I can get the freebie picture on her birthday!
Anyway, with all of that being said, and in my own very biased opinion, I think that Elisabeth is absolutely beautiful in this picture with her long, natural curls and deep brown eyes. Jake & I will have our hands full with her when she turns 16.
1 in every 120 babies are born with a heart defect. What if that ONE was YOURS?
Our Little Man
We unknowingly became elite members of a world no one wants to be a part of on January 22, 2008 with the birth of our little boy, Nathan, but looking back we can't imagine life any differently. Nathan has had to endure 21 surgeries in the first 25 months of his life including open heart surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot, jaw surgery at 3 days old, 5 cleft surgeries and many surgeries involving his airway, ears, and eyes. He has a g-tube which he uses as his sole source of nutrition. In February 2010 he underwent a second jaw distraction as he was showing signs of right heart failure.
Nathan is our little hero; our witness that prayers are answered individually and that we couldn't be blessed with better family and friends to support us.
One day my world came crashing down, I'll never be the same. They told me that my baby was sick. I thought, "Am I to blame"? I don't think I can handle this. I am really not that strong. It seemed my heart was breaking. I have loved him for so long. I will not give up on this child. I will listen to your advice. I will give my son any chance. No matter what the price. I will learn all that I need To help my baby thrive. I'll even use that feeding tube. My child must survive! Will he need a lot of therapy? Will he gain the needed weight? Please God, help me do this. As I accept our fate. When the monitors beep at night, it serves as my reminder. How many parents would love that sound. Tomorrow I will be kinder. As another Angel earns his wings, I run to my baby's bed. I watch him sleep for quite a while. I bend down and kiss his head. I cry for the parents whose hearts have been broken. I look to You wondering why? Oh Lord, I just can't know your ways.... no matter how I try. And yet, I trust you hold his life, and guide us through each day. My mind says savor each moment he's here, but my heart begs, "PLEASE let him stay"! From pacing the surgical waiting room, to sitting by his bed. From wishing for a good nights sleep, to learning every med. From wondering, "Will he be alright?", to watching him reach out his hands. With every smile my heart just melts, despite life's harsh demands. For all who see that faded line. I look to them and smile. You see my child is loved so much. I would face ANY trial. That scar I trace with my finger (It's the door to his beautiful heart). God must have known how much I'd love him (Just as He loved him from the start). A heart mom is always a heart mom. Now wise beyond her years. For those who have angels in heaven, Our hearts share in all of your tears. Every day I will try and remember, I was chosen for him (and no other). I will always embrace that beautiful day....... When I became a "Heart Mother".
~Stephanie HustedMommy to Braeden HLHS post FontanCarepage name: babyhusted
I "borrowed" this poem off of another blog. I'm not sure who the author is, but it truly touched my heart.(Original version found at http://garyandcamille.blogspot.com Thank you!) Heart Poem:
It's a beautiful day up in heaven. Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus "I don't want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you". He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that she is just going for a visit. She is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, "How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?" The angel smiles and says, "I guess that will work". But the little angel is still a little scared. She asks,"Will I be okay with only half of my heart?" Jesus replies,"Of course you will, I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine." Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says "When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. Enjoy your time with your family, play and laugh everyday. And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves."