Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31...Day 339

Happy New Year! We celebrated by going to a party at the Noggles' house. Poor Audrey...we made her celebrate the new year at 7:50. Then she went to sleep in her pack n play for the rest of the night, while Mommy and Daddy got to stay up and party til midnight!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30...Day 338

Today we celebrated Christmas with my dad and his family in Quincy. All of us were trying to get Audrey to stay still long enough to get pictures of her, but she wasn't much in the mood for posing today. My aunt's dog, on the other hand, was all about sitting and posing for a few pictures for me. Isn't he adorable??

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29...Day 337

Audrey had fun playing with Grandma's kitchen toys today! She had a rolling pin, cookie cutters, spoons, spatulas and times!

Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28...Day 336

We've been getting a lot of use out of this game that I got for Daniel for Christmas. It's called Ticket to Ride, and it's a game that both Daniel and I enjoy. We taught Mom and Marcus how to play last night, and tonight we taught our friends Ryan and Courtney to play tonight. We must be pretty good teachers...first time players have won 3 out of the 4 games that we have played so far!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 27...Day 335

We are in Keokuk now and celebrated Christmas with my mom and Marcus tonight. They got Audrey this new coat to wear next winter. It's too big for her now, but we tried it on her anway. It was cute to watch her try to walk around in it tonight!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26...Day 334

Today we celebrated Christmas with Daniel's family. We really wanted to get a picture of all the cousins. We had everything ready, and all was going well...until we set Audrey down for the picture. I should have learned by now how difficult it is to take group pictures of kids, especially when Audrey is one of those kids! Oh well, this is my favorite from the few that we got today. Sometimes I think these kinds of pictures are better than the nicely posed with everyone smiling kind of pictures. At least this one is more realistic, and you get to see a bit of the kids' personalities!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 25...Day 333

Merry Christmas!! Here is Audrey in her new Christmas PJ's, showing off the bows from Mimi's presents. Audrey wasn't too interested in opening her presents this morning. We got her to sit still long enough to open them and look at them, but then she was off and running around the house again! She did seem to like a couple of her presents though--especially the pretend keys that we got her and the extremely loud and annoying Baby Einstein book that plays music. More presents to come tomorrow...we'll see how she does!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 24...Day 332

Here is Audrey in her Christmas outfit. I couldn't get her to stand still long enough to get a good picture. She is having lots of fun running all around Mimi and Papaw's house!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23...Day 331

Our stockings have finally found a home! We don't have a mantle or any good place to hang stockings at our house, so this year they have just been sitting in our dining room. Daniel has been eager to hang them up, but I just don't know where to put them. We are at Daniel's parents' house for Christmas, and we brought our stockings with us to open on Christmas morning. Daniel quickly had them hung up on his parents' they are already filled with presents, just waiting for Christmas morning!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22...Day 330

Today Daniel and I wrapped all of our Christmas presents!

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21...Day 329

Tonight we hosted our annual Small Group Christmas party at our house. We had people from three of the young adult groups at our church come over...for a total of 26 adults and 8 kids in our house. Craziness!! This was another night that I was so thankful we waterproofed and remodeled our basement, because we definitely needed the space. The picture above is a portion of the group during the White Elephant gift exchange. The best gift of the night--Amy's dead tarantula! Here's a bonus picture of that:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20...Day 328

Daniel's parents came over today to see the Christmas program at church. They also brought Audrey an early Christmas present--this red sled! We did get a little bit of snow tonight, but I don't think it's going to be enough to use the sled outside quite yet. For now, Audrey thinks it's a fun place to sit and drink her milk in the living room!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19...Day 327

Today I addressed the envelopes for our Christmas cards. I still have to write the letter. I'm hoping to have them mailed before Christmas, though I'm not sure if they will arrive before Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18...Day 326

More Christmas baking for me today! I made these yummy turtle candies to put in treat bags and pass out to the cast and crew of our Christmas show tomorrow night. This is the best Christmas candy recipe if you need to make a treat for a big group of people. Only 3 ingredients, it only bakes for 3 minutes (though it does take about 2 hours to set up)...super easy and they taste good too! (Even I like them, and I don't normally like pecans).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17...Day 325

Oops...I didn't get a picture of anything Christmasy today. We did have a mall playdate today though with Amy and Cael and Mary Ann and Hannah. The play area in the mall was crazy, but the kids still had a good time (we just all had to be on the lookout for playground bullies!).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16...Day 324

Today I made a bunch of caramel chex mix and packaged it up in tins and take out containers to give as thank you gifts to those helping with our Christmas production this week. Unfortunately I made just enough to fill all of my containers--there wasn't any leftover for us! So, maybe I'll have to make another batch soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15...Day 323

I would normally choose ice cream that has some kind of chocolate in it, but during the Christmas season, I make an exception for peppermint ice cream. It's the best!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14...Day 322

Look at the Christmas presents I got from a couple of piano students today...$50 total to spend at Barnes and Noble!! And I've already spent them online! It's cheaper to buy books online, and I wanted to order them quickly, hoping I will have them before we leave for our Christmas travels next week. Here's what I bought:

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (our next book club book)

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (I read and loved this one and wanted to own it)

Baby Einstein flashcards for Audrey (she had fun with the flashcards at Lindsey's house tonight, so I thought I would get some for her!)

A big thank you to my generous piano students!! I can't wait to get my new books!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13...Day 321

Tonight marked the start of Christmas production week at church...we have 4 rehearsals and 3 performances this week! Here's a peek at the set before rehearsal started tonight.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12...Day 320

I'm cheating a little because I didn't actually take this picture. But I did set the settings on the camera, and I took a lot of practice pictures before this one to get everything I say this counts. Amy came over today and took our family picture for our Christmas cards this year. She had to do a lot more than just push the button though...trying to get both Audrey and Maggie to look at the camera and get Audrey to smile all at the same time was a difficult task. We didn't get one with Audrey smiling and everyone looking at the camera, but this one turned out pretty good. I'm sure that many of you who read this blog are also on our Christmas card mailing list as you can watch for a card with this picture coming your way soon!

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11...Day 319

Tonight was the church staff Christmas party. And Audrey got to try her first candy cane! I didn't think she would like the peppermint taste, but she liked it a lot!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10...Day 318

These shiny, sparkling ornaments make our dining room table look festive (at least it would look festive if it wasn't always covered with our junk!).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9...Day 317

My mom got this Fisher Price nativity for Audrey last year. I think it is so cute! Most of the time Audrey just wants to throw all the pieces off the table and onto the floor. But today she was playing with it more...though her idea of playing with it was to try to fit as many pieces as possible inside the stable!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8...Day 316

We are back home...finally! I decided to join in with Kellie's Christmas theme that she is doing with her blog. Each day from now until Christmas, I will post a picture of something Christmasy. This is a good challenge for me. Because we are so busy this year and we are traveling a lot during the month of December, I feel like we are kind of missing out on the festivities of Christmas. And Christmas is my favorite time of year! So I'm going to try to fill the next couple of weeks with lots of fun Christmas activities, and take pictures while I do it!

For today, here is a picture of our Christmas tree. It's fake, which is disappointing to me. But since we are traveling so much, we decided it would be wiser to go with a fake tree that doesn't need regular watering. Next year though, I promise you--it will be real!!

On a sidenote, I do not know how to take pictures of Christmas trees. How do I get a good picture of both the lights and the ornaments??? My pictures never look like the tree looks in real life.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7...Day 315

My friends have the cutest kids! And I just can't help but to take pictures of them! This is my friend Laura's son Caleb, and he is just the sweetest little boy. I have a ton of pictures of him because he kept wanting me to take his picture so that he could look at it on my camera. I had a good time getting together with my old college friends tonight! Tomorrow--it's time to go home!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6...Day 314

Sorry I was MIA the past couple of days. Audrey and I decided to go to Branson to stay with our friends who live there and to see my mom who is vacationing there this week. I've posted pictures from Friday and Saturday below.Today, the quest continued to get a good picture of Lyndlee and Audrey together. And the quest failed. At least they are both in this picture. But they aren't exactly smiling for the camera (or even looking at it). And it's out of focus and in bad lighting. Audrey did love this air mattress though. She saw Lyndlee and her friend bouncing on it last night, and she wanted to bounce too. Then this morning she just kept throwing herself on the air mattress, falling off, laughing, and then doing it all over again. It was cute! (too bad I didn't take a picture of that!)

December 5...Day 313

Last night Audrey and I decided to go back to Branson with Brennan and Janna to hang out with them and to see my mom and Marcus who are vacationing in Branson this week. We were ready to get out of our little room in Joplin!

While there, we tried really hard to get a picture of Lyndlee and Audrey together, but they were not that cooperative. I did get this really, really cute picture of Lyndlee though. She was playing with her basket, curling up inside it and pretending to go to sleep. It was so cute, and I'm glad that she stayed still long enough for me to get this shot!

December 4...Day 312

Today, our friends Brennan and Janna and their little girl Lyndlee came to visit us in Joplin. We had fun hanging out with them. They brought Audrey a little Christmas present that Lyndlee picked out for her. Lyndlee did a good job, because Audrey loves ducks right now...especially this Christmas duck that she just kept patting over and over again!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3...Day 311

I am totally failing at taking pictures on this trip...probably because we haven't been doing anything too exciting. Today we did get to have lunch and go shopping with my friend Rachel. I have known Rachel for about 27 years...for as long as she has been alive! I really should have taken a picture with Rachel in it, but I didn't. =(

Instead, I took a picture of the jeans that I bought on our shopping trip this afternoon. I have been needing a new pair of jeans for a long time now. I bought 2 new pairs right after Audrey was born, because I was tired of wearing maternity pants. Both of those pairs are way too big now that I've gotten back to my normal weight, but I've had to wear them anyway because I've been too cheap to buy new jeans. So I'm pretty excited to finally have a pair that actually fit me!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2...Day 310

While we are in Joplin, we are staying in a guest room on campus at OCC. The room is really nice; it's just a bit on the small side. And with all three of us and all of our stuff in here, there's not a lot of room for Audrey to play. And now that she knows how to walk, she is not very content to just sit still and play with a toy. Even though the room is small, the bathroom is actually pretty big. So we've been playing some in the bathroom. And Audrey has discovered a new toy: the toilet! She likes to bang on the lid with her toys...I think she thinks it's a drum! I don't plan on making the toilet a regular play object for Audrey, but for now it will have to do. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1...Day 309

This is Frodo. Frodo is my friend Marley's cat, but he is my old buddy! I lived with Marley and Frodo for part of a summer in college, and he just loved to snuggle with me! Audrey had a fun time meeting Frodo (and all the other cats!) at Marley's house tonight. And it was really good to reunite with my friends Marley and Kelly too!!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30...Day 308

Audrey is 13 months old today!!!

November 29...Day 307

Sorry I didn't post this last night. We got to Joplin late, and after getting settled into our tiny room and getting Audrey to bed, I was too tired to do anything. This is a horrible picture, but it was cold and late as we were driving on campus, so it's as good as it gets this time. It's been five years since I've been back to Joplin...and it's weird because everything feels so familiar, but then things are different too. It's especially weird being on campus at Ozark; I feel very old and out of place. We're going to be here for the next 9 days. This is the longest trip we've taken with Audrey. We're staying in a nice room on campus, but it's pretty small. It may be an interesting week as Audrey and I will have lots of down time while Daddy works!! If anyone in Joplin wants to hang out, let me know!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28...Day 306

We are getting ready for a big, long trip to Joplin tomorrow. While we were packing this afternoon, Audrey had a great time playing in the suitcase!

Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27...Day 305

Audrey seemed to be feeling better today; she was fever free all day. So, I don't know what was going on with her yesterday, but hopefully it is done now. We spent the afternoon with my dad and his side of the family. Audrey got to play with Great Grandma Lois and her new toy from Great Aunt Nancy! Grammy Lois was very impressed with how "smart" Audrey is. I don't know that she is any smarter than any other 1 year old, but she is starting to understand things and follow directions, which makes it fun to interact with her. And I think Grammy Lois is pretty proud of her great-grand baby!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 26...Day 304

I am thankful for this little turkey!! Unfortunately she woke up with a 102 degree fever this morning. Why does she always get sick when we come to my mom's house?? We kept it down with Tylenol today, but it was back at 102 when we put her down tonight. Poor baby!! Despite the fever she was in fairly good spirits all day and was able to enjoy her first Thanksgiving with our family. I just hope that whatever she has is not contagious...I don't want a repeat of this summer where the whole family got sick because of her!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25...Day 303

I am thankful for my hometown--Keokuk, Iowa. It's a small little town. There's not much to see or to do...but it's home, and it's always nice to be back for a visit. Maybe on Friday we'll check out the downtown stores advertised on this bag and see what great stuff we can find! It won't take long, as there are only a handful of places to shop!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24...Day 302

I'm thankful for this happy little girl. Some days she is just so super happy and cheerful about everything, and today was one of those days (And other days she is not so happy and cheerful, but I'm thankful for those days too...they're just not as fun!).
I should have taken more pictures today because Audrey was in such a good mood. But I only took a couple at Amy's house when we stopped by for a little Lightroom photo editing lesson this afternoon. Audrey did have a good time crawling and walking all over the Miller's house and trying to go up their stairs. It looks like she is staring in awe at something super cool in this picture.

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23...Day 301

I'm thankful for my new camera strap cover. Because it's cute, and it makes me smile!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November 22...Day 300

I am thankful for Thanksgiving dinner with all of our small group friends. We had a big group with a lot of good food and fun times! Here is Amy enjoying one of Angela's homemade rolls!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21...Day 299

Today I am thankful that I got to sleep in until 9:00 this morning! Then I stayed in bed until almost 10 and Daniel brought me Panera. It was wonderful! This was the view from our hotel room balcony when we got up this morning. I think it would have made for some cool pictures of the Arch if I would have taken some while the sun was rising. But I was definitely not awake for the sunrise!

I'm also thankful that Audrey had a good time at Miss Lisa's house while we were gone. She slept A TON, way better than she sleeps at home. So I'm thankful for that, but also a little jealous that she doesn't sleep that well for me! =)

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20...Day 298

I am thankful for a night out with my husband! Daniel and I are leaving Audrey behind tonight and heading to St. Louis! We're going out to dinner at a nice restaurant, seeing In the Heights at the Fox theatre, and spending the night at the Crowne Plaza in downtown St. Louis. I'm very excited!!

Update: I'm cheating a little because I didn't take this picture (our waiter did). But it's the only picture that I had of the two of us from this weekend, so I wanted it to be my picture for the day. We had a great time on our trip to St. Louis. Go to for more details.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19...Day 297

I am thankful for sweet babies who pose perfectly and look straight at the camera...making the most gorgeous photos! I got to babysit baby Elliot today, and I just couldn't resist taking a couple of pictures! I hope Lindsey doesn't mind that I photograph her son every time she brings him over for me to babysit. Lindsey--I promise we spent lots of time playing and having fun and only a short amount of time taking pictures! He's just so stinkin' adorable and photogenic; the camera loves him!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18...Day 296

I am thankful for Glee! It's my favorite new show, and it's the highlight of my Wednesday (and sometimes the highlight of my week!!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17...Day 295

I am thankful that this little girl made it through the day without cracking her head open or breaking a bone or something awful like that. Now that she is starting to walk more, she just takes off and goes until she loses her balance and falls splat on the floor. There is no gentle falling with her. She gets going so fast, that when she falls, she falls hard. I try to stick close to her, but I can't always catch her. The falling doesn't seem to affect Audrey too much...she may cry a little, but she is always ready to get back up and go some more. And so far I haven't noticed any bruises or marks on her as a result of her falls. But it bothers me! It looks so painful, and I feel bad for her! Hopefully her balance will improve quickly, because this wobbly stage is going to stress me out!

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16...Day 294

I am thankful for Amazon and Swagbucks. Really, I'm just thankful for the internet in general. It makes my life as a stay at home mom much more interesting, as I feel like I'm somewhat able to stay connected to the outside world even if I don't leave my house.

Anyway, back to Amazon and Swagbucks...I finished most of my Christmas shopping today on You can find just about anything that you could possibly want on Amazon, and it's free shipping! Plus I was able to purchase some of those gifts with gift cards that I earned through Swagbucks. I love Christmas shopping online! Sometimes I miss going to the stores and picking things out in person, but at the same time, there is so much more variety online. I think I'm able to take more time looking and find more unique gifts. Plus, I can sit at home in my pj's on the couch and get all my shopping done (which is what I did today!).

(And if you haven't tried Swagbucks yet, you should! I have earned $80 in gift cards so far since I started using Swagbucks in May. Not bad, for just searching the internet! You can sign up here:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15...Day 293

I am thankful that Audrey is walking!!! (At least, I think I'm thankful...ask me again in a couple of days). She has been taking steps and walking a short distance to us for a while, but just today she really has started to take off on her own and go for longer distances (like from room to room) without any prodding from anyone. And just look at the big grin on her face...she thinks it is so much fun (though she may just be grinning because she is not wearing any clothes, she likes to run around naked)! She is still a bit wobbly, but she goes really fast. When she begins to lose her balance, she starts to go even faster until she eventually falls. It makes me nervous that she is going to fall and get hurt, especially on the hardwood floors, but I suppose that falling is a necessary evil when learning how to walk.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14...Day 292

I'm thankful for good friends and fun times playing the game Settlers of Catan. (Though I'm not sure that Catan is always a good game for our friendships...I've heard the words I hate you more tonight than I have in a long time). I'm also thankful for my new strategy I learned tonight at Catan. It tends to be a miserable game unless you are winning. So tonight I decided to make smaller goals for myself (rather than winning) so as to have more fun when I'm losing, which is a lot of the time!