Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Christmas Fun

Last year Leo was too young to enjoy unwrapping presents.  This year was a whole different ball game!  At first he was a little tentative, but he soon realized it was fun to open gifts & all he wanted to do was open ALL the gifts in the room!  We had a sad little boy when he was stopped from opening other people's gifts!

"Yuck!"  His words, not ours.  We're not sure why he didn't like the wrapping paper.

The new toys!


Opening his stocking Christmas morning after church!

Holding baby Avi for the first time!!

I think he liked her!


Whitt didn't like to see Grandpa in a hat!

Even after the hat was off, he was still a little unsure!

There was lots of game playing at my family Christmas.

Our last family picture of the year!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Extended Family Christmas Parties

Jumping back a few weeks here!

The Les Gerber family has outgrown Grandpa & Grandma's house so last year we decided to celebrate at our church's Fellowship Hall.  We liked it so much we did the same thing this year.  There's a nice big kitchen, a cozy fireplace with couches & enough room for us all to be together the whole day!  There was also plenty of room for 5 different children to take afternoon naps!  I think we all like this new tradition!

Avi's first Christmas!


Leo's first present of the year.

This picture melts.my.heart.  I think I fall in love with both my boys more every day!

These two...I love that they love each other (most of the time!)

Grandma Rosie always has something special planned for Christmas. This year she handed the rest of the stockings out to the grand kids and had them share a memory from 2014 (those of us that are married already have ours). She also handed Bryon & Stacy's out to Derryl & Dad. They got to share a past memory too!  

The Harry Steffen Family is also outgrowing houses, so we celebrated Christmas at St. Luke's Fellowship Hall.  There's lots of space for the whole family & that works out great!

These gals sang the Census Taker to the family like Grandma Betty used to.

Since Leo is too young to know any better, we had him open this up two nights in a row!  Thanks for that idea Jenna!!

Playing with the toy while it's still in the box...love it!!

Family Picture

The Alvin Fiechter Family is still small enough to fit into a house, so Ryan's parents hosted Christmas.  As much as we enjoyed our other gatherings, there's something special about Christmas at home!  Having Zach & Leah's family home from Colorado made the evening extra special!

Molly's poor dress just wouldn't stay up, so Janelle had to tell her to put her real clothes back on!  Oh the innocence of childhood!

The last gift of the year.  At this point he was a pro at unwrapping gifts!

Janelle wanted to put a plug in for Menards, but please keep it on the DL. We'd hate for word to get back to her father-in-law at Habegger's Ace!

Sleeveless shirt & no socks.  How is it possible that this is Janelle's child?!

What a ham!!

I think I was "Christmased" out at this point.  Can you tell?

We missed the Carl Fiechter Family Christmas, but from what I heard they had a great turnout!  Almost 100 people at Grandpa's house!  I'm sure everyone loved having JaNon & her family home for Christmas!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy Anniversary To Us

Five years has come & gone for us and it's really kind of hard to believe. When I think back to how long high school & my first year of college seemed, I can hardly believe that we've been married for that same amount of time. I guess what everyone says is true. Time goes faster with age.

It seems we've experienced a lot in the last 5 years, but probably no more than what most married couples face. We've had good days & bad days, laughter & tears, joy & pain, good health & bad; the roller coaster of life has taken us many places. Ecclesiastes 3 comes more to life because we've gone through many of those seasons of life as a married couple, some more literally than others.

2010 - Our wedding was January 3rd & we flew to Jamaica the following day for our honeymoon. We got back on Sunday night and bright & early the next morning I went back to school. College life & marriage did not blend well for me, so in December we decided that chapter of life should close. That year was probably the most stressful year of our marriage & I can easily say I'm happy it's in the past. By the end of 2010 I knew how to run a household & be a wife, but there were bumps & scrapes along the way.

2011 - I settled into an adult routine. In February I got a job & went to work 5 days a week just like Ryan. It turned out, my one semester of nursing school proved to be useful. I don't think I would have been chosen to be Ruthann's caretaker without a little medical knowledge.  Life was maybe a little too easy because Satan came barging into our life that year & we got to deal with some really tough stuff. He was ready to tear our lives apart & we had two choices. We could let him win or we could pull together as a three-fold cord and make our marriage stronger. Thankfully, Job 23:10 applied to us.  "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."

2012 - Ryan's life, so far, had pretty much stayed the same. He was working in Auburn at Classic City Signs & loved to come home and work on projects with or without his dad. Ryan's chronic heart burn brought occasional bad days but overall was manageable. I once again changed paths & got a new job at BKM. This may have been the best year out of 5 for us. We had lots of fun with friends & family and got pregnant with Leo in July.  Thankfully, pregnancy went well for me and the year closed with much laughter & joy.

2013 - Leo joined our family in May & we got to adjust to being parents. We truly adored our little boy, but those first few weeks & months were a bit rough. We were used to flying free and doing whatever we wanted. Leo tied us down a little and that was an adjustment. The really awesome thing about being parents though was the new love we experienced. Never before had we loved someone like we loved Leo. It made God' love for us more understandable and his sacrifice more meaningful. Ryan's job started slowing down at CCS. They didn't have a great year and so they started cutting Ryan's hours.

2014 - I worked at BKM part time and Ryan's hours kept getting cut.  He started seriously looking for a new job. They say stress can affect health & I readily agree.  Ryan's heartburn was worse than any other year. His extra time filled up quickly with outside projects, but he was ready to move on in his career path. We fell in love with Leo more every day & decided to try for baby #2. Pregnancy was once again good to me. The waiting game finally ended in November when Ryan started working at Star Engineering. He went from driving about 2 hours every day to 8 minutes. Since his new job, Ryan hasn't had any serious heartburn problems! God's provision was, is and always will be amazing to us!

We have no clue what the next 5 years will bring, but I'm excited to see that recap in 2020!

Five years ago at this time we were headed for our honeymoon not knowing each other that well!  Three days ago, on our anniversary, we enjoyed a fun & relaxing evening at Outback, Target, Glenbrook & DQ!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Cookies

The Baker

The Coffee Maker

The Cookies (I think we did about 150 this year!!)

The Crew

I may have forgotten my cookie decorating clothes!!

The Christmas Caroling "Serenaders" (I think I just made that word up & I actually have no clue what they were singing but it seems fitting that they'd be singing Christmas carols!)

Most of the kids helped with the decorating.  However, since Leo didn't know what he was missing, we decided to wait another year before introducing him to sprinkles!!

Practicing for baby brother

Leo did need a few reminders to be gentle!!

And that about sums it up!