Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Ian enjoyed making and mailing Valentines to some beloved family members and friends. Ian and Ryan worked together to make thumbprints on flower petals, and Momma wrote, "God made you THUMBbody special!" (Thanks, Pinterest!)

 We also got together with some local friends for a Valentine's Day party. Ian loved decorating paper hearts with paint in the salad spinner and giving his work of (h)art to his friends. Ha! Ian was most excited about his "mailbox" we made by wrapping a shoebox in wrapping paper and covering it with Diego stickers. He also loved delivering "mail" to his friends' mailboxes.

 At the party, the kids enjoyed some yummy heart-shaped cupcakes and fruit. Of course, there was also lots of play-time, too!

 We got a group shot before the party was over, though we took it after Anna had already gone home. And, Baby Samuel must've been sleeping.  Pictured here: Brooke, Ian, Caleb L. (back row) and Cameron, Zane, Carson, Ryan, and Sommer (first row)

We enjoyed another fun Pinterest project this month, too (thanks for finding it for me, Mom!). We did a "heart attack" on Ryan and Ian's doors. Each day for the first part of the month, we taped a heart with a compliment for each boy on their door. Ian wanted to (re)read ALL of the other hearts each day, too.  What a fun idea! We'll have to try to remember it for years to come as well.

We thank God for showing us what true love is when He sent Jesus!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you so much for coming to visit us for a week at the beginning of February! We enjoyed every moment of your time with us! It certainly makes us wish we could see you even more often! Thanks for making an effort to see us as often as we do! We know it's not easy to get away.

Thank you for being willing to just "go with the flow" while you were here. Even on the way to our house from the airport, you had to be flexible. When Ryan was getting hungry, we decided to stop at Gallery Furniture -- a furniture store with WAY more than just furniture! Thank you, Dad, for playing with Ian on the indoor playground while Kim nursed Ryan, and thanks, Mom, for helping Ian learn about the little monkeys. He thought they were lots of fun!

You both have a natural ability to know JUST how to help! Thanks, Dad, for feeding Ryan most of his baby food meals while you were here. He ate well for you! You also mastered the fine art of getting him to sleep for naps and at night time. After a few moments of "you're not Momma-or-Daddy anxiety," Ryan warmed right up to you both and never looked back!

We were excited to celebrate your early birthday while you were here with us, Mom! We thank the Lord for your life of faith and service to Him. We were happy that you requested chocolate praline pie. We all LOVE chocolate! It was nice that you let Ian help you blow out your candles, too. Thanks for being excited about the gift we got you -- a necklace that shows off your grandchildren -- and for saying that you'll wear it with pride!

We're so blessed that you have lots of experience teaching kindergarten, Mom! You are so good at thinking of fun ideas that would be fun even for a preschool-aged grandson! We didn't even THINK of celebrating Groundhog Day. You made it special by reading Ian some special books from the library and then taking Ian outside every hour during the morning to trace his shadow. He seemed interested in seeing how his shadow got smaller and "moved" with each passing hour.

One of Ian's favorite parts, though, was having you help him make hand shadows. He STILL performs "shadow shows" a few times each week!

It was also special having you here to help celebrate Matt's birthday. It was fun to celebrate here at home with a special lunch and Matt's requested brownie mallow bars.

And, it was a wonderful treat to go out to Carrabba's for Matt's birthday dinner, all six of us. (We appreciated having two extra sets of hands so that everyone could eat with both hands during at least part of the meal! :))

 We continue to be amazed and humbled by your willingness to serve. You knew it would be difficult for us to paint our guest bedroom while taking care of two boys, so you volunteered to bring painting clothes and help us while you were here. That doesn't sound much like a vacation for you, but we really, really appreciated your help. And, we're so proud of how it turned out! Thank you for painting and even for helping us learn something about drywall repair. I don't think we have it mastered yet, but we sure know more than when we started, don't we?

You had a great idea when you suggested using the pillow shams as valances, Mom! That really ties everything together.

We asked you for your advice on organizing our garage since we have WAY more strollers and outside gear than we probably need. You had the great idea of adding some bike hooks to the ceiling ... and then you offered to help us do it! We think of you every time we pull our cars into the garage and don't have to move a stroller out of the way first. :)

It was also nice to just relax with you, catching up on life and playing lots and lots of games. We liked playing Euchre and Carcassonne best. Ian would probably have a hard time deciding if he liked Hullabaloo or BusyTown more!



You even let us go out for a Valentine's Day date. We hadn't been out to dinner, just the two of us, since Ryan had been born. And, it's probably been 5 years since we've gone to the movie theater. What a treat! We loved seeing Les Miserables, and we weren't worried about our boys in the least! We knew they were in good hands -- and apparently, they did, too! You even babysat another time so Kim could do her student teaching observation. What amazing grandparents!

It was awesome that you were here while Ryan learned how to crawl! Thanks for being so excited along with all of us!

Undoubtedly, though, one of the BEST parts of having you here was watching you interact with our boys.  There's something really amazing about watching your parents as grandparents -- two sets of people you love best, loving each other! You both make play time fun, and you take such good care of our boys. They certainly thrived on all of the one-on-one attention!

Thanks again for an amazing visit! We love you, Mom and Dad!
Matt & Kim (and Ian & Ryan)