Monday, December 27, 2010

The Day After Christmas...

So what do you do the day after Christmas? This year we decided to get out of the house and head to the zoo! It was a little chilly, but we bundled up and headed out.


Apparently, the monkeys aren't fans of the cold weather because most of them were not out playing. This little guy was happy to visit with us though, and Jackson loved checking him out with Pop's help.


While we were checking out the new African section of the zoo, Audrey got a chance to stretch her legs and get passed around.

Audrey & PopNana & AudreyAudreyRoss & Audrey

We had a great time! There are more pictures of the fun in the album, but here's a rare family shot of the four of us at the end of the day.

The Taylor Family

Before leaving this morning, Pop got to spend a little quality time with Jackson and Audrey...

Pop, Jackson, & Audrey

It was a great visit with Nana and Pop. We spent most of the day today after they left putting away all of our Christmas decorations and new toys. Jackson wasn't exactly excited to say goodbye to the Christmas tree and decorations. He helped take the ornaments off his little tree before nap time, but when the tree was gone after he woke up, he was a little upset. Fortunately, it was just outside, so being able to see it one more time, helped ease the transition. Now that everything is put away, the house almost feels empty. I feel this way every year. Then when the decorations come back out after Thanksgiving, I'm overwhelmed at how much we have. :-)

Christmas at Home!

We had our first Christmas at home. It was wonderful to be able to watch the kids open their presents and play for hours without having to rush from one place to the next. We missed seeing everyone, but this was definitely a good change for our family and the non-stop pace our lives seem to have taken.

Jackson and Audrey woke to find their stockings were full and their presents from Santa were on display.


Jackson helped everyone with their stockings while Audrey made up for lost time brushing her teeth.

Ross, Jackson, and AudreyAudrey

After all the gifts were opened, the real fun began...

JacksonAudrey & JacksonJackson

My parents arrived while the kids were taking a nap, and shortly after they awoke, round 2 began! Note..Jackson was still in his pajamas, which to me is a great thing on Christmas Day!

JacksonDeana (AKA Nana)JacksonKim (AKA Pop) & Audrey

We spent the entire day laughing, playing, and eating as you can see from the rest of the pictures in the album. It was a great Christmas, and we still have more to come! Christmas with the Taylor family will round out the season.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa's Lil Helper

Jackson was extra good today in hopes that Santa would bring him a present for Jesus' birthday tomorrow. We had a great day. It started with a little yard work, and Jackson was ready to help!


Audrey was a great supervisor.


They also had fun playing in the piles of leaves.

Jackson and AudreyJackson and AudreyJacksonJacksonJackson and Audrey

The afternoon was spent at the Christmas Eve service at our church. We got there early to take a family picture and have some cookies and hot chocolate with our friends. Jackson went to the service with us tonight. It was his first time in "big church". He loved the music but had to be taken out during the sermon. He came back just in time for the candle lighting, which was beautiful.

Before going to bed tonight, Jackson very carefully picked out cookies for Santa...


This was our first Christmas Eve at home, and while we have missed our families, it has been a great beginning to new traditions. There are more pictures of our fun day in the album.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Cookies!

Jackson and I had a cookie date the last two afternoons. Yesterday I picked him up from school early, and we went home to bake cookies. He helped spread the flour and sugar on the counter, roll out the dough, and cut out the shapes.

Then today I picked him up right after nap time, and we spent the afternoon decorating! It was a messy process, but it was lots of fun! We made red, green, and white icing together. Jackson poured in the milk, added the food coloring, and helped stir. When it was time to decorate, he preferred drizzling the icing as opposed to spreading it. He also preferred dumping the sprinkles over gently shaking them, so I quickly learned to pour a little in his hand and let him dump from there. He was very proud of his work, and I was too!


Jackson loves singing Christmas carols. Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa Clause is Coming to Town are sung regularly, which means every snowman cookie was Frosty. He loved making a smiley face and buttons for him. Jackson even tried to make a Rudolph out of a candy cane cookie by giving it a red nose! Here is a picture of the finished cookies. Jackson contributed to each and everyone!


Party Weekend!

Last weekend was a little bit of a blur, but we enjoyed every minute of it. So much so that I actually didn't take many pictures!

Friday afternoon Jackson and Audrey's day care hosted Santa Claus and had their class holiday parties. Audrey's teachers had some delicious cookies and drinks for the parents since the babies were really too young to do much. Jackson's class was ready to party though. They had lots of goodies and even did a little gift exchange. They were adorable!

Jackson and his class

One of the other moms came in early and did face painting and balloon animals with the kids. Jackson got a snowman!


Jackson was super excited about his gifts, and his Uncle Bud would be too. He got a truck and trailer with a horse in it! He spent most of the afternoon at home driving the horse around and taking him in and out of the trailer. He also got some great books from his teachers!


Finally, the big moment came...the kids got the opportunity to sit in Santa's lap! Jackson did pretty well, but Audrey wanted nothing to do with that nice, bearded man.

Jackson and Santa
Jackson, Audrey, and SantaJackson, Audrey, and Santa

We quickly rescued Audrey and made our way back to the class rooms before heading home. There are more pictures of the adorable kiddos in JD and Audrey's classes in the album.

The rest of the evening Friday was spent at our house with our Life Group from church and their families. We had a jolly old time eating, talking, and playing.

Saturday was my office Christmas party. We hosted the ODIN flight control group and their families. We had chili and all the fixin's, and everyone brought an appetizer or a dessert...we definitely weren't short on food! Jackson and Audrey actually made it to bed before anyone showed up, and they slept through the entire party!

Sunday was Ross' birthday! We went to church as usual, and then came home to a special lunch. Jackson helped me bake a cake for Ross, and after naps we all enjoyed a piece!


Sunday evening we celebrated Ross' birthday with a small group of friends at one of Ross' favorite restaurants, The Grille at Cullens. One of Jackson's teachers baby sat for us, so we got to relax and enjoy the evening!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Great Outdoors!

We spent most of our weekend finishing our Christmas shopping, so when we were home long enough for Jackson to play, he was eager to get outside, and he even stopped to smile for a picture or two.


There are a few more pics in the album.

Audrey is 9 Months Old!

It's hard to believe another month has slipped by, but Audrey is 9 months old now! Her personality is really beginning to develop, and it's clear that she has a very different personality than Jackson. We've decided that if you try to figure out which of the 5 love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch) are most important to each of them at this age, Audrey's would be quality time, and Jackson's would be physical touch closely followed by words of affirmation. Jackson has always loved to be hugged and to give hugs. A pat on the back goes a long way for him. Audrey on the other hand, doesn't care much for a hug. I think it just interferes with seeing what's going on around her. She wants to be with you though. There's no doubt about that! She wants to watch and talk and laugh and play. It will be interesting to see if their love languages change as they grow.

Here are Audrey's milestones for the month:

  • She is an expert crawler as you can see below.
  • She pulls up on everything, stands unsupported for short periods of time, and is cruising around.
  • She is becoming a we found her sitting on top of one of those huge packages of toilet paper as we were unloading groceries.
  • She has 5 teeth with a 6th that has just been waiting to pop through for a while now.
  • She is eating all types of table foods including meat...Lupe Tortilla is one of her favorites!
  • She drinks from a straw.
  • She waves "hi" and "bye".

Here are a few pictures of our adorable 9 month old! There are more in the album.


Audrey loves to put everything in her mouth...something Jackson rarely did, so we have to keep a closer eye on what she's trying to grab!


She doesn't mind sharing yet though.


Daddy knows how to make her smile!


Our beautiful little girl...